The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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bpezzell's picture

Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread Even If You Are Gluten Intolerant

A friend forwarded this article to me a few days ago. Thought I'd see what the rest of you thought of the piece. It's a quick read.

Schrödinger's Other Cat's picture
Schrödinger's O...

Apple Galette

When I was young fresh fruit was a great treat and not common in Icelandic diet. Today fresh fruit of many sorts is readily available year round allowing one to bake galette year round!


1 cup flour (125-130g)

4 oz. cold butter unsalted (113g) 

pinch salt (or more if you like)

ice water (30-50ml, enough to make pastry workable)

Finely cut cold butter into flour, add salt. Work with spoon or hand until well mixed. Add ice water until pastry can be formed into a ball. Refrigerate for a bit (15 minute). Press pastry into a disk on parchment or Silpat then roll out very thin (thin=flaky). Refrigerate again (cold pastry I find much easier to work) while you make filling of choice.

Apple Filling:

2 or 3 apple peeled and sliced thin

2T sugar, 1T flour, cinnamon to taste mixed.

1T  butter

1T sugar, sprinkle cinnamon

Spread flour/sugar/cinnamon mixture over pastry. Lay apple slices to overlap in circle pattern. Fold edge of pastry over. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over apple, chop butter over apple. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Cook at 204C or 400F for 50-minutes to 1 hour.

Glaze with 1 or 2 T (to taste) apricot, peach preserve.


Make coffee, pour brandy, consume!




gizzy's picture

How much starter do you really need to keep?


I used the Bread Bakers Apprentice to make my seed culture and barm for my sourdough starter... I'm not getting ready to start my sourdough bread and I'm using the recipe for the basic sourdough bread in the same book. When you finish the starter and make the barm, you end up with about 4 cups of it... Thats a lot, at least for me it is as I'm sharing a small fridge with 3 other girls (granted I have the most space, but when you cook everything from scratch and don't eat out all the fruits veggies and other ingredients take up a lot of space) and I dont really have space to store 4 cups of barm in the fridge.

How much do I need to keep if I'm only going to bake bread once, maybe twice a week? Is keeping 1 or 2 cups enough? or is there another way for me to store it so that I dont take up space that I really dont have?

Also, what is the best way of storing the starter? in a bowl with plastic wrap over it? mason jar? ziplock bag?


pezeni's picture

I think my starter may have made me sick.

Guys I really need some advice. I have been maintaing a starter for about 4 months. I usually bake a few consecutive days a week and keep my starter in the fridge the rest of the time. After I am done using the starter I throw about 80% of it out, refresh it and put it in the fridge. Usually 4 or 5 days later, the night before I bake I take my starter out, again throw out about 80% and feed it. Usually when I take my starter out of the fridge there is a very vinegary or paint thinner smell. This time the smell was a little funky and off. I can't really describe it other than it stayed with you. I didn't think much of it and refreshed the starter as usual (the smell remained after the refresh), made the loaves yesterday, retarded them overnight and baked today. I let the finished loaf cool about 5 hours and ate a few slices. About four hours later I was vomitting. After a good bout I now feel better so I think it is something I ate rather than a bug. I did eat other stuff today, but I want to be 110% sure it is not my starter and I will not make anyone else sick by giving them loaves. What can I do to be absolutely sure I kill anything bad that may have developed in my starter? Some other factors that may make a difference, I have been keeping it in the same jar a while, it has been very hot temp wise here, I feed my starter about a mix of mostly white flour, with some wheat and some rye. Any help would really be appreciated I know you guys are experts.

ehanner's picture

Katie's Stout with Flax-Delicious!

It's funny how things come together some times. Katie, one of Andy's students in college developed this recipe that Karin (a German baker transplanted to Maine) baked and posted last week. It was a beautiful loaf. About the same time a new poster from Iceland ( Schrödinger's O...) presented a beautiful bread with a natural expansion instead of slashing. I decided to try my own nut brown ale since it is very flavor rich and semi dark and, available. I also added a small amount of toasted wheat germ to add a little dimension to the chew and flavor.

I first must say to Katie I think your bread is wonderful. It has a full depth of flavor and a great aftertaste. Your hydration and baking times were right on for me. Thank you so much for sharing your creative energy. also a word of thanks must go to Andy, for bringing this talent forward for us to see and enjoy her work. And Karin for her inspiration and conformation the recipe can be baked out of scale. It's always nice to see her work. Then comes -kristjan, who showed us a beautiful boule he has been baking for some time and shared with us only that day. I was so inspired that I tried a shaping and natural expansion I had been wanting to try instead of scoring to see if I could bring some art to the surface of this loaf. So, here is my take on Katie's Stout with Flax Seeds.

txfarmer's picture

Miso Light Rye Sourdough with Seaweed - umami in bread form

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Index for my blog entries

Lumos' blog post inspired me to make a bread with seaweed. In my miso soup loving mind, seaweed must go with miso paste, must. There are many different kinds of miso paste, you can find details here. The big bucket I stock at home to make miso soup is "soy miso" with dark reddish color. Since miso has a lot of  fermentated soy bean and salt, it's important not to go overboard and add too much. 15% seems to be a good balance for me: enough miso flavor, yet doesn't completely destroy the dough. With that much miso, plus my very fast rye starter, both bulk rise and proof were very fast. I didn't cold retard the proofing, since the fermentated soybean in miso might have negative effect on the dough over such a long period.

I used dried seaweed found at Asian markets, before use, I soak them in water for 5min+, and they expand to this:


Miso Rye with Seaweed
note: Make a 750g bread

- levain
whole rye, 57g
water, 45g
rye starter (100%), 6g

1. Mix and let rise 12-16hours.

- final dough
bread flour, 340g
miso paste, 60g
water, 220g
dried seaweed, 20g, soak for 5min+ then squeeze dry before use
all levain

2. Mix everything except for seaweed, autolyse for 30min, mix @ medium speed for 5min until gluten starts to develop. Add soaked and dried seaweed, mix @ slow speed until evenly distributed.
3. Bulk rise at room temp (~75F) for about 2.5hrs. S&F at 30, 60, 90, 120min.
4. Shape into boule, proof bottom up in basket, until it springs back slowly when pressed, about 60min for me and my TX kitchen.

6. Bake at 450F with steam for the first 15min, lower the temperature to 430F, keep baking for 25-30min.

I must admit all that miso does weaken the dough, but if fermentation and S&F are managed well, there still be decent oven spring.

Nice open crumb, very moist

You really must love miso/seaweed to like this bread, because both flavours have noticeable presence here.

varda's picture

PAL with 8% White Rye

Since I got back from vacation my starter has been on rest and recuperation.   We were lucky to miss the hurricane by being in another state, but it still came through here (downgraded to tropical storm) and killed the power for at least some period of time, which made my already neglected starter even unhappier.   I've been baking a lot since I got back and it's been just edible but improving with each bake.  Today, I had a well fed starter ready to go and looking happy, but I really wanted to bake outside to see if I could get a nice burst on the hot WFO floor to make up for my troubles.   It was close to raining and most of my wood was wet from a downpour last night, so things didn't look very promising, but I decided to do it anyhow.   I mixed up a mostly white dough with a touch of white rye and prayed for no rain, scrounging around for wood that wasn't soaked all the way through.    I just managed to get the oven up to temperature with the dry wood that I had, and got my bread baked before it started raining for real.   I've got to stop living on the edge like this :)

 The crumb opened up and I managed to get at least some opening of the scores by using a steam pan in the WFO for the first time.    

The new look comes from my Indian or whatever basket. 

And following Sylvia's example (if not cooking talent) I threw a pan of potatoes and onions into the oven after the bread baked, so as not to waste the heat.  


White Rye50 508%
Rye 771%
Salt12 121.9%
Starter250  23%



Mix all but salt.   Autolyze for 50 minutes.   Add salt and mix for several minutes.    Bulk Ferment for 2 hours with 1 counter full stretch out until very thin.    Shape into boule and place upside down in basket.   Proof for 2 hours.   Bake in WFO (around 650F floor temperature) for 25 minutes.  Remove and cool. 

glora's picture

Commercial sandwich rolls

Hi all,

Does anyone know if it is necessary to add S500 (dough conditioner) to commercial rolls to make them light and have more volume?  I was told that it makes them last longer and gives them good volume.  I was thinking that if a plain lean dough could be intensively mixed the rolls might end up with somewhat of the same affect.  We all know that the public at least here wants the bread on a sandwich to have certain characteristics, which we need to try and meet.  If anyone has any input please let me know.

Thank you,



Vilson's picture

Pain aux Noix (Walnut Bread)

This is my first post in the TFL forum. I've been visiting the forum for some time now, and it has inspired me to start experimenting as an artisan home baker. And we all know it can be a little intimidating to send your first post when you have seen so many beautiful pictures of all kinds of breads and descriptions of such refined techniques.

Anyway, after embracing the adventure of starting my own starter (named "João" by my wife, the portuguese translation for "John") and perceiving the art of baking with it, I feel like I am now able to retribute all the help I got from you guys.

Well, let's getit on then.

The Bread: Whole Wheat Walnut Bread (Pain aux Noix )

The Recipe:, from King Arthur Flour, with some adjustments.

How I did it:

First, after taking João (my 100% hydradion AP flour starter) from the refrigerator the night before, and having fed it three times (one after taking it from the fridge, one early the next morning, and the last one three hours later), I took 4 ounces of it and put it in the bowl of my mixer, instead of the instant yeast the recipe called for.

Since I did not know if the brazilian WW flour would work  as a substitute for KAF White Whole Wheat flour, I switched the proportions for WW and AP Flour, using 10 3/4 ounces of AP and 4 5/8 ounces  of WW (the recipe calls for 6 5/8 ounces, but I subtracted 2 ounces on account of the flour in the starter).

I then added all the other ingredients (remembering to reduce 2 ounces from the ammount of milk the recipe called for, also on account of the starter), except the salt, and mixed with the dough hook, on medium speed, for 10 minutes.

Added the salt, and continued mixing for 15 minutes, until the dough was very smooth, showing a very well developed gluten on a windowpane test.

Then, I've let the dough raise for about 4 hours. In spite of the 28° C heat (82° F), it showed very little signs of having raised at all, except for some tiny bubbles on the surface of the dough.

I then opened the dough over a lightly oiled counter and spread the chopped walnuts over it, pressing gently so that they would stick to the dough, rolled it, folded it, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

After that I shaped the dough as a boule, and let it rise for 1,5 hour, preheating the oven to 230° C (450° F) on the last half hour.

Just before bakinng, I decided to experiment with some stencil, using parchment paper straps and corn starch. Last but not least, the slashing: angled and not very deep (I find that, when it comes to the deepness of the slash, less is more, as you will notice in the pictures below).

This was the result: my first Pain aux Noix, with a very nice ear ("grigne"), and a beautiful stencil stripe pattern.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to take crumb shots. I had invited some friends over for a brunch and the bread was entirely eaten before I could think of it... Well, I guess that's what home baking is all about, isn't it?

philosophe's picture

Help with pain au levain crust


I recently got Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday. I've tried the pain au levain recipe 3 times and have had the same problem every time. The crust of the bread is a kind of pale gray color on top and a nicer golden on the bottom. And, although the bread does have a good spring, the crust doesn't really crack open on top (even where I've scored it). (See pictures below).

I'm wondering if anyone has any idea of what's going on.

I should say that I am using King Arthur French Style Flour (11.5% protein); I am using both starter and instant yeast; the dough is fermenting in the fridge for about 18 hours before baking; I preheat the oven to 500 Farenheit with a baking stone in the oven for 45 minutes; I pour a bit less than a cup of boiling water into a preheated baking pan on the rack under the stone; and I open the oven door for a couple seconds after 13 minutes and then bake for another 15-25 (depending on the size of the loaf).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!