The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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linder's picture

Back to Basics Bread

I decided to return to my roots as it were, and reprise an old standard bread
recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book, Whole Wheat Bread. I topped the loaf with
a little egg wash and some sesame seeds before baking.  It's not 100% whole wheat but about 70% whole wheat - (2 1/2 cups ww flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour). I used to make this bread every week for
morning toast. After seeing and smelling it, I remember why - it's just good.

Breadboard's picture

Sourdough boule in cast iron

Still hot this evening fresh from the ceramic oven so I'll wait until tomorrow morning to slice.  I'm baking in cast iron and I'm feeling very satisfied with results.   This is a basic sourdough made by my very own apple peel starter.   The bail on the Dutch oven sure comes in handy when moving the heavy pot in and out of my ceramic oven.   I'm testing out a few things---  The new apple starter,  the Dutch oven, a signature slash to the top of the bread and the quality of the bread.  Will do the taste test tomorrow morning!




varda's picture

Tzitzel Bread - The Journey Ends

Not quite two years ago, when I joined TFL, I had a simple goal:   I wanted to figure out how to make Tzitzel bread which was a favorite when I was growing up in St. Louis Missouri.   I had recently started baking bread, and I figured how hard could it be.   When I searched the web, I found nothing for Tzitzel, but plenty of recipes for rye bread - many of which I tried.  Nothing was even remotely like what I remembered, and given my level of expertise, it was pretty poor eating.   I joined this site where I had been lurking for awhile and asked the question.   Again, no one seemed to have heard of it.   I did get a lot of great advice for baking Jewish Rye, and settled on "Jewish Corn Bread" which was a combo of some points in a comment by Norm (nbicomputers) on a David Snyder post, and one of Greenstein's recipes from Secrets of a Jewish Baker.   This kicked up the quality several notches, but still wasn't right.   When I started my quest, I had emailed the retiring owner of the St. Louis bakery, Pratzels,  where my father had bought Tzitzel.   Early on she told me that it was "just" a Jewish Rye wrapped in corn meal.   Later, when I knew more, I asked her again, and she told me that it was made with medium rye and bread flour.   It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I got my latest shipment of King Arthur flours, that I had some medium rye to play with.   At the same time, admiring a gorgeous Challah posted by dawkins, I gave up my resistance  and bought a copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery.   And there was the answer - I was off base using the corn bread recipe.   I should have been baking Jewish Deli Rye.   On page 74 the authors include a paragraph saying that to make Tzitzel one should modify their Jewish Deli Rye thus and so, and voila - Tzitzel.   And so ---- Tzitzel.   Thank you Norm and Stan!  


Szanter5339's picture

El amor el pan de maíz.

Mukoseev's picture

No Knead Ciabatta pics

Szanter5339's picture

Christmas is coming! I can say that I played good.

Baked honey but I am not happy with myself.
The cake but I'm good I am at odds mézessel. They are so ugly and does not show you. You'll have a lot to learn from modeling!
Not pretty but it's mine. I can say that I played good.
In the spirit of a snowman I have tavaj photo playground. Very cute photo!

DrBenji's picture

Need help recreating Bedouin bread

So when I was in college, long before I became interested in bread I studied abroad in Jordan, and as a part of that I stayed with Bedouins for two weeks. The family I stayed with baked this incredible unleavened bread that as far as I know was just flour, water, and salt. It would be buried in the embers of a fire and left, but I honestly don't remember for how long. It would then be taken out of the fire, thwacked for a bit to get the ash off, and voila, amazing bread. 

Here's a photo I have, although this doesn't depict the process I described above--

The final product looked exactly like this

I've done some googling and it's definitely not خبز صاج (saaj bread), which is very thin. This was thicker. I'm pretty sure it's called خبز فطير (fatir bread) The one recipe I've seen for fatir calls for roasted barley, which I both don't remember and seems out of place. It's possible barley has simply been replaced by white flour but I think it's likely it'd be semolina, not barley. 

I found this recipe but it calls for butter and corn oil, which doesn't comport with my memory of how it was made or the texture I remember. 

The directions I've found in Arabic have been a bit vague, and no proportions. Here's a history for those who read Arabic and are interested! It appears to be a history of bread in relationship to Jewish history. 

Does anyone have any ideas for proportions, and whether it's pure white flour, or some semolina, or barley? I guess I could just get my hands doughey and try it out! I'm still googling around in Arabic but it's a bit slow-going for me sometimes. 

mawil1013's picture

white whole wheat flour

back again, haven't had any time to work on my oat meal whole wheat project yet, but i did find a bag of the new white whole wheat flour at the grocery and wondered if it works the same as old whole wheat in the it still helps to add gluten for a better rise?

davidg618's picture

Christmas Baking

The families--DNA'ed and extended--loved last year's bread and cookies, so we chose to do it again this year. Pictured is last week's baking. It's not everything but the freezer was chock-a-block, so we're starting shipping today to make more room. We found shipping Priority mail gets fresh or fresh-frozen sourdough--with refresh instructions (375°F oven, 5 mins.)--delivered still palatable and tasty. This year's packages hold a loaf of sourdough or Orange Pecan loaf, a dozen and a half of assorted Biscotti and, of course, a dozen of my rendering of Grandma's Welsh Cakes. This year's Biscotti: Tart Cherry-Pecan, Citron-Macadamia Nut, Almond-Ameretto, and Chocolate-Chocolate chip-Chipotle. Sixteen mailing, and then there is the neighborhood cookie swap, and special friends to gift. We love this time of year!

David G



sweetbird's picture

txfarmer-style Sourdough Baguettes


I've loved this site from the sidelines for so long and have been nourished again & again by everyone's passion and generosity, so I thought it was high time to stop being an innocent bystander and post something. I pulled two beautiful breads out of the oven tonight based on this formula by txfarmer: What wonderful bread!

My plan was to follow the formula exactly but my starter was pokey on the morning that it was destined to meet the cold autolyse, so I had to leave the autolyse mixture in the refrigerator for 5 hours longer than planned, for a total of 17 hours. Finally the starter was ready (after getting a boost from a fresh feeding) and I worked it with the salt into the cold flour & water mixture. I almost wanted to apologize to it for the shock of the cold! Because the two mixtures seemed to resist being joined, I decided to do a Dan Lepard-style stretch & fold every 10 minutes for the first half hour, then settled into the s&f every half hour in tx's formula. That worked well. Then the dough went into the refrigerator for its 24-hour cold rise.

But because the extra-long autolyse threw my timing off (and because I had to bake today, not tomorrow), I realized that I would have to take the dough out today before the full 24 hours had passed, judging that it was also going to need some time at room temp. I took it out at around the 18 hour mark, gave it about 2-1/2 to 3 hours at room temperature and then went on with the dividing, pre-shaping, resting & final shaping. It was a lovely, soft, active dough.

My shapes are somewhere between baguettes and batards because of the constraints of my oven and baking stone. I tend to make mostly boules and now realize I need to work on my shaping and scoring of this type of bread! Because they were a little fatter than tx's baguettes they needed a longer bake time, and at the end I turned the oven off and left the door ajar with the baguettes still on the stone for about 5 more minutes. As it turned out, I could have left them a little longer to allow the interior to dry more. But . . . wow . . . the flavor!

Crackly crust, creamy crumb, weak-in-the-knees flavor. My husband and I had planned on Indian food for dinner but couldn't resist some slices before dinner.

My camera tends to turn everything into a golden wonderland in low light, but here are some more photos. I hope I haven't made them too huge. Tried to follow the 800 x 600 px rule but they seem absolutely gargantuan.  I'll need to work on that for next time.

Thank you for this bread, txfarmer!! And thank you all for your constant inspiration.

All the best,  Janie