The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Wingnut's picture

That's some Cracking Bread!

A video short of my bread just as it comes out of the oven.


A better crumb on this batch of Baguettes.....



PS...  Makes a nice toastie with Pulled Pork, Dijon and aged Cheddar.

hungryscholar's picture

Cherry Lapsang Souchong Sourdough

Cherry Lapsang Souchong Sourdough Closeup

Cherry Lapsang Sourdough tea Sourdough

 Lapsang Souchong iced tea with a splash of tart cherry juice is one of my favorite drinks. I think the smoky tea and the cherry play very nicely together. This bread is my first attempt at recreating that combination in bread form. I guess I'm on a bit of tea bread kick....

Cherry Lapsang Souchong Sourdough

225g Water

1 Tablespoon Lapsang Souchong

51g Stiff Levain

300g AP Flour

75 g Dried Tart Cherries

6 g Salt


I ground the tea in a mortar and pestle and then mixed it with warm water and the levain. I tried letting it "steep" for 5 minutes, but I don't think the water was hot enough. Next time I might use tea + cherry juice for the liquid, I'm not sure. Anyway, I added the rest of the ingredients and did stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first two hours and let it bulk ferment for a total of 3 hours at 82 F. Then I shaped as a batard and let it rise for 2 hours at 82F in a towel lined paper basket that once held tomatoes. I've been meaning to get an oval banneton but haven't got a round toit yet.

I preheated the oven to 500 F and baked at 450 for 35 minutes with a stainless steel bowl covering the loaf for the first 20 minutes.

The cherries are just right and I get just a whisper of the smokiness which I think I'd want to boost with the next iteration, but overall I really like the flavor of this one.

Submitted to Susan's YeastSpotting

d_a_kelly's picture

Savoury Brioche Crown

Hi bakers everywhere,

this is my first bake in my temporary kitchen here in Perugia, Italy. I saw the recipe on Paul Hollywood's Bread on the BBC and, as he had stuffed it with Italian flavours, it seemed a suitable thing to try. I was dubious of the little oven I have here, which looks to be older than I am (and my oven therometer is still in transit) but, on the whole, I was happy with the result. It's pretty easy to make, and as light as a feather, dripping in melted cheese and salty prosciutto. Well done Paul Hollywood!

I slightly scaled down the recipe as his seemed to produce something far larger than I wanted. All measurements in grams.

strong white flour 300 (I used farina manitoba, which is like a very strong white in UK) 

salt 6

fresh yeast 12 (fresh yeast is easy to find here in supermarkets, but instant yeast almost impossible - the reverse of UK! I'd use 6 of instant if that's what you have)

whole milk at room temp 102

whole eggs 120 (this worked out luckily as exactly 2)

unsalted butter at room temp 150 (83% fat)

parma ham 6 - 8 slices

buffalo mozzarella 250 - 300

a bit of fresh basil

grated parmesan 

egg for glazing


Dissolve the fresh yeast in the milk and leave until it becomes bubbly (or use instant yeast and skip this step). Add the flour, eggs and salt. This is a soft dough so it's best done in a machine. I wouldn't want to try this one by hand! Work it until the dough is formed and then slowly add the butter. The dough is ready when it starts to come away from the side of the bowl and has a shiny surface. It's important to add the butter quite slowly. I think in total it took my about 10 minutes, but I had left the dough to autolyse for 15 minutes or so before I began working it. Leave in a warm place (I put it next to a lamp) until it has at least doubled in size - tripled is better. For me this took about 4 hours. 

When it's ready, dump it out onto some clingfilm, flatten it (careful, it's quite soft!) and put in the freezer, well wrapped. I found after about half an hour it was ready to be rolled. It ought to be firm to the touch. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle twice as wide as it is long, to a thickness of about 5mm. Keep moving it because it warms quickly and becomes sticky!

Place the parma ham across the surface and then rip the mozzarella and cover, like you were making a pizza. Then some basil and a healthy handful of grated parmesan. Roll it up (starting from the long axis) until you have a good long tube, with the filling tight inside. Trim the ends. Then take a good sharp knife and cut it down the middle, along the length of the long axis. Don't simply cut it in half!!! This done, turn the long pieces cut-side up, next to each other, and twist, one hand moving one way, the other in the other. This braids them. Stick the ends together to form a circle. This sounds more complicated than it is... it ought to look something like this when done:


You can see the filling where the dough has been cut. This melts wonderfully in the oven.

Leave that to rise, well covered to stop it forming a skin, for about 2 hours. It needs to double in size. Brush with eggwash, add more grated parmesan, and then put in the oven at 200C (without fan according to Hollywood - I couldn't turn the fan off, so I settled for somewhere in the region of 185 if the dial is to be trusted) for 25 minutes. It's best eaten warm or cold, but not oven hot.

A really tasty brioche recipe this, and I'd happily make it again now that I know the oven isn't as terrible as it looks :)





Floydm's picture

Bakery Congress 2013

As Breadsong already posted about, this past weekend the Bakery Congress 2013, the largest annual baking industry event in Western Canada, was held in Vancouver, BC.  As tradeshows go it was cheap and I was looking for an excuse for a bike ride on a beautiful sunny day, so I pedaled over to the PNE to take a look.  

The minute you walked in the door you could smell that this wasn't just any tradeshow.

Bakery Congress

Bakery Congress

Breads and sweets everywhere!

Bakery Congress

Bakery Congress

I chatted with Ross from Nunweiler's Flour Mill quite a bit and picked up a couple of bags of their organic flour, including their Red Fife Flour. I'm looking forward to giving it a try!

Bakery Congress

Lest we forget we are in Canada: hockey-themed giveaways.

Bakery Congress

Ah, the slicers. Do those every bring back memories...

Bakery Congress

Bakery Congress

Need a mixer, anyone?

Bakery Congress

This picture I took for Song of the Baker, who is always telling me about how great the flour from Anita's Organic Mill in Chilliwack is. I will get out there to check out their store, one of these days.

Bakery Congress

Baking presentations were running throughout the day.  Here Craig Ponsford, former BBGA chairman and part of the Gold Medal winning Team USA at Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, and Tracey Muzzolini, from Saskatoon and who has also competed in the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie with Team Canada, prepare to present on making whole wheat baguettes.

Bakery Congress

Scoring the loaves.

Bakery Congress

Craig asks "How many of you are getting asked by your customers about gluten free?"  He then went on to talk a bit about the benefits of "whole-milled" whole wheat flours as opposed to whole grain flours that are actually reconstituted from white flour.   

Bakery Congress

Back on the floor, you can see that there were a lot of vendors and attendees here. Vendors were selling ingredients, machines, packaging, ...

Bakery Congress

Errr.... probes too.  I think this was to measure the volume of the loaves?  A bit over the top, IMO, but if you bake tens of thousands of loaves a day that kind of precision matters, I suppose.

I had an enjoyable time and was able to snack on enough samples of sweets that I was thankful for the long bike ride home to work off some of it!


isand66's picture

Tangzhong Cream Cheese Rolls

FinishedRolls A few weeks ago I made some potato rolls using the Tangzhong  process and they came out excellent.

I decided I needed some rolls for some hot dogs and sandwiches for the week so I used the same process as before but this time I used some cream cheese and heavy cream as well as whole eggs and butter to really try to come up with a tasty and soft roll.

Just to pretend these rolls were a little healthy I used some spelt and Kamut flour along with the bread flour.

I mixed these up the same way as last time but cut back on the total mixing time and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

The final rolls came out nice and fluffy and soft but with a ton of flavor.  I honestly can't stop eating them which is not good.

The final result was a nice soft crumb, crisp crust and tasty roll.



Note: Tangzhong consisted of 50 grams Bread Flour and 250 grams heavy cream.  I included this in the overall formula below.


Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Prepare the Tangzhong.   Use a  5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan.  Heat the pan while stirring constantly.  Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency.  Take it off the heat and let it cool before using it in your recipe.  Some people will refrigerate it for a while but you can use it right away as soon as it cools..

Mix the flours, Tangzhong and milk together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and walnut oil, cream cheese and butter  and mix on low for a minute.   Mix for a total of 6 minutes in your mixer starting on low-speed and working your way up to speed #2 for the last 4 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and cut into equal size pieces and shape into rolls.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with moist tea towels or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.


The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, using a simple egg wash brush each roll and sprinkle on your topping of choice.   Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for 35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.


eb16's picture

KitchenAid mixing times

I would really appreciate some help with my new KitchenAid Artisan mixer. I have made a couple of different types of bread in it and each time the dough appeared overmixed after a couple of minutes, even though that could be because the first time it didn't seem to knead so well so the next time I used the autolyse method in the beginning. Then after about 3 oif 4 minutes of kneading (speed 2 like the manual says) the dough became shiny and sticky. I am obviously failing at seeing the dough development before this happens, and although I do understand that this is a matter of experience, I really need someone's advice because I don't want this to happen again. And I don't want to knead with my hands as I need to do as little as possible with them due to health problems.

These are the recipes (from J. Hamelman's Bread) I use most often, usually one small loaf:

Ciabatta with stiff biga - 73% hydration (500g four, 365g water; of that 100g flour and 60g water pre-ferment)

Rustic bread 69% hydration (320 bread + 40g rye + 40g whole-wheat flour and 276g water; of that 150g flour and 90g water for pre-ferment)

If you are an experienced KitchenAid user, please let me know how you use it, perhaps with your tested recipes. Many thanks!

breadsong's picture

Baking Association of Canada - Baking Congress

Hello everyone,

                …pretty daisies on the exhibition grounds, greeting me as I arrived for the Baking Congress


Summer arrived this week – I’m happy for all the people who have travelled to Vancouver (at this time of beautiful weather!), to participate in the Baking Association of Canada’s Baking Congress, held yesterday and today.
I was able to attend yesterday, enjoyed the company of many really nice people, including TFL’s Floyd, running into him unexpectedly :^)
Floyd's post about the event is here - great coverage and lots of really good photos!

Craig Ponsford, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie gold medal winner (1996) and former chairman of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America (BBGA) conducted bread-baking demonstrations, ably assisted by Tracy Muzzolini, a member of Team Canada 2008 and the BBGA. Both taught at BBGA's WheatStalk event last summer in Chicago but I didn't have the opportunity to take their classes - so it was wonderful to seem them at this conference. Thanks to them both for the instruction, and their hard work putting together the demo!  

A nice variety of 100% whole-grain breads were prepared – baguettes and Red Fife and barley pretzels (baked that day) and I was able to see Craig shape pumpernickel, braid challah and mix Danish dough to be laminated the next day.

Craig has published a collection of whole-grain and gluten-free recipes for the California Raisin Marketing Board – formulas for delicious-looking pumpernickel and pretzels are here:

Craig shared lots of interesting information during the demonstration I saw.

(display of how the wheat berry components can be separated during milling, part of the lovely display at Nunweiler's Flour booth - the gentleman there very generous, sharing information about milling, and samples of their organic, whole-grain flour)

On whole-milled flour:
- the components of the wheat berry are never separated when flour is whole-milled; flour labelled as whole-wheat could have the endosperm, germ and bran separated and re-combined
- how to tell if the flour you have has been whole-milled: the flour will never sift out white, as the germ ‘smears’ when milling and gives color to the flour; the flour will have similar particle sizes so you won’t see large pieces of bran
- whole-milling stabilizes the germ
- you can use 2/3 less yeast when using whole-milled whole-wheat flour as this flour provides more food for the yeast

On mixing:
- 2nd speed mixing too aggressive for whole-grain flour
- recommended less mixing time and using folds, to preserve flavor
- add salt later on intensive mixes; if you add salt too soon, dough can build strength too fast and potentially break down before it’s fully mixed

On sweeteners:
An interesting thing Craig does to cut down on white sugar is to substitute agave syrup or fruit puree (applesauce, banana or prune puree, raisin paste, hydration may need adjusting if using a really wet puree). He mentioned he includes applesauce in his Pumpernickel bread – wish I could have been there to taste the baked bread!

On shaping:
Craig used wet hands and roughly air-shaped the pumpernickel paste, placed it in a tub of coarse pumpernickel meal, making sure it was completely coated in meal before placing in a greased pan, and noted you can keep the rye paste super wet as the coarse rye will keep on absorbing.

...really coarse pumpernickel meal, and a toss into the pan

And when braiding the challah, he demonstrated how you can braid ‘up’ instead of braiding on a horizontal plane; I think he said it was easier to see what you were doing. It was like he was braiding a little tower - I wish I could have captured that braiding method on video.

On pretzels and lye:
Craig sprayed the pretzels with a 4% lye solution, using a regular spray bottle. I thought this was a wonderful idea - no splashing or dripping as might happen when dipping, no distortion of the shape because you’re not moving the pretzels, and you might not have to mix as much solution?

Here’s the baked baguette, super flavor!:

and the crumb... 

These are pieces of the pretzel cut up for tasting

(I was preoccupied taking the picture and regret not taking a piece, to sample)

A short seminar on sprouted grains was presented by Everspring Farms.

The lady presenting (I regret not catching her name) discussed the nutritional benefits of sprouting, and some variables to consider when sprouting - time and temperature (germination times of 12 to 48 hours were mentioned), and the variety of wheat (as germination weakens the grain).
The lady presenting also mention the duration of germination would affect the amount of sprouted grain you blended into your mix (the longer the length of germination, the lower the inclusion of rate of sprouted grain flour); and that using sprouted flour can give a softer crumb and slow staling.
She also said sprouted grains can be used as a wet mash, but to mill into flour, are the sprouted grain is dried down at a low temperature.
Here’s a picture of a wet mash:
(ground with the Kitchen Aid grinder)

I tried making a sprouted grain bread with that mash, along with additional sprouted whole-wheat flour once, and really liked the bread! The seminar was a good reminder to get organized and try this again.

Here are some pictures of Artistry, on display:



 (this bread was really good)




Dogwood flowers crafted by a young lady from Vancouver Island University, above in color, below, au naturel

This Spring, I've tried to take pictures of dogwood blooms and I'd say the ones above look very realistic!


It was a very enjoyable day at the Baking Congress, so glad I attended - met many helpful and kind people, saw some beautiful baking and got the chance to taste delicious things.

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

AnnaInMD's picture

550 Flour - equivalent flours here in the States ?

Would I use a "bread flour" or a high gluten such as "Lancelot"  by King Arthur ?  I

am trying to do this (hard rolls) recipe which is supposedly the original East German one - when no good ingredients were available.

Thank you,



Mebake's picture

Mark's Potato Rolls

I promised myself the other day, that I’ll try Mark Sinclair’s  (TFL member mcs) Potato rolls. My kids desire soft enriched white breads;  and as i watched in regret my wife’s grocery bags carrying bland/cottonty mass produced rolls, this was my chance to try out Mark’s wonderful rolls featured in his latest video.

I have followed the recipe religiously, as I wanted to be true to Mark’s authentic product. I did deviate, however, when it came to overnight refrigeration. The rolls were baked the very same day, and they were absolutely delicious! They’ll have to taste even better refrigerated.

The house was filled with buttery aromas when those rolls were baked. My wife and kids ate them warm. Silky Soft, and squishy,  slightly chewy crust, and a heavenly buttery milky sweet flavor, the rolls were a hit with the family. They loved it, and ask for more!

Thanks alot Mark for the video and the recipe!


Gluten-Free Quick Ciabatta

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.


This is my first decent attempt at a gf ciabatta. I used Jason's Cocodrillo Ciabatta as the inspiration. If you are highly intollerant to gluten do make sure the ingredients (specifically the cornmeal) are not subject to cross-contamination. I find the sorghum flavour is a little strong though certainly not unpleasant, so I'll be experimenting with other flours.

The bread :)


Crumb pic doesn't really do it justice. It was more holey in most places but here it looks sort of cake-y :S


Ciabatta Loaves
Prep time2 hours, 40 minutes
Cooking time20 minutes
Total time3 hours


150 g
175 g
Potato Starch
125 g
Sorghum Flour
15 g
2 t
Yeast (Instant)
7 g
Psyllium Husk (This can be obtained from Asian supermarkets or online. It's a coeliac-friendly natural gluten alternative.)
500 ml
Warm Water


Mix together all the dry ingredients except the psyllium. Mix the psyllium with the water and leave to stand for 10 mins. Mix the water with the flour until completely incorperated. Transfer the dough to a non-stick container (or oiled bowl) and cover. Leav to rise until at least doubled (about 2 hours). Shape into two loaves on a baking tray covered in cornmeal. Preheat the oven to max (mine is a fan oven and it was 250c). Prove the loaves for about 30 mins while the oven heats up. Sprinkle with cornmeal, slash and bake for 20 mins.