The Fresh Loaf

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breadsong's picture

Bread Fashion Show - BBD #56

Hello everyone,

January’s Bread Baking Day theme is “A Bread Fashion Show”, with a call for decorated crusts.
What a lovely idea!


A Fashion Show seemed to call for fabric – how to use fabric to decorate bread?
I was reminded me of a photo I saw once, of one of Roger Gural’s beautiful breads, stencilled with a lacy pattern.
Off to the fabric store I went.

This is Mr. Hamelman’s Unkneaded Six-Fold French Bread, using a big piece of lace to stencil, for this month’s baking challenge. I wish I could say I used fancy French lace – this was more likely drapery material :^)    



Many thanks: to Mr. Gural for the inspiration, to Mr. Hamelman for his delicious recipe, to Jenni at The Gingered Whisk for a wonderful idea for this month’s challenge, and to Zorra for her Bread Baking Day event.
I’m so looking forward to seeing what other bakers will create for this month’s ‘decorated bread’ baking theme!


*Update to this post - one more entry for the Fashion Show :^)

I was going through some photos and remembered this bread I baked a long time ago (2011).
This bread was inspired by a fashionable, floral, felted hat, made by a very talented lady I met at a bread-baking class -
I wanted to add this bread to this post!
This sourdough bread's crust was covered with decorative dough 'flowers', that had been colored with white flour, cocoa and cornmeal; the 'leaves' were colored with green pea flour. Had fun with cookie cutters, for this one :^)


Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong


johannesenbergur's picture

Scandinavian Rye


  • Whole grain
    • 150g whole grains
      • Feel free to combine different sorts: wheat, rye, barley, spelt
  • Dough
    • 450 g water
    • 150g sourdough
    • 5g fresh yeast
    • 10g honey
    • 10g malt syrup
    • Seeds and the alike
      • Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds
        Just a small handful
    • 150g stale bread
    • 25g salt
    • 600g flour
      • 300g rye
      • 50g semolina or durum
      • 250 other flour
        • Graham
        • Spelt
        • Wheat
Grains:Soak the whole grains in a cup with around 2,5 dl cold water. Put a lid on and leave it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.Dough:Dissolve the yeast in the honey. Add water, the soaked grains with the remaining water, malt and sourdough. Finely chop the stale bread and leave it to soak in the mixture for around 15-30 mins. Add the salt, dissolve and start adding the flour, little by little. When the dough is starting to come together, although still very sticky, you may precede to knead it with your hands. At this point you usually need to knead some more flour into the dough. The dough doesn't need a lot of kneading, since it's a pretty tight rye bread, around 5-10 mins, just so it's still sticky, but still is dry enough to keep a shape.
Put the dough in a greased container and cover it up with a wet tablecloth. Leave it to proof for at least 12 hours i the fridge. I usually just leave mine over night.When proofed, put it in a 3 litre bread baking pan. Sprinkle oatmeal, seeds or nothing at all on top of it and score it. Cover the pan up with a wet tablecloth and leave it to rise at room temperature until it has risen to fill the pan completely - this process usually takes up to a couple of hours.Bake at 180 degrees celcius. Bake for two hours, gently remove the baking pan and put the loaf in for another half an hour.
Leave it to cool on a tray and keep your fingers to yourself until the next day.
clazar123's picture

Is it possible to achieve a windowpane with just stretch and folds?

I don't have a single technique when I make bread. Sometimes I hand knead,mostly I use a mixer, occasionally I will use a stretch and fold technique. I haven't used S&F often enough, I guess, to answer my own question so I am polling the collective here.

If you answer "yes", please describe the type of S&F you use.

1.Some people use the concept to mix the dough from the start (as in Richard Bertinet's video  on mixing a high hydration dough), or a

2. French technique (sounds like "frisee"-can't remember the correct word) while kneading that stretches the dough with each push of the hands. I saw it first on Julia Child years ago with a guest baker.

3. Another Julia method-Julia would also hold the dough over her shoulder like an ax and swing it down onto the table-BAM-She described this as a method she witnessed in Eastern Europe-in effect stretching the dough on the downswing. She'd then fold it over and wind up again for another hit.  Hilarious and loud but actually effective. A strong kneading surface is needed!

4.Other descriptions I have seen for using all S&F are 3-4 S&F done spaced out during bulk fermentation.

So can a windowpane (on a dough made with AP for ease of description) be achieved with S&F and if so, what method?

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Croissant from Advanced Bread and Pastry, Michel Suas

This is my go at the basic croissant from the  Advanced Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas and baked in my wood fired oven.  The only changes to the formula was a change in yeast type.  The formula called for osmotolerant yeast and all that I have is active dry so I made the conversion even though it felt like a heap of yeast.   The book also did not call for any egg wash.  I don't know if that was because it was an advanced book and the egg wash was expected without mention or an egg wash was not required.  None the less I liked the end results.

Think I will work through his other croissant formulas.

letrec's picture

Sourdough Buckwheat Rye Flax Blueberry Muffins

I've been baking a lot of sourdough as of late, and since I'm stubborn I don't ever refrigerate any of the starter and maintain it exclusively on the counter. While this lends to a vigorous starter it also encourages (ok, demands!) frequent baking, or you're going to either end up with the starter that ate your kitchen, or be exceptionally wasteful by refreshing the starter so frequently.

I have a little bit of a sweet tooth, and love blueberries so this was a natural next step.

I have adapted this recipe from this recipe at Sourdough Home:

I made some adjustments as to my taste and added a crunchy Streusel topping!


1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (EVOO works great here)
1 cup 100% rye sourdough starter at 100% hydration!
2tbsp of Greek Yogurt (adds a little more acidity, good fat)

1/2 cup whole rye or wheat flour if you must
1/2 cup of organic buckwheat flour
1/3 cup of ground flax seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar or fructose
3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Streusel Topping

2 cups pecans or walnuts (8 oz.)
½ cup packed light brown sugar (I combined molasses and caster sugar)
⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil (I used more EVOO, though next time I may be decadent and use coconut oil)


Preheat oven to 425F. (I use a convection oven, so actual temp was 400F)

Prepare streusel by combining nuts, sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt in food processor and pulsing a few times until a coarse mixture is achieved. Slowly drizzle in oil taking care to stop before creating a paste. The ideal consistency will be damp, but very crumbly. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in small bowl and then stir in blueberries. Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ones.

Place muffin cups inside tin and oil and dust them.
Oil a large dough or ice cream scoop and spoon batter into cups.
Sprinkle a liberal amount of Streusel topping over each cup such that you can no longer see the batter.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or 16 min for convection

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in tin and then transfer to rack to cool to room temperature!
This should yield about a dozen full sized muffins. Enjoy!

mini_maggie's picture

Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads suitable as first artisan book, or...?

I am still a neophyte to bread baking, but have been having great luck with dry yeast breads which has encouraged me greatly, and I'm really enjoying learning from all of you.  I would like to venture more into some artisan breads and sourdoughs, but am really interested only in whole grain recipes, mainly for reasons of health and nutrition.  My question is, is there enough of the basics covered in Reinhart's Whole Grains book to start there, or do I need something like the Bread Baker's Apprentice to build a knowledge foundation before progressing?   Thanks for any insights shared!

theresasc's picture

Questions from a new bread baker

I am very new to baking bread, and I have some questions!  Bear with the strange mixing of measurements, I am still trying to get the hang of weight vs. volumn.

I am using the first recipe in Floyd's book, and am tweaking it a bit:

Poolish:  30 grams whole wheat flour, 1/8 tsp. instant yeast, 1/4 water - let sit overnight

Dough:  225 grams AP flour, 45 grams whole wheat flour, 1 tsp sugar, 3/4 + 1/8 tsp instant yeast, 3/4 cup of flour - mix and let autolyse 30 min.  Mix in the poolish and 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  I was using my KA to knead the first few loaves of bread that I made, but decided I was missing out on the fun of having my hands in there, so I have been using the french flold technique to knead.  I have found that I have to keep my hands very wet while doing the french fold and while the dough does get stretchy and sort of smooth, there are still little tears/blisters in the dough.  Is this right?  The dough does not behave like this using just AP flour, but the addition of the WW seems to really change things up.  What should the dough feel and look like?

Now onto the stretch and fold questions:  How many times do you do it?  I have read that you just do it once every 30 minutes during bult ferment, I have read that you do it 6 or 7 times every 30 minutes.  Whats up with that??  Is that the difference from making bread with commercial yeast vs. natural yeast?  The more I read, the more confusing things get.

Onto crust:  why does it blister?  The bread made with AP flour did not have surface blisters, yet the bread with some WW in does.  Is it the flour or my techniques? 

Thanks for any help that folks can give me.

Okay, I baked and here is what it looks like, ugly but tasty.

 The blisters are there on the crust again - next shot is the crumb

Shiao-Ping's picture

Sourdough from Taipei


Background:       Stormy Queensland rain, a cyclone passing through

                            Vivid greenery against thick dark clouds

                            Cozy tearoom


The world out there is wet and blowy:



Inside my tearoom the air is sweet.  A bird came to visit me and rest on the railing outside:



My baking has not stopped. Such a delight to be able to create:



This bread was my very first sourdough baked in Taiwan. My family and I spend a lovely Christmas and New Year holiday in Taipei. My oven is Bosch there. I used no steaming mechanism. Spray can did the trick for me on this bread. I did not aim to make a perfect bread, just a bread.



We thoroughly enjoyed this bread, but I had no hesitation to put my starter away. On holidays these days I prefer not to spend too much time in the kitchen. Maison Kayser and Frédèric Lalos Bakery are both in Taipei and their breads are very good.

During this last trip to Taiwan, I made an effort to go to A-Li-Shan Mountain to see the ancient red cypress trees there. The oldest alive in Taiwan is estimated to be 2,700 years old! Look at the picture and the stats below:


Age: approx. 2,700 years old

Height: 43 meters

Circumference: 20 meters

Altitude: 2,350 meters


There are about 20 of these ancient giant red cypresses in Taiwan, ages ranging from 1000 to 2700 years old.  The Japanese left them untouched at the turn of the last century because back then these trees were already hollow in the middle and were considered to have no economic values.  The Japanese ran a massive logging industry in Taiwan during their 50 years of occupation before the end of the Second World War.  The red cypresses were shipped back to Japan for use in their temples and their Emperor’s residences.  

It was not possible to take a good shot at the giant tree with my poor camera.  It was very early morning and the sky was still dark blue.  But as the morning progressed, I was able to take beautiful shots of the mountains and the sea of clouds:






The holiday is now over and everything is back in full swing.  My daughter is in San Francisco on an exchange program for the first half of the year, and my son is busy preparing for a medicine exam in March.  Christmas tree was folded away for another year; more time now to enjoy my tea:



Happy baking everyone!


Floydm's picture

Raspberry Cream Cheese Braid

My fight against scurvy (not really) and the wintertime blues (really) by baking fruity things continued today.  This time I went for raspberries and made a Raspberry Cream Cheese Braid using the Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid formula on the site.

 Very very good, as expected!

anitasanger's picture

A nice Oklahoma sourdough boule photo

I created my own starter 3 years back by harvesting natural Oklahoma yeast. Lately I've been on a protein diet and haven't had the chance to make bread in several months. I pulled the ol' starter out this week and got a sponge going. I made a loaf last night and oh my how good it tasted! It's hard to beat homemade bread isn't it? Nothing's better than a warm house filled with the smell of bread on a cold winter's day! I'm a sourdough student for life!