The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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smasty's picture

Roasted Cashew and Date 1-2-3 Bread

I've been in total love with 1-2-3 bread since discovering it on this site.  What could be easier than using discarded starter in a 1-2-3 ratio with water and flour.  (Weigh starter, x 2= water, x3= flour).  I always get fantastic results, great flavor, and no pre-planning.  Here's the original post

1-2-3 Bread

It has made me a little lazy though w/ my bread baking.  So, I've started experimenting with inclusions.  Since I've had a ton of raw cashews in the fridge forever, I figured I'd roast them, and add some cut up dates to today's bake.  This might be the best bake I've done since starting 18 months ago.  I mixed up the dough without inclusions and added the nuts and dates in during the first stretch and fold.  I learned this technique from Shaio Ping with her chocolate sourdough.  It really works well for adding in delicate inclusions.  You basically spread a layer of nuts/dates on the counter, then stretch the dough over the top and press it down into the nuts, then add more nuts/dates on top and fold it all in.  With a couple subsequent SF's it incorporates the stuff really well without breaking up the nuts/fruit too much.

Roasted Cashews

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Using leftover stone-ground oatmeal

My husband and I eat a lot of stone-ground (oat groats or Irish oats) for breakfast. I try to make the right amount but sometimes I have leftovers. The dogs eat some of it but it's not their favorite leftover. Yes, gasp, my fancy high bred show and performance doberman plus the spoiled rotten chihuahua get table scraps!! But only what I would eat, which is pretty darn healthy I hope.They have a preference for fresh fruits and veggies, and of course grilled meats. BTW, my dogs are not fat, in fact the vet always compliments their weight and asks how I actually keep the little guy thin.

Anyway, I'd love to substitute all this cooked oatmeal for the rolled oats in various recipes, especially Hamelman's Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal bread. How do I go about figuring the water/oatmeal weights when I didn't cook it up for the bread? I've used it for the bread before but it was weighed and measured for the bread, then cooked so that it wouldn't be hard.

This might be too complicated to bother with. I might just freeze it and use for muffins like I've been doing but hubby enjoys Hamelmans CRO bread so I'd love to figure out how to do this. He's always asking for this bread and I'd probably bake it more often if I had leftovers that needed using.

I could weigh out the oatmeal I cook for breakfast but right now what I cook is 4 cups water to 1.5 cups oatgroats.

As for dog treats, did you know that dogs (or at least mine goofy mutts) think that sourdough starter is the best treat going? Yet another great use for discarded starter. I'm thinking about taking it to agility class to use for our "high value" treat. Plus, it's good for their intestines with all those great bacteria.

Hope this is enough of a challenge for you bread geeks and math majors out there!


louie brown's picture
louie brown

Sourdough Multigrain Boule

This boule of about 2 pounds is adapted from various published formulae that have been reproduced here. I prefer the taste and challenge of pure sourdough.


A loose white starter (Hamelman) of relatively small proportion was built into a white levain that was also relatively loose, about 75%, I'd guess. This was mixed with whole wheat and rye flour, and a soaker composed of about 8 ounces of various seeds, among which the sesame and sunflower were toasted. Bulk fermentation took place at about 80 degrees for nearly two hours, with two folds. The shaped loaf was retarded overnight in the fridge, and given about two hours on the counter before light scoring and loading. It was baked at 500 degrees, under a stainless steel bowl, with an injectioin of steam from a home steam cleaner, for 20 minutes, then turned down to 425 until it was done, about another 20 minutes.


The crust was thick and crackly, while the interior was light, springy and very tasty. There may have been the littlest bit of starchiness at the base. Overall, very pleasing and delicious.




hanseata's picture

Import from Hamburg

Hi, I'm from Hamburg/Germany (imported with a container load of Danish furniture for my husband's store). Loving a Main-ah - but not squishy, underbaked Maine bread - I started baking my own, out of sheer desperation!

My first trials resulted in bricks more suitable for fending off home invaders than for human consumption. After I learned Peter Reinhart's technique with pre-doughs and slow fermentation I went through my old German baking books, adapting the recipes to this method.

In the end, when we couldn't keep up with eating all the breads, and our freezer was equally stuffed, I started baking for our local natural food store. Now I'm their European baker - and enjoy myself thoroughly.

I found this site via Facebook, and I'm very much looking forward to participate!

Boulanger's picture

Stretch and Fold with a spatula

In a recipe I found on this forum the procedure ask for:

''Using a rubber spatula or a plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times''

I use the strectch and fold technique when I make BBA's Pain à l'ancienne but I am not familiar with this procedure. Is there a video that shows how to do it with a rubber spatula?




Ho Dough's picture
Ho Dough

Proofing Baskets

I'm ready to try proofing baskets. Is there a preferred brand or source or is this something I can  "wing" at home with a mixing bowl and cloth lining? Tricks, tips or other?

Ford's picture

Front Page on Wall Street Journal

For those who might have missed it, "The Fresh Loaf" and sourdough made the front page of The Wall Street Journal today, Monday, May 3, 2010.  The bottom of the page, but the front page, none-the-less -- and continued on page A6.


petercook's picture

French bread: times and temps

I have been working on re-creating a New Orleans style French bread (not baguettes). I'm very, very close to what I want, but one last thing evades me--- the paper-thin, shatteringly crisp crust. I am now on test # 47 and I am getting a wildly open crumb which exactly what I want. The interior is ever so slightly moist, The crust is a deep golden brown. And it has a very nice depth of flavor. All of that is great. Question: Is it possible to get that paper thin CRISP crust at home? If so, how? In brief, my shaped loaves are 15" long and about as big around as a link of Italian sausage. Shaped loaf weight is 330 gram.  The loaves go into a double baguette pan (the kind with hundreds of tiny holes), bagged tightly and retarded over night in the fridg. In the morning I put the shaped loaves (still bagged) on the counter to proof. Because I use such a small amount of yeast the proofing takes 4-5 hour. When I think the loaves are ready I poke a floured finger into one loaf and there is about a 50% spring back. I always bake the loaves using steam in the beginning. I put a heavy cast iron fry pan on the oven floor when I pre-heat for 45 min. I made a contraption that pours the water down into the super hot fry pan after the loaves are in the oven and the door is closed. The result is a lot of steam. All of that is what I do every single time. Ok, now, times and temps: I have tried every variation that I can think of; from a starting temp of 485 for 10 min, followed by a temp of 375 for another 20 min. I have tried a steady temp of 375 for 30 min and everything in between. Thinking that the amount of steam for a given amount of time might have an impact I have tested that. I am now using an amount of water that creates steam and then evaporates in about 9 min. I always get a nice oven-spring of about a 40% increase in height. I even adjusted the times and temps to bake for 45 min. As you might expect when I bake for longer times I get a progressively thicker crust (which I don't want). When I think the loaves are ready, I turn the oven off and crack open the door a few inches to dry the crust. When I pull the loaves out of the oven the internal temp is 205 F and the crust is perfect BUT 5 min later it begins to soften. 15 min later the crust is as soft as white bread from the store. I don't know if this is a clue but when I make small sandwich loaves, 110 gram, (using exactly the same formula and methods, I get a perfect little loaf that has exactly the crust I want, paper thin and crisp. Anyone who has any thoughts on this matter, I would appreciate hearing from you.  P.S. I talked with the baker at a local market and even though his French bread tastes like cardboard he at least gets a perfect crust.

bnom's picture

Test driving my new Fibrament-D stone with my fave SD formula bread

I got a new stone last week and have made two batches of a sourdough formula I've developed.  First the stone is a 15 x 20 Fibrament-D and I love that I can bake three longish loaves.  However, my first bake was disappointing...I got pretty flat loaves. I suspected the error was mine and not the stones.

So I changed two things. I let the first proof happen at room temp--68 degrees--until doubled in bulk (about 6 hours), and then cold retarded for 8 hours (muy prior loaf was proofed at 80 degrees). I also tried to develop better surface tension when shaping (one loaf I shaped/scored better than the other and it's pretty obvious in the pic which one that is).  I'm really happy I went back to a cooler proof.


Here's the formula:

The formula:

300 g firm starter

620 g water

750 g unbleached AP flour (530 g Morbread 12% protein, and 200 g Whole Food AP)

50 g coarse ground wheat berries

50 g coarse ground rye berries

23 g salt



althetrainer's picture

Bread sculptures

Little man has been asking to make bread sculptures so I am going to just keep the pictures here.  We've made a crab bread two day ago and his monster bread yesterday.  Today, I made an alligator bread, stuffed with ham and cheese.  This one is a bit different than the other two because this is a unbleached sourdough alligator.  Took about 6 hours to rise before baking.  Very fun to make.