The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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cheesehappens's picture

What size Lodge cast iron Dutch oven is best for no-knead bread?

After curiosity finally got the best of me, I bought the book and then read countless posts here and elsewhere without finding an answer to my question. Your help is much appreciated!

Donna Beth

SydneyGirl's picture

Further to the "Brotchen Experiment"... Ruck-Zuck Weckerl

Recently posted the translation of the Austrian bread roll recipe I found here: on the  German Broetchen Experiment forum topic:


I've made these before, but last Sunday had another try, this time pre-fermenting about half the flour overnight. It did no harm to the recipe at all. They look great, they taste great but the lack of oven spring means that they're too dense. However, the taste really is lovely, even after 3 days when they're stale. I really like the shine on them from the starch water. 

I will definitely keep making these till I work out how to do them perfectly in my oven. 

Don't write to me about steam (which, clearly, is what's required here) - unless you have a solution for a gas oven that vents all steam instantly and is so unevenly hot that a pan at the bottom of the oven doesn't get hot enough to evaporate water, while at the top everything turns to charcoal. 


Austrian Bread Rolls



Mebake's picture

50% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

This is a Sandwitch bread i made (Not exactly Sandwich size) couple of days ago:



500g Sifted Whole Wheat (high Extraction) Flour

350g Water

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt


500g All Purpose Flour

350g Water

1 Tsp Instant Yeast


1) As usual de-chill the BIGA 2 hours prior to mixing into the SOAKER, add extra 1/Tsp of sea salt, and mix/ Knead for 5 minutes for 5 minutes, rest for 5 minutes and continue kneading for another 5 minutes until you acheive a successful windowpane.

2) Leave to ferment in an oiled bowl for 2 Hours until doubled.

3) Scrape into a floured bench, and cut into 2 (375g) Doughs.

4) Preshape into a Loaf, leave for 5 minutes and then shape into a loaf.

5) Grease your pans, and insert your loaves, seam side down.

6) Leave to ferment for 1 hour, and Pre-heat oven to 450F.

7) When ready, spritz your loaves with some water, and load them into your oven, with some steam(optional).\. Reduce Oven Temp. immediately to 370F.

8) Remove steam source after 15 minutes, and continue baking for 30 minutes .

9) Remove from Pan, and leave to cool on a Wire rack.


1) Should have Added another 1/2 Tsp of Instant yeast to the final dough to boost the Final Rise.

2) Should have added more sea salt to the final dough. (1/2 Tsp is not nearly enough)

3) Should have increased the size of the loaf in the pan, as i loave a tall Loaf for toast.

Other than that, it was a good bread with soft and tender crumb, and medium crust.


Velvet's picture

Making All-Purpose Flour out of Wheat Berries

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to find out which wheat berries to use and in what quantities in order to make my own all-purpose flour. I can't find anything! From what I understand, I should use about 1 part hard white winter wheat and 1 part soft white winter wheat.

Does this sound correct to you? Do you have another ratio/type of wheat you think I should use?

I know that King Arthur's APF is about 12% protein, but it's really tough to find the protein content of certain wheat berries as they seem to vary so much. Besides, I buy my wheat in bulk and I don't always get the nutritional data. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated!


eatbread's picture

gluten degradation in starters

just out of curiousity- If the gluten in a starter is extremely degraded to the point of "glueyness" will the small amount of starter used affect the quality of the final dough?

koloatree's picture

Poolish Baguette from "Bread"...Finally!

I finally made a baguette that I am happy with using my oven. =)


These are 10ozs. Allowing the preshaped baguettes to rest before shaping definitly is worth waiting for. I shaped the first 2 pieces w/o rest and they turned out very...odd.




smasty's picture

Roasted Cashew and Date 1-2-3 Bread

I've been in total love with 1-2-3 bread since discovering it on this site.  What could be easier than using discarded starter in a 1-2-3 ratio with water and flour.  (Weigh starter, x 2= water, x3= flour).  I always get fantastic results, great flavor, and no pre-planning.  Here's the original post

1-2-3 Bread

It has made me a little lazy though w/ my bread baking.  So, I've started experimenting with inclusions.  Since I've had a ton of raw cashews in the fridge forever, I figured I'd roast them, and add some cut up dates to today's bake.  This might be the best bake I've done since starting 18 months ago.  I mixed up the dough without inclusions and added the nuts and dates in during the first stretch and fold.  I learned this technique from Shaio Ping with her chocolate sourdough.  It really works well for adding in delicate inclusions.  You basically spread a layer of nuts/dates on the counter, then stretch the dough over the top and press it down into the nuts, then add more nuts/dates on top and fold it all in.  With a couple subsequent SF's it incorporates the stuff really well without breaking up the nuts/fruit too much.

Roasted Cashews

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Using leftover stone-ground oatmeal

My husband and I eat a lot of stone-ground (oat groats or Irish oats) for breakfast. I try to make the right amount but sometimes I have leftovers. The dogs eat some of it but it's not their favorite leftover. Yes, gasp, my fancy high bred show and performance doberman plus the spoiled rotten chihuahua get table scraps!! But only what I would eat, which is pretty darn healthy I hope.They have a preference for fresh fruits and veggies, and of course grilled meats. BTW, my dogs are not fat, in fact the vet always compliments their weight and asks how I actually keep the little guy thin.

Anyway, I'd love to substitute all this cooked oatmeal for the rolled oats in various recipes, especially Hamelman's Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal bread. How do I go about figuring the water/oatmeal weights when I didn't cook it up for the bread? I've used it for the bread before but it was weighed and measured for the bread, then cooked so that it wouldn't be hard.

This might be too complicated to bother with. I might just freeze it and use for muffins like I've been doing but hubby enjoys Hamelmans CRO bread so I'd love to figure out how to do this. He's always asking for this bread and I'd probably bake it more often if I had leftovers that needed using.

I could weigh out the oatmeal I cook for breakfast but right now what I cook is 4 cups water to 1.5 cups oatgroats.

As for dog treats, did you know that dogs (or at least mine goofy mutts) think that sourdough starter is the best treat going? Yet another great use for discarded starter. I'm thinking about taking it to agility class to use for our "high value" treat. Plus, it's good for their intestines with all those great bacteria.

Hope this is enough of a challenge for you bread geeks and math majors out there!


louie brown's picture
louie brown

Sourdough Multigrain Boule

This boule of about 2 pounds is adapted from various published formulae that have been reproduced here. I prefer the taste and challenge of pure sourdough.


A loose white starter (Hamelman) of relatively small proportion was built into a white levain that was also relatively loose, about 75%, I'd guess. This was mixed with whole wheat and rye flour, and a soaker composed of about 8 ounces of various seeds, among which the sesame and sunflower were toasted. Bulk fermentation took place at about 80 degrees for nearly two hours, with two folds. The shaped loaf was retarded overnight in the fridge, and given about two hours on the counter before light scoring and loading. It was baked at 500 degrees, under a stainless steel bowl, with an injectioin of steam from a home steam cleaner, for 20 minutes, then turned down to 425 until it was done, about another 20 minutes.


The crust was thick and crackly, while the interior was light, springy and very tasty. There may have been the littlest bit of starchiness at the base. Overall, very pleasing and delicious.




hanseata's picture

Import from Hamburg

Hi, I'm from Hamburg/Germany (imported with a container load of Danish furniture for my husband's store). Loving a Main-ah - but not squishy, underbaked Maine bread - I started baking my own, out of sheer desperation!

My first trials resulted in bricks more suitable for fending off home invaders than for human consumption. After I learned Peter Reinhart's technique with pre-doughs and slow fermentation I went through my old German baking books, adapting the recipes to this method.

In the end, when we couldn't keep up with eating all the breads, and our freezer was equally stuffed, I started baking for our local natural food store. Now I'm their European baker - and enjoy myself thoroughly.

I found this site via Facebook, and I'm very much looking forward to participate!