The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Marni's picture

Today's baking

Well here it goes, trying to post pictures on my blog - today I baked a traditional Jewish holiday treat called Hamantashen.  They are popular for the holiday of Purim which is next Tuesday.  I made about 110, a mix of prune, cherry and blueberry.  I'm not the most careful cookie shaper, but these are disappearing too fast for that to really matter.

I also tried the round braid that Trailrunner made recently.  That was so much fun!  I make challah almost every week and have never tried this before.  I just used a basic challah recipe that looked good. 

Here it is  just after shaping:

And just out of the oven:

Lately I've been brushing my challahs with a mix of egg yolk and dash of vanilla.  The taste is great and the smell even better.  The line is from rolling the strands , it was a technique I haven't used before and was much easier than my usual method, but I'll have to watch for those seams.

We haven't tasted this loaf yet - tomorrow night.

Whew - I admire those of you who post pictures regularly, it takes a while to do!  I love seeing everyone's pictures, so thank you for taking the time to show your work.  I loved doing this.

swtgran's picture

Authentic Irish soda bread

I found an interesting site that gives history and recipes for Irish brown bread, soda breads and farls.  It is I think I will give some of them a try.  I will have to use a covered cast iron chicken fryer since I don't have a cast iron dutch oven.  It works great for the No Knead recipe so it should work for this.

xaipete's picture

Hamelman's Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick's day is coming up soon and I was thinking of making Hamelman's Irish Soda Bread. I ordered some wholemeal wheat from King Arthur's, but noticed that the recipe calls for "wheat flakes". Anybody have an opinion on this bread? And, what are/is "wheat flakes"?


AnnieT's picture

Corn flour

A local grocery store was going out of business and in their sale I picked up a bag of Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Corn Flour. It is very fine and I was thinking of Pane Siciliano - but of course it isn't semolina flour. So what CAN I use it for? Any suggestions? Has anyone used it? Help, please, A

chefcecilia's picture


Hello Fellow bakers,

I made a Brioche loaf.  The recipe required the loaf to bake seam side up.  I wanted a smooth crust so I baked it seam side down but the gases in the bread cracked open the top anyways, Does anyone have any sugestions or answer's as to why my brioche is so gassy??


Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

Flaky Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from the recipe in Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

I'm finding the sweet dough as he made it too sweet. 6.5 tablespoons of sugar is just too much to me. I reduced it a little in my final dough, but just by 1/2 a tablespoon. The next time I make this it will be with the amount I show here.

6 tablespoons butter, shortening, or margerine (I used butter, but that's a taste thing)
4.5 tablespoons sugar (evaporated cane juice here)
1.5 teaspoons salt (slightly course sea salt)
2 eggs
1 pound flour
2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup buttermilk

Cream first 3 ingredients. I proofed the yeast in about 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, lukewarm, then added that with the rest of the milk with the rest of the ingredients. I mixed for about 10-12 minutes by hand until the dough was starting to come together really well and the gluten had started forming, then did 2 stretch and folds at 40 minute intervals, letting the dough have an hour before shaping and proofing. I filled the rolls with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar and proofed them for about an hour before putting them in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes.

This produced the lightest, flakiest cinnamon rolls I've made to date. I really love them. I have a feeling that this may become my go-to sweet dough.

Sorry about the no picture thing. Maybe tomorrow if they're not all gone. :)

vtelf03's picture

Diastatic Malt Powder and/or Vital Wheat Gluten

What are the advantages/disadvantages to using one of these in my bread? I'm a relatively new bread baker, although each loaf comes out better. I bought some Wheat Gluten on the advice of a friend and am using it for the first time today (the bread is only in it's first rise - I'll defintely let you know how it turns out in the end). I was told (and have read online) that they both tend to help with shelf life, having a better crust, etc., but I'm curious what more experienced bakers can actually tell me. Do they also help with rising?

I have yet to make a real yeast bread that rises correctly, although I'm hoping that the bread I currently have rising (a Honey Wheat) makes that statement untrue! My friend Cory (who suggested the product) is also a home brewer, and uses some type of malt that he uses in brewing for bread as well and says it helps with the rising process as well. However, I'd rather find out from others before I go and order some diastatic malt powder online. Can anyone give me any suggestions about this? Sorry my questions aren't more exact ... I'm basically looking for information at this point! Perhaps a good question might be when might I want to use either of these, and why?

Thanks a million,


Earl's picture

Thin Crisp Pizza Dough

There is such great Bakers here at TFL, I feel every bit the Tyro making this post,

but here goes.

I changed the all-purpose flour in the recipe [Flat Breads and Pizza--Olive Oil Dough on page

134] in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and it turns out great tasting, thin and crisp pizza dough.  I

used 2 cups of sifted Priarie Gold, 1 cup of Semolina and 3 1/2 cups of bread flour [Bouncer brand from GFS.]

This will be my pizza dough from now on.  I'm sure it will do a bang-up job on Calzone

or empanada type pies as well and etc. as it is very easy to work with.

Here's the original ingredients from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

2 3/4 cups luke warm water

1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast [1 1/2 packets]

1 1/2 Tablespoons salt

1 Talespoon sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

[Mix ingredients, let rise in warm spot for 2-3 hours, cover, then chill.

Cut off a hunk whenever you need it. Use within 2 weeks.]

renteriaboulanger's picture



I am searching for  le gros capmpagne pain recipe from JEAN LUC POUJAURAN BOULANGERIE IN PARIS.

Got a recipe?

poujauran le gros campagne

beeman1's picture

Bean Flour

has anyone added bean flour to bread? I have heard of this to increase proten but I cant seem to find anything on it.