The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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SteveB's picture

Tahini Bread

For any who might be interested, I've described the baking of tahini bread here.





bread10's picture

Kamut (Khorasan) vs Spelt Flour



I have used wholemeal spelt for both bread and pasta and also white spelt for bread.

I have used Kamut / Khorasan / Egyptian Gold once for pasta, but am not very familiar with the properties of this flour, apart from that it is very similar to spelt.


I would like to know how Kamut compares to spelt particularly for breadmaking. (Health & nutrition, protein, ease of digestion, breadmaking, taste etc...) ??

and anything else that may be of particular interest regarding these flours?


Thanks Heaps!

Franko's picture

unknown cast iron pan/griddle

My wife and I just got back from a little trip down the Washington coast, staying in Long Beach Washington for a few nights. On one of the days we decided to go into Oregon and and down the coast as far as Tillamook. While we were in Tillamook we stopped at the famous (in these parts) Tillamook Country Dairy. It's quite an operation they've got there with a large gift shop and restaurant in addition to self-guided tours. I wandered around the gift shop while my wife was sampling some of the cheese and came across this interesting pan. I figured I could use it for something even if I didn't know exactly what it's real purpose was. There didn't seem to be any posted info about it in the shop and the place was so busy I couldn't find anyone to answer my questions about it. So if any TFL members know what this is used for and have a recipe to go along with it, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks All,


2bamstrbkr's picture

French Brioche Loaf

I've found a recipe on the Food Network for french toast that i would like to make for some family members coming to town this weekend. However it calls for broche bread to be triangled.  I've been searching for a brioche recipe, but can only find ones to make small individual servings. Can these recipes be left as a whole loaf and baked that way or is there a seperate recipe for baking one big loaf. I would apprciate any help with this.

Thank You,


venkitac's picture

Sourdough yeast vs bacteria and temperature

In the recent "Very liquid sd" post, there was a lot of information on yeast vs. bacteria. One thing that I found confusing is this: I have heard from other sources (including at a class at SFBI, assuming my notes are correct) that w.r.t temperature, lower temperatures restrict yeast activity *more* than bacteria activity. This also seems to match with my (naive?) experience: if I leave a starter in the fridge, it takes forever to double, but the sourness is there in 12-24 hours easily. But, but, in the earlier thread Debra Wink says:

"Dan gave us a good overview of how dough is affected by hydration (some cereal chemistry as well as metabolic effects), but now let's take a look at how the culture is affected---the population dynamics---because that will determine the magnitude of the metabolic effects. Lowering hydration will slow all the microorganisms, yes, but yeasts are not quite as sensitive to it as the lactobacilli. In other words, the growth rate of the bacteria declines more sharply than that of the yeasts. Sourdough LAB thrive in warmth at high hydrations; low hydration and cool temperatures really slow them down. Yeast benefit from this, because they have less competition from the bacteria, so they have more space, and the resources to expand. They aren't quite as hindered by low hydration, low temperature, low pH, salinity, etc., as lactobacilli are, so even if they do slow some, they gain an edge because the bacteria are slowed more."

i.,e, the exact opposite of what I heard at SFBI, read elsewhere, and my experience, w.r.t the effect of temperature on yeast vs. bacteria. Can someone (Debra?:)) clarify the effect of temperature on acidity and bacteria, please? Thanks.

drdobg's picture

Atta flour

I have been experimenting with "atta" flour called for in many Indian flatbreads (such as naan, poori, chapati breads, etc.)  It seems to me it would be similar to some of the higher ash flours of french baking.  Can anyone give some insights to the similarities and differences of these flours?

LeahM's picture

baking a lot of loaves--help!

Hello all--I am hoping to benefit from some TFL's patented expert advice and experience!

My father is having a 60th birthday party in July, and I offered to make the bread for the event. It's going to be a big open house, so lots of nibbles--bread and cheese being of course the world's best nibble option (IMO). I want to make 3 different types of breads, all of which I've been getting reliably good results with when baked as a single batch: sourdough baguette, walnut levain, and herb foccacia. I am thinking of making a triple batch of the baguettes (6 loaves), double batch of the levain (4 smallish boules), and a double focaccia (2 pans).

Here's my dilemma: my oven is TINY. It can really only fit one pan at a time (so, two loaves, or a single focaccia). And my fridge isn't so big either. So, I'm thinking of (trying to) mix/let rise all the dough the day before, having it proof overnight in loaf form in the fridge, and then baking everything sequentially in the morning. Does that seem feasible? And, some questions...

Should I make large batches of dough, or stick to the quantities I know I can handle? (I'm mixing by hand.) Is there a better time to put dough in the fridge for a "holding pattern"? Can I bake the loaves cold from the fridge? What about the focaccia? Any other tactical suggestions from the experts out there? (Is there anything else in particular to be careful of?)

Mebake's picture

Best Crust and Crumb yet! For me

This is a 50% wholewheat from "BREAD". I have finally achieved the color i wanted and the crumb texture i like. THis is a keeper.

To obtain the color, I have improvised enclosed steaming for this one:

Poultry roaster with lid. Under the roaster a stone, and in the roaster lid: a stone squeezed-in in such a way that it dented the lid, but remained in. This way, i can get heat from a stone on top of the loaf, and from under the loaf, all in an enclosed space to trap steam. IT Worked!

Here are the loaves:

UPDATE:  here is the roaster steamer with stone device:



txfarmer's picture

SFBI baguette weekend workshop - a photo report


I have wanted to take classes from SFBI for so long, but TX is not exactly close to SF, and my day job really gets in the way of scheduling. When I saw they started offering some weekend workshops, I jumped on the opportunity. And of course, I picked the baguette class, since that's my main obsession.

Arriving early to be greeted by friendly classmates, teacher, and lots of fresh croissants. While we were going through our class, the students were just producing breads nonstop the entire time, and lucky us got to sample a few.


Hmmm, I wonder if I can ask for this to be my birthday gift? I am sure we can fit one in.... if we tear down our living room and den!


Would anyone notice if I just take a couple?....I AM KIDDING!


Now, let's get to work, 3 types for the first day: straight dough, poolish, and sponge. All done with minimal mixing (hand mixed to incorporate), and 3 sets of S&F.


I have done S&F every weekend, but handling 7.5KG of dough is decidely different from handling 1KG. Note to self, must lift weights.

We had lectures while waiting for the dough, but my favorite part is the hands on part. Look at the big tubs of dough, this  is when I realized that professional baking is a very very very physical job. Oh, I also would like a kitchen that's as big as this!

Teacher Frank is showing us how to divide and preshape. Even pieces, even tension, repeat.

We make 5 pieces for each type of baguette, my preshaping is far from perfect


Many many many trays of dough - 15 pieces per person per day

It's almost 2pm, we are starving. Let's get these babies shaped already! My batch of straight dough baguettes here - with my name on it!

Lunch , thank goodness. We inhaled that one. On 2nd day, we had pizza (yum!) and wine for lunch. Let's just say there were a lot more giggling in the afternoon session.

Well fed, let's check on the dough, ready to be scored and baked!

Loading is "interesting". Frank also showed us the home oven method (baking stone, cast iron skillets underneads to create steam etc.).

Best part, time to taste and critique! These are Frank's, hole-y and beautiful

These are mine. The dough is about 68% hydration, not so wet, so scoring was not difficult, I am semi-happy with the left two, no idea what happened for the one on the right. Seems that I loaded it too close to the right edge, didn't get browned on that side. It's straight dough, poolish, and sponge from left to right.


Not as open as Frank's crumb, need more practice with the new shaping method.


We all like the taset of sponge one the best, but all three are delicious.


We did 3 more formulas on the 2nd day (With teff, with sunflower seeds, and ww with wheat germ), and tried epi too.


All in all, a great experience! A lot of the info were familiar to me thanks to the knowledgable people here at TFL, but it helps tremendously to see close up how a professional handles the dough , and practice on 15 baguettes each day. Frank was very helpful answering questions and helping too. The shaping and preshaping methods are slightly different from what I have been doing previously, I like this new way better, will keep practicing at home for sure. Everyone ended up with loads of bread at the end of each day, since I was from out of town, I gave most of mine away to a classmate, who then distributed to elders in her neighbourhood - makes me happy.


RobertS's picture

Rookie requires sourdough basic information

As a fresh-faced rookie baker looking to break into the Sourdough League, I am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by  the mountain of info available on that subject. Can anyone suggest one or two of the very best, most reliable,  web articles, on TFL or wherever, that will serve to launch my sourdough breaducation? Grazi mille!