The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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rossnroller's picture

Wanted: a great recipe for a classic American Apple Pie!

Pls excuse this excursion from breads, pizzas and thangs generally yeasty. Still on the baking page, though - so not the worst of transgressions, I trust.

After the great response to my request for an authentic Jewish New York deli rye, I'm thinking there is no better place to put out a call for a GREAT classic American apple pie recipe (with home-made pastry, of course). Sooo...anyone? I promise to toast you with a slice piled high with whipped cream and icecream (well, that's how I like to have it...but open to correction from the culture of origin, although I should declare I can't promise to mend my evil ways in this respect).

Best of baking!



shanenian's picture

need help for sandwich bread texture

Hello, everyone


I try to bake sandwich bread but can't get the right texture. There are various sizes of holes in my bread and the structure of the sliced bread is quite loose, when I sliced the loaf, there are many little bread crumbs falling from the surface of the sliced bread. My recipe are 400g white strong flour, 240g water, half teaspoon of yeast, a little bit of salt and olive oil. I knead for about 15 to 20 minutes and the dough can pass windowpane test. First rise for 2 to 2 and a half hours and second rise for 1 hour.The bread texture I want is uniform little hole and the bread structure would be stronger than what I have now. Does any one have any idea how can I do it.


Looking forward to your replys.


Thank you!


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Baking with Italian flours, first experiences

Inspired by the recent blogs about Pane di Altamura by Franko

and David Snyder,

and by the then hot weather I decided to try out this intersting bread.

In Britain I found three suppliers of Italian flours, so I ordered some.

I got semola di grano duro rimaccinata (the semolina used for bread) by Divella, from near Bari. The grains seem to be a blend from European countries.

I also got tipo 00 soft wheat flour "La Farina di Don Arcangelo", and durun semolina by the same make, both from Altamura. The semolina is coarser and makes wonderful pasta.


Here a picture of the flours:

No 1: TRS fine semolina (durum), which is availlable in Asian shops. Origin: EU countries (to compare)

No 2: La Semola di Don Arcangelo, from Altamura

No 3: Semola di grano duro rimaccinata by Divella, milled near Bari

No 4: La Farina di Don Arcangelo, from Altamura (tipo 00)

No 5: Shipton Mill No 4 organic strong white flour (my current standard flour, to compare)

To try out the Italian flours I wanted to make a bread I knew well: I used the Pugliese formula I learned at the Lighthouse Bakery with two changes:

1. I used 20% semola rimaccinata and 80% tipo 00 (for biga and dough)

2. I found an interesting baking profile in Italian bread blog: Preheat at maximum temperature, bake for 60min with no steam and turn to 200C immediately.

The result is quite amazing, my best Pugliese yet. The taste is not as sweet as the one made with English flour, but it has more depth, and an amazingly elastic yellow crumb. A good contrast to the thick crunchy crust.

Next I tried an Altamura style bread, but I got rushed, and the temparature in our kitchen dropped.

Not quite understanding the durum leaven I mixed too early. The resulting bread took a long time to raise, the crumb is uneven and it tastes very sour. But I am satisfied with my first attempt, I really like the consistency and feel of the semolina dough.

Here a picture of the loaf:

All in all it is great fun to work with these flours,

and it is really wonderful to find so much inspiration here on TFL.

Special thanks to Franko and David,


 /* UPDATE */

The inside of the Altamura bread:

I think the main problem here was fermentation control: The temperature in the kitchen dropped by about 5C during the last elaboration of the starter, and the effect was more drastic than on wheat or rye starters. I used the starter far too early. Lesson learned

The sources for the flours: for the Divella semolina for the altamura flours - they seem to be out of stock now (as of 8 July 2011)

DeCecco has an online shop (for European countries) where they sell Semola di grano duro rimacinata. They are based in Puglia,but like Divella they seem to use grains from all over the place. I didn't try that (yet).




breadbakingbassplayer's picture

7/5/11 - Last Bake 'til Fall (Drying Sourdough Starter)

Hey All,

It's getting hot and sticky here in NYC, so I have decided to do one last bake and then dry up my sourdough starter so I don't have to keep feeding and discarding until fall when it cools down.


Stiff Levain
50g AP
50g WW
50g Organic Rye Flour
80g water
156g SD starter (whatever I had left in the fridge 50% hydration)
386g Total

9:15pm - Mix starter, knead until all combined, form into ball, cover and let rest.
10:00pm - Divide 300g, form into ball, cover and let rest.  With the remaining 86g or so, on a floured surface, divide into 4 pieces, roll out really thin with a rolling pin, and dry.  When dry, store in a tightly covered container.  I will test this starter out in the fall to see if I can revive it…  Fingers crossed. 

This starter has treated me very well leavening extremely reliably.  I believe it is about 2 years old.  It started out as a liquid starter and was converted to a stiff starter, back to a liquid, and then finally back to a very dry starter kept at 50% hydration in the refridgerator.  It was fed on an odd schedule every 3 to 5 days varying proportions of AP, WW, and organic rye flour, kneaded, left out for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature, and then refrigerated...

Final Dough
600g AP
50g WW
480g water
16g Kosher salt
300g of above stiff leaven
1446g Total

11:45pm - In a large mixing bowl, add the water, leaven, flour, and salt.  Mix with a rubber spatula until a shaggy down forms.  Cover and let rest.
12:15am - Knead briefly (30 seconds or so with the stretch and fold method).  Cover and let rest.
12:30am - Stretch/fold, cover and let rest.
12:45am - Stretch/fold, cover and let rest.
1:00am - Shape into boule, place into a well floured linen lined banneton, flour top of dough, cover with kitchen towel, place into large plastic bag, and into refrigerator on top shelf overnight.  Go to bed.
9:15am - I over slept.  Dough has slightly overflowed the banneton.  Leave in refrigerator.  Clean off baking stone, place on bottom rack, arrange steam pan with lava rocks and water on top rack.  Preheat to 550F with convection.
9:45am - Turn off convection, turn oven down to 500F.  Take banneton out, turn out onto floured peel, do not slash as it seemed overproofed…  Place directly onto baking stone.  Back 500F for 15 minutes, take out steam pan, turn down oven to 450F and bake for 50 minutes.  Let loaf cool completely on wire rack before cutting, at least 12 to 24 hours.

Notes:  300g of stiff levain for 650g of final dough flour when it is warm is too much for an 8 hour refrigerated proof.  Or, my rising basket is too small for 1446g of dough...

Happy Summer!

wassisname's picture

85% Whole Wheat Sourdough

These are a couple of the bakes from my ongoing attempt at combining methods from Whole Grain Breads and Tartine Bread into a simple, mostly whole wheat sourdough.  The bread is turning out pretty well - crackled crust, soft, springy crumb, lovely flavor.  It's amazing what even 15% white flour will do for the texture of a whole wheat bread.  The hardest part is just making up my mind about the details!

I'm still tinkering with the hydration (the first photo is 79%, the second is 82%) and trying to hit the proofing time just right (first photo could have used a bit more, the second a bit less).  I think I like the first loaf better.  The loaf in the second photo is also a product of forgetting-to-turn-the-oven-down-when-you-take-out-the-steam-pan.  It baked at 500º F for better than 30 minutes before I noticed.  It was a very near miss... whew!  I'm also thinking that reducing the size of the loaves would help lighten up the crumb a bit, I'll have to try that one of these days.

Trying to apply this to a 100% whole wheat bread is turning out to be another matter altogether, but that's for another post.


This is where the formula stands at the moment, but the tinkering is far from over.


varda's picture

White Batard

Over the last month or so I have been chasing the elusive yeast water open crumb.   I was working under the theory that one could replace a regular poolish with a combination of yeast water and flour and then bake as usual.   This ran into some technical problems - namely aggressive protease action.   In trying to figure out how to respond to this, I came upon the following enlightening sentence in Hamelman: "Protease is an enzyme whose function is to denature protein, and in a loose mixture like poolish, protease activity is relatively high."  I think this means that protease is generated by yeast as it tries to digest (i.e. denature) the proteins in flour and that in a poolish environment at 100% hydration and with an unknown quantity of yeast in my yeast water  that I was overdoing it.   This time, I pulled back on the amount of yeast water and the hydration of the poolish but not on the hydration of the bread.    The result was much better.  

I have still not got the cuts to open as I would like, but I am quite happy with the flavor which has a lot of depth and somewhat happy with the crumb.   Suggestions for improvements are most welcome.








Final Dough









Yeast water


























Mix yeast water and flour night before.   Leave on counter for 12 hours.   Add flour and water for final dough and mix to develop dough.   Autolyze 1/2 hour.   Mix in salt and mix again.   Ferment for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold in the bowl.   After 30 minutes stretch and fold on the counter.   Gather dough together and do a loose shaping.   Do a third stretch and fold after 30 minutes and another shaping.   Let ferment for 30 more minutes.   Cut in half and preshape.    Rest for 20 minutes.   Shape into batards and place in couche.   Proof for just over an hour.   Bake for 20 minutes at 450 with steam, 25 minutes without. 

A few notes about this.   The dough was quite liquidy until the first counter stretch and fold when it came together pretty nicely.   This was despite two 3 minute mixes in a kitchenaid at progressively increasing speeds.   It was difficult to slash because it was quite sticky and the blade got caught.   

dablues's picture


I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right place.  Hope so.  Does anyone know of a online source that sells skins for stuffing sausage.  Since I've never bought them online before, am looking for a place that is reliable.  I can't find them in Athens, GA.  I thought they would be easy to find.  I had no problems when I lived in NY.  I could purchase them at our local supermarket.  Also, if anyone makes their own sausage, do you use the real or synthetic skins?  Thanks in advance for any help I can get.

mimifix's picture

The Joys & Challenges of a Home-Based Food Business

In the United States many states have cottage laws which allow for home-based food businesses. In New York the Department of Agriculture & Markets has a home-processor exemption. There's an interesting article, "The Joys and Challenges of a Home-Based Food Business" in the Chronogram about Mor Pipman, owner of Much Mor Bread, a home-based artisan bread business. For those interested in starting up a business, she mentions how much she can bake and earn. While her main products are bread, she supplements her baking income with a few sweets. (Article by Peter Barrett, photo by Roy Gumpel.)

BelBaker7's picture

New to this: Please help me with my starter

So I recently began the sourdough process this month by building a proofing box and yesterday I began activating a starter I got from a local baker. This morning I go to check on my creation in its cozy 82 degree environment and this is what I see...

A three layer mixture of dough mixture on the bottom, a yellowish liquid solution in the middle, and and a bubbly mixture on top.

Here is a pic of what I am talking about...

Should I be concerned? I am so new to this and I really have no clue where to begin and I just happened upon this site. What steps should I take to ensure that the starter is good to go?

Thank you so much for the help.

Mebake's picture

Whole Wheat W/multigrain soaker

I made this bread yesterday from Hamelman's yeasted prefermets section. I used 50% Strong white Hovis bread flour, and 50% Snowflake Nutty Wheat Flour. As the latter contains too much bran, i adjusted by adding some all purpose flour to the final dough.

I mounted two baking stones on two separate racks. The oven spring was better this way, i think. I used Sylvia's Steaming technique.. (very effective).

I cut some slices today morning, and the bread smelled strongly of buckwheat. I used buckwheat in lieu of millet called for in the recipe. The crust is crunchy, and the crumb is soft and satisfying. I love this bread!