The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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SylviaH's picture

D. Lepard's Choc. Honey Meringues

Very delicious and fairly simple to make, these appealing cookies make a very nice accessory cookie to an elegant dessert or just simply to snack on alone.

With 'Mis en Place' I made these while preparing dinner, placed them in the oven to slow bake.  The recipe is HERE updated..this link should work, scroll down to the recipe.







sharonj1961's picture

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

I am a newbie bread baker and have been working to perfect Peter Reinhart's Cinnamon Swirl Raisin bread.  Although the taste is great, it never fails that after the bread is baked, there is a big air gap inside and at the top of the loaf.  I've tried rolling the dough tighter once I sprinkle on the cinnamon / sugar mixture on and have even rolled the formed loaf back and forth on the floured surface thinking that it would compress the layers together.  Still fairly large gaps.  What am I doing wrong ??

SylviaH's picture

Apricot and Millet loaves

I used Daniel T. DiMuzio's formula from his book 'bread baking An Artisan's Perspective' for making his Double Raisin and Toasted Walnut loaves, changing it to go with a combination I have been wanting to taste.  I substituted the double raisins and walnuts with, half the amount of dried natural, chopped Blenheim apricots, a very big favorite of mine is the Blenheim apricots from CA. especially fresh.  I also added 1/2 cup of Millet seeds for a little soft crunch.  The combination is delicious with the apricots not being overly sweet like raisins can sometimes taste.  The little soft crunch and mild flavor of the millet seed was an added plus, all went delicious toasted this morning with a smear of cream cheese.  I was very pleased with the combination of the apricots and millet seed and plan on trying it in some other recipes.

These loaves were baked yesterday with the Greek bread I posted earlier.  I baked both the apricot and millet seed loaves together and wanted to steam them with my steaming lid, I have not used in a very long time.  The two loaves would not fit under the steaming lid, I did not want to stay up any later and bake them individually, so they were not properly steamed which I think contributed towards the paler crust on the second loaf.






bobh's picture

Problems with pain a l'ancienne baguettes

I've tried the pain a l'ancienne baguette recipe (with cold retardation) from the Bread Baker's Apprentice a number of times and haven't had much luck.  The baguettes come out with a very dense crumb.  I've been following the recipe exactly, varying only the amount of water I put in to try different "stickiness", but the results are all pretty much the same.  But, despite the crumb, they taste great! -which makes me want to perfect this recipe.  While what I've made is far from inedible, it's also far from ideal.

Any ideas on where I've gone wrong?

The recipe calls for instant yeast, and I'm using Fleishmann's RapidRise, which I've read is the same thing.  Is that true?  I've tried with active dry yeast, using around 1.5x the called-for amount, and had pretty much the same result.


Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!





PicardOvens's picture

Proofer under modular deck ovens

I'm interested to see what people think of having a proofer under a deck or modular oven. This is very common in Europe and I'd like to know if its something you'd like too.  Is this something that you'd like?  Please give me feedback and some of your wish lists.  Thanks Kristine

Mira's picture

Day 10 Starter is is what?

It looks like there are a few of us on this post that are wondering how to proceed with their new starters! Mine is a second attempt - the ABCD didn't work, so I switched over to Debra Wink's method of starting out with 2 TB organic rye + 2 TB pineapple juice.

When I switched to AP flour and water on Day 4 (ratio 2:1:1) my starter was stalling for a few days, so I added a little rye in my next feeding on Day 6. My culture started expanding, and for the last few days I've been feeding it on 12 hour schedules: 2 oz original starter + 1 oz AP flour + 1 oz bottled water.

I fed it last night and this morning, it's risen from 4 oz to 8 oz. It's finally bubbling on top.

Now what? Should I feed it now? Even though it's only been 8 hours since last feed? Or should I feed it when 12 hours have passed?

And is it now ready to use? Or can I now put in in the refrigerator and only feed it 3 times a week?

If I wanted to use it today or tomorrow to bake bread, how do I build up enough? My hydration is 100%. It seems that some of the recipes I've read have stiffer starters; for example, one of my recipes for sourdough bread requires 1 cup of mother starter. But it looks as if that mother starter is much stiffer than mine, because it started with 2:1 ration for flour/water. (It's an old book from my MIL, titled "Great Breads" by Martha Rose Shulman. Her levan started with 2 cups AP to 1 cup water. Very different from my start of 2 TB rye/2 TB pineapple juice). So if I wanted to try this recipe, how would I convert my starter to the same ratio?

I'm sorry, I know my questions are all over the map. I'm happy to have a bubbling starter, I just don't want to screw it up, or waste it all on one recipe. I'm reading as much as I can but I've come across different methods and am still trying to lmake sense of the math behind it all.

thank you,

berryblondeboys's picture

How long to knead in a DLX mixer?

I'm getting confused, again. Now that I have more books, I'm seeing inconsistencies.  I also just did a quick search here and see inconsistencies. Things from: "You can't overknead a dough without commercial mixers. You'll burn out your KA mixer before you can overknead" to, "I can get a perfectly kneaded dough in 3 minutes with the DLX". Then there's the whole window pane thing. I don't know if any of my doughs have gotten window pane worthy as I always use whole grains and until the other day, my hydration was too low apparently.

Since getting the DLX, I've kneaded it for around 8 minutes because that's how long it seemed to take to get the dough consistency right. But the Clayton bread book says to hand knead and machine knead for the same amount of time, and has different directions for food processors. So, for the last few loaves I've made, I've kneaded them for 12-16 minutes. Now I'm wondering if that's overkill? The French Fold video I watched does that for 20 minutes and that's a pretty vigorous kneading process.




wmtimm627's picture

Pizza for one

I've seen a lot of recipes all around the web and in numerous cookbooks that I own for pizza.

I live alone and find that most recipes aren't friendly to the single baker (I can live with sharing bread though).

I own almost every gadget that a baker could want; stand mixer, food processor, bread machine, electric convection oven with massive stone.

I just need some recipes for pizza dough that will keep well in the refrigerator or freezer. I see a lot of stuff everywhere that refers to that, but never any good details. Also, there seems to be a lot of differences as to what kind of flour to use in pizza dough. I'm a big fan of thin crust pizza (fancy that, from someone in the Chicago area), so I'm going to try Reinhart's Roman version next.

trailrunner's picture


The request for a good Challah recipe that was not sourdough had me posting my recipe that I have used since the 70's. I haven't been making it weekly as I did for decades since I have been working with wild yeast and have been exploring artisinal breads and formulas. It felt wonderful to have my hands in the dough and to knead and develop with only 10 min. of effort. None of the 3 days that I have been spending lately with a minute or 2 here and there. Different but nice in its own way also.  Crumb later when it cools. c 


rts306's picture

How to substitute yeast for sourdough?

Yes, this is not a typo...I know, I know....most people want to substitute sourdough for yeast in recipes but I have tried several times in the past and I have failed to continue a sourdough for long so I gave up.  I have many recipes that use do I convert these to dry yeast or instant yeast?  Possible?  Thanks for any help!