The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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aptk's picture

Italian Peasant Bread

Found this recipe lurking around on this site and just had to try it. IT'S PERFECT!!! Quick, easy and a delightful companion for my home made chicken soup.

My picture shows four subjects, the bread ready to go in the oven, the bread just out of the oven, the bread torn by hand into pieces and the soup it went so well with.

I will have to stock up on flour as I envision myself finding many more recipes to try!

SylviaH's picture

Focaccia - FWSY - Rinforzato

I've been curious about trying the Antimo Caputo Tipo 00 Rinforzato flour.  

A few weeks ago I called an Italian grocer 'Taylor's Market' located in CA and asked if they would repackage their Caputo Rinforzato flour into smaller 5 lb bags.  They were very obliging.  Their shipping is very reasonable for me.

Note:  I just have to tell everyone if you don't already know.  About all my jam's and jellies... Having a loaded double crop of figs on my tree this year I have been picking daily and making small batches of fig jam....Oh, so much work.  Until, I found the new 'Ball  FreshTech' automatic Jam & Jelly maker.  OMG..push a button...perfect jam and jellies.  Not to be associated with being an add or anything..but this little machine was perfect and perfect it does fun, easy and simple, time and mess saver.  It just came out this summer.  Check it out on for the best price..normally $99.  I got mine for $79 and would have paid twice I can can also use a smaller hot water canner.  Perfect holiday gift..also Walmart carries it at a great price.

Ready for holiday gifts.


Now back to the baking : )

The Rinforzato is approximately 12.5% protein, 14% moisture, 0.53% ash content.  

From what I've read it's supposed to be good for making ciabatta and focaccia type breads that have a high hydration and I have read that it's suited to long slow ferments.  I'm hoping to try an Italian type bread and rolls with this flour.

I made the S

K.Forkish overnight pizza dough with levain for these 3 pizza's and a 1/4 sheet pan focaccia with this the Rinforzato Caputo 00.  I have also made a favorite of mine Ciril Hitz focaccia and ciabatta made with a commercial yeast, using the Rinforzato 'reinforced' flour.  It was delicious.


Ciril Hitz Focaccia w/rinforzato 00 flour

One of my favorite ways to enjoy focaccia.  Just simply sliced into bread halves for sandwiches.



K.Forkish  Flour Water Salt Yeast - Overnight Pizza with Levain and Focaccia - using the Caputo Rinforzato

flour gives an added chew and this flour is not really designed to be used for pizza ,as many of the other Caputo 00 pizza flours are better suited for pizza's.  Non the less, the pizza's were delicious, more chewier.  Reminding me of a sourdough type pizza made with a regular bread flour.  

The focaccia was delicious and I have not tried SF version of his focaccia, using my bakers formula Caputo 00 flour.  I would not hesitate to make his focaccia.  It was very tasty.


Shaping the focaccia dough





I made 3 nice sized pizza's and a 1/4 sheet pan focaccia.

The focaccia was lightly seasoned with Italian oregano, EVOO and some lovely Fleur de Sel salt.

First the 3 pizza's were made, one was sent to a neighbor.  Using fresh mozzarella and the other two were for us.  One also with fresh mozzarella and the third pizza, used a firmer fresh mozzarella.  

I like using the firmer fresh mozzarella on a pizza that will not be eaten but enjoyed later by being warmed up.  I think using the firmer fresh mozzarella taste and reheats much nicer on a pizza that is enjoyed later or even the next day.  I don't think the fresh mozza reheats that well and losses some of it's best qualities in the reheat.


Pizza's with Rinfozato Caputo 00


One for the neighbor


One for later to be reheated.   I used a firmer fresh mozza on this one.  







PiPs's picture

My new office ...

Just a quick hello to everybody out there ...

Sorry for my absence  ... I have been rather busy over the past few weeks.

Moving house and starting a new job! ... anyway, here are some photos from my new office :)

... we are in the middle of product testing at the moment ... this is the third bake out of our second hand MIWE Condo oven. I knocked out about 180 loaves by myself today (plus all the cleaning until my assistant starts next week)

Hope to have some more news for you all soon ...

(sorry for the quality—they were taken on my iPad)

All the best,

aptk's picture

Bread Crumbs, Actual Bread Crumbs

I'm planning to make a double batch of German Butterballs, and will need 8 cups of finely ground dry bread crumbs.(They will be mixed with eggs, butter, cream and seasonings and dropped into chicken soup). I'm thinking four loaves of just plain ol' white bread. What do you guys think?


aptk's picture

Hello from Moose Creek, Alaska

Found this site yesterday and can't seem to get away! I'm a home cook and baker, and my current specialty is individual sized artisan corn flour flatbreads. (I love to make fresh corn tortillas!). I will try anything, I keep a sourdough starter all the time but will use dry yeast. I look forward to trying sooo many of the breads and techniques that I have seen.

I will also share my kitchen adventures of trying to get a dough to rise when it's -40F outside and only +40F above in my kitchen! Or those strange days when my sourdough starter climbs right out of it's enclosure and goes off to explore the countertops, some days (well, to be honest, most days) it's a half-baked Alaska kind of day! My husband says that the only reason I bake bread is because it's not socially acceptable to simply eat a stick of butter...

Look forward to all you have to offer, it's a pleasure meeting you all.

CJRoman's picture

Potato Starter

The bakery I work at uses a potato flake starter....and honestly...its the sweetest, yummiest bread you can snack on. Personally, I prefer very crusty loaves...but this stuff is a real treat!

I'm wondering if anyone here uses one? How do you incorporate it into your recipes since it is 100% liquid?

Are their certain types of recipes a potato starter is better suited for?


Also...I've been giving my first-ever flour starter tender love and care for weeks now....she gets fed regularly but will NOT develop a sour taste. Even when bubbling and bursting everywhere...there isn't even a HINT of sour. I'm lost. Any advice?

Kelly1960's picture

Sourdough starter: what do the numbers mean?

It started with Michael Pollan's book "Cooked".  The concept that any old Tom, Dick, or Harry (or in this case Kelly) could create a sourdough starter which would then birth a loaf of bread was intriguing.  Somehow I ended up reading blogs about Chad Robertson's Tartine bread, the wild yeast, and numerous others.  And I'm confused.  On feeding times (I'm feeding mine every 12 hours).  Feeding proportions (I've been doing everything in grams, but now am doing a simple four ounces of warm spring water, two ounces whole wheat, two ounces unableached AP, four ounces old starter).  And, last but not least, what the heck do the numbers in everyone else's posts mean?  The 1:1:1, or 1:2:2, or 1:3:3, so on and so on.  I have no clue and am terrified there is some type of secret formula I've missed out on that will make or break my bread.  Ive baked twice with my starter, first the Pollan whole wheat loaf, then the Tartine country bread, and both times was afraid to trust my starter.  It passed the float test, but didn't seem to be an enthusiastic floater, so I added a bit of yeast, and felt guilty.  If someone can tell me what all of those numbers mean, I will feel the DaVinci code has been unlocked for me, and can cook with a bit more confidence.



yozzause's picture

ross's sourdough given a run

Following on from the visit by Ross and Janice to Challenger Institute for an evening "Introduction to Sourdough" i had asked Ross to bring me a sample of his sour dough culture  so that i might give it a run.

The dough was a 5O% Wholemeal dough that i mixed and allowed a bulk ferment in the cool room overnight and took around 24 hours after mixing,  No stretch and folds  were administered any way it felt good to  quite good to handle although a little sticky but a bit of semolina and flour took care of those problems.

i decided to make 12 baguette shapes and a couple of loaves these were quickly handled and put on couches for another night in the cool room. i came into work early the next morning to put the dough through before my normal start time of 7.45 am. So shortly before 6.00 am the ovens were fired up the dough pieces brought from the cool room  and in the time it took to make a coffeee and the cornflour wash for the dough pieces the oven had reached 220, i chose that temp because as the water is injected the temp drops  about 20 degrees.

i have a long piece of thin ply that i use to peel the dough pieces off the couch and onto the trays, the  3 trays were then washed and seeded and then slashed and into the oven. the other two loaves were then similarly treated and into the oven . the water/steam injection is kept on until the loaves have set and the first signs of any colour appearing the temp  was set to 200 for the rest of the bake. i even used the exhaust facility on these ovens to try to get a really crisp crust and it does seem to have done the job

on the couches on the boards out of the cool room


All in all  quite pleased with the sample there Ross It made some good bread and i will probably use it again soon, my one tomorrow though!

kindest regards yozza 

CeciC's picture

IS Benetton necessary?

I have been trying to shape a Boule for many times, but it come out quite flat. I have tried to left it on the counter, in mixing bowl, in dining bowl and so forth, but neither of them will have to maintain its shape. 

I did the second proof without rice flour, replaced it with a bowl lined with greased parchment paper. When I remove the dough it started to spread out. It gives me a far a bit of oven spring but still it not like a soccer ball shape. 

Photos will be uploaded later tonight, as its still cooling down. 

wassisname's picture

Pears and Barley

I guess I should begin with a disclaimer:  I’m not usually one to put chunks of fresh fruit in my breads.  Nuts, seeds, grains, even a bit of dried fruit, sure.  But something about having all those mushy bits in the bread has made me wary of the whole concept.  Plus, the sandwich possibilities can be limited.

Of course, where there is a rule there is an exception, and this is it.  The credit goes to Hanne Risgaard’s Home Baked, which includes a very tempting pear sourdough bread.  That by itself would be little temptation if not for the pear tree in my yard.  Even with the birds claiming their share I still come away with more than enough to do some experimenting. 

And so an annual bake has been born.  Last year I stuck pretty close to the recipe in the book and baked some very tasty loaves.  This year I changed almost everything and got some more very tasty loaves!  Maybe there is something to this bread-with-fruit-in-it after all…
















And so an annual bake has been born.  Last year I stuck pretty close to the recipe and baked some very tasty loaves.  This year I changed almost everything and got some more very tasty loaves!  Maybe there is something to this bread-with-fruit-in-it after all…

The original recipe features spelt, toasted semolina, and yogurt.  I kept the semolina, ditched the yogurt and spelt, and added whole barley flour and type 85 flour.  The barley flour was a craving borne of some barley flour cookies I’d had recently, and the type 85 is just what I had on hand.  Whole wheat flour would work in place of the type 85, though I might reduce the percentage to avoid adding too much of a bitter note.

For more on baking with barley check out blog posts by mebake, hanseata and sam.  Barley has its limits in bread baking and without some background info from fellow TFLers I could have found myself in trouble!  (I’m sure there are other posts but these were the first few that popped up.)

As for the result, no complaints!  The crumb is close but very soft.  The mild, slightly sweet flavor of the barley comes through and compliments the pears very nicely.  I added to the toasted semolina flavor by using it on the bottom of the loaf when loading into the oven (otherwise, I just use regular flour) and that comes through as well.  This bread doesn’t keep particularly well – moisture from the pears is my guess – so it is best enjoyed fresh.  I’m sure there a more, and probably better, ways to put this loaf together, so any suggestions are welcome! 


Meanwhile, up at the office we were enjoying the first day of... fall? 

I always love it when Old Man Winter throws out a quick teaser of snow in September!