The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
oceanicthai's picture

Bacon, Dill & Roasted Garlic Sourdough

Dill, bacon, olive oil, roasted garlic sourdough bread.


The fam's favorite bread so far.  All gone already.

Dwayne's picture

BBA Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch

I make this bread this weekend and I would like to thank all who have made this reciently and have posted to this site.  It certainly helps to see and read how others have made a certain bread.  I wish that I had checked here just before I started and David Snyder posted some picture showing the shaped loaves with the Dutch crunch on. 


I followed the recipe very closely.  When it came time to mix and apply the Dutch Crunch I was surprised how thick it was.  I used all the water that the recipe called for.  It was so think that I applied it to my dough using the back of a spoon that I would dip into the mixture and then apply to the loaves.  I was very pleaed with the way this bread turned out.  I'll be making this again.  I froze the extra Dutch Crunch mixture, I'll try putting it on some other bread.  My Son helped by taking the last two pictures.




Again thanks to all posters who shared their experiences and pictures.



Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

Statistics for Bakery Business Plans


Hi Folks,

I stumbled upon this great resource (AIB International Bakery Statistics) and thought it might be of use to those of you who are in the process of or thinking about writing a bakery business plan.


Great Baking,


davidg618's picture

65% hydrated baguettes

I routinely make baguettes with a straight dough at 70% hydration, and an overnight ferment at 55°F.  Curious, in yesterday's mix I reduced the hydration to 65%, all other ingredients (KA AP flour and sea salt) and processes were the same: DDT set to 55°F with ice water, and the dough chilled during autolyse, between S&Fs and overnight retarding for 15 hours. I was motivated to try a lower hydration based on a smattering of comments scattered in various TFL threads that argue open crumb isn't only about hydration. This dough, developed an extraordinary strength--I did the 3rd S&F only because I  always do three, it didn't need doing. The crumb is nearly as open as I experience in the 70% dough. However, the dough seemed to have less than the usual elasticity; note the broken surface between the scorings. I detected no apparent difference in flavor.

David G

merlie's picture

About to give up and/or sit down and cry!

I seem to be destined to never make my own starter ! My first attempt was Peter Reinhart's formula from  BBA. That just sat there , was very runny and did nothing. ( for days!) Next I went to my Tartine book and tried Chad Robertson's method. This resulted in it separating and forming a nasty black skin - never did bubble up or look anything like the pictures. Now , having read many posts here on TFL I am about to toss out my third attempt - PR's method from Artisan Breads Every Day with pinapple juice. I used a 50/50 blend of bread flour and WW flour. ( because Chad Robertson made me mix up 5lbs of it ! ) This attempt looked promising - a few tiny bubbles on day 3 - so I added flour and juice as per instructions and waited.....I stirred as instructed and waited......still no bubbling. When stirred there were bubbles inside but it did not  appear " active and bubbly " on the top. Day 7 came and went. I then decided to go ahead anyway just to see what would happen. Converting it to a Mother starter looked good. I formed a nice ball and followed PR's instructions to the letter, loosely covering it with plastic wrap. It could have doubled in 4 - 6hrs but it did not .As the house is a little below 70 degrees at night I put it in the oven with just the oven light on. Imagine my delight this morning to find that it had doubled ! This pleasure was short lived however when trying to follow the next step. ( "knead for a few seconds and form back into a ball ") It POURED onto my counter like a thick batter !!!  I have scraped it back into the bowl - what a mess.....It was much much wetter than a ciabatta dough. Why did it do this to me ??


So....feeling better now I've written it all down. If there is anyone near Armstrong, British Columbia throwing out starter please throw it this way !

Any communication gratfully received - Merlie

RonRay's picture

No-Knead Multigrain Seed and Nut Loaf

No-Knead Multigrain Seed and Nut Loaf

A previous blog:

Last December a posting by Jaydot caught my interest
Her sister in law had brought a recipe back from South Africa, which seem a bit strange.

Mini Oven suggested it might be South African Seed Bread, while PmcCool suggested it could be a variation on the Cape Seed Loaf.

After I spent some time seeing what Google had to offer on these subjects I concluded the two things they all had in common was a lot of seeds and no sourdough in sight. It seemed like a fun formula to play with, so I set out trying to come up with a reasonable sourdough version of a seed loaf.

By the end of February, I had a reasonably satisfactory loaf - on my fifth try. When I compared notes with Jaydot, I found that she had independently gotten a loaf that her sister in law found acceptable as well.

I picked up her use of caraway seed and maple syrup as something I wanted to try. So, I dropped the Chia seed and brown sugar I had used, and added her idea of maple syrup and caraway seed. Both proved their worth in the eating of my version number 6.

Number Six had nine (9) types of seed, two (2) types of nuts; six (6) types of flour plus maple syrup and toasted sesame seed oil. I was afraid to calculate the calorie count, but I am certain a person could gain weight on a diet of this bread and water, alone.

The loaf was 718 grams going into the oven and 665 grams at the time it came out of the oven. The instant internal temperature reading was 209ºF (98ºC).

The crumb was as nice, if not better, than the previous version 5 and both v-5 and v-6 were by far the best of the six loaves tested thus far. Texture wise, I feel the better crumb is due to the minimal kneading. The first 4 test loaves were all kneaded gently, but in a rather normal letter fold method common to most of my loaves. I felt that the extremely high nut and seed content did more damage to the gluten during kneading than could be offset by any benefits gained. So, in both v-5 and v-6, I basically switched to a no-knead method, and it seems to have made a major improvement in the openness of the crumb.

All six versions had excellent keeping properties, when kept at room temperature in a simple a bread box.

The sourdough was a 3 build levain using KAF AP flour, and was a baker's 94.2%.

The final rise for this loaf was 7 hours in a proof box at 82ºF( 27.8ºC). By that point it was pressing tightly against the FSFilm. I removed the FSFilm, scored top with 1 whole length center scoring. Bread pan place in a Turkey Pan. The bread pan was elevated from direct bottom contact by two SS knives.

The oven stones were removed from the cold oven. One cup of water was brought to a boil and the boiling water then poured into bottom of the turkey pan and the lid placed on at once, and the turkey pan and its contents were all placed in the cold oven on the lowest rack position. The oven was set to 450ºF (232º C).

With this fabricated "Dutch Oven" - formed from the turkey pan - resting at the lowest position, the constant heat of the electric oven's lower element, while raising the oven's internal heat to its highest setting, maintains the bottom of the "Dutch Oven" well above boiling temperature for 15 to 18 minutes. Steam visibly issues from the oven vent from about 3 minutes into the baking until about 18 minutes.

At 20 minutes, the Dutch Oven's lid was removed, oven heat set to 400ºF (204º C) for the balance of the baking, and the oven door held open by about 1/2" (12 mm) to vent any steam during the remaining 25 minutes of the baking. At the end of the total 45 minute baking, the oven was turned off and the loaf removed from both oven and bread pan. The loaf was placed on wire to cool for two hours. Then it was placed in a bread box at room temperature overnight, before being cut.

At this point, I have no ideas on what I may do different when I bake version 7. In fact, I might just repeat making this same formula, before trying any other possible improvements. Perhaps, that will change
but, for the moment, I am satisfied. ;-)

=====Update: March 18, 2011

Version 7 Seed Loaf has a few changes and , to my taste, is even better. A PDF with full details and photos can be seen at this link:




110307 Next blog:



bencheng's picture

Blisters on bagels

I've been making bages using form Ciril Hitz's book formula. After I shaped the bagels I kept them in the refriggerator for about 15 - 20 hours depends on the day.

For some reason all the bagels have tiny blisters on the crust. I've done some research and people said that's because of extended fermentation, but I think the texture and density were about right and I don't believe they were kept in the fridge for too long.

Some said that this is common for hand rolled bagels, but if you have any ideas that I can make smooth crust bagels I'd love to know.






jackie9999's picture

My first Focaccia

I've never made a Focaccia before so thought I'd try the one in BBA. Instead of the poolish I used my starter which I left overnight. I also 1/2'd the recipe...

It tastes very good - and looks pretty - but I'm not sure if it's too 'bready' looking - is it supposed to have big 'ciabatta' like holes?

Janetcook's picture

Starter with a Rotten Egg aroma

I have been experimenting with keeping my kamut/wheat and rye starters out on my counter rather than storing them in the refrig. for the past week.

My rye starter has a very pleasant aroma but my kamut/wheat has a bit of a rotten egg aroma to it that puzzles me.  (My starters in my refrigerator usually give off an alcoholic aroma after being stored for awhile so this is a new fragrance to me....)

I have been taking 5g of starter and giving it 5.5 grams of water and 8.5 grams of flour for a hydration level of 63%.  It is stored on my kitchen counter where the temp. varies according to the time of day.  It can fluctuate a good 10° in any given 24 hour period.  

I have been feeding it every 12 hours unless the temps have been a lot cooler then I have let it go 18 hours.  ( I judge feeding time by how it looks. I roll it up into a firm ball after it is first mixed and once it has relaxed and softened I feed it.)

These are both mature starters and I have been using them for several months now.

If this is a 'bad' thing, I do have back up starter in my refrig. and can use it but I wanted to check here first before starting a new counter batch...

THanks for any suggestions.


intelplatoon's picture

Fridge too cold??

at what temperature will yeast stop working. Ive made a few different batches of dough (brioche, and a sourdough) that i let proof at room temp for about one hour. I then put them in the fridge overnight to finish proofing slowly. when i wake up in the morning and take a look at the dough, which has been in the fridge for almost 9 hours, it doesnt look like it has done much rising at all. Is my fridge too cold? or is the retard method used to ferment only for flavor and not much rise at all. then let it rise at room temp after the fridge? i hope this makes sense. basically the fridge seems to stop my dough completely and i dont think my fridge is much colder than any other?