The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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firstfloorfront's picture

Hello from the UK

Hello All

I've been making bread on and off for about 15 years, nothing spectacular just basic mixes and not always with success. I think its time I started to concentrate, expand my knowledge and experiment. Hopefully you will all start pointing me in the right direction. This is my basic mix which I think is always a bit "sticky": -

700g flour
15g salt
25g olive oil
7g dried active yeast
430ml water.


dmsnyder's picture

Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye: My second baking

Hansjoakim described this gorgeous rye bread in his blog last Fall, and I made Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye myself in September. I made it again today, inspired by the delicious-looking ryes Mini and Eric have showed us recently.

This time, I made a few changes: I used KAF First Clear flour rather than AP flour. I mixed the dough a bit longer (6 minutes). And I proofed the loaf seam-side down in the brotform, expecting the folds to open up during baking. As you can see, I must have sealed the loaf too well and, perhaps, proofed it too long. The result was an intact loaf with no bursting at all. And I got pretty good oven spring, too. Sometimes you can't get those attractive "imperfections," even when you try for them.

The crust was pleasantly chewy. The aroma of the cut bread was earthy-rye with a definite subtle sourness. The crumb was moist and tender. The flavor was earthy-sweet. It was wonderful, thinly sliced with cream cheese and smoked salmon for breakfast. It was also good open-faced with a bit of mayo and smoked turkey breast, accompanied by a bowl of lentil soup, for lunch.


goer's picture


Can a .5% reduction from 2% to 1.5% make a big flavor change? I did that today and just can't believe my bread taste's the same. Using slow natural fermentation process.





enaid's picture

newbie confusion

I have been baking yeast breads for decades.  Now I want to try using a starter. I have been perusing this site for days and am so confused as there is so much conflicting advice.  

I like to make, at least partial, whole wheat bread.  I want to, initially,  end up with a mild sour dough. I want something not too complicated or time consuming.  I only bake about once every week or so and probably bake only one or two loaves at a time. I know absolutely nothing about starters so, with these points in mind, here are some of the questions I need answering:-

1)What do I need to start a starter and in what proportions?

2) Do I keep it in the fridge or on the counter (my kitchen, in the winter, is 68-70 degrees and lower at      night).

3) How often do I feed/discard?

4)  How long before I can use it?

5)  What proportion do I add to a recipe with, say, 3 cups of flour?

I would be extremely grateful for any advice and, remember, I am only in kindergarten when it comes to starters, so use words of one syllable please! 





bobku's picture

Baking bread on charcoal grill

Has anyone baked bread on a charcoal grill or smoker anything other than a dutch oven. I would like to try this just wondering if others have and what the results were.

LBKexile's picture

1 lb. SAF Instant Yeast source in Atlanta

Just wanted to make a note that Atlantans can find the 1 lb bag of SAF instant yeast at the glorious (if smelly) Dekalb Farmers Market for $2.69 as of 02/10. I was resigned to having to order this online again (with no free shipping deal from King Arthur Flour like last time), but thought I'd check here as a last resort. I think I literally sang a little bit under my breath when I came upon the familiar red and white bags on the shelf. I had done lots of fruitless driving and Google searches trying to find a local brick & mortar source, and read that you can find this at Sam's, BJ's, etc, but I thought I'd put this out there for non-wholesale-club members like me. :)

JoMama's picture

Lodge Logic Cast Iron Bread / Loaf Pans - where you can get them

Recently I read that someone (sorry, cannot remember your name) was looking for cast iron bread pans ... I wanted some too ... I found some and was able to purchase two ... got them on eBay ... they were not cheap ... I paid $30 each ... but knowing how well they will serve me & the fact I'll have 'em forever, justified the expenditure ... they arrived & look absolutely brand new ... I'll go back to eBay & see if the seller has any more & will report back here.  Note:  eBay has been the only place I could find Lodge Logic Cast Iron Bread / Loaf Pans.


Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Coffee and date Bread Loaf

A couple of years ago our local baker baked every Saturday a Coffee and Date loaf of bread? They (sadly) no longer make this and I have tried to copy it without success. I cannot get the coffee flavour to shine through at all. The dough had a lovely dark malt color to it with chopped dried dates. It was so sweet to taste. We treated it as a raisin loaf and was great for a snack in the afternoon.

I have tried searching TFL for a possible recipe that may help me make this loaf. Again without success .

Is there any one out there in the TFL community that may be able to help with a possible recipe?

Heres Hoping..............Pete


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

1/19/10 - 80% WW and Ciabatta

Hey All,

Just wanted to catch up on my blogging here and post some pics of some 80% WW bread and ciabatta from my 1/19/10 bake.  I'll post recipes if requested...



Ciabatta Recipe:

80% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe:


80% WW Flour (1014g)

20% Bread Flour (254g)

85% Water (1078g)

2.2% Kosher salt (30g)

8% Firm Sourdough Starter (60% Hydration) (100g)

1 1/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Makes 2500g dough.


7:30pm - Mix all ingredients into shaggy dough with no dry bits, transfer to oiled plastic bin, cover, autolylse for 30 mins.

8:05pm – Knead dough using French fold method 8x, cover, rest.  (Do not use extra flour.  Use lightly wet hands)

8:35pm - Turn dough in bin, cover.

9:05pm - Turn dough in bin, cover.

9:35pm - Turn dough in bin, cover.

10:15pm – Divide into 4, preshape.

10:30pm – Divide into 4, final shape, place into linen lined baskets, proof 45-60 minutes.  Arrange baking 2 stones on separate levels (1 one space from bottom, 1 two spaces down from top, and the long side of the stone should be front to back) and steam pan in oven, preheat to 550F with convection. (I use an aluminum loaf pan filled with lava rocks for my steam pan)

11:30pm – Gently and quickly transfer loaves to a peel, slash as desired, place directly onto stone in oven.  When all the loaves are in, Add 1 cup of water to steam pan, close oven.  Turn down to 450F with convection and bake for 20 minutes.  Rotate, turn down to 425F with convection and bake for another 18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 210F.  Cool completely for about 3-4 hours or overnight before cutting and eating...



Jamesfs912's picture

Honey whole wheat texture

I am having trouble trying to make my honey whole wheat light and fluffy. I make large quantities of wheat bread(up to 80 loaves a day) and use the sponge and dough method. In the sponge I use water, yeast, honey, and about half of total flour amount. I mill my own whole wheat flour, lately I have been trying to mill finer flour and it has helped out but the bread is still a little on the heavy side. For the dough I just add flour and salt. My doughs feel great and the bread looks perfect coming out of the oven. Is there anything I can do to make this bread lighter and fluffier without changing the recipe? I would really love to make the bread's texture as light as my white but I know that is not possible. Am I just out of luck because of the wheat flour? Thanks in advance, James.