The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ericb's picture

What is a Peasant Loaf?

I always hear the term "Peasant Bread," but I've never been able to nail down a definition. I assumed it was a whole wheat loaf made with poolish, but recipes online are all across the board. 

Is this just another name for "rustic" or "artisan" bread, or does it have a more specific meaning?

Any thoughts?

drosner's picture

Puerto Rican Sandwich Loaf?

I've been trying to develop a recipie for the italian loaf style bread that i get at the bakeries in Puerto Rico. Its a relatively soft crumb that is almost 'wispy' inside with a nicely browned but not too crisp outside. In reading the ingredients of many loafs/brands they all show the same flour, water, yeast, salt as ingredients and nothing more.

I've tried different flours, water content, oven temp, etc. - but just can't see to get that interior that is soft like white bread but with the open texture of a good italian bread.

Any ideas?

RiverWalker's picture

Anyone know "Valentinos"?

theres a pizza place where I grew up, (southeast nebraska) called Valentinos. its the name for good pizza there, and its great.

by my memory, their main pizza crust is a relatively thick, fluffy, moist, buttery and light.  but at the same time having enough stiffness to not be completely flimsy. it had a nice gold browning on the bottom.  it could stand up to a relatively heavy load of toppings, and have a presence, but not be overwhelming.

very different from the artisan-y, lightly topped, paper thin crusted pizza that some seem to see as the ideal.   I mean that has its good points too, but I miss that breadier, richer pizza experience.

I want to try to simulate that sort of crust more.  what would be the best way to go about trying to mimic that sort of crust?

celestica's picture

Why Did This Banana Bread Fall?

I made this banana bread from my children's Sesame Street book.  I liked that it started out with whole wheat flour and honey.  I used pastry flour.

It had an impressive rise in the oven then collapsed to flat on the counter.  In fact, it started falling at the 55 minute mark. 

Can you suggest any improvements that would help it stay high?  I thought of eggs and baking powder but I'm not sure.

3 ripe bananas

3/4 c. honey

1/4 c. melted butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Cook at 350 for one hour.






nicodvb's picture

Does barley flour has any means to rise?


besides rye another passion of mine is barley.

I was wondering it barley flour has any means to rise, just like wheats have gluten and rye has pentosans.


I know fo sure that in Sardinia bakers have been making a 100% barley bread for centuries, but now it's only a memory of the far past and I couldn't find the recipe.


I found several recipes here, but all tainted with wheat.



LA Baker's picture
LA Baker

Barm in place of Levain? Confused....

I want to make some of the recipes in DL's Local Breads, but I don't want to make his levain from scratch.  I have a great starter that works, do I need to start again with a Levain?

I'm sure this info is on this blog somewhere, but I couldn't find the exact answer I need.  Can someone tell me the difference between BARM/STARTER/LEVAIN/POOLISH/BIGA/PATE FERMENTE/STIFF LEVAIN?  Can you subsitute one for the other, or is one process that different from the other?  Are they basically the same thing, but merely two ways to do the same thing?

Confused.  Help would be great.

Thank you!

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Levain building method question

Looking for some scientific comparisons to building a levain in relation to what I have been doing.   I won't say that what I do is wrong,  just not how others do things.  I have great results and quite happy with my breads but I'm trying to find out other than the method, how things are fermenting in comparison to conventional levain building.  Also if this method could fail me at some point.

Instead of a conventional levain build I use the discards of my feedings to make my bread. 

I take the first group of discards and feed it appropriately then pop it in the fridge. On the next feeding I just add the discards to the fridge group and fold it into the last.  So fridge bowl gets a fresh batch of starter discards and folded twice a day.   The starter becomes very fibrous and rubber like even on a 1:1:1 ratio.  After a few days I have a bunch of discard that fermented in the fridge for a number of days.

I use a large amount of this in my bread, I tend to keep my preferment flour 50-50 to final flour amount.

I'm getting very nice sourdough flavor , better then on a conventional build and everything else is business as usual.

So for those of you that understand the scientific aspect of the dough I would appreciate your thoughts on what my method is doing different to the dough then a conventional build.  Also for a home baker will this method fail me for other bread types?  I do know it also works for Pizza dough and is the first time I have good sourdough taste to my crust.

Thanks for your thoughts, Faith    

Sorry for the first line  it won't go away even in an edit...this is a copy and paste from a word doc.


Matt H's picture
Matt H

Last week's bread baking contest in SF

Found out about this too late: Yeast Affliction! All-Out Artisan Bread Bakedown & Craft Beer Tastiness took place last weekend. Any Fresh Loafers involved? Worth looking at some of the photos and checking out the team names...

People's Choice: Team #11 / Fire in the Fornix! / The Hurricane

People's Choice Honorable Mention: Team #14 / Dark Horse Breads / Pear Walnut Bread

Photog's Choice: Team #9 / The Fancy Boyz / Pain a l'Ancienne

1st Place: Team #19 / Jen Rosa / Rosemary Sourdough Bread

2nd Place: Team #20 / Rocket Baby / Cherry Poppin' Walnut

3rd Place: Team #16 / Bread for Gold / Sour River Loaf


uberathlete's picture

Questions about Potato Flour

Hi everyone. I'm considering using some potato flour in my bread roll recipe. I have a few questions:

1. Does potato flour help to increase softness and moisture retention?

2. Does potato flour affect crumb structure significantly?

3. If I replace a % of flour with potato flour, should I increase the % of liquid?

4. Does potato flour adversely affect rise and volume? When dough has potato flour, will rise time (second rise) be affected (ie. should I let the dough rise for a longer period)?

Basically, I would like to make my bread rolls softer or as soft as they are now but with better retention of moisture, and without sacrificing volume. I would like my bread rolls to stay soft for a longer period of time. I'd love to hear about people's experience with potato flour, and ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

peartree's picture

perforated bread pan without teflon?

I have a dilemma. I regularly bake crusty french loaves in a 2-loaf perforated Chicago Metallic pan. Our family recently acquired a pet bird, who could potentially die if the non-stick coating on the pan overheats. The chemicals used to make nonstick coatings, when heated to high temperatures, give off gases which are fatal to birds. I am looking for a non-non-stick alternative pan. So far my searches have yielded absolutely nothing. Does anyone know of a sticky (just plain aluminum or ceramic or steel) perforated bread pan? I'm looking for the kind with rounded bottoms, for making batards. Any help would be gratefully received! I'll miss that pan!