The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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wildeny's picture

2010 Masters of Boulangerie

Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie

The result was announced on March 10:

  • Pao-Chun WU, Master Baker in the BREAD category

  • Thomas PLANCHOT, Master Baker in the VIENNESE PASTRY category 

  • François BRANDT, Master Baker in the ARTISTIC PIECE category 

I'm from Taiwan, so I'm very proud of Mr. Wu's achievement, especially after knowing his background.

As the youngest of eight children, Mr. Wu came from a poor family that was raised solely by his mother. He started to work as a trainee after graduated from the junior high school (the ninth grade). His bread, which won the silver prize in 2008, was based on the ingredient that made him think of his mother. This year, the bread that Mr. Wu made for the competition as typical of Taiwan contained ingredients such as Taiwanese millet wine, dried lichee and roses.

In Taiwan, this kind of artisan-style bread is not widely accepted. People still used to pastry-like sweet bread (soft & rich; which was influenced by Japan) or traditional steamed buns. Most bakers do not master in artisan baking. But that has started to change. 

The bread he made for 2010 Masters of Boulangerie (the bottles are Taiwanese millet wine)



qahtan's picture

Cut and come again cake

this is the second date loaf I have made in a week, the first went as quick as a whiz so thought I had better make another, Gerry (husband)likes to have a slice of what my mum always called cut and come again cake, which really was any cake that was not overly rich or creamy, like a loaf cake, maybe currants, dates, cherries or what ever.. qahtan

1 cup butter
1 cup soft brown sugar
2 cups A P flour
4 eggs
level teaspoon BP
2/3 tablespoons very very strong black coffee
and as many chopped dates as you want to put in.. I like lots
Bake slow at 285......

Roo's picture

"starter" uses.

I went through the process from BBA for making a starter and then left it in the fridge for several weeks if not months.  Reread how to refresh an old starter and dumped all but a cup of the starter and added 4 cups bread flour and 2 1/2 cups warm tap water and set on the counter overnight.  Nothing happend and so let it go another night.  When nothing happend I put it in the fridge and there it sits.  So now I have around 6 cups of flour, water and a starter I am not sure will do anything to such a large addition.

What if anything should I do with this.  Simply make something with it like a sandwich loaf or lavosh? If so do I add commercial yeast?  Or just send it to the scrap pile and focus on the rye starter of wich I am on day 3.

Sedlmaierin's picture

From "Holzhackerbrot" to my second Rubaud Miche attempt.....

This is kind of exciting-my first blog post EVER!

Tuesday to Wednesday were my serious baking days this week. I tried out a new recipe from my German bread book(which I "wisely" altered on the first go around-even though I don't think any of the troubles I ended up having had to do with my changes-apart from the pyrex bowl) and I undertook the Rubaud Miche again, since the first one was a bust and turned into a pyramid shaped, dense thing.

First to the Holzhackerbrot:the original recipe called for 80g of fresh yeast disolved in a half cup of water with 1 teaspoon of sugar.I omitted the yeast and used just a wee bit extra sourdough instead.It also said that the loaf should be free formed-well, I decided to put it in a pyrex form(maybe not such a good idea)

Here's the recipe, without the yeast:

700g rye flour 1740 (I know this is closer to a pumpernickel flour, but I only had teh Arrowhead Mills Organic Rye flour on hand)

300g wheat flour 1050 ( according to KA that is closest to first clear flour- I used white whole wheat)

350g firm sourdough starter

250 g old fashioned oat meal

about 750 ml  water at 30celcius

3 tbls salt

I hand mixed/kneaded the dough (with wet hands) until it was silky, velvety with just a nice touch of resistance to it. The dough proofed in my oven(with pilot light on) for about 4.5 hours-kneaded it for a wee bit and stuck it in my greased pyrex form, to rest again for about an hour. By the time I found it ready to go into the oven it seemed nice a plump,it had risen again by a very generous quarter. Docked it and off it went into the pre-heated oven(lowest shelf). The recipe says that it needs to be baked with steam for the first 15 minutes, then let the steam come out and bake without steam for the remainder of the time.The crust formation is very important on this loaf, since it contributes greatly to the flavor of the bread.Well, it is meant to be in a 260celcius oven for 75-80 minutes-which mine was.

Here is what I discoverd, though, upon retrieving the bread at the end of the time-it was very very dark on top(which was great) but the bottom of it was almost burnt. AND it wasn't even done yet.So that was my problem-to be solved on the next go around- with this loaf. I turned the heat down after 80 minutes, and left it in there for a bit longer(maybe ten more) and then let it sit in the turned off oven. Of course, it was a hassle to try and get the bread out of the form-since it was still slightly underdone.

So, if anybody reading this has any suggestions regarding the bake time,temp that would be great. I don't know if you still use the term of a "caramelized crust" in a predominantly rye loaf, but it does seem to require something like that.I am pretty sure that the loaf will just have to be in the oven longer and therefore at a lower temp, I just don't know if I need to try to bake it first at a higher temp and then turn down the oven for the rest of the time, or vice versa, in order to have the best crust development.I will also free form it next time and I will probably let it retard overnight-I just have a feeling it could have proofed a wee bit longer. Let me tell, ya, though, the bread is DELICIOUS!!! (if you like dense breads) Wow, the flavor is great, it has kind of a honey, malty taste and the crust is super crunchy(yay!!!).

Pictures of this loaf are here:


And then there was the Miche! So, what did I do differently? I still did the 5 S&Fs as per Shiao-Pings post, but it proofed for closer to 4 hours in my oven instead of about 3 hours. Then I shaped it, wrapped it in a floured towel and stuck it in a plastic bag for overnight retarding. Then next day, shaped it again and let it rise once more for about 3 hours in my oven-scored it. Pre-heated the oven to about 525 fahrenheit, had a steam pan in there during pre-heat, plus dumped ice cube in there when I slid the bread in.Baked it for 50 minutes at about 425-450 fahrenheit.

Well, it turned out way better than the first attempt-I don't know if the more proofing times need to be tweaked-there are some slightly larger holes at the top of the loaf than throughout the rest of the crumb-overproofed/underproofed? I wish I could comment on the taste, but we are all under the weather here and it is way more subtle tasting than my german loaf- I don't trust my taste buds to be very discerning with a plugged up nose. It has really great texture- I think next time I will let it cool off in the  turned off oven for about 15 minutes, since I think I read that will allow the crust to stay even crunchier.

I could have never done this without Mini's help-thanks so much!

I also just ordered Bread-by Hammelman....can't wait! My first artisan bread book-I read the review on here and was wavering between the BBA and this one, but one of the things that I have been enjoying so much about TFL is learning so much about the science behind this art. It seemed like the Hammelman book will make my inner nerd very happy.

Ok, Miche pictures




RudyH's picture

Enhancing flavor naturally?

Will you share some tricks you have for improving the flavor of your breads? I'm assuming that we're all doing things like preferments, and other things similar to the techniques in Peter Reinhart's books. What interests me is special tricks beyond that.

For example, I just tried diastatic malt powder for the first time and I can't say that it really helped. I have used the non-diastatic malt syrup to add a bit of sweetness to some breads and it is a good substitute for sugar. It gives a noticeable pleasant flavor to the bread.

Have you found a good application for diastatic malt powder? I've got a pound of it to use up and I'd like to apply it well.

I tried some of the King Arthur deli rye flavoring once. Some may like it, but my rye bread tastes better without it.

It seems like the biggest flavor variable for me is using good flour and managing when I add salt to the process. For example, I'll only add the salt in the final mixing before the first rise.

Last week I made some bread with semolina in it. That gave it an interesting and good flavor. I'll try it with durum wheat too.

azaelia's picture

My First Sourdough!

After weeks of nurturing and babying my homemade starter (christened "Wilson") I finally got up the courage to put him to the test and bake some loaves. I decided on dmsnyder's San Joaquin Sourdough for my first attempt, and my results made my jump for joy! I was sooo afraid my starter wouldn't be up to the task of raising bread, even though he did a fine job doubling himself between feedings. I keep my starter a a fairly low hydration, maybe around 60% so it needed very little alteration for this recipe, which calls for a firm starter. I had never made bread at such a high hydration before (about 72%) so the handling was tricky at first, but I now know how to develop gluten in a slack dough. Stretch and folds are marvelous! Here is some photographic evidence, and please excuse my poor shaping and scoring skills...they need a lot of work...

Looking now at the grigne I got at both ends of the batard, I think I could have scored a bit deeper in the middle. But the taste was outstanding! I have never had authentic sourdough before, and I was surprised by the was much sweeter than I expected with a slight tang at the finish. I powered through 3/4 of a loaf by myself!

I'm so proud of my baby starter :-)

uberathlete's picture

Coffee in Bread?

Hi all. I am thinking of using coffee as the primary liquid in my bread. Does coffee have a negative effect on yeast? Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks!

wally's picture

Alan Scott ovens

Does anyone have experience baking with an Alan Scott wood fired oven?  Starting this Fall I'll be baking using one and my experience so far is limited to baking in commercial gas ovens.

Any personal experience or book suggestions would be appreciated.  I'm less interested in construction details, and more in the process of using one and what major differences to expect from my experience with gas (I'm baking with a small 4-deck Italian oven presently).



davidg618's picture

Stuffed Cabbage recipe?

I just harvested the last head of our winter garden's cabbage. Former heads have become cabbage soup, ham and cabbage, cole slaw, and three are fermenting into sauerkraut (hopefully). I want to make something different with this last one. I've eaten stuffed cabbage (with varying degrees of enjoyment) many times, but I've never made them.

I could google for a recipe, and get thirty million returns, but perhaps a few of you could point me to the recipe you've come to love.


David G

Kmarie's picture

Bosnian white bread

We have a lot of Bosnian immigrants moving in our area. All the grocery stores carry their bread. It's the best bread I ever ate. The crust is very chewy and crisp sor of like Baquette's yet the inside is a very fluffy soft texture. It can have some holes in it. Does anybody have any idea how to make this bread. By the way it is a white bread, and sometimes one can buy it in a whole wheat white bread. I do prefer white though.