The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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SherriFL's picture

Butter + what to add avoid dryness

I was looking on the internet for info about using Butter when making dough and found one of the forums here from 2009.  Several people mentioned the great flavor from using Butter but that butter left the cooked dough on the dry side.

I am very new to trying to make dough from scratch and do not have a stand mixer with all the gadgets, only my hands & fingers and a rolling pin.  

I have been trying to make a Sunny Spinach Pie and the recipe only gives instructions for the dough using a Stand Mixer with a Dough Hook (whatever that is). I have tried store bought pre-made Pie Crust dough, pre-made French Bread dough, and pre-made Pizza Dough.  Ugggh.  Nothing tastes right.  They were all very bland tasting and the latter 2 were dry.  I found a simple recipe called Rapid Mix Sweet Dough that I want to try for the bottom & top of this recipe, but I do not use or consume Margarine.

My Question is: If using Butter to make your dough, what can you add to keep it from being so dry?  If I use Butter, Lard or Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of the Margarine the recipe calls for, what is the conversion ratio?  Recipe calls for 1/2 cup Margarine.

Any and all helpful tips would be appreciated.  Remember, I Know Nuthin except how to stir the ingredient, play with the dough with my hands, flour the counter surface and use a rolling pin.  Oh, I can also make quite a mess.  lol.


Newbie Kneader

30 Chickens's picture
30 Chickens

Prosumer Spiral Mixer

Hi everyone,

I am looking for a small single phase spiral mixer and would love some advice. Currently I am trying to decide between two mixers, one has a breaking bar and one doesn't and they are both single speed. How big does a mixer need to be in order for a breaking bar to be necessary?  In what situation do you only use first speed on a larger spiral mixers? Would one speed be enough? I am mixing half whole wheat (or more) high hydration dough. If you have experience with these mixers or any other mixers in their class, please let me know. Also, if you own one of these and can shoot a little video of it at work, especially the German one, that would be GREAT.

Here are the links.

Italian Avancini 44lb Spiral Dough Mixer 1-speed/1phase

  • 44 Lb of dough
  • Breaking bar
  • Fixed bowl and spiral

German SP 20 KA Dough Kneading Machine

  • 40 lb of dough
  • No breaking bar
  • Removable bowl and spiral

Thanks so much,


redgebendheim's picture

Need Advice for Sticky Dough

Hi Everyone,

This is my first entry and I hope that I can find some help.  I bake mostly sourdough loafs (75% hydration) with organic Bobs Red Mill flower (90% white, 10%wheat, or sometimes 10% sprouted spelt).  Mostly I am very happy with the texture and taste of the bread, however I have one reoccurring problem…sometimes my bread will stick to my benneton during the final resting period.  Is it a matter of not dusting the bowl with enough flower?  

I have tried letting it rest at room temperature for 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator (8 hrs), but I have had it stick both ways.  Any advice?



dmsnyder's picture

My first bake since back from Italy: San Joaquin Sourdough

This bake followed my usual formula, except I increased the hydration slightly, adding an extra 20 g of water to the final dough. The formula and procedures can be found here: San Joaquin Sourdough: Update

This remains one of my very favorite breads for the texture of the crumb and for flavor. It is just delicious. I had a couple slices with dinner - plain, no topping or dipping. Susan prefers it dipped in olive oil with a bit of balsamic vinegar. We'll have more in the morning. I haven't decided yet whether to have some toasted with almond butter or made into French Toast. 

I have a couple loaves of Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour retarding tonight to bake tomorrow. That's another favorite. 

Happy baking!


justsaying's picture

Adding something other than flour?

Can you get a good bread by adding something like this in the mix(100g of it with 400g of whole wheat flour)?

BKSinAZ's picture

Fustration.. Dough collapsing after scoring!

Twice in a two week period I made sandwich bread... and twice it collapsed upon scoring just before it went into the oven. Both times the dough had risen about 1 to 2 inches above bread pan before scoring. I scored once, the lengh of the loaf.

The first time, I accidently put salted butter with the salt that was called for in the recipe. So I thought it was a overdose of salt. Turns out I was wrong. The first rise was two hours and the second was about 1 hour. Scored and collapse.

The second time, I added the salted butter, but did not add the salt that the recipe called for. I let the dough rise for one hour when I noticed the dough size had doubled. The second rise was about forty minutes when I noticed the dough had risen about 2 inches above bread pan. I scored and it collapsed. This time, the bread rose in the oven, but not to the full height that it was before collapse.

Very fustrated and don't understand what I might be doing wrong.

King Aurther flour and using this recipe...

jimw's picture


Thanks in advance for welcoming me into the bread lovers community you've set up here. 

I look forward to learning from you all. 

If this works here is a picture of today's loaf. 


angiechia's picture

holes holes holes

If formula is 70% or even 75% hydration but still cannot see the open crumbs, what could be the reason? What brings about the big holes?

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Yesterday's first SD Loaf, all baked

Yesterday's first SD.  Upon inverting the brotform to dump the proofed dough onto the peel, the dough, to my dismay, adhered to the bottom of the brotform thus distorting its shape.  The dough was salvageable, however, and turned out fine.  Perhaps an additional french fold (stretch and fold) or two would have solved that issue.  The flavor was WAS excellent as there's almost none left of that loaf.  Enjoy!

PetraR's picture

Sourdough Wheat and Wholemeal Bread with Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds








This is a 60% hydration dough, for some reason that is , for me, the best hydration to work with.


250g Mature Wheat Sourdough 

450g Bread Flour

  50g Wholemeal * Only small amount as my Daughter does not like to much Wholemeal in the bread *

300g Water

  10g Sea Salt

A good handful of Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds


Mixed it all up, gave it 6 S&F every 30 Minutes for a period of 3 hours.

Bulk fermentation in the Fridge for 18 hours, let the dough come to room temperature , Shaping, final proofing in Banneton for 2 hours.

Baked in a Dutch Oven for 30 Minutes with the Lid on  at 250C and a further 20 Minutes with the Lid off at 200C.

Family agrees that this is the best SD  Bread so far.


Sorry for the missing Slice of bread, the shape was nicer and I should have taken the Images before I had a slice, one has to taste the bread;)