The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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mido_mijo's picture

Decorative dough or dead dough decorations

I'm interested in decorative doughs or dead dough decorations.


I'm trying to look for books more on the subject and various types of wood molds. I like those breads with the decorative

So far I only know of to carry wood molds and books/dvds on the subject.


thanks in advance


btw. i've searched the forums and only found a few without references to books or sites....or maybe i missed them..

bread10's picture

Starter Gone Moldy


I bought a sourdough starter and now it is covered in white mold. I cut off the outer edges of the dough to salvage what I could, but then found the white mold was also growing inside in any crevasse between the dough.

I have followed the instructions for feeding and maintaining a healthy sourdough starter.

Why has this happened? I know someone else that has the exact same stater and has been doing the same as I have and it is perfectly healthy and active.

It is very disappointing not to mention the time and money wasted as well!



stefenos's picture

whole wheat pastry flour: yes or no in biscuits and scones

i have seen formulas for both biscuits and scones that include an ap/ww blend of flours.  there has been a bag of ww pastry flour setting on my pantry shelf for months and i am wondering if this would be a beneficial or detrimental addition to my biscuit and scone flour mixes.  thanks for any thoughts or shared experiences you may have.

ejm's picture


We were reading Nigel Slater's "Eating for England",

You are faced with a plate of scones, a pat of butter, a dish of jam and a pot of clotted cream. [...] You have either butter or cream, never both. At least not when everyone is looking. It is generally accepted that the jam goes on first, followed by a teaspoonful of cream. Others insist it is the other way round.

-Nigel Slater, "Eating for England"

And we suddenly neeeeeeded to have scones. Luckily for us, not everyone was looking: we had all three condiments on our scones. Butter first, next cream - maybe more than a tablespoon, THEN jam. Mmmmmm!!! Scones with butter, "cream" (made with yoghurt and goat's cheese) and black currant jam. What could be finer?

scones © ejm June 2010

The scones want to split in half; the crumb is very tender. The hint of nutmeg and addition of currants differentiates scones from our baking powder biscuits.

Recipes here:

  • scones

  • "cream", a reasonable facsimile for clotted cream made with yoghurt and goat's cheese



dcsuhocki's picture

2010 Krakow Bread Festival

Well, I had some good luck this past weekend.  It seems that I'm in Krakow at the perfect time of year:  the 2010 Bread Festival was in full swing.


You can read my short piece here:

Here are some pictures:

emily_mb's picture

Newbie Q on Hydration and Additions: Flax, oat, wheat germ, wheat bran, polenta

I am a newbie who loves to experiment.  From my reading and experimentation I have learned that successful breads roughly have a 3 to 1 ratio of flour to liquid.  And that dough can tolerate a certain amount of "additions" such as nuts, raisins, sundried tomatoes, etc.  Most recipes that call for additions have 1 to 2 Tbs. per cup of flour.  So, my question is. which of these things function as flour (have to be counted towards the hydration) and which ones are additions? 

  1. flax seed meal

  2. rolled oats

  3. steel cut oats

  4. fine ground cornmeal

  5. coarse cornmeal

  6. cooked brown rice

  7. toasted wheat germ

  8. toasted wheat bran

  9. cracked wheat

  10. bulgar wheat

  11. all seeds are "addition"?

  12. all nuts are "addition"?

 Also, can anyone provide guidance on incorporating Greek yogurt in recipes? I want most of my breads to be high protein and high fiber.  THANK YOU.

zorrambo's picture

Third Strike: French Bread Baguettes

I followed Reinhart’s BBA French bread recipe and instructions as closely as possible. My pate fermentee fermented for 1 hour at then put it in the refrigerator for 1 ½ days. I noticed that it had doubled in size while in the fridge. I didn’t expect such a rise. I mixed the final dough using a smidge over a teaspoon of barley malt syrup, reduced the water to compensate and added about a tablespoon of flour while kneading. I added the malt because last time I made this recipe I got poor rise. The primary fermentation lasted 2 hours, temp 76°F, humidity 51%. I proofed the baguettes for 1 hour 45 minutes, temp 78°F, humidity 51%. This was longer than I expected but it looked about 1 ½ times bigger though I am not a good judge of peak rise. I slashed with a bread knife and put them in a 500°F oven with steam pan and misting oven walls. I baked on a sheet pan because I don’t have tiles. The oven temp was lowered to 450°F for 20 min, then at 375°F for 30 min then at 350°F for 20 min. I checked the internal temperature of the bread every ten minutes of bake time and it never got above 170°F after a total bake time over 70 minutes. The bottom of the bread was black and I gave up and pulled them out. I have a brand new oven with an additional oven thermometer inside to monitor the temperature. I am new to artisanal bread making but I am determined. Here is a picture of my poor friends. I am unhappy with the crumb and the thick crust.


hanseata's picture

Vinschgauer Bread - Unique Alpine Flavor

On a trip to South Tyrol (a border area between Austria and Italy) as a student, I first tasted a sample of the spicy rye breads typical for the region. Hiking up the mountains to a "Huette" (a small rustic inn) we were served Vinschgauer Paarlen with homemade butter and smoked ham (Suedtiroler Speck). The flat bread was quite spicy. I didn't know what herb was in it, but it smelled and tasted wonderful.

Later I found out that there were more than one type of rye bread from Vinschgau (Vinschgauer, Vinschger Paarlen, Vinschgerlen or Vintschgauer) comes in different variations, some with, some without sourdough, some flat, some rolls, and also with different seasonings, but all of them spicy and delicious.

A typical, very unique spice in some Vinschgauer breads is blue fenugreek (Brotklee, Schabziger Klee), it develops its special aroma from growing in the mountains with lots of sunshine. When I baked a batch of Vinschgerlen some days ago, the whole house was filled with the smell of Brotklee.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a source for Brotklee/blue fenugreek in the US - I bought several boxes in a health store during my last trip to Germany. But the German Wikipedia had at least a suggestion for a substitute: dried nettle (burning nettle) with "a good pinch of curry". I haven't tried that, yet, but I know the taste of nettle (and the nasty burn of the plant) and I can imagine that it works.

Vinschgerlen or Vinschgauer Paarlen (= pairs)

Here is the link to the recipe:

turosdolci's picture

Dolceacqua & Apricale -The Riviera dei Fiori

The story of michetta:

The Marquis Doria sent a young bride who refused to give herself to him to prison to die. The population of Dolceacqua rose up and forced the Marquis Doria (1364) to stop this abuse of power and on the 16 of August there is a festival to celebrate the event.  The women of the village created the “michetta” to celebrate this occasion.  It is now the symbol of love and freedom. Michetta are small sweetbreads similar to a raised doughnut.


adrianm's picture

Dry crumb

I have recently tried my hand at a Pane a levain, using a 62% hydrated levain (from 100% sour starter)

The final dough hydration is 70%

Only 3% wholemeal & 3% rye flour in the total recipe

Balnce of flour 94% is organic white flour (strong)

Mix is very sticky out of mixer, after three folds (30, 60, 90) firms up, struggle to stretch the last fold properly (dough quite tight)

Total bulk prove 3 hours, second prove 3-4 hours

The loaf has a slighly open texture, good flavour, the crust is splitting slightly, but the crumb is too dry!!?