The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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davidg618's picture

Baking Powder Biscuits

Let's face it: you can look at a Google's worth of Baking Powder Biscuit recipes, and with the exception of small variations in flour, shortening, and liquid ratios they are pretty much carbon copies of each other.

Here's the one I've finally settled on after baking a few hundred buttermilk biscuits with small tweaks in the flour: shortening ratio.



Buttermilk Biscuits


480g             All-purpose flour (4 cups)

4 tsp            Baking Powder

½ tsp             Baking Soda

2 tsp            salt (10g)

85g            Unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

85g            Lard*, chilled and cubed

1-½ cup Buttermilk (368g)


Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C.

Combine dry ingredients and wisk to distribute evenly.

Using a pastry cutter, or two table-knives cut in chilled butter and lard until shortening is reduced to pea size and smaller.

Add buttermilk and combine just until dough forms a rough ball. Let dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes to hydrate the flour.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Fold dough, gently, 4 or 5 times and  roll dough ¾ to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits, without twisting cutter. Place dough rounds on a parchment-paper lined sheet pan. Reshape dough scraps as necessary to complete.

Bake** for 18 – 20 minutes until tops are golden brown.

Makes 12 to 14, 2-5/8 inch diameter, dough rounds.

* Leaf lard is preferred, but natural lard can be substituted. Commercial hydrogenated lard can also be used, but substituting with all butter shortening may be a preferred choice.

**Some convection ovens dry out baked goods unevenly (baguette loaves, and rolls especially).  If you’ve experienced uneven oven spring when baking multiple, lengthy, or distributed rolls baking in “Convection” mode, consider using conventional “Bake” mode alternately.


My primary purpose for writing this post is to defend a much maligned fat: Lard. The 50/50 mix of butter and lard yields bicuits with a balanced buttery, wheaty flavor and surface crispness that survived freezing. I've recently acquired 2 kg of leaf lard. I generally reserve this extraordinary shortening for pastry doughs and shortbread cookies only, but this time relinquished 85g for our "go to" baking powder biscuits. The difference, compared to a batch made with butter only, is incredible. Leaf lard is pricey, and difficult to find but worth the search and cost if your passionate about flaky pie crusts, and pastries--and, of course, biscuits.

Turkish Flatbread

Gingerandbread's picture


An easy and quick recipe for Turkish flatbread. Serves 4-6, depending on the kind of food or mezze you serve with them!


Prep time2 hours, 20 minutes
Cooking time15 minutes
Total time2 hours, 35 minutes


150 g
plain flour
300 g
strong white bread flour
1 t
300 ml
lukewarm water
1 T
nigella or sesame seeds


Dilute the yeast in the lukewarm water, then add flour and salt. Knead into a soft dough that comes off the siders of the bowl easily, adjusting flour or water as required. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Knead the dough and form two oval flat breads. Spread the sesame or nigella seeds on the bread and flatten it down, using the edge of your hand, to create a nice square pattern. I do this on a flat sheet, covered with flour. Cover and leave for another 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 250C. Once you have put in the breads, reduce the heat to 220C and bake for 15 minutes.

Abelbreadgallery's picture

Panquemao (burned bread)

Panquemao (burned bread) is a kind of brioche dough, with less fat. It's a typical pastry preparation in the Easter time in the region of Valencia (Spain), but you can buy it almost anytime of the year in confectionery stores.

It contains less eggs than a regular brioche, and olive oil instead of butter (or you can mix 50% butter and 50% olive oil). Orange zest and orange flour water as aromatics. This is home-made.

Abel Sierra, Barcelona.


bakingbadly's picture

From German Bread Roll to Curry Roll

About a month ago I began my quest of making Brötchen (German bread rolls). There was a demand in town for such rolls and I had to fulfill it. I mean, I had to. I'm opening a German-ish bakery albeit in Cambodia. And a German bakery without Brötchen is like a poem without words.

Thanks to Karin's (Hanseata) blog post and detailed descriptions from German expats, I knew what I was aiming for. I adapted Karin's recipe and baked the first few test batches of Brötchen.

Too hard, too heavy, too dense, too yeasty, too light, too... too many problems.


Three weeks later my freezer, my business partner's freezer, and my parents' freezer were full of experimental bread rolls. But behold, I was finally satisfied with my results: 

Thin, delicate, crispy crust; soft yet substantial crumb; and a pleasant yeasty, nutty aroma. 

One of my Swiss-German friends sampled my Brötchen, with a boiled Depriziner (spiced sausage). To my surprise he said, "It was the best meal I had in months," with much enthusiasm for the Brötchen. Of course, thinking it was an anomaly, I had others taste-test my bread rolls---friends and acquaintances. One after another, they all gave positive reviews, some of them rather lofty.


Some tips and suggestions:

The crust contributes a lot of flavour to Brötchen. Thus, to improve its flavour profile, I shaped the rolls into "ovals" instead of "balls". This way, the ratio of crust to crumb is increased.

Also, for my rolls, I reduced the oil / fat amount and did not fully develop the dough's gluten. Personally, I like my rolls with larger holes and a shreddy texture for one sole reason: it holds heavy sauces and condiments better.

Another tip: If you want seeds to stick to your bread, without an egg wash, I recommend brushing your dough with a mixture of flour (or anything starchy) and water, then adding the seeds atop. The majority of the seeds will stick, even when the bread is frozen, re-heated, and / or dropped onto the floor from chest-height!

From April 13th to April 16th is the Cambodian New Years. During this time, major festivals occur across the nation. One of these events is a three-day concert in the Angkor Wat complex (i.e., the largest religious monument in the world).

My business partner Michael requested that I produce something special for this event. My idea: Curry Rolls.

This idea was inspired by the Japanese "Yaki Kare Pan" (Baked Curry Bread). It's not uncommon for Cambodians to eat curry with bread as separate entities, so I thought it would be nifty to combine the two.

The bread roll wasn't a big deal. I used the same recipe for my Brötchen. The curry, on the other hand, was out of my expertise. Collaborating with Michael (a seasoned, professional chef) and his wife's family, we adapted a traditional Cambodian curry and transformed it into a bread filling.

Today marks the end of the Cambodian New Years. Truth be told, the Curry Rolls didn't sell as well as we wanted. Why? Perhaps a variety of reasons: poor location, too many competitors, lack of details...

But I have good news. Two bars in town have expressed keen interest in our Curry Rolls. We're confident that we'll attract other clients and will eventually produce the Curry Rolls by the hundreds, including other fillings, on a daily basis. 

One final comment. Last Friday our upcoming bakery was featured in a local news article, which you can view here:

This publication has garnered much attention from hoteliers, restaurateurs, and bar owners in Siem Reap. That's right, my dream of running a sourdough bakery is coming into fruition, and I have to say, it's surreal. How did I get to this point, I know. Without encouragement and assistance from my family and friends, including this community (a tremendous source of my inspiration), I wouldn't be where I am today.

With my utmost gratitude, I thank you all!

Head Baker
Siem Reap Bäckerei

mwilson's picture

Hot Cross Buns with Lievito Madre

These buns were a make it up as you go along effort. I was still deciding on the numbers with the mixer running, working the dough I had thus far and I liberally added spices in the style of a well seasoned chef.

Having worked up a sweat mixing this dough partly by hand as well as in the mixer and the dough complete I saw I could have added more liquid. I knew the dough would tighten up a bit upon adding the dried fruit but I didn’t compensate enough. Still I was fairly pleased with finished dough considering this was an off-the-cuff, part improvised endeavour.

In keeping with the theme of improvising I picked a random weight at which to scale these. At circa 85 grams I had enough dough to make 18, more or less equal buns.

First dough:
300g flour
100g milk
75g LM (Lievito madre), refreshed 3 times
75g sugar
68g egg (1 large)
50g butter

Second Dough:
300g flour
150g milk
50g egg (1 medium)
75g sugar
125g butter
30g honey
9g salt
180g mixed fruit
# 1n orange zest
# 1/4tsp clove oil
# 1/4tsp orange oil
# 1/4tsp all spice
# 1/4tsp nutmeg
# 1/8tsp ginger
# 1.5tsp mixed spice
# 1.5tsp cinnamon

Traditionally the crosses should be made of just flour and water but I added some butter in there to shorten the flour slightly. And I used juice from the orange which I zested with some sugar to make a sweet glaze for the buns.

Happy Easter!


ibor's picture

The Double Rope 3 Strand Braid

From: The Art of Braiding Bread

largeneal's picture


I frequently "Tartine" used to describe many of the SD loaves/methods here.  Could someone clarify specifically what that means?  All I've been able to extract is it's based on the SF bakery & seems to always have a boule shape.  I've also seen that it's a preference that the loaves be cooked in Dutch ovens, but I saw a Tartine video where they DON'T cook their loaves in Dutch ovens.  Just curious, given so many posts describe the bread as Tartine style.

emkay's picture

My Tartine tale (a photo heavy post)

Now that my baby starter is quite active and I've had a few successful naturally leavened loaves, I wanted to try making some Tartine bread. I dined at Bar Tartine recently and the idea of baking my own oat porridge bread was stuck in my head. I used breaducation's formula for the Tartine oat porridge bread.

Let's just say mine turned out nothing like breaducation's beautiful bread. My dough was very wet and sticky and I had trouble handling it. You can see that my loaf hardly rose at all.



Even though it was more pancake than bread, the flavor was very good. In fact, the flavor was very close to the porridge bread they sell at the bakery. I could taste the oatmeal and it had that sourness I've been trying to achieve in my breads.

Thinking that the oat porridge may have been too ambitious, I tried the Tartine basic country bread recipe instead. This did not go so well either. I think I see the Batmobile parked in there.



After searching for clues on TFL, gluten underdevelopment was the most likely culprit. Even though I bulk fermented at room temp (70F) for 3.5 hours with 5 stretch-n-folds during the first 2.5 hours, I was making the newbie mistake of watching the clock instead of watching the dough.

I vowed to be patient during my next attempt at the Tartine basic country. I bulk fermented until the dough volume had increased by at least 30%, the top of the dough was slightly domed not flat, and I could see bubbles along the sides of my container. This took 5 hours at 70F.


My patience really paid off!




I even made pizza with some of the dough.



I hoped that my success wasn't just a fluke. I made another batch of dough the next day.




This time the crumb was even better than in the previous bake.




The take away message is "Watch the dough, not the clock".

:) Mary's picture

Tartine bread recipe starter

I have a white flour starter for about 14 days already, can i convert it to tartine starter recipe by mixing 50% white bread flour and 50% whole wheat for few days and convert or I need to do it from scratch? Is it because different flour composition attract different yeast or taste? I am a bread amateur and I hate to waste, in the past , my starter is small, 1 tablespoon flour and about one and one tablespoon water, recently my starter is two tablespoon flour and one and half tablespoon water, next feeding two tablespoon flour and one tablespoon starter, sometimes when i ran out of starter, i use one teaspoon starter and two tablespoons flour, is the water composition important in starter?  So the question is I started the starter using white flour, so the yeast all is white flour yeast, so will it work if i shift to tartine bread recipe flour?

Justin C's picture
Justin C

Baking in Flower Pots

Hello TFL-ers,


I don't own any bannetons so my boules usually end up looking a little on the flat and puddly side when I proof and bake them on a baking tray. I also haven't found any reasonably priced ones here in Ottawa, so I was wondering if I could adapt my recipes that require proofing baskets for terra cotta pots which I would then bake my bread in.

Do you think I would need to fiddle with the time and temperature? What pot sizes do you find give the most spherical loaf that imitates a round proofing basket?