The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
mljoseph12's picture

How can I buy bulk flour?

I have been baking alot lately. During the week people call and ask for bread and I also have been taking it down to the local farmer's market. I need to buy in bulk but not a lot at a time. Does anyone have any ideas for buying 50 lb bags of good bread flour for a decent price? Thank you for the help.

sdionnemoore's picture

Peach Cobbler Bread

I'm so excited! I love cinnamon raisin bread but wanted to experiment. My friend had just cut up four peaches that weren't very sweet and were turning brown in the refrigerator. What to do, what to do? I decided to try and simulate peach cobbler, which is what we originally considered doing with the peaches. I tweaked and added a few things to a basic cinnamon-raisin bread recipe. The bread came out wonderfully sweet and would have easily made delicious individual peach-cinnamon cobbler rolls. It made two loaves.

To the basic cinnamon-raisin bread dough, I added a little extra sugar because I knew the peaches were tart, otherwise proceed as the recipe dictates.

As the dough proofs, mix together brown sugar (2/3-1 c.), 4T. butter (soft) and flour (1/2-2/3 c.) and stir until you get crumbs. After rolling dough into rectangle sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. (Note: I divided my dough to make two loaves) Now distribute half the crumb mixture evenly over the cinnamon sugar layer. Dice your peaches and pat them dry. Don't smoosh them now, just a gentle pat and place them on top of the crumb mixture. Give it another shake of cinnamon sugar (really, this is according to taste). Roll the dough up as you would normally and sprinkle the rest of the crumbs over the top of the bread, or you can wait until after this final proof and sprinkle the crumbs right before the loaves go into the oven. From here you can follow the cook times for your cinnamon-raisin bread recipe. (The crumbs on top of the bread melt and bake into a nice, crunchy sweetness.) 


When the bread cooled, I made a glaze of cinnamon and 10x sugar mixed with 2-3 T. milk to make a nice drizzle and, well, drizzled it. :) 

If you love peaches and love sweet breads, this is a recipe to try!



tcleves's picture

King Arthur equivalent in Canada

I have moved from the USA to Victoria, BC. Its beautiful here and I love it. However, I haven't been able to source King Arthur bread flour. I'm buying a bread flour from the local bulk food store. Its OK but not great. I've looked at the Robin Hood bread flour but its bleached. I'm really trying to find an outstanding organic white bread flour. Does anyone have any suggestions. I'm on Vancouver Island.



avatrx1's picture

converting yeast recipe to sourdough

I have this wonderful recipe that I've made many times.  I'd be interested in how I might convert this to a recipe using a starter instead of yeast>

BE honest - am I better off leaving well enough alone since I do LOVE this recipe?


Coarse Salt and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

2 tsp Active Dry yeast
2 cup Warm Water
8 TB Olive Oil
5 C. Unbleached flour (can use bread flour or whatever you have)
1 TB Salt
3 TB Fresh Rosemary Leaves (I have been using dry)
1 TB Coarse Salt (Kosher Salt)

Combine yeast and warm water in bowl.
Add 3 TB olive oil to the water and let soak for 5 minutes

Mix the flour, 1 TB salt and 1/2 the Rosemary together.
Add the yeast water mixture to the flour. Stir with wooden spoon til mixed.

Turn onto floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.

Place into lightly oiled bowl and let rise til double.

Punch down dough and spread onto lightly oiled jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.
Let rise again til doubled.
(You can also shape individual bun size (3" diam) portions and place on sheet to rise).

Before baking, punch indentations in top of dough with your fingers. Drizzle with
remaining Olive oil and sprinkle with the Coarse salt and remaining
Rosemary leaves. (I don't always use ALL of the oil and salt)

Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe is fantastic when lightly toasted and served with
grilled chicken breast smothered in sauteed mushrooms and
onions and served with honey mustard sauce.


SylviaH's picture

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

I just received my book 'Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking' and was looking at the recipe and photos of this bread.  I have been wanting to make this loaf ever since David 'dmsnyder' told me how wonderful it tastes and it's his favorite semolina bread.  He also has the recipe and photo's on his blog.  I have made a few breads using the Semolina and Duram flour'. I love breads made with Duram wheat!

This bread is absolutely delicious!  I love the golden creamy color of the crumb!

I mixed completely by hand.  Baked the loaf on preheated stones...for 10 mins. under my largest dark blue enameled roasting pan...I have 3!


Balsalmic Glaze and EVOO.  with tonights roasted chicken dinner.



hushsweetcharlot's picture

When is the best time to use your sourdough

I am new to sourdough.  I ordered a starter from, it is from New Zealand.  I think it is doing fine, it looks and smells good.  I keep it on the counter all the time instead of in the fridge so there is no getting back activated.  I feed it twice a day, at 6:30 in the morning and 6:30 in the evening.  a couple of hours after I feed it, it bubbles up a couple of inches just like it is supposed to.  My question is - when is the best time to use it?  before I feed it? after I feed it, if so, how long should I wait?   I made muffins yesterday, I used starter that was bubbling.  as soon as I added the flour to my bowl it went flat and the muffins were like little rocks.   I tried making cinnamon rolls the day before with some dough that I let set out and rise overnight - they were like rocks.  So what am I doing wrong?   I'm not feeding it the same amount of flour/water as the amount of starter I have (because the starter in the jar is probably about 8 cups) - I feed it about 2 cups of flour/water twice a day, throwing some out every few days when I see it starting to accumulate.

I'm starting to get frustrated, so any advice would be appreciated.

patnx2's picture

Hello and thanks

Hi my name is Patrick and I am having lots of fun baking and learning from you all. Thanks all.  My question is in regard to building a biga(using Fooydm's rustic bread. My sd starter is at 100%. So my plan is to build at 50%.  so 6 oz sd starter,6 water and 12 bread flour. will this be close to the amount of biga in the recipe. I hope this is clearer then mud. Thanks again for all the great advise, Patrick from Modesto.


ClimbHi's picture

This weekend's bake

Not much activity in this folder lately, so I thought I'd post this weekend's baking in the WFO.

Made a double batch of SD bread starting with the PR recipe in BBA, but substituting 1/3 of the flour weight in the final dough -- about 12 oz. -- with whole wheat, 7-grain, oatmeal and barley. Also added 2 Tblsp. each of honey and brown sugar to counteract the bitterness of the 7-grain, and added some sunflour seeds and some pine nuts. Split the batch into 5 loaveabout s, batard shaped, and set them to rise. I tend to bake my loaves on parchment and I use scraps of wood between the loaves to keep things straight, and direct the rise up as opposed to out. Kind of a parchment couche. Then I cover the whole batch with plastic to rise:

DSCN2739 by you.

DSCN2742 by you.

 DSCN2743 by you.

About two hours later, I light the oven. This firing, I just burned a bunch of scraps from my woodshop -- about 1-1/2 liquor boxes worth.

DSCN2745 by you.

DSCN2749 by you.

Notice how the heat/smoke stratifies in the oven.

Two hours later, the loaves have fully risen, the oven has heated to "white hot", the fire has been raked out and the oven has been allowed to sit empty and closed to allow the heat to soak into the masonry. When the air temp gets down to around 500F, it's time to load 'er up.

DSCN2753 by you.

I made two of the loaves into batards, and three into pan de epi. and loaded the oven.

DSCN2752 by you.

DSCN2754 by you.

Misting the loaves after loading. I use a garden sprayer with a fine spray that pretty much evaporates to steam before it ever hits the walls, etc.

DSCN2755 by you.

20 minutes later, they're done. I really like the touch of WW and other stuff in these loaves. Despite the additions, they rose well and have a light and open crumb:

DSCN2756 by you.

Then, the desert goes in -- this week it was peach/blueberry cobler with pecan streusel topping -- for another 20 minutes or so. Served with a nice chilly sangria. Major Yum!

 DSCN2757 by you.

(We also roasted a beer can chicken that had been started on the grill along with the desert, but I didn't get a pic of that.)

Pittsburgh, PA

colmax's picture

HIgh Fiber bread

I am looking for a high fiber wheat bread recipe I can make by hand. I have tried making high fiber bread in the bread machine, it comes out like a deflated brick. I like working by hand and was wondering if anyone has a recipe that would make not only a good tasting high fiber bread, but one that rises and isn't flat.

dmsnyder's picture

Susan from San Diego's "Ultimate Sourdough:" A trial of cold retardation in bulk.


There has been quite a bit of discussion on TFL regarding cold retardation of late. This is a recurring issue, as a site search on “retardation” will reveal. My overall conclusion has to be that, particularly for sourdough breads, there is no hard and fast rule. This is not surprising, since review of several highly-regarding bread books reveals considerable variation in how this subject is approached.

Most home bakers are fundamentally pragmatic. Some groove on the science and want to understand each process in detail, but most just want to make really good bread. Retardation is mostly a matter of convenience – to fit bread baking into a busy schedule – for both the home baker and the professional. For some, retardation during bulk fermentation works better. For others, retardation of the formed loaves is more convenient. But does the choice effect the quality of the bread?

I have generally made my own choice according to the procedures specified in the formula I was using. I've made breads that call for retardation in bulk, like Nury's Light Rye and Anis Bouabsa's baguettes, and I've made breads that are retarded after the loaves are formed, like most San Francisco-style sourdoughs. But I've never switched a recipe from one to the other, until today.

The bread I chose to make was Susan from San Diego's “Ultimate Sourdough.” I have made it several times before. I have made it without any cold retardation and with cold retardation of the formed loaves. I decided to see how it would turn out with overnight cold retardation in bulk.

Susan's formula makes one smallish boule. I generally double the recipe to make 2 small boules. This time, I tripled it to make two somewhat larger (22.5 oz) loaves. For your interest, I have included a table of ingredient quantities for one, two and three small loaves.







1 loaf

2 loaves

3 loaves

Active starter

12 gms

24 gms

36 gms


175 gms

350 gms

525 gms

Whole Wheat Flour

25 gms

50 gms

75 gms

Hi-Gluten Flour

225 gms

450 gms

675 gms


5 gms

10 gms

15 gms

For this bake, I used KAF White Whole Wheat and Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached flours.



  1. I dissolved the starter in the water in a large bowl
  2. Both flours were added to the water and mixed thoroughly.
  3. The bowl was covered tightly and the dough was allowed to rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.
  4. The salt was then added and folded into the dough using a flexible dough scraper.
  5. After a 20 minutes rest, the dough was stretched and folded in the bowl for 20 strokes. This was repeated twice more at 20 minute intervals.
  6. The dough was then transferred to a lightly oiled 2 liter glass measuring “cup” with a tightly fitting plastic cover and refrigerated (10 hours, overnight).
  7. The next morning, the dough had expanded very little. I took it out of the refrigerator and left it at room temperature. After 3 hours, it had expanded only slightly, and I was concerned how little gas formation was occurring. I transferred the dough to a lightly floured bench and did a single stretch and fold. The dough was then returned to the bowl. From that point, it became more active and doubled in another 2.5 to 3 hours.
  8. I then divided the dough into 2 equal parts. One was preshaped into a round and the other into a rectangle. After a 10 minute rest, I shaped one boule and one bâtard, each of which was placed in a floured banneton and then in a plastic bag to proof.
  9. I proofed the loaves until they were expanded by 75% or so. They were then transferred to a peel, slashed and transferred to a pre-heated baking stone. The oven was then steamed.
  10. The loaves were baked at 480F with steam for 10 minutes, then another 17 minutes at 460F without steam. They were left to dry for another 10 minutes in the turned off oven with the door ajar.


      The dough did not become too extensible during cold retardation. This may have been due to the very strong flour I used. However, I did find the crumb less chewy than expected. The crumb structure, on the other hand, was not appreciably different from what I got when I retarded formed loaves of this bread. There was no significant difference in the flavor. You might note, however, the absence of the "birds eyes" - the little bubbles of CO2 under the crust surface. 

      I would not hesitate to cold retard this bread in bulk again. When I do the cold retardation would be governed by my scheduling needs. The end result is about the same: Really good sourdough bread.