The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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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!

Bob B's picture
Bob B

Wanting More sour in my bread

Hi Out there I hope that all is well with everyone. I have a question. I have been makeing a SF sour dough I think it is out of the bread bible. I want to get more of a sour tast. will adding more starter to it help? It calls for one cup of starter now. for one loaf but it is not as sour as I would like. any Ideas?? Thanks for the help.

Have a great day


SallyBR's picture

Anybody here participating on the BBA Challenge?

I am not sure this was brought up here, but there is a big "net-challenge" going on, about 200 folks all over the world are baking Reihart's Bread Baker's Apprentice book, one recipe at a time


even though I am not a blogger, I decided to join.


Anybody here doing it too?


you can read all about it here

LindyD's picture

Shaping bagels - and bagel boards

Last Saturday night I decided to try baking bagels.  I had just received my order of KAF Sir Lancelot flour, so I turned to Hamelman's "Bread" and used his straight dough bagel recipe (which I later discovered is the same recipe used by our good friend, baker Norm).  Happily, my Artisan mixer survived, but due to my own lack of planning, at 11:45 p.m. I was staring at three pounds of very stiff dough, ready to be shaped into bagels.  

I cut the dough into four-ounce chunks, rolled each piece into a 10-inch long log, then shaped it by wrapping it around my hand and sealing the ends. By then it was well after midnight, I was half asleep, and did something really stupid: I moved the bagels to parchment covered baking pans.  No oil spray, cornmeal, or semolina flour on the parchment.  Into the refrigerator they went for the night.  Didn't discover the consequences until the next day - but that's a topic for a thread on "stupid bread tricks."

Miraculously I managed to bake 13 wonderful bagels, thanks to the restorative powers of good Sir Lancelot and lots of boiling water laced with malt syrup.  

I've seen comments here about just rolling the dough into a ball, then poking your finger through the center.  Is this as effective as the technique noted above?   

Have any of you used canvas or linen covered bagel boards?  Do these make any major difference in the end product?

The KAF high-gluten flour produced a wonderfully chewy texture.  It was so impressive, I ordered six more bags.

janij's picture

Flavored Tortillas/Wraps

I hate buying tortillas.  And I have found a recipe that I really like for flour tortillas.  I got it on here.  Someone posted it from I think Epicurious.  Anyway, I really like wrap sandwiches on the flavored wraps.  Has anyone made tortillas with flavoring?  I take it you would do the same thing you do to flavor pasta.  But how much herbs, or spinach, or tomato paste or whatever would you add?  Any ideas?

JoeV's picture

No-Knead Variation

I was scheduled to go to the dentist yesterday for some work, so I baked these in the morning before I left so I could take them. I have turned a few of the Dentist's staff into bread bakers, and they look forward to me coming by because I always bring them something. The Dentist is alergic to peanuts and some other nuts, so I made a loaf (the football shaped one) with 2T of mixed Italian herbs for him (he had to fight the girls to get a piece. LOL) The long loaf had flax seed, chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds and golden raisins in it. The top of each loaf is sprayed with water and I sprinkle 10-grain cereal on the loaf just befor putting it in the cloche. By the time my procedure was done, there was about two inches of each loaf left. Wow, those ladies sure can eat. Of course, it came out of the oven at 8 a.m., and I was in the office before my 10:00 appointment, so it was still a little warm in teh center.


This is the basic no-knead recipe that was proofed for 11 hours and was baked in a pre-heated cloche for 30 minutes covered at 450F, and 10 minutes uncovered. I do not like a dark crust, so I just watch the uncovered bread until it turns a golden brown.

Yippee's picture

090512 100% White Whole Wheat Banana Sandwich Bread - Water Roux Starter

Adapted from a friend's home recipe, made with mashed bananas.  Very moist and light interior. 

Used Trader Joe's white whole wheat flour for the first time.  Couldn't tell the difference between KA and TJ flours.

KA $5.99, TJ $2.99.


090515 follow-up observation:

This sandwich loaf was still extremely pillowy soft (without toasting) 4 days after it was baked. This was the most long lasting softness I've ever experienced among all the sandwich loaves I've baked.  Must be the enzymes in the banana doing the trick.   No more report on this loaf since the last slice was gone.



100% White Whole Wheat Banana Sandwich Bread    
The use of mashed banana significantly extends the keeping time of the loaf    
Adapted From KO's home recipe      
Water Roux Starter      
any amount is fine as long as bread flour (or whole wheat flour to make 100% WW) 50 g
the 1:5 ratio is followed water  250 g
  Whisk both until well mixed    
  Heat it up on stove, keep stirring     
  until temperature reaches 65 C or 149 F    
  (Yippee uses the microwave, about 4 minutes, stir halfway.)     
  (Final product should leave a trail when stirred.)    
  Put a plastic wrap directly on top to prevent forming a 'skin'.    
  Must be cooled to at least room temperature before use.    
  Refrigerate up to 3 days.      
  Do not use if turns grey.    
Makes 1 twin loaf (530g) plus about 4 - 5 rolls at 60g each    
A. whole wheat flour 332 g
  sugar  50 g
  salt 1 / 2 tsp
  yeast 8 g
  vital wheat gluten 2 1/4 TBS
B. whole eggs + milk  137 g
  water roux starter 106 g
  mashed ripe banana 50 g
C. unsalted butter 25 g
Knead: Combine A. and B. until a ball is formed.  Adjust by adding either flour or water 
  in small increments (1tsp ) to form the dough    
  Add C. and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test.  
1st Fermentation: About 40 minutes at 28 C or 82.4 F, 75% humidity    
Divide:  265g x 2 for the twin loaf, rest for rolls     
Relax: 15 minutes at room temperature    
Shape: twin loaf:    
  Roll into an oval    
  With the long side facing you:    
  Fold 1/3 from top to bottom, press to seal    
  Fold 1/3 from bottom to top, press to seal    
  Turn seam side down    
  Roll and elongate the dough to about 30cm or 12 "     
  Upside down and roll into a cylindrical shape    
  Seam side down, into the loaf pan    
Final Proof: About 40 minutes at 38 C or 100.4 F, 85% humidity     
Bake: 350 F, 35-40 minutes    
  (Yippee applies whole egg wash before baking)    
photojess's picture

Is there a way of increasing the fiber count in homemade bread?

I like buying Arnold's WW breads and Thomas's english muffins that are high in fiber- more than your normal "whole grain" products that you can buy.  Does anyone know how they add the extra fiber in their bread products, to make them even healthier,

Is there a way to assess a recipe for the nutrient data, to find the fiber content?  I'd specifically like to know how the fiber can be increased at home though.

Thanks a bunch!

ejm's picture

Are offsite links disallowed now?

Whenever I try  to post an offsite link within an anchor tag, I get a message saying that my post is suspected of being spam. No captcha to fill out.

I have been unable to update my ejm (Elizabeth) recipe index. I tried removing all the offsite links but still, it won't allow the post to go through.

Is there a limit to the number of links per post?


aryaya's picture

Does it matter how often you feed your starter?

I am wondering why do people choose to feed it once to twice daily instead of doubling or tripling it and feeding it say, once a day or every other day, or just sticking it in the fridge with a big feeding? I'd assume that it keeps them more vibrant I guess...????

But it'd sure be nice to maintain something a little less often, unless it does cut down on the quality... I read somewhere that a mild bread is made from old starter and a quick rise, and a sour bread from an actively fed starter and long rise, so I suppose thats what it is... ??