The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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johnevans1's picture

Le Cloche defeat

  I have tried cloche baking without success. I thought the idea was to get "BROWNED" bread. My loaves rise well following a King Arthur recipe for cloche use but the bread is not brown. I have had to turn on the broiler(UGH) to brown the loaves.

   My oven is an electric convection which bakes the breads faster than the recipe calls.( internal temps to 200 degrees ) The loaves reach 200 degrees  without being browned. I leave the cloche cover off for the last ten minutes of baking and spritz heavily. 

   What to do?


AngelaT's picture

My bread keeps "splitting" on the side

Help!  My breads keep "splitting" on the side.  It doesn't matter which type of bread, whether free form or in a pan, whole wheat or white, I have tried leaving the dough more moist, slashing the top, nothing seems to make a difference. The bread doesn't actually split, the bread seems to separate leaving an ugly ridge along the side.  Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?

Stephmo's picture

Georgian Cheese Boat Breads (Adjaruli Khachapuri)

Flatbreads and Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid represents a dream job for me - and probably most of us - travelling the world and sampling authentic cuisine so you can write a cookbook that will be widely acclaimed and loved by all.  This book is wonderful and is as much travelogue as it is recipe book.  We decided to sample a Georgian recipe for cheese boat breads.  As they described these, they were presented as something resembling a deep-dish cheese pizza.  This can leave a bit of a false impression, as their version is not overpowered by the cheese.  This bread is a great snack or appetizer and could easily push aside garlic bread, breadsticks or crostini.  Even better, you could easily make a meal by adding a simple green salad.

The recipe will make four boats - I successfully halved the recipe with no problem to make only two boats.

2 cups warm water

pinch of sugar

2 tsp. dry yeast

5 to 6 cups hard unbleached white flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. olive oil


6 oz. soft young goat cheese, at room temperature

2 oz. Gruyere, coarsely grated

1/4 cup plain yogurt

These were my ingredients (water and sugar not pictured):

In my version, I've used unbleached AP flour and I am getting through the Fleishman's "bread machine" yeast which is just faster acting, so I need to check my rise at half the time listed in the recipe. 


You will need a large bread bowl, a medium-sized bowl, unglazed quarry tiles to fit on a rack in your oven, a baker's peel or two baking sheets and a rolling pin (optional).

Place the warm water in a large bowl, stir in the sugar and the yeast, and let stand for several minutes until the yeast has dissolved.  Then gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour, stirring constantly in the same direction, about 1 minute, to develop the gluten.  Sprinkle on the salt, add the oil, and continue adding the flour and blending it onto the dough until it is less sticky.

I've taken to using one of my silicone spatulas instead of a wooden spoon for these jobs - it seems to stick less and mix more.  It could just be a psychological thing too:

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, with a slight sheen. Form onto a ball, and place in a lightly oiled clean bowl or on a lightly floured surface to rise, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

This was my rise after an hour:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  If using quarry tiles, arrange on the bottom oven rack, leaving a 1-inch gap between the tiles and oven walls.  If not, lightly oil two baking sheets.

Gently push down the dough.  On a lightly floured surface, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces.  Flatten each piece out with the lightly floured palm of your hand, then cover with plastic wrap while you prepare the filling.

Since I'd halved the recipe, I only had two pieces - that's a standard cookie sheet that they're resting on at the moment.  I should also note that I have a round pizza stone - I had the stone in the oven getting hot while the oven preheated:

Place the cheeses and yogurt in a bowl, and blend together to a smooth consistency.

This is very straightforward (although "smooth" is relative since you're supposed to start out with coarsely grated Gruyere).  What I will say is that for the bite that each of these ingredients has separately, they come together and seem almost sweet.  Husband said it almost reminded him of cheese danish filling.

Work with one piece of dough at a time, leaving the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.  With your hands or a rolling pin, stretch and flatten the dough in to a long oval 8 to 10 inches long, 5 to 6 inches wide, and no more than 1/4 inch thick.  Place a generous 1/4 cup filling in the center of the oval.  Spread to within an inch of the edges.  Roll the edges over to make a thick rim, pinching the sides together to form a point at the ends.  (The bread should look boat-shaped.)  Shape and fill a second bread.  Slide the breads onto a peel and then onto the quarry tiles, or slide onto the baking sheets and place on the bottom oven rack.  Bake until the crust is golden and the bottom is firm and crusty, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Wrap in a towel to keep warm while you prepare and bake the remaining two breads the same way.  Serve hot.

The construction took less than 5 minutes per boat:

I only did one boat at a time, as my stone is smaller.  The bake time was about 14 minutes for each.  The puff was gorgeous:

Before I forget - crumb:

The cheese really complimented the bread and was great stand-alone, although we probably came up with quite a few variations right away.  We thought a sea salt wash on the crust might be a nice add right off the bat (more for appetizers).  Fresh herbs mixed with the cheese were very obvious.  Very light additions of tomatoes, grapes, golden raisins, figs - anything that wouldn't turn into a heavy pizza - seemed like something worth trying with this bread.

If you haven't been lucky enough to try items from Flatbreads & Flavors, this is one of the many reasons why the book is worth checking out!

holds99's picture

Hamelman's Light Rye

I really like Hamelman's light rye bread (from his book "Bread", page 197).  I bake it fairly frequently and use it mostly for sandwiches and toast. I prefer a little tighter crumb so I don't use his 6 fold French method (page 249) nor Bertinet's slap and fold method when making this bread.  I simply use my Kitchen Aid and give it a couple of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation.  Anyway, for my taste this is a great bread, as is his Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat (on page 154).  For those who haven't made this bread, it's a winner and fairly easy to make.

Note: I doubled the recipe and these boules are approximately 3 pounds each. 


In the oven


Cooling rack


Atropine's picture

Homemade Pasta

Am looking for some assistance.  I make a type of homemade spaetzle, handed down from my grandmother (the recipe lol).  While we LOVE the "homemade noodles", they are not quite right for things like alfredo sauce.  They seem to be more like mashed potatoes (on which you might put butter, gravy, etc) as opposed to pasta (where you would put red or cheese sauce).  I could not even imagine how.....unsound it would taste to put alfredo sauce on these.  I have a VERY simple alfredo type sauce that my spouse loves and would enjoy making hm pasta to put it on.

Could anyone give me some direction for a recipe or technique or ingredient that makes a (I HATE to say this) more of a dried boxed pasta tasting noodle? 

My current recipe/technique is very simple--1 egg to 1 cup white flour, some crushed dried parsley, and some milk to make it workable.  Roll it out thin and cut it with this REALLY nifty pasta cutter (It looks like a pizza cutter, but has multiple blades mounted side by side).

I am not sure if it is a flour issue, a technique issue, or something else.  I figured that, while this is not bread, it IS dough and it does have to deal with flours, and y'all are my "go to" for all things dough and flour :).


leanna's picture

Custom milled flour in Kansas City area

Would anyone out there be able to tell me where I might be able to purchase custom milled bread flour in the Kansas City area?  Thanks!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Whipping Cream ideas

  I was thinking of a way to use Whipping Cream in a recipe last night and considered this may make an interesting thread on TFL.

How about it...What do you use Whipping Cream for?

note: I have three young children, all's fair. :-)
  All the best,

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

First ever baguette using Anis' recipe - Thanks Mark!

I have this thing about everything being perfect that I've been trying my whole life to just get over. Well, I'm finding baking bread is helping in ways I never imagined.

This is my first ever attempt at baguettes. Mark at The Back Home Bakery suggested I use Anis' recipe for baguettes (if my ciabatta I was making on the weekend didn't turn out - it did.) I decided today I'd use the recipe but make baguettes. I was getting confused looking at all the videos out there on kneading, folding, shaping, etc. I finally decided to use the French fold that I saw on the Gourmet website as I wanted to see what it felt like. I started making the dough yesterday and the folding was interesting. It was very cool how the dough finally (just a tad longer than on the video - ha) came together. Not as smooth and silky but I didn't want to overknead. Put the dough in the fridge and counted down the hours until about 3pm today.

Here's where the perfectionism comes in. I didn't think it had risen enough but went ahead shaping. I decided to go with the shaping technique I first saw in one of Mark's videos but, again, concerned I'm not shaping tight enough, too tight or just plain wrong. Let them proof and then managed to roll them out into a baguette shape. Put them in the oven and when I took them out I thought... boy, one's too brown and one is too light on the sides. I put them on a rack to cool and just walked away for awhile. Came back and cut a slice to see not a bad crumb. Took a bite and decided right then and there that it's not about being perfect. It's about the satisfaction of baking bread from scratch, experimenting and trying new things.

It's been an epiphany and it feels good.



freideleebs's picture

Getting dough to rise when it's cold

Hi Everyone,

We live in Israel, and in the summer it's really hot and bread rises beautifully with less yeast. But in the winter, it's too cold and I can't get things to rise.

I have a gas oven, so the trick of turning your oven on a bit to warm up and putting the dough in doesn't work.

Sometimes I keep it under the blow heater, but that doesn't work well and dries it out.

The best thing is (but only if it's a sunny day) to let the dough rise inside the car!

The funny thing is that if I have bread (specifically challah) dough rising in the kitchen while it's warm from the cooking/baking, it won't rise as well as my sourdough bread!

If anyone has any good tips to offer, I'd be really grateful!

All the best,


Edthebread's picture

DLX users question

Hi Everyone

I have a question for all you seasoned DLX users out there.  I recently bought one and I'm getting the hang of it for kneeding bread, but I had a question about the mechanism.  I kneed about 10 cups of flour with the roller, setting it about one inch from the side of the bowl, and when it has been kneeding for a while and the dough is nice and stiff, the arm moves out quite a way towards the center of the bowl when the dough comes round.  Is this the way is should be to kneed the bread efficiently, or should I place the roller farther from the edge so it does not need to move out so much when the dough comes around?