The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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LindaLou's picture


Hi my name is Linda and I am new to this. I have been cooking and baking for years. But I real never got into the bread baking part of it. I now have the time my kids have moved out. I love this site I check on this site every day. My question is what are the best books for me to buy? Also what tools do I need to get started?

 Thanks for your help


tteddy's picture

my whole wheat is two heavy

I am fairly new to making bread and enjoying it but I haven't quite got it perfected. I would like to be able to replace store bought sandwich bread with home made. my last attempt was using the whole wheat sourdough recipe in the handbook section. It taste vary good but is a little to dense and the crumb is very tight. What is causing this and how can I fix it. I let it rise then retarded it over night before the final rise. any suggestions?  tried to post a pic but cant get it to work.


Salaheldin's picture

Bread with raisins

Here is my first bread with raisins.



300 gm AP flour

50 gm semolina

1 egg

4 tbsp sugar

pinch salt

200 gm water

50 gm butter

1 tbsp instant yeast

handful raisins


step one:


soak raisins in warn water for 30 minuits and drain it before putting it in the dough.


step two:


combine all ingredients in mixer, leave the salt out till the yeast is mixed with flour then add salt.


step three:


after 5 minuits mixing add raisins.


step four:


mix 12 minuits, if dough is very smooth add flour carefully till it is all attached to the hook. don't add much flour, this dough should be 70% moisture.


step five:


get it our of mixer and put it in a place to rise till at least doubled in size.


step six:

put it on bench upside down and make the hamelman fold or anyother folding you do best.


step seven:


shape the dough and let it rise till at least double in size then brush with egg wash and bake for 35 minuits on 230 degrees. you can bake for more but reduce temperature to 200 (this will make harder crust).


see photos and give me your opinions my friends.





Good porosity



thats another loaf

smasty's picture

Simple Sourdough Pumpkin Pancakes

I woke up this morning wanting to try making sourdough pancakes with my leftover starter.  I looked up the KAF recipe that people mentioned here, and saw that it used an overnight sponge.  I wanted to whip something out fast and simple, and spontaneous. sponge for me!  I love the result...light, fluffy (they rose quite a bit), healthy (well, the plate that is pictured is my husband's...mine was healthier).  I had some pumpkin in the freezer that went into the mix.  I don't have exact measurements because I was just tossing stuff in, but here goes: 

About 1/4 c. starter, cold from the fridge (just dump in a big glop)

about 3/4c milk (made from dry)

1 egg

about 1/2 t. baking soda

2 t sugar

about 1/4 c pumpkin

about 1/2 c whole wheat flour

1 packet stevia

Mix it all up until you have a batter (make adjustments if it's too thin or thick)....This made 5 pretty big cakes. 



metropical's picture


has anyone a better way to steam the oven then ice in a loaf pan or boiling water in a cast iron skillet or pyrex?

nancys's picture

Making baking tiles

Has anyone made baking stones from clay?  I have a convection oven and am thinking of making tiles from stoneware clay.  There would be 4 tiles that would fit my oven rack, leaving 1" of space all around for air flow.  I am thinking of adding some minor designs into the tile so the bottom crust of my breads would pick up the design elements.

Any thoughts?


will slick's picture
will slick

Question about % of starter to flour?

Is there a rule of thumb for the % of starter to use in a formula compared to the total flour (bakers %)

 how long is it safe to let an enriched dough (just a TBS of butter) ferment at room temp?

Do low hydration doughs have problems when using sour dough starters? I am finding that while my starter is very active it is not rising a stiff dough. My first try was very wet and rose very well.

Thank for any advice Will

occidental's picture

Lavash Crackers

A few days ago I made Lavash Crackers from Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice.

Anyone that owns this book has likely paged past the photos of these great crackers and has felt compelled to make them.  I've made them a few times before and always enjoy them as they make a great snack or tool for dipping into a variety of items.  Common toppings I use are sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chili powder and caraway.  I've tried both breaking these into pieces and cutting them before cooking as I did this time around.  I've typically brushed these with an egg wash before applying the toppings though this time I followed Reinharts direction and brushed with water.  I decided I prefer the egg wash as it provides a better looking deep golden finished look.  You can make these easily in an evening and try a lot of different toppings.  Consider giving them a try if you haven't yet!


Barmaley's picture

Better than just flour and water

I need help to find a better recipe for the sourdough bread. I am just starting baking and my goal is to bake whole rye bread. Unfortunattely, several days ago I did so much whole rye that I ate just half of what I baked. At the same time I still have extra starter which I need to feed anyway - I do not like an idea to put it to fridge. So I tryed couple of times simple sourdough bread, which was working OK, but not perfect. While I still need to sharpen my tecniques in baking plain bread I would like to try some different texture bread. I am thinking about adding oil, milk and sugar to it. I remember, that extra ingredients made huge difference when I used my baking machine. Does somebody know of a recipe for 100% sourdough with more than just wheat flour, but not extra fruits, rasins, etc., just bread? I have spent over an hour looking though recipes on this forum as well on many other sites on the web, but could not find simething interesting.

Thank you in advance


BLHNYC's picture

Unprocessed wheat bran

Hi Everyone!

I made banana muffins the other day with unprocessed wheat bran. Now I have a big bag of it leftover. Does anyone have recipes that call for this? Also, how should I store it now that the bag is open?