The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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trailrunner's picture

Sweet Potato YW SD with pepitas

I have been traveling since Oct 5th. No baking but lots of eating of great breads from Canada to NYC ! I got home and found my YW and SD happily resting in the fridge. I fed everything and restored all to working order. I noted Ian's sweet potato bread and had an extra baked one so decided to try a variation using what I had on hand. Wild Yeast Blog has a formula from 2007 and I used it as a base to begin. I used 200g AYW stater and 200g RYW starter each at 100% hydration and made up the rest with my SD 100% hydration . When Ian mentions "wet" sweet potato he is correct. The dough was like ciabatta for sure. I beat it in the KA like a ciabatta until I noted some gluten development. I then placed it in an oiled bucket for 40 min. removed and did a lot of s&f's with a floured counter and gingerly movements. Rested 50 min and did the same...had really nice development at this point and it had nice air bubbles. Divided in two and made no attempt to shape...simply sprayed the top with water and pressed on pepitas and tossed into floured cloth lined baskets seed side down. Proofed for 1 hr and the loaves had filled the baskets. Retarded approx 12 hrs in fridge. Baked straight from fridge as per my usual...500 preheated pans ,place bread in pots lower to 460 , bake 20 min and remove lids and bake 15 min til 210 degrees. Crust snapped and crackled. Amazing fragrance from the pepitas. Lovely crumb but no spring to speak of.Glistening crumb and very tender due to the YW. This is going to be served with a black bean soup tonight . RYW ready to go :  photo IMG_6695_zpse1a8a521.jpg AYW ready :  photo IMG_6696_zps117997ab.jpg "shaped" and seeds on ready for basket to proof:  photo IMG_6697_zps593635ac.jpg straight from fridge:  photo IMG_6700_zps267cefc7.jpg finished:  photo IMG_6701_zpsa15ce6fc.jpg crumb shots:  photo IMG_6702_zps0e9ad8ea.jpg  photo IMG_6703_zps5988ccb8.jpg  photo IMG_6705_zps64ff31a5.jpg

rozeboosje's picture

An onion and seed bread :-)

Very happy with how this turned out so I'm sharing it!

I started off with an organic rye starter back in September (The Monster Raving Loony Starter - see ), and I have since switched to plain white organic wheat flour to keep it going nicely and I've settled into a lovely routine with about two bakes a week and no waste. Happy days.

Yesterday I baked a lovely onion-and-seed brown bread that I'm very happy with so I thought I'd share with you how I did it.

Onion mix

Chop one brown onion finely. In a couple of tablespoons of virgin rapeseed oil (or another non acidic oil, but I like the flavour of rapeseed oil), slow fry them until nicely caramelised. Add a good tablespoon full of linseed and another tablespoon full of sesame seeds and fry off until it's all golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.

Dough base

200g strong white wheat flour

100g strong wholemeal wheat flour

12g salt

At least two Serving Spoons of starter

Add the onion mix and form your dough. I'm not that hot on hydration percentages, but I know I add enough water to make a firm enough dough to form a nice boule that can stand unaided.

Rising and proving times depend on your local circumstances so I'm leaving that up to you.

I scored the boule and glazed it with milk, then added some poppy seeds to the top just for the look of 'em.


Hope it works as well for you if you decide to give it a go!

Floydm's picture

Bread in restaurants

An interesting piece about the changing place of bread in restaurants.

SF Gate: The cost of serving bread in restaurants

The cheapskate in me doesn't like having to pay for something I get for nothing right now, but I actually like that it makes people think a bit more about bread.  Heaven knows good bread doesn't come for free!  And, yes, reducing food waste is a positive thing.

Clizma's picture

Complex bread

Hello everyone, I am very new to baking breads.

I have successfully baked breads out of white flouer and whole wheat flouer, recently I accuired some quinoa and 12 grain flouer as well as Rye flouer.

I tried making 2 1/2 Rya flouer, 1 /12 12 grain flouer, 1 1/2 quinoa flouer, some 12 grain oats, 2 cups of water, the same way I made my whole wheat breads, but this time the mix became very danse, and the mix did not rise as well as it would rise using white and whole wheat flouers before.

My questions are: what did I do wrong? is mixing so many kinds of flouer give that effect? and how can I make the mix rise better?


Thank you!

Timbo's picture

Buy or Create my own Starter?

Any recommendations for a newbie? I can go either way but if buying an established starter is better I'm OK with that. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

christinepi's picture

how can I tell the starter is at its peak?

I've made my first starter as of two days ago. Right now it's sitting out at ca 68, and I feed it twice a day. It's nice and bubbly. After I fed it at 9am today, it doubled within 3-4 hours. I decided to watch what will develop, since I'm totally new to this. It's been sitting there, motionless, since 1pm. It's still motionless, at 5:22pm. If I understand this correctly, there will be a point when it peaks in vigor, and then slowly lose power; so one wants to catch that point in time when it's at its strongest. How exactly do I know this?? Clearly there are a good few hours wiggle room, but roughly? Does the smell change? Right now it smells to die for good, but not sour (I take it it will take a week or more to develop its fullest sour potential. I intend to keep it sitting out for now because it's so much fun to watch.

Any tips on when the time has come for the starter to lose its power?

jaywillie's picture

Central Milling organic AP flour in stock now at Costco in Portland, Ore.!

After badgering my local Costco with a number of suggestion cards about carrying something other than bleached and bromated flours, I'm happy to say that the Clackamas Costco now has Central Milling's organic AP flour in stock. That is exactly what I was hoping for, and I have to thank the numerous TFL posters who have mentioned being able to get this flour at their Costco stores in California, Colorado and other states. It's two 10# packages of flour, with a cost per pound of 62.5¢. That is a real bargain for a great flour.

I'm pretty confident in saying the flour is the same as Central Milling Beehive organic, which has a protein content of 10.5% and has gotten rave reviews from many bakers, especially for artisan loaves.

I don't know if other Portland or Oregon Costco locations are stocking the flour. And I'm probably hoping against hope that my store will restock it when the pallet is empty. So if you live and bake in Portland -- and are also a Costco member -- get out there and buy some of this flour.

baker815's picture

Pretzel Making - Saving Dough - Help Needed!


I started a small pretzel company and it's quickly getting larger and larger. I'm trying to figure out a way to save dough so that I don't have to make multiple batches since this is a bread dough and can easily over rise and go bad.

I just purchased a very large mixer that can hold up to 200 pounds of dough. However, I only have four employees for now and they can only handle 50 pounds of dough at a time. I would love to be able to make a 200 pound batch, let 50 pounds of it rise and then somehow save the other 150 pounds of dough for use later in the day. I know I can put it in the refrigerator but what is the best way to do this? I was thinking ...


1. Make 200 pounds of dough

2. Take 50 pounds, let it rise and then twist into pretzels.

3. Take other 150 pounds and chunk it into 3, 50 pound batches. Before it rises (?) immediately out of the mixer, portion it into 50 pound batches and put in the refrigerator.

4. Every 30 minutes take out a new batch of 50 pound dough and let rise for 1 1/2.

Does this make sense? I would love any input on this. I have been having so much difficulty with scaling and making this in large batches!


Thank you!!!!

dabrownman's picture

What is the Best Thing You Can Put On Pumpernickel?

I’m not sure exactly but Pate Maison has to be one of them.  The great thing about Pate Maison is that it is true to its name.  As master of your house, you can put what ever you want in it so it is like your favorite loaf of bread you invented and like the best.


I only make this rich dish once a year, right before Thanksgiving, and it is a large one made in Lucy’s largest soufflé.  Before baking it weighs over 4 pounds, just in various sausages, bacon, ham, beef and chicken livers alone.


The other ingredients are a caramelized mix of 1 large onion, 8 oz of crimini mushrooms, 1/4 of a bell pepper, 1 small carrot and rib of celery all cut into cut into sticks.  The greens are a mix of parsley, 2 green onions and a little bit of arugula and chopped Swiss chard.


 A half a stick of butter is used to sauté 3/4ths of the 1 pound 4 oz of chicken livers in (3minutes only) with some thyme and 2 tsp of pepper and 1 garlic clove.  Cut; 8 oz of your favorite ham  into sticks and 2 hard boiled eggs cut in half.  The sausages were 8 oz each of fresh; Mexican chorizo, hot Italian, beef boudin, andouille and pork country breakfast all home made.


You hold back 1/4 of the ham sticks, 4 chicken livers that are uncooked and chopped in half and the eggs so that you can decorate middle of the pate so when sliced it is a stunner visually.  The remaining bulk of chicken livers are liquefied in a food processor.


To assemble you mix, the caramelized onion  and mushrooms, red bell carrot and celery sticks, green onion, arugula parsley, Swiss chard,  3/4 ths of the ham sticks and the liquefied sautéed chicken livers in with the sausages with a large heavy spoon along with 2 T of brandy and 1 T of dry sherry. 


Line the soufflé with the 12 oz of smoked bacon slices making sure they are long enough to cover the top when the soufflé is full of pate.  Put half the mix in the bottom and then decorate the middle with the reserved egg, ham sticks and raw chicken livers and then cover with the rest of mix and fold over the bacon to cover the top.


Make sure to place the covered soufflé (I have a lid but you can use foil) in a jelly roll pan to catch the copious amounts of fat that will be rendered as it bakes at 350 F for 2 1/2 hours.  Take the lid or foil off with an hour to go to brown the bacon on top.


As it cools put a plate on top and turn the soufflé over squeezing out as much fat as you can. Then leave the pate on top and weigh down with something heavy, I used large enchilada sauce cans.  When cool, keep the weight on and refrigerate overnight.


Un-mold after 12 hours in fridge and cut the huge pate into 8 wedges and freeze them to be ready anytime during the Holidays!  Now if Ski was like me he would take half to the smoker for an hour of smoke just to put the cap in the bottle and have a different pate to choose from!


 My favorite topping for my favorite bread - it must be close to the holiday season for sure!  Happy Holiday Baking!

 And yes.....You can have it for breakfast if no one is looking!  The innocent looking lunch has a sandwich what I am sure is even illegal in Canada - A Pate, Pastrami, Pumpernickel, Paddy Melt with Brie.  It might be the most delicious sandwich Lucy has dreamt up lately - certainly the most decadent.

christinepi's picture

Starter shrunk

When I created my first starter a few days ago, it was nice and bubbly. I put it in the fridge, where it promptly lost some of its volume (maybe15%). Is that normal? Will it come back up once at room temperature? Anything I should do?