The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Szanter5339's picture

Yoghurt and bread. It’s delicious.

100 ml of water
175 g of yogurt
3 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar, 20%
700 g flour
30 g yeast
A sourdough made ​​yesterday.


140 ml of water
150 g flour
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon salt
20 g of yeast

The inner diameter of 23 cm in Jena.
Height of 10 cm
The Jena ráborítani roof I could not, so I put baking paper on top so as not to burn.

varda's picture

Cinnamon Swirl

Today I was planning to make Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat as part of a return to good healthy eating, but it was not to be.    I had added the starter to the dough and mixed it up, when my nose was assaulted by something NOT RIGHT.   In the past I've ignored these warnings figuring that whatever was not right would disappear in the baking.   But I've learned.   So out with the old dough, in with the new.   I mixed up another liquid starter, but I really wanted bread today, so after 3 hours, I decided to improvise.   Instead of nice, lean Vermont Sourdough,   I started the year with something sweet:   Cinnamon Swirl. 

The last time I made something like this, both my husband and son informed me that I'd skimped unduly on the cinnamon, sugar, and butter.    So this time I didn't.    To say the least.   I threw in the unfinished starter, and then some yeast for good measure.   It rose like gangbusters.   Here is what I came up with. 






Ripe Starter






















































































Take firm starter and build as above.    Leave at warm room temperature.    Scald milk in microwave for 1.5 minutes.   Add butter to it and let cool.    After starter has ripened for three hours, mix all ingredients.   Let double (this took 45 minutes.)   Press out into a long flat rectangle with short side in front.   Brush with melted butter.   Sprinkle very thickly with cinnamon sugar.   I used two sticks of cinnamon that I ground in a coffee grinder mixed with around 3/4 cups of sugar.   Roll up without pressing in the sides while shaping.   Place in bread pan with seam down.   Brush top with remaining melted butter and cinnamon sugar.  Let rise to over top of pan (this took around 45 minutes.)   Bake at 370 with no steam for 45 minutes.    Then remove from pan and bake for 15 more minutes.  Then enjoy and follow through on resolutions tomorrow. 

Salilah's picture

New flour - how to avoid cowpats (!) ?

After reasonably (!) successful and reliable sourdoughs, I had in succession one very flat loaf and then a cowpat (overproofed) - the cowpat was a new recipe but the flat loaf was tried and tested.  Even the cowpat seemed relatively fine - not very active bulk fermentation, so fridge overnight, it felt heavy when I shaped, then fell apart before final shaping...  The thing I'd changed - was to a new flour!

The new flour came through Bakery Bits - a 100% stoneground white, which I thought would be great.  Looking at the label, it comes from Little Salkeld:

and is the biodynamic, which I'm assuming therefore is potentially only a protein level of 9%(?) - it doesn't specify protein on the label :(

I've been using either strong bread flour, or the very strong Canadian flour (Waitrose) - so I'm guessing this is what is challenging!

Question: how can I best use this new flour, as I have 6kg of it?  Should I mix it with the strong Canadian to make a sort of standard bread flour, or are there particular techniques I should try to get the best from this flour?  I'd like to be able to use it and see what it tastes like - but I don't know the right techniques.  Any suggestions much appreciated!!


suzyr's picture

Tartine Bread

Tartine Country Bread

Here is my bread that I have just finished. This was a small loaf but I am very happy with the crust and crumb. 

Shiao-Ping's picture

Christmas 2011

Boxing Day, a gorgeous day! 

All is quiet, on this early morning, except the gentle breeze.  The air is crisp and the sky is blue over the tree hills out of my tea room.




The Poinciana in my neighbourhood is firing in red, such colour of celebration.




Hope you all had a great Christmas day yesterday!  Since my last post in May, a few times I had wanted to write and say Hello.  The last time was after my son’s graduation in November when I read his Reflections - Robert Frost: The Road not Taken, his last writing in school.  It reminded me of the piece he did almost seven years ago when he started Grammar School.  How time had flown.

My daughter and son’s God mother had asked for Olive Sourdough and Pain au Levain for Christmas lunch.  As I have not baked very much for a long while, being in Taiwan most of this year, and as my husband had just put in a new oven, I was not sure how my breads would turn out. 








 Olive Sourdough

  • 95 g liquid starter (fed 90% plain flour and 10% organic wholemeal rye flour)
  • 427g flour (90% plain and 10% organic wholemeal rye) *
  • 247g water (72% hydration)
  • 150g kalamata pitted olives (30% baker’s percentage)
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 8 g sea salt

 Pain au Levain

  • 95g liquid starter (fed 90% plain and 10% organic wholemeal rye)
  • 427 g flour (90% plain and 10% orgain wholemeal rye) *
  • 247g water (72% hydration)
  • 10g sea salt

      *      My starter was a bit soupy, not very strong, so I fed it an unusually large amount of flour.

              Fermented flour to final dough flour was a low 10%.  

     **    Dough temperature was 24 C.


These days I have adopted a very minimalist approach to the whole procedure – from mixing the ingredients in the bowl, kneading via stretching and folding, to fermentation in the bowl.  I stop stretch-and-folds the minute when I feel any resistance in the dough. 

With these two breads, the fermentation was 5 and a half hours from time of mixing to just before the shaped dough went into the fridge.  

Thanks to David’s method of the magic 21-hour cold proof (see his San Joaquin Sourdough), the breads were exceptionally moist, the crumb translucent, the texture springy, and the flavour so creamy.






Baking has never been so easy with this new oven.  It does steaming by itself.  The crust came out shining and crisp.  It is like a professional oven at home.   

We are blessed with an unusually mild summer for our Christmas this year in Brisbane.  Everything has turned so lush with the recent rain. 

Hope we all bake more delicious breads next year.  Happy New Year, everyone! 





Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Holiday Sugar Cookies (A Recipe that Actually Works)

I tried 4 different recipes for rolled sugar cookies (the kind you roll out and cut with cookie cutters) before finding one that works really well. Enjoy:


~60 cookies

  • 340 g butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 400 g sugar, white, granulated
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 5 ml vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
  • 625 g all-purpose flour
  • 9 g baking powder (2 teaspoons) (not baking soda)
  • 6 g salt (1 teaspoon)
~30 cookies
  • 170 g butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 200 g  sugar, white, granulated
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 3 ml vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 310 g all-purpose flour
  • 5 g baking powder (1 teaspoon) (not baking soda)
  • 3 g salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least two hours (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
  1. I changed the bake time from 6-8 minutes to 8-10 minutes. They're too soft at 8 minutes for my liking. I like them crunchy. If you like soft holiday cookies, use the original 6 to 8 minute baking time. They're done (crunchy) when the edges start to brown. (I live at 6000 ft. If you bake at sea level, you might need 10-12 minutes to achieve a crunchy cookie. Let the lightly-browned edges be your guide. That's when you'll get a crunchy cookie.)
  2. I changed the dough resting time from 1 hour to 2 hours. I haven't bothered with an overnight rest, but that would probably work even better. One hour is insufficent for my refrigerator, which I keep at 40 F (1 degree below sleepytime for yeasts).
  3. Once you mix the dough, spread it out into a rectangle on a Silpat (or plastic wrap) to about 2/3" thick before refrigerating. It's much easier to roll out at 2/3" thick than from a blob of dough in a bowl. It's similar to sweet pastry/pie dough in this regard. 
  4. The very high butter content means you have work very quickly in a cold kitchen–rather hard to do when you're oven is preheating to 400 F, huh?
  5. If you wish to decorate them with coloured sugar(s), brush cookies with water and then generously sprinkle with (coloured) granulated sugar(s) before baking.
  6. Use a Silpat (silicone mat)–if you have one–when rolling and cutting the cookie dough. Makes rolling, cutting, and transferring to parchment easier. I suppose you could just bake on the Silpat. I'll try that next time (or once I buy several smaller Silpats).
  7. I use a pizza cutter to lift and transfer the cookies from Silpat to parchment. Much easier than using your fingers, which are too warm by about 65 degrees F. A pastry/dough scraper might work well too. You can also use polyethylene gloves (wasteful, I know) to limit the heat transfer from your fingers to the pastry. Neat trick I learned from a pastry chef when he taught me puff and croissant. 
  8. If you're making 60 cookies, remove only 1/4 of the dough from the refrigerator at a time. If making 30 cookies, remove 1/2 of the dough at a time. Why? See note 4. 
  9. If the dough starts to fall apart (which it will do in less than 5 minutes), put it back in the refrigerator/freezer until it firms up. Re-roll as necessary. Re-rolling doesn't affect the quality of the cookie's rise, so don't worry if you have to re-chill and re-roll the dough.
  10. Bake them on parchment paper instead of directly on an ungreased cookie sheet so you can remove them from the cookie sheet immediately out of the oven. They tend to crack when cooled directly on the cookie sheet.
  11. Resist the temptation to bake more than one pan at a time. You can do so, but the bottom pan of cookies will bake unevenly.
Edited source.
codruta's picture

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear TFL members, wherever you are!

 These are some romanian traditional sweet breads made for holidays "cozonac", usually made with a nuts or poppy seeds filling, but I made them with raisins and figs and candies orange peel.

And these two breads are San Francisco Sourdough, I'll post the formula next days. It is made in four days, from start to finish, but the result is amazing.

And last, but not least, 70% rye + 30% whole wheat, after Hansjoakim favorite.


It looks like angels are everywhere these days!

Best wishes to all of you, peace, health and happiness. Thank you all for your support and inspiration in 2011.


lumos's picture

XXVII – Seeded Sourdough Bagels

….Gosh, been really busy last few weeks and haven’t been able to post or blog for at all. A few people gave me PM/email messages, concerned about my absence (Thank you! :)), so thought I’d better re-appear once before Christmas just to prove I’m still alive and baking!

 So, here’s my last blog in 2011…..Seeded sourdough bagels.


 The formula is very similar to my regular basic sourdough WW bagels that I blogged about which seems like zillion years ago, only with added seeds and reduced WW. The procedure is exactly the same, except for spread & fold method, introduced by Eric, instead of kneading, which is so easy and works like a magic, especially for seeded dough = no need to chase around escaped seeds during kneading! (Thank you, Eric!) 




★Please note that I've been making this without added yeast as in original recipe lately.  It needs longer fermentaion, obviously, and the crumb is somewhat denser, but choice is yours! :) ★


Sourdough bagels with Mixed Seeds

 Levain …. Fed twice during 24 hr period before use with 120g high-gluten flour (see below) and 80g water (1st feed = 40g flour + 25g water,  2nd feed = 80g flour + 55g water)


 Main Dough

  High-Gluten Flour   470g (I use Watirose’s Canadian Very Strong White Flour)

  WW bread flour  100g

  Mixed Seeds   110g

  Non-diastatic malt powder   12g

  Sugar   14g

  Skimmed milk powder  2~3 tbls

  Wheatgerm   1~2 tbls

  Instant active dry yeast   1/4 tsp  optional (see Note above)

  Salt   12g

  Water  320g


Mix all the ingredients, leave for 30 mins.  ‘Spread & fold’ a la Eric-style (the link above) 3 times every 30~40 minutes.  Pre-shape → shape and place them on baking sheets (six per sheet), cover and cold retard in the fridge for 12 – 18 hrs to develop flavour.


  Just FYAI,  this is how I proof and boil bagel. (Note : those pictures are of the other batch of sourdough WW bagels with reduced WW which I baked during my absence, before seeded ones, but haven’t been managed to blog due to lack of time….)

A bit difficult to see, but I place thin strips of reusable baking sheet and sprinkle semolina under bagels…..


……which makew picking up fragile, proofed dough and putting them into boiling water gently so much easier.



A large, deep roasting pan is my trusted friend for boiling bagels, six at a time, which is ideal for my routine of baking 12 bagels at a time…..boil first six, 1 min a side → fish them out to drain on a tea towel while I put next six into the boiling water → load the first six into the oven → fish the second batch out, drain and into the oven. Switch the fan on for even temperature.

 Bake for 18 – 20 minutes @ 200C. (Take the first batch out after 18 – 20 minutes, move the second batch to the higher shelf, switch off the fan and bake another 2 minutes or so.)


…..and this is how they come out. (the photos miraculously change to those of seeded bagels! :p)




 Thank you so much for all your wonderful bready info, advices, help and  friendship in 2011 and

Very best wishes for merry Christmas and happy baking in 2012, too! 

Janetcook's picture

Enriched Dough Getting Slacker as it Ferments

I have been baking a lot of REALLY enriched breads this holiday season and they are behaving differently than my usual enriched doughs and I am wondering if anyone can shed some light on what I am experiencing.

I have been making Panettone, Stollen, Julekage and Challah.  I am using a sourdough starter and I have been retarding the doughs overnight after mixing in the evening.

Ordinarily when I do this with enriched doughs they get stiffer the longer they ferment due to the acids in leaven. Not these loaves.  They stay slack and, despite numerous S&Fs, they remain slack.  

They are still very tasty breads so my question is more out of curiosity as to why I am experiencig the opposite with these loaves and the only thing I can come up with is that they all contain a large %age of dried fruits that have been soaked prior to adding to the final dough.  The water used to soak the fruits is counted as part of the total hydration so no extra liquid is ending up in the dough.

Doughs are all made with freshly ground organic hard white spring wheat and Kamut....50/50 combo....I am thinking the Kamut may   play in to this too but am not sure.



sourwholewheat's picture

why little gluten in whole wheat flour?

Hi everyone,

I'm failing to find info on why whole wheat flour is said to contain little gluten, or less than other flours do.  If gluten is a protein found in the wheat endosperm, and if WW flour means WHOLE wheat, endosperm included, how come WW flour isn't the champion in gluten content?