The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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tgrayson's picture

Recrisping Bread

Why does everyone recommend misting a loaf with water before recrisping an already-baked loaf of bread?

ananda's picture

Early Summer Baking: Borodinsky in a Banneton and Pain de Campagne with Mixed Leavens


Early Summer Baking:

Pain de Campagne with Mixed Leavens and Borodinsky in a Banneton


It's been a lovely weekend in the far North Eastern corner of England.   Yesterday we drove onto Holy Island and walked through the village, up to the Castle, then round the Northern Coast crossing 2 of the finest, and utterly deserted, beaches to be found...anywhere!

Today, we made our patio beautiful, once more, following the ravages of our harsh winter.   After we had eaten our lunch sitting outside, I took some photos of the bread I was making, as it came out of the oven.

•1.    Pain de Campagne.DSCF1839DSCF1842

I made 3 loaves in total.   One was a gift to our neighbours who treated us to an Iced Cream whilst we chatted away the afternoon: thank you Anna and Mark!   Another was just a small loaf, which I'd baked early so we could have fresh bread with some gorgeous "Berwick Edge" cheese I found yesterday, made by a local speciality cheese company, Doddingtons, just a few miles up the road from here.   Awesome flavour packing a real punch!

And the other is a 1.5kg Boule, showcased in the photographs here.   Yes, outdoor photography in the sunshine in good ol' Blighty: things must be on the up? [I wish!]

Here's the details:

I built both the wheat leaven and rye sour using 2 feeds from stock of 80g of each leaven, on Friday evening and Saturday morning.   I mixed the final dough on Saturday early evening, and retarded in the chiller overnight, before dividing, final proof and bake on Sunday morning/early afternoon.   The figures in the table offer totals of flour and water only; there was a small residue of both leavens for me to put back for stock.


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Wheat Levain



Special CC Flour












2. Rye Sour



Bacheldre Dark Rye Flour












3. Final Dough



Wheat Levain [from above]



Rye Sour [from above]



Special CC Flour












% pre-fermented flour



Overall % hydration





  • Build each leaven from stock, using 2 refreshments, as outlined above
  • Mix rye sour, flour and water until loose dough is formed; autolyse 45 minutes.
  • Add salt and wheat leaven and mix gently over half an hour to form a strong dough. Use Bertinet-style techniques here, as the dough is soft and sticky to start, but will soon become obviously strong.
  • Use intermediate proof of up to 1 hour. Then refrigerate overnight.
  • Scale, divide and mould round. I made a boule at 1.5kg, one at 750g, and made a small boule with the remainder. Place upside down in bannetons and set to prove, for around 4 hours, allowing the dough pieces to come back to ambient temperature.
  • Bake with steam on bricks in an oven pre-heated to 250°C. Cut the tops of the loaves just prior to loading.
  • Turn the heat to 200°C after 15 minutes. For the large boule, bake out for up to 1 hour if necessary; minimum 50 minutes. Jar the oven door slightly open, turn off the heat source, and leave the oaf in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Cool on wires

I'm really pleased with how this loaf has turned out.   My experience with overnight retarding is that the breads are very prone to "blow-outs".   Plenty of time is needed in the final proof in order to avoid this.   I guess that my kitchen temperature hitting the dizzy heights of 24°C by lunchtime really did help me here.   The dough had been very active when I set it in the chiller the night before; so I turned the fridge to work at full power.   Note too, that the pre-fermented flour is way up over 35%.   Great result!   Here are some photos:



•2.    BorodinskyDSCF1837

As the previous 2 occasions, I used a "scald".   However, this loaf was proved in a banneton, and baked on the bricks. is 100% Rye!!!   A colleague of mine who is studying for the VRQ Bakery Level 2 let me have some Doves Farm Light Rye flour she had in stock.   The sour was built with 3 refreshments.   The first 2 were part of the dough above, with a final refreshment made on the Saturday evening to allow me to form the final paste on Sunday morning.   I made the "scald" on Saturday evening, at the same time as the final refreshment of the sourdough.

Here's the formula:


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sour



Bacheldre Dark Rye Flour












2. Scald



Black Strap Molasses



Malt Syrup



Coriander [ground fresh]






Doves Farm Light Rye



Water [rolling boil]









3. Final Paste



Rye Sour [from above]



Scald [from above]



Doves Farm Light Rye






% pre-fermented flour



Overall % hydration





  • Prepare the rye sour, feeding 3 times from stock, as outlined above. Make the scald at the same time as the last refreshment. Dissolve syrups in the water and bring to a rolling boil. Grind the coriander, and combine with salt and flour. Pour on the boiling syrup solution and mix to from a stiff paste. Cover and leave to cool overnight.
  • Combine scald and sour and mix thoroughly. Add in the remaining flour and form a paste.
  • Bulk ferment, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Use wet hands to shape and then prove in a banneton, covered, for c. 4 hours.
  • Tip out onto a baking sheet. Spray the loaf top with water. Prick the top with a skewer, or, equivalent, and dust with freshly ground coriander seeds.
  • Bake at 250°C for 10 minutes with steam. Turn the oven straight down to 190°C and bake out for a total bake time of 1 hour
  • Cool on wires

I ended up cutting into the loaf sooner than ideal, as the photographs really testify.   It was such a beautiful day, and so I wanted to try and get the best photographs possible.   I think I succeeded with the Pain de Campagne.   The Borodinsky is not quite there.   Given more paste, I prefer to make this in a Pullman Pan.   But, I did not have that luxury.   And, the scald was really thirsty.   The final paste had 85% hydration, but was stiffer than I am normally comfortable with.   The trouble is that a higher hydration can be very difficult to bake out.

There is too much flour on the top of the loaf, from the proof in the banneton.   I did my best to brush it off and replace it with coriander, but with mixed success.

The crumb is obviously moist, and I think it will taste great.   But it's a little tighter than I believe I would have achieved if I'd been able to use a Pullman Pan.

Still, photos are below, and I am certainthat the flavours will be as I want!


My sunny greetings to you all


jcking's picture

Sterile Sourdough X

This is a follow up to the "Sourdough Water" post.

This experiment is to determine if wild things can be captured by sterile flour and water. One week ago the water and flour were sterilized, covered with cheese cloth and allowed to sit (attempting to capture wild yeast and bacteria). Durum flour and spring water were used. Durum was chosen because, I just received a fresh bag from KA, and it contained no additives. According to D Leader bakers in southern Italy (Puglia region) use Durum for their sourdough.

The experiment will follow P Reinhart's (Artisan breads every day) 75% Pineapple juice build, except that the pineapple will be added later to the disgarded SD for comparison. My current mother is from this procedure and has proved successful.


Day One; 30g flour mixed with 30g water in a glass 2 cup measuring cup, covered with plastic, at 74 F room temp. (I gram everything) To be stirred 3 times daily; when I awake, before I retire and once in between.

Updates/observetions to appear daily.


Librarian's picture

Authentic Austrian Easter Bread : time to get excited over quick bread

Austrian Easter bread, farmer's recipe


It is that time of the year again, where I can't wait for the taste of sweet bread with smoked meats, hardboiled eggs and

freshly grated horseraddish. It is very traditional to eat this kind of bread for the Easter holidays, some even put raisins

in it and there is a much softer almost no crumb version out there. Oddly everyone seems to fancy the contrast of

meat/radish/horseradish on a very sweet bread, but only for the holidays. It is a tradition,what can I say. My mom

scored this recipe from a farmer and she called me very excited to try this. I thoght it was about time to not only soak in

so many wonderful reciped but share a somewhat special and different one. So this is the 2nd year I have a go at it,

I have gotten a bit tired of the neverending sourdough fermentation times and my inability to keep track of time.  

This although is very different , it is a straightforward bread, you do not need a lot of time for it, and since it is so

enriched it does not benefit from long fermentation periods. I forgot how much fun it is to work with live yeast and

the sensational rise you get out of it, i doubt there can be a good sourdough version of this bread it is jsut perfect the way it is:

If former easterbread disappointed you because it was too soft, too little crust for you then you really

should try this it will reward you with a mouthwatering smell in your kitchen and a great aftertaste for your tastebuds

besides it is a LOT of fun to work with such a potent dough without all the wait usually included :)



1000 g of bread flour

500ml of milk ( regular version, no skim milk )

130g of softened butter

1 lemon ( organic )

40g of live yeast

6 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

lard ( from the pork )



I got very lucky these days finding the right kind of flour, more so because it is also very cheap it seems to have

an extreme tendency for perfect gluten development. Here bread flours are marked W700 this one is marked the

same way but milled a bit rougher than all the rest and binds very well. I recommend flour just like that.



To get started warm up the milk just a tad over handwarm, take a small bowl and dissolve first the sugar then

the live yeast in it. It is important to work with warm milk be careful to not get it too hot to kill off the yeast.

I followed a little discussion some time ago on sugar/yeast yes no.... All you need to do 

is take 2 bowls add yeast into it once with sugar, once without and observe. I always add the sugar it helps

your bacteria much faster along the way :) Let me prove that point, i started halfway with the bowl,

5 min later....

If you do not have live yeast I believe the correct formula is 2/3 dry yeast and 1/3 instant yeast instead

of the ammount of live yeast:


Pour the yeast and rest of the milk into the center of the bowl add the softened butter and one skin of a zested big lemon

be generous when you grate your lemon , add the salt and knead by hand, it is a fun dough to do so, once the dough is

firm and it should be firm, add one scooped table spoon of pork lard it will make the dough very silky and tasty.

I do not recommend omitting the lard and lemon since these 2 ingredients are what make this bread so special....

In the meantime put your oven on 180 degree Fahrenheit. As I mentioned before this dough does not benefit from

long fermentation and that is exactly the fun part for a change. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at

least to double( better triple ) in size within an hour at room temperature, the dough should be warm from the warm

milk still and smell sweet/lemon like, an awesome smell :). Here is my dough not even after 40 min, it tripled:


Knead the dough down to original size, a technique I almost never see in American recipes but very common here, is to do

exactly that, a double rise. Since time is no issue we can help the process along with our oven at 180F( 80celsius). Once the

dough is kneaded down divide in 3 parts and generously slash an X on top. Since this dough is highly active, try getting some

surface tension onto it as described in Peter Reinhards BBA. I kind of failed here a bit as you can see later. I didnt have a

baking stone nor did I find the right rack as I baked at my friends house. I would definitly use a stone if i I had one there...

There is no need to prepare the oven for hearth baking whatsoever even for phase 2:



I had to wait maybe 10 minutes till this happened at only 180 . Guess I did not build up enough surface tension.

Once doubled in the oven slide out the rack and cover the breads with a 50% egg yolk 50% milk mixture, crank up

the oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit /  180 degrees Celsius

and slide the bread right back in, no need to wait till it reaches that temperature. Wait until the bread is golden

brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped.  I use hot air surround fan setting, if you do not have one

add 10 degrees.


Here is a shot of the final result, last year I had the height a bit better under control, you can also make the surface

more even when shaping, I did not bother it gives the bread a rustic look, and it is a farmer's recipe after all.


Here is a comparison shot the next day between an enriched sourdough I created ( curd cheese as enrichment/

pumkin seeds) You can see there definitly is a crumb and crust on this bread, much different than the storebought

ones that feel and taste like sweet Mc Donalds buns. This is one of the few breads that once taken out does not

benefit much from being toasted it will stay fresh quite a while and goes great with jam but also with the ingredients

I mentioned within the introduction. A special tip would be butter/hardboiled egg and some grounded horseraddish on top.

If you decide to make this bread I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. Submitted to the YeastSpotting page










cookingwithdenay's picture

The Cookery, Durham's Culinary Incubator is a certified kitchen space for rent by the hour, 24/7.

There is a new kitchen incubator in Durham, North Carolin. The Cookery, Durham's Culinary Incubator is a certified kitchen space for rent by the hour, 24/7.

Learn more:

Please pass this one to other bakers in Raleigh/Durham NC.


Kiint's picture

Chestnut Coccodrillo Ciabatta Loaf

So everyone knows how to bake Jasons Quick Coccodrillo Ciabatta, he even gives two recipe styles, and now i would like to submit a third.


  • 250g Bread Flour

  • 100g Semolina Flour

  • 150g Chestnut Flour

  • 30g Fresh Yeast (or 10g active dry)

  • 10g Salt

  • 440g Water


Step 1: Like any bread, combine the ingredients. This being a variation of the coccodrillo it needs a paddle attachment in your mixer, keep mixing the dough until it "climbs" up your paddle attachment. At which point remove the paddle and put in the dough hook and keep going for another couple of minutes.

Step 2: Allow the dough to proof until almost overflowing the bowl, at least triple, then degass the dough by either gently stirring or cutting the dough.

Step 3: Now, after some experimentation, I have found that cooking a ciabatta in an oiled bread tin adds a particular style of finish thats quite appealing, so in this case, pour the degassed dough into a well oiled loaf pan and allow to relax for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Bake in a 200C oven until fragrant and well browned. Being a chestnut enriched dough it will be darker than normal, so make sure it doesn't burn. It will take a little longer than the usual 25 minutes, up to possibly 40 minutes or so, but not too long. The crumb is not as open as the coccodrilo, but the taste makes up for that.


Mebake's picture

Hamelman's 66% Sourdough Rye

This is yesterday's bake, a sourdough rye from Hamelman's "bread". I used dover farm organic whole rye flour, and sifted it to obtain something near to medium rye flour called for in the recipe. I followed Hamelman's instructions to the word, including the addition of yeast to the final dough. i have baked higher ryes before, so i was pretty comfortable with handeling the dough. This recipe is very easy to understand and bake, as opposed to other higher percentage ryes in hamelman's book. I used 12.9% protein strong bread flour from waitrose.

The sourdough levain was ripe in 8 hours at 26c. I chose to proof the dough seam side down in a brotform, and used a bamboo skewer to pinch holes in the batard.

This is by far the best rye i've baked. I'am now encouraged to bake this recipe again!



MadAboutB8's picture

Coconut Babka and Coconut Rolls - my own take at the babka

I was still trying to use up the coconut that was approaching its use-by date. Apart from making Cherry Ripe macarson the other week, I was thinking about coconut bread.

Trying to replicate the coconut bread from an Asian bakery that we love (it's buttery bread with random moist coconut filling throughout), I was thinking about making the bread into babka-shape with the coconut butter filling. I also made half of the batch into coconut rolls baked in a muffin pan.

This might not sound like traditional babka with one layer twisted dough, coconut filling and no struesel, it probably looks like one. Babka style shaping does make the bread pleasing to the eyes.

My house were filled with the wonderful aroma of coconut when the bread was being baked. With its sweet, creamy and toasty aroma, coconut is one of the most aromatically appetising food item, in my opinion.

Full post and recipe can be found here.


mse1152's picture

Rosette Veneziane from The Italian Baker

Greetings, bakers,

Tonight for dinner we had salad and the 'Rosettes of Venice' rolls from Carol Field's The Italian Baker.  I don't know why I never tried them before, but they were fabulous!  The recipe wants 500g of biga, and I had 486g of biga in the freezer, so I declared that was enough biga to attempt these.  They take about 5-ish hours from start to finish.  They look like hole-less bagels or kaiser rolls, but are much softer than either of those...maybe the 1/2 cup of olive oil had something to do with it.  The recipe said you should get 12 to 14 rolls, but I made only 8.  At that size, they'd make wonderful sandwich rolls, which I intend to verify tomorrow.



Soft and tasty, with just enough sugar to notice.  They're glazed with egg white, and I decided they also would benefit from a sprinkle of sesame or poppy seeds, and just enough kosher salt to give them a little bite.



To make the biga:

Mix by hand, mixer, or food processor:

1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup plus 1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. room temp. water (weird measurement, I agree)

330g unbleached all-purpose flour

Let the yeast stand in the warm water about 10 minutes.  Add remaining water, then the flour, a cup at a time.  Rise the biga in a covered bowl at room temp. for 6 to 24 hours.  Then you can refigerate or freeze it till you need it, or you could use it immediately after it's risen, I suppose.


To make the rosettes:

1 tsp. active dry yeast

2 Tb. warm water

1/2 cup olive oil (the recipe wants 1/4 cup lard and 1/4 cup olive oil)

3 Tb. sugar

500g biga

300g unbleached all-purpose flour

5g salt

1 beaten egg white for glazing

Combine yeast and 2 Tb. water in a large bowl.  Let stand about 10 minutes.  Add oil, sugar, and biga.  Mix by hand or in a mixer till biga and liquids are fairly well blended.  Add flour and salt and mix or knead until dough comes together.  Knead by hand (8-10 minutes) or mixer (3-4 minutes on low speed) until dough is moist and elastic.  I used a Bosch mixer, and on low speed, the dough really didn't come together well.  After a couple of minutes, I finished kneading it by hand.

Put the dough in a bowl rise, covered with plastic or whatever.  Let rise about 2 hours, at approx. 75 degrees F.



Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pat or roll to 3/4 inch thick (mine were thinner, maybe 1/2 inch).  Use whatever you have to cut out a circle of dough, about 3-5 inches in diameter, depending on whether you want small rolls or sandwich buns.  Here's the tricky part, so read it a few times:

Assuming you're right handed, place your left thumb at the 9 o'clock position of the dough circle, with the end of the thumb in the middle of the circle.  Use the other hand to roll the dough from the 12 o'clock position down to the thumb.  Rotate the dough clockwise until the left 'point' of the roll that you just made is at the 12 o'clock position.  Place your left thumb again at 9 o'clock and roll that section of the dough down again toward your thumb.  Rotate and repeat the rolling until you have a sort of kaiser-type of roll shape, with leaves or petals of dough on top of the roll, or whatever you can describe them as.  Press down the middle of the roll to ensure the 'leaves' stay put.  I decided that as long as the rolls weren't flat, I was in the ballpark.  I didn't take photos of this step, since, not knowing how yummy they'd be, I had no idea I'd be posting anything!

Place the rolls on a lightly oiled or parchment covered baking sheet.  Cover with plastic or a towel, and let rise till doubled, approx. 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.  In the last 15-20 minutes of the rise, turn the oven on to 400F.  When the oven is ready, brush the rolls with beaten egg white.  Add any toppings you desire.  Bake about 20 minutes.  I rotated the pan halfway through baking.  Mmmmmmmmmm!!!




AKBread's picture

Welbilt Convection Bread Machine

Hi, I am new here and hoping for some advice!  I recently found a Welbilt Convection Bread Machine ABM-7500 at a thrift store in like-new condition for really cheap.  But it didn't have the user manual.  Tons of web searching hasn't given any results, unfortunately.

Barring locating a copy of the manual online, does anyone have any advice or experience in using a convection bread maker?  I've never had one before (nor have I had a convection oven) so I don't even know where to start.  Does anyone have this machine or have any experience with it at all?

Thank you for your time! :)