The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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saltandserenity's picture

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

On the third day of holiday baking, I present you with white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  This is an unusual recipe in that the butter and brown sugar are creamed together and the white sugar is added later with the dry ingredients.  It's how I learned to make these but I don't know why.  They are crispy at the edges and chewy in the middle! 


clazar123's picture

Pannetone in a can

I've learned a lot from both this forum and from baking lots of bread. One of the lessons I learned early on is that specialty pans are expensive and that 99% of the time there is an alternative in the cupboard already. So-not having a pannetone pan and not planning well enough ahead to order the papers for holiday baking was not too much of a barrier. I decided what size loaf I wanted to bake, went to my cupboard and found some adequately sized cans-YES cans!

These are individual sized pannetones- turns out the water chestnut can and the mandarin orange can were the perfect size for my project. I also decided that since the dough was so sticky, I should have a release paper liner with parchment paper. I tried exactly one time to form-fit a pannetone paper that would sleekly hug the can and have a disc of paper on the bottom so the bottom wouldn't stick. I used all my scissor skills learned in kindergarten. What a job that was! No way I'm doing that 10 or more times! What I ended up doing is taking a square of parchment paper,centering it over the top of the can and using the next size smaller can as a plunger and carefully plunging it into the receiving can-taking care to flatten all the folds (and not tear it) in my version of a tulip paper. (more like a chrysanthemum paper). I sprayed the inside with pan release and I was good to go!

I filled them 3/4 of the way since this dough was not going to rise much-it had risen for about 24 hours and I projected at least a 5 hour rise in the can-it turned into a 9 hour rise,even in a warm,moist environment. I didn't take a pic of that but here is the crumb.

This was from floydm's Pannetone recipe on the homepage picture. It is quite delicious but more fruit bread than bread with fruit. I think next time I will use only about 1 1/2 c fruit total (fruit and raisins together) than 4 cups (as in recipe) as I prefer my holiday bread to be more bready. It may rise faster,also. I had orange flower water and added vanilla for a really wonderfully scented bread. The dried fruit I used were craisins,candied orange peel,candied pineapple and golden raisins. I had slivered almonds instead of sliced. Sliced almonds would have been better. The topping was sugar mixed with a few drops of the orange flower water and vanilla,stirred to a wet,crumbly stage and put on top before baking for a crackly kind of finish.

A new camera is on the Christmas wish list-this one is almot dead! Wish the pics were better.

Happy Holidays! and don't let the holidays break your bank. Take a look around for what will work! It's a good exercise for the brain!

Thanks to floydm for the delicious pannetome and brioche recipes! My co-workers and family love you for it!



jim baugh's picture
jim baugh

Muffuletta Bread and olive salad recipe

We just made some Muffuletta bread for our olive salad turned out great. Baked in cast iron skillets to get those nice round loafs. First try on this one, but, turned out really good.

Recipe and info at our blog


Have a great day!!

Jim Baugh


txfarmer's picture

Dresdner Stollen

Used the recipe by harrygermany in this thread, comparing to the BBA version last year, this one is richer, denser, and more dilicious in my opinion.


Used osmotolerant SAF Gold yeast (24g) instead of the 84g of fresh yeast, the dough rose well and had great ovenspring - a little too much oven spring actually, I think a bit of proofing time wouldn't hurt. But the formula works great as is.

I waited for over a week before cutting open the first one, the other two are wrapped and frozen. Will cut another one around Christmas, the third one sometime next year to see how flavor develope. The generous amount of butter brushed on the finished loaves is really the key for great flavor, even after only "aging" for one week, I am impressed by how rich the taste is. The texture of the loaf is like a rich pound cake, or even a shortbread cookie! I prefer this one over the BBA version.


Submitting to Yeastspotting.

saltandserenity's picture

It's sweet but it's not baked -Almond Pecan Caramel Corn

I have started my holiday baking.  For the next 7 days I plan to post a new treat each day.  This caramel corn is sweet, salty, crunchy and very addictive.

bowl of caramel corn

Mylissa20's picture

WW sweet rolls ideas?

I want to make some beautiful sweet rolls as neighbor gifts this christmas, but I am afraid that people won't like them because they're whole wheat.  I don't bake with white,  and I feel like you can't separate fluffy white bread from cinnamon rolls in most people's minds.  Is there a combination that you think would naturally compliment the flavor of whole wheat, like pear or orange rolls?  I'm just looking for some good ideas.

mamatojade's picture

Help - I dropped my dough on the floor... Need a QUICK recipe

I just pulled my PR Pain a L'Ancienne Focaccia out of the fridge to shape it and let it rest and dropped it on the floor and broke the bowl.


I need to bring bread to a party tonight - does anybody have a link to a quick bread dough that I can mix, rise and put in the oven in 5.5 hours?


dzolotas's picture

Hello, and a Excel that may help


My name is Zolotas Dimitris and I live in Greece. I'm baking bread for my family the last 5-6 years.

You have a great site and I've learned a lot from there. I have made for myself a Excel spreadsheet for helping me with the bread formulas, and i thing that it may be useful to someone here.

I can't find a way to post this file, is there any way to do this ?

(I have upload it to Rapidshare, for download anyway)

Thanks a lot !!!

Dimitris Zolotas


breadsong's picture

One more bake from the weekend - Almond, Cranberry & Orange Sourdough

Hello, These small loaves are based on Eric Kastel's Almond, Currant and Orange Sourdough from his book Artisan Breads at Home.
The scoring is an homage to EdTheEngineer's recent spiral-scored boule, that he pictured along with his other lovely breads.

I had some extra orange peel from making Christmas fruitcake, so into the bread it went. I used dried cranberries instead of currants, and reduced the amount of fruit and nuts to a little over 25% of the flour weight.

This bread uses a wheat sour; I just fed my regular starter with white and whole wheat flour and let it ferment for about 16 hours before mixing.
The dough was mixed with a combination of bread and white whole wheat flour.

The loaves were retarded in the fridge for 15 hours, and warmed up this morning for about 75 minutes before I baked them.
(I use an inverted clear plastic storage box as a cover for loaves when proofing - I can see a thermometer through it & can keep an eye on temperature. I've been filling my french coffee press with boiling water and placing it alongside the bread - it's been working out really well for getting and maintaining a humid, 78-80F proofing environment.)

Here are the pics. The four smaller loaves were divided at 230g each, and the bigger one I think was about 300g.
They sprung up in the oven!   Husband had some of the bread with lunch today and he really liked it. I'll try some tomorrow for breakfast.
This bread has a yummy aroma! I can't see any cranberry in this crumb shot but I hope it's in there somewhere!
Regards, breadsong

steelchef's picture

diastatic malt powder

After reviewing the now extinct discussion of this ingredient, I had a conversation with a commercial baker whom I have newly befriended. She informed me that malt, in various forms is used exclusively in commercial breads. Rarely are cane, beet or other sugars used. The DMP is used because it is much cheaper than refined sugar, in the final cost of production. Simply put, it converts starchs' in the flour, into sugar. It also adds to the familiar taste that homemade can never seem to achieve. (Not to say that we all want to benchmark that idea!) She advised me to increase the recommended amount by 2-4 times. My results have been spectacular. Try adding 3/4-1 tsp of DMP to each cup of flour. Leave out any sugar. That is 3-4 times the recommended amount. But consider who is recommending it and who stands the most to lose if you are successful in making your own loaves. The industrial bread manufacturers will influence even giants such as KAF, to direct you away from duplication of their (Bread & Butter.)

It is perfectly normal capitalist behavior. I'm not suggesting that KAF is an Ogre, to the contrary, they have big ones to even offer the product to the masses.  

Canadians know that DMP is not available in this country. I was curious enough to spend C$50 to get 5 pounds from The landed cost included an insane shipping charge. the product itself was only C2.20/lb and is listed under "Sweeteners." I placed my order through and will be happy to send a copy of the purchase receipt to anyone who doubts this.

Even at C$10.00 a lb, it is still a bargain and provides that familiar taste and sweetness that we all associate with "bought bread."

Another tip:

 This site tells you how to make your own.