The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ccstokes's picture

Non Stick full sheet pans


Does someone know where to find well made (non-warping) non stick full sheet pans?


Chris in Bountiful, UT

breadsong's picture

Whole Wheat Genzano Country Bread, and Banana Pain au Levain

These are two breads I've wanted to bake, for quite awhile. Really glad now that I have, as both of these breads are so delicious, each in their own way! With thanks to Shiao-Ping and Mr. Leader for their lovely recipes :^)

Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain <------>Mr. Leader's Whole Wheat Genzano Country Bread

I so enjoyed reading about Pane casareccio di Genzano in Mr. Leader’s book, Local Breads.
This was a really nice post, too, with great photos of that beautiful and dark crust:

This is a try of the whole wheat variation, Pane lariano, with some variations; I reduced the instant yeast to 1 gram, mixed by hand, divided the recipe amount into two loaves (instead of one large loaf),  and retarded the dough overnight (for convenience)…so this is not the bread Mr. Leader intended…but I am very pleased with the resulting flavor (it’s a delicious, delicious crust!).

The loaves were baked in a hot oven, preheated to 500F; then 475F for 15 minutes, 465F convection for 15 minutes, 450F convection for 7 minutes, then left in the oven (turned off/door ajar) for 10 minutes.
The loaves sang and crackled :^)

                                      The bran-flecked crust

  After cutting the end off of one loaf, 
                                                                                                                  I was nervous about the crumb, 
                                                                                                                  but really happy with the crust!

          The crumb, a little further into the loaf

The crust could be darker yet! (yearning for my own WFO :^)  )

The second bake today, Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain, makes a beautifully moist and fragrant loaf; I used a combination of fresh and frozen (defrosted) banana, ripe and sweet. The sweetness and flavor of the banana really carried through to the baked bread - great flavor!

I tried to score a 'banana' on the top of the loaf; here is the crumb (the gorgeous aroma of banana bread filling the kitchen at the moment this photo was taken!):

What wonderful discoveries these two breads were, today.

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

Yippee's picture

20120120 New Workflow. Wild Yeast Dill Rye with Sprouted Rye Berries





This bread was specially made for my kids' piano teacher, a German master pianist.  It was  also my first bread in many, many months.   I felt that a rye bread would be most appropriate for this occasion.  For photographs, please click here.    





Submitted to Susan's Yeastspotting!


dstroy's picture

Pink Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

So this year my son turned 10, and he requested a cake that was all sorts of "half-and-half".

Half of his cake, he wanted "hockey" themed. The other half, he wanted "warrior cat" themed. (He's been reading a series of books about fighting cats)

And he wanted strawberry AND chocolate cake as well.

I wasn't up for making a layered cake, so I asked if he'd take a strawberry cake with chocolate chips in it - and then found myself having to make something up since I couldn't find anything that matched that description online. The boxed strawberry cake mixes from the store are pretty...meh.

So I found a bunch of strawberry cake recipes that called for a white cake mix and a package of Strawberry Jello, or I'd find ones that were totally from scratch that had crushed berries in them but which weren't pink, so I decided to go with something in between since I'm not fond of the boxed white cake mixes and wanted something in between.

I am very pleased with this one, because I've never messed with a cake recipe that much before.  It came out very strawberry flavored, not too sweet, with just the touch of chocolate.

Pink Strawberry Chocolate Cake:

This is the recipe I came up with when making a 9x13 "hockey rink" cake:

I put some frozen strawberries in a ziplock the day before I made the cake, so they'd thaw before I made it.  Then for the cake, the first thing we did was to mash up those berries. This was a great job for the littlest helper who was excited to help make her brother his special cake.  The leftover mashed berries can be thrown in a container and used for smoothies later - bonus!

cream together:

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)

then add:

  • 4 eggs
  • about a Tablespoon vanilla extract

when this was all ready, dump in and mix gently:

  • 3/4 cup of the mashed strawberries

mix the dry ingredients FIRST, and add to the batter mix:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 small package of Strawberry Jello gelatin mix (this stuff basically gives it that ice cream parlor taste, along with the crazy color)

And finally, after youve mixed all that stuff together, add in

  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (the mini ones were perfect for this!)

Fold it together and you're going to have some pretty shockingly pink stuff to cook with.

 Pour it into your pan, having greased the sides with some butter beforehand.

Oh - and I discovered an awesome trick which is kind of a "duh" but which had never occurred to me until I ran across it searching for recipes - line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper and your cake will be a snap to pop out of the pan! 

Bake @ 350 for 1/2 hour and then start checking the cake with a toothpick to check when it's ready (toothpick won't come out mushy) - mine took about 40 minutes.

THAT'S A PINK CAKE! Your house should be smelling pretty "strawberry" now.

parchment paper, I love you!

Once the cake cools, it's time to frost:


  • 2 packages 8 oz cream cheese  
  • 2 cups confectioners' powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater until smooth. 

(*DONT DO THE NEXT PART UNTIL THE STUFF IS SMOOTH, or you'll end up having to "zamboni" your ice rink like I did and start a new batch because it'll end up all powdery )

Then add about 

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency.

Decorate as desired, in my case, it was with a hockey rink and some printed card cut-outs of pictures of cats playing hockey. :)


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Pane al Latte e Cioccolata - Got it right now :-))


I've made the Pane alla Cioccolata fron Carol Field's Italian Baker many times with great success, and I always wanted to try the Pane al Latte e Cioccolata, which brings milk bread and chocolate together.

However, I have some problems with the milk dough recipe from the first edition of the book.

/* UPDATE */

After input from lvbaker I recalculated the formula, and now I have a milk dough with the same hydration level as the chocolate dough. A charm to work with. My adjusted percentages are given below, here some new photos:

The bread on the rise:

The whole loaf:

Detail shot:

Pane alla Cioccolata:

"Sponge": Water 15%, Sugar 0.7%, Instant Yeast 1%

Dough: all of the "Sponge", Flour 100%, Water 47%, Egg Yolk 3%, Butter 3.8% Sugar 20%, Cocoa Powder 5%, Chocolate Chips 25%, Salt 1.6%, Total 222.1%

Pane al Latte

Sponge: Flour 25%, Milk 25%, Sugar 3%, Instant Yeast 0.6%

Dough: All of the sponge, Flour 75%, Milk 25%, Rum 3%, Egg 12%, Butter 10%, Salt 1%, Total 179.6%

/* OLD POST */

But first some photos of this spectacular bread:

The shaped loaves, resting:

After the bake:

Crumb of a third loaf, a braid:

This is very tasty, as you can imagine.

Now to my problem:

The recipe gives for the sponge of the milk dough the following quantities:

1 3/4 teaspoon dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 cup less 1 tablespoon (135g) flour

Now, this is not enough liquid to hydrate the dough, and it definitely doesn't make the batter it should.

I am kind-of improvising,

but has anyone got the second edition of the Italian Baker? What quantities (% or g) are being used there?

Thanks a lot,




katiemetz's picture

Easter Bread Ring Yeast Quantity

Hello, fellow bakers!

I have a recipe for Rosca de Pascua, an Easter bread ring that is popular in Argentina. It calls for 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast in the sponge, and then an additional tablespoon of instant yeast in the dough. I have successfully made this recipe three times, with good results. I'm just wondering if it's really necessary to use so much yeast, or if I could cut back on the quantity without suffering some sort of ill effects. Or should I go with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought?



Balazs's picture

Pita Bread


Few days ago, I was thinking what to do next day for lunch. I opened the fridge and found a pound of chicken breast fillet. On shelf has gyros spice in a small bottle. Hoorray! I do gyros. And pita bread of course. :)

Well, here is my pita bread.

UPDATE! Method is added.



Components of the dough for 4 pieces
200 grams of flour
0.75 teaspoon of yeast and salt
0.5 spoon of honey or sugar
0.5 cup of water (+0.25 cups if need it)
1 spoon of olive oil



Mix all components in a bowl and knead it. Rest the dough for 90 minutes. Then cut to four equal parts, shape a small ball and cover with kitchentowels. When balls rieses doubled, roll them out and put hot baking tray and bake for 5-8 minutes in 250°C.

Pita not be reversed on baking tray. If pita's top goes to brown than pita is ready.




Pita wasn't enough because of my two friends visited me and they also wanted eat gyros. :)



theuneditedfoodie's picture

Tartine Country bread

Tartine bread has been quite a quest, first in San Francisco, CA., and then here in my lovely little casa, where I basically toiled 25 hours for my two loaves of the basic Tartine country bread.  Let’s start the discussion with San Francisco, CA.; two months back when my wife and I were on vacation to that part of the world, we decided to visit some local bakeries there. Tartine bakery in the Mission district was one of the places we had decided to go. Unfortunately, when we did arrive there, we were told the loaves didn’t come out of the oven by 5pm, and then too there was no assurance if one would get anything or not. Personally, I was a little mystified by the person on the counter, who offered me no pledges even if I stuck around the area till 5pm. Evidently, later through my google searches and endless hours of browsing through the world wide web, I came to know that evidently the new policy of Tartine was that one had to call three days ahead to reserve any bread.. What kind of a bakery is this that even though you may stand long hours waiting outside there is no guarantee of a loaf; obviously there seems to be a problem. My reaction to that was in some ways similar to the SF Weekly’s Jonathan Kauffman, “screw all of you cult-of-Tartine members who use your insider knowledge to screw walk-in customers out of one little loaf of bread.” At least, I am not the only one grunting on my bad luck with Tartine.


To read more on Kauffman’s Tartine bread quest/grunt go here:


Personally, I was a little more than disappointed at Tartine, because in my quest to get loaves from Acme or even Linguria Bakery in North Beach, I didn’t have any major issues. I mean sure on December 24th, I stood 3 hours outside Linguria Bakery, starting at 8 am, to get some of their delightful focaccia, but at least I didn’t go back empty-handed.


A couple of months post my major disappointment at Tartine bakery, I eventually got a hold of their bread book in my library. In some ways, I thought this would be the perfect solace to my disappointment at their bakery. Perhaps, by baking the Tartine bread at home, I may be able to taste what exactly their bread feels/tastes like.


And so, eventually, on Feb 17th at 11.45pm, I started building its leaven. Now, the Tartine leaven asked for a tablespoon of the mature starter, alongside 200 grams of water with 200 grams of 50/50 flour blend (bread flour/ whole wheat flour).  In a perfect world, now that I look back at it, I should have fed the starter to make it more active and bubbly.  For it probably had been close to 3 days since I had last fed it. Perhaps, I was just little tired. Anyways, building the leaven process in the Tartine bread book suggested to leave it overnight. In the morning around 8.45am, I checked to see the leaven and it wasn’t all bubbly. So I dropped a spoonful of it into the bowl of water, to see if it was actually floating or not? Unfortunately, like Titanic my spoonful of leaven sunk too. This was a bad omen, because if the leaven had fermented perfectly, it would have floated, so I decided to increase the temperature of my proofer and kept the leaven there for 3 hours more. Post the 3 hours of wait, I did experiment the same thing, however, this time the results were positive.


The next step was to dissolve the leaven in 700 grams of water, and then gradually add the 900 grams of white flour and 100 grams of whole-wheat flour and bring it together by mixing with bare hands. After that the dough mixture was left to rest for 25 minutes, to what Professor Raymond Calvel (Julia Child and Simon Beck’s teacher for the bread chapter of Mastering the art of french cooking, Volume 2) termed the autolyse.


At the end of the resting period, 20 grams of salt and 50 grams of water were added to the dough mixture. It is after this step where I perhaps created my biggest blunder for the Tartine bread. After combining the salt and the second batch of water was the beginning of the bulk fermentation period for 3 to 4 hours. This is where I forgot to read further instructions, which clearly stated to fold the dough every 30 minutes. So after about 3 hours at 3.30 pm, when I actually did read further, I realized my blunder. So to make that up, in the next hour between 3.30-4.30pm, I actually folded the dough four times, at the interval of 15 minutes. Then in the period from 4.30 to 5.20pm, I folded twice again, at that point of time, I thought I could take out the dough and continue further, that is when disaster struck. The dough just came out as a beast from the sea and took over my wooden cutting board, and like the old man at the sea, I vigorously tried to scoop it with my scraper and tame it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, clearly the gluten structure had not developed in the dough. So I put it back from where it came, in the glass bowl, and let it ferment for 2 hours more, folding it every 30 minutes. In the mean time, I jumped onto YouTube and started feeding myself with videos on working with higher hydration dough. I would say this procedure did help somewhat, because when I went back at around 7.20pm even though the dough was quite wet, I could work my way through to build two pancake like structures, which were left for 20 minutes on the cutting board.


Eventually, the time came to do the final shaping of the dough—though, in my case, not exactly. For after 3 hours of final proofing, when I tried to take out the dough, it was still quite wet and sticking to my proofing basket cloth, even though I had plenty of flour in there. Somehow, I managed to take the dough out of the basket-however, it had almost gone flat, so I had to shape it again- one last time, before I put it on parchment paper and scored it and then lifted it into the Dutch oven.  By the time I put my first bread in the Dutch oven, it was 10.30pm and by the time, I got to bake my second bread and clean the kitchen it was about 12.30 pm. Since, the loaves were still cooling, I decided to cut the bread the next day and waited with breath abated.


So the following day, I decided to have some of my Tartine bread with good old butter and some Thimbleberry jam, which a friend of mine got me from Michigan. I would definitely recommend this jam to all the jam lovers; in fact you can even order it online at Now, coming back to my bread, the crust and crumb were quite decent. The crust as I have previously, repeatedly said, in a home oven the best crust can only happen in a Dutch oven. The performance of the crumb was quite delightful. The wife was also pleased that the bread had a sour note to it. I am guessing my overnight leaven build, did help accommodate the sourness to it. Looking back on, I thought a lot of the members had varied feelings about the Tartine country bread. Some thought the recipe was just too long, which I can understand to a point, but then you tend to indulge in a lot of fine details that only helps you improve the overall performance of the bread. 

isand66's picture

Ciabatta with Carmelized Onions, Rye & Spelt Flours

The last time I made Ciabatta I made a sourdough version that came out quite good.  In my never-ending quest to try to create something new and hopefully great tasting I came up with the concoction below.

I decided to go with a straight forward yeasted version of Ciabatta but I wanted to get more flavor in the final product.  I happen to love onions, so I figured why not add some carmelized onions and to get some stronger wheat and nuttiness flavor in the bread I decided to use some spelt and rye flour along with a low protein French style flour from KAF.  This combination resulted in by far the best Ciabatta bread I have ever made or tasted in my not so humble opinion :).

I followed the standard operating procedures from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday for the Pain a L'Ancienne Rustic Bread and modified the ingredients as mentioned above.  The only thing I would change maybe is to add some cheddar cheese next time which would really put this one over the top.

You can really taste the onions and the rye-spelt mixture and the open crumb was nice and moist.

If you give this one a try I would love to hear what you think.

Here are the ingredients and procedure I followed:


13 oz. KAF French Style  Flour (you can use All Purpose if you don't have French Style)

4 oz. Medium Rye Flour

3 oz. Spelt Flour

16 oz. Ice Cold Water (55 degrees F.)

0.4 oz. Salt  (1 3/4 Tsp.)

.14 oz. Instant Yeast (1 1/4 Tsp.)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

17.5 oz. Carmelized Onions


Cut up half of a medium size sweet onion and saute for 5-8 minutes on medium low in a frying pan or bake on a sheet pan in your oven.  Let the onions cool before adding them to the dough.

Add all the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer except the onions and stir for 1 minute on the lowest speed. The dough should be rather sticky and rough at this point. Let it rest for 5 minutes in the mixer bowl.

Add the cooled onions and mix on medium low using your paddle attachment for one minute. In my case I have a Bosch which only has one mixing/kneading attachment. The dough will still be very sticky but should very soft and much smoother. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl using a dough scraper or spatula. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface. Make sure you oil your hands and do a stretch and fold on all sides of the dough and flip it over and form it into a ball. Put the dough back in the bowl and let it rest for another 10 minutes at room temperature. Do this stretch and fold process three more times over the next 30 to 40 minutes. You can do the stretch and fold in the bowl itself if you prefer. I personally like to do it on the counter.

After you do the last stretch and fold put it back in the bowl and cover it tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. The dough should rise to almost 1 1/2 its size in the refrigerator.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 3 hours before you plan to bake and let it sit at room temperature.  Around 1 hour after taking the dough out of the refrigerator, place a large piece of parchment paper either on your work area or the back of a baking pan and dust with flour to cover it completely. Using an oiled or wet dough scraper gently remove the dough to the work surface. You want to be very careful so you don't degas the dough and kill the big air holes you want to achieve.

Flour your hands and lightly dust the top of the dough. Use your hands and a metal dough scraper and form the dough into a 9" square and be very careful again not to manhandle the dough and degas it.

Next, cut the dough into either 3 small ciabatta or 2 larger size loaves. I opted to go with the 3 smaller size ones.

Gently fold the individual dough pieces into thirds like an envelope. Make sure to be very careful and not to apply any pressure. Roll the folded dough in the flour to coat it and lift it onto the parchment paper and roll it in the flour again. Rest the dough seam side down and repeat with the other piece(s) of dough.

Spray the tops of the dough with oil (I use a baking spray) and cover the pan with plastic wrap very loosely. You can also use a clean lint free kitchen towel.

After 1 hour of resting, roll the dough pieces very gently so the seam side is now facing up and lift them with your floured hands to coax them into either a 7" rectangle if making the larger size or 5" rectangle. Try to get them to be as close to a rectangle shape as you can when you put them back down on the parchment paper.

Let them rest covered loosely again for 1 hour.

About 45 minutes before baking, pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 550 degrees F.

Place an empty pan in bottom shelf of your oven or a cast iron skillet.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water into pan and place loaves into oven. I also spray the side walls of the oven with water 2 to 3 times for added steam.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 12 minutes and rotate the bread and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until bread has a nice golden brown crust and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. The bread should have puffed up a little and should be hard when you tap it.

Let it cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes (good luck waiting that long!) and enjoy!

The bread should have nice large irregular holes and should be soft after cooling.

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

dabrownman's picture

teketeke Bread

In gratitude for all of her help in my yeast water bread quest, I created a YW bread named for Akiko,  that would be fitting for her graciousness, generosity and skill.  I made this bread today and it is everything I would want in a YW bread if it were to be named after me but, she is the one stuck with it now  :-)  Thanks again to Akiko also known as teketeke at TFL.  A great YW bread named after a great lady.

teketeke Bread - Japanese White Whole Wheat, Orange, Apple, Turmeric, Seeded YW Bread


 KA bread flour - 75g

KA White WW flour – 75g

Yeast water 115g

 Total levain build 265g – at 80 F

 First build - 25g of both flours and 50g yeast water.   Second build 4 hours later - 25g each flour and 65g YW.  Third build 25g of both flours = stiff levain.  Let sit 4 more hours.

 I use Mandarin, Minneola Apple Yeast Water 2 days after refreshing from the refrigerator and reserve the apple and orange solids for the bread.

 Final Dough

 KA bread flour - 200g

KA White Whole Wheat - 100g

Water - 75g

Orange Juice - 80g

Egg yolk - 1

Whipping Cream - 60g

Sugar - 6g

Honey -6 g

Butter - 29g

Salt - 6g

2 tsp each Nigella, chia and basil seeds (hanseata’s contribution)

¼ tsp turmeric – for color

Apple and orange solids, patted dry with paper towel,  from the previous YW refresh 2 days before levain build began.

The entire levain


 Make the levain - for 12 hours at80 F

 In stand mixer - mix the final ingredients, except the salt and reserved YW solids, with paddle at #2 - Autolyze for 30 minutes.

 Add the salt-- knead with dough hook starting on #2 and moving to #3 and #4  until the gluten develops to window pane stage for about 8-10 minutes.  Flatten, do S& F while incorporating the reserved YW solids into the dough.  Shape into ball and transfer to an oiled bowel and cover with oiled plastic wrap.

 Bulk ferment: 3 hours at 80 –82 Funtil the dough at least doubles.  Do one S &F at 30 and another at 60 minutes.

 Pre-shape fermented dough into ball and let rest 10 minutes.  Shape into loaf and place in oil sprayed 4 ½ x 8 ½ x 3 Pyrex loaf pan.  Cover pan with oiled plastic wrap.

 Proof:  2-6 hours at82 Funtil the dough at least rises up to the top of the pan.

 Preheat oven to450Fwith a loaf pan half filled with water and a12”cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven and a stone on the next rack level above for 45 minutes.

 Decrease temperature to400F, throw a ½ cup of water into the cast iron skillet place bread into oven and bake for 12 minutes.

 Take out steaming apparatus, rotate loaf 180 degrees and bake for another 12 minutes.

 Place probe into the middle of the nearly finished loaf from the side and bake until the loaf hits205 Fturning 180 degrees every 4 minutes.  The loaf should be done in 28 minutes or so.  Turn off oven, take loaf out of pan, crack oven door open, place loaf back on stone and let the loaf sit in oven for 10 minutes more to crisp the crust.

 Remove loaf from oven and let cool to room temperature, about one hour, on a wire rack.