The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

MetMan's picture

6 years in a bakery and

I've been working at the Metropol Bakery in Eugene Or.  Now for 6 years.  I love my job!.  Hope I can stay in the bizz I look forward to reading your stories and telling mine

rafaelbata's picture

New bakery in town

I'm on the final stage of studies to build my small bakery (sell pastries, coffee, "gourmet" sandwiches/ tartines/ bruschetas, wine, beers).

I've been creating the financial and business plan for the past few months. Read a few books, visited as many boulangeries on cities nearby (my city with a population of 1 million doesn't have one single good bakery/boulangerie).

Been training some breads, pastries, etc. Sold then during 4 saturday mornings on a farmers market. Sold around 50 to 80 products each day (a mix of apple pie, banana pies, cookies, ciabatta, walnut/raisins bread, frangipane tart, muffins, etc), the sales were small but created a lof of confidence. It also showed me how much trouble I should expect... but the customers coming back for more and making cumpliments were priceless. Never felt like this on my professional carreer.

Everything was finalized and baked on thursdays (cookies, pie crusts, bread dough) and fridays nights (baking and packaging) with the help of my girlfriend and sometimes a friend, a sister, etc. During the day I work as an engineer and she works as an english and portuguese teacher here in Brazil. So we had to began the planning of each saturday sales on a monday... tuesday we'd buy the ingredients for the work on wed, thur and fri.

Now we stopped the sales at the farmers market so we have time to go back to our business and financial plan.

I've got a few questions in my head. I'll post them on the next posts, maybe someone can help me a little.

Cro-Magnon's picture

New Member With An SMS (Save My Sourdough)

Hi all. I have been a regular visitor here over the last 6 months but have never officially joined and contributed so i figured now was as good a time as any. I have learned many great tips and recipes by using this site and so i think its only fair to start giving some of that back wherever possible over the coming months and years.

First off a little about me. I am a 29 year old male from scotland. I have a wife and 1 beautiful little girl of 2. I make bread every week without fail. I make a variety of other things as well that normally compliment my bakery interest such as soups, burgers, tattie scones (my daughter absolutely loves a fresh baked roll and tattie scone) and various other things to give me the excuse to make bread. On average i bake about 3-4 times a week which always includes a hearty wholemeal loaf (breakfast), a batch of soft white rolls (lunch), pizza, finger rolls or any other bread that i feel like trying. My rolls basically come out the way i want them to all the time. My pizza is as good as i think it can be but i think my brown bread (whilst incredibly tasty esp for toasting or a big thick slice sarnie) still needs a little work as i dont always get it to rise as much as i want it to. Other than that for the meantime, as far as i dare to venture into the world of bread baking that is, im happy with my lot.

I have a sourdough starter that is about 3 months old and it hasnt been getting used as much as i think it should. The problem is my sourdough recipes are not family friendly. The sour taste basically puts both of my girls off it and thus far has prevented me from exploring this fascinating facet of traditional baking. The culture was good and active and could raise the bread well. It was especially good with brown bread and gave a much better spring than my yeast breads. Its been sitting in the fridge now for about 1 month and the wife was tentatively suggesting that we pitch it to free up some fridge space (hence the sms).

What im asking for is some tips and advice for using my sourdough to make it less sour, so that i might integrate it into our baking schedule a little more readily and save it from the bin. It doesnt even have to be loafs as such. Ive heard it can make really good muffins, cakes etc which use a raising agent which cancels out the sour.

Hopefully some of you on here can relate to this situation and will be able to point me in the right direction.

goldenfisher's picture

Back to baking, a couple of years later...

I used to bake bread for my family and neighbours at the least twice a week until two years ago, then a marriage breakup and other health issues took over my life, unfortunately...

wholemeal loaf - top

Now - finally - I'm getting back on track and back to baking! First up I thought I'd trust my rusty knowledge and do a.... probably 90% wholemeal bread. I made it up as I went...

Dry yeast, a biga, a touch of white flour, mostly wholemeal wheat and rye, salt to taste, maybe some toasted and soaked cracked wheat, fermenting and proofing according to visuals and tactile feelings....

It worked out well, I think.... at least it tastes good and visually I am happy with it as well!

kamamav's picture

breads with my new starter

So I have adjusted my starters, a wheat and a white, and baked bread using both. Unfortunately the wheat fell a little flat but still decent. Though I did forget to take pics of that,

 I did make us some rolls; 


I am getting better results with the white too, and made a couple of pretty good loaves.


Well I am off to learn a little bit more about this wonderful challenging process!

PDLarry's picture

first sd loaf

Had a stretch of 25 days w/o baking, with visitors, conference and vacation... I'm back! With new adventures into wild yeast stuff...

Goldrush Sourdough Starter after 24 hrs, just enough tang but not too sour. Had my usual problem of insufficient final rise, but enough to declare moderate success.

Abelbreadgallery's picture

Rye and olive oil ciabattas


- 375 gr bread flour

- 125 gr. whole rye flour

- 10 gr. salt

- 50 ml. olive oil

- 330 ml. water

- 5 gr. fresh yeast or 1,6 gr. of dried instant yeast.

Mix flours, salt and water. Knead five minutes and let it rest five minutes more. Continue kneading. Add yeast. Continue kneading.You can spread a little bit of flour on the table during the kneading process, if the dough is very sticky. When the dough is almost smooth add olive oil. Knead until olive oil has been absorved and dough is smooth, silky, and elastic.

Put it into a bowl. Cover and let it rest in the fridge, 12-24 hours.

Take the bowl out of the frigde. Put the dough on a floured surface. Do not degas. Cut it in portions (3 pieces of 300 gr or 6 pieces of 150 gr). Let it rest between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven.

Create some steam in the oven. Bake the ciabattas at 220-230 C, between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. If you want to preserve the crunchiness of the bread, I suggest you to keep the ciabattas into the oven 5-10 minutes more, with the oven switched off and the door of your oven half-opened.

More info:

vbgirl8's picture

Loaf sinking

Hi everybody!

My grandmother gave me her basic white bread recipe for the bread machine. The recipe works perfectly at her house in Canada-I enjoy the fluffy white bread. However, I have tried the same exact recipe at my home in Ohio. Every time, the bread always sinks. The inside isn't too bad, not incredibly dense, but it could certainly be fluffier. I am confused as to what may be the problem and how to fix it. Is it the humidity? Thanks in advance!

Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

Steam & Oven Temp

Hello bakers!

I just discovered this forum and found some great advice. I have been trying to make sourdough baguettes. My first attempts resulted in horrible-looking pale gray things hard and heavy as baseball bats. I also had some difficulties transferring the shaped loaves from the couche to the baking stone, I can still hear that sickening sound plop! plop! plop! as they slipped out and landed in a pile. I frantically tried to separate them and meanwhile the oven lost like 100 degrees.

My main problem is maintaining the oven heat. I found that if I spray the oven walls to create steam, that cools the oven down very fast. The results in the photo were achieved by spraying the loaves before putting them on the baking stone (using a parchment, I avoided the sloppy landings). Opening the oven door to spray steam--cools down the oven.

So my question is, how to achieve a steam environment without losing oven heat?

The recipe used to create the loaves in the photo is "Poolish baguettes" from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking.

PetraQ's picture

UK flours - which to chose?

Hello there, I'm pretty new to baking and I'm moving to UK and can't seem to get the right flour.

I am making no-yeast bread with only rye flour fermented. At home I'd use rye 960 type flour for the fermentation and then add plain wheat 00 type flour or similar, like 460 type. 

Can I use rye 997 type instead of 960? Will there be much difference?

And would plain white UK flour do for the 00? Will it be fine enough?