The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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LapLap's picture

Mochi making with an Ankarsrum/Verona or Bosch MUM6N

I bought a stand mixer (or rather two) to replace a basic bread machine that was shedding its non stick lining. I'd stopped baking with it years ago but kept using it as my go to kneader for bread and mochi. Alas, mochi flecked with black Teflon flakes wasn't a treat I wished to share with my family. It was a hand down from my parents and has lasted decades, but it has to go.

I'm just about to start experimenting with my new mixers but was wondering if anyone had given this a try in either machine.

I'm very familiar with a blog report on making mochi using a paddle with a Kitchenaid that was posted in the JustHungry website, but both the units I have work quite differently. I'm particularly keen to know if anyone has used a mincer - perhaps with the blades removed in a pasta press configuration - for making mochi. I don't have a mincer, this would be a compelling reason to get one for me.

Anyway, I'll report back. I'm very curious to find out how the Swedish Assistent roller arm will cope with glutinous mochi rice and what exactly I'll be ending up with.

Franko's picture

From goo to good

The Rye & Barley Mash Bread I've posted on previously has become one of my favourite breads over the last few months for it's pronounced sour and deep flavour characteristics, much of which I credit to the fermented mash/soaker of whole barley and rye kernels included in the mix. With this latest bake I thought I'd try a lighter version by reducing the rye to 40%, and go with organic white All Purpose for the remaining 60%, eliminating the barley flour altogether, but include a fermented soaker of cracked rye and wheat.

Using the Rye Barley Mash formula as a template I deleted a few things such as the altus and barley flour and changed some percentages to come up with something I thought might work. The soaker had been fermenting away in the Brod & Taylor proofer for 3 days developing a fairly tangy sour note to it indicating it was ready to use, so late Monday afternoon I mixed up the levain in preparation for the final mix the next morning. By the time the 1 hour autolyse was complete the levain had been fermenting for almost 14 hours and looked quite healthy, strong and ready for prime time. The mix proceeded along fine until I added the rye/wheat soaker, after which the mix wasn't looking so fine anymore. I realized the dough was going to be fairly wet because of adding extra water to the soaker to loosen it up a bit, but this was quite a bit wetter than I'd anticipated. Hmm, OK, I'll just get it into bulk ferment and do some stretch and folds in 30 minute increments to build some strength and see what happens.

I like a well hydrated dough but this one was so sloppy that even after 3 stretch and folds it showed very minimal development over the course of almost 1 1/2 hours bulk fermentation. Going back over the formula to see where I'd gone wrong I realized I'd neglected to adjust the overall hydration down from the original formula to compensate for the reduced rye flour and omitted barley flour. A few choice words were muttered, all directed at myself, none of which bear repeating here, but I knew at that point I'd need to make some corrections in order to save this bowl of goo and have it result in something resembling bread. An additional 60 grams of AP were added, adjusting for salt and adding 1+ grams of instant yeast to give it a boost. That little bit of extra flour made all the difference, turning a soupy mix into a very loose but workable dough that could be molded for panning. After rounding the dough it sat on the counter for 30 minutes before molding into a log for panning in a Pullman tin and final proof. After 2 1/4 hours in the proofer at 76F it had risen 3/4's of the way up the pan and appeared to be worth putting in the oven. I decided not to press my luck by scoring the loaf, opting for baking it with the lid on, hoping at the very least it would give the loaf a uniform shape. Lo and behold after almost 70 minutes in the oven, with gradual reductions in heat, it turned out a reasonable looking loaf considering how it started out.

I took the first slice today after letting it cool overnight, wondering what I'd find. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a moist, even and open crumb, with a nice crunchy crust as a bonus.

The flavour has a lot of similarities to the Rye Barley Bread, though not near as tangy as it was, but overall a very tasty loaf of bread. The formula has since been adjusted for hydration, but rather than share it now I'll test it out a few times until I'm confident it can be reproduced reliably and post the results and full formula at a later date for anyone interested in trying it out.

Seafood Sausage en Brioche

This is something I did a couple of weeks ago that turned out nicely and is absolutely delicious! Saucisson en Brioche is normally made using a savoury meat sausage wrapped in brioche dough but I wanted to try it using the recipe for 'Shrimp & Scallop Sausage' from Michael Ruhlman's book 'Ratio'. Making a seafood  sausage is considerably quicker and easier compared to one from pork or veal since no curing is needed, and all you need is a food processor and some plastic wrap to make a casing. The sausage, very basically is a mixture of cold egg white, cream or heavy cream, seafood, and seasonings blended until it's smooth, uniform and thick enough to shape. For this sausage some of the shrimp were coarsely chopped and folded in at the last to give it some added texture.  Tightly wrapped in plastic, then poached until the internal temp reaches 155F. Let the sausage cool slightly and have a brioche dough rolled out and ready for final proof. From there it's a matter of wrapping the sausage in the dough as tightly as possible (which I need to do better next time) and proofing it for 30-40 minutes. Egg wash, and bake in a 360F oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the size. Allow it to cool slightly and firm up (10 minutes) before slicing. The sausage was plated with a cucumber salad vinaigrette, deep fried parsley and caper berries, sauced with a lemon chive beurre blanc. A little elegant compared to my typical dinner choices now days, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit to get out the food rut many of us fall into. 




PastryKid's picture

Any luck getting a good, crispy crust with a convection oven??

Hi all, I've been baking bread in a commercial convection oven (Hobart) without steam.  When we opened the shop it was a good choice because the price was right.  And in the original business plan we were not going to do breads.  However, with many requests, we've started making bread and have gained a small following.

Re: the bread.  The crust is fine, technically, but I'm unable to get a nice crispy crust that you'd normally have in a nice bread oven.

I don't mind moving to a convection oven with steam if that'd do the trick.  Anyone have luck with this or will I need to move to a deck oven with steam. 

I should also note this is in a Pastry Shop so I also make cakes, danish, cookies, etc in that oven so it can't be too strictly a bread oven.

Thanks in advance,


Serial Griller's picture
Serial Griller

Pizza Dough with poolish

I watched Diners Drive-ins and Dives last Sunday. A pizza place made dough with poolish.The pizza dough took two days. I bet the dough flavor was amazing.

Does anyone have a recipe for pizza dough with poolish?



mwilson's picture

Colomba Pasquale by Achille Zoia

I know Easter has passed but I needed yet another challenge...

Here I have made the richest Colomba Pasquale of all. One which comes from Italian master baker and Cresci co-author Achille Zoia.

This was even more challenging than the Iginio Massari Panettone I made recently as this has more fat, more sugar and less water!

I only just managed to pull this off! I had some technical problems along the way but it worked out in the end...

Original recipe calls for a pinch of added yeast but I left this out because my sourdough is so very powerful! As a result, the first dough rose bang on schedule at 12hrs. I also felt there wasn't enough salt, so I doubled it to 4grams instead of the 2grams originally called for.

First dough tripled:

Mixing the second dough was problematic. I think I developed too much strength too early which made incorporating all the butter very tricky and I ended up with a slightly greasy dough that lacked extensibility which made shaping a night-mare as you can see...

Shoddy shaping!


Inverted overnight:

Finished and ready for wrapping. This will mature for a few days to develop its flavours.

Adapted recipe:

First dough:

  • 63g Lievito Naturale (Italian sourdough)
  • 200g '00' Flour
  • 80g Water
  • 75g Sugar
  • 50g Egg Yolks
  • 75g Butter

Second dough:

  • 50g '00' Flour
  • 50g Egg Yolks
  • 38g Sugar
  • 25g Honey
  • 75g Butter
  • 5g Cocoa Butter
  • 4g Salt
  • Aroma Veneziana
  • Seeds from half a Vanilla pod
  • 125g Candied Orange Peel

Total Ingredients:

Flour 100.0% 292
Water 34.6% 101
Sugar 38.7% 113
Honey 8.6% 25
Yolks 34.2% 100
Fats 53.1% 155
Fruit 42.8% 125
Salt 1.4% 4



BloomingNutria's picture

Looking for a Stretch and Fold Recipe for Basic White

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a good stretch and fold recipe for a basic white bread, and I wondered if anyone had one they would like to share. I've never used the technique before, but after doing some research I am hoping it will be a way for me to get back to bread making during this extremely busy period of my life. I know the technique is often used for baguettes and french bread since they have such high hydration, but that is not what I want at all. I'm after more of a finer textured, slightly sweet (but not much) bread with a flaky and only semi-crispy crust. Nothing tough like a baguette.

Can stretch and fold produce a bread like this? Of course I'm willing to experiment, but being as it is my first time with the technique, does anyone have a recipe to get me started that is not a 95 % hydration baguette? (Exagerating, of course, but hopefully you know what I mean! :) )




hansjoakim's picture

Eastern travels

I've just returned home from a highly memorable and breathtaking three weeks in Ukraine. I love travelling, and whenever possible, I try to take my time and move along at a relatively slow pace. Instead of rushing through cities and catching the main tourist attractions, I find it frequently much more interesting and memorable to move slowly through a country, taking the time to see how they go about their daily lives, take the same buses and trains that they do, and get a grip of the atmosphere and the day to day life in the place I visit. I've long had a fascination with European history, culture and society, and particularly that of Eastern Europe and what was the East bloc. Inspired by previous journeys through Romania, Hungary, the Czech republic and Slovakia, I had mapped out a similar trek through Ukraine for 2012.

I spent three weeks travelling from Kiev to Lviv and on to Odessa, the Crimea and Kharkiv before returning to Kiev. I arrived in Kiev on Friday April 13, the start of the orthodox Easter weekend. This was a lovely time to spend in the city, and there were large crowds attending services and visiting the many cathedrals in the capitol. Particularly moving was seeing the large crowds of people - children, elderly, young couples, friends; people from all age groups and all layers of society - flocking to the cathedrals on the first day of Easter. All carrying their own basket with traditional bread and bottles of wine. Below is a photo from just outside the Church of the Assumption in the Kievo-Pecherska lavra complex of Kiev.

On my return to the city centre from the Lavra, I bought a paneton from a small bakery. The crumb was a lovely light golden yellow and feathery light. Some dried fruit and a sprinkling of crystal sugar on top made for a delicious afternoon snack.

Coming from a largely secular society where religion and the respect for religious celebrations is dwindling, I was fascinated by the spirituality and the fact that both young and old came together to mark the Easter celebration.

While staying in Kiev, I also participated in a day trip out the Chernobyl and the ghost town of Pripyat. Below is a photo of the ferris wheel in Pripyat.

Walking around in Pripyat, surrounded by apartment blocks, trees and rusted billboards and only hearing the sound of wind in the trees and the song of birds was haunting and unreal, and reminded me somewhat of the post-apocalyptic scenes told by Cormac McCarthy in "The Road". I understand that the Ukrainians themselves in general have mixed feelings about Chernobyl turning into a weird tourist attraction (something I perfectly understand), but I still found it enlightening to participate in the trip north to the scene of the accident and learning more about what happened during that decisive period back in 1986.

From Kiev, I caught a plane to Lviv - a wonderful and elegant city close to the Polish border.

A wonderful city full of art, grand architecture, open squares and cobblestone streets. Definitely a bit rough around the edges, but if anything, that simply added to a slightly romantic sense of decay and authenticity. A great city to walk around in, enjoy a central European cafe and pastry tradition (some of the cake slices to be had in this town rivals the best of Budapest IMO), and a wonderful countryside.

An overnight train ride brought me to sunny Odessa.

I spent three nights here, enjoying the beaches of the Black Sea, some great parks and a bustling and energetic city that never really sleeps or slows down.

Mark Twain said about Odessa that "there were no sights to see and that the best thing to do is idle about and enjoy oneself." I do think there are some lovely sights not to be missed, including the famous Potemkin stairs, the peaceful, well-kept Primorsky boulevard and the busy seaport itself, but the city is great for idling about and general enjoyment. Oh, and they sell terrific ice cream here, no doubt about that.

Another overnight train ride brought me to Crimea, where I spent four days based in Sevastopol under a scorching sun, close to eclectic Soviet beach resorts and fascinating landscapes that in places reminded me of the Calanques outside Marseille. Sevastopol made for a very convenient base from where I took old marshrutka buses to neighbouring areas, including Yalta

(above is the Livadia palace in the western suburbs of Yalta, the site of the famous 1945 Yalta conference, and the seaside Lenin statue in Yalta. Lenin is now facing a McDonald's; I wonder if he ever thought that McDonald's could be the ultimate consequence of the NEP...), the old Crimean Tatar capitol of Bakhchisarai (here a shot of some cliffs on the outskirts of the city):

and Balaclava.

An overnighter from Sevastopol brought me to the sprawling city of Kharkiv, in the north-east of the country. The city suffered particularly hard during the famine in 1932-1933 and again during WWII; Kharkiv was occupied twice by the Germans, and few original buildings remain. However, the city has managed to fuse the new with the old, and a sizeable student population means that there's always something interesting happening.

As in most Ukrainian markets, the Kharkiv central market had a glorious display of pork cuts to be had for a very reasonable price.

While there, I sampled some varieties of the (in)famous salo; pure pork fat cured with salt and spices, not unlike bacon, and sliced thinly, typically served with cloves of raw garlic, slices of toasted Borodinsky rye and a sprig of parsley. Absolutely delicious and a true celebration of everything great about pork.

From Kharkiv, I rumbled on back to Kiev - below a night time photo of the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev.

The opera and ballet in Kiev is certainly world class; I was fortunate enough to catch performances of both Carmen and Swan Lake, and though I'm not that familiar with ballet, I was gripped and utterly fascinated by both performances. An Easter oratorium in the Kiev philarmonic was also stunning.

The memories and impressions from the trip are still very fresh, unsorted and raw, and I'll need some time to sort through my thoughts, feelings and photos. Old, vibrant cities, natural beauty, spirituality, breathtaking landscapes and a fantastic cultural tradition are some of the impressions I take home with me, but also disturbing pictures of poverty, injustice, social and economical differences and a people that has suffered hard for so long in modern times. Although the language barrier is not to be underestimated, I still felt a connection with the people while I was there; people that are deeply spiritual, emotional, humble and sincere. I hope to go back later this year, to explore some more inaccessible areas to also get a glimpse into what life is like in the rural heart of Ukraine and old-time Europe.

I brought some souvenirs back home to friends and family, and for myself I bought some bread pans from a seller on the central market in Kharkiv:

For ages, I've been looking for tall pans like these, so I was thrilled when I saw these as I was making my way out of the pork section of the market! When I got back home, first thing I did was to unload my backpack and then get my starter out of its three week hibernation so that it could make me some bread again:

The two loaves turned out very well I think (at least for an improvised dough), simply made with rye flour, toasted sunflower seeds, boiled whole rye berries and flaxseeds.

Perfect for the Ukrainian cheese and canned fish that found its way back to my place.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Onion Dill Bread with Saffron

Well I was goofing around in the kitchen again.  The above picture is the same bread just formed differently and the one on the right has been egg washed.  After the post a while back about how to slash a loaf to get a specific look I gave it a try on this loaf (on the left).  I altered the recipe and raised the hydration to about 67% so the loaf flattened out a bit,  then the long slash did not help the sprawling of the loaf.  None the less it is still such a tasty loaf.   With some tweaking I think it could become more visually appealing.

This is the original recipe (lazy way out of typing) it also has items of interpretation.  Large pinch of saffron?   One onion, how big how much?  I hope you can read this if you want some clarity let me know.

The dough is quite beautiful.

More pictures then words today.  This is such a tasty bread I thought I would share. It is something you can adjust to fit your preferences.  Enjoy

Mebake's picture

Miche point a callier

Last week, I have been milling my Turkish wheat berries (don’t quite know the type-probably ordinary winter wheat, but definitely not red) using my trusty Hawos easy mill, and noticed that during the first phase of my intermediary milling (coarse), I found tiny bran particles along with the middlings . I decided to try a labor intensive method of separating the bran from the other particles. Bran weighs less than the coarse endosperm particles, so I used a hair drier to blow air through the coarse mixture while stirring it. ½ hour later, this method left me with copious amounts of bran scattered on my laps and on the floor and the endosperm particles with some bran intact remained in the bowl. I know.. I must be crazy, but I was testing a reliable way to remove bran from equally sized endosperm particles, and that surely isn’t practical. I milled the remainder mixture into fine flour, sifted it with a fine mesh sieve, and obtained really fluffy yellowish flour, with tiny specs of powdered bran. I declared it: Mebake’s high extraction flour. It was very soft and fine textured, and had a beautiful wheaty aroma. I didn’t know the extraction %, but assumed that it belongs to the league of artisanal flours. My wife made some chocolate cookies with this flour and the result was the best cookies I’ve ever made at home: Crunchy, delicate, and full of flavor. I wish I had a 50 kg sack of this stuff. I decided to put the flour to test, and bake genuine artisanal bread with it: Miche a callier, from Hamelman’s BREAD. I stuck to the recipe and the procedures, although the stiff levain did ripe in less than 8 hours. The dough received 3 stretches and folds at 40 minute intervals. I noticed some tears during S&F, and I would attribute it to the flour being green (freshly milled), and the milling heat. Here it is:

The flavor at 12 hours is wheaty / nutty and very aromatic. The crust was crunchy / chewy, and the crumb soft and creamy, but not as moist as i guessed it would be. 

The flour

The flour, although difficult to obtain using my method, was worth it.

dabrownman's picture

Soft White Wheat Experience

I bought some soft white wheat berries but the lady said they would not be any good at making bread.  Does anyone have experience making bread with soft white wheat?  What kind of breads etc?