The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
pattycakes's picture

Does anyone have a recipe for Irish style caramel squares?

My sisters and I had a bar cookie called a caramel square at the Irish Stud near Killkenny (if my memory serves me), in Ireland. It had perhaps a short crust, but I'm not sure of that detail. What I'm sure of is that the inside, the caramel part, was dry, not creamy caramel like every recipe out there. It almost had the kind of crumb that a malted milk ball would have if it weren't too hard. It had chocolate on top. I wrote to the Irish Stud and asked for the recipe and never heard back...anyone know what I'm talking about and have a recipe? If so, I would be forever indebted, as would anyone else who bakes it, because it's a great cookie. I'm a recipe developer, and I haven't a clue how they got that inside texture!

Many thanks!


Sjadad's picture


I have been on a quest to make truly great pizza in my home oven. A decade ago I bought a pizza stone and my results were dramatically improved. A few years later I figured out that finishing the baking under the broiler yielded better results still. Well, I found something called a "baking steel" when I was reading posts on the "Slice" section of It has changed my life (: I put my old baking stone, inverted, one level above the shelf with the steel and heated everything to 550F for a good hour. The results speak for themselves.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Today's JH 5 Grain Levain Bake

Today I baked my 4th attempt at the JH 5 Grain Levain bread.  I don't mean to bore everyone with yet another post of this bread, but I would like to show everyone the help that David Snyder's tutorial post on scoring bread gave me.  I am finally producing some ears and slashes that are looking the way they should, along with some blooms that I could rarely accomplish before.  I still have a lot more practice ahead of me to say I am confident with scoring, but at least I am getting somewhere.  Thanks to members of this site like David, new bakers can really benefit from the lessons and suggestions given on this site. Also bakers like breadforfun, who post photos that inspire to bake better.  I will post the crumb photos when they have had time to cool and I can sneak into my local grocery store to use their professional slicing machine.  Shhh.


hornedfox's picture

Cheesey semolina bread

I made this last weekend even though I was really pleased with the results it should have spent a little longer in the oven maybe popped out of the tin for 10-15 minutes


100% flour

60% semolina

3% salt

3% instant dry yeast

10% garlic oil (I made my own, crushed 2 cloves of garlic in to hot oil and let it cool. I couldnt be bother to strain it so I chucked the lot in)

95% luke warm water

46% grated parmasan

46% sharp mature cheddar cut into small cubes

46% spicy mexican cheese cut into small cubes

I combined everything except the cheese to make a smooth dough with a paddle. I was worried about the salt content with the salt from the cheese so I reduced it a little. Then mixed with a dough hook for 5 mins. Add all the cheese mix until well combined. I put it in a well greased bowl at 21 C untill puffy. I greased an 8" round baking tin with olive oil Shapped the dough as a boule and put in the tin cover and let it rise for about and hour. I use a steam convection oven I set it to steam and 195C, when it got to temp I covered the tin with tented foil and put it in. Cooked for 30 mins took the lid off and cooked for a further 15 mins. Very tasty.




PiPs's picture

Holiday + breadcrumbs + pumpkin and feta pie

Weekend dawn has surrendered to lazy rain and on our kitchen counter French toast soaks as the remainder of the house sleeps. 

A week ago we spent some time near the beach well away from the routine of our city life. Time spent on beaches and flying kites in the salted seabreeze rejuvenates the soul. During sunset walks we stepped over washed up jellyfish whilst gazing at distant whales breaching on the horizon. But most important of all we relaxed.

Back in Brisbane, I have landed some temp work with a design agency which is keeping my days full and my brain busy. It is nice to be challenged and I think the work will reward both my confidence and skills–which is exactly what I need right now.

Ever since I started baking I have always breadcrumbed my leftover bread, and the tempo of its use in our cooking matches the rate at which we collect stale bread–a perfect equilibrium! When grabbing a few slices of desem bread from the freezer for breakfast I noticed that my collection of stale bread ends had snowballed and contained all sorts of treasures like Tartine's Sesame Bread, Danish Rye, Desem, Miche and some Pain au Levain's with bold baked crusts.

These combined flavours in the breadcrumbs adds an exciting strength of flavour to the ready-made flavours available in caramel crusts. A caraway and cumin loaf is an exquisite addition if available! 

I have found the best time to approach making breadcrumbs is at the close of a weekend bread bake. After switching off the oven, the collection of stale bread is defrosted, cut into small cubes, spread on a baking tray and left on the cooling baking stone for the night. The following morning I check the brittleness of the bread cubes–there should be no softness at all–then in batches reduce them to fine crumbs in a food processor. Ear plugs are a luxury for this!


The flour milled with my Komo mill is used for more than just bread. I have been trialling shortcrust pastries made with freshly milled wheat sifted down to a dark high extraction flour with delicious results. This recipe is one of our favourite meals and has been made all the better by replacing the standard frozen shortcrust pastry the original recipe calls for. I have never seen children so eager to eat pumpkin as they are when presented with a slice of this pie.


Pumpkin and Feta Pie
Serves 6

200g high extraction four chilled (preferably freshly milled)
100g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
pinch of sea salt
2-3 tablespoons chilled water

Half a butternut pumpkin (squash) peeled and cut into 2cm (3/4 inch) cubes
4 garlic cloves unpeeled
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red onions halved and sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
100g (3 1/2oz) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary 

  1. Put the flour, butter and pinch of salt in a food processor and process for 1 minute. Add the chilled water and process until the mixture comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Spread the pumpkin and garlic on a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Transfer the pumpkin to a large bowl and the garlic to a plate. Leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the onion is a dark golden colour. Add to the pumpkin and allow to cool completely.
  4. Add the feta and rosemary to the pumpkin mix and squeeze the garlic out the skins into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roll out the pastry to a 35cm (14 inch) circle and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Arrange the pumpkin mixture over the top leaving a 4cm (1 1/2 inch) border. Fold over the pastry edges, pleating as you fold.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden.


The rain appears to have really set in and the garden is just soaking it up. So while we are housebound for the time being it seems there is no excuse for not getting stuck into some neglected housework ... before I get into trouble ... eeek!

Happy baking (and milling) everybody.


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

The Rye I was Thinking Of! - Kind of

Here is a type of Rye bread I found that is very close to the one I was trying to find in this previous post:

This rye is pretty much what I was after.  Dense, dry, sturdy, stiff crumb.  It is called Klosterbrot Roggenbrot.  Here are some photos.  If anyone has a good recipe similar to this please share.  I would love to make this.



ed9762's picture

Super Easy Filled Bread Roll Recipe

This is one of the first bread recipes I tried at home some fifteen years ago and still remains my favorite ever since. This is a super easy bread roll recipe. You don't need any technical know-how, expertise, skills or experience to bake this bread recipe. It's all very easy and practical, You don't even need a scale! And the whole mixing, shaping and baking process is only +/- 60 minutes.

I got this recipe from a handbook used in food science and technology class which has been modified by me to make it even more easier.

Ok, here are the ingredients:
a. Flour: 250 gram/500 ml/2 cups
b. Yeast: 1 Tbs
c. Sugar: 2 Tbs
d. Dried Milk Solids: 2 Tbs
e. Butter/Margarine: 2 Tbs
f. Water (warm): 1/2 cup/125 ml
g. Egg: 1
h. Salt: 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon

First, place water onto a mixing bowl. Add yeast and stir until completely dissolved. Add sugar and dried milk solids and stir until well-blended. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes.

Add half of the flour into the mixture and stir using a mixer or spoon for approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg, butter/margarine and salt and stir again for another 3 minutes until they are completely dissolved.
Bread Ebook
Add half of the remaining flour and knead (gently press and fold) the dough for approximately 5-10 minutes until well-blended using a mixer or hand.
Bread Ebook
If the dough is still sticky, add the remaining flour one tablespoon at a time while continuously kneading the dough until it is not sticky anymore and can be formed into a ball shape. Let the dough sits for 10 minutes for the first rise in the bowl, covered with a damp cloth or plastic, until double in size.

After 10 minutes, gently push the dough and create 12-18 roll shapes (You can fill these rolls with cheese, chocolate rice, peanut butter, strawberry jam if you like). Place the dough onto a well-greased sandwich pan. Allow the dough to rise again for 20 minutes until double in size.

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F. Apply an egg wash on the surface of each roll and bake them in the middle of the oven at 180ºC/350°F for approximately 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Tips: Baking temperatures and times may vary between different types, brands, sizes of ovens. You may need to adjust your baking temperatures and times to suit your oven. You can substitute liquid milk for dried milk solids+water.
P.S. This recipe was included in my first bread ebook Super Easy Bread Recipes with Less Kneading. You can download its excerpt (in PDF format) including some of the recipes for free in this LINK.

pambakesbread's picture

the last rise and no big holes

Help!! I have a great starter and it will lift the bread but there are no large holes and it kind of lays there spreading out and not going up. the crumb is good I use Harvest King Commercial flour and get a reasonable sour taste  and a great crust the only thing I do not get is a significant lift either in the last rise or in the oven. It is definately eidable even though it is kind of flat but What is with the damn holes. I bake other breads and have reasonable success for a home baker but this is pissing me off big time. Pam

glasgowjames's picture

Baguette Shaping Guide

Hi there!

I just thought I'd post this up here to see what you think - tis a fairly simple picture guide on how to tightly shape baguettes that I made to go along with a recipe on my blog (Balsamic Onion Baguettes). Any feedback on clarity would be greatly appreciated, as I am working to devise similar step-by-step guides for an upcoming bread book (and I believe tartine is the best and most beautiful so far, but still can be a bit confusing):



@bakingjames on Twitter

mrgnlit's picture

Convert tassajara rye oatmeal bread to soaker/biga

Hi there I am a new baker and I have been fooling around with the recipies in the tassajara bread book. I really love the whole wheat rye oatmeal bread (I took out the white flour and just put all whole wheat, rye and oats) but it never rose well (becuase I took out the white). Then I tried  Peter Reinheart's 100% whole wheat bread recipie and it rose very well! The soaking overnight seemed to really do wonders to the bread. So I thought I shoudl adapt the recipie i like in Tassajara and make it a soaker/Biga recipie which might require me to do some bakers math and monkeying around.

Pretty much I took all of the ww flour,  took out about 7tbs and then  added half the water and 1/4tsp yeast to make the soaker. Then I took the stuff you add to the sponge (rye and oat) and I put the other half of water in it along with 1/4tsp salt to make the biga. The next day you would add biga, soaker, the rest of the salt, and yeast, molasses, and oil and knead. the rest progresses like the peter reinheart thing.

Can someone check me on this and tell me if I am on the right track?

questions and concerns

1. I had to mess with the salt is this. Do I have enough in the soaker?

2. Should i be taking 7tbs out of the origional wwf or should i just add more flour near the end?

3. Did i do the bakers percentages right? It looked straitforeward enough but I wasn't sure.

The total recipie is as follows. I converted cups to grams and also halved the recipie.

  • 480g wwf
  • 204g rye
  • 180g rolled oats
  • 10.63g yeast
  • 84 g molasses
  • 54.89g canola oil
  • 21.33g salt

So then I separated it into something that looked like the soaker biga thing


  • 49% wwf
  • .002% yeast (huh? it was so small)
  • 41% water


  • 21% oat
  • 24% rye
  • __salt (i didnt do this one oops)
  • 41% water


  • 6% flour
  • ___ salt (ugh i had salt issues)
  • .009% yeast (another small number?)
  • 9% molasses
  • 6% oil (its on page 27. keep in mind i halved it)