The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Capn Dub's picture
Capn Dub

Hello, Friends

I've been a lurker here for a couple of months, but I finally decided to join the crowd.  Y'all have impressed me as being a group of ladies and gentlemen -- does that mean I'm automatically banned?

I've been baking artisan loaves off and on for years, but I'm far from being an expert.  Sourdough is my chief love, although I'm not too proud to do an occasional batch of yeast bread.  My idea of a perfect loaf is a boule with a crust that would deflect a bullet and big holes in the crumb.  Finally, I think I've got it down pat, but I'm still tweaking my methods and recipes.

So anyway, hello from the two of us:  me and Hecliff.  (Hecliff is my starter -- any creature who eats as much as he does needs to have a name.  I've taught him to sit, but he just refuses to come when I call him.  I suppose there's no chance he'll ever learn to fetch the paper.)

Thanks for letting me join such a nice group.


htaoreed's picture


Hi everyone,

I just joined the forum. Can anyone please recommend a good bread oven and mixer for me and where I can get it?.

bobku's picture

Tartine problems with crumb

I made a Tartine loaf; the outside looks great and bread taste great. I'm not happy with the crumb. I always seem to get a few really large holes. How can I get hole structure more evenly distributed, any suggestions, or am I expecting to much.


jafwiz's picture


I am not having any luck making my own starter.I tryed the Peter Reinhart method which was 1/4 cup whole wheat and 1/4 cup pinapple juice? I  have been stiring and after 4 days still no movement. I added another 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup of pinappple juice after that. Is there another recipe i should try that might work or any help with this one?

Gumbeaux's picture

Questions after first attempt at Sourdough

First attempt at making sourdough bread. This is my first attempt at sourdough bread. I used 5 1/2 oz 100% hydration starter, 17 1/2 oz KA bread flour, 13 oz water, 1/4 oz of salt. I am really happy with the crust, would like a little more open and less chewy crumb, but this bread was severely lacking sourdough taste. Not sure if I'm feeding the starter correctly or if I'm feeding it correctly before reviving it from refrigeration in order to use it in sourdough bread. I made a 100% hydration starter using rye flour, bread flour and water. I fed it as follows every day for two weeks 6oz of starter, 12 oz of water, and 12 oz of bread flour. It smells like sourdough and bubbles well. I started to keep it in the refrigerator and fed it once a week by letting it come to room temp and fed it as noted above, waited for it to bubble and then refrigerated it again. Not sure if I'm doing anything correctly so any feedback, help, comments of criticism would be greatly appreciated.

kmellecker's picture

Kneading Question

As I mentioned in my introduction a few days ago, I am new to bread baking and new to this great site. I use a stand mixer for mixing and kneading because of arthritis. I've learned here that approximately 10 minutes of hand kneading is required but how does that translate to a stand mixer? I am currently making a basic white loaf bread and I start my kneading time of 10-12 minutes once the dough balls. If the mixer type is important, I am using an 800 watt 5 qt Viking Professional. Thank you for any guidance you may be able to provide.



SallyBR's picture

Is TXFarmer around?

I haven't been following this forum very closely, but today I  noticed that TXFarmer last blog entry was in February!


Is she still around?    anybody knows?

MANNA's picture

A short video for your enjoyment.

A short video for your enjoyment.


Ihr Landbäcker - Backen wie früher...


wyorksbaker's picture

Dairy Cream Alternatives

Hi All,

I am currently considering using a dairy cream alternative in my bakery to try and keep costs down and minimise waste, Macphie Mactop seems to be the most popular in my area (Yorkshire, UK) 

Does anyone have any experience or advice re replacing dairy cream with Mactop or similar? I am concerned that my die hard cream confectionary customers will know the difference and vote with their feet.

Any comments appreciated. 

Conjuay's picture

"Artisan" Bread?

My sister posted this today on her FB page, and I was wondering if anyone here has tried this recipe. I have several concerns - such as the technique, as well as placing a cold stone in a 450* oven, and especially adding pepper to a bread dough.

Of course I realize the pepper is an optional ingredient, but it is the first time I ever came across it in a bread formulation. Ever. (and I've read MANY recipes in the past three years.)

Has anyone used this technique and/or recipe?