The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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cfmuirhead's picture

Technical Help on producting a blog - how to save/edit

I am a blog virgin!  Trying desperately to create my first blog.  I can now insert pictures and texts BUT can anyone tell me how to edit and save a text which I intend to work more on before publishing it.  It seems that either I have to log out of TFL and lose what I have created thus far or if I do 'save', doesn't that publish the document automaticlly, hence I am sending for all to read a document only half (if that!) done.  HELP!

Yippee's picture

20100217 Chinese New Year Celebrations

This year is the Year of Tiger.  It’s a tradition for Cantonese to make cakes for the Chinese New Year.  The pronunciation of cakes, which is ‘GO’, is the same as the word ‘tall’ in Cantonese.  Seniors in the family like to wish their grandchildren grow tall and healthy (快高長大) in the New Year.  Therefore, cakes are an indispensable part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. 


We make all sorts of cakes, sweet and savory, from rice or glutinous rice flours.  My favorite is radish (daikon) cakes.   You’ll find them where dim sum is served in a Chinese restaurant or they are sold pre-packaged in a Chinese grocery store when it’s close to the Chinese New Year.  But let me tell you, these are no comparison to the homemade ones. For the ones money can buy, they are usually made with a very high proportion of flour and very little radish and other ingredients.  Therefore, these cakes often turn out very hard and have very little flavor. 


Before the New Year, I usually prepare a very fancy version of daikon cake which consists of Japanese dried scallops(瑤柱), dried shrimps(蝦米), Virgina ham (金華火腿), Chinese style cured and smoked ham(臘肉), Cantonese style sausage(臘腸), plenty of shredded daikon and a small amount of rice flour. The mixture of all ingredients is steamed for about 45 minutes and let cool on wire rack.  During the New Year, we normally lightly pan fry the cake before enjoying it. It is crispy outside with flavorful seafood and meats.  Instead of the usual gumminess you’ll experience from store-bought daikon cakes, the mouthfeel of the inside of this cake is moist and soft, with the fibrous chunks of shredded daikon coming apart.  With all the ingredients, it’s a big, tasty meal in itself and I like to dip it with Lee Kum Kee (李錦記) chili sauce before serving.


I must give credit to my husband for his efforts to assist me in the preparation of radish cakes this year.   He took on the role of dicing and weighing ingredients and shredding the radish, which are the most time consuming parts of the process.  He wanted to do this with me so that we can spend more precious time together.  I truly appreciate his thoughts and prepare many good foods in return. The radish cake served today was pan fried and pictured by my husband as well.    


As a parent, I too wish my children grow tall and healthy after eating my radish cake, the ‘GO’, and have a head start in the New Year.

txfarmer's picture

Pastrami Rye Sourdough - no, not a sandwich


Got this idea from "Flavored Breads: Recipes from Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe", it reconstructs the classic pastrami on rye sandwich, and makes the ingredients (pastrami slices, onion, mustard, cream, milk, and rye) into a flavorful bread. However, the book only has volume measurements, and the ingredient ratios look rather "interesting" as the result. If I assume 120g of flour per cup, I end up with a 89% hydration level, without counting that 1/2cup of yellow mustard! So I basically changed up the ingredients ratio according to my preference, and turned the bread into a sourdough one too. 

100% starter, 200g

bread flour, 200g

rye flour, 180g

milk, 120g (I used nonfat)

heavy cream, 120g (it add some richness to the bread, just like Russian dressing does to a traditional pastrami rye sandwich)

butter, 28g

salt, 2tsp

mustard, 1/2 cup (I used yellow mustard I had on hand, but the book recommends half Dijon half whole grain mustard, I will try them next time, I image the flavor will be different)

brown sugar, 1tbsp, packed

pepper, 1tsp

onion, 2tbsp, diced (I used some caramelized onion I had on hand)

pastrami, 113g, cut into thin slices


- Mix together everything but onion and pastrami, autolyse for 20 minutes.

- Knead until gluten starts to develope, then knead/fold into onion and pastrami. It's a bery stick dough, and my hands were a nice shade of yellow.

- Bulk fermentation for 3.5 hours, S&F at 30, 60, 90 minutes.

- Shape into a batard (a big one, over 2lbs, I was too lazye to divide it), put into a brotform, cover and into the fridge it goes.

- 2nd day (15 hours later), take out and finish proofing (about 100 minutes)

- bake at 430F for an hour, steam for the first 15 minutes as usual.


Pretty decent ovenspring and bloom considering all that rye flour, and pastrami


Moist crumb, very flavorful. Mustard taste is very noticable, which I like, and I think a better quality/flavor mustard would enhance the bread even more. Pastrami and onion also play dominant roles in the taste.Not the most open crumb, but expect from a rye bread with so much fillings.


We all like this bread, tastes great, a meal in itself. The book has other intersting flavor combos that I want to try, but I probably won't use the exact formulas from it.

Chausiubao's picture

Critique my recipe

So I'm writing a recipe for everyone. Its intended so that anyone, regardless of experience can try to make bread. So far, I've been told that the recipe reads as a technical document. As yet, I'm not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing. 

But please read and tell me if its not detailed, too detailed, or in general too wordy.


4.00 Cups Bread Flour
1.00 Cup Water
4.00 Tbsp Water
1.00 Tbsp Instant Yeast
1.00 Tsp Salt
3.00 Tbsp Melted Butter


Bread flour has protein content of between 11-14%, the bag should say which, but all purpose works too (generally the more protein the better)

Instant yeast can be mixed directly in with the flour, bread machine yeast works, but if all you can get is active dry yeast use 1.5 tablespoons, and proof it in water with some sugar first, it should bubble (use some of the water you have measured for the bread).

Water at around body temperature is great, around 80-90F (25-30 C), but any hotter and you risk getting the water too hot for the yeast. Use your finger as a thermometer (finger test!), if you can't tell if the water is hot or cold, use it.

(the instructions to this recipe may seem long, but I am describing everything from start to finish in as much detail as I can, really the process is quite simple)


1.) Melt your butter.
2.) Measure out all your ingredients. Mix the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl, then mix in the salt.
3.) Pour the water and melted butter into the mixing bowl on top of the dry ingredients.
4.) Using one hands, scoop and fold the ingredients in the bowl; with the other hand continuously turn the bowl.

After a few minutes the dough will come together into a sticky mass.

5.) Turn the dough out onto a table and knead the dough by stretching it away from you and folding it towards you.
6.) Seal the fold by pushing the dough against the table.
6.) After sealing the fold give it a quarter turn (turn it 90*) and repeat until the dough is smooth and tacky.

You will know the dough is finished when it is smooth, and just slightly grabs your fingers (tackiness). By this time your hands should be no longer covered in dough (the gluten has settled).

7.) Cover the top of the dough with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation, and boil a small pot of water
8.) Put your mixing bowl into a turned off oven, put the steaming pot of water below it
9.) Let the dough ferment until it has doubled in size (this takes about one hour)
10.) Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into sixteen equal sized pieces

11.) Beat one egg with salt to make egg wash.
12.) Line a baking pan with parchment paper (dusting with semolina flour, or oiling up the pan also works)
13.) Lay the dough onto the paper seam side down, and brush it with egg wash
14.) Boil some water in a small pot; cover the dough with plastic wrap
15.) Put the baking pan in the oven (with the oven off) along with the steaming water for about 15 min

Press Test: press the dough, it should spring back halfway, thats when you know its proofed

16.) Preheat your oven to 400 F, bake the rolls until they are well browned and sound hollow when thumped

When baking, you must always bake it until it is done!

17.) Let the dough cool before cutting into it




RachelJ's picture


What would you say would be the best thing to use for scoring? I'm currently using a serrated knife as its all I've got. :)

what do you use and what's worked best for you?



jsk's picture

I've just put the dough to proof and can't bake now. Help!

I made the Polish Cottage Rye frome DL's Local breads.

I shaped the dough into a boule and put it in the floured banneton but now I have to get out of the house for a few hours.

The dough in the banneton is now in the fridge.

What sould I do when I come home? Let it stand a bit outside and then bake or immediatly bake the round?

Thanks for the advice !

althetrainer's picture

A little sweet and a little Chinese for the special day

Today is Valentine's Day also Chinese New Year.  I wanted to bake something for both occasions.  Ended up making these sweet buns with a Chinese spin:  mini Chinese cocktail buns with sweet coconut fillings.


Happy Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year!



hilo_kawika's picture

Rehrucken recipes?

Yesterday I was trolling through the gear section at the local Goodwill store and picked up a half dozen "rehrucken" in 10", 12" and 16" sizes for about $1 each.  They're made in Czechoslovakia and appear to be of acceptable quality.  There's a picture here :    They're  # 4311.

I wonder what type of cake or whatever to make in them?  Please help me out here Mini...(^_^)


Dave Hurd, Hilo, Hawaii

andrew_cookbooker's picture

Collaborative baking challenge from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day

Hi all:

I'm working with Peter Reinhart and his publisher, Ten Speed Press, to do a collaborative recipe reviewing challenge, sort of a Julie & Julia meets 'crowdsourcing' for Peter's newest book Artisan Breads Every Day. It's all being coordinated through, my website for cookbookphiles. I'd be delighted if any Peter Reinhart fans would like to take part.

It's quite simple - everyone who contributes a review of one of the recipes in the book adds to the collaboration, and all going well, we'll have collectively baked the entire book, making this a useful resource for everyone who owns the book and is curious about recipes they've not yet tried.

Ten Speed Press is giving away some copies of James Peterson's Baking as prizes for best written review, best photo, etc.

I checked with Floyd, who gave me the thumbs up to post this on TFL - this was the first place I thought of to try to spread the word, considering how dedicated everyone is to baking and talking about baking. 

Full details are here:


Freestylin's picture

I need Help!!!!!!!

So i really hope that someone out there can help me??????

For the past two weeks i have been growing a sourdough starter which i refresh daliy with 70g organic white flour, 30g organic rye flour and 100g spring water (disgarding most of the starter before feeding). I'm very pleased to say that my starter is ready to use, doubled in size over 24 hours, lots of bubbles and a thick layer of froth on top - only problem is i have no idea where to go from here!!! I have been reserching the net but dont seem to be getting anywhere so thought i would give this a shot!!!

My starter reaches its peak at about 7pm and by the morning it has subsided sightly....what im really looking for is a great recipe for a large white crusty loaf and the same in granary or brown. I am wondering if i should use it when its at its peak, and if so can i leave the dough to prove overnight so i can bake in the morning???

I have spoken to people who suggest that you can use yeast along side your starter as this gives good effects....have anyone used this method? does it work well and how would i go about doing this (working out how much to use of each).

Also i plan to bake at least every other day so do i need to put my starter in the fridge or is it ok to leave it out, refreshing it everytime i use it..up until now i have left my starter out in the kitchen.

Wow so many questions!!! im really keen to get going, and i would love to get some help from people who have been there and done it!

Thanks in advance!