The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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JoeV's picture

English Muffins

Got up early this morning and made a batch of English muffins, and turned one into a "Joe McMuffin."

ibor's picture

Round bread braid.Double strand,twisted.

The right hand side insert shows the braided dough and the main picture represents the baked bread.

From: "The Art of Braiding Bread"

paul0130's picture

Kneading french method?

I remember when I was a kid, my grandmother would make the worlds greatest sweet bread. When I learned how to make bread myself and learned how to knead the traditional method (some 20 years later), I remember thinking to myself "I seem to recall my grandmother slamming the dough on the table". I had memories of my tiny little 5' tall (maybe) Hispanic grandmother slamming this giant dough on the table. And then trays of rising dough all over the house. Followed by the most delicious smell and the BEST bread ever. Anyway, I stumbled upon this video one day:

This is it!! This must be what she was doing. Don't know how this method made it's way to the Amazon area of South America, but this must be it. Does anyone use this method? I really stink at kneading. It seems I can never quite pass the window test, and I knead for a good 10 minutes straight, or longer. Sometimes I'll give this a try for a minute or two, but the stretching of the dough makes the dough sticky again pretty quick. Sorry for rambling, just wondering if anyone uses this method. I'm thinking about saying heck with it and buying a bread machine just for kneading!

dabrownman's picture

Poolish Pizza Without Daughter

Who knew she wouldn’t be home for dinner when Lucy went al out on her favorite pizza dough. Yes it is our Focaccia Romana white dough made with an overnight poolish that I nearly half the dough.  But it also has garlic, sun dried tomato, olive oil and rosemary in the dough too – yum!.  No sourdough, no whole grains just plain old white bread made with a pinch of commercial yeast.


Since the daughter had disappeared, that meant more for my wife and I to wolf down with a brewskie.  This dough was 71% hydration and made with LaFama AP at 11.2% protein that we love so much for flour tortillas.  It makes great pizza dough too.  This batch of dough was about the best yet – strong yet extensible.


We did a half and hour autolyse for the dough flour and our usual 3 sets of slap and folds followed by 3 sets of stretch and folds - all on 20 minute intervals.  We incorporated the rosemary, garlic, EVOO and sundrie3d tomatoes on the first stretch and fold. 


We did our usual spicy tomato sauce but also made another new thing.  We sautéed some Swiss chard, spinach, onions, Hatch green chilies and fresh polish sausage for the next layer over the sauce.  This was followed by mozzarella pecorino and Parmesan cheese and topped with button and Crimini mushrooms.


We put the stone on the gas grill and heated it up to 550 F before the pizza was put on and  6 minutes later it was done - very crisp well browned on the bottom with the cheese melted and starting to turn brown.


This wasn’t or normal extra thin crust piled high with extras but, it was crisp enough, no to bending not soggy or foldable soft - just the way we like it.  Too bad the daughter missed out on this fine pizza.  It was too good for left overs.   Maybe I can make it up to her tonight when Lucy makes ribs for Cousin Jay.

It may look like a pizza biu it is our smoked chicken quesadilla dinner from Saturday night

Rosesage's picture

old fashion homemade bread,bread improver and flour

I am here because I was looking on the web for a good recipe for a dark rye bread and came across "bread improver" this is the first time I have ever heard of it and look for more info, I have come across a few web sites that really increased my knowledge  of a few things.  I found this site because it had a forum on "bread improver" last posting was 2006, when I finished setting up my account I could not find the forum.

I am a Canadian, I have always use Canadian flour, such as Five Rose, Robin Hood and Purity,  I still have their cookbooks.  The Canadian flour brands were the best to make bread because of the high hard wheat content higher in protein and gluten, (the stuff you need to stretch kneed the dough into soft, smooth, not sticky silky round balls)  the American flours brands were good for cake because of its soft wheat content.  We still have a local prairie brand where I live that I believe to be hard wheat, I can not confirm this now because this is the first batch of bread I have bake in a while and I store my flour in a different container and no longer have the bag.  When I am sure that this is fall under the true description of "Canadian all purpose flour" I will share.

Here are some the web sites that I found some info:

This one the end if the page provides info on flour types:

I have also found some great web site by Goggling  "Canadian all purpose flour"

Homemade Dough Enhancer:

My grandmother showed me how to make bread, she had a wood stove and cast Iron pots, she had a big crew to feed, so in her 2 loaf pans each pan had 2 buns (to easily break in half use one and the other half stays fresh),  in what we call a "dutch oven" my grandmother would put 3 buns for the same reason, this was the first bread to be used in the morning.  My grandmothers' test for a loaf was to pop it out of the loaf pan and knock on the underside if it had a hollow sound it was done.

My mother-in-law who was about 20 years younger (again we are dealing with wood and/or oil stoves)  started to use seasoned 48 oz tomato Juice can, the perfect shape for round shape sandwich meat, 7 cups of white flour would need 5 well seasoned (with lard) cans.

I can not give you measurements, most come in a form of a nob of this, and a egg size of that, both used plain water, never milk or powered milk,   I can say that that both of their bread recipes were quite basic, warm water, sugar, yeast, fat (lard/butter) flour salt, it makes great homemade bread


CalGal's picture

Greetings from a Starter Newbie

This site is a bread goldmine for those who are learning. I hope to find a bit of advice on a great bread book(s) that covers all manner of starters as I only have some older, less detailed bread books.

I have recently acquired some 18 y/o wild grape yeast starter and would love it if anyone can tell me how much would one would use to replace dried yeast as a general bread making guideline and specifically in rye breads. The bakery I got it from fed it three times a day, if I do less will it still be as good?

Thanks to all of you who post such great information!


mcs's picture

Market Day - video

It was a cold and rainy morning...but it was market day and the people needed their bread and pastries...

Shot between 1:00 AM and 1:30 PM yesterday, August 23, 2014.  Enjoy.


cassie1641's picture

A beginner question about cinnamon bread

I have tried several different recipes for cinnamon bread. They have all turned out pretty decent (beginner here-pretty decent being edible and having a cinnamon swirl and taste). But every. single. time. there is a gap between the crust and the bread when it's sliced (after the first slice, it looks like a cavern to the other end of the loaf) I've rolled it, tightly, per one recipe. I folded it, loosely, per another. And countless other combinations of roll, fold, tightly, loosely. What am I doing to make that gap? Is it the cinnamon layer that's preventing the dough from adhering? If so, why only at the top/crust layer and not at every swirl?

Potential4Evil's picture

Organic Flour

My boyfriend and I are trying to stay on a 98% organic/all natural diet. So i've been trying to bake a lot of my own breads and things. I tried a hoagie recipe and ended up with rocks of so called bread and tried to make baked cake donuts today and ended up with flour tasting sugar cookie rocks. 

Is anyone else having problems with this and have solutions? 

With the hoagies they had yeast and sat for 4 hours being kneaded every hour and had the elastic feel. I read that I shouldve let it sit longer but that doesnt explain the donuts....


Edit 8/22/2014: flour is meijer all natural unbleached white whole wheat flour, we also have the meijer all natural unbleached whole wheat flour

scoyu's picture

Brioche with Tangzhong


It seemed like I was never going to find a fully enriched brioche recipe with tangzhong, so I went ahead and just tweaked a recipe I found in french ( ). I ended up using a 120 gr of tangzhong which was sweetened with honey.

This worked beyond my wildest imaginations, I bulk fermented in the fridge overnight, no S&F, treated like a laminated dough to get layers, then rolled into a log and cut portions out to rise. The 'lamination' gives a great shreddable crumb. The tangzhong is a definite plus in rich brioche


Oh and I forgot to egg wash, doh


crumb shot