The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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glasgowjames's picture

Focaccia video w/ Slap+Fold Technique

Hi all,


I'm James and I've got a bread book out in the UK - Brilliant Bread (Ebury Press).


Here's one of the promo videos we made - showing one of the most basic breads from my book; focaccia. It also gives a detailed demonstration of the Slap and Fold technique:



Skibum's picture

40% whole gran boule with toadies . . .

Yesterday was a big day for this old skibum.  I made a trip to the big city and picked up my new Kitchenaide SS fridge to go with the KA SS stove bought in the spring AND stopped the Bass Pro store and bought a Lodge combo cooker for $50, which is WAY easier to load than my 4" deep enameled CA DO, which was taking a bit of a beating doing bread and is my favourite cooking tool, both stove top and oven.  The Lodge CC rocks!

I took yet another page from dabrownman's book in this bake going with 25% whole wheat and 15% organic rye. For 2/3 of the WW I used 1/3 red wheat berries and 1/3 white berries ground in a small coffee grinder I use mostly for grinding spices.  All of the flour and water was autolysed overnight @ 85% hydration.

This was about a 3 day build due to schedule.  Day one feed the starter, let it rise and fall , then into the fridge overnight.  Mix in the am with 4 S&F's with 10 minutes rest and 3 S&F's with 30.  Bulk on the counter for 1:30 the into the fridge for 24 hours.  Pre-shaped, rest 10 min and shaped.  I proofed in a mixing bowl lined with linen dusted with rice flour for an hour, scored and baked in the new Lodge for 20 minutes @ 500F covered, then 10 uncovered @ 450 convection, turning at the half. Crumb shot:

This made a nice bread with a good open crumb, but I still like the flavour profile of my 15% WW, 10% rye and will back down to those numbers next bake and once again use ground wheat berries and toadies.  i also added 1Tbs oil, 1 Tbs honey and 1 Tbs malt syrup and 11/2 tps salt.

The new love in my life:

Now I just need to change out the flooring and my kitchen reno is complete.  It sure is nice to have quality kitchen appliances!

Happy baking!  Brian


gretel's picture

KNEADING- Bertinet vs. Lepard

Hi ,


What do most of you do for your serious or small bakery kneading- the slap down, time consuimg, effort-required, impressive show of the Bertinet clan or the ever-so gentle, passive and sweet method of oil the board, barely touch the bread and let it rest and repeat this many times of Dan Lepard?

I have done a Milk Loaf by Lepard which turned out fabulous but some of his breads which I want to do literally require a whole day at home- you start at 8am and then don't bake this until 5:30 at night. You can not leave the house as every 30 min. about you must go lightly touch the rising dough.



reden's picture

help with wet dough

I have been lurking on this site for some time and have learned a lot.  I started baking with Ken Forkish's book and have been trying to perfect the boule using a preheated Dutch oven.  However, by the time i have floured my hands and dusted the dough, the dough is less wet that it should be.  Can I throw an ice cube into the pre-heated Dutrch oven or paint the dough with water to achieve the proper crust?

floppy's picture

Whole grain bread


I've been milling my own grains for several years(Retsel Mill) and have slowly gained some experience in the whole grain experience.

Recently, I've been requested hold a demo on my methods and where I usually make a 15 c flour mixture, I'm reducing the amount for a single loaf for the demo.

First batch using sugar in place of honey produced a reasonable loaf but the bread is almost crumbly. Is this because of the sugar? The recipe is 5 C flour( this was 60% white wheat & 40% Triiticale), 1/3c oil(soy), 2 tsp yeast, 4Tbs sugar+1Tbsp &1tsp water in place of honey, 2 tsp gluten, 2 tsp salt, optional 3tsp flaked flax seed.

The next batch was similar to above but with honey and 3Tbs sunflower seeds. The bread has a lot more flavor and better texture. I'm assuming the difference is honey.

Previous recipe has been with white wheat flour, 1/4 cup of cooked millet, 1/4 cup flaked oat,flaked rye, flaked triticale - pre-cooked. The result is a heavy but tasty bread.

I'm also curious of the result of the milling with the Nutrimill as compared to the Stone mill in the Retsel mill. Is there a difference in the finess of the flour? The nutrimill I think is supposedly faster but the Retsel will stone grind 12c of white wheat or triticale in about 12- 15 minutes and is tolerably quiet.

I'd appreciate input on improving my bread and milling machine info.


Thank you.




rachelkf's picture

Stronger sandwich bread

I have found that my sandwich bread tears and breaks when I eat sandwiches. Has anyone found a better recipe for stronger sandwich bread?

harley12's picture


I have allergy to all preservatives.  I could use yeast, I am requesting a recipe for bread using potatoe flour, or combination with spelt. No vinegar I could use olive oil thanks

pal251's picture

Hello from Kansas!

Hello from Kansas everyone.


I am new to baking and always wanted to try it.  Ive been trying my hand at various kitchen things over the last couple years and found a Kitchenaid mixer for a really good price a couple months ago and now I want to try it out.  I have cooked 4 loaves of bread this week and its delicious.  It's been a long time since Ive had fresh baked bread and never done by myself.


I am eager to look over the website and learn from everyone and help whoever I can out.





dmsnyder's picture

Overnight Country Brown from FWSY, with modifications

Overnight Country Brown with modifications

September 8, 2013

My exploration of Ken Forkish's breads from Flour Water Salt Yeast continued this week. Hoping to get my timing closer to the ones he describes in the book, I needed to slow down fermentation. I made another large loaf of Forkish's “Overnight Country Brown.” I used filtered water at 63 ºF rather than at 80-90 ºF which Forkish prescribes, and I used 8% pre-fermented flour rather than the 12% called for in the published formula.

I fed my levain at 11 AM. By 5 PM, it was quite mature. I mixed the dough at 6 PM. Now, this dough is supposed to ferment at room temperature for 12-15 hours and expand by 2 to 2.5 times. My kitchen temperature was running in the high-70's. Even using the cool water and decreasing the levain by 25%, the dough had doubled by 11 PM, that is, in 5 hours. So, before going to bed, I refrigerated the dough. 

At about 8 am, I removed the dough from the refrigerator and shaped it as a boule about a half-hour later.

While the dough rests ...

I proofed it in a floured, linen-lined banneton placed in a plastic bag. To my amazement, it was fully proofed by the “poke test” criterion an hour later, but it had to wait while I baked some baguettes.

By time I could get it in the oven about 40 minutes later, it was very gassy. It deflated somewhat when scored, and I was really afraid it was so seriously over-proofed it would collapse. Because of this concern, I baked it in a cast iron combo cooker that had not been pre-heated as usual, except for the lid which got about 10 minutes at 455 ºF (convection), during the last part of the baguette bake. However, the loaf sprung like crazy and turned out pretty darn good. I just had to bake it about 5 minutes longer than last time, presumably because of the cold cooker.


Compared to the last bake, I'd say the crust and crumb are about the same. The flavor had significantly more acetic acid tang than my last bake of this bread. In other words, it is a really good bread, but I really don't know how closely it resembles, in flavor, Forkish's intention.

The San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes turned out really well, too.


 Happy Baking!


JoslinDJ's picture

new cupcakery

Hello everyone. My girlfriend and I have had a made-to-order cupcake business fir a couple years now. We have our current recipes down, a following, and a business licence. We are well rehearsed in the cottage laws, but are hoping to make the leap to opening a small bakery/cafe where we will strictly make and sell cupcakes as well as coffee and a few random retail items. We just have a few questions about opening.

We have a good commercially zoned location in mind. Just curious as to how/if there is specific zoning for a bakery? 

Are we going to REQUIRE (by law/ordinances) to use a commercial oven or other equipment? We have grown VERY used to our residential unit. Is other commercial equipment required?

Will we need to install vent hoods?

We would like to be ready for inspection, but are hesitant to ask other local bakeries or cafes right now. Neither of us have any lack of working in commercial kitchens, but are not sure on minimum requirements. Any help would be great. Thank you so much and bake on!!