The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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barryvabeach's picture

Gamma Seals

Just a heads up I learned from a post on a pizza making forum -  Home Depot is carrying gamma seal lids.  Those are the lids that go on buckets to keep them air tight, and easy to open and close


The main benefits of buying at Home Depot is that you can avoid the shipping charges, and support a brick and mortar store.  The lids are pretty hard to find. They are in the paint department with buckets ( the buckets are probably not food safe, so I would get them elsewhere) and at my store, they were in a cardboard box with no label, and they were black so I did not recognize them at first.  Once you pick it up, the underside has the same label as the ones I bought online - saying they are good for pet food storage, etc.  .  There was no color selection at HD, just black.   Here is the HD page that lets you check your local store to see if they have it in inventory

  I am net entirely sure they are food safe.  I see a number of websites that say Gammaseals are food safe. The label on the inside of the lid says safe for pet food storage,  and if you go to the gamma2 website, it is for pet items, and it lists the gamma seal    Other sites say that gamma seal lids are food safe and bpa free -  though I don't know if gamma makes both food safe and non food safe lids, this site which says it is food safe, says it can also be used for pet food storage, so color me confused

greedybread's picture

Rosewater, Cardamom and fruit Challah...

Rosewater, Cardamom & Fruit Challah…Posted on June 26, 2013 


5 braided Challah

5 braided Challah


half poppy seed half fruity



3 braided...fruity

3 braided…fruity

I am still eating this bread and I made it on Sunday!!

Nice, moist but not too rich….

A  little bit of effort required but well worth it.

Plus there is so many variations on the challah breads, you could make them for ever!!

What will you need?

6 cups of flour

4 tsp dried yeast

1 cup of warm water

1 cup of castor sugar

twist of salt

4 eggs plus 1 yolk

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 egg for glazing:)

2 cups of mixed fruit (I used cranberries, sultanas and raisins)

3 tsp cardamom

4 Tbsp of Rosewater .

the dough resting...

the dough resting…

ready to shape ...

ready to shape …

dough ready to be shaped...

dough ready to be shaped…

ready to be rolled...

ready to be rolled…

What do you need to do???

Warm water, add in a tsp of the sugar with the dried yeast and mix well.

Add in 2 cups of flour and mix until resembling a smooth paste.

Cover and allow to stand for 40 minutes until soupy and frothy.

Whisk the eggs, oil, and extra yolk together with the sugar in a separate bowl.

Place all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cardamom) into a bowl and combine well.

Add the eggy mix to the spongey yeast mix and combine well.

Add wet mix to the dry ingredients forming a dough.

Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, adding in lightly dusted with flour fruit in the last few minutes.

Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover, allowing to rest for 90 minutes.

rolled and resting

rolled and resting

3 braid...

3 braid…

5 braided ...

5 braided …

glazed and ready to bake...

glazed and ready to bake…

half and half...

half and half…


Peeking half way baked:)

Turn rested challah out onto a lightly floured board.

Punch down and knead for 1-2 minutes and shape into a ball.

Cut into the pieces you want.

I made 2 loaves,  1 x 3 braid and 1 x 5 braid (so 8 pieces).

You can do 1 loaf or 3 loaves ….up to you.

Have a play and maybe do 1 this time and 3 next?

Experimenting with flavours too.

To make this plain, do not add in the rosewater, pistachio and cardamom.

MMMMMM cooling...

MMMMMM cooling…

5 braid cooling...

5 braid cooling…



Roll your pieces into balls (as shown above) and cover with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.

This will relax the gluten and make it easier to work with:)

Roll each ball out into a long sausage or baton.

Join braids together at the top of the top and plait (if doing a 3 braid), or use an under over formula.

I will post a braiding video that Alex and I did in the weekend.

Secure the ends of the braid and transfer loaf to tray with baking paper and cover with damp tea towel.

Allow loaves to sit for 60 minutes.

Brush with beaten egg and a little milk…wait 2 minutes and repeat.

Add on poppy seeds or sesame seeds at this point if you are using.

Pop into the oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes depending on your oven.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire racks.

Leave for at an hour before slicing.

When ready, slice a piece or pull off a piece …




have a slice...

have a slice…

The grand finale...

The grand finale…


Want more?

Have you tried these bready delights???

Gubana?  The Festival bread of Friuli Venezia

Pandoro?  The festival bread of the Veneto.

 I would sell my children for this!!

or Lovely Flat breads?

Scoop up that yummy winter stew!!

M mmm ready

mmm Gubana

Gorgeousness adapted from the ever wonderful recipes in ” Inside the Jewish Bakery” by Stanley Ginsberg & Norman Berg…

Check it out…Wonderful..

dabrownman's picture

Yeast Water, Tang Zhong Hot Dog Buns

After our last crack at buns that was a ADY poolish / YW version found here:

we decided to try a YW version only that also included a Tang Zhong portion of flour with the intent of further softening the crumb.


We also made some other changes by upping the hydration from 65% to 78% which was probably a little….eeeeerrrr…..a lot too much with the tang zhong and we got rid of the dry add ins; VWG, Toadies, white malt and the honey.  We made them smaller in length this time; 4 at 102 g each and the 2 longer ones were 131 g


The result was a bun that spread rather than springing like the last batch.  For some reason it didn’t color up as well even though it was egg washed and baked exactly the same as last time.  I’m guessing they won’t taste as good either since there were no toadies present but we shall see when we eat them for dinner


 Don’t forget to brush the buns with milk when they come out of the oven to keep them soft. We have Hot Italian sausage that require a larger bun length, white Brats, Boudin, and smoked sausage on tap for the filling with the usual Chicago pickled red onion, poblano and jalapeno peppers and home made Dijon mustard.


The crumb turned out as we expected.  No mustard will fall through it.  It took 20 minutes of slap and folds to get this dough to come together so… high hydration does not mean big holes every time.   We only fermented the dough for 45 minutes on the counter after 3 sets of S& F’s.  It also final proofed for 2 hours which probably wasn’t enough but…. we needed buns for dinner.

 The crumb came out like we thought it would, not so open the mustard would fall through.  Soft and moist and after the meat and the buns were grilled we plastic wrapped the meat in the buns so they could be steamed soft from the hot meat,  Delicious!  The pickled onion, poblano and jalapeno was the perfect topper.  We liked these buns and they turned out better than we thought they would.



Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



Yeast Water






























Yeast Water Levain






























Levain % of Total


















Dough Flour


















Dough Flour
























Dough Hydration












Total Flour












T. Dough Hydration






Whole Grain %












Hydration w/ Adds






Total Weight












% Whole Grains












Add - Ins


















Cream Cheese













20 g of dough flour was used for the Tang Zhong but 80 g of water was not included in the hydration calculations.

bruneski's picture


In bread making, what uses/aims/purposes the addition of a little cornstarch to the dough could have?

I`ve found (and already read) the following post:

But the focus there was slightly different.

Would there be anything more to be said about the subject?

Thanks. Bruneski.

evonlim's picture

Cherry and Strawberry..

Cherry YW Sprouted winter wheat SD with roasted balsamic strawberries, Japanese toasted sesame seeds , purple carrot and black mission fig :)

exchanged a loaf of my sourdough bread with the organic shop for a bunch of organic cherries ( which were considered not in good condition) i tot i could cut them up and make cherry YW. it turned out very bubbly :) this cherry thing had been stuck on my head for sometime since Ian's beautiful very very cherry bread post. 

i want to impart more red into the dough.. had some strawberries in the fridge. i did a balsamic strawberry jam before for my very bitter (80% cocoa) chocolate layered cake sometime ago. why not.. cut up the strawberries sprinkled some sugar and 2 tblsp of aged balsamic, popped it into my mini oven for 10mins at 150C. came out nice, gooey and caramelized. scraped into my mini moulinex blender gave it a few pause. tasted yummy. 

and all that went into the dough plus a small grated purple carrot, a cup of toasted sesame seeds ..(after autolysed)

added soaked figs with amaretto when i did my shaping. 

this is the sprouted SD bread formula that i tweak it a little







.. it was a very cheerie cherry bake, thanks Ian :)



dzolotas's picture

A recipe tool with Nutrient data from USDA database

I'm seeking brave enough people to try a new recipe tool I've made.

It's a recipe editor that supports multiple stages, scaling, servings and the most important (I believe) nutrition data analysis based on USDA's NDB research. It allows the user to create a nutrient data report by selecting freely from a list of nutrients. I have included a recipe sample for testing only, I never made this bread actualy! Please understand that this is not fully debuged yet, so some errors may appear that I would like to know and fix them.


Requires Excel 2003 and up, and the use of macros must be enabled. The code included is large enough to do all this stuff. I don't know If you can trust me, but there is no malware code inside. I hate it. 

A database file is needed that can be downloaded from here :

A readme file is included that explains how to do it.

Mail me for a copy on :

And the tool is freeware as always. Happy baking to all !!!


bruneski's picture

Biga-based, 30-min-autolysed, 7-hour-bulk-retarded, ...

... bread-machine-assisted, grain-loaded, 41%-rye (by weight), 80%-hydration (by weight) Swedish rye bread!


Wholesome, beautiful, aromatic, moist, chewy ... scrumptious bread!

Made with just 1.5 g active dry yeast (0.5 g for the biga and 1.0 g for the final dough).

This recipe was the result of some tweaking I applied to an originally 100%-for-bread-machine Swedish rye bread recipe found at The original recipe had already been made twice, using only the bread machine, and had resulted in excellent loaves of bread.

But this new recipe ...


Thank you all, especially Floydm, hanseata, mebake, Juergen, dabrownman, and barryvabeach, for all the info, advice, tips, ... Understanding the alternatives, the phases and the processes makes all the difference!

Take care. Bruneski.


















ghazi's picture

Enriched Bread

Hello all

I have been trying to make a good sandwhich loaf which in turn i can make hot dog and burger buns out of the same batch of dough. Everytime i make it i use more whole wheat flour than white. Its all purpose im using no strong flour included.

By the second day the bread is very crumbly and does not hold its shape, can anybody give me some advice please?




yy's picture

Baking supply store in Beijing?

Hello TFL!

Anyone out there know of a good baking supply store in Beijing? I'm hoping to find bread pans and baking molds that you can't get in the U.S. Any tips would be welcome.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Whole Wheat Crust Pizzas on Gas Grill Using Unglazed Quarry Tiles

It's summer time.  Finally.  The grill gets cleaned up, and ready to be used as many times as possible until the rain and cold comes again in October.  I have been itching to try making some thin crust pizzas on my gas grill but now utilizing some unglazed quarry tiles.  The tiles really helped up the quality of my breads so I figured they should help my pizzas on the grill.  My past attempts making pizzas on the grill were both frustrating and disappointing.  Burnt bottoms due to the direct flame, and overall just not what I was after. 

I have been craving a thin whole wheat crust..  Kept the hydration quite high, to achieve those bubbles in the crown.  Pretty happy, however, I have to find a better system of transferring the pizza from the peel to the tiles.  This awkward transfer resulted in some misshapen pizzas, but who's grading?  Oh yeah, you guys are.


Ahh, summer...

First one was a simple Bocconcini, Tomato and Basil.


Next was a Greek pizza with spinach, garlic, feta, greek oregano and tomato.

Crown crust bubbling.  Not as extreme as I was after, but still not bad for a first attempt.