The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Yippee's picture

091112 My First Ciabatta - SteveB's Ciabatta Using Double Flour Addition and Double Hydration Techniques

I tried SteveB's double flour addition/double hydration techniques to make his ciabatta, one of the three beautiful breads I promised myself to learn from some of the most sophiscated, well-respected home bakers here at TFL when I first started making bread back in February this year. Since then I'd tried dmsnyder's baguettes and Susan's ultimate sourdough.  I've always tried my best to emulate the orginal formulas so that my breads would not 'disgrace' the beautiful creations by these bakers.  My ciabatta is no comparison to Steve's picture perfect creation, but at least I can say 'I've tried it'.  Thank you, Steve, for your inspiration of pursuing professional quality breads from a home kitchen.

plevee's picture

DLX again

I bought a used DLX 9000 on eBay. I have used it twice and would appreciate a little help.

1. It is very difficult to judge hydration - the gluten development seems to be very good but the dough has been stiffer than I expected compared with hand kneading.

2. How do you know when it is kneaded enough? When it forms a doughnut? Or do you have to stop the machine every few minutes and check for a windowpane? Accounts I have read range from 5 minutes to 20 minutes for adequate development.

3. Is there much danger of overworking the dough.

So far it is not love at first encounter!


PeterPiper's picture

Best selling/favorite bread?

I've been making bread and selling it to friends and family for a while now, building up my menu to include nine different breads.  Recently I promoted a cranberry walnut brioche braid which turned out to be by far the most popular, selling very well.  I hadn't expected it to be so popular, which makes me wonder what other type of bread might be a best seller. 

I'd like to hear from my baking colleagues what bread they think I should add to my menu.  What do you find is your most requested bread for family events?  What is your favorite to eat?  i've found that my favorites (ciabatta and sourdough) don't sell nearly as well as the sweeter breads. 

Also, I'm opening a contest on my blog for a new bread nomination and the winner gets a free loaf of bread from the menu shipped to their home.  The link is below and feel free to enter.  Thanks and let's hear those nominations!


donna322's picture

Long rise sour dough

Hello...I am a new sourdough baker and this is also the first time I have used a long rise method. I put the dough in the oven with the light on at 3:30 pm. I took it out at 6:30 a.m. and it had certaily doubled in height but a crust had formed. I wasn't sure if I should peel off the crust before punching down and kneading again. I decided not to peel it off and just kneaded it all together and it is now on its 2nd rise so we'll see what becomes if this loaf..ha ha! Did the crust form because of the light in the oven? Thanks for any help for this newbie!

Ek's picture

Milk powder in Hokkaido milky bread- Help needed !

I'm into experimenting with the Hokkaido milky bread,mainly in order to create some interesting products for the local market here.I opted for applying the recipe as recommended here ,in this forum


For some reason,this recipe requires the use of both fresh milk and milk powder. Searching on this forum,I have found out that the only reason for using powder milk is the scalded milk issue (destroying the enzym the reacts with the gluten).In the case ,what is the reasoning for using both fresh milk and powdered milk at the same recipe?Can I replace the powdered milk with fresh milk and in waht ratio? (the original recipe calls for the use of 30 grams powdered milk).Thanks.




DonD's picture

Eric Kayser's La Tourte de Meule


In Eric Kayser's book "100% Pain", the Foreword written by the celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse waxed poetic about Kayser's Tourte de Meule, which literally translates to "Millstone Pie" and which is basically a Country Miche made with High Extraction Organic Stone Ground Flour and a Liquid Levain.

 Eric Kayser's "La Tourte de Meule"

In my last blog, I mentioned that I was able to bring back 3 types of Organic Flour from the "Meunerie Milanaise" in Quebec, the same mill that supplies Daniel Leader's "Bread Alone" bakery in Woodstock, New York. In addition to the basic Type 55 AP Flour, I also bought their Type 70 and Type 90 Organic Stone Ground flours. Having secured the proper ingredients, I decided to give EK's Tourte de Meule a try.

EK's original recipe:

- 700 g T 80 Organic Stone Ground Flour

- 300 g T 65 Organic Stone Ground Flour

- 200 g Liquid Levain

- 2 g Fresh Yeast

- 25 g Sea Salt from Guerande

- 700 g Water

Since my flours have slightly higher extraction, I decided to use half T 90 (83% extraction) and half T 70 (81% extraction) Organic Stone Ground Flour. I also halved the recipe to 500 g total Flour Mix and converted the yeast amount to 1/8 teaspoon Instant Yeast (for 500 g total flour). I used Grey Sea Salt from Guerande and Deer Park Spring Water. My Liquid Levain build was 100% hydration using T 70 Flour.

I modified the procedures slightly from Kayser's instructions. He calls for mixing all the ingredients, fermenting the dough at room temperature for 2-1/2 hours with stretch and fold at 15 minutes and then at 1-1/2 hours, shaping and proofing in banneton for 2 hours before baking.

My Procedures:

- Combine the Flour Mix and Water and autolyse for 30 minutes.

- Add the Liquid Levain, Yeast and Salt and knead with a dough hook on slow speed for 2 minutes.

- Do 10 stretch and fold in the bowl at 45 minutes interval 4 times.

- Ferment the dough at room temperature for 1 hour and retard in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

- Shape the dough into a Boule and let the dough rise in a lined Banneton for 1 hour.

- Bake in preheated 440 degrres F oven for 15 minutes with steam and at 410 degrees F without steam for 30 minutes.


The loaf had great oven spring. The exterior had a deep amber color and was nice and crusty. The smell was sweet and caramelly. The crumb was open and medium soft with a slight chewiness. The crumb color was beige with fine specks of bran, similar to a whole wheat crumb. The flavor was wheaty, tangy with a touch of acidity. When sliced and toasted, it took on a whole new dimension. The taste of toasty grain came out with an extra dose of sweetness. Overall, I was very pleased with the result.





subfuscpersona's picture

Susan's Simple Sourdough Challenge - Take Two


On October 4th, ehanner's blog presented Susan's Simple Small Sourdough Challenge. Eric's challenge was simple - make Susan's bread and report back. My first attempt at Susan's bread was posted to Susan's Simple Sourdough Challenge - Take One on November 7, 2009. I was so enthralled with her bread I made it a second time a few days later.

Susan's basic recipe and method can be found on her blog post of April 17, 2008. I would also recommend you check out Susan's Blog for variations and lots of great photos of her bread.

The ingredients are straightforward: sourdough starter, unbleached bread flour (either regular or high gluten), whole grain flour, water and salt. Dough hydration is 70%.

What really makes this bread special is her method (minimal kneading and periodic stretch-and-folds, a long bulk fermentation and, after shaping, an overnight proof in the refrigerator). The only change I made to her method was to add a one hour autolyse at the very beginning (combine all the flour and water, roughly mix and let rest, covered, at room temperature, for one hour). After the autolyse, the starter and salt were mixed in and from that point I followed her instructions.

The dough can be shaped as a boule or a batard. Susan usually shapes it as a boule and covers the dough with a heat-proof metal bowl for the first 15 minutes of the bake. (If shaped as a batard, she suggests using the lid of a turkey roaster). Covered baking eliminates the need to steam the oven and results in great oven spring.

For this trial, I used my 100% hydration sourdough starter, unbleached bread flour, rye flour (home milled), ordinary tap water and sea salt. I shaped the dough as a batard (I prefer this shape) and used the bottom of an enameled metal turkey roaster as the cover.

This is a wonderful bread. A nice sourdough flavor, open crumb, crispy crust. Here are photos...

Kneaded Dough Ready for Bulk Ferment

My Rising Container - a plastic basket lined with a cotton tea towel rubbed with rice flour

Risen Dough Ready to be Baked.

On the Peel (a cookie sheet) and Slashed

Cooling After the Bake

Crumb (photo is a little blurry - sorry!)

alabubba's picture

My Daily Bread

I have had several people ask about this recipe so here it is. Sorry for taking so long.


Nicho Bread (Named for my grandson)

19.25 oz Good quality AP flour    
10.65 oz Milk
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Instant Yeast

This makes up about 2 pounds of dough, I bake it as a single loaf and it makes a TALL loaf. That's the way we like it around here but you could easily make 2 smaller loaves with this recipe.

Place the Flour, Salt, Sugar, and Yeast in a Large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
In a small sauce pan heat milk until very warm. (I do this in the microwave, about 90 seconds) add the butter to the warm milk. Stir until the butter melts. This gives the milk time to cool if you got it too hot.
Dump the milk/butter on the flour mix and stir with a big wooden spoon until it has absorbed all the liquid. Dump onto your counter top and begin kneading by hand for about 1 minute, Just trying to incorporate all the flour at this point. Cover and let the dough rest/hydrate for 5 minutes.
Continue to knead by hand for another 5 minutes. It should not be sticky. If it is, use a little flour to help make it workable. It should form a smooth, soft dough that is not sticky.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise until doubled, usually takes about 60 to 90 minutes but let the dough dictate the time.
After doubled, deflate and form into a 5 x 9 loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Again, let the dough set the time.
Bake on the lower rack of a 325° oven until done. I use a thermometer at between 195° and 200°
You may need to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the loaf to keep the crown from burning.

(I often have to cover with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent burning the top crust)
(You can use bread flour if you want, Also, I sometimes use 30% WW flour)
(I use 2% but have used whole, skim and even buttermilk, I have also made this with water in a pinch)
(I have used Honey, brown sugar, Lyle's Golden syrup and molasses)
(I have used margarine, Vegetable oil and olive oil, and lard)


Lets make some bread, No fancy Kitchen Aid required

First the dry.

Now the wet

10.65 Ounces is about 1 and 1/4 cups

Nuke it to get it warm. But be careful not to get it too hot.

3Tbsp butter

Melt it in your warm milk, Should look something like this.

Now, Everybody into the pool. and mix with a spoon until the liquid is absorbed.

Dump onto the board and work just enough to get it incorporated.

Then let it rest 5 minutes and then knead for 5 minutes

You should end up with a lovely smooth, soft, not sticky ball of dough.

Proof it

Deflate and pan.

Can you see where I poked it with my finger. It's ready.


Surface tension causes the dough to open at the cut. Can you see the crumb structure even in the raw dough?

Nothing left but to put in a 325° oven. It bakes for about 25 minutes but I don't watch the clock, When it looks done I check it with a thermometer.

This loaf is so tall that I have to cover it with foil for the first 10 minutes to keep it from burning on top. Maybe if I had a bigger oven, but even with the rack on the lowest setting it still will burn if I am not careful.

Wow, Talk about oven spring!

and the requisite crumb shot...

dmsnyder's picture

Rx for the uptight, perfectionist baker

I just viewed a video of Julia Child making Tarte Tatin. This was a 1971 broadcast of The French Chef TV program.

Now, Tarte Tatin is a favorite of mine, but my reason for pointing you all to this video is Julia's performance. I won't say more. Just see for yourself.



txfarmer's picture

Pumpkin Challah


The recipe is from Maggie Glezer's " A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking from Around the World" I got the book from the library and just love it! So much fascinating history and background information, along with many recipes, I had no idea challah breads have so many variations. This time of the year, I am in a pumpkin kick, so I immediately made pumpkin challah. Even though there are many interesting braiding techniques in the book, my shaping/braiding was from Hamleman's "Bread", which consists of 20 strands, 6 sets of six strand braids, and one 2 strand braid in the middle. I have been wanting to try this massive braiding project for a while now, so glad it turned out well!

The pumpkin flavor is quite subtle, I would probably increase the amount of pumpkin puree next time, but the spice combo was on the mark, crumb was soft, and crust was slightly hard from the egg brush.

I love the golden color, combined with the star shape, I think it's quite a looker! And I think I will buy the book, a worthy addition to my already huge bread book collection.