The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Wingnut's picture

7/30 Bake

Now that my new starter is up and running and my wife work mates are requesting more bread I baked again.

20% Whole Wheat Sourdough with Pumpkin Seeds

20% Whole Wheat Sourdough (for me)….

and 20% Whole Wheat Sourdough with Sundried Tomatoes and Pecorino Cheese


Crumb Shot coming soon…….

Here it is…..




iceman's picture

Excessive tearing

This is my first time posting here and my first time viewing this site. I have a question regarding excessive tearing of the dough either during the second rise or during baking. I've made this rye bread recipe several times with no problem, but the last two times I've made it, the loafs literally split apart or rip instead of just rising. Am I over kneading the dough or what? I've never had this happen in the past, but all of a sudden it's become an issue. Obviously it must be me or something I'm doing. It's a sour dough recipe if that makes a difference.

Abelbreadgallery's picture

Nutella Muffins

Nutella Muffins


- 200 gr of Nutella or any brand of hazelnut chocolate spread

- A cup of plain yogurt (125 gr)

- A cup of sunflower oil

- Two cups of all purpose flour

- Two cups of sugar

- 3 medium eggs

- A pinch of salt

- One teaspoon of baking powder (5-6 gr)

- Crushed hazelnuts (optional)

Use the volume of the yogurt cup as the reference for all the ingredients. Mix yogurt, sugar, oil, eggs and Nutella. I suggest you to use a hand mixer or any kind of hand-held mixing device.

In another bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder, and add it to the previous mix. If you want that your muffins have crushed hazelnuts, mix them with the flour, so they will be well distributed into the dough.

When the dough is well beaten, cover the bowl with a plastic bag and let it rest between 1 hour and 4 hours into the fridge.

Preheat your oven at 250C (482F), with the baking tray inside. Fill 4/5 parts of every silicone muffin mold (medium size). Put some sugar on the top. Place the muffins into the oven and switch off 3 minutes. Three minutes after, switch on the oven at 210C (410F) and bake 15-16 minutes more. The baking time is 18-19 minutes: 3 minutes with the oven at 250C (482F) but switched off, and 15-16 minutes at 210C (410F).

It’s important not to open the door of the oven in the firsts 10-12 minutes of the baking process. Once the muffins are cool, keep them into a tupperware or a plastic bag.

More info:

katsachmet's picture

Greetings and Salutations

I am new to the here it goes.

I'm a 63 year old grandmother, who has been baking bread and bread products from scratch for many many years.  Just recently, I've aquired a passion to learn new and better techniques about the art. 

A few years ago, I had acquired an old (never used) kneading bowl (sold as a wooden salad bowl.  The person I acquired it from told me it was given to her mother as a wedding gift and that her mom had never used it. She herself had no clue what it really was, so used it for putting fruit in.  She liked the isosymetrical look).  I've oiled and proofed it since then so now it is usable for its true purpose.  So, then the true adventures began. 

For Christmas, last year, my mother gave me a 6 1/2 quart cast iron dutch oven (enamel finish on the inside), then proceeded to tell me what to do with it.  Aside from the wonderful meals, I started making sheepherder's bread.  Which as you may know, is really a lot of fun to make).  This triggered another need to learn more about the aromatic art of bread baking.

From here, the story, hopefully, will become more interesting as I gather more knowledge and useful pieces.

Here I am.

Humbily searching for more inspiration.


bringonthebread's picture

Rising of Bagels Made Using Starter

I have made bagels before but this is my first time making bagels using sourdough starter rather than commercial yeast.  My dough was incredibly dense, did not rise, and did not follow the float test as I would have suspected.

I used rossnroller's recipe posted here:

I followed the ingredient list and instructions, but I swapped out some of the white flour with 130 grams of rye flour. I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Dark Rye Flour. I used a mixer to make the dough.  The dough was very stiff and dense.  I tried the windowpane test but got nothing.  Perhaps, I could have hand kneaded instead of using the mixer. 

I let the dough ferment for 5 hours at room temperature after mixing, expecting it to double but it didn't at all.  Then, I placed it in the refrigerator overnight.  It didn't change at all when I took it out of the fridge in the morning.  I placed one of the yet-to-be-cooked bagels in a bowl of water to see if it would float but it did not.  The same is true when I placed it in boiling water.  

Here's a photo of the dough prior to baking:

I don't know why my dough did not rise.  My sourdough starter was in good shape.  I fed it 5 hours before mixing and it had doubled as expected.  So, I suspect that the rye flour is the culprit.   I know that rye flour is prone to having a dense, cake like structure, so that may have interfered with the dough's ability to form gluten.  If its not the rye flour, it could be the lack of proper kneading for gluten development.

Luckily, the flavor of the bagel was excellent, but the texture could have been better.

Bagels After Baking:

Bagel Crumb

My questions:

1) Is it necessary for the bagel dough to float in water especially considering that I used starter rather than commmercial yeast?

2) What was the problem with this batch and what could I do next time to improve the rise of the dough?  

3) What is the max amount of rye flour that could be in the dough?

Bruce28's picture

Dough Mixer Review

Is there such a thing on this website as a MIXER REVIEW? I currently have a Cuisinart 5.5 Stand Mixer. It does a good job, but. There is one muffin recipe that just about runs over. So I've been looking at different mixers. The Magic Mill (now call the Ankarsrum Original Mixer) supposed to be the Cat's Meow, then there's the Bosch Universal Plus, and the Hamilton 7 qt. So I went looking for reviews. Hard to come by.

Who has what, who likes what, and, and.

Thank you,

Bruce, (A Serious Baker, Challenged, in Brookings, OR)

Abelbreadgallery's picture

Dark whole grain bread, almost black.

Dark bread, almost black. This is a kind of a Pumpernickled bread, adapted to the mediterranean palate. In southern Europe we are not used to eat those german 100% black ryed breads. We find it too heavy, so this is a light version with greater role of wheat flour:


- 200 gr bread flour

- 150 gr whole wheat flour

- 100 gr whole rye flour

- 60 gr molasses

- 260 ml water

- 1 tsp cider vinegar

- 1 tsp instant coffee *

- 2 tsp cocoa powder

- 9 gr salt

- 6 gr instant yeast or 18 gr fresh yeast

- 1 tsp fennel seeds

- 3 tsp caraway seeds **

* You can replace instant coffee and water adding 260 ml of light coffee (100 ml of coffee and 160 ml of water). It doesn’t matter if coffee is decaf.

** You can replace caraway seeds by cumin seeds. It’s not the same but it’s similar.

Mix coffee with water, molasses and vinegar.

Mix flours with cocoa powder. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients.

Let it rest 20 minuts. Knead. Add salt. Knead. Add seeds. Knead. Add yeast.

Let it rest between 1 hour and 1hour and half. Preshape a batard. Let it rest 10 minutes. Shape a batard and put it into a tin spreaded with oil. Let it rest about 1 hour or more. Preheat the oven at 240C (464F). Put the tin into the oven. Create some steam. Reduce heat to 190C (374F) and bake the bread 35 minutes.

More info:

chris319's picture

S.F. Sourdough Yeast and Lactobacillus

I put this out for anyone who might be interested. It describes how to make L. sanfranciscensis and C. humilis, the lactobacillus and yeast in S.F. sourdough. It comes from US patent #3734743 by Kline and Sugihara. I have updated the names of the microorganisms from the patent to reflect the current names.

Is thre anyone with a knowledge of chemistry who could say how feasible this would be to do given a properly-equipped laboratory? Note that these both utilize baker's yeast.


Preparation of pure cultures of the sour dough bacteria L. sanfranciscensis

 The bacteria in question grows well on a broth containing the following ingredients:

Sour dough bacteria (SDB) broth


Maltose __________________________________ __ 2

Commercial yeast extract ____________________ __ 0.3

Fresh yeast extractives (FYE)* __________ __ 0.5 to 1.5

'Sorbitan polyoxyethylene monooleate (Tween 80) .. 0.03

Casein hydrolysate (Trypticase) ____________ __ 0.06

Water ____________________________ __ To make 100


*Prepared by autoclaving a 20% suspension of commercial compressed baker's yeast in distilled water for 30 minutes at 15 p.s.i., allowing the suspension to settle overnight at 34—35° R, decanting and further clarifying the supernatant by centrifugation. The extract prepared in this manner contained 1.5% solids and if not to be used within a few days, was frozen or freeze-dried immediately. The FYE preparations are used in a proportion to furnish 0.5 to 1.5% of the dry FYE solids.

 Adust to pH 5.6 with 20% lactic acid or acetic acid or1 to 6 N HCl.

 The broth is sterilized by autoclaving it, cooled, and inoculated with about 1% of a broth culture of the bacteria, then incubated at about 80° F. for 1 or 2 days.

Since growth of the bacteria is stimulated by CO2, it ispreferably to carry out the culture in an atmosphere containing some CO2. This may be done by ?ushing air out of the top of the culture vessel with CO2 and then stoppering the vessel. Alternatively, the vessel can be placed within a receptacle containing about 25 to 95 volume percent of CO5, (the remainder, air). Alternatively, one may sparge the culture with such gas mixture. During the culture the system is preferably agitated or shaken slowly to get good contact between the growing cells and the nutrients. The bacterial cells are harvested by centrifuging the broth culture, preferably using a refrigerated centrifuge.

The centrifuge cake is then washed with chilled 1% aqueous salt solution to remove nutrients, metabolic products, etc. The washed cells can then be used as the bacterial inoculum for liquid starter make-up.


If the cells are not needed a short time after preparation, they may be preserved as follows:

The washed cells (100‘ parts) are suspended in 200 parts of a stabilizing carrier (a mixture of glycerol and sterile SDB broth) and the suspension is ?ash frozen, using liquid N2 or Dry Ice-acetone slush. The culture is then held in a frozen state (about -20° F. or below),

whereby it retains its viability for at least 2 months. When the product is to be used, it is thawed and used directly.

 Further details on preparation of cultures of L. sanfranciscensis are disclosed in our copending application referred to above. Methods whereby this species may be isolated from source materials such as sour dough sponges are also disclosed in said application.

Cultures of several strains of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis useful for the purpose of the invention have been deposited in the Stock Culture Collection of the US. Department of Agriculture, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, Ill.61604, from which organization samples of these strains may be obtained.



Preparation of pure culture of the sour dough yeast Candida Humilis.

The yeast in question grows well on many media, including those used for growing commercial baker’s yeast. We have routinely cultured the organism on the following broth:


Glucose ____________________________________ _. 2

Yeast extract _______________________________ __ 0.5

Casein hydrolysate (Trypticase) _________________ __ 1

Water ________________________________ To make 100


The broth is sterilized by autoclaving it, cooled, and inoculated with about 1% of a broth culture of the yeast, then incubated at about 86° F. for 1 or 2 days under highly aerobic conditions. The yeast cells are harvested by centrifugation or filtration, then washed with chilled 1% aqueous salt solution to remove nutrients, metabolic products, etc. The washed cells can be used directly or stored in the refrigerator for future use. For longer storage, the yeast can be dried — this is preferably done by extruding it through a die to form noodle-like filaments which are dried to a moisture content of about 8% in a current of air at about 100-140°F. To prevent loss of viability, the temperature of the air during the last part of the drying cycle is kept in the lower portion of the stated range, or, alternatively, the humidity of the air stream is increased while keeping the temperature high.

Cultures of several strains of candida humilis useful for the purpose of the invention have been deposited in the Stock Culture Collection of the US. Department of Agriculture, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, 111. 61604, from which organization samples of the strains may be obtained. The strains are designated as Nos. NRRL Y-7244, Y-7245, Y-7246, Y-7247, and Y

7248. As noted above, in the sporulating form the yeast may be termed Saccharomyces exiguus.

clazar123's picture

It's gooseberry season in Wisconsin!

I have a prickly gooseberry bush that was laying flat it was so heavy with berries. Well today it is lightened of its load and I have only a few scratches. Success! So what to do with these wonderful gems?


I have done jam but I want to stretch out a bit. I made some gooseberry muffins this morning and they were quite delicious. Any more ideas?

davidg618's picture

I suggest a contest

Let's have a contest:


Come up with a question that hasn't already been answered on TFL ad nauseum, and a long list of answers (agreements and disagreements) can be found using the "Search" function provided--right-hand side of The Fresh Loaf banner on the home page.

Prize: everyone who enters will learn a new skill or hone an old skill: how to use the "Search" function on TFL.

David G