The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

How to Shape and Score a Baguette: the Videos

I posted two great videos at my blog, about shaping and scoring a baguette. I was hoping to post them here but can't get the embedded videos from youtube to work, so just go to the link.


ledoux_rodeogirl_454's picture

Introducing myself and my vision ^_^

I am an entreprenuer at heart, and every hobby of mine is always thought of as a possible business opportunity. I'm a full-time mother, student, and housekeeper. On the side I compete with my horse, teach my son dirt-bike racing, and try to boycott the corporate giants by making as much of my families diet from scratch!

I love baking~ my son's birthday cake was such a hit... gluten and dairy free... that mother's began asking me to bake birthday cakes for them. I also have been experiementing with different bread recipes/ techniques and have a real passion for it. My mother-in-law is on a strict, gluten-free diet, so I began trying bread without the craveable wheat-gluten.

So my latest business vision is to start a desireable bread bakery, with the possibility of goodies to be sold at local coffee stands (which there are a lot of around here, near Seattle!). The closest full-scale bakery is 15 miles away and there is a Harvest Wheat store about 10 miles away, so I feel like I would have an advantage.

Gluten-free and whole-some ingredients would be some of my selling points. It seems as though there is a lot of hog-wash around making and selling out of your home. I don't have a lot of start-up cash right now... the reason to start small. Would it be worthwhile to begin by selling to family and friends, then to outreach with a local kitchen?

The plan is to stock up on ingredients from Oregon (there is a good retailer for gluten-free flours) and keep good records (the business side of me). If my vision begins to look promising then I could sell at the many local farmer's markets around and possibly sell to some of the local-minded stores.

Any insight is always helpful. I've just began the feasability research of this plan so I'm not 100% ready to invest! ;-)


Thank you in advance for your helpful wisdom!!! Happy trails!



swtgran's picture

farina ??

When an Italian recipe calls for farina, to what are they referring?  Is it a wheat flour or semolina? If semolina is it the coarser or actually durum flour? 

I found a grissini recipe on youtube I would like to try, but it is all in Italian.  I think I have everything figured out but the farina.

Thanks for any help.  Terry R

ehanner's picture

Revisiting NKB from Jim Lahey & "My Bread"

Recently we have had a few posts on people having issues getting the No Knead Bread to turn out a wonderful as it should. Jim Lahey has just published a new book called "My Bread" that I thought might be fun to take a look at. It isn't an expensive book at $16.60 and has many variations on his original recipe as well as many popular variations of offerings at the Sullivan Street Bakery.

I thought I would start with the basic formula which is all Bread Flour. It almost came to pass but at the last minute I swapped out 5% of white for rye. I love what a small amount of rye does to a simple white flavor. All of Lahey's formulas call for 400 grams of flour and 300 grams of water and 2% salt. The variable is the yeast which runs from 1-3 grams depending on the additions. The resultant hydration is 75%.

One concern about the KNB process is that the chance of mixing a smooth silky dough with no lumps is diminished by minimal mixing and no kneading. After my initial mix, I went to check the dough after an hour and found many clumps of partially hydrated dough. I know that these clumps will result in inconsistency in the crumb. So, I deviated from the script and did a frissage, (squishing the dough with the heel of your hand while sliding it across the counter) which broke up the clumps. Now I have a smooth cool dough that will set at room temperature for at least 12 hours.

Somewhere along the way, the NKB process took a turn towards what I would call normal breads in that Lahey now wants us to do a second fermentation after a brief shaping. The book calls for flouring a towel and setting the bread in a bowl to "proof". I used a linen lined basket and let it proof for 2 hours.

Interestingly, the procedure calls for the final ferment (proof) to be done seams down and baked seams up. No slashing is called for so the bread expands on the weakness of the bottom seams from shaping. It worked pretty well on the two loaves I have done although I would have liked a better spring.

I baked the loaf in the Lodge Combo Cooker, 15 minutes covered and 15 open at 460F. The internal was just over 203F. I didn't get the wildly open crumb structure that is shown in the book image but it's very appropriate for the bread, and delicious.

There are several very interesting recipes in Chapter Three "Specialties of the House" that are on my to-do list. The Italian Stecca with tomatoes and garlic pressed in the top of a stick. Then the Beyond water section, there are several interesting selections. The carrot bread looks like it would be fun and tasty. It uses home made juice extracted from carrots for hydration. So here is my first crack at the new "My Bread".


Just a little course corn meal prevents scorching on the bottom.


breadsong's picture

An experiment with multigrain

Today's bake was an experiment with multigrain, to see the difference between baking in a cold dutch oven, versus baking on my firebrick baking stone.
I've seen so many successful dutch oven bakes here on TFL - I wanted to give it a try!

The result: Very tasty! if not exactly pretty.
The baking stone loaf rose up an extra 1/2" compared to the 'cold dutch oven' loaf, which spread out more & didn't have as much oven spring/bloom from scoring.
Other variables: shaping was harder for the dutch oven loaf (fighting a sticky dough), and the dutch oven loaf was baked at a slightly lower temperature.

Crumb shot is from the 'cold dutch oven' loaf. The bottom loaf was baked on the baking stone.

I tasted a heavenly sourdough bread with sunflower, poppy and flax seeds this past week - I wanted to try and recreate that flavor - so this is the combination of seeds I used for this multigrain. The sunflower seeds were not toasted prior to soaking.

Weights, in grams, for two big boules:






Baker's %

Bread flour






Red Fife 75% whole wheat flour






75% sifted rye flour






Rye meal
























Mixed seeds






Levain (7 hour build at 80F)






Soaker (7 hour soak)












*also added approximately 1 teaspoon of barley malt syrup when mixing this dough.
The ingredients are based on Chad Robertson's Tartine Whole Grain Seeded Bread as featured In The News here on TFL (page 3), and Didier Rosada's Whole Grain Bread as featured on I am grateful to both of these talented bakers for their formulas!

Mixing, fermenting and retarding were as per Mr. Roberton's method, except I held back 90g of water to mix in with the salt and seeds after autolyse (double hydration used in Mr. Rosada's method).
Ingredients (levain, increased whole wheat flour, rye meal) were inspired by Mr. Rosada's formula.
The dough was retarded in bulk form for 12 hours, after a 3.5 hour bulk ferment at 80F.
The boules were shaped cold from the fridge; both proofed for one hour (one loaf in the dutch oven and one in a banneton).
The dutch oven was covered and placed directly on an oven rack in an oven preheated for 20 minutes at 500F. Temperature was reduced to 450F after loading the oven. The dutch oven lid was removed after 20 minutes.
The other loaf was baked on the stone with steam after the stone was preheated at 500F for 1 hour. Temperature was reduced to 460F after loading the oven.
Loaves baked for 45 minutes, then were left in oven for 10 minutes with oven off and oven door ajar.

I think this is one of the tastiest breads I've made. I really like the energy savings the dutch oven baking method provides.
Next time I'll try preheating the dutch oven and see how the oven spring is.

Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong
CoveredInFlour's picture

Tassajara Basic Bread

This is today's batch, using 1 tsp of yeast instead of the 2 1/4 tsp the recipe called for in one loaf, butter and honey. Can't wait to taste it, I'm hoping for a less "yeasty" flavour. I didn't go through the 2 rising stages after the sponge stage, I had one longer rise and then the proofing rise after shaping. Both were 70 minutes long due to the smaller amount of yeast used. It still sprang up pretty high!



I think I'll submit it to Yeastspotting and see if it's accepted. :)

RobynNZ's picture

@Copyu - Japan Earthquake/Tsunami

Copyu, I do hope that you, your family and friends are safe and back together following the earthquake. I saw footage at the time of the quake taken in Ushiku which if I'm right is over your way. That looked very frightening, a very long shake/shakes, I can't imagine what that was like. And today serious earthquakes in Niigata, I guess that's a separate unnerving.

As for the tsunami..... words fail me. I haven't heard yet whether people were able to evacuate or how the tsunami warning systems worked, let's hope lots of people got away. I must say compared to the Kobe earthquake the promptness of the officials, the willingness to accept overseas help etc is great. A NZ USAR crew is on its way this evening (One from Japan just left Christchurch last night)

I'm booked to lead a fortnight's tour from March 28, but that will have to be assessed. Kiwis are rather earthquake wary with 2 major quakes in Christchurch in the last 6 months. 

You are in my thoughts.


Janknitz's picture

Hand mill questions

I'm interested in grinding my own grains--just in the daydreaming stage, BUT I have some questions:

1.  Just how hard is it to crank a hand mill??  Is it something a wimp could do (the wimp being me)?

2.  One of the reasons I don't want an electric mill is the noise.  Are hand cranked mills noisy?

3.  The other reason I don't want an electric mill is that with bad asthma I don't really need to be breathing in a lot of grain dust.  Is that much of a problem with a hand mill?

Any recommendations for a hand mill that is easy to crank, doesn't produce too much dust, is adjustable for differnt grains and grinds, and reasonably priced?

flournwater's picture

Bread Cost Calculator

I've received many email requests for the Excel Costing Calculator I assembled recently and all requests have been fulfilled (as of this posting).

Because of the interest I also posted it on my web site.  Admittedly, it is somewhat crude, but it works, and I will do my best to improve it as I become more familiar with Excel's idiosyncrasies.

If you're interested you can check it out at:

  -  click on Technical Stuff, then onTopic 5.


oceanicthai's picture

Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough Boule


I was inspired by JMonkey's bread from 2008 & from another bread I tried from Mike Avery's blog.  This bread was absolutely delicious.  I used my usual recipe for my sourdough boules with a 7-grain soaker so I wouldn't feel so guilty feeding it to my family.  I added 50 grams of Dutch cocoa, 100g of dried cranberries, and chocolate chips, folding it in the way JMOnkey showed so the chocolate wouldn't burn.  Worked fantastic.