The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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heidet's picture

The Uncommon Loaf

Living in southern Japan, where even the most basic of ovens, beloved from childhood , are rare and extraordinarily expensive makes a baker's life challenging, and a home baker's more than just a bit frustrating. In need of crusty, heavy, unsweet breads, my sweetheart of a husband purchased  an 'oven' for me quite a few years ago. At least he thought it was an oven. Really its internal measurements are about double of an oven toaster, and it can- microwave, top and bottom electrically heat, convection heat but only if the round microwave ceramic plate is used, top toast, grill, heat sake to the exact temperature required, proof bread, and yes, talk to you. I never would have believed then how comfortable and devoted to this bizarre machine I have become. Together, we have baked as many as 20 loaves in a day, a therapeutic response to having left my work in Europe and wanting to keep my skills on par, I sent my spouse to work with paperbags full of breads almost every week for months .

And then I found them, after weeks and months and constant vigilence lest they close suddenly; bakeries making quite good baguettes, whole grain malt breads, rye breads. The sad part was they closed often, unable to find a wide enough market willing to part from supersoft, superwhite supersquare 'bread'. Those that did not close modified their recipes to meet the taste and texture that would sell better and in some cases, simply stopped making the breads I craved. I special ordered one bread in particular- Pan d'Fruilli was their name, pronounced as padufrui.And I experimented at home, until I got it almost exactly as remembered,but not perfect. And then, one day, I went to order and they had closed. In its place was a German bakery, which often made one or two very nice creations but! not my rye bread that barely rises and is filled with chopped nuts, cherries, peel and spices.

Unable to give up my morning ritual of thinly sliced and toasted bread with butter and a cup of tea, I set out to recreate it once again, only half the standard size so it might fit inside my oven. I searched recipes high and low, Laurel's KitchenRustic European Breads to name a few of many,  and hours on the internet. I even wrote my fellow bakers overseas,and finally I sat down with my very first bread book I ever used, Tassajara's Bread Book and significantly modified their recipe . I cut the measurements in half so it would fit in my little oven and waiting for the results. After much tampering with the recipe, and allowing for vast variations in the supplies of flour and ingredients  that were available, I am happy to say, I now have my bread and tea again.

  •  3c.warm water            

  • 1tsp yeast

  • 1/4c.corn syrup/honey mixture

  • 1/4c. dry milk powder

  • 2-5 cups unbleached white flour

  • 2-4 cups rye flour

  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil

  • extra white and rye flour for kneading

  • 1 cup dried marinated mixed fruits(cherries, raisins, orange and lemon peel)

  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts-walnuts

  • orange liquer/rum as soaking agent for fruit

  • cinnamon

  • 1tsp salt

Dissolve the yeast in water. Stir in sweetener and dry milk. Stir in enough white flour  mixed with salt until a thick batter is formed. Beat well (I use the kitchenaid mixer).Let rise 60 minutes until frothy and spongey.

Fold in salt and oil and additional flour-rye, until it comes away from the bowl. Knead in machine or on a board until smooth. Alternatively, the throwing method works well. Let rise until double,about 50 minutes. Punch down.

take 3/4 of the bread and flatten, mix fruits and nuts with cinnamon, spread on dough and roll up. Make a round shape and wrap remaining dough around it.

Let rise about  until 2/3rds about 25 minutes.

Bake at 175 c.350f. Bake until hollow sound and hard tapping, nicely browned, about one hour.

rest and cool.





judiandjeff's picture

Best Stand Mixer for Bread, not KA

About to replace my KA 5 qt. Want the best, but Hobart too expensive. Need advice among Bosch, Electrolux (are they still made?), Viking, and any other I missed. I assume these are in the $600 range or so, a little more is ok.

I searched here, and other sites online, and no one seems to be willing to say which they think is the best.


firstfloorfront's picture

Hello from the UK

Hello All

I've been making bread on and off for about 15 years, nothing spectacular just basic mixes and not always with success. I think its time I started to concentrate, expand my knowledge and experiment. Hopefully you will all start pointing me in the right direction. This is my basic mix which I think is always a bit "sticky": -

700g flour
15g salt
25g olive oil
7g dried active yeast
430ml water.


dmsnyder's picture

Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye: My second baking

Hansjoakim described this gorgeous rye bread in his blog last Fall, and I made Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye myself in September. I made it again today, inspired by the delicious-looking ryes Mini and Eric have showed us recently.

This time, I made a few changes: I used KAF First Clear flour rather than AP flour. I mixed the dough a bit longer (6 minutes). And I proofed the loaf seam-side down in the brotform, expecting the folds to open up during baking. As you can see, I must have sealed the loaf too well and, perhaps, proofed it too long. The result was an intact loaf with no bursting at all. And I got pretty good oven spring, too. Sometimes you can't get those attractive "imperfections," even when you try for them.

The crust was pleasantly chewy. The aroma of the cut bread was earthy-rye with a definite subtle sourness. The crumb was moist and tender. The flavor was earthy-sweet. It was wonderful, thinly sliced with cream cheese and smoked salmon for breakfast. It was also good open-faced with a bit of mayo and smoked turkey breast, accompanied by a bowl of lentil soup, for lunch.


goer's picture


Can a .5% reduction from 2% to 1.5% make a big flavor change? I did that today and just can't believe my bread taste's the same. Using slow natural fermentation process.





enaid's picture

newbie confusion

I have been baking yeast breads for decades.  Now I want to try using a starter. I have been perusing this site for days and am so confused as there is so much conflicting advice.  

I like to make, at least partial, whole wheat bread.  I want to, initially,  end up with a mild sour dough. I want something not too complicated or time consuming.  I only bake about once every week or so and probably bake only one or two loaves at a time. I know absolutely nothing about starters so, with these points in mind, here are some of the questions I need answering:-

1)What do I need to start a starter and in what proportions?

2) Do I keep it in the fridge or on the counter (my kitchen, in the winter, is 68-70 degrees and lower at      night).

3) How often do I feed/discard?

4)  How long before I can use it?

5)  What proportion do I add to a recipe with, say, 3 cups of flour?

I would be extremely grateful for any advice and, remember, I am only in kindergarten when it comes to starters, so use words of one syllable please! 





bobku's picture

Baking bread on charcoal grill

Has anyone baked bread on a charcoal grill or smoker anything other than a dutch oven. I would like to try this just wondering if others have and what the results were.

LBKexile's picture

1 lb. SAF Instant Yeast source in Atlanta

Just wanted to make a note that Atlantans can find the 1 lb bag of SAF instant yeast at the glorious (if smelly) Dekalb Farmers Market for $2.69 as of 02/10. I was resigned to having to order this online again (with no free shipping deal from King Arthur Flour like last time), but thought I'd check here as a last resort. I think I literally sang a little bit under my breath when I came upon the familiar red and white bags on the shelf. I had done lots of fruitless driving and Google searches trying to find a local brick & mortar source, and read that you can find this at Sam's, BJ's, etc, but I thought I'd put this out there for non-wholesale-club members like me. :)

JoMama's picture

Lodge Logic Cast Iron Bread / Loaf Pans - where you can get them

Recently I read that someone (sorry, cannot remember your name) was looking for cast iron bread pans ... I wanted some too ... I found some and was able to purchase two ... got them on eBay ... they were not cheap ... I paid $30 each ... but knowing how well they will serve me & the fact I'll have 'em forever, justified the expenditure ... they arrived & look absolutely brand new ... I'll go back to eBay & see if the seller has any more & will report back here.  Note:  eBay has been the only place I could find Lodge Logic Cast Iron Bread / Loaf Pans.


Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Coffee and date Bread Loaf

A couple of years ago our local baker baked every Saturday a Coffee and Date loaf of bread? They (sadly) no longer make this and I have tried to copy it without success. I cannot get the coffee flavour to shine through at all. The dough had a lovely dark malt color to it with chopped dried dates. It was so sweet to taste. We treated it as a raisin loaf and was great for a snack in the afternoon.

I have tried searching TFL for a possible recipe that may help me make this loaf. Again without success .

Is there any one out there in the TFL community that may be able to help with a possible recipe?

Heres Hoping..............Pete