The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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thespeidels's picture

The Cost of Baking Bread

I'm not sure if I am posting this in the right place, but I am trying to figure out how to calculate my expenses for baking one loaf of bread!  I am selling some bread right now to a few people, and want to make sure I am charging enough!!  Does anybody have some kind of formula they follow that you can share with me to figure out how much it costs me to make my bread??  Thanks~  Chelsea

Newfieguy's picture

WW Baguette recipes without starters

Hello everyone,

We have a 16 month old and just discovered he LOVES baguettes.  The whole crusty outside, chewy inside thing I suppose it is.

We eat only WW flour with a little BF thrown in there some times and it is mostly WW multi grain bread we make and ciabatta with the recipes from this site.  I wanted to try and make a whole wheat baguette recipe by just taking my regular WW multi grain reacipe and stretching them out or even the ciabatta recipe with mostly WW flour and maybe 1/3rd BF and pull that out into a long baguette shape, let it rise on parchment before flipping it and throwing it in the oven and just have a very long skinny ciabatta loaf basically shaped like a baguette.  Is this doable?

Does anyone have a proper WW recipe without going through all the starter as I have determined that I am a starter free zone after all these years with starters being way too much pre planning and the like and prefer just throwing some yeast in warm water and letting it do its thing.  I am going to have a bash at a ciabatta baguette just to see if it works but if someone has a great WW recipe for a baguette that turns out nice and crunchy on the outside I would love to try something new!

Thanks everyone!  Awesome forum!


jrudnik's picture

Japanese Bread

Does anybody know of a good cookbook in english containing japanese and/or other asian recipes for bread. I have become enthralled with the japanese bread styles!

ehanner's picture

Minimum Development @Dmsnyder

It was wonderful to see Miyuki handling dough and shaping, but the biggest surprise was feeling the dough at various stages of an improved mix. Miyuki did use the window pane to demonstrate the degree of gluten development. The surprise was how low a level of gluten development she took as her end point for mixing.

David, could you elaborate on this statement from your first day post at SFBI? Perhaps you could tell us what kind of mix she used. Thanks,


teketeke's picture

Chocolate painting for a special day.

Would you like to surprise your family or friends for their birthday? I do! It is not difficult but time consuming especially if you use multi-color chocolate.But it is worth it when you see their reaction!! That is a speechless moment that I really love to see.  This recipe is posted by Hanaasu. Thank you, Hanaasu!( Japanese: you can understand how to make by pictures)

This SpongeBob cake was for my daughter's 4th birthday. The pink and light blue spongecake was Gary. (SpongeBob's pet snail)   SpongeBob's left arm was broken because I didn't put enough chocolate on the back.

 For my my son's 12th birthday.( bakugan 爆丸) He was surprised, and smiled with a joy when he saw this cake. I forgot to put a little bit of white chocolate to color his eyes.

This is for my husband's birthday.(LADY GAGA) He used to like her song but not anymore.....  I should have made shadow like this: Click this link below.

 It is fun! :)

9/2/2010 I challenged to trace and paint Berry Manilow's face using  a bamboo stick for my sister-in-law's birthday.

 I messed  up  the shadow around his right eye. But my husband's sister was very happy. That made me happy too.

Urchina's picture

Sopa de ajo, aka a fabulous ending for stale bread

While it's not a bread recipe, it's a great way to use up stale bread, especially heels. Very little prep time, very yummy results. Excellent for winter nights. It's a spanish-inspired bread and garlic soup, Sopa de Ajo!


For 4-6 people you will need:

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

as many whole eggs as you have people

a 1/2 cup of stale, cubed bread (I use cubes about 1.5 inches on a side, including crust)

8 cloves garlic 

1 T paprika (smoked is nice if you can find it)

2 T olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Peel and slice the garlic thinly. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a stock pot or Dutch oven until the oil shimmers. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, soft and just barely beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the soup has reached a boil, turn it down to  a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crack the eggs into the simmering broth -- you are going to poach them. Cook until the eggs have reached your desired level of done-ness (I like 'em hard, but that's not traditional -- really, I think poached softly is probably  more traditional). 


Divide the cubed stale bread between the bread bowls. Spoon a poached egg into each bowl, atop the bread cubes. Ladle the broth over the top and serve immediately. 


Makes a delicious, warming, comforting soup, and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. 




P.S. Mods, I know it's not strictly bread, but it's made with bread... please feel free to move to a more appropriate forum if one exists. thanks!

apricat's picture

Sweet bread "cookie" recipe from Sicily

Struggling with a 100 year old recipe that lists only flour, yeast, water, salt, sugar and lard as the ingredients. Directions are just as spare: 7 cups flour. Add  1 cup sugar and salt. Blend in 1 lb lard as you would a pie dough. Proof 1 cake of yeast and use up to 2 1/2 cups of water in the dough. Let dough rest 1/2 hour. Shape cookies. Let rest overnight and bake at 350˚.

I loved my grandmother and my aunt who baked them after grandma was gone. Now it's my turn to bake them for my 90 year old dad, and 4 tries later, these 6 ingredients don't give me a well-raised "bread cookie." 

I have no kneading instructions and no previous kneading experience. I could use some help. Dad's birthday is August 30th. Does anyone know this recipe. Thanks 

bnom's picture

Trusting your gut when formula's don't seem right -- my experience with Hamelman's Vermont SD with Increased Whole Grain

I decided that my first by-the-book recipe I'd make from Hamelman's Bread would be Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain.  I had my starter bubbling, my scale ready, started adding ingredients to the bowl and--wait a minute--this can't be right.  The formula was clearly incorrect (It turns out that I just happened to choose the Bread recipe most fraught with errors).  So I  improvised the best I could. 

I then looked up, on the Mellow Bakers site, the errata sheet and also found Hamelman's email correcting the formula.  Yesterday, I closely followed his formula, so I could compare the two breads while they were still fresh in my mind.   

Here's the crust/crumb from Hamelman's corrected formula:


And here's the crumb of my improvised version:

The winner?  We thought the improvised loaf had a much better flavor and texture.  The Hamelman version was, by comparison, rather doughy and bland. Although I loved the bloom and ears.  I think the answer is in the balance somewhere between the two.  Next time, I keep track of my own formula and post results. 


dmsnyder's picture

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 5


SFBI Artisan I, day 5


Today, we baked 3 batches of baguettes - with poolish, sponge and "pre-ferment" (like biga). The didactic portion covered baker's math for doughs with pre-ferments. We reviewed a lot of material on mixing and dough handling. As a "bonus lesson," Miyuki demonstrated special baguette scoring techniques.


Miyuki called this a "Dragon Tail."


Dragon Tail baguette


Bend the baguette into a curve and cut as for an epi, except fold all the pieces to the convex side of the baguette


These are all Miyuki's - ready to load



These are mine - baked


Loading baguettes 


I don't think I've mentioned that there were wonderful pastries available with coffee when we arrived, and we were served delicious lunches each afternoon. Lunch today was two kinds of pizza - margarita and 5 spices chicken, mango and scallion - really delicious. Today, we were also served wine - a very nice pinot grigio. The desserts were lemon macarons and "nouveau linzer," a layer of flourless chocolate cake spread with raspberry jam under chocolate mousse. Ooooooh my!




At the end of the day, Michel Suas met with the class, which is a long story for another time. We tasted the different baguettes we made and also some hand-mixed baguettes Miyuki made and baked in a home-type oven. We took some photos and went home with a couple half-pints of ice cream the interns had made. I got strawberry and cassis.


Michel Suas


Class photo (3 students had to catch planes prior to this, unfortunately.)


I would certainly recommend this course to any serious home baker or any professional baker. For the home bakers: It really helps if you have studied modern bread making concepts beforehand. The workshop covers a lot of material, and it moves fast. You do not want this to be your very first exposure to baker's math or scaling ingredients or using pre-ferments, just to give a few examples. 

On the other hand, the class was about half professionals, some with many years experience as bread bakers in restaurant or bakery environments. There was no one who didn't learn a lot. I think I heard every one of them talking excitedly at one or more points about concepts and procedures they were eager to apply in their own workplaces.

Now, to go home and try to apply everything I've learned. 




SylviaH's picture

Sourdough Loaves, Banana bread & Apricot fried pies

The sourdough boulé is the same recipe I baked on my last post, except I made a few little changes replacing some of the bread flour with 120g of whole rye, honey instead of sugar and upped the hydration slightly.  I made two large loaves instead of three so I could make better use of my oven today.  The flavor was delicious and we enjoy very much both versions of this sourdough.  I had 5 very large ripe banana's perfect for doubling the recipe for 'Banana-Nut Bread' from the book 'Williams-Sonoma Bread', this is a great tasting banana bread, today I left out the nuts.  The fried apricot hand pies were made a couple of days ago.  I make them once a year, guess why!  I boil sweetned fresh apricots with a bit of lemon juice into a thick lumpy puree for the center filling or sometimes I use dried apricots for the puree, both are delicious.