The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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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.


nemesiz74's picture

excess dough

when i make bread in the bakery and make more dough than i need, can i store it?

davidg618's picture

Sourdough Experiments


I've been trying a couple of things: increasing sourness (based on what I've learned from Debra Wink, and other online references, varying hydration; and feeding portions of my favorite starter different flours, and developing it at different temperatures (part of the sourness investigation.). I've been doing these things one step at a time, so the results don't get clouded.

For the sourness experiments, along with Ms. Wink's super TFL postings, my other main source of information is:

"Modeling of Growth of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis and Candida milleri in Response to Process Parameters of Sourdough Fermantation"; Michael G. Ganzle, et al; Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July 1998


an answer provided by the above author to the question, "What is the relationship between temperature and activity?" in a Q and A blog relating to sourdough.

Sourness: flour and temperature

First, an apology, and a plea. Although I am educated as an engineer and scientist, microbiology is far distant from my underwater acoustics speciality. I've struggled, mostly with the  subject-specific techincal language, in my effort to understand what I've read. Nonetheless, I think I've acquired the background of  knowledge that a home baker, obsessed with sourdough, can use in his or her non-laboratory kitchen to effect the flavor profile of their sourdough breads. Please, if you find my efforts have been based on faulty premises, wrong information, or misdirected experimentation point out the errors, and, more importantly the correct assumptions; accurate, alternative references; or suggest appropriate action--including, "Stop your silly mucking around!"

Debra Wink, in one of her postings, commented that that a flour's ash content contributed to the degree of sourness one might achieve in a starter, but didn't explan how. The first of the above references shows that the activity (reproduction) of Lactobacillus is strongly linked to the the starter's pH ( a measure of acidity). As the acidity increases. or decreases, above or below a most  activity-advantageous value (approximately a pH of 4.2) L. Bacillus reproduction decreases. Assuming, for the moment, the temperature of the starter remains steady, and the activity-advantageous pH can be preserved, the amounts of acetic and lactic acid produced is proportional to the concentration of L. sanfranciscensis. However, in any solution the more acid the lower the pH. Some molecular components of the starter's mix may neutralize a portion of the acidity, while maintaning its sourness contribution. In flour and water mixtures that neutralizing (buffering) quality is supplied by the flour's ash content. Simplistically, I thought, the higher the ash content in the feed, the greater the buffering quality of the flour, and, therefore, the more acids produced before the bacteria activity slows down.

With that in mind, I fed a portion of my favorite starter, at room temperature, for three days a steady, every-twelve-hours diet of first clear flour, known to have high ash content. This became my seed starter for three formula-ready levains. In general, this starter, aledged by the vendor to be authentic San Francisco sourdough starter, doesn't produce much discernable sourness, if any at all. On a few occasions, we (my wife and I) have detected some sourness, which has allowed me to conclude there's some L. bacillus in there, maybe.

After 72 hours I built 500g of formula-ready levain,at 100% hydration, using first clear flour; it contributed 28% of the total flour weight. The balance of the dough's flour consisted of 10% rye flour, 31% all purpose flour, and 31% bread flour. The final dough contained 2% salt, at 70% hydration. This formula was used three times; each bake consisted of two loaves, formed into approximately 750 g batards. Every loaf was processed as indentically as possible in a home kitchen: two and one-quarter hour bulk proof with two S&F at 45 minute intervals, followed by an additional 45 minutes. Subsequently, the dough was divided, preshaped. rested for 10 minutes, shaped, final proofed for two hours, slashed and baked at 450*F, with steam for the first 15 minutes. The remaining seed starter was stored in the refrigerator at 37°F.

The only intentional variable was in the levain constructions.

First levain: 20g seed starter, three 1:1:1 feedings of first clear flour, initially and at eight hour intervals. Harvested 500g of levain after 24 hours. The developing levain remained at room temperature (68°F to 72°F) for the entire duration.

Second levain: 20g seed starter, three 1:1:1 feedings of all purpose flour, initially and at eight hour intervals. Harvested 500g of levain after 24 hours. The developing levain remained at room temperature (68°F to 72°F) for the entire duration.

Third levain: 20g seed starter, three 1:1:1 feedings of first clear flour, initially and at eight hour intervals. Harvested 500g of levain after 24 hours. This levain was held at room temperature for the first eight hours, approximately 82°F for three hours, and 89°F for the remaining 13 hours. These temperature choices reflect the findings reported in the first reference: optimum yeast activity occurs at approximately 82°F; optimum bacteria activity occurs at approximately 89°F. Additionally, yeast and bacteria activity are approximately the same at room temperatures, yeast activity falls dramatically at 89°F.

Subjective Results:

First of all, these were not meant to be controlled, scientific experiments. To the contrary, what i wanted to explore was, "Can a home baker influence the flavor profile of his or her doughs, guided by scientific results, with only those tools common to a baker's home kitchen?".  In my case, a small, lidded plastic box,for the developing levain; placed inside a larger, lidded plastic box (my dough proofing box) to minimize the effects of drafts; all placed inside an oven with a manually controlled oven light, to vary the oven's temperature); and a thermometer, aledged by the manufacturer to be accurate to +/- 1°F).

Furthermore, the only way I could test a finished bread's sourness was by tasting it. (in the laboratory they measured the amount of lactic and acetic acid produced.). My taste would be suspect: I was hoping for discernable sourness with the first and third levains; I would taste discernable sournesss with the first and third levains. So, I asked my wife to taste the finished breads. She had no knowledge of the differences in the levain, nor what my expectations were.

The results are a bit anticlimactic:

We both found breads made with the first and third levains had discernable "tang"; in part because we didn't taste them side-by-side, niether she nor I could state with any certainty one was "tangier" than the other.

The bread made with the second levain, fed with all purpose flour, didn't have any "tang". Good bread, but no sourness.

Next steps:

I'm building a proofing box, wherein I can control temperature better than with the oven light. When its finished, I'm going to push a levain to favor only bactieria growth, and add commercial yeast to the dough for gas production.

Here's a picture of the most recent (third levain) bread.


haroon's picture

mixing refined flour and wheat flour

what generally is the ideal temperature to bake bread made with equal amounts of refined and wheat flour. i'm basically trying to make regular bun sized bread

maryserv's picture

found great price on coiled wicker baskets for final proofing

Hello all,

I've been on a quest to find a reasonable priced coiled wicker dough-rising basket.  I finally found it but it requires a $50 dollar order to even place the order (they are wholesale to public).  And yes, even when I order 2 of all: round, oval, rectangular - and throw something else in I'm still not to $50.  If anyone is the in the Houston, Texas area and is looking, I'm happy to combine orders.  Or I suppose I could order, receive and then send on to you if you are not local.  The prices are crazy-good for untreated rattan coiled baskets - $6 each. 

Here is an example!

Let me know what you think (also if you have had poor experiences with this company in the past). 

Thanks!  Mary