The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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linder's picture

NY Deli Onion Sourdough Rye

Today, I baked 2 loaves of New York Deli Onion Sourdough Rye from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  They look ALOT better than the previous attempt.  It's amazing what can happen when you watch the bread and make sure it doesn't overproof.  I'm still getting used to my make-shift microwave proof box.  The temp in there is about 80F so proofing loaves goes really fast.  I also reduced the amount of yeast in the bread to 1 1/2 tsp. instead of 2 tsp. which had seemed pretty high considering there is also a good amount of rye sourdough starter in the bread as well.  Here are my pretties -

christine_s's picture

Liquid Bun Spice

Does anyone knows where in Canada I can purchase Liquid Bun Spice?

I've been searching and no one seems to know where I can get it.  Usually you'll find it in the caribbean stores such as Nicey's in Ontario, but no luck.

It's what gives hot cross buns that unique taste.




jimrich17's picture

BREAD Volume 4

I do not remember seeing any posts to the well-written and illustrated emagazine BREAD written by a Finnish enthusiast, Jarkko Laine. Volume 4 has just been issued and you can access it -as well as the three previous volumes at his website:



tropicalelder's picture

Questions from newbies

Hello All,

We're new bread makers and have realized some successes over the past couple of months in creating the perfect sourdoughs.

We have made some great French bread -- light sourdough flavor -- but only recently have been able to kick it up. Our solution was to go from 2 to 4 rises in cooler environments.  Actually, the first 2 rises were retarded by 6-8 hours in the fridge. Anyway, it worked incredible.  [I had intended to take some pictures, but "poof" that loaf was gone. We're still licking our fingers.]

My question concerns the exactness of the bread recipes.

1.  All of the recipes that we have read have very precise recipes. We've found that each loaf we make is indistinguishable from others except for notable changes. How precise should we hold to the recipes (as novices)?

2. Our original starter and processes are based on volumetric amounts (e.g. cups) and most of the recipes here are in weights (e.g. grams). What is/are the advantages?

We really want to master the art of sourdough bread making and appreciate any comments or assistance.

aka John

aster's picture

Getting a nice *airy* French bread loaf, plenty o' holes?

Hi all.

Novice bread baker here. Recently I've been trying to get a decent simple home-baked French bread loaf, and while my results have been "serviceable" I'd like to really kick it up a notch.

I've been going off the French breard recipe in Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" - pate fermentee left overnight and the loaf made by-the-book & shaped either into a batard or in a rectangular loaf pan. Everything generally looks good throughout the process (though I'm only now getting the hang of shaping/pinching the batard so it doesn't spread outward completely) and in the initial baking stages I get good oven spring, etc. But when sliced open the loaves tend to not have all the variable-sized holes that you find in bakery French bread. Mine are mostly small and uniform with occasionally a couple slightly bigger ones mixed in, but never the nice airy cavities that give it the rustic look & texture.

Here's an example of a recent pan loaf. This is my best result by far - most look a bit denser - but as you can see it doesn't have any nice big bubbles. Any tips would be much appreciated...

On another note, I've noticed my breads tend to have a yellowish tint when finished, much moreso than the French loaves I buy at the local bakery. I'm guessing this is due to the flour (I've used King Arthur and Bob's Red Mill)?

sam's picture

Onion rolls


I decided to try making onion rolls, and of course the first thing I usually do when trying something new, is search TFL.   This isn't an exact replica but there are several wonderful onion roll recipes and ideas here

All the flour I used was king arthur high gluten flour.  I did not have any malt syrup, I only had diatastic malt powder, so I used that instead.  I paid attention to the recommendation by others to re-use the infused onion water in the final dough.  I soaked the dried minced onions with an assortment of various types of seeds which I got from king arthur as well.  It has flax, toasted sesame, black caraway, midget sunflower, poppy, and anise.


Flour Weight: 177 grams
Water Weight: 177 grams
Yeast Weight: 0.35 grams

Final Dough:

All Poolish
Flour Weight: 529 grams
Water Weight: 273 grams (use the leftover onion-infused water)
Eggs Weight: 35 grams
Sugar Weight: 35 grams
Vegetable Oil Weight: 35 grams
Salt Weight: 14 grams
Malt Powder Weight: 7 grams (I only had diatastic malt on hand)
Yeast Weight: 14 grams


The night before the bake, mix poolish, and soak the dried minced onions + seed mixture.

Next morning, when the poolish is ripened,  drain the excess water from the onion-seed mixture but save the water and use it for the final dough.  

Bulk ferment 2 hrs, with stretch + fold half-way through.

Shape into little balls scaled to appx 100 grams. Let rest a few minutes to relax. To apply the onion-seed mixture, I used a flat clear pyrex plate, and smushed the balls flat into the mixture using the plate.  Using a hard surface to mush the balls into the onion mixture seemed to be effective because you can apply an even solid force.  You may need to grease the plate a bit.  Flip over the dough discs and place onto baking tray or bun-pan.

Bake with steam at 400F for 30 mins or until done.


First, the onion-seed mixture after being rehydrated.  Looks kinda like white rice.



Next, the flattened discs just at the beginning of the final ferment.  I decided to use my burger bun pans:


After a while of final fermenting, I had thought these were fully proved and ready to bake:


But I was wrong, as they did increase in size fairly well in the oven.  I guess I was too impatient.  No blowouts though.  



Happy baking!


HappyHighwayman's picture

Pumpernickel recipe

Anyone have a good pumpernickle recipe for me? Sourdough starter based or otherwise?


nicodvb's picture

I want to kill the LABs in my starter

Let's assume that I wanted to kill the lactobacilli in my starter, or at least reduce as much as possible their activity (I don't want them to do anything at all: no acid and no enzyme release).

How could I do it without exposing my starter to molds and without inhibiting the vitality of the yeasts, if at all possible? Could the wild yeasts live in a less acidic or even neutral environment?

stanton windmill's picture
stanton windmill

Hello from a windmill in Suffolk, UK

Hello all

My name is Linda and eight years ago my husband and I bought a cottage in rural Suffolk, UK, which included a working windmill which orginally dates back to 1751.  Since then we have been grinding organic wheat on a part-time basis to sell at our local farmer's market at Wyken Vineyards to help to pay for the up-keep of the mill.  At first we just sold wholemeal and "80%" (having had most of the bran removed by sieving) flour, but gradually we increased our range as we found out what our mill could produce and sourcing local grains.  We now mix our own flour and muesli recipes, and sell a variety of grains to add to baking.  All this is without any additives.    

It is very time consuming to maintain and give guided tours round a windmill, so I have to admit for a while I did less baking after we moved here than before.  I have been encouraged to join by one of our lovely customers, your very own JOHN01473. I am already overwhelmed by the amount of information and help available! John has kindly offered to help us put some recipes on our website in the New Year.


greedybread's picture

Kiwi rewena Bread

Bready for Rewena??

 Yep, NZ Bread.

I can hear you non NZer’s going ‘what’ ??????? What is Rewena ?

It is yeasty beasty people, a NZ bread.

We call it Maori bread or Paraoa bread.

It is made with a starter like sourdough or an Italian Biga but it is made out of Potatoes and flour………..My uncles used to make it and they used to make fried bread too but I can’t remember if the fried bread was made from the rewena, I think not, I can remember a very sticky dough in the fry pan……….. and I will do that one another day.

Rewena has an almost sour tang to it because there is a fermentation period, similar to sour dough.I have heard of people keeping it like a sourdough starter but I am not 100% sure about this, I would have thought it would go rotten!! Now 2 of the recipes below have a touch of yeast and one is yeast free.



Rewena Bread

My recipe is an old family one so I am unable to share it but there is two very good recipes below that will give you similar if not exact results:)

Sorry, I can share the bread, the process and the photo’s but not the recipe as its not mine to give!!

As I have said in prior posts, Dean Brettschneider, a NZ baker also makes one and his recipe is in his book “Global Baker”.–rewena-bread    (Yeast free)

 LETS LOOK ATHE PHOTOS!! Gorgeous!! and the taste……..

Start with this!!

Ready for first rise.


Ready for last rise…

Kiwi Template

Ready to eat!!



One more for luck

And you know what I am going to say now!!!

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!or  as we say in NZ , SWEET AS!!

Will start hunting down the fry bread recipe:)