The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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stanton windmill's picture
stanton windmill

Hello from a windmill in Suffolk, UK

Hello all

My name is Linda and eight years ago my husband and I bought a cottage in rural Suffolk, UK, which included a working windmill which orginally dates back to 1751.  Since then we have been grinding organic wheat on a part-time basis to sell at our local farmer's market at Wyken Vineyards to help to pay for the up-keep of the mill.  At first we just sold wholemeal and "80%" (having had most of the bran removed by sieving) flour, but gradually we increased our range as we found out what our mill could produce and sourcing local grains.  We now mix our own flour and muesli recipes, and sell a variety of grains to add to baking.  All this is without any additives.    

It is very time consuming to maintain and give guided tours round a windmill, so I have to admit for a while I did less baking after we moved here than before.  I have been encouraged to join by one of our lovely customers, your very own JOHN01473. I am already overwhelmed by the amount of information and help available! John has kindly offered to help us put some recipes on our website in the New Year.


greedybread's picture

Kiwi rewena Bread

Bready for Rewena??

 Yep, NZ Bread.

I can hear you non NZer’s going ‘what’ ??????? What is Rewena ?

It is yeasty beasty people, a NZ bread.

We call it Maori bread or Paraoa bread.

It is made with a starter like sourdough or an Italian Biga but it is made out of Potatoes and flour………..My uncles used to make it and they used to make fried bread too but I can’t remember if the fried bread was made from the rewena, I think not, I can remember a very sticky dough in the fry pan……….. and I will do that one another day.

Rewena has an almost sour tang to it because there is a fermentation period, similar to sour dough.I have heard of people keeping it like a sourdough starter but I am not 100% sure about this, I would have thought it would go rotten!! Now 2 of the recipes below have a touch of yeast and one is yeast free.



Rewena Bread

My recipe is an old family one so I am unable to share it but there is two very good recipes below that will give you similar if not exact results:)

Sorry, I can share the bread, the process and the photo’s but not the recipe as its not mine to give!!

As I have said in prior posts, Dean Brettschneider, a NZ baker also makes one and his recipe is in his book “Global Baker”.–rewena-bread    (Yeast free)

 LETS LOOK ATHE PHOTOS!! Gorgeous!! and the taste……..

Start with this!!

Ready for first rise.


Ready for last rise…

Kiwi Template

Ready to eat!!



One more for luck

And you know what I am going to say now!!!

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!or  as we say in NZ , SWEET AS!!

Will start hunting down the fry bread recipe:)

Floydm's picture

Christmas Treats

Lots of Christmas treats baked this weekend.

Magic Squares, Cranberry-Pecan Bars, Berlinerkrasner.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

1st Attempt At Baguettes - I Was Worried For Good Reason

I tried my 1st go at baguettes today/yesterday.  The recipe I chose to try (because my sourdough starter recently died and haven't developed a new one yet) is a riff on Bouabsa's Baguettes.  Key problem here is the word I used, RIFF.  Why the heck would I riff on a bread recipe for a bread that I have never tried before, and was quite nervous trying??  I don't know.  I am slowly learning many lessons by my mistakes.

The changes I irresponsibly made to the original recipe was to add 10 grams of light rye flour and 45 grams of whole wheat flour to the overall formula.  I adjusted a bit of hydration for the WW addition, but I think perhaps it was a bit too much added.  The dough very much resembled the Tartine Country dough during the S&F's and shaping.

Everything seemed to look good after the 22 hours of fridge retarding:

Parchment paper with a bit of oil/corn meal

When I transfered the proofed dough onto the parchment, they spread out a little more than I would have liked.  This could be due to the high hydration?  I slashed them nervously and sloppily and threw them into my roaster steam bake method and into the oven at 480 degrees.

They turned out a bit uneven in colour, bit burnt on bottom, and overall, just not looking how one would want in a baguette.  At least not the results that many have posted on here of baguette bakes.

Crumb turned out ok but maybe a bit too dense?  Perhaps I cut into it too soon.  Still hot.  Has a nice sweet flavour.

I guess due to the size of loaves, I had to extend the baking time for about 10 minutes.  They were still quite light at the 25 minute mark.

I definitely learned a lot in the shaping process.  I watched some great baguette shaping videos posted on past forums which helped a great deal.  One item I have to mention is the elongating part of the shaping.  The dough did not easily stretch/elongate out to make a thin baguette, thus my thicker baguettes.  I was trying to not force the elongating as I know you have to use as little downward pressure as possible.  Maybe I was too careful?

Any comments/suggestions on my issues would be much appreciated.  All suggestions OTHER than the obvious that I am still sore from kicking myself - NOT following the recipe and trying to riff on something I have never tried before.



teaman4077's picture

Starter Experiments: Kombucha

Hi all,

I recently created my first Sourdough starter.  I've been fermenting various things for a while and tackled sourdough late November.  I started two starters.  One using a more traditional method on another site, and another in which I used active kombucha (a fermented tea that uses a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, like sourdough) for the initial hydration of the white flour, and afterwards used water.

Needless to say the Kombucha starter took of quickly, it doubles in less than 12 hours and has a pungent aroma, I've made a few loves of bread with it and they have all been well formed, flavorful and chewy, though the sour flavor is far to mild for my preference.  I've been using a no-knead recipe that calls for a 18 hr ferment, so it sits out overnight and gets baked the next day.

But I have questions.  Is this legitimate sourdough?  Will the culture eventually develop a more sour flavor?

I welcome all suggestions, thanks.


dabrownman's picture

Multigrain SD / YW Porter Bread with Roasted Onions, Sprouts, Malts and Seeds

The last two bakes were a lower and then a higher percentage of whole grains  and more complex that this one at 48% whole grains.   We also used the KA mixer on speed 3 to knead the dough for 8 minutes instead of using French slap and folds and we baked the bread in a DO instead of on a stone with steam.


The rye sour and YW combo levain consisted of dark whole rye and water that was built over 10 hours with (2) 1 hour stages and one of 8 hours. After the levain had doubled we refrigerated it for 12 hours and then let it come to room temperature the next day for 2 hours as we autolysed the flours.


The AP, spelt, whole wheat, rye, potato flakes, oat flour ground flax seeds, baked potato, malts and Toady Tom’s Toasted Tidbits were autolysed with the Baltika #6 Porter and home made red wine vinegar for 2 hours before combining with the salt and the levain in the KA for kneading.


The dough was rested for 20 minutes and then 4 sets of S&F’s were done on 20 minute intervals.  The caraway and coriander seeds along with a new ingredient; caraway leaves and roasted re=hydrated onions were incorporated on the 3rd set.


The rye, spelt and ww sprout chits were incorporated on the 4th set.  Don’t forget to start your ww sprouts 48 hours ahead and the rye and spelt seeds 24 hours ahead to make sure they all chit together and are ready when needed.  Also take the 1 T of dried onions and roast them for a couple of minutes at 350 F to get them dark, not burned like I did the first time,  and then re-hydrate them in 3 T of water 4 hours ahead of time.


After the 4th set of S&f’S the dough was allowed to develop and ferment for 1 hour before being pre shaped and shaped into a boule and placed into a rice floured basket inside a trash can liner where it was allowed to ferment for another hour before being retarded for 8 hours in the fridge.


The dough was then allowed to come to room temperature and ferment and develop some more on the counter the next day for 6 hours since the temperature in the kitchen is only 67 F. 


The oven was preheated to 450 F.  The basket was upended into the cold DO, poorly scored (can’t seem to ever do it right in a DO), and placed into the hot oven that was immediately turned down to 425 F where the bread steamed itself for 25minutes.  Then the lid was removed and the bread baked for another 20 minutes.


10 minutes after the lid came off the bread was removed from the DO and continued to bake directly on the oven rack.  The bread was also rotated 180 degrees every 5 minutes until it reached 205 F on the inside.  The bread was allowed to crisp on the oven rack for 10 minutes with the oven off and door ajar before being moved to the cooling rack.  It sure smells tasty.


The crumb came out open and moist with a great chew due to the sprouts.  The taste was very good.  Instead of the dominate onion taste like last time, we had a caraway flavor that came through due to the caraway leaves and not the caraway seeds.  This is what Americans would call rye bread even though rye only makes up about 27% of the flours used in the bread.  We really like the way this bread tastes.  It is complex and earthy.  The combination of whole rye being twice as much as whole spelt and WW and the whole grains making up 50% of the flours is one we like very much.  The YW and SD levain combination also helps to lighten the crumb and open it up thanks to the YW while still getting a SD taste to come through too.


Mixed Starter

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



SD Starter






Yeast Water






Dark Rye












Total Starter
























Levain % of Total












Dough Flour


















Dark Rye






Toady Tom's Toasted Tidbits






Red Malt






White Malt






Potato Flakes






Ground Flax Seed






Oat Flour












Dough Flour









1.67% total weight of flour

Baltika Porter






Dough Hydration












Total Flour






Porter 290 & Water






Total Dough Hydration












Hydration w/ Adds






Total Weight












Whole Grains




































Total Sprouts












Add - Ins






Barley Malt






Caraway and Coriander


















1 tsp Dried Minced Onion - Baked





Brown @ 350 F, Re-hydrated & Drained











1/2 tsp Caraway Leaves












50g of Baked Potato with Skin - included in weights




Kirstie Bee's picture
Kirstie Bee

Help with slap&fold/Bertinet method

Hello all.

I'm very much a bread-making novice - today I attempted the slap&fold method for the first time, having previously stuck to heel-of-the-hand style kneading.  Although I find my breads much more enjoyable to eat now than the first one I tried - which was a bit of a brick - I do like the idea of a slightly lighter bread, as they do still sometimes seem a tad dense (though I can only compare to shop bought bread, so I'm not entirely sure what they should be like!).  However, I really struggled to get the slap&fold method (I have watched the video) to work for me - my dough seemed to stay quite ball-y instead of stretching and wouldn't stick to the table, which I think in turn stopped me getting the kind of stretch I'd like.  I found that if I put a little water on the table or dough then it would stick better; but that didn't last and I felt as if I must be doing something wrong if I had to keep wetting my surface!  I haven't yet ventured beyond a 'basic' loaf, while I try to learn the fundamentals and get a feel for everything.

For reference, ingredients were:

500g strong white flour

Sachet instant yeast

10g salt

340g water (68% hydration)

10g fat (olive oil)

Any suggestions?  As I said, I'm very new to bread, so apologies if this is a silly question!




Gail_NK's picture

Growing Local Grain: Let's Take Back Our Wheat

At GoodFood World (, we just published a piece called "Local Grains: Taking Back Our Wheat" (

I put it here to open discussion; this has been a group known for its knowledge of grain and willingness to share/criticise/discuss ideas.

Have at it folks!

Much appreciate your input and advice!

Gail N-K

dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's "Bread," second edition is shipping!

My copy arrived today! Just looking at the table of contents, I see a number of new formulas that are calling to me ... Make me! ... No! Make me first! ... 

'Scuse me. Gotta go read.


ex99125b's picture

Bakers math and lesson 3

The web is replete with examples of how to do bakers math and I think that I have a good handle on it, enough to put together a spreadsheet anyways. However, I seem to trip myself up on preferments. Could  someone show me the bakers percentages for the recipe in lesson three? Enough of them so that I could start with the desired dough weight and work my way back through the recipe? I certainly would appreciate it.