The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Barmaley's picture


I am looking for a recepie of Volkornbrot bread. Any suggestions from people who have experience with it would be appreciated.

saraugie's picture

Which is the one BEST Bread Book for recipes/formulas. Not a technique book or how to but the actual formulas for great bread.

Which one book, has the most, the tastiest recipes ?  Instructions on bread baking 101 not necessary, if it has that's ok but not essential by any means.

gonzalezbrazil's picture

My Jewish Strudel

I´m here back now in this my first post of 2010.


I´m an artisan bread baker from Petrópolis, Brazil, where i started baking breads to survive. I have had a pet-shop at my city for 23 long years , but i´d losted my business on a riverflood at 2003, January. The waters invaded my pet-shop and destroyed all. Then, with lots of bills to pay, lots of unsolved payments i declared me on bankrupt. The next years were so hard times and for many following days i had no money to buy breads on bakery. Then i decided to study recipes of breads and study how to bake my own bread at home. I found a new recipe of that famous Jim Lahey´s no-knead method and started to bake that breads first to my own, but then i decided to sell them to neighbors, parents, and friends. Parallel i´d started to reasearch lots of new breads from all the world´s corners. Now, after one and 8 months after that challenge, i have my own small bakery where i produce a variety of 170 breads, cakes and buttered biscuits. I had my history narrated at one of best reportage Tv show in Brazil from local Globo Network Tv. My history you could view in this video but the language is our local portuguese:,,MUL1052006-16619,00-COMERCIANTE+REVELA+RECEITA+PARA+SUSTENTAR+A+FAMILIA.html

And here you could view my flaxseed bread step-by-step recipe of that Jim Lahey´s bread version, but still in portuguese language:,,MUL1052070-16619,00-VEJA+COMO+PREPARAR+O+PAO+INTEGRAL+DE+TRIGO+COM+LINHACA.html

  I hope you enjoy it.

After those months of many reasearchers i baked lots of ethnic breads and Challah Bread is one of my favorites.

In my city, of Germanic colonization, i´ve been contacted on last June to bake breads at a local Germanic Festival called Bauernfest. And i created an original bread for that event, that folks loved a lot. With the Challah dough, i baked a bread filled with honey brushed on top, sliced rippened bananas, walnuts and golden raisins, sprinkled with grounded cinamon. When i finished, i´d folded that bread similar like Germanic Strudel. It turns AMAZING. The people at festival looked to that loaves and asked me imediatly: Is it a Strudel??? Then i decided name that bread as Jewish Strudel.

Then it was a ´must` after that occasion. Always baking Jewish Strudel i become famous among locals and i decided to begin the 2010´s post productions here sharing with you this bread i think you´ll love a lot!


Here the recipe:

You could begin making the dough of KAF blog´s recipe for Challah you get here:

Then, do the following path:

Rest the  original dough of Challah to double size for one hour, then deflate it and rolling it in a great rectangle shaped dough. Brush the surface of dough with honey, sprinkle clover and cinnamon all over the dough, then sliced sliced rippened bananas or apples, golden or sultan raisins and a lot of chopped walnuts. Then fold the dough in a third then another folding in last third, just like an envelope sealed. Sprinkle an amount of wheat all purpose flour and cinnamon clove mixture at top and bake exactly like you done with Challah.


This bread turns excellent, with astonishing aromas and softly sweetened dough. You could variate the fruits you choose for filling it with a diferent assortment like figs, black prunes, apricots, combining them with those correspondent jams to brush on surface. It´s amazing when sliced the bread with fresh heavy cream on top.


For your mouthwatering P.J.Hamel promised me to publish a recipe and picture of this marvellous Strudel...a Jewish Strude for next posts at KAF blog!

Martyn's picture

Fan oven or no fan oven

When I first started making bread a month ago I almost burnt the crust on my bread, the loaves seemed to cook far quicker than the recipes suggested. I have now realised that we have a very modern fan assisted oven so this would account for the rapid bake times. I have reduced the temparatures to compensate for the fan assistance, but have now discovered that I can turn off the fan (instruction books are wonderful things).

My question is this; is there any benefit to be had for baking bread in a fan assisted against a none fan assisted oven?

DownStateBaker's picture

My very simple introduction to bread baking (part 2)

Sorry for the delay. I thought I would have a chance to post day two right away. I am now in day three of the creation of the starter. So let's catch up!

Day 2

This is how my starter looked at 30 hours from the initial mix of 300g flour 300g water. I stirred it 5 times over the 30 hours. In the first 12 hours i had left the bowl, covered, on my pellet stove. It got up to 90 F, this was initially thought of as a mistake by me. So I moved the bowl to somewhere at room temp. Then over the next 28 hours it was alive with activity so awesome. So hopefully over the 30 hours you've seen activity similar to what is shown above. If it takes more time than 30 its ok, this is what you want it to look similar too before going on to the next step.


You should have 600g of starter mix. Take 300g of this mix, add 150g of flour, and 150g water. I had just poured a glass of a nice weizen-bock and mixed the water with the yeast sediment in the bottle. I figured the more the merrier, yeast wise. Then mixed it up until well combined (No chunks of dry flour). To look like this.

Day 3

Here is how it looked at around 12pm today before I mixed it up again (not adding anything). Updates to come

Thor Simon's picture
Thor Simon

Organic AP Flours: closest match for KA AP/Sir Galahad?

I've been using KA Organic AP which I pick up (or have my sister pick up for me) on the way to visit her in Vermont -- it's very attractively priced in 5lb bags at their store. But I'm starting to consume more than this "free shipping" arrangement can handle, and the mail-order price is...not so nice.  None of my local groceries carry this flour.

A local bakery supplier will sell me KA Organic Select Artisan in 50# bags qty 1.  The price isn't great as he doesn't usually carry this item and is getting it from another supplier -- of course he won't tell me who.  But, also, looking at the KA web site I see the specs for Organic Select Artisan are not the same as for the Organic AP -- it looks like the retail Organic AP is formulated to perform as closely to the retail AP (professional Sir Galahad) as possible while the Organic Select Artisan has been tweaked a bit (lower protein, 11.3% vs 11.7%, and all-winter-wheat as opposed to winter/spring blend).

NY Bakers repackages the Sperry Organic Bread (General Mills) flour in 5lb bags and the shipping actually isn't prohibitive if I buy enough.  My concern with this flour is that the spec sheet makes it look like the canonical example of what KA's talking about when they say other brands' specifications are loose -- no falling number is specified and the protein content is given as "12% +/- 1%".  The specs on the conventional (non-organic) General Mills flours are nice and tight of course -- I assume with the Sperry brand they're keeping prices down by not hunting all over for spot quantities of organic wheat to get the product exactly in-spec to a tight specification...

Has anyone used this flour (Sperry Organic Bread)?  Enough to know if it's really more consistent from batch to batch than the spec suggests?  How about the KA Organic Select -- before I buy 50# at a so-so price I'd rather know if the difference from the retail-packaged product is even noticeable, much less important.

I can get the Sperry at a decent price locally too but I don't want to risk buying 50# at a time of a product that might vary considerably from batch to batch(!)

milwaukeecooking's picture

Sun-dried tomato with parmesan--poolish pre-ferment

Sun-dried parmesan bread

This was my kitchen sink recipe.  I accidentally made too much baguette dough so I decided to throw some of it in my banneton with a few added extras.  I had sun-dried tomatoes around and I had recently ground up some parmesan.  So, I thought, why not mix it into my extra dough.  Before putting it into the oven I spritzed it with water and gave it a sprinkling of cracked pepper.  Out of all the breads I have made this one actually made my mouth water when it was baking.  The smell was incredible.  Here is how I made it. 

Follow my poolish recipe for the dough.  I made 900 grams of dough for this recipe.

After the second rise lightly flatten out the dough into a square that is roughly 12"x12".  On one half of it sprinkle 1/4 cup ground parmesan cheese and then, on top of that, gently press in 1 cup of chopped sun-dried tomtatoes.  Leave 1/2 inch of dough around the edges so that you can seal it back up again.  Fold the empty side over the top of the tomatoes and press down on the edges to seal.  Flatten the dough slightly and business fold it into thirds (like you are mailing a business letter).  Let your dough rest for 5 min and business fold again.  I folded mine three times. 

At this point you should have a few layers of tomato and you will want to shape your dough into a boule.  You don't need a banneton for this because all of the folding and shaping has made your dough fairly tough and it will stand on its own.  However, let your boule rise for an hour, until doubled, before baking. 

Pre-heat the oven to 500F while your dough is rising.

Right before baking spritz your boule with water and top with pepper.  You need the me. 

 Spray the walls of your oven with water and bake for 2 minutes.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Turn the heat down to 425

Bake again for 20 min at 425.

Rotate your bread 180 degress and turn the heat down to 400 and bake for 20 min.  

Check the temp of your bread.  If the internal temperature isn't over 195 it isn't done.  The optimal temp is between 195 and 205. 

I wanted to take pictures of the crumb so you could see the tomato goodness inside but it got eaten before I could remember.  Next time I will post a picture of the crumb.  This is a recipe that I would like to re-create again. 

sun-dried parmesan bread

txfarmer's picture

White wine chestnut sourdough

It all started with that chestnut pie I made, amazing pie really, how can it not be? It had chestnut cream, chestnut puree, candied chestnut, creme fraiche, mascarpone, heavy cream all loaded in one flaky all butter crust!

But then I had these yummy chestnut puree and whole roasted chestnuts left over, as delicious as that pie was, it was also very rich and had a lot of added flavors, this time I want to make the chestnuts themselves shine. Of course I COULD eat the puree straight out of the jar, but I digress. ;) Here's what I came up with: a chestnut sourdough with loads of chestnut puree kneaded in; whole chestnuts boiled then soaked in fruity white wine overnight, then mixed into the dough; also used the soaking wine as part of the liquid, the result is a bread full of chestnut flavor. The wine brought out the subtle sweetness of chestnut, but the flavor of alcohol was minimal (a good thing since my husband doesn't drink). Chunks of chestnuts studded the soft and spongy crumb. I am pretty happy with the result, with the slight nutty sweetness, and almost "custardy" mouth feel, it's like eating a giagantic chestnut!

One thing I didn't expect is how sticky the chestnut puree made the dough to be. I had to decrease the liqud amount that I had planned to add in, even then, I still had to do quite a few S&F to build up the dough strength. I later found out that chestnuts have a lot of starch, double of what potatoes have, comparable to wheat flour, minuse the gluten of course. Even though it made kneading and fermentation a bit challenging, the final crumb was similar to those breads with potatoe puree mixed in, soft and songy, very moist.

Here's my formula for the bread:


The night before:

mixing 170g of roasted, peeled, and roughly chopped chestnuts with 140g of white wine (I used a fruity cheap one), bring to boil, remove from stove, cover and let sit overnight.


2nd day:

starter, 180g (100% hydration)

salt, 7.5g

bread flour, 300g (I used KA)

wine soaking liquid from above + water, 175g

chestnuts above, drained

chestnut puree, 240g (unsweetened, just chestnut and water)

honey, 22g


1. Mix together everything but chestnuts, autolyse 30minutes, knead until gluten starting to develope.

2. Add in chestnuts, knead them in evenly.

3. Cover and bulk fermentation for 4 hours, at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes, S&F.

4. Round and relax the dough for 15 minutes, shape into a boule, put into brotform, smooth side down, cover and put into fridge for overnight

5. About 15 hours later, take out the dough and leave in room temperature for 90 minutes, perhead the oven with stone to 550F

6. Slash and bake, steam as normal, reduce the oven temperature to 450F, bake for 45 minutes in total, at minute 15, take out the steam pan, and rotate bread for even baking.

The taste is pretty on target, the slashing effect was a bit lost due to all the chestnut pieces peaking out underneath

avatrx1's picture

need recipe for Naan. daughter is starting to bake from scratch and LOVES Naan for making pizza. Novice recipes mainly.

My daughter has recently started making more homemade things.  She has 4 boys.  16.15.13, and 10.  She'd like to learn how to make Naan.  She has very few kitchen things since she mostly bought ready-made until both she and her hubby lost their jobs.

Is there a good beginners recipe out there for Naan using either a stove top method or oven?  I'll try it first and then once I think I know what I'm doing, I'll get her to come over and try it.  She makes dinner rolls, but that is about the extent of her baking breads.  She told me she made some a while ago and couldn't figure out why the dough rose 'out of control', then proceeded to tell me that she only added a tablespoon of yeast!

She's a quick study, fast learner, etc.  I'm thrilled that she wants to learn how to make this.  She's a good cook, she's just typically stayed with the normal stuff and not ventured into experimentation which I love to do.


She's currently buying her Naan at the local Walmart..............

thanks in advance for any recipes and/or help - suggestions anyone can offer.


kolobezka's picture

Peter Reinhart´s books and / or others?

Please could anybody help to choose some good books for baking? The problem is, that living in a non-English speaking country I cannot have a look at them in a bookshop or library :-(


1) I already have PR´s Artisan Breads Every Day. Most of you recommend BBA, Whole Grain Breads and Crust and Crumb. How are the books different? Are there completely different methods, explanations and recipes?


2) I would love a good book (or two) that would explain clearly and with practical "tips and tricks" how bread making works (comparing sourdough and other preferment and direct methods), how different hydrations, feeding ratios, temperatues (e.g. preheated vs. cold oven...) etc. affect the composition on the starter and the resulting bread and helping to manage the amounts for a home baker? Also some examples of healthy recipes (without much cream, eggs, meat, sugar...) in metric units would be welcome.


3) Here are some of the tips I have gathered when reading this super TFL forum:

Daniel DiMuzio: Bread Baking

Andrew Whitley: Bread Matters

Daniel Leader: Local Breads

Daniel Leader: Bread Alone

Maggie Glezer: Artisan Baking

Jeffrey Hamelman: Bread

Richard Bertinet: Crust

Joe Ortiz: Village Baker

Laurel´s Kitchen Book

Peter Reinhart: BBa

Peter Reinhart: Crust and Crumb

Peter Reinhart: Whole Grain Breads


Thanks very much!