The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
JoeV's picture

May 18, 2012 bread baking

Restocking the freezer with some Italian bread and Italian & honey whole wheat sandwich thins. Also made some Italian Epi baguettes topped with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sweet onion chips, garlic powder and Spanish paprika...just for the fun of it. Wow, are they tasty!

lily's's picture

PAVAILLER Oven $3500

I have a 3 deck Pavailler Oven for sale. I bought it 2 years ago hoping to use it in our bakery. We have since closed the bakery and need to sell the oven. It has been stored outside with tarp for coverage. The stones are in great condition. It needs to be dismantled and will need to have some parts replaced. We had been in contact with the representative for Pavailler here in the States. He is willing to discuss the oven and his suggestion to us was to dismantle the oven ourselves and he would come and help us determine what new parts would be needed and he would make sure it was reworked and put together and ready to use. 

This is a huge oven and needs to be picked up at our location, Augusta, Ga 30906. a   We will not ship it. It is a wonderful opportunity to own a great oven at a discount. Most used ovens of this kind begin at $20,000.

I can send additional pictures and any additional information you might need.  It is a gas oven and came out of a large grocery store up north. 

Annette Eyrich


zooterist's picture

How to make a yeasty soft roll

Occasionally I like to make soft rolls, which is what many Southerners prefer.  The problem I'm having is there is no yeastiness to the rolls when they're done.  I like to be able to smell and taste a mild, residual yeastiness in warm homemade rolls.   The best bread I ever made was years ago and required hours to make.  It was a small French loaf baked on a terra cotta mold.  It went thorugh three risings before going into the oven.  I didn't know yeast could last that long, but it did. 

How does one impart that mild yeastiness to bread? 

Caveat:  I like to do the kneading in a food processor.  It's less messy and it's much faster.  Normally I put in all the dry ingredients (including a "quick rise" yeast) into the processor and then pour in very warm, wet liquid(s), letting the processor run until a ball has formed.  Then I let it whirl for another 30 to 45 seconds before putting it in a greased bowl in the oven with a bowl of warm water.   I know this technique is probably sacrilege to bread purists and artisans, but I'm neither.  I just want to to impart a little yeastiness to my soft rolls. 

Any suggestions?


breadsong's picture

pan de piña y piloncillo, or, from Turkey to Mexico by way of Hawaii?

Hello everyone,
Franko very kindly told me about a baking textbook that was available for sale online: On Baking
(authors Sarah Labensky, Priscilla Martel, Klaus Tenbergen and Eddie Van Damme).

Happily, I purchased the book, and once it arrived, the first thing I made was Turkish Pide Bread,
a round loaf with a pretty, diamond-patterned and sesame-coated crust:  

On the weekend, I saw this pineapple pattern on my friend’s tablecloth -
it reminded me of the Turkish bread’s crust:

Pineapple bread! I thought…and found a formula for Hawaiian Pineapple Sweet Bread in Advanced Bread and Pastry...
and Janie’s recent post about bakers from Mexico got me thinking about Mexican sweets and flavors.
Wanting to make this pineapple bread but being short of time, I made a sponge-based version of the ABAP formula, substituting a small amount of medium rye and whole wheat flour, and adding some fresh pineapple (diced, then caramelized with Mexican piloncillo sugar and unsalted butter, then flavored with small amounts of Mexican canela (cinnamon) and vanilla bean paste. This is how the pineapple turned out (yum!):

Here is the baked bread, kind of lumpy-looking but completely delicious: 
pineapple-brown sugar bread, or pan de piña y piloncillo :^)

To make the diamond pattern, I started by rolling with a thin dowel, but this dough was springy and the marks left by the dowel would not remain. I used a bench scraper to impress the diamond pattern on the dough, and went over the pattern a few times during proofing, and one last time, right before the bread went into the oven. 

The pineapple flavor completely infused throughout the crumb – loved how this tasted!
Here is the crumb:
(ice cream drizzled with some of the caramel sauce was a lovely accompaniment)

This is my adaptation of Mr. Suas' formula (1200 grams, to make 2 pineapple breads):

I enjoyed letting my oven 'travel around the world' for this bake :^)
(borrowing the phrase from this baker’s post)

With thanks to Mr. Suas for another fantastic formula – will have to try the levain version of his Hawaiian Pineapple Sweet Bread!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted to Susan for YeastSpotting




netrider's picture

problems for a Newbie

Can anyone advise me where my problem may finished bread looks great (I do a multigran loaf) but the bottom 1/3 looks doughy and undercooked. Is it the oven or my dough. I do a machine prep then raise, hand kneed then raise again. I use a multigrain mix with packet yeast and bread improver.


jarkkolaine's picture

Sourdough in wheat and rye

For about two months, I had had my sourdough starter sitting on the kitchen counter covered with a kitchen towel. Last week, when I finally found time to look at it again, it looked like a dry cracker cookie. 

I had no idea if I could still restore the starter or not, but I decided to give it a try.

I added some water to dilute the dried starter. When most of the starter had turned into a milk-like fluid, I removed the remaining pieces of dry dough and added just enough flour to get it back to the normal consistency of my starter (at 100% hydration, 50/50 full grain and all purpose flour). I then left the starter on the kitchen counter and waited. The next morning, the starter was full of life!

Just look at this before and after photo:

After a couple of days of daily feeding cycles, I finally had the time to try to bake something with the starter.


About two weeks ago, I visited Viipurilainen kotileipomo, a family run bakery in Lahti, about 100 kilometers from Vantaa where I live to meet with the bakers and see how they work on their full-grain rye bread (among other things). The four baking brothers I met that night where some of the friendliest people I have ever met, and their rye "limppu" is delicious! So, inspired by seeing them at work, although I didn't ask for their recipe, I decided to try my luck with creating my own version of this Finnish tradition called "ruislimppu." 

At about the same time as I started reviving my old wheat starter, I created a 100% rye starter by mixing a handful of dark rye flour and some water. I didn't write down the exact measurements but it resulted in a rather wet and sticky dough to start with. I fed the starter daily, slowly increasing the mass of the dough, until it felt really sour and light. Ready for use. That was the night before the bake. Last week's Saturday. 

On that night, I made the rye "limppu" dough by mixing the starter with about 1.5 kilograms of rye flour and 1 kilograms of water. As I don't know the amount of flour and water in the starter, I can't give exact figures. I will try to be more exact the next time I make this bread... I didn't knead the dough at this point, just mixed the ingredients to a consistent mass. 

On Sunday morning, I mixed in the salt and did a very brief kneading for the dough. The dough was quite wet and it was practically impossible to knead, so I didn't spend much time on it. At the same time, I also prepared a batch of my favorite dough for two loaves of Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread. 

I was baking for most of the day, and here are the results. I'm pretty happy with them: even the rye limppu tastes right. The rye loaves could be a bit lighter (it's definitely denser and flatter than the one from Viipurilainen kotileipomo), but that's not necessarily a requirement: most of the time they look just like this when you buy them from Finnish grocery stores: dense and dark, but full of flavor (especially with a thick layer of real, creamy butter on top!).

Basic Country Bread:


Rye Limppu:

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Is there a standard or convention for how refresh/feeding ratios are written?

When feeding/refreshing a starter, you often see ratios written like this: 1:2:2, 4:2:1...n:n:n.

Is there a standard or convention for how these ratios are written?

  1. starter:flour:water
  2. starter:water:flour
  3. flour:starter.water
  4. flour:water:starter
  5. water:flour:starter
  6. water:starter:flour


dabrownman's picture

Banana Bread Cake

Using the same filling and frosting as the YW Cinnamon Rolls, you can make a nice banana bread cake by substituting your favorite banana bead recipe for the dough - and you might need some sprinkles too!  Much better than plain old banana bread and 3 times as fattening too :-)

Dabrownman’s Banana Bread or Cupcakes

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Dry Mix:

 1 ½ C plus 2 T flour

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp each ginger, cloves, allspice

1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

1 C chopped walnuts

1 C chopped chocolate chips

 Bourbon Fruit – add bourbon to below dried fruits in a Pyrex 1 cup measuring cup covered with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and set aside 15 minutes to plump up fruits.

 2 T bourbon

¼ C raisins or sultanas

¼ C dried cranberries

¼ C dried apricots cut into raisin size pieces

 Wet Mix:

 3 mashed up ripe bananas

1/8 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

½ C vegetable oil

½ C each brown and white sugar

 Add ½ C sugar, ½ C brown sugar and Bourbon fruits to wet mix and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Mix the wet into the dry and stir 50 times with spatula until the flour is incorporated.

Quickly fill cupcake paper liners 3/4th full or put into PAM sprayed large bread loaf pan.

 Bake cupcakes for about 12-16 minutes until wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Loaves will take 45 minutes or more for wooden skewer to come out clean. 

 After 20 minutes remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.  Ice both with cream cheese vanilla icing and put sprinkles on each to decorate per the holiday or special occasion.  Makes about 21 cupcakes or 1 large bread loaf pan.

 Cream Cheese Frosting


 1/2 C butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


 Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.

 Cut recipe in half for 20 Cupcakes or 9x13 sheet cake .

jennyloh's picture

Hamelman's Olive Levain, with quite a few modifications

So,  with my Rye starter on hand,  just made some Deli Rye bread,  its been quite active.  I decided to try my hand on this Olive Levain.  Why?  My son loves olive,  and I wanted to use the levain,  and there are some olives left in the fridge.The night before,  I build up the liquid levain.  Looking at my starter,  I had a little too much left.  Decided to up the amount from 34g to 100g.  Well,  in 4-5 hours,  my levain was bubbly,  I decided to put it overnight.  In the morning,  I mixed all the final dough ingredients together with the liquid levain. I didn't have whole wheat,  and instead I used rye.  I prefer the taste of rye actually.  And for the olives,  I didn't bother to measure it because I have only a half bottle left,  took them all out and drain it and cut into half.   Putting into my mixer,  set at speed 1,  mixed the dough and let it come together for about 5 minutes.  Then followed by moving to Speed 4,  mixed it up more and check the gluten development.  As this has more liquid than original recipe,  I had to let it mix longer, about 7 minutes.  Then threw in the olives that are cut into half, mixing at speed 1.  I've developed it pretty well to ensure that  the bread will rise nicely.  I used the window pane check.Putting into my container to let it rise,  I did a 1 stretch and fold after 1 hour. The levain was building the bread nicely.   Then I left to buy food for lunch,  by the time I got back 1.5 hours later ,  my cover of the container popped up! I quickly get into action by taking it out,  did a quick fold,  and cut into half and leave it to rest for about 20 mins.Shaping it into oval shape for both,  and left it to rise.  I decided not to retard as recommended by Hamelman as I wanted to bake it in time for lunch and to give it to my little Italian friend's mom.  Heating up the oven at 250 degree celsius,  for 1.5 hours.  The dough rose very nicely.  Steaming the oven with my hot lava stones,  I loaded the bread and sprayed water onto the bread.  First 10 mins was baked at 250 degree celsius,  and  adjusted the temperature to 230 degree celsius.  10 mins left and I turn the bread the other way to let it bake evenly.  The whole baking time is 45 mins.  The bread rose really nicely.  Taking them out,  there is that lovely crackling sound!  Love that it turned out fluffy and light!

dabrownman's picture

1 - Day Multi-Grain Bread, Soft White Wheat, Spelt, Scald and Seeded with SD and YW Combo Starter

This bake was meant to be a one day bread from start to finish that was still a tasty multi grain bread with soft white wheat, spelt, rye, WW, WWW and AP flours, 2 levains SD and YW, a WW berry scald, some fennel, anise and pumpkin seeds with ¼ tsp of ground cumin.  It has a 4 hour autolyse while the levains are being built, a short 1 hr fermentation and then final proof in a floured basket that took almost 3 hours.  It was a lovely looking bread since I didn't use a cloth for this basket.  The crust is crunchy crisp and nicely browned but we will have to wait for it to cool to see how these 2 quick levains worked together.

The crumb came out moderately open, very moist due to the YW.  The taste and texture was very nice with the pumpkin seeds and WW scald.  The normal 3 day developed SD tang was not there but just a hint of sour to go along with the light anise, fennel and cumin taste.  Ummm.... the smell was devine.  Very nice bread overall.  Had it for breakfast toast this morning - great with butter and apple ginger jam on another slice.

Formula and method after the pix's.

Soft White Wheat, Spelt, Seeded SD YW Bread

 The SD and YW levains were built over 2 stages of 2 hours each.  During this 4 hour period the flour’s, cumin, malts, VWG and water were autolysed in the mixing bowl.  The WW berries were also scalded and reserved on the counter to soak for 4 hours until needed.

 At the 4 hour mark all of the ingredients were incorporated in the mixing bowl with the exception of the seeds and scald.  The dough was mixed for 9 minutes on KA 2 .  Then the remainder of the ingredients were added  and mixed on KA 2 for 1 minute.

The dough was placed into a plastic covered oiled bowl to rest for 15 minutes.  4 S&F’s were performed at 15 minute intervals on a floured work surface with the dough returned to the covered oiled bowl in between each S&F.

 Let rest for 1 hour then form into a boule and place in a floured basket to proof in a plastic bag for 2-3 hours until it doubles.

 Preheat oven at 500 F for 45 minutes with stone steam in place.  Overturn basket onto parchment on a peel.  Slash as desired and slide bread into the oven.  After 4 minutes turn down to450 F.  After 12 more minutes, remove steam and turn down oven to 425 F convection this time.  Turn boule 90 degrees every 5 minutes and  bake until temperature in the middle of the bread is 205 F.  Turn off oven and crack the door to allow the crust to crisp for 12 more minutes.  Remove bread from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Soft White Wheat, Spelt, Seeded SD YW Bread    
SD Starter     Build 1    Build 2    Total      %
SD Starter200204.26%
YW Starter    Build 1   Build 2    Total      %
Yst Water400408.51%
Soft White400408.51%
AP 025255.32%
Starters        %  
Levain % of Total 25.64%  
Dough Flour         %  
Soft White Wheat7515.96%  
White WW306.38%  
Bread Flour10021.28%  
Dough Flour33070.21%  
Dough Hydration71.21%   
Add - Ins    
1/4 tsp Cumin        %  
Mashed Potato6814.47%  
Red Rye Malt20.43%  
White Rye Malt30.64%  
VW Gluten51.06%  
3-Anise/ 5-Fennel81.70%  
Scald       %  
Total Flour470   
Total Water345   
T. Dough Hydrat.73.40%   
Hydration w/ Adds79.69%   
Total Weight975