The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Roo's picture

Dough Divider

I have the opportunity to purchase a dough divider for what appears to be a great price. It is a manual one similiar to the Duchess that Mark has used in several of his videos.

One of my main concerns is portion size and how is that determined.  Basically this thing came out of a Panchero's Mexican Resturaunt.  They are a fast food burrito place.  Is the size of the roll going to be determined on the amount of dough placed in the pan?  Or is it more along the lines of different models for different needs.  One model will only do tortilla's while another model does only rolls, while yet another does only buns.

I would really like to use it to make dinner rolls and perhaps buns if possible any thoughts???

xaipete's picture

Liquid Levain petered out

My liquid levain was going great gun while I had it out on the counter and was feeding it twice a day. I wasn't planning on using it for a week so I put it in the fridge. I took it out yesterday and refreshed it; it rose only a little and had a bunch of liquid in it. I stirred the liquid in, but it is refusing to grow. Any idea what is going on and what I should do from here?


LindyD's picture

Parmigiano Reggiano loaf (a/k/a Hamelman's Cheese Bread)

"Cheese Bread" is a rather drab description of this strongly flavored bread, so I decided to give it the name of the cheese I used.  

The overall formula (which includes a stiff levain) is:

Bread flour - 100%

Water - 60%

Olive oil -  5%

Salt -  1.5%

Yeast -  1% (or half that amount if you plan to retard the bread overnight)

Parmesan cheese -  20%

Half the cheese is cubed and half grated, then added to the dough after it has been mixed to moderate gluten development.

I was unable to retard the dough overnight because of lack of refrigerator space.  

The bread was wonderful lightly toasted and served with a breakfast egg.  It would be a terrific accompaniment with spaghetti, as well as broiled with a bit of garlic, olive oil, sliced tomatoes, and maybe a dash of fresh mozzarella.  

Am betting it will also make excellent croutons and bread crumbs.

This is a great recipe for a special occasion and the quality of the cheese you use will have a major effect on the result.  

Only one caveat:  it will make one very lousy PB&J!

SulaBlue's picture

Web Ring?

Does anyone know of any kind of "web ring" for bread bakers? IE, a site that The Fresh Loaf, Wild Yeast, etc. would all link to with a listing of various sites and an option to "go to next site" or "go to previous site" at the bottom? Are these just not popular anymore?

summerbaker's picture

Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies Thank You

Thanks to gothicgirl for sharing her recipe for Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies!  I made them yesterday as the dessert course of a belated Mother's Day dinner (my mom was out of town last weekend), and they were delicious!  I consider myself kind of a seasoned brownie baker (though really, who isn't?), having tried quite a few recipes and these were definitely a new take on an old standard, using a combination of mainly dutch processed cocoa with some semi-sweet chocolate - I used 88%.

The only change that I might make next time is using slightly less sugar since I like a more bittersweet chocolate flavor.


I didn't bother frosting them since I served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!


jj1109's picture

The mother of all loaf tins... (well, for me)

Firstly, thanks to those who welcomed me to TFL!

Recently, I inherited some rather large loaf tins - 12" x 5". At the time, the person that passed them on said "I wouldn't even bother using them, I just can't get a loaf baked in the middle!" to which I scoffed a little. Hah! I am quite the baker now! I won't have those problems!

Now, these tins look big. You could drop the Grand Canyon in one of them. Well, compared to the cute little 9x5, that is. And I now have four. What to bake first?

Ah, my old favourite, Multigrain Extraorinaire, from BBA. with some minor tweaks - formula below. I cut the sugar in the recipe in half, as for my taste the original amount makes almost a sweet dessert bread. I also increased the flour - this is probably more due to my flour compared to someone elses, however I did increase it by almost 10% which seems quite a lot just to account to regional differences.

I've made this recipe a number of times - it's my standard loaf, I make one or two every weekend. So it was no big deal making the dough, shape it, dump into the new tin. Pause. I've done something wrong here, the loaf looks like a little sausage in the bottom of this tin. It must just be perspective, this being a big tin and all... leave to rise - not as much rising as I'd expect. What's wrong? Ah, I split the dough (as always) into two one pounders. This is a huge tin! I won't post the photo of the final result - it was a relatively flat loaf, and extremely embarassing!

Here's the formula I used for to make two one pound loaves (as posted in another thread, based on Multigrain Extraordinaire in BBA):

Final dough (amount ingredient / bakers %)

449g Bread Flour / 100%
105g multigrain soaker / 23.5% (below)
26g brown rice / 5.9%
18g brown sugar / 4.1%
10g salt / 2.2%
9g yeast / 1.9%
105g buttermilk / 23.5%
26g honey / 5.9%
158g water / 35.3%

Multigrain soaker: (amount ingredient / bakers %)

25g polenta / 50%
19g rolled oats / 37.5%
12g wheat bran / 25%
50g water / 100%

which works really nicely.

However, every time I scaled it up to make one three pound loaf, I would get big holes in the middle. Insufficient mixing, not enough gluten development? Not enough cooking time? I'm not sure. Anyhow, I thought this weekend, "I will make this big loaf one more time and if it doesn't work, it's back to nice easy small loaves." To be sure of the gluten part, after I used my dough hook for 6 minutes, I then did 3 stretch'n'folds in the course of an hour, then left it to rise to double. Shaped, left to rise again and baked at 190C (~375F) for around 30-40 minutes.



sdionnemoore's picture

Stretch and fold . . .in a bowl?

I've heard of the stretch and fold method, but never of doing it "in the bowl." Does this mean just kneading using the mixer? I discovered this as part of the process in the recipe for baguettes listed below. I want to give it a whirl, but am unsure what this particular instruction means.

This is the portion of the recipe that mentions the folding-in-a-bowl method:

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until the flour is hydrated.

2. Let rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

3. Stretch and fold in the bowl for 30 strokes. Repeat 2 more times at 20 minute intervals.

4. Transfer dough to an 8 cup glass measuring cup, cover tightly.

5. Stretch and fold once at 45 minute

qahtan's picture

microwave lemon curd

Off topic, but goes nice with home made baked goodies


Microwave Lemon Curd

2 Lemons (juice & rind finely grated)
3 Eggs Whisked
2 oz Butter (or up to 4 oz)
8 oz Sugar (scant)

Melt butter, add rest of ingredients 5 mins in Microwave(whisk every minute)


bassopotamus's picture

DLX Learning Curve- HELP

I'm having tons of trouble with my new DLX and am looking for some help. Problems

1. Does not seeem to agitate top to bottom very well.

2. Does not seem to produce a smooth dough regardless of how much mixing

3. Inadequate gluten development. Everything seems soupy, regardless of how much I mix. things are sticking in bannetons, spreading more than rising, etc. I put an extra 20% flour in my baguettes and they still seem wet.


What I have been doing

1. Using known good recipes that used to work.

2. Weighing all ingredients

3. Trying various mixer techniques including mix by hand first, 20 minute autolyze, dough hook, roller.

4. Varied sizes of batches


This is driving me nuts. I like the capacity of the mixer, but so far, nothing else. My kitchen aid was producing much better results, but for the fact that it has, in practice, about 1/5 the capacity.

kilter's picture

Fun Bread Shapes

Hi, I've been lurking on this site for the past couple months, and have found it really helpful!  My friends have dubbed me "the bread person" in our group, and asked me to make a variety of bread for a banquet we're having, something like bread sticks or rolls.  I have a couple different kinds of bread I can make, but I was wondering if anyone knew some fun shapes I could try it.  I figured I could shape each type of bread into a different shape so people knew what each kind was.  Any ideas?  Thanks!