The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
Casey_Powers's picture

To banneton or not banneton

I really like the look of the rustic banneton.  It also makes (in my humble opinion) my boules easier to move.  They feel more firm.  The boule with the C is a total natural seem opening.  Not bad, it almost looks like I placed a C on my boule myself.  Well, when I do 4 boules with 2 bannetons it does provide options for those that may prefer one to the other. 

Warm Regards,


koren's picture

Tight exterior with loose middle


I have been baking bread off and on for a few years with much success. I tend to keep having this problem in loaf pan breads where the crumb is pretty tight near the edges of the slice and looser towards the center. I have tried to do some research and thought the problem was related to poor forming of the loaf. I have worked on my technique and think I am going a better job now, I made this loaf yesterday from the following king arthur recipe. It tastes very good but the middle of the slices is awfully loose. I would appreciate any ideas as to what I am doing wrong.





nmr82's picture

Sourdough starter w/Chia seeds

Hi! I'm looking to make a sourdough baguette with chia seeds. I can't figure out if I should add the chia seeds in with the starter or add it in when I go to mix all ingredients and make the dough. I'm planning to do a whole white wheat bread. 



ichadwick's picture

Calorie count?

My flour bag tells me there are 110 calories in 1/4 cup of flour. A small artisan loaf takes 2 1/4 cups and gives me roughly 10 slices. That should translate to 110 calories/slice, average (commercial bread is 85-100 per slice).

So is that a good reckoning? Or does the yeast eat some of that and reduce the number of calories in the dough? Does the baking alter it?

Anyone have any ideas on calorie counts for homemade bread?

This is basic flour-water-yeast-salt bread: no sugar or oil.

trailrunner's picture

Sweet Potato YW SD with pepitas

I have been traveling since Oct 5th. No baking but lots of eating of great breads from Canada to NYC ! I got home and found my YW and SD happily resting in the fridge. I fed everything and restored all to working order. I noted Ian's sweet potato bread and had an extra baked one so decided to try a variation using what I had on hand. Wild Yeast Blog has a formula from 2007 and I used it as a base to begin. I used 200g AYW stater and 200g RYW starter each at 100% hydration and made up the rest with my SD 100% hydration . When Ian mentions "wet" sweet potato he is correct. The dough was like ciabatta for sure. I beat it in the KA like a ciabatta until I noted some gluten development. I then placed it in an oiled bucket for 40 min. removed and did a lot of s&f's with a floured counter and gingerly movements. Rested 50 min and did the same...had really nice development at this point and it had nice air bubbles. Divided in two and made no attempt to shape...simply sprayed the top with water and pressed on pepitas and tossed into floured cloth lined baskets seed side down. Proofed for 1 hr and the loaves had filled the baskets. Retarded approx 12 hrs in fridge. Baked straight from fridge as per my usual...500 preheated pans ,place bread in pots lower to 460 , bake 20 min and remove lids and bake 15 min til 210 degrees. Crust snapped and crackled. Amazing fragrance from the pepitas. Lovely crumb but no spring to speak of.Glistening crumb and very tender due to the YW. This is going to be served with a black bean soup tonight . RYW ready to go :  photo IMG_6695_zpse1a8a521.jpg AYW ready :  photo IMG_6696_zps117997ab.jpg "shaped" and seeds on ready for basket to proof:  photo IMG_6697_zps593635ac.jpg straight from fridge:  photo IMG_6700_zps267cefc7.jpg finished:  photo IMG_6701_zpsa15ce6fc.jpg crumb shots:  photo IMG_6702_zps0e9ad8ea.jpg  photo IMG_6703_zps5988ccb8.jpg  photo IMG_6705_zps64ff31a5.jpg

rozeboosje's picture

An onion and seed bread :-)

Very happy with how this turned out so I'm sharing it!

I started off with an organic rye starter back in September (The Monster Raving Loony Starter - see ), and I have since switched to plain white organic wheat flour to keep it going nicely and I've settled into a lovely routine with about two bakes a week and no waste. Happy days.

Yesterday I baked a lovely onion-and-seed brown bread that I'm very happy with so I thought I'd share with you how I did it.

Onion mix

Chop one brown onion finely. In a couple of tablespoons of virgin rapeseed oil (or another non acidic oil, but I like the flavour of rapeseed oil), slow fry them until nicely caramelised. Add a good tablespoon full of linseed and another tablespoon full of sesame seeds and fry off until it's all golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.

Dough base

200g strong white wheat flour

100g strong wholemeal wheat flour

12g salt

At least two Serving Spoons of starter

Add the onion mix and form your dough. I'm not that hot on hydration percentages, but I know I add enough water to make a firm enough dough to form a nice boule that can stand unaided.

Rising and proving times depend on your local circumstances so I'm leaving that up to you.

I scored the boule and glazed it with milk, then added some poppy seeds to the top just for the look of 'em.


Hope it works as well for you if you decide to give it a go!

Floydm's picture

Bread in restaurants

An interesting piece about the changing place of bread in restaurants.

SF Gate: The cost of serving bread in restaurants

The cheapskate in me doesn't like having to pay for something I get for nothing right now, but I actually like that it makes people think a bit more about bread.  Heaven knows good bread doesn't come for free!  And, yes, reducing food waste is a positive thing.

Clizma's picture

Complex bread

Hello everyone, I am very new to baking breads.

I have successfully baked breads out of white flouer and whole wheat flouer, recently I accuired some quinoa and 12 grain flouer as well as Rye flouer.

I tried making 2 1/2 Rya flouer, 1 /12 12 grain flouer, 1 1/2 quinoa flouer, some 12 grain oats, 2 cups of water, the same way I made my whole wheat breads, but this time the mix became very danse, and the mix did not rise as well as it would rise using white and whole wheat flouers before.

My questions are: what did I do wrong? is mixing so many kinds of flouer give that effect? and how can I make the mix rise better?


Thank you!

Timbo's picture

Buy or Create my own Starter?

Any recommendations for a newbie? I can go either way but if buying an established starter is better I'm OK with that. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

christinepi's picture

how can I tell the starter is at its peak?

I've made my first starter as of two days ago. Right now it's sitting out at ca 68, and I feed it twice a day. It's nice and bubbly. After I fed it at 9am today, it doubled within 3-4 hours. I decided to watch what will develop, since I'm totally new to this. It's been sitting there, motionless, since 1pm. It's still motionless, at 5:22pm. If I understand this correctly, there will be a point when it peaks in vigor, and then slowly lose power; so one wants to catch that point in time when it's at its strongest. How exactly do I know this?? Clearly there are a good few hours wiggle room, but roughly? Does the smell change? Right now it smells to die for good, but not sour (I take it it will take a week or more to develop its fullest sour potential. I intend to keep it sitting out for now because it's so much fun to watch.

Any tips on when the time has come for the starter to lose its power?