The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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HokeyPokey's picture

Best pancakes EVER

I haven't been baking much bread lately - two toddlers are taking a little bit too much of my time :)

But I HAVE been making a lot of quick bakes - pancakes, biscuits, cupcakes - you name it.

Here is a full post of two of the most delicious and the least time consuming pancake recipes you will ever find - full recipe

And here is a photo of someone enjoying a pancake :)

yozzause's picture

Bourke Street

Funny how these things happen,  RobynNZ in a response to JCrising recommended the Bourke street bakery as a good Aussie bread book and i concur, In fact after thinking that i had loaned my copy and was not going to be getting it back, my wife unearthed it under some piles of papers and to celebrate its return i decided to use it for some breads that i was going to be making with a bread enthusiasts group that i formed at work from staff and students whereby we bake some interesting breads for use in a retail outlet/training centre down in the West end of Fremantle.

We quadrupled the white sourdough and then made two derivatives from that same dough, the spicy fruit loaf and the sprouted ryeberries with caraway.

The dough was made after regular work and the recipe was followed  below is a pictorial account   white sourdough to the fore and the sprouted rye to the rear





spicy fruit bread derivative from the white sourdough


 On wednesday morning whilst baking off the sourdoughs after 36 hours cold fermentation i put through a dough inspired by our friend Khalid with his experiments with a Biga recently.

on the Monday evening i made a dough with no salt and only 1/2% yeast and placed it in the coolroom  on the Wednesday morning i made a dough with 2 kg flour and 1 kg Biga this was going to be used for the dinner rolls in the restaurant with enough dough over for 3 loaves which went into the just vacated bannetons  this dough had a bulk fermentation time of almost 2 hours  and the bread was superb

  and here is how it looked once cut 


kind regards Derek

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Tartine "morning bun"

We were recently in San Francisco, so of course I made a pilgrimage to Tartine bakery. They have something called a morning bun (or it might be "morning roll"), which appears to be a long piece of dough that is coated in cinnamon sugar and coiled up. Simple, but really good—it seems to be a staple in SF cafés. 

Is there a recipe for this in any of the Tartine books?


linder's picture

San Joaquin Sourdough in a Dutch Oven over Charcoal

I've been wanting to do this for a few months now, since we are living in a yurt and the only oven I have is a Coleman 12 inch square oven that sits on a burner of our 2 burner Primus camp stove.  I finally got up the nerve to try the San Joaquin Sourdough formula from Dave Snyder in our 'primitive' digs here on Orcas Island.    

I did do somethings a bit differently than Dave.  First, I took the dough out of the fridge after 12 hour rest and let it hang out at 'room temperature', here that's 62F- 65F, for an hour to take the chill off.  I shaped the dough into a single boule.  Lacking a real banetton I floured a cotton neckerchief really well and lined a plastic bowl with it.  I covered the shaped boule with a light dusting of flour and placed it top side down inside the lined bowl.  Then into the Brod and Taylor bread proofer it went.  (The proofer has been my salvation here in the yurt, we have electricity in the yurt and the proofer does a fine job of maintaining a warm moist environment).  I kept it in the proofer at 72F for 1 1/2 hours.  

Meanwhile, my husband started the charcoal briquettes, and we preheated a 10 inch dutch oven to 450F.  Once that heat was attained we placed the bread into the dutch oven and baked for 30 minutes, rotating the oven 180 degrees at 20 minutes into the baking to equalize the heat in the oven.  The bread came out well.  

Here's a picture of the interior crumb,  Great flavor due to the dark rye flour and the rest in the dorm sized fridge overnight.


Kiseger's picture

Autumn - poppy, sunflower, pumpkin and flax

When on the breath of autumn breeze,

From pastures dry and brown,

Goes floating like an idle thought

The fair white thistle-down,

Oh then what joy to walk at will

Upon the golden harvest hill!


What joy in dreamy ease to lie

Amid a field new shorn,

And see all round on sun-lit slopes

The pil’d-up stacks of corn;

And send the fancy wandering o’er

All pleasant harvest-fields of yore.

Cornfields,  Mary Howitt (1799-1888)

'Tis the first day of Autumn, the glorious season of skies filled with golden and brown crisp leaves falling gently and then billowing up in the air with the first gusts of cold winter winds.  As Wordsworth said: "Wild is the music of autumnal winds amongst the faded woods".  It is my favourite season of the year, it is when maple trees are ablaze with unimaginable oranges and reds, it is the season of harvest and grape-picking and unexpected balmy days of sunshine as a wink to long gone summer.  It is the season of partridge and pheasant, wild duck and mushrooms, pumpkin and swede and celeriac and Jerusalem artichoke.  It is the season of the wine festival in Lower Austria, where you try out the "sturm" which is fresh "new" fermenting fizzy wine.  It is the start of the truffle season in Italy, together with chestnuts and mushrooms and figs.  It is the season to get excited about wearing cashmere again when winter comes!

And so it came to pass that I discovered a bag of poppy seeds in our larder and it behoved me to put them to good use.  The Husband was off on another uncivilised bike/run thing and so I had the house to myself.  I put Horowitz in Moscow on full blast on the sound system and sat down with TFL for inspiration and a glass of wine for....well, because I can.  I have been gearing up for seeds and the start of Autumn seemed like the perfect excuse, as poppies, sunflowers and pumpkin flowers are all harvested around now. 

Poppy, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Flax Seed Bread with some Spelt

Bread Flour                  150g                (30%)

High Extr. WW              160g                (32%)

Whole Wheat Flour      90g                  (18%)

Spelt                             100g                (20%)

Wheat Germ                 30g                  (6%)

Salt                               12g                  (2.4%)

Water                            375 + 50          (85%)

Levain                          75g                  (15%)



Poppy                           40g                  (8%)

Sunflower                     15g                  (3%)

Pumpkin                       15g                  (3%)

Flax                              20g                  (4%)

Total Seeds                  90g                  (18% of total)


1.  Toast all seeds with the exception of poppy.  Once toasted, throw all seeds including poppy into a soaker with 50g water and leave for 6-12hours.  Also toast the wheat germ.

2.  Autolyse flours and wheat germ and 375g water for 4hrs.

3.  Mix in levain, salt and extra 50g water.

4.  Bulk ferment - 5 series of S&F every 30 minutes, add in the seeds on 2nd S&F.  Total bulk ferment was just over 4 hours.

5.  Preshape and bench rest for 25 minutes.

6.  Shape and place in banetton, proof overnight in fridge.  In this case, 14hrs at 5C.

7.  Turn out of banneton into DO straight from fridge and bake.  Do not botch it up, the way we did with the last loaf, but have a glass of wine anyway to celebrate not messing it up!

8.  Bake in 260C oven, turn temp down to 240C after 15 minutes, leave lid on for first 25mins then off for rest of baking - ca. another 15 mins.

Oh my was this good!  I might have like a wee bit more oven spring, but it had a crisp crust and slightly more open crumb than I expected with all the seeds.  It is my new favourite bread, although anything with poppyseeds is a winner (especially mákos beigli, the Hungarian poppyseed roll that my grandmother made). 

Toasting the seeds was a good call before soaking, fabulous flavour comes through.  Delicious slathered with Jamon Patta Negra, chorizo, St. Marcellin, mature Cheddar, fennel saucisson sec, hummus, smoked ham, fresh tomatoes and olive oil, and lovely to mop up the prawn and white wine sauce which came with the seafood crepes.  The Husband was very apologetic about not making sourdough crepes, but as sourdough is apparently "my domain", he dared not stray outside the traditional French crepe method.  

We sat on the patio with a glass of Vina Tondonia and a slice of bread dipped in olive oil; wistfully considering the end of Summer and the joys of Autumn.

Oh, golden fields of bending corn,

How beautiful they seem!

The reaper-folk, the pil’d-up sheaves,

To me are like a dream.

The sunshine and the very air

Seem of old time, and take me there.


Mary Howitt (1799-1888)

jcsrising's picture

Hello from Australia

This is a exciting time for me because there is so much to learn about making bread.

I am learning about The Fresh Loaf after I found a book by Richard Bertinet.

The handbook is helping as well. I have made a few loaves and pizzas, and just starting my first sourdough experiments. My plan is to have some lessons as soon as I can.

Is your site able to direct me to other home bakers in Melbourne, because there are so many variables I am looking for some experience. Is there a book works well in Australia ie brands and grams?

The pictures of your group baking look great.

Thankyou for the site

CAphyl's picture

Frozen Dough Tragedy and Triumph

As a number of you know, I have experimented with freezing dough and baking it later.  I have had some recent mixed results, and I thought I would share it to see if there are some things to learn from my experience. Recently, I made a wonderful Tartine sourdough with olives, herbes de provence and lemon zest, recipe link below.  I froze the second loaf to bake later, and I baked it in the last few days.  It was terrible--a flat, gummy disk.

It would not get done, and you can see how gummy the dough was after baking forever. The color was slightly white, looking overproofed. I did have another bad frozen dough experience recently when I left some frozen five grain dough in the Midwest and baked it from frozen after it had been frozen for some time.  When I baked it, I got a small, gummy disk that also would never get done. I kind of wrote it off as it had been frozen for a long time.  But, it was interesting that the exact same thing happened again back in my home kitchen in California with the olive loaf, which hadn't been frozen for very long.  The gummy olive loaf sure didn't look like the original loaf below, with recipe link:

Interestingly, I had frozen some other dough a few days before the olive dough, when I made Ian's semolina porridge bread for the first time.  When I made the first loaf, it was tasty, but was a bit flat as you can see in the photos below.

The crumb was fine, but I just didn't get the lift. Ian suggested less hydration, so I tried something different on the second loaf, which I baked from frozen.  I defrosted it and kneaded in more flour and sprinkled it with a bit of yeast to try and get some lift.  It turned out very well when I baked it today, as you can see below.

The crumb came out very well, and the bread was just delicious!  Thanks, Ian. The crumb was just right.

It is interesting that this dough had been frozen longer than the olive loaf. All of the doughs I have frozen recently had pretty high hydration. Is that a clue?  If so, why did the semolina loaf turn out so well, as it was high hydration like the other two that ended up as flat, gummy disks? I have another five grain frozen, which has been frozen for some time, so that will be my next experiment.  Perhaps if the dough seems too wet, I should knead in flour as I did with the frozen loaf I made from Ian's recipe.  So many questions to pursue!  Thought you would enjoy the results of my recent experiments.  Best,  Phyllis

Here is the link to Ian's recipe:


amoroso's picture

Need Help Containing Steam in Home Gas Oven

I have a gas oven that has a fan, and it turns on and off during the baking. So this really destroys my steam environment and I think it is the reason why my breads haven't been blossoming. I just bought a cast iron for more steam introduction, but need to do something about this fan. I go through the conventional bake, not Convection, which my oven has this option as well, but I've been avoiding that for obvious reason. Should I preheat the oven, and shut it down for 10 minutes and then kick it back on for the final cooking stage? Worried about a lot of heat loss when loading the loaf in. I also do not want to block the fan, as that is a safety concern. Thanks for any help.

edroid's picture

Want Steam?

This takes the "SFBI" steam method to the next level. 

There are two changes to the standard SFBI method: first is the use of a half inch round steel plate instead of lava rocks or bolts. This allows the second change: heat the steel plate and the skillet on the stovetop to whatever temp you want. I took the temp up to 550° with great results. The steel plate weighs 5.75 pounds and holds an incredible amount of heat.

The advantages are that the round steel plate has far more thermal mass than lava rocks or nuts and bolts, you can bring the whole thing to a much hotter temperature by heating directly on the stovetop, and by heating the steel to higher temperature you have less heat loss in the oven. The plates heat quickly on the stove, so my guess is that it is more energy efficient also. 

You can have a local metal shop cut the round plate for fairly minimal cost, or probably order one from BakingSteel Co. The skillet is standard 9" Lodge cast iron. The perforated pie plate is made by Chicago Metallic and is available on Amazon. 

An infrared thermometer is recommended to get a temperature reading of the steel on the stovetop. 




lilae's picture

How to bake a sourdough Kouign Amann?

Hi TFLers!

I have been following some sourdough recipe posters on here for a while and trying to create a sourdough loaf! I've only baked bricks so far, but I'm working on it! I just started a san francisco sourdough starter 3 weeks ago, so it is still quite immature.

Now my questions is how can you bake a sourdough Kouign Amann? A friend showed me a pic and I'm dying to try and make it with sourdough! I think the flavors would be outstanding with sea salt and brown sugar together!

Now there is only 1 recipe online that is made with sourdough, however it doesn't look quite as impressive as the non-sourdough recipes below. 


Sourdough Kouign Amann recipe:


Dry Yeast Kouign Amann recipes:





Is someone who is an accomplished sourdough baker be able to try this out and convert the recipe?

I'm hoping txfarmer will find this post and try her hand at this delicious looking pastry!

Thank you! :)