The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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PiPs's picture

Bread wastage ... How does society stop this?


I am only producing a small amount of bread daily as we are starting new product lines and slowly making our presence felt ... but even the tiny amount of daily wastage I produce breaks my heart ... The disenchanted voice on my shoulder worries that bread has no value to so many consumers ... it is as valuable as toilet paper ... sigh ..

Enjoy your bread ... use all of it wisely :)


baking seagull's picture
baking seagull

The Cake Bible

anyone else possess the book called The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum?

i have a copy and i am very pleased with it

its full of information and has many recipes

however there are certain things lacking, such as cheesecake, carrot cake, and ice cream cake recipes, but its a great read

another thing i will warn you about is sometimes the bake times are off and often 10 additional minutes are needed on some recipes

but i like the book because not only is the paper easy to write on for notes and modifications, the book is formated almost as if such is intended to be done

though i wouldnt say the book is a must have, especially since hundreds of free recipes exist online now, its one of the best all around books of its kind so if its in your budget and you want a physical cookbook, its worth your while

my copy has sticky notes all over

the stickies in the sides are recipes i want to try

when i try one the sticky moves to the top edge anf gets notes on the recipe's taste and texture and whether or not to try it again

any modifications are written on the page

steveyraff's picture

Can't replicate authentic pizzeria soft dough consistency!

Hey guys, 

Long time food and cooking enthusiast; only entering the realm of 'bakery' recently. 

So, I've made quite a few of the more basic and simple bread recipes - all successful so far, EXCEPT PIZZA!

I love pizza and I am a huge fan of good pizza, but so far I haven't been as successful as I'd prefer. Don't get me wrong, they've been tasty and enjoyable - but one of the things me and my girlfriend both love about going out to a pizza restaurant is the consistency of the dough. 

I have not been able to get that beautiful soft texture out of the oven. Perhaps to do this you need a genuine and very hot stone oven?? 

I have followed many popular online recipes, from the highest and most rated recipes posted to the popular food recipe websites, to the recipes documented by popular TV chefs (ie Jamie Olivers recipe, Barefoot Contessa etc). They are all still way off the mark. 

So far its almost always the same problem - it comes out of the oven quite hard, stiff and biscuity. The crust especially ends up very crunchy and brittle. This is just NOT how I am used to having pizza in a good pizza restaurant. 


I've attempted it about half a dozen times now, each time trying to learn from my previous try and making various adjustments ... I've tried strong bread flour, 00 Flour, normal plain flour, different quantities of yeast, allowing the yeast to proof for different lengths of time, making sure my water is optimum temperature while activating yeast, making sure to kneed the dough correctly, adding honey, adding olive oil, salt etc etc - I've experimented with different amounts of each ingredients, different oven temperatures, different lengths of baking times etc. 


SOMEONE PLEASE HELP! Unbelievably, the softest dough I came up with yet was a Pizza I threw together in about half an hour at about 2am whilst quite drunk. No idea how I managed to pull that one off! lol


Pictures of some previous not so good attempts: 



kiki's picture

Happy Halloween

Jack o'lantern is made with arranged Fougasse dough (with mashed pumpkin)

Ghost is made with basic milk bread dough but with mashed purple yam,

(they came out very very fluffy!)


Everyone, have a happy halloween!


pambakesbread's picture

Sour Rye dough problems

I have been making Rye Breads for about 6 months now and have occasionally run into a problem with the dough when I use a sour starter and commercial yeast.

What I think happens is when I let the first ferment go too long it creates a somewhat slimy dough that kills the commercial yeast. It is really weird. It does not happen all the time but sometimes when I have let the first dough sit too long it rises all right but it's texture is strange and it is on the forever clock to get to a proofed dough. I have been using the starter for 2 years and it was recently refreshed with organic grapes and it smells great and produces bubbles. Here is the dough I made today and the process I followed if any one has any ideas why 12 hours after I shaped the loaves they have only risen about 30% I would love a theory.

2 cups of 100% Rye Sour

6 oz of Dark Rye

1/2 cup bottled water

I let this rise overnight on the counter. It rose up in the bowl about how I expected it to do. I could not bake so I added 1lb of Pendleton Mills Power Flour and let it rise again overnight. It rose up like a bandit and doubled in bulk.

I added  1 cup water with 1 Tab Barley Malt Syrup at105 and

1 Tab. +1 tesp SAF instant yeast and proofed it ( it was alive and kicking)

I blended that into the Sponge and added 20 Oz of Power Flour

1 OZ salt

1 tsp Flour Salt

1 Tesp of Rye Flavor (KA)

2 oz of Safflower oil

3 Tab Caraway

2 oz organic molasses

mixed it all up, let rest 30 min then kneaded it on #1 on my Hobart for 10 min. Well I knew there was big trouble in that bowl when it would not come together and formed 3 independent clumps of dough in the bottom of the bowl...What the #*&!! is that? So I let it rest about 45 min and hit again for another 10 min and it finally came together..begrudgingly. So I let it rise and after 3 hours!! it had about a 20 or 30% rise. I took it out and shaped it. Now they have been sitting on my counter covered in plastic for 12 hours (it is about 65 degrees in my kitchen)  and have risen about 1/3. They look fine and I have been hoovering and poking them to see if they are proofing, they are slowly --slowly getting bigger. I am going to let them go all night and check them early in the morning to see what is happening with them but this is weird.

If any dough Doctors are out there and can give me clue what is happening. It is definitely a chemical change in the dough because it does not feel like a regular dough. It is very dense and when you pull on it it pulls out in a long piece and feels lax. I do not get it?? There is plenty of gluten in that Power Flour to lift that dough it is about 14% according to the Mill. My commercial yeast is fresh, and the Sour is in good shape. So aside from Aliens zapping it what is happening? Thanks Pam



chris319's picture

Teflon Sheet

Here is a source for sheet Teflon:

Excellent prices and best of all, they cut to size. I am going to make a 1/2" Teflon baking sheet as a thermal insulator so my loaves and biscuits don't burn on the bottom, and they certainly won't stick!

quinoanut's picture

first attempt at sourdough which is also GF

Hi all!

I am new to the site and can't wait to explore it more, it looks like I could spend a lot of time here ;-)

I have been baking GF bread for some time now. I usually use teff or sorghum.

So this is my first attempt at sourdough and am reading through some post and wonder if I am in way over my head. I don't even know what "hydration" is and don't recall it being mentioned in the two recipes I looked at for GF sourdough.

Today is day 6. I just started w/ 1 cup of ivory teff and 1 cup distilled water, covered the jar with a clean towel. I started feeding with 1/2 cup each teff and 1/2 cup water every 12 hours but a day and half ago went to every 24hrs since my house is ~65 degrees and although I was smelling something, and seeing some bubbling I was not seeing a lot of activity. After making that switch I think I was seeing more of the "hooch", black liquid at the top but still not expanding in size a lot. I also ran out of teff around the same time and switched to sorghum. Tonight I come home and it looks different. There is definitely something growing in there but it smells different, less appealing and looks different. There is no black liquid, it is foamy in places and has irregular pattern of tan and gray on top.

I am just wondering if anyone wants to throw their two cents in to whether or not I should keep going, and suggestions as to changes I could make to the regimen. I thought about putting my my bedroom since it's warmer at night when I am home with the heater, but thought the variability in temp may not be the best for it.

I am also wondering, I have over a pound of flour into it, and the way I understand it have at least another 4-8 days before I can use it for bread. My jar is only so big. What would be a good method for using some up to reduce the size and avoid waste?

any suggestions would be appreciated.




Skibum's picture

Yeast water boule, Forkish style again

Well I got a successful yeast water culture going and it is bubbling and fizzing like a can of Vernor's ginger ale! A big shout out to dabrownman for pmi'ng me detailed instructions, followed to the tee. I baked this exactly as the last sd boule only using YW to build the levain. The dough felt immediately different -- more extensible and felt nearly fully developed after the second set of S&F's. Nice volume, nice open crumb and very mild flavour and great chew - almost too mild, so I guess I have come to appreciate the flavour profile of my sweet levain!

I think this is some of the nicest looking crumb I have baked. Anyhow here is my new tool in the kitchen, a nice healthy fizzing yeast water!

Thanks again dab!  You are DMAN!!!

Happy baking folks! Brian



EvaB's picture

New Look and lost posts????

To Floyd specifically but anyone who can give a shout out and maybe an answer.

I was off the forum for quite some time, We had a blessed event in April as my daughter gave birth to twin girls, and while I was busy being chauffeur and helping with babies and moving house (they bought a house a few weeks after the babies were born) obviously the site was rejuvenated, but the notices of new posts continued to be sent to me until the beginning of April, I think somewhere around the 15th, so I have had no new notifications since, including no notice of the move to the new site etc.

Can someone help me with this, I do like to keep up with the forum, and have missed a lot I know, but hope to be more regular now that the situation has settled a bit!

Foster Glen's picture
Foster Glen

Consistency help??

I am a middle school teacher and I have been baking with my students for the last 2 months. We bake on average about 16 loaves twice a week for a total of 32 loaves a week. We are using a modified version of the "Artisan Bread" in 5 minutes recipe (we use a much higher hydration (78%) to get a nicer crumb). The issue is this, the first two bakes (we can do 4 at a time in combo-cookers) are good with a nice oven spring. After that things start to get flatter and flatter. The last two bakes are definitely substandard. Each of the loaves gets the same amount of fermentation, bench rest, and time in the bannetons. I am perplexed why this might be the case. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!