The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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MadAboutB8's picture

Soft Butter Rolls for Australia Day barbeque

It's Australian Day and it's the day when Aussies celebrate with things we love, barbeque, beer and lamington (?). We didn't plan to do any BBQ gatherings but ended up with one.

I only knew about the BBQ 5-6 hours in advance and decided to bring some fresh butter rolls to the barbie. Given the tight timeframe, straight-dough is the only option. I chose the soft butter rolls recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook. The rolls can be done in about 3 hours which worked out nicely with the limited time.

I also sprinkle grated Parmesan on the rolls before the bake and brush the hot rolls with melted butter. The rolls were a hit. They were soft and relatively rich with butter, milk and egg in them. Parmesan also added nice aroma and sharp cheese flavour. It was a great accompaniment to the barbeque dinner.

For more details and photo you can click on below link:

Yummy bread rolls, with sprinkled Parmesan and black sesame seeds


The bread rolls with a view of Melbourne CBD




azelia's picture

High Percentage of Fats in Bread

hi Everyone

this is the first time posting on here and i'm hoping that some expericence bakers will be able give an idea on this question of mine, I've asked on another forum but got no answers.

The link below is for a Dan Lepard's recipe of some Soft Baps (Bread Rolls) which contain some butter, 75g butter to 815g of flour.

The method of these baps of making up the sponge leaving it for a couple of hours and then adding the liquid fat to it has got me wondering about doing the recipe this way around?

Is it because of the amount of fat in the recipe and that will inhibit gluten development? so you start the gluten to develop before adding the fat?

I read in the How Baking Works book that fat can stop gluten development by stopping the wheat absorbing the water therefore halting the process...which is what makes me wonder that this recipe is constructed this way to compensate for that?

In the past when I've asked why make a Sponge for a bread recipe I've been told is to add flavour to the bread...but wondered if it's also to do with the gluten development?

would that make sense...or am I going down the wrong pathway?

varda's picture

Wondering about crackly crust

The other day I had a bread disaster.   First of all my loaves were too big and twinned with each other.   Second I preheated the oven to 500F meaning to turn it down after I put the loaves in, but didn't.   Third, I forgot to set the timer when I removed the steam pans, so I actually have no idea how long they baked in total - but suffice it to say too long.   Teach me to bake when there's too much activity around me.  Anyhow, when I removed these sad, sad loaves from the oven, the crust crackled like crazy.   I find this very frustrating because I haven't been able to do this on purpose.   The last time I had crackly crust was when I baked with King Arthur French Style flour, and I had just assumed it was a function of the flour.   The monster loaves were made with KA All Purpose which is what I usually use, so I'm mystified.  Does anyone out there understand the knobs to turn to get crackly crust not including what I did?    Thanks.  -Varda

tananaBrian's picture

UPDATE: The Bread Challenge!


  It's been awhile, but 'The Bread Challenge', is cranking right along and new members joining on a regular basis.  For those that do not know what this is, the home page is  As shown on our web page, the following is what The Bread Challenge is all about:

"Similar to other bread baking challenges, we are a group of enthusiastic amateur and professional bakers of artisan breads ...coming together to bake our way through Jeffrey Hamelman's landmark work, Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes."

If this sounds interesting to you, then please allow us to welcome you to the club ...stop by our web site, read the rules, look at the recipe list and then please do get involved!  Note:  The rules are nearly non-existent and there is no schedule.  The recipe list is a shortened list of what is in the book, but has you selecting recipes that represent each key group of recipes in the book.  For example, you don't have to bake both Roasted Potato Bread and Potato Bread with Roasted Onions, you can pick just one and bake that.  The intention is to experience each major technique and category of bread at least once as you bake your way through the book.  Oh, and you don't have to bake in any particular order.  Just let your whims, moods, and feelings guide you!

We also maintain a blog aggregation web site (a site with updates coming from several member's blogs) that you can take a look at:

My blog is at:

Whole Wheat Bread with a Multigrain Soaker, p. 126


Hope to see you soon!  Use the contact info at our web site (above) when you wish to join and I will add your name to the list.  If you maintain a blog, or want to, we can help with that and we will add links for to our site for that as well.


Thanks for listening!





boophils's picture

Breadmaker makes heavy, dry and tough bread.

Have obtained a Morphy Richards Fast Bake from a friend who no longer wanted it. Downloaded manuals and following it to the letter, however the bread is heavy, dry with a very tough crust. It is edible, but not what we were hoping. Tried 3 different recipes and new yeast sachet used each time. I have seen many people saying that they use bread machines for making the dough and bake it themselves in an oven. Is the the best way to get a good texture and a good crust or does anybody have any other ideas?

For information our favourite general breads are granary, baguette and tiger loaf.



FoodHacker's picture

Need help and have questions about making brioche

Sorry I wasn't sure where to post this but here goes


Starting off I have never made this bread before but reading the recipe list of several different suggested ways to make the bread it sounds delicious....OK so here goes      
1) I have a 6 qt. Kitchen Aid mixer 600 Pro series, can it handle the mixing time and speed this bread needs?
2) Almost ever recipe calls for cutting the dough into balls and placing them in the pan in a row or side by side.... why is this done because I can't for the life of me figure out why I would want to make a loaf of bread like that other than for looks,  why not just shape the dough into a loaf and put it in the pan?

I was wanting to make it mainly for my wife to eat in the morning for breakfast before work and to use as French toast and of course I understand it makes pretty good sticky buns as well as other things I'm sure.

Any and all input on this is greatly needed and appreciated as I would really love to make this bread but I don't want to kill my mixer doing it.

Thanks in advance

polo's picture

Barley Malt Powder

I've done a quick search on this subject. but I am still a little confused. I have need for diastatic malt powder. I've searched local in my local shops here, but have only been able to fine a product labeled as "Barley Malt Powder", it contains no other ingredients.

So here is my question: If the product is labeled simply "Barley Malt Powder" how can one tell whether it is diastatic or non-diastatic. I know the difference between the two, I am just wondering which one I purchased. The constistency is that of a fine flour and it is mildly sweet, if that helps.

Thanks in advance.


gary.turner's picture

Temperature adjustment with the microwave

Since the liquids in nearly every dough need to be tempered, I went looking for some straight forward, repeatable method to get the temperature I wanted. My answer was to use the microwave. The next step was to figure out how to get the right time for any mass of water or milk, and for any temperature change.

We can see that the time required (Sec) is proportional to the mass of the water (M) and to the change in temperature (ΔT), multiplied by some constant (C). 

M × ΔT = C × Sec

Rearranging to solve for the time; Sec = M × ΔT / C

With my microwave oven, the constant is 312.5 for weight in grams and temp in Fahrenheit. There's a kink in the formula though. My oven requires about 3 seconds to come up to speed, so I add that to the calculated time. For example, let's say I have 350g of  40F milk from the frig that needs to be 65F for an intensively mixed Vienna style dough. I need to raise the temp by 25F, so 350×25/312.5+3 yields 31sec to raise the temp to 65F.

How do you find your magic number? Measure some water, say in the 300-450g range. Take its temperature, and zap it for some reasonable time, e.g. 30 seconds. Measure the temp. Repeat with the same weight of water, for a different length of time. Plot the two tests on graph paper (or use a spreadsheet or graphing calculator), and extend the line through the points to where it crosses the zero temperature change line. Where it intercepts the zero temp, the time line will have some small value. That's your start-up time. Now multiply the weight of the liquid by the temperature change and divide by the time less the start-up time. For example, 350 × 25 / (31 - 3) = 312.5 Notice that that is from my own earlier example. Do the math on your other test(s). The C values should closely agree.

Once you have your magic number, any weight of water or milk and any (upward) temperature adjustment will provide the zapping time for your microwave.



Terrell's picture

Texas Kolaches

Back in the fall I promised my niece-in-law that I would make kolaches for her birthday at the end of November. Which I did, using the recipe from the point of departure. They were OK, but not quite right. Too dry, a little doughy and the flavor was not quite the same. Wait a minute, you say, not the same as what? What the heck are these kolaches of which you write?

 Apricot Kolaches       Apricot Kolaches

Right smack in the middle of Texas there's an area that was populated by people of Czech descent. Well, a bunch of Germans, too, but right now we're interested in the Czechs. They brought a number of traditions from the home country that have worked their way into local culture, most prominently the sweet roll that makes a true Texan's heart do a little extra thump---the kolache. When I was little, the ladies from the Catholic church in Ennis would come up to our church in Dallas to fundraise by selling home-baked kolaches to the big city folks. We didn't get quite as excited as we would for Christmas that weekend but it was right up there with, say, Easter. Mom would buy six dozen and freeze five of them to be brought out for special occasions during the year. We got to eat one box that morning. Now, you have to realize that there are nine kids in my family. Add two parents and that meant that we each only got one kolache. And I still remember those five or six bites as a highlight of my year.

After a couple of my brothers moved to Austin to go to the University (no need to qualify which university in Texas) our kolache supply got a little steadier. Anyone who made the drive between Dallas and Austin was required to stop in West, Texas (the name of a town, not a region that is in central, not west, Texas) and pick up a couple dozen. It was a regular enough occurrence that we could request certain fillings instead of just grabbing whatever was available. I always went for apricot first, cream cheese second. Or maybe prune. And then, I grew up. Moved away. Lost my source and only ever got a kolache fix if my visits to Dallas happened to coincide with an Austinite's. Joined that community of expat Texans who could only dream. Now and then I'd find a bakery that claimed to make them but they were never anything close to what I remembered. You know, if it's not right, it's just not right.

Now you probably think I'm crazy, just wierd to feel this way about a pastry, but I am not alone. My niece who requested them for her birthday isn't even a Texan, just married to one. When I went looking for a recipe on the internet, the passionate postings about dough and fillings were everywhere. They all seemed to point one direction, however. The recipe posted on The Homesick Texan blog seemed to be the place to go for the real thing. There were 138 comments on the post that all say pretty much the same thing, "Oh my god these are amazing, just the way I remember them." So I used her dough recipe exactly. I subbed in some other fillings since I was out of apricots but that's not important. It's the bread that matters. And now there are 139 comments on that post including mine which says, "Oh my god these are amazing, just the way I remember them."

I'm not going to reprint her recipe. You can go see it for yourself. I will just tell you that I found I had to bake them a little longer than her timing states, more like 20-25 minutes. It may just be that I need to check my oven temp. There are some tiny details that she leaves out that make them even more perfect like you should put them close enough together on the baking sheet so that the oven spring makes them just kiss each other and you wind up with a slightly squared off, not perfectly round finished product. I found the Posypka recipe needs either more butter or less flour/sugar to make it clump properly. She only includes a recipe for apricot filling but it seems more authentic to have a variety so I made three kinds. I used some Trader Joe organic strawberry preserves for some which, while cheating, still came out well. I took some plum conserve my brother made from his home-grown red plums, drained out most of the liquid and mashed up the plum bits. Those, too, were pretty successful. And I really wanted some raspberry ones so I just tried some raspberry jam I had in the fridge. This was way too watery and made a mess on the cookie sheet. They also got the 'best taste' vote from all my testers so I'm going to work on how to make a drier version next time. I also have a request for the cottage cheese/cream cheese filling from my nephew. Can't wait to try it.

Homesick Texan Kolaches

JeremyCherfas's picture

Pure semolina?

I've let myself run out of white bread flour, although I have plenty of soft flour, semolina, rye and wholewheat.

I'll try the 100% semolina sandwich loaf, and I just thought I'd check in here to see if anyone has any favourite recipes that use lots of semolina, or even 100% until my Manitoba arrives.