The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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hornedfox's picture

Cheesey semolina bread

I made this last weekend even though I was really pleased with the results it should have spent a little longer in the oven maybe popped out of the tin for 10-15 minutes


100% flour

60% semolina

3% salt

3% instant dry yeast

10% garlic oil (I made my own, crushed 2 cloves of garlic in to hot oil and let it cool. I couldnt be bother to strain it so I chucked the lot in)

95% luke warm water

46% grated parmasan

46% sharp mature cheddar cut into small cubes

46% spicy mexican cheese cut into small cubes

I combined everything except the cheese to make a smooth dough with a paddle. I was worried about the salt content with the salt from the cheese so I reduced it a little. Then mixed with a dough hook for 5 mins. Add all the cheese mix until well combined. I put it in a well greased bowl at 21 C untill puffy. I greased an 8" round baking tin with olive oil Shapped the dough as a boule and put in the tin cover and let it rise for about and hour. I use a steam convection oven I set it to steam and 195C, when it got to temp I covered the tin with tented foil and put it in. Cooked for 30 mins took the lid off and cooked for a further 15 mins. Very tasty.




PiPs's picture

Holiday + breadcrumbs + pumpkin and feta pie

Weekend dawn has surrendered to lazy rain and on our kitchen counter French toast soaks as the remainder of the house sleeps. 

A week ago we spent some time near the beach well away from the routine of our city life. Time spent on beaches and flying kites in the salted seabreeze rejuvenates the soul. During sunset walks we stepped over washed up jellyfish whilst gazing at distant whales breaching on the horizon. But most important of all we relaxed.

Back in Brisbane, I have landed some temp work with a design agency which is keeping my days full and my brain busy. It is nice to be challenged and I think the work will reward both my confidence and skills–which is exactly what I need right now.

Ever since I started baking I have always breadcrumbed my leftover bread, and the tempo of its use in our cooking matches the rate at which we collect stale bread–a perfect equilibrium! When grabbing a few slices of desem bread from the freezer for breakfast I noticed that my collection of stale bread ends had snowballed and contained all sorts of treasures like Tartine's Sesame Bread, Danish Rye, Desem, Miche and some Pain au Levain's with bold baked crusts.

These combined flavours in the breadcrumbs adds an exciting strength of flavour to the ready-made flavours available in caramel crusts. A caraway and cumin loaf is an exquisite addition if available! 

I have found the best time to approach making breadcrumbs is at the close of a weekend bread bake. After switching off the oven, the collection of stale bread is defrosted, cut into small cubes, spread on a baking tray and left on the cooling baking stone for the night. The following morning I check the brittleness of the bread cubes–there should be no softness at all–then in batches reduce them to fine crumbs in a food processor. Ear plugs are a luxury for this!


The flour milled with my Komo mill is used for more than just bread. I have been trialling shortcrust pastries made with freshly milled wheat sifted down to a dark high extraction flour with delicious results. This recipe is one of our favourite meals and has been made all the better by replacing the standard frozen shortcrust pastry the original recipe calls for. I have never seen children so eager to eat pumpkin as they are when presented with a slice of this pie.


Pumpkin and Feta Pie
Serves 6

200g high extraction four chilled (preferably freshly milled)
100g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
pinch of sea salt
2-3 tablespoons chilled water

Half a butternut pumpkin (squash) peeled and cut into 2cm (3/4 inch) cubes
4 garlic cloves unpeeled
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red onions halved and sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
100g (3 1/2oz) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary 

  1. Put the flour, butter and pinch of salt in a food processor and process for 1 minute. Add the chilled water and process until the mixture comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Spread the pumpkin and garlic on a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Transfer the pumpkin to a large bowl and the garlic to a plate. Leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the onion is a dark golden colour. Add to the pumpkin and allow to cool completely.
  4. Add the feta and rosemary to the pumpkin mix and squeeze the garlic out the skins into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roll out the pastry to a 35cm (14 inch) circle and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Arrange the pumpkin mixture over the top leaving a 4cm (1 1/2 inch) border. Fold over the pastry edges, pleating as you fold.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden.


The rain appears to have really set in and the garden is just soaking it up. So while we are housebound for the time being it seems there is no excuse for not getting stuck into some neglected housework ... before I get into trouble ... eeek!

Happy baking (and milling) everybody.


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

The Rye I was Thinking Of! - Kind of

Here is a type of Rye bread I found that is very close to the one I was trying to find in this previous post:

This rye is pretty much what I was after.  Dense, dry, sturdy, stiff crumb.  It is called Klosterbrot Roggenbrot.  Here are some photos.  If anyone has a good recipe similar to this please share.  I would love to make this.



ed9762's picture

Super Easy Filled Bread Roll Recipe

This is one of the first bread recipes I tried at home some fifteen years ago and still remains my favorite ever since. This is a super easy bread roll recipe. You don't need any technical know-how, expertise, skills or experience to bake this bread recipe. It's all very easy and practical, You don't even need a scale! And the whole mixing, shaping and baking process is only +/- 60 minutes.

I got this recipe from a handbook used in food science and technology class which has been modified by me to make it even more easier.

Ok, here are the ingredients:
a. Flour: 250 gram/500 ml/2 cups
b. Yeast: 1 Tbs
c. Sugar: 2 Tbs
d. Dried Milk Solids: 2 Tbs
e. Butter/Margarine: 2 Tbs
f. Water (warm): 1/2 cup/125 ml
g. Egg: 1
h. Salt: 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon

First, place water onto a mixing bowl. Add yeast and stir until completely dissolved. Add sugar and dried milk solids and stir until well-blended. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes.

Add half of the flour into the mixture and stir using a mixer or spoon for approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg, butter/margarine and salt and stir again for another 3 minutes until they are completely dissolved.
Bread Ebook
Add half of the remaining flour and knead (gently press and fold) the dough for approximately 5-10 minutes until well-blended using a mixer or hand.
Bread Ebook
If the dough is still sticky, add the remaining flour one tablespoon at a time while continuously kneading the dough until it is not sticky anymore and can be formed into a ball shape. Let the dough sits for 10 minutes for the first rise in the bowl, covered with a damp cloth or plastic, until double in size.

After 10 minutes, gently push the dough and create 12-18 roll shapes (You can fill these rolls with cheese, chocolate rice, peanut butter, strawberry jam if you like). Place the dough onto a well-greased sandwich pan. Allow the dough to rise again for 20 minutes until double in size.

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F. Apply an egg wash on the surface of each roll and bake them in the middle of the oven at 180ºC/350°F for approximately 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Tips: Baking temperatures and times may vary between different types, brands, sizes of ovens. You may need to adjust your baking temperatures and times to suit your oven. You can substitute liquid milk for dried milk solids+water.
P.S. This recipe was included in my first bread ebook Super Easy Bread Recipes with Less Kneading. You can download its excerpt (in PDF format) including some of the recipes for free in this LINK.

pambakesbread's picture

the last rise and no big holes

Help!! I have a great starter and it will lift the bread but there are no large holes and it kind of lays there spreading out and not going up. the crumb is good I use Harvest King Commercial flour and get a reasonable sour taste  and a great crust the only thing I do not get is a significant lift either in the last rise or in the oven. It is definately eidable even though it is kind of flat but What is with the damn holes. I bake other breads and have reasonable success for a home baker but this is pissing me off big time. Pam

giyad's picture

Is it wrong to divide dough before it rises?

This might be a dumb question, but I figure that when dough is mixed properly everything is distributed evenly.  So, would it be wrong to divide the dough into balls before the first rise?

I'm trying to see what can be done to speed up the process of making bread.  Basically, in the morning when I wake up, I don't want to have to wait 2 hours before i can bake a bread.  So if I can prepare the dough the night before, divide it up, and then stick it in the fridge to rise, the next morning I can pull it out and bring it to room temperature, shape it, and then bake it... that would save me atleast a half hour.  Any other suggestions are welcome too to speed up the process.  Obviously I don't want to just rush the dough so that I get stuck with something tasteless, but I don't want to have to wait hours before I can eat.

glasgowjames's picture

Baguette Shaping Guide

Hi there!

I just thought I'd post this up here to see what you think - tis a fairly simple picture guide on how to tightly shape baguettes that I made to go along with a recipe on my blog (Balsamic Onion Baguettes). Any feedback on clarity would be greatly appreciated, as I am working to devise similar step-by-step guides for an upcoming bread book (and I believe tartine is the best and most beautiful so far, but still can be a bit confusing):



@bakingjames on Twitter

dabrownman's picture

24 hour 10% Whole Grain SFSD & SD Seeded Fig Bread with Pistachios - 1 g of Starter - No Levain

To see the beginning of this bake go to the following link and go down below *********************************

This is about as fool proof, something we need around here, SD bread imaginable that only takes 7 g of starter and 24 hours of basically doing nothing.  No retard, no levain building, no refrigerator required.


Just take7g of starter, mix it with 66 g of whole grains, I used equal amounts of spelt, rye and ww.  Add 2g each of red and white malts made from the same grains, 315 g each of AP and bread flour with 72% hydration (505) g of water.  Once mixed let it sit for 30 minutes to autolyse, add 11 g of salt and do 15 minutes of French slap and folds. Once done let it sit in a plastic covered oiled bowl on the counter for 20 hours until it doubles.


The split it in half and shape one into a SFSD boule  to see how tasty and sour this bread is and make the other one into what ever you want.  I put (2) kinds of figs, some pistachio nuts and some sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the mix and shaped it into an oval SD seeded Fig and Pistachio boule.


In 4 hours they both went into the 450 F oven with 2 of Sylvia’s steaming loaf pand and baling stone


 I had thrown some of the seeds into the bottom of the oval basket before the dough went in so when the seeded bread was un- molded I slashed 2 crescent moon shapes on the top where the seeds stopped, about 1/3 the way down from the top.  I cut a triangle on the top of the none seeded boule


They steamed for 12 minutes and then the steam was removed, the oven was turned down to 425 F convection and the breads baked together for another 10 minutes.  Each was rotated 180 degrees on the stone after 5 minutes. 


At the 22 total minute mark each bread read 208 F and my apprentice deemed them done with a wag of her tail.   We left them on the stone for another 10 minutes with oven off and the door ajar


Both of the boules baled up nicely brown without incident.  Spring was good, the plain SFSD was well blistered and the seeded bred much less so.  The crumb was more open on the plain SFSD as expected but the seeded bread was airy.  Both were glossy on the inside with the plain one more so.   Both were moist but the seeded fig bread even more moist.


Both were nicely sour and we expect them to get more pucker going by tomorrow.  If I had to pick my favorite of the two, I would go for the fig bread this time.  It may not be as easy as no-knead but if you are looking for an easy way to make decent SDSF this is it.





Build 1


SD Desem & Rye Sour






Total Starter






Starter Totals






Levain % of Total






Dough Flour



Bread Flour



Whole spelt



Dark Rye



Whole Wheat






Dough Flour












Dough Hydration






Total Flour






T. Dough Hydration



Whole Grain %






Hydration w/ Adds



Total Weight






Add - Ins



Red Rye Malt



White Rye Malt









Add Ins for Half of the Dough






Sunflower 10, Pumpkin 10



Mission and Adriatic Figs









SFSD Total Weight



Fig, Nut & Seeded Weight




mrgnlit's picture

Convert tassajara rye oatmeal bread to soaker/biga

Hi there I am a new baker and I have been fooling around with the recipies in the tassajara bread book. I really love the whole wheat rye oatmeal bread (I took out the white flour and just put all whole wheat, rye and oats) but it never rose well (becuase I took out the white). Then I tried  Peter Reinheart's 100% whole wheat bread recipie and it rose very well! The soaking overnight seemed to really do wonders to the bread. So I thought I shoudl adapt the recipie i like in Tassajara and make it a soaker/Biga recipie which might require me to do some bakers math and monkeying around.

Pretty much I took all of the ww flour,  took out about 7tbs and then  added half the water and 1/4tsp yeast to make the soaker. Then I took the stuff you add to the sponge (rye and oat) and I put the other half of water in it along with 1/4tsp salt to make the biga. The next day you would add biga, soaker, the rest of the salt, and yeast, molasses, and oil and knead. the rest progresses like the peter reinheart thing.

Can someone check me on this and tell me if I am on the right track?

questions and concerns

1. I had to mess with the salt is this. Do I have enough in the soaker?

2. Should i be taking 7tbs out of the origional wwf or should i just add more flour near the end?

3. Did i do the bakers percentages right? It looked straitforeward enough but I wasn't sure.

The total recipie is as follows. I converted cups to grams and also halved the recipie.

  • 480g wwf
  • 204g rye
  • 180g rolled oats
  • 10.63g yeast
  • 84 g molasses
  • 54.89g canola oil
  • 21.33g salt

So then I separated it into something that looked like the soaker biga thing


  • 49% wwf
  • .002% yeast (huh? it was so small)
  • 41% water


  • 21% oat
  • 24% rye
  • __salt (i didnt do this one oops)
  • 41% water


  • 6% flour
  • ___ salt (ugh i had salt issues)
  • .009% yeast (another small number?)
  • 9% molasses
  • 6% oil (its on page 27. keep in mind i halved it)

William Alexander's picture
William Alexander

Post-Sandy Comfort Multigrain Loaf


We're one of the lucky ones -- power restored after three days -- and pretty much the first thing I did (after a hot shower) was make a multigrain loaf of peasant-y, yeasty, crusty bread, with my 16-year-old levain (aka "starter"), stone-ground cornmeal, flaxseed meal, pecans, and whatever else I could dig up that said "comfort" and "health."

Concerned about getting good gluten formation and a decent rise, given all the non-glutenous stuff I was adding, I made this loaf very wet, as you can see from the photograph.

It's a little sticky to work with, but I was rewarded with a wonderful, airy crumb. This is a truly good bread. If you've never worked with a levain, here's a perfect excuse. The recipe to build your own is here or can buy a premade starter from King Arthur flour.

Best wishes to everyone who was in the path of the storm.  For more recipes and bread thoughts see

Post-Sandy Multigrain Comfort Bread

300 grams unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
260 grams levain (see Building a Levain)
25 grams stone-ground whole-grain corn meal
20 grams corn flour
50 grams rye flour
80 grams whole wheat flour
10 grams flaxseed meal
35 grams walnuts or pecans, broken in half
13 grams salt
3/8 teaspoon instant yeast
310 grams water (room temp)

Prepare the dough
  1. At least 2 hours before beginning (you can do this the night before), feed levain as follows: Remove levain from refrigerator and add equal parts flour and room-temperature water (I use about 130 g each, which replenishes what I'll be using in the bread). Stir/whip well, incorporating oxygen, and leave on the countertop, with the cover slightly ajar. Starter should be bubbling and lively when you begin your bread.
  2. Place a large bowl on your scale and zero out the scale. Now add the flours, one at a time, zeroing out the scale after each addition. Separately weigh and add the salt. Add the levain, a dash of instant yeast, the nuts, and the water.
  3. Mix thoroughly with a wet hand until the dough is homogeneous. Mist a piece of plastic wrap with vegetable oil spray, press it directly onto the dough, and leave the dough to autolyse (rest) for 20-25 minutes. Kneading and fermentation
  4. Knead by hand 7-9 minutes (see my kneading video if you've never kneaded before). If you insist, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook for 2-3 minutes. Knead until dough is elastic and smooth.
  5. Clean out and dry the mixing bowl (no soap), mist with vegetable oil spray, and replace the dough. Place the oiled plastic wrap back onto the dough. Ferment at room temperature (68 -72 degrees is ideal) for 4 to 5 hours.
    Forming the loaf and proofing
  6. Place baking stone and old cast-iron pan or rimmed baking sheet in oven and preheat for at least an hour at oven's highest setting (I use 550).
  7. Place dough on well-floured countertop and divide in half. Form into batards, a sort of stubby, torpedo-shaped baguette. (There are numerous YouTube videos and books that illustrate how to do this). Place the loaves between the folds of a couche or parchment paper, cover and allow to proof for about 45 minutes.
  8. Turn loaves onto a peel, sprinkle tops with rice flour if you want a decorative dusting. Score loaves deeply lengthwise, at an angle, with a razor blade and slide loaves onto stone. Pour a cup of water (wear an oven mitt) into the pan.
  9. Lower oven temperature to 475 and bake for 20 minutes. Lower temperature to 450 and continue baking till loaves are a golden-to-dark brown (about another 15-20 minutes), and center of loaf is 210 degrees.
  10. Cool on racks.