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Winnish's picture

Pull-apart Garlic Challah - 2 different shapes

Pull-apart Garlic Challah - 2 different shapes 


Lately I've been seeing a lot of cinnamon-pull-apart bread's photos, I guess it's the new trend in the USA.

During the month before Rosh-Hashana (Jewish new-year) I prefer not to bake sweet challahs and as onion-challahs are a big hit in my family, and also garlic-rolls,  I thought it might be cool to try this new shape for garlic-challahs.

The shape of the second challah is and old one but I usually make it a bit different. Also - this challah has cheese in  it and on top.

The recipe is an easy one, this time without poolish and with plain white flour (not enriched with gluten powder as I usually use).

The recipe, lots of photos, and also instructions how to shape+are all at MY POST
Translators - top left side-bar, and you're probably gonna get a good laugh, but if you have problems understanding - please ask me to explain!


Have a great night,


ben1026's picture

baking stones

is there a danger in using unglazed quarry tiles because of the crystaline silica in the tile?

breadsong's picture

Peter Reinhart's Bagel Primer, on

I just came across Mr. Reinhart's Bagel Primer on

Photos, and step-by-step instructions; a link to the recipe included in the third tab.

Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong

Frrogg1son's picture

Apparent Hydration


Can't tell you all how much I appreciate all the posts.  I've learned more in two years at the Fresh Loaf  than I learned in twenty years of buying and reading dozens of books on bread, not that I'm complaining about the books.  So many have been great.  I am quite indebted to Amy Glezer, Dan Leader, Joe Ortiz and, of course, the man they used to call Brother Juniper!  Also very grateful for the renegade Charles Van Over, wherever you are!


The following questions have been on my mind for some time.  Someone please help me to put this all to rest!  I have a three-part question regarding what I call "apparent hydration".


First part:


If I create a dough using 500g of AP flour, 300g water, 10g salt and a minimum of yeast, I produce a dough which I recognize as being 60% hydrated, both by look and feel.  I know how it should be kneaded, how it will shape and how it will develop in the oven.


What I don't know is this:  If I add 56g of butter to that same dough, whether at the beginning of mixing or even added to the dough after the gluten is well developed, how can/do I account for the changes the butter brings to the apparent hydration of the dough. If  I add 10% of the flour weight in butter to my 60% hydrated dough, the dough becomes much more sticky and appears significantly more slack.  I appreciate that average American butter has water content in it.  I don't know how much of the 56g is water.  But it seems to me that the "apparent hydrating effect" of the butter addition goes way beyond that little bit of water in the butter.  I am sure that I would find an even greater impact if I were to add 10% olive oil (by weight as a percentage of the flour weight) to a 60% hydrated dough, even though olive oil has, to my knowledge, no water in it at all.


So, does fat effectively contribute in some way to hydration, or at least to "apparent hydration"?  Or is the effect merely conditioning (for lack of a better word)?


Has anyone ever created a factor to account for the effect of fat on dough?  If I want a 60% hydrated dough, with a 10% butter content added or a 2% olive oil content added, to have more or less the same apparent hydration as the same dough without the fat, by how much do I adjust the water content down?  Is there a one to one ratio? Meaning that if I add 56g of butter to a dough but don't want it significantly more slack, should I reduce the water content by 56g?  I think I've tried that and the dough was too stiff.  Is it a 1.0g fat to 0.5g water ratio?  Or has this simply not been studied or quantified?


Have I made myself understandable?  Does Hamelman address this in "Bread"?


Second part:


If I take the same 500g AP flour, 300g water, 2% salt and minimal yeast dough and mix it as a straight dough, I get what I expect in terms of hydration, elasticity, extensibility, and so forth. However, if I mix half of the flour and half of the water as a pre-ferment along with a pinch of yeast, the final dough seems to me to be meaningfully more slack and extensible because of the addition of the biga or poolish..


Don't get me wrong. I don't at all dislike the effects of a pre-ferment on dough.  A poolish is one of the greatest inventions the Poles ever brought to Vienna!


But if I want to make a bagel dough at 60% hydration but decide to create a preferment with part of the ingredients, should I compensate for what seems to me to be the super-hydrative-effect from the preferment by reducing the final mix to something like 55% hydration?  Put another way, does the addition of a poolish allow me to reach an "apparent hydration" of 60% by using only 55% water?  Or is what I am experiencing merely another conditioning effect?


Third part:


Same lean dough but the addition is 10 to 15% white sugar?  I've always thought that adding 50g of white sugar to a formula for a sweet dough is the equivalent to adding 50g liquid to the final formula, even though sugar competes with flour for liquid.  But I've never actually seen this documented.  Again, is there a ratio of sorts to allow me to compensate for the effects that sugar bring to a dough?


So, in summary:

Should formulas adjust hydration to some extent for the addition of fat?

Should formulas do the same for pre-ferments?

Should formulas do the same for sugar?


Best, Bruce

kamp's picture

What is the problem with my bread?

A long time ago I had trouble baking my glutenfree bread but I solved it and the recipe started to work very good again.

But the last around 80 bread hasn't been as good as they were before.. I have tried and do everything I can think of that have worked in the past like adding more yeast, switch between fresh/dried yeast, more water, less water, more oil, less oil, more/less salt/sugar, rise in the ovne/not in the oven ++ The latest thing is that I rise them shorter then before but it doesn't work very well that either. 

The bread taste good but I want them to be like they where before... 

The problem is the rising. They rise very well in the oven (95F) but they don't get the oven spring anymore. Well, some times they do a little but fall again inside the oven. 

I make 3 and 3 bread from the same dough. 

This is how they turned out today:

Bread 1:

Dough 1 inside:


Dough 2 inside:

Dough 3:

Dough 3 was one of the better I have made but the texture inside doesn't look "right"..


Before the recipe stopped working they looked like this:

Those picture isn't the exact same recipe because I added 1oz seeds in each of the breads over but they did turned out like this did.. 



Can anyone help me? 

Are they over rised? To little proofed?

Why can I suddenly loose the oven spring?


I have made some bread that turned out better then this over but then I used the exactly same recipe the next time and it failed.. So I'm a bit confused.. 

ananda's picture

Wheat Levain and Kamut Boules Baked in the Wood-fired Oven

Wheat Levain and Kamut Boules Baked in the Wood-fired Oven

Last Monday and Tuesday Alison and I were joined by my family who came up to help with a number of projects we have on the go just now.   Many thanks to my Mum and Dad and Brother and Sister-in-Law, for all their help.   The initial project which dragged them up from northern and eastern corners of Yorkshire to the far north of England was to try to make some improvements to the firing efficiency of my wood-fired oven.   My family have watched and supported me from afar in my summer baking antics, and I believe my brother’s offer to try to improve the potential of the oven was an offer of genuine enthusiasm to help me expand my own baking activities in the longer term.

Whilst the rest of us slaved away inside, Dave dismantled the chimney section of the oven, modified the design and then re-built it.   We built a small fire on the second afternoon to verify that things had improved; they had!

After my first 3 day stint in Leeds and a lovely Saturday evening entertaining friends at home with a lovely South Indian Fish Curry, I had some time to fire up the oven properly over 2 days, and bake bread in it.

I fired the oven gently on Sunday, then somewhat harder today in the gales resulting from an always unwanted hurricane emanating from the US and blasting over from the Atlantic.   The chimney seemed none-too-stable, but the fire roared nicely in the end.

My leavens had been a little neglected, so it was a good time to spend re-building their strength too.   I have a number of different speciality flours in the store cupboard at the moment, some in just very small amounts; others I held slightly more of.   These were left over from the TFL baking course at Newcastle College which ran near the end of July, just before my escape.

I decided to make some bread using the half kilo of Kamut flour I had in stock.   Andrew Whitley (2006; pp.87) explains that it is

“Considered to be an ancient relative of durum wheat, Kamut is the registered tradename for a cereal derived from 36 grains mailed by an American airman in Egypt to his father in Montana in the 1950s.   Its production is always organic and is controlled by the Quinn family.   Kamut is generally higher in protein than wheat but with poorer-quality gluten.”

I used a flour mix consisting of 30% Kamut, 20% Gilchesters’ Pizza/Ciabatta flour and 50% Carrs Special CC Bread Flour.   The leaven was made with the bread flour, and the amount of pre-fermented flour was 20%.   I suspect this was a trifle too low.   I began with 50g of stock levain which was built to 530g over 14 hours and 2 refreshments.   Hydration was in excess of 71%.


Here is the formula, recipe and method:


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Levain; 2 refreshments




32 [flour 20, water 12]

512 [flour 320, water 192]




2. Final Dough




32 [flour 20, water 12]

512 [flour 320, water 192]

Gilchesters’ Pizza Flour



Carrs Special CC Flour



Doves Farm Organic Kamut Flour






Organic Salted Butter









% pre-fermented flour



% overall hydration








    • Mix the flours for the final dough with the final water required, and autolyse for one hour.
    • Combine the autolyse with the levain, salt and butter and mix gently to a dough.   Develop by hand-mixing a further 10 minutes.
    • Bulk proof the dough covered for 5 hours [leaven portion too low!], with one S&F after 1½ hours and another after 3½ hours.
    • Scale and divide into 2 x 1.04 kg pieces and one piece just over 700g.   Mould round and place upside down in prepared bannetons.
    • Final proof, covered for 3½ hours
    • Tip each loaf gently out of the banneton onto the peel, cut and bake in the wood-fired oven for 50 minutes.
    • Note that I used a wet tea towel to line the oven door as a source of steam; this was primitive, but worked surprisingly well.
    • Cool on wires after taking photographs.   Cut the loaf open far too early under temptation and enjoy a slice splattered with butter well before you really should!

These were very tasty loaves indeed!!   Oven spring was good, although the dough had been a trifle slow to prove all day.   Here are the photographs; not perfect, but the oven is well on the way to being able to perform how I always hoped it would.


So, all in all, a good few steps forward.

Codruta asked me about the “factor” in the table on the last post and I forgot to answer; sorry Codruta!   The factor is the number that is used as a multiplier to move from formula to recipe.   In this case, it is 16; so the total flour is 1600g, from 100%.

Best wishes to all


leenowell's picture

Too dense and crumb problems - please help

Hi All,

I have been making sourdough bread for around a year now and after a variety of "experiements", although the bread forms and tastes good, it is far too dense and the crumb is moist (it is more like an English crumpet than bread). I have been using recipes from "Bread Alone" by Leader and Blahink and adapted slightly through my experiments.  I have detailed my technique below and would greatly appreciate any help you can give me.

thanks very much in advance



- 200g stored in the fridge

- Night before baking, feed starter with 200g strong white bread flour (11.6% protein), 200g filtered water and leave out on the work surface covered over night

- Starter is bubbly and increased to about double in size (may be a little less)


- Recipe

400g starter

100g wholewheat flour

900g strong white flour (as above)

600g water (luke warm and filtered)

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

- Technique

- add starter and water mix well then add salt

- add remaining flour and mix with spoon to bring together

- knead using a dough hook on mixer until dough it springs back "slowly" when pulled (approx 5 mins)

- rise in oiled bowl (approx 3 hours) on work surface

- knock back and form into 2 loaves

- proof in bowls lined with floured cotton for around 1.5 hours again out on the work surface



- preheat oven 250 degrees C

- shape dough gently

- put on preheated baking sheet spraying oven with water to create steam

- reduce oven to 230 degrees C (have also tried 210 and 190 and no difference in crumb - lower temps seemed to make thinner crust)

- bake until internal temp is 98 degrees C (have tried 99 and 97 and no difference)

bpezzell's picture

Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread Even If You Are Gluten Intolerant

A friend forwarded this article to me a few days ago. Thought I'd see what the rest of you thought of the piece. It's a quick read.

Schrödinger's Other Cat's picture
Schrödinger's O...

Apple Galette

When I was young fresh fruit was a great treat and not common in Icelandic diet. Today fresh fruit of many sorts is readily available year round allowing one to bake galette year round!


1 cup flour (125-130g)

4 oz. cold butter unsalted (113g) 

pinch salt (or more if you like)

ice water (30-50ml, enough to make pastry workable)

Finely cut cold butter into flour, add salt. Work with spoon or hand until well mixed. Add ice water until pastry can be formed into a ball. Refrigerate for a bit (15 minute). Press pastry into a disk on parchment or Silpat then roll out very thin (thin=flaky). Refrigerate again (cold pastry I find much easier to work) while you make filling of choice.

Apple Filling:

2 or 3 apple peeled and sliced thin

2T sugar, 1T flour, cinnamon to taste mixed.

1T  butter

1T sugar, sprinkle cinnamon

Spread flour/sugar/cinnamon mixture over pastry. Lay apple slices to overlap in circle pattern. Fold edge of pastry over. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over apple, chop butter over apple. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Cook at 204C or 400F for 50-minutes to 1 hour.

Glaze with 1 or 2 T (to taste) apricot, peach preserve.


Make coffee, pour brandy, consume!




gizzy's picture

How much starter do you really need to keep?


I used the Bread Bakers Apprentice to make my seed culture and barm for my sourdough starter... I'm not getting ready to start my sourdough bread and I'm using the recipe for the basic sourdough bread in the same book. When you finish the starter and make the barm, you end up with about 4 cups of it... Thats a lot, at least for me it is as I'm sharing a small fridge with 3 other girls (granted I have the most space, but when you cook everything from scratch and don't eat out all the fruits veggies and other ingredients take up a lot of space) and I dont really have space to store 4 cups of barm in the fridge.

How much do I need to keep if I'm only going to bake bread once, maybe twice a week? Is keeping 1 or 2 cups enough? or is there another way for me to store it so that I dont take up space that I really dont have?

Also, what is the best way of storing the starter? in a bowl with plastic wrap over it? mason jar? ziplock bag?