The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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isand66's picture

Hamburger Onion Parmesan Rolls Vs. 2

  Finally the weather is starting to turn and actually feel like Spring after one of the longest and coldest winters we have had in a long time.  It was time to fire up the grill and make some hamburger and hot dogs to really make it feel like a new season.

I decided to use the basic formula for my popular Onion Parmesan Rolls which I posted about here but change things up a little.  I didn't have any cheese powder left so I used some fresh shaved Parmesan which certainly could only help matters.  I also wanted to use some Caputo 00 flour in place of some of the European style flour.  The idea would be to make the rolls a little harder similar to the German style rolls I had made last year which came out just like Kaiser rolls.  I also added some fresh ground Red Winter Wheat and since I didn't have Durum flour I used the grainier Semolina version.

The other main change I made to the recipe was to use minimal mixing and stretch and folds along with a bulk fermentation in the refrigerator.  I was going to bake these the next day, but I caught the stomach flu so the dough rested for 2 days before I finally had the strength to bake them off.

I also increased the hydration by adding 144 grams additional milk to compensate for the thirstier Caputo 00 flour as well as the freshly milled whole wheat and spelt.

If you want a soft fluffy roll than don't use this recipe, but if you want a nice semi-hard style roll that goes great with a burger than you will like this formula for sure.  I've been eating them for breakfast everyday this week with a little cheese or butter and I'm sorry that I just ate the last one a few minutes ago.


Hamburger Onion Parmesan Buns Vs.2 (%)

Hamburger Onion Parmesan Buns Vs.2 (weights)


Bring the milk up to a boil in a heavy-duty sauce pan and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.  Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature before using.

In the mean time leave your butter out at room temperature or soften in your microwave.

Mix flours with yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Next, knead on medium-low speed (or with hands) for 2 minutes. Dough should be supple and still a little bit sticky (adjust with water if needed). Continue kneading for 4 more minutes, increasing speed to medium-high for last 30 seconds.

Take the dough out of your mixer and form it into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl or dough rising bucket.  Let it sit for 10 minutes and then do a set of stretch and folds.  Repeat the same procedure a total of 3 times within 40 minutes.  Place covered bowl with dough in your refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days.

On baking day, take the dough out of your refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around 2-3  hours until the dough is nice and puffy and has completely doubled from the original size.

Next gently deflate the dough and form into rolls and place on cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours until the rolls have almost doubled in size and pass the poke test.

Around 30 minutes before ready to bake the rolls, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare your oven for steam as well.  I use a heavy-duty pan in the bottom shelf of my oven and pour 1 cup of boiling water in right before placing the rolls in the oven.

Right before you are ready to bake the rolls prepare an egg wash, paint your rolls and add  your topping of choice.

Bake the rolls at 450 degrees for the first 5 minutes and lower the oven to 425 degrees until they are nice and brown.

These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.  When done  let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.




ccsdg's picture

Bread making app?

After countless bits of paper calculating amounts for the daily/bi-daily sourdough bake I've resolved to write an app to do it instead (web app, aka website). I very seldom use commercial yeast and often have either too much starter or too little, and must adjust my proof time accordingly. A record of proving times of all my previous bakes and their ingredients/hydrations etc, as well as a way to quickly enter them and maybe even view their trends, would be singularly helpful. Also something to instantly tell me how much flour/liquid to add after starter, given hydration and bakers' formula (or whatever it is called, the one where flour is 100%).

Does anyone know if someone has written such an app already? On any platform. Especially if it was free.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Delicious pizza is so easy to make.

I live in New York, and I have a pretty good selection of fine pizzerias from which I can get pizza.  The same can pretty much be said for having a good selection of fine breads.  In fact, every day, I walk through Grand Central Station and pass by a market that has some very good loaves at reasonable prices (unlike everything else in that market.)

That said, I wanted to make my own bread, and with my own bread came the desire to make my own pizza. Fortunately, among the first books I picked up was Tartine Bread.  I say "fortunately," because the Basic Country Loaf that forms the foundation of the book, is also recommended for pizza dough.  Talk about killing two birds with one stone!  In Tartine Bread, Chad Robertson recommends the use of the Lodge Combo Cooker, a cast iron set of frying pans, one deep, the other shallow, which works perfectly for making the Basic Country Loaf.  Once I had that bread down, I decided to buy a Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan, based on the reviews I had seen.

Now, there are those who make better pizza then I.  I've seen the photographic evidence of it. They also make better bread than I.  But, I am happy to say that I have been making a lot of very fine pizza in addition to a lot of very fine bread.  I have found the Super Peel to be a pretty good aid in getting pizza dough onto a hot pan, whether it is the cast iron combo cooker or the cast iron pizza pan.  (I heat both to 500 degrees, and find the Extra Long Oven Gloves to be great for handling the hot cast iron.

By now, I am seeing that I have spent a boat load of money buying bread baking stuff, but it all pales in comparison to the grain mill I am still waiting to pull the trigger on...

Anyhow, my usual process is to drain a can of crushed tomatoes (lately, I have been using and preferring organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes), saute some chopped onions in olive oil, mix in the crushed tomatoes and divide it into 1/2 pint wide-mouth mason jars. Incidentally, this is what I store my starter in as well.  I use a screw on plastic lid but don't screw it down tight. 

Typically, I have been sauteing chopped onions and then adding a can of crushed tomatoes to make the sauce. I also keep my chopped onions in one of the jars as well, but use the standard rings to keep them sealed tight.  This keeps the onion odor out of the fridge and lets me store onions all week for use whenever I need them.

 On Saturday, I made some dough and let one pizza's worth sit in the fridge until Tuesday evening.  When I went to make the pizza I realized that I did not have any of my sauce made, and I did not want to dirty a pan, so I opened up the can of crushed tomatoes, poured it into a colander to let the water drain out cooked my pizza dough.

The process is as follows: I put the lodge pizza pan in the oven and heat it to 500 degrees.  I take the pan out of the oven, drizzle olive oil on the pan (which lets the dough brown better in my experience) and then use my peal to put the pizza dough on the smoking hot pizza pan for a 5 minute bake.  Once the dough is set and maybe a little browned (in this instance, I actually overcooked the dough since it was very thin in the middle and it became crisp like a cracker....turned out delicious), I add the sauce (1/2 pint jar is enough sauce for the whole pie) and top it with sliced mozzarella, at which point I return it to the oven for a few minutes, and once the cheese is all melted, I take it out, sprinkle some fresh Basil leaves on top and return to the top rack of my oven where I put the broiler on High and broil for a few minutes until the cheese just starts to brown.

The result:


dosco's picture

Recipe ... Portuguese Sweet Bread

Posted below is the recipe I use for my Portuguese sweet bread. I am interested in suggestions from the collective audience that may result in improvements in taste, texture, oven spring, etc.

In my last bake I used about 50g of leftover levain ... not sure it made any difference and it might be interesting to experiment with adding even more to assess its affects on the final product.





6 ½ cups flour (910g) (to date I've only used all-purpose (AP) flour ... I plan on trying *some* bread flour in near future)

½ cup mashed potato, unseasoned (115g)

2/3 cup potato water (159g)

½ cup milk (125g)

½ cup butter

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp grated lemon peel

¼ tsp ground mace

1 packet of active dry or instant yeast (Reinhart recommends Instant because there is more yeast cells in it when compared to other forms of commercial yeast)

Confectioner’s sugar (optional)


In a mixing bowl combine ½ cup flour, sugar, lemon peel, mace, and dry yeast. Feel free to experiment with the type of flour used, to date I have only made this bread using the cheapest store brand all-purpose flour … the bread always rises to double or triple its original volume and is always delicious.


Heat potato water, milk, and butter to about 120dF (49dC), add to dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes.


Add the eggs, mashed potato, and another ½ cup flour; mix for 2 minutes.


As the mass is mixing, continue to add the flour until it is all incorporated into a soft dough.


Knead until the dough is smooth and it passes the windowpane test … this will depend on the type of flour used (all purpose vs. bread flour). If using an electric mixer, this can take between 5 and 10 minutes.


Once the dough is formed set it aside to bulk ferment “until doubled” (depending on temperature this could be about 90 minutes).


After bulk fermentation, gently stretch or roll the dough out and form a rectangle of about 10 inches (25.5 cm) by 16 inches (40.5 cm).


Roll the dough into a cylindrical shape and place it, seam side down, into a greased/oiled “10 inch tube pan” (I use a Bundt pan). Pinch the ends together to form a continuous ring.


Let the formed dough proof “until doubled” (depending on the temperature this could be about 60 minutes).


Bake the bread at 350dF (177dC) for 40 minutes, or, until the center of the dough is 205dF and the crust is browned to your liking. Feel free to experiment with baking temperature, time, and steam … I have successfully baked this bread at 400dF with steam although I am not sure if this conferred any benefit to the quality of the bread.


Cool in the pan before serving.


Optionally, dust the top of the bread with confectioner’s sugar.

jimtr6's picture

hard roll or kaiser roll

years ago in CT my dad was a baker and the small bakery made that were called hard rolls, these were a nice thin but crispy/flakey egg shell thin crust with poppy seeds and the star shape on top, these were light rolls and not heavy or dense, they were unbelievably delicious and left crumbs all over the table when eaten. Sadly they are a thing of the past, they were popular in the NYC area, anyone know anything about them?

raypete's picture


Hi all

just started to bake in a woodfire oven I've been playing around for a little bit but started to put it into production a few weeks ago. I'm still learning so I thought I would start with a simple white bread. the one up front has kale, beetroot leaves, spinach, artichoke & asiago cheese in it. the others are just a white bread.

elmsley4's picture

Helps! Recipe between Tartine and Lahey for sourdough...

First there was Lahey's bread in the NYT: awesome.

Then there was Reinhart's "Artisan breads everyday": awesome.

Then there was Robertson's "Tartine": Oh yeah!!!!  


Candidly, so far Tartine is my favorite, BUT, it's TIME CONSUMING and a PITA (Pain In The A**).  

I've got my sourdough in the fridge, but I need ideas what to use it for.  I've seen recipes on a few websites, but they call for 1C of starter.  This seems like a lot when I'm used to making a levain with 1T of starter from Robertson.  

Other goals are to find other recipes for my starter: pancakes, bagels, etc...  Suggestions are welcome.

1) Can someone point me in the direction of really good sourdough bread that isn't as time consuming or detailed (e.g. 80-degree water, than 78-degree water) as Tartine?

2) Can someone advise how to convert a bread recipe using commercial yeast, to starter?

Thanks all!

Happy Baking,



Note: I've included a picture from one of my babies!  Looking at it is making me hungry!


golgi70's picture

Farmer's Market 26 (Five Grain Levain)

Well after seeing dmsnyder's post on J.H.'s 5 grain levain from "Bread" i had to give it a go.  I also thought it would be fun to finally follow  a recipe from a book (or not).  Since i couldn't get Cracked Rye I couldn't resist but make a small modification.  

To keep the same percentage of Rye in the recipe (9.2%) I just used some Rye Sour as a portion of the Levain.  In place of this I used some Bulgar in the soaker.  

I ran into trouble quickly as the dough was much drier than I anticipated and i was hand mixing a 10KG batch of dough for trading. I added nearly 4% more h20 to get a dough i could manage. I used the pincer method followed by 2 s/f to make up for the lack of mechanical mixing.  The dough actually felt okay by shape time but I think it could have been better devloped.  Not nearly as nice looking as David's but 

The flavor and crust of this loaf are so good.   After baking the first set straight from the fridge I remembered Davids caution and paid the price and had a few loaves broken at the score that never really filled in.  The following I pulled 1 hour befoer baking and went much better. I will certainly make this again but increase the H20 by another 2-4%.  

Spring/Summer Market starts back up next week so I'll be getting back out to some regular trading.  

Happy Baking 


mickybean's picture

Brooklyn-by-way-of-Norwich Sourdough

About two months after baking my first-ever loaf of bread, I'm posting my first blog entry here. From raising my own sourdough starter to learning to handle ever wetter and slacker doughs, it's been a fun and action-packed couple of months. I've been edified and consoled many a time by this site, and I'm finally feeling confident enough to say hello.

At the moment, I have two major challenges. The first is learning to work with my cane banneton, which only seems to want to release my loaves 50 percent of the time. (The other 50 percent of the time, I am forced to tug at the dough until the loaf comes out warped.) I've read that some people use rice flour and others use semolina, but I haven't yet found time to experiment.

My other big struggle is my sourdough starter's newfound rye addiction, which I can't get it to kick. I originally started it on whole wheat flour before converting it to white, and all was going smoothly until I refrigerated it. When I tried to bring it back to life a week later, I found it sluggish and unresponsive. Well, a friend suggested I revitalize it with some whole rye flour, which worked like a charm (instead of doubling like it used to, the starter now nearly triples in 4-5 hours), but ever since it's tasted rye paradise, it doesn't want to go back. I keep trying to gradually wean it off rye, which seems to work, but the moment I cut it off cold-turkey, it goes on strike and stays that way for multiple feedings. I'm interested in solving this problem, of course, but also in understanding--if anyone has an explanation--why rye is so much more conducive to yeastly activity.

This past month I've been exclusively practicing variations on this Norwich Sourdough. I want to get all my basic techniques down before I branch out and play around. Still, I've made a few adjustments (halving the quantities and upping the hydration), and this is my current default formula (which produced both the loaves pictured in this post, the first one being my most recent effort):

510g white flour (I use about half AP, half bread flour)
350g water at about 74F
180g mature 100% hydration whole rye sourdough starter
12g salt

Mix/autolyse: 35 minutes
First fermentation: 2.5 hours, s&f every 30 minutes
Proof: 2.5 hours, retard overnight
Bake: 35 minutes at 475F on preheated baking steel

The original recipe calls for whole rye flour, which I don't add since it's already in the starter. I am quite happy with the flavor (the sourness is quite pronounced) and the crumb that I achieve with this method, but would prefer to get my starter back to an all-white state so that it's more versatile.

tssaweber's picture

Big Holes


If you know how to handle wet dough (80%) and with the right flour, big holes are a breeze!!!




Happy baking