The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Chef P. J. Arvidson - Smyrna Bread Factory's picture
Chef P. J. Arvi...


Opening a wholesale bakery featuring my sourdough bread and was wondering if I could just put it in the oven right out of the frige.  I always bring it to room temp before baking and I am trying to streamline the operation for better/faster production.

dmsnyder's picture

Whole Wheat Bread from BBA made with "fine" whole wheat flour.

The 100% Whole Wheat Bread from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice has been one of my favorite breads for years. I love it for it's delicious honey-wheat flavor. However, it often comes out with a dense, cake-like crumb. In April, I tried making this bread using a more intensive mix, as demonstrated by txfarmer. (See Light and fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Bread) I did, indeed, achieve a less dense, more open crumb. But I felt there was some loss of flavor due to oxidation of carotenoids. 

It is difficult to make a 100% whole wheat bread with a light, airy crumb. The pieces of bran in the flour act like little knives, cutting the gluten strands that give bread crumb its “structure.” I had heard of flour mills that grind the bran to a finer consistency after it has been separated during the normal milling process and then add the fine-ground bran back in, along with the other wheat components that re-constitute “whole wheat” flour. The smaller bran particles do less damage to the developing gluten during mixing.

Central Milling makes such a flour, and brother Glenn recently got some for me at CM's Petaluma warehouse. Today, I used CM's “Organic Hi-Protein Fine” whole wheat flour to make the Whole Wheat Bread from BBA. I followed the formula and procedures in my April 2, 2011 blog entry with one exception: I only mixed the dough for 12 minutes at Speed 2.


The first difference in the bread was the wonderfulness of its aroma. I can't say it was different in quality, but it just filled the house as never before. When the bread was cool and sliced, the crumb structure was even more open than I got with intensive mixing. The bread is chewy like a good white loaf and not at all cakey or crumbly. The flavor is delicious. I can't really say it is better than the flavor I've gotten with either home-milled flour or KAF Organic Whole Wheat flour, but the combination of crumb structure, texture and flavor was remarkable.


I am now eager to try using this flour with other breads, for example the Tartine "Basic Country Bread." Stay tuned.


Submitted to YeastSpotting

txfarmer's picture

Light Rye Sourdough with Goji Berry and Pine Nuts - full of good stuff

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Click here for my blog index.

Often used in Chinese cooking, Goji berries are known to have all kinds of health benefits. I often have dried Goji berries on hand to make soup, congee, or even tea with.They are good for me and pretty looking, but don't really have any strong taste, so I combined them with pine nuts in this loaf to jazz up the flavor.

Light Rye Sourdough with Goji Berry and Pine Nuts
Note: makes a 730g loaf

- levain
medium rye, 136g
water, 110g
rye starter (100%), 7g
1. Mix together and leave at room temp for 12 hours.

- final dough
bread flour, 295g
medium rye, 23g
water, 207g
salt, 8.5g
levain, 245g
dried Goji berries, 57g, soaked in water for 20min then drained
pine nuts, 57g

2. Mix together flour, water, and levain, autolyse for 20 to 60min, add salt, mix @ medium speed for 3-4 min until gluten starts to develope. Add Goji berries and pine nuts, mix @ slow speed until evenly distributed.

3. Bulk rise at room temp (~75F) for about 2.5hrs. S&F at 30, 60, 90min.

4. Shape into batard .

5. Proof face down in basket until the dough spings back slowly when pressed, about 90min in my case.

6. Bake at 450F with steam for the first 15min, lower the temperature to 430F, keep baking for 30 min.

My rye starter is VERY fast, please adjust fermentation schedule to fit your own starter if you decide to give it a try.


Goji berries add visual interests, while pine nuts made it so fragrant.


Nutty and fragrant, it's perfect with some PB.

HeidiH's picture

Today's 00 flour/semolina loaf -- too pretty not to take pics

Todays' bread: 550g 00 pizzeria flour, 50g semolina, 12g salt, 9g yeast, 420g water.  Painted with olive oil and dusted with Tuscan spice mix, sea salt, and semolina before being baked in an oven heated to 450F then turned down to 400F for 40 minutes.  Tastes as good as it looks.  Ahhhh.

SallyBR's picture

Cracked-Wheat Sandwich Bread, from Bread Bible...

I was hoping to make TxFarmer's version, with sourdough starter, but ran into "unexpected problems"   -  had to pick another recipe, as I was set on cracked wheat and absolutely wanted to make a sandwich type bread this past weekend


this recipe turned out excellent, I must make TxFarmer's sourdough soon too...


I include a photo, and you can find the whole recipe and my thoughts of it by jumping here, if interested...


tmarz's picture

Anyone from the south (US) make pies? Chocolate pies?

I watched the movie "The Help" and loved it! but I was also inspired by the food. Yes I grew up eating some traditional souther fare... but I am from NW US sooo... it wasn't as common. However I was inspired by the chocolate pie (with out the special ingredient!). All the chocolate pies I have had were like pudding pies. I browsed the internet and came across a couple recipes and decided on one. i didn't like the texture as much either I baked it a hair too long, or it had one too many eggs.

for the filling I did:

1 1/4 cups sugar

5 Tbl cocoa

2 tbl flour

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

1/3 cup of butter.


It just felt to eggy to me (texture-wise). Maybe I will try two eggs and 1 yolk. I thought I would petition the group to see if any of you have made one or have a traditional recipe. I think the texture I want is like a silky smooth fudgy brownie... if that is possible.




bob13's picture

Baking in a Big Green Egg

I have read where people actually use their BBQ as an alternative brick oven.  It seems folks have had success with the ceramic komado style smoker grills (like the Big Green Egg or Primo) to bake pizza and bread dough.  Has anyone really done this and what were the results?  This could be a very cost effective way to bake pizza and bread without having to build a brick oven.  Any thoughts form the pros here at the fresh loaf?  I know it is some what off topic for the bread site, but it is close to a brick oven and maybe some of you have ideas for me.  Thanks for any and all suggestions.



dmsnyder's picture

Today's baking 8-20-11

Pain au Levain from Hamelman's Bread (So what if I baked it umpteen weeks in a row? It's really good!)

Pain au Levain Crumb (the real reason I'm posting on this bread again) 

They say "Man cannot live by bread alone. You need side dishes."

A bit of petrale sole, a stuffed baked tomato and some Italian broad beans. Navarro Reisling, not pictured. (Tomato is stuffed with bread crumbs from Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Two Starters, garlic, etc.)

And, to clear the palate and fill any empty corners ...

Susan baked a plum cake.

Hmmmm .... I think I need another slice.


asfolks's picture

Rye flour?

I am working on a formula that calls for medium rye flour. I have some dark rye and white rye flour on hand. Is it faulty logic to assume that I can combine the two to get an approximation of medium rye?


lumos's picture

IV : T55 Trial I – ‘Baguette’ That Didn’t Become

 So, this is the first report on my trial of T55 flour my daughter brought back from Paris.  I used to use Shipton’s T55 years ago for a while, but this is the first time I’ve ever used T55 actually made in France….though it’s just a supermarket’s own brand flour, so definitely not the highest quality one.  But to be fair, the supermarket my daughter bought it from was Monoprix, which, according to Wiki, is “considered an up-scale chain and its business model was the inspiration for Waitrose,” in spite of its very un-assuring name :p,  so hopefully it’s at least not the lowest of the lowly, bog-standard flour. ::fingers crossed::


 The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was how yellowy the colour was and also it looked less smooth?/less fluid?/a bit more sticky? (sorry, can't find a good way to describe) than other white flour I use.

< (from left to right) Waitrose Organic Strong,  Monoprix T55, Waitrose Canadian Very Strong>


I ‘d always thought Waitrose Organic had creamier shade of colour than other flours I’d used (except for Waitrose's Leckford Estate flour which had even creamier shade), but compared to the T55, it looked more pinkish in comparison,  which was a surprise.

The biggest reason I wanted authentic French T55 was to find out how much difference it would make in my baguette, both taste and shape (both outside and inside) and to use the experience as my future bench mark when mixing UK flours to improvise.  So I proceeded with my regular poolish baguette recipe, of which formula I posted in my last blog.

The only change I made this time was replacing all the flours (Strong, Plain and WW) in the formula, except for small rye in the poolish, with T55 and also omitting wheatgerm completely, because I wanted to see how pure T55 tasted.

The instant I added water to the flour to make poolish, I noticed it’s very different. For a short while the flour didn’t ‘dissolve’ as easily as the strong flour (Waitrose Organic) and looked a bit like when I added water to Dove’s Pasta Flour I blogged about before which contained Durum flour. A bit grainy and more lumpy, similar to when you mix water into semolina......just for a short time initially.

After a few more stirring, the flour and water mixed well but it looked a bit more ‘fluid’ than my usual poolish, most likely because T55 (10.5%) is much lower in protein than my Strong (12.9%) .

When mixed well, I  left it to ripe at room temperature, as in the above mentioned formula.  After 7 hrs, I saw the poolish reached its peak, so I proceeded with the rest of the formula. Again, when I added all the ingredients and poolish,  I noticed immediately the dough was much softer than my usual mix. When I did S&F, again it was much softer to touch and more extensible. In utter desperation a few years ago for not being able to obtain T55 very easily here,  I had once attempted making a baguette only using UK plain flour which had a similar protein level as this T55, but it felt different from that. This time, it was extensible but there was a kind of strength in it, like a ‘core’ which 100% plain flour dough didn’t have. I thought, ‘Aha! This is how T55 make a difference in resultant baguettes!’ and put the dough in the fridge for long, cold retardation for 21 hrs, as usual.  

After 21 hrs……The dough hadn’t gained as much volume as my usual improvised-flour dough. Looked very flat and had hardly any large bubbles on the surface which I always see a few of them with my regular baguette dough after the cold retard.   And when I turned it out onto the worktop, it just spread just like a very high-hydration dough, almost like this video by Peter Reinhart.

So there was just NO WAY I could shape this into baguettes with the state of gloopy dough.  I contemplated for a while if I should do extra sets of S&F until the dough was strong enough, but I knew from my past experiences it would only give you the crumb with uniform texture without much big airy holes to speak of, unless you do another long, cold retardation after shaping,  which was not an option at the time.

So in the end, this is what it ended up as. A ciabatta with baguette-ish crumb….or a baguette who wanted to pretend it was a ciabatta, whichever you prefer to call. :p


(Hope nobody notices a half-bitten piece I discreetly put back among them....)



The crumb wasn't open nor did it have larger holes I would've liked, obviously because 1) I didn't slash the top because it was going to be like a ciabatta, 2) the hydration was not high enough to be a ciabatta with typically open crumb with lots of BIG holes because it was supposed to be a baguette......::sigh::

Sorry, it’s such an anti-climax.  But I must say the flavour was AMAZING! It had such a deep and more complex flavour than my usual UK flour baguettes, especially the crust. And the aroma which came out from the oven during baking was quite different, too: more wheaty and nutty.  Also the crumb had much darker colour, which I associate with really good baguettes. And the most interesting thing is its saltiness.  Even I added exactly the same amount of salt as usual, the saltiness was a little more predominant compared to my regular baguettes…or many other baguettes I’ve had  before. It’s not actually ‘saltier,’ in anyway,  the amount of ‘saltiness’ you taste is the same. But for some reason ‘the saltiness’ stood out.  It really brought back the memories of excellent baguettes I had in the long past and reminded me its lovely saltiness, Yeah….a gooooooood baguette was always salty, never sweet. I’d forgotten that……