The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
Martyn's picture

How heavy is a 2lb loaf?

Yes, I know, that's a stupid question. But when I read the instructions for my bread maker, it just doesn't make sense.

Basic white bread recipe for a 2lb (900g) loaf:

water 360ml

skimmed milk powder 4tbsp

sunflower oil 4tbsp

sugar 3tsp

salt 2tsp

strong white bread flour 960g

yeast 1 1/4 tsp

If this is for a 2lb loaf, why do we start off with more than 2lb of flour? I also have to say that the recipes in the book are terrible and do not work out, I have made several heavy flour bricks and have now resorted to making bread by hand which I am enjoying very much.I think that it's instructions like this that get bread machines a bad name and probably result in many being left unused after a first try.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Fresh Loaf T-Shirt...

This is for Floyd,

I think we should have a "The Fresh Loaf" T-shirt...  Have you thought about this before?  Lemme know...  I'd like to see what other Freshloafers think.


hansjoakim's picture


I've been experimenting with some different levain breads recently, all made with more or less the same procedure: Between 15% and 20% prefermented flour, bulk fermentation around 2.5 hours with one or two folds, and retarding in fridge overnight (or at least 8 hours).

First up was a semolina levain, loosely based on Hamelman's semolina bread from the levain chapter in his book. I added a pinch whole-wheat and whole-rye flour to the formula, to give it a bit more body. There's toasted sesame seeds in the dough, and flavourful seeds on the crust, that provide a rich taste to each slice. A very nice bread to go with cured sausages or paninis!

Semolina bread


A bread that really blew me away was a levain made with roasted potatoes, roasted garlic and fresh herbs. Here's a link to my spreadsheet which details the formula. If you want to try it, keep an eye on the hydration of the dough as you mix it: You might have to add or reduce water depending on the moisture of the roasted potatoes. The garlic gets a mellow, rich buttery flavour after roasting it, and it blends perfectly with herbs and potatoes in this humble bread. I used parsley, but anything from thyme, basil, rosemary, dill to oregano would work equally well. You could also replace some of the water with olive oil if you prefer a softer crumb. Either way, I can heartily recommend it.

Roasted potato and garlic bread


Finally, my everyday pain au levain from "Bread", the pain au levain with whole-wheat flour:

Pain au levain with whole-wheat flour


PS: If you're a literature buff (like me), keep an eye out for Sofi Oksanen, a young Finnish writer who's making waves in literature circles here in Scandinavia. Two of her three novels are translated into my mother tongue, and her third novel "Purge", is soon published in English ( link). Estonia, torn between Finland (West) and the Soviet union (East), is central to her work, and the tension between the two blocks has devastating effects on her characters. "Purge" is nominated for this year's Nordic Council's literature prize, arguably the most prestigious award for literature written in the Nordic languages, and I wouldn't be surprised if she wins.

LimeyLoaf's picture

Mushroom and Cheese Roll

As an first post, here is a recipe that I made yesterday.


Its based on one of my best sellers, I hope you like it.




450g Strong White Flour

50g Dried or cooked Mushrooms, chopped.

15g Instant Yeast. (I use Doves but thats probably an English thing)

10g Salt.

350g Warm Water.

200g Grated Strong Cheddar Cheese.




Mix all ingredients and knead to a smooth dough, (about 10 minutes)

Leave to rise for about an hour, or until doubled.

Oil a baking tray.

Turn dough out onto tray, and shape to fit, then sprinkle cheese over and spread evenly.

Starting from the long side, roll into a sausage, lay seam side down and slice into one inch thick slices.

Arrange on an oiled tray, and leave to prove for about 40 minutes.

While proving, heat the oven to 220C (About 450F)

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until brown.

Turn out and separate, allow to cool and enjoy.

Here is a detail of the crumb, these make good burger buns,

If you like these, leave me a message. Please excuse the state of the stove!

Francine's picture

Kitchen Scales

Has anyone on this forum used this scale?  The "My Weigh KD-8000 "Baker's Math" Scale"? I found this scale at the following web site   and thought to myself, "well how cool is that for those of us that are mathematically challenged."  Before I order it I wanted to check here first to see if any one has used one of these scales and if you have any problems with it?  Is there a better scale out there within the same price range?  Thank you for your input.




audra36274's picture

What is the reaction of yeast when using Splenda?

   I make LOTS of cinnamon rolls for others and a customer of mine is diabetic and wanted to know if it was possible to make them with Splenda. I did go ahead and purchase the brown sugar kind for the filling, but the one that worries me is the regular in the dough. I use 1/2 cup of sugar in the dough that would have to be substituted to Splenda. I'm sure as large of a base as we have here someone has experience with the matter.What do you all think?

Lindley's picture

Need help to convert recipe


Could anyone help me to convert this recipe from 100% hydration to 50%? I tried to calculate it, but I'm not sure.


# 120 grams or 1/2 cup active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
# 340 grams or 2.25 cups bread flour
# 8 grams or 1 1/8 tsp salt
# 210 grams or 3/4 cup + 3 Tbs Water
# 150 grams or 1 cup dried tart cherries
# 125 grams or 1 scant cup big chunks of chocolate

My calculations:

Original recipe has

110g flour (from starter) + 340g flour = 450 flour total

110g water (from starter) + 210g water = 320g water total

If I use 50% starter

80g flour (from starter) + 340 flour = 420 flour total

40g water (From starter) + 210g water = 250g water total.

Thus, to reach the total of original recipe, I'll need to add (450-420=30g flour) and (320-250=70g water). Am I right?

ehanner's picture

My Take on DSnyder's Improved Greek Bread

I've never had really good Greek bread. But, I have heard enough about how great it is that I've been interested in working on it for some time. When dsnyder and I were discussing the formula a while back, he let on he has a daughter-in-law from Greece and maybe she would help tune this up to a respectable loaf.

Here is Davids posting of the improved version, after experimenting with his DIL.

I followed Davids suggestions except for the mixing and folding. I mixed in my DLX after a 30 minute rest, for a total of 3 minutes, using the roller. Then I folded it 3 times in a bowl over the next 3 hours as it fermented. It was a silky smooth dough, very nice to handle. After dividing in two and pre shaping, I tightened the boules and placed them in linen lined baskets for proofing. It took 1-1/2 hours for the proof and the dough temp was 74F.

I also added a few drops of toasted sesame oil to the dough, hoping to get some of that great aroma and boost the lightly toasted seeds on the surface. I'm afraid I would say the desired effect of the oil was not realized. There is a definate sesame aroma but I think it's from the seeds.

After reading Davids comments about his oven temperature and the brown color he got, I thought I would start with 430F and reduce to 410 when I rotated the loaves. The crust color isn't as dark as it appears. I like the color but I also think it could be a little more golden and less orange/brown. A lower and slower bake perhaps.

There is a little bitterness in the taste I'm not sure about. I don't have a lot of experience with Durum flour. Does anyone know if that is normal with Durum?  My daughter was bugging me to cut it so after 20 minutes I relented and had her carve it up. There isn't a hint of sweetness, with 2 T of honey, I'm a little surprised.


sybram's picture

taste development

My husband and I prefer white bread over wheat, rye and other alternate breads,  but I am committed to developing a healthier lifestyle with exercise and whole grain breads.   I wish I could say we like them, but we really don't.  Do you just make yourself eat them and hope you develop a taste for whole wheat and rye?  How did the rest of you get use to whole grains and different flours if you weren't brought up eating them?  Need advice.


Petey's picture

1st Challah

I still can't figure out how to braid this, but it tastes great.