The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
OldWoodenSpoon's picture

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut, Chipotle Chili Biscotti

A couple of days ago David G. posted this recipe in his blog here.  Being a chocoholic that refuses recovery or treatment, I could/would not resist the temptation to indulge.  First, though, I must point out in my defense that I have never baked a biscotti before.  Ever.  They came out well enough to rapidly become an endangered item in the kitchen though!

David mused in his original blog post that he thought these would be better with as much as 3/4 teaspoon of chipotle chili.  My wife and I both enjoy the heat, and neither of us has ever had chocolate with chili before, so I used a scant teaspoon.  Well, more like a fat 3/4 teaspoon, of chipotle.  All I can say is, "I gotta do this again!".

The heat of the chili just trails off the back of the bite, and does not persist overly long, but it is there and lends a lingering tangy tail to the chocolate flavor.  I also used the Hershey Special Dark chocolate chips, but had to settle for the plain old Hershey Dark Cocoa I had in the cupboard since the grocer did not have the special dark cocoa powder on the shelf.

Never making a biscotti before, I did not know what to expect.  I certainly did not expect the dough to be so sticky, and I wonder what it really should be like.  It also took twice as long as the recipe prescribes to bake to the first stage where I could cool and cut them, and they took twice as long as well in the second stage to dry them out/crisp them up.  My oven temps are spot on because I test a couple of times a year, and I have no trouble with bread timings.  I just think I made some kind of mistake, or should have added more flour, making these up.

If you like chocolate, you will really love these!  Try them if your waistline will stand it.  Mine won't, but I went for it anyway!

Szanter5339's picture

Appliqué bread.

I left a few, and overlay made ​​of bread dough on top.
Scissors and cut around the letters as I told, then I put the shaped bread.
Blade will cut around the pattern.
  Beautiful, decorative and what is important, very tasty!


loydb's picture

Whole Grain Sourdough with Apple, Blue Cheese and Pistachios

Over on Fitocracy, we're having an Iron Chef Apple challenge. This is my entry.

This is based on the Basic Sourdough recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. BBA also contains the instructions for making your very own sourdough starter particular to your local environment.

Day 1: The Preferment

Start with a mixture of 45% hard red wheat, 45% hard white wheat, and 10% rye. Mill fine. (Alternately, any combination of unbleached bread flour, whole wheat flour, and rye flour that you like, just maintain the 10% rye ratio by weight.)

Take a few ounces of your sourdough starter, and mix in an equal weight of water and flour. Let it rise covered for 5-8 hours (it will double roughly), then put in the fridge overnight.

Day 2: The Dough

Dice up 3-4 apples. I used three Braeburns and a Granny Smith. Also weigh out 5 oz. of pistachios and 4 oz of blue cheese. Chop the apples up last, as they'll immediately start to oxidize and turn brown.

Add the water and preferment to the mixer and start it up.

Alternate adding the apple and your flour until all the apple (and about 2/3 of the flour) has been incorporated, then alternate adding in the pistachios and the rest of the flour, adding the blue cheese at the very end.

Turn the sticky mass out onto a well-floured cutting board and, using a dough blade and your hands, continue to knead and incorporate flour until it forms a fairly stiff, non-sticky dough.

Put it in a large bowl or tub and let it rise for 4-6 hours, until nearly doubled. Refrigerate overnight.

Day 3: Shape n' Bake

Remove the dough from the fridge at least two hours before shaping. It will have slowly risen more overnight.

Gently divide the dough and shape it, then allow to proof covered until nearly doubled.

Score loaves and bake!

The result makes great sandwich bread -- no cheese is needed, just a couple of pieces of ham. It's also good toasted with honey for breakfast.

PiPs's picture

Bourke Street Bakery’s Rye and Caraway with unintentional sprouted quinoa.

Nat has booked us a well deserved weekend away from the city rat race in the hinterland north of Brisbane as part of my birthday gift. This means a weekend away from the kitchen and the endless washing up I seem to create. 

Nat adores the Rye and Caraway loaf from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. So I have baked it for her/us so we may take it away with us for picnicking and the like.

While in Sydney earlier this year we found the bakery on Bourke St on the rainiest, windiest, coldest, most miserable day imaginable. It is tiny, really tiny. This particular day all the seating was taken, leaving us standing outside huddled under an umbrella with no room for coffee or a yummy tart. I was already holding a bag full of bread from other bakery visits (Sonoma and Iggy’s Bread of the world) so I had no room for further, so alas I have never tasted the original that this bread is based on. 

Desem to batter

As we are away, I refreshed my desem starter a day ago for another week in the fridge and used the discard to build a 100% hydration white flour starter which the formula calls for. Two feeds later the starter was bubbling, active and ready for use.

With my rye grain supplies sorely depleted I chose to use quinoa as the alternative grain soaker mentioned in the formula. The morning before mixing I soaked the quinoa in an equal weight of water.

Toasted seeds and sprouting quinoa

… Surprise …When I arrived home the quinoa had sprouted. I had no idea this was going to happen and it brought a rather big smile to my face.

I won’t publish the formula (for copyright reasons) as I didn't deviate from the original apart from using freshly milled whole wheat for 20% of the total flour. Lets just say it’s a sourdough at around 60%-65% hydration with a large proportion of liquid starter. It has aromatic additions of caraway seeds, cumin seeds, toasted sunflower seeds, rye starter and in my case sprouted quinoa grains.

caraway seeds, cumin seeds, toasted sunflower seeds and sprouted quinoa grains

It has been a while since I have had to knead dough at this hydration level. On a hot and humid Brisbane night, it was a 20min workout….but the work pays off for a beautiful silky dough leading to a soft crumb after baking. I cut the bulk ferment short by half an hour and gave the dough a nice long bench rest so shaping would be relaxed and agreeable.

Into the fridge straight away for a nine hour proof.

Waiting to load and steam


One loaf will travel away with us for the weekend, while the other has come to work with me….half of it is gone already with lots of happy work colleagues.

Crumb is soft , aromatic and savoury…I heard someone sniffing all the way down our corridor at work before arriving in our room with a smile.

Best wishes to everyone spending time in their kitchens this weekend … See you all next week.

Cheers, Phil

NetherReine's picture


Hello.  Today I received my free sourdough starter (thank you NY Baker!).  In a few days it will be ready to go.  Can anyone offer suggestions on a sourdough bread recipe for a beginner?  I understand it is wise to stick with one recipe while you learn the ropes.  Which "one recipe" should that be?

richkaimd's picture

Does anyone have a baker's formula for a challah which uses whole eggs?

I'm expected to make 50 challahs in a couple of weeks.  Does anyone have a formula which uses whole eggs instead of only yolks?  The recipe I've preferred to use in the past does not use weights or percentages.  It assumes that the baker's going to make 3X1.5lb loaves.

CaptainBatard's picture

Auvergne Crown

The Auvergne Crown or Couronne shaped loaf, typically made from yeasted white bread dough, can be seen in almost every boulangerie throughout France. When I go to my local boulangerie it is displayed on the rack in the typical round shape along with an epi cut. What separates this Auvergne Crown from all the others is the use of the traditional firm French sourdough, levain, and a long slow rise that gives the wheat time to develop its full potential.  Although this is a simple white dough, this thick crusted bread has an unexpected flavor and quality.  I found the best way to eat this is to just tear off a piece…it exposes a crumb that is riddled with many different sized holes....

To read the full post come and visit 

kiki's picture

Sweet Potato Roles

SylviaH's picture

Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer - Fantastic Customer Service

I wanted to let everyone know about the fantastic customer service I have received from 'Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer' Company and CEO.  

Recently on my blog I posted about my new proofer.  It had stopped heating.

Before, I even had a chance to contact the company.  On a Sunday, Mr. Michael Taylor, contacted me and assured me how he stood by his product 110% and, was very concerned about why my proofer was not heating.  

He has been constant touch with me and I couldn't be more satisfied with the support.  

'Everything' was completely taken care of and, without me leaving my house.  This all happened on the weekend.  Today is Tuesday and I'm using my New Proofer, right now.  It's warming up and making bubbles in my very content Biga,  for some bread baking.

Michael Taylor has been using his for about 4 years now and tells how his sons love the yogurt it makes...I can't wait to make some large jars of yogurt! 



Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Creating a dry mix for a single 9" by 5" loaf

I would like to assemble a dry ingredient mixture of flours, salt, sugar and dry milk with a separate yeast packet to give for holiday gifts. I know this is a bit goofy but I think I can make it work. The idea is that the recipient proofs the yeast in a small amount of water, and then adds more water, oil and the mix. 

I am wondering if any Fresh Loafers have experience with this.