The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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madruby's picture

Does your bread do this?

Hi all,

It's been a while since I have posted something here but have kept up with all the very interesting reading.  My breads have greatly improved in the last few months - shape, scoring and even oven steaming/spring are now very decent.  Actually, my oven spring is pretty good these days. However, I still notice something odd about my breads after I take them out of the oven.   Once I am sure that they are fully baked (I usually have a thermometer), I let them cool on a rack.  Half way through the cooling stage, I saw that my breads would lose a little bit of their volume.  Once the cooling is done, I noticed that they have indeed lost a bit of that beautiful oven spring.  Nothing much, but enough for me to see a slight difference between the once hot breads and the cooled ones.  I mentioned this to my French baker instructor and he said that it is because the breads are probably not fully done and that a thermometer may not be the best indicator of their readiness.

Has anyone experienced this type of situation?  Could my instructor be right?  I think that it is odd that my breads aren't fully baked when my thermometer clearly indicates 205 F to 209 F for french breads.

GSnyde's picture

Availability of Central Milling Co. Flour (with digression on Chicken Cacciatore)

Several TFLers (myself included) have had good experience with flours from Central Milling Company (affiliated with Keith Giusto Bakery Supply) in Petaluma, California.  In particular, I have been loving CM's Organic Artisan Baker's Craft flour for baguettes and other hearth breads, and I and Brother David have been very happy with CM's Organic Type 85 flour for miches.  KGBS provides flour to some of the best artisan bakeries in the Bay Area and beyond.   When I went to pick up some flour in November, I met Nicky Giusto (the "front man" for Keith Giusto Bakery Supply) and he is a great guy, very committed to making artisan organic flour available to all interested bakers.  He spent quite a while describing their numerous products and recommending specific flours for specific applications.

After David's exuberant review of CM's Organic Type 85, a number of questions came up about the availability of KGBS flours.  I spoke with Nicky today and got some answers.

It has been mentioned that CM mills the AP flour and whole wheat flour that Whole Foods sells under their 365 label.  Nicky confirmed that Whole Foods' organic all-purpose flour is their Organic Beehive Unbleached Malted All Purpose flour, and it is available in all Whole Foods Markets.  Nicky said he thinks this flour is the best they produce for making baguettes.  Whole Foods organic whole wheat is also from KGBS.  And Whole Foods' conventional (inorganic?) all-purpose flour is another KGBS product, Gilt Edge All Purpose.

It has also been noted here that COSTCO in some Bay Area stores carries CM flour.

Beyond the flours available through Whole Foods and COSTCO, Nicky says that his regional distributors are not really set up for small orders (under $500).  KGBS will sell direct to home bakers any of their flours that they have broken into 5 pound bags.  These are available either to pick up (best to call ahead) or by UPS shipment if it is an order of 20 pounds or more.  Different flours are available at different times.  When I was there, he had 5 pound bags of about 6 or 7 different flours.  

Nicky also said that they hope and expect to make more flours available in small quantities in the future, but for now they have their hands full with their primary business of supplying bakeries.  It's clear that KGBS wants to get their good flour into our kitchens, but it may take some time to get their packaging and shipment systems in place.

I'm just glad I get to Petaluma often enough to keep my pantry stocked.

KGBS/Central Milling's phone number is 866-979-2253.

Here's a link to a previous discussion about Central Milling: (


Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

A Celebration of Armenian Lavash


I Love Lavash!  I love this video! I love their team-work and syncrinization. I love their skill and precision.  I Love this music.


Does anyone know the words to this song?


Watch on YouTube:

bobchristenson's picture

Friends of Carl we go!

Whelp.  I've been baking bread for a couple years now and am just starting to get more serious about it.  After weeks of anticipation my 1847 "Friends of Carl" starter just arrived in the mail and, tomorrow is the big day.  Any gotchas or advice from anyone before I start?

I figured this momentous occasion was a good reason for my first post on the site.  Looking forward to having a real, living (hopefully!) starter in my fridge!

ariddle's picture

DLX bowl question

Hi.  I'm new here and researching the DLX vs Bosch.  I understand the bowl is between 3 and 4 pounds empty, so I'm just wondering how hard it is to get dough out of.  With my current KA I usually just life the bowl in the air and dump/scrape out the dough, but I don't see this happening with the DLX.  Is it easy enough to just tip the bowl over on its side on the counter and scrape out the dough?




em120392's picture

Casatiello/ High School Project

Hey guys! Here's my post about Casatiello, an enriched bread with cheese and meat. I'm doing the BBA Challenge for a project in my high school. My brother and I share a blog (he's going to start writing soon) where we document our journey through the Bread Baker's Apprentice. Here's the link:


Casatiello, a Neapolitan Easter bread, is also known as Tortano in other parts of Italy. The word casatiello is derived from the Neapolitan word for "cheese." Casatiello is enriched bread, much like brioche, with the addition of cured meat and cheeses. Traditionally, Italians add salami and pecorino-romano and/or provolone cheeses.

Like many other breads, casatiello has religious significance. The rising dough represents the resurrection of Christ on Easter. The traditional circular shape represents Christ's crown, and the eggs on top signify His rebirth.

To incorporate the meat and cheese, Reinhart kneads in these additions. However, while researching other recipes, they call for the dough to be rolled out flat, sprinkled with meat and cheese, and rolled up like a sandwich loaf. The traditional casatiello is topped with raw eggs, covered with dough crosses. When baked, the eggs atop the casatiello are similar to hard-boiled eggs. Reinhart bakes his bread in tall mold, like a coffee can, lined with a paper bag. However, many traditional recipes call for the dough being shaped in ring and baked in a tube pan.

In comparison to many of Reinhart's recipes, this bread can be made in one day, rather than retarding overnight. However, he does use a sponge to add more flavor to his bread. I began by mixing flour and yeast, which I added warm milk to. I let this ferment for about an hour, until it collapsed when tapped the bowl.

Meanwhile, I shredded some provolone cheese, and diced some salami. I sautéed the salami for a few minutes, and it rendered some fat and became slightly crispy.

Next, I mixed flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid. Next, I added eggs and the sponge to the flour mixture, and mixed until it became a ball. After resting a few minutes, (known as autolyse), I added ¾ cup of room temperature butter in 4 additions. The dough was sticky and soft, and I kneaded it for about 5 minutes until it became slightly tacky and smooth.

I sprinkled the meat over the dough, and tried to knead it in the mixer. However, the salami just whizzed around the bowl, so I decided to knead by hand. After the meat was incorporated, I added the cheese, which mixed in much easier than the meat. I let the mixed dough rest for about an hour and a half, for the first rise.

Since I didn't have coffee tins, and I didn't want to stray from Reinhart's recipe, I chose to bake the casatiello in two loaf pans. I shaped it like I would sandwich bread- I flattened it into a rectangle and rolled it into a tight cylinder. Remembering my mishap while shaping the brioche, I made sure to seal these loaves extra tight. After being shaped, I let the dough rise for the final time for about 90 minutes.

The loaves baked in a 350 degree oven until they were golden brown, and the insides reached about 190 degrees. Unlike the brioche, they were not glazed, but the top was speckled with dark bits of cheese.

When I cut into the loaf, I could see the bits of melted cheese, which made this cool, web-like structure in the bread. Maybe because I'm not a fan of cured meats is the reason that I didn't really find this bread to my liking. Although I liked the rich and soft texture of the bread, I didn't like the bits of salami. I probably should have cubed the meat finer, so it was more evenly distributed. I made this bread with my mentor, Mr. Esteban, in mind. He does not like sweet breads and casatiello is the epitome of the savory kind he would enjoy.

Esposito, Mary Ann. "Neapolitan Stuffed Easter Bread/Neopolitan Casatiello." Ciao Italia. PBS, 2011. Web. 18 Jan 2011. <>.

Reinhart, Peter. The Bread Baker's Apprentice. 1st ed. . New York, New York: Ten Speed Press, 2001.129-132. Print.


arlo's picture

Most Recent Whole Wheat Bakes

Before I went and watched my boss's dogs and house while he was away on vacation, I managed to bake a few loaves of bread that I did not get a chance to blog about.

The first loaf was a 100% whole wheat mash bread from Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.

Reinhart 100% Whole Wheat Mash loaf

I was rather curious about this loaf after having made a few rye breads using Hamelman's hot rye soaker technique. What I remembered from those loaves is the mash imparted a slightly sweet taste to the final loaf as if there was a touch of sugar or honey. Bwraith blogged about this bread as well seen here; Whole Wheat Mash Bread. There is no need for me to rewrite the recipe since it is available on Bwraith's blog, which he kindly supplied in his post.

I only made two changes to the loaf. I used a whole wheat starter in place of the biga, as Reinhart provides as an alternative leavening agent. Also I left out the suggested sweetener in the recipe for two reasons; I felt many of Reinhart's recipes from WGB to be far too sweet to begin with, and second because I wanted to see the potential of the mash. To my surprise I found the end loaf to have a full 'whole grain' taste which I desired, a slightly sour taste, but only a slightly sweet taste too. I half-expected the wheat mash to match the rye mashes I have dealt with before, but to my surprise it couldn't compare. Though this loaf was still very tasty. I imagine the sweetness I was looking for has to do with the more ferment-able sugars found in rye.


Reinhart 100% Whole Wheat Mash


The next loaf of bread I baked was from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry book.


CIA Whole Wheat Levain Loaf

It was a simple whole wheat sourdough. The end product though after an over night retardation provided a very, very tasty loaf in my opinion that certainly surpassed what I was expecting. The formula and procedure follows;

Whole Wheat levain

Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Bread Flour (Sir galahad)     50%                     5.4 oz

Whole Wheat Flour              50%                     5.4 oz

Water (DDT 76)                  75%                     8.1 fl oz

100% Starter *                   40%                    4.32 oz

Salt (Grey Sea Salt)            2.7%                   .3 oz


*Starter used was a 50/50 of Sir Galahad and Fresh Milled 100% Whole wheat flour. As with the whole wheat flour used in the loaf, it too was fresh milled.



1.  Combine the flours, water, sourdough and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Add the salt and mix 1 minute on low and then 2 minutes on medium. Aim for a improved stage of gluten development. The dough should be slightly soft but elastic.

2.  Bulk ferment the dough until nearly doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Though it took me about 3 hours in a cold apartment. Fold gently and ferment for another hour. Fold again. Ferment for another 20 minutes.

3.  Preshape the dough into a round and let rest for 15 - 20 minutes.

4.  Gently shape the loaf into a batard or round when sufficiently relaxed.

5.  Place in a banneton lightly floured and covered with plastic overnight in the fridge to have a slow final rise.

6.  When the dough has risen, or the next morning, preheat your oven with your dutch oven or cc, or latest crazy steaming method to 470F.

7. When preheated, remove bread from retarder, load into your oven, score and cook covered (or steamed) for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes remove steaming apparatus, bake in a dry oven for 17 minutes, or until loaf registers 200F, sounds hollow when thumped or looks nice and done to you!

8. Cool completely, slice and enjoy.


CIA wholewheat crumbs


CIA wholewheat crumb

Two different loaves, but both very tasty.

varda's picture

Simple sourdough - a work in progress


I'm a simple person and I'm driven by simple hopes and desires.   So while I may drool over the pictures of impossibly gorgeous pastries that get posted with alarming regularity on this site, I have no inclination to emulate those bakers.   All I want is to master bread with essentially three ingredients:   flour, water, and salt.   And that's not so simple.  For the last several weeks I've been cranking out alarming quantities of the stuff and slowly tweaking the few parameters available when the ingredient list is so short: dough hydration, starter hydration, and percentage of flour in the starter.    (Oh and also mix of flour and proofing strategies.)    I finally put together a decent spreadsheet to help me with this tinkering.    And now I can just put in the hydrations, and percentage starter (and flour mix of course) and I'm off to the races.    While I started down this road with Hamelman's formulae, I find I'm unwilling to go back to that right now, as I find I prefer higher hydrations and starter percentages.  

The first loaf baked after 1.5 hours final proof.   The second which retarded overnight, had a bit more spring. 

Basic Sourdough bread baked on Jan 17, 18, 2011      
Starter 67% starter first feeding second feeding total  
starter seed 245   plus 3.5 hrs plus 12 hrs  
Heckers 138 50 45 233 94%
Hodgson's Mill Rye 2   5 7 3%
spelt 7     7 3%
water 98 35 32 165  
hydration       67%  
total grams       412  
  Final dough   Starter   percents
Bob's Red Mill White 500         Heckers 124    
Hodgson's Mill Rye 30                HM 3.7    
KA White whole wheat 70              spelt 3.7    
water 439   88   72%
total starter / flour in starter 219   132    
salt 13       1.8%
hydration of starter         67%
baker's % of starter         18%
Estimated pounds of bread     2.53    
Mix flour and water plus 30 minutes      
Mix salt and starter plus 50 minutes      
Stretch and fold plus 35 minutes      
Stretch and fold plus 65 minutes      
Cut and preshape plus 30 minutes      
Shape and place seam side up in brotforms.  Cover with plastic   Heat cup of water for 2 minutes in microwave.   Place one in microwave, other in back of refrigerator wrapped in a towel plus 45 minutes      
Turn oven to 500 w. stone plus 15 minutes      
Remove basket from microwave and place next to stove - put loaf pans plus towels in oven plus 30 minutes      
Turn heat down to 450 slash and place loaf in oven plus 15 minutes      
Remove steam pans plus 15 minutes      
Place loaf on rack          
After 19 hours remove second loaf from refrigerator, and preheat oven, stone, towels and bake as above.          

Second loaf: 

Slices from first loaf:


Gary61786's picture

Artisan Bread Week 1

  I am currently enrolled in an artisan bread class at the Art Institute of Nashville. The chef has instructed that we blog on this website as a homework assignment. Here is where I will keep you, my readers, informed on what all we do in our class.

The first day of class we started working on the dough for Toasted Sesame Bread, Middle-Class Brioche, and Croissant Dough. If you have ever baked bread you do know that some breads tend to take a couple of days to make. There is a lot of fermenting. The longer you ferment the better your flavor will be. So, during the times that we were waiting on the dough to ferment or proof we were able to make cranberry-orange scones. The scones turned out great. I have made scones before. With this recipe the scones are made like biscuits. The scones did have a little too much of a orange flavor but I think it is just because we added more orange zest then it called for. But it was great.

Now, on the second day is when all the magic happened. All the dough was finished and is ready to be proofed and baked. While the bread was proofing and in the oven we started on making doughnuts. I have always wanted to make my own doughnuts and now I can say I have. The doughnut recipe is something I am going to take with me for a long time. I will definetly use this over and over again. Another student made some simple icing and poured it over the doughnuts.

The Toasted Sesame Bread finished and turned out great. The color was great. I am not a big fan of sesame seeds but the bread was good. The crust was a little hard for me. The crumbs were so soft and very small. The Middle-Class Brioche is still my favortie. I have made this before in another class and it is the best. It is like a buttery dinner roll. The chef had brought some orange butter with him and allowed us to use it. The brioche is in measured in classes the more butter you have the higher in class it gets. I thought that was neat to know. Now, on to the croissant dough. This was are actually waiting until next week to work with. So, you will hear about this in the next blog. Something I have left out is that on both days while we were waiting on the breads to finish we learned some different mixing methods. Some methods we learned was hand, short, intensive, and improved mixing.

Recipe and pictures are following.


Toasted Sesame Bread (Kalanty)


Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Sesame Seeds                        5 %                       45 grams

Milk (90 deg)                          57 %                   450 grams

Instant Yeast                                                           7 grams

Semolina flour                      28 %                    225 grams

Sugar                                       2.3 %                      20 grams

Eggs                                         6.3 %                      50 grams

Olive Oil                                    5 %                       45 grams

Bread flour                             72 %                   560 grams

Salt                                              2 %                     15 grams



1.  Lightly toast sesame seeds.  Reserve.

2.  Mix together milk, yeast and semolina flour on 1st speed until just mixed.

3.  Rest 10 minutes.

4.  Whisk egg and sugar.

5.  Mix in egg/sugar, olive oil, flour and salt on 1st speed.

6.  Mix on 2nd speed 4 minutes.

7.  Add in sesame seeds and mix on 1st speed 4 minutes.

8.  Ferment for 45 mins at room temperature.

9.  Stretch and fold.  Ferment another hour.

10.  Degas and divide in half.  Shape into boules.

11.  Rest 25 minutes.

12.  Oil mist and roll in semolina to coat.

13.  Place on parchment and proof at 80 deg humidity 1 hour.

13.  Bake with steam in 400 deg oven 6 minutes.

14.  Vent and bake at 360 deg until internal temp is 190 deg.

15.  Prop oven door open and bake 3 - 5 minutes.  Cool


Mixing Methods Demo


Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Instant Yeast                            0.3 %               1.4  grams

Water, 84 deg                         75 %                  340 grams

Bread flour                            100 %                454 grams

Salt                                                 2 %                      9 grams


1.  Mix all ingredients by hand.  Knead to windowpane and dough temp is 75 deg.

2.  Chafe and ferment 1 hour.  Fold twice.

3.  Chafe and ferment 1 hour.  Fold twice.

4.  Chafe and ferment 1 hour.  Divide into two parts, rest 5 minutes and preshape into boules. 

5.  Proof, slash and bake in 375 deg until done.  Cool.



Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Instant Yeast                            0.3 %               1.4  grams

Water, 78 deg                         75 %                  340 grams

Bread flour                            100 %                454 grams

Salt                                                 2 %                      9 grams


1.  Mix all ingredients on 1st speed for five minutes.  Knead to windowpane and dough temp is 80 deg.

2.  Chafe and ferment 1 hour.  Fold twice.

3.  Chafe and ferment 1 hour.  Fold twice.

4.  Chafe and ferment 1 hour.  Divide into two parts, rest  5 minutes and preshape into boules. 

5.  Proof, slash and bake in 375 deg until done.  Cool.



Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Instant Yeast                            0.8 %               3.6  grams

Water, 60 deg                         65 %                  295 grams

Bread flour                            100 %                454 grams

Salt                                                 2 %                      9 grams


1.  Mix all ingredients on 1st speed for five minutes. 

2.  Increase speed to 2nd speed for 5 minutes.

3.  Chafe and ferment 20 minutes.

4.  Divide into two parts, rest  5 minutes and preshape into boules. 

5.  Proof, slash and bake in 375 deg until done.  Cool.



Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Instant Yeast                            0.6 %               2.7  grams

Water, 64 deg                         68 %                  309 grams

Bread flour                            100 %                454 grams

Salt                                                 2 %                      9 grams


1.  Mix all ingredients on 1st speed for five minutes. 

2.  Increase speed to 2nd speed for 2 minutes.

3.  Chafe and ferment 75 minutes.

4.  Divide into two parts, rest  5 minutes and preshape into boules. 

5.  Proof, slash and bake in 375 deg until done.  Cool.


Croissant Dough


 80 grams water, room temperature

  7 grams active dry yeast

 67 grams pastry flour


 27 grams sugar

  8 grams salt

117 grams milk, room temperature

 37 grams butter, room temperature

 80 grams pastry flour

220 grams bread flour


231 grams butter (for book)



1.  Warm water to 112 deg.  Place in mixing bowl.  Sprinkle yeast over surface.


2.  Cover with pastry flour.  Let forment until cracks form.


3.  Shape butter for book and chill.


4.  Mix sugar, salt, soft butter and milk in bowl.


4.  Add milk mixture and flours to starter.


5.  Mix with dough hook on low until dough wraps around hook.


6.  Put in oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.


7.  Degas and chill overnight.


8.  Combine butter and dough and chill ½ hour.


9.  Roll out and give two single book turns.  Chill overnight.


10. Roll out and give single or double book turn.



Source:  French Pastry School

Author: Chef Jacqay Pfieffer and Sebastian Canonne


Middle-Class Brioche (BBA)


Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Bread flour                            100 %                   64 grams

Instant Yeast                                                        6 grams

Milk (95 deg)                                                      113 grams



Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Eggs                                                                       250 grams

Bread flour                            100 %                 390 grams

Sugar                                                                       28 grams

Salt                                                                             9 grams

Butter                                                                   227 grams

  (room temperature)



1.  Mix together flour and yeast.

2.  Mix in milk, cover with plastic and ferment 30 - 45 minutes.

3.  Mix in eggs with paddle on 2nd speed until smooth.

4.  Stir together flour, sugar and salt in separate bowl.

5.  Add dry ingredients and mix with paddle 2 minutes on 1st speed.

6.  Let dough rest 5 minutes.

7.  Work in butter in four additions with paddle on medium speed.

8.  Line half sheet pan with parchment paper, mist with cooking spray.

9.  Spread dough into 6" x 8" rectangle, mist with cooking spray and wrap in plastic wrap.

10.  Chill overnight

11.  Remove from refrigerator, divide for shapes and shape.

12.  Mist with cooking spray and proof at room temperature.

13.  Egg wash and proof another 20 minutes.

14.  Bake in 375 deg oven until internal temp is 185 deg.

15.  Cool


Cranberry-Orange Scones (Hitz)


Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

AP Flour                                                               220 grams

Sugar                                                                        28 grams

Salt                                                                              2 grams

Baking Powder                                                     12 grams

Butter (Cold)                                                         74 grams

Eggs                                                                          41 grams

Buttermilk                                                           115 grams

Dried cranberries                                               55 grams

Orange zest                                                        ½ orange



1.  Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

2.  Cut butter into cubes and work into dry ingredients by hand until pea sized.

3.  Whisk together eggs and buttermilk..

4.  Form well in dry ingredients and add liquids.  Blend using plastic dough scraper until batter just come together.

5.  Hand mix in cranberries and orange zest.

6.  Gently form dough into ½" thick disc on floured surface.  Cut into 8 wedges.

7.  Place on parchment line half sheet pan and let rest 30 minutes.

8.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

9.  Bake in 375 deg oven for about 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown.  Cool.


Yeast Raised Doughnuts (LaVonne)


Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Water                                                                   454 grams

Instant Yeast                                                      19 grams

Sugar                                                                      85 grams

Shortening                                                            85 grams

Powdered Milk                                                    15 grams

Eggs                                                                       1/4 cup

Bread flour                                                       852 grams

Salt                                                                           14 grams


1.  Cream sugar, shortening and powdered milk.  Add eggs and cream.

2.  Sift together flour and salt.

3.  Mix in water and yeast.

4.  Mix in flour mixture on 1st speed.

5.  Mix on 2nd speed for 7 minutes.  Cover and ferment 1 hour.

6.  Let dough in half.  Rest 30 minutes.

7.  Roll out dough on floured surface to ¼ inch thick. Do not overwork dough.

8.  Cut out doughnuts and proof.

9.  Fry in 375 deg fat until done.

10.  Drain and coat with sugar.

traful's picture

Galletas de campo o de piso

Hello, I am new to this site but I am looking for a recipe for Galletas de campo, mercedina o de piso .

An old form bread typically found in the Argentinian farm towns.