The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
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.

DanOMite's picture

Focaccia/Rustic bread from PR's WGB


Hey guys, last weekend I made the whole wheat focaccia rustic bread from Peter Reinharts Whole Grain Breads.

here is the recipe...

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
2 cups plus 2 tablesppons of water at room temp.
1 1/2 teaspoons honey agave nectar sugar or brown sugar (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
extra flour for adjustments

1 If mixing by hand place all of the ingredients except the extra flour and the olive oil in a bowl and mix for 2-3 minutes. Keep a bowl of water hand and dip the mixing spoon in the water from time to time to keep the dough from sticking. Use a plastic bowl scraper, also dip it in water, to continually scrape down the bowl. You can also use wet hands to mix the dough. The dough will be sticky but fairly smooth; adjust the water or flour as needed. dd the olive oil and mix for another 14 seconds, long enough only to coat the dough. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes, uncovered, and then mix again for 1 minute. the dough will be smooth and stronger, but it will still be sticky. If it is too wet, meaning it won't hold shape, add some additional flour.
Place the dough in a oiled bowl and and allow it to ferment for 8-12  hours or within 3 days. The next day pull the dough out of the fridge and allow it to thaw for 4 hours before turning out onto a heavily flour work surface for shaping.

I choose Ciabatta shape and it makes 2 ciabatta, although I made 4 mini ones. (if anyone wants shaping instructions just ask and i'll type them up too.) After shaping allow them to rise for about 45 minutes or 1 1/2 times its original size.

Prehead your oven to 500 and put them in on a peel or using parchment paper onto a baking stone or an upside down baking sheet. I used a upside baking sheet with parchment. Once the loaves are in drop the temperature down to 450 and steam the oven using a spray mister or 1 cup of hot water.

bake it for 20 minutes and rotate the bread 180degrees and then allow to bake for another 15 to 30 minutes unitl its golden brown on all sides and sounds hollow when thumped and registers atleast 200F in the center and pulls away clean.

Cool for 1 hour....thats if you can handle it...

There were a few things I had to alter and did differently  in this and i'll list it for you.

I was short of flour for this ( I weighed by grams) So I ended up using maybe 20 grams worth or handful or two of all purpose flour for adjustment. I also added some vital wheat gluten and ascorbic acid as well. I figured hey its so wet its not like this is gonna dry it up at all. I'd say a few grams of each for the AA and VW.

Also....I did 3 stretch and folds before putting it in the fridge for the overnight fermentation. I did them at 20 minute intervals after the first 45 minutes of the initial mixing, although i'm sure after 20-30 would be just fine. I did it on a watered surface rather than using flour.

I hope that covers it guys....the ciabatta tasted great the crust was nutty and the inside was just sweet enough but not too sweet for a hearth bread. Great taste and wonderful texture...

Oh Another note...I did use some agave nectar it recommends 10 grams worth but I only used half so 5 grams. I'm not sure how much that would equal to in terms of teaspoons...I'm thinking maybe half a teaspoon. It wasn't all that strong in the final product just sweet enough to take off the somewhat bland or bitter edge of whole wheat

oh yeah....








Floydm's picture

Coffee with Peter Reinhart

Peter Reinhart is in Portland this weekend.  I was able to get together with him for coffee this morning at little t american baker in SE Portland.

Tim Healea, the head baker, was kind enough to show us around the bake room. 

It is a small space, but they have an awesome 5 rack oven and bake many types of bread every day.  While we were there they were making naan and pulling... plank bread out of the oven (I think that is what they called it... It was something like a focaccia, sprinkled with thyme, rosemary, and sea salt and full of olive oil).  We tried a rustic ciabatta-like roll with carrot and polenta in it while we were there that was wonderful and one of their pastries, which was delicious too.

I, however, was a space cadet and left my good camera at home (well, I had the camera but I forgot the battery), so these phone pictures were the best I could get.  I will, however, try to come by Tastebud tomorrow around 11:30-12 to see Peter and any TFLers who show up there, and this time I'll bring a real camera.


Bread_Slavery's picture

Pierre Nury's Light Rye is the best bread ever...

Discuss. I haven't put anything better out of my kitchen, i'll put it that way.

Pictures to follow, hopefully tomorrow.

baltochef's picture

Long, Slow, Bulk Fermentation--Please Critique This Recipe

Below is a recipe I created for a intensely cinnamon, Cinnimon Raisin Bread that is made using a long, slow, bulk fermentation..This is my first attempt at a 24 hour refrigerated ferment of a very sweet dough..I am asking those members familiar with long, slow, bulk fermentations to troubleshoot and critique this recipe..Any and all feed back will be greatly welcomed..My goal is a full 24-hour ferment instead of the 2.5-3 hour ferment that I generally use when I make similar breads using a sponge method..The ingredients are listed below in the order in which I added them to the DLX's mixing bowl..

Rich Cinnamon Raisin Bread w/  20.5 Hour Refrigerated Bulk Ferment

480g (17 oz.) 2% milk, 45F

285g (10 oz.) dark brown sugar

2.66g (0.09375 oz.) SAF Gold instant yeast-- (3/8 teaspoon)

170g (6 oz.) enriched eggs, 45F-- {7 large egg yolks = 115g (4.053 oz.), plus 55g (1.947 oz.) egg whites}

170g (6 oz.) salted butter, room temperature

1250g (44 oz.) bread flour

14g (0.50 oz.) table salt-- (2 teaspoons)

10g (0.3525 oz.) coarsely ground cassia cinnamon-- (4 1/2 teaspoons)--(sticks ground in spice grinder)

285g (10 oz.) dried raisins, soaked for 60 minutes in 50F water, drained, then refrigerated for 60 minutes to 45F--thus absorbing....

60g (2.11 oz.) water

EDIT: The refrigerated items in the recipe were actually at 45F, not 35F--My Bad!!

Dough Making Notes:

Bowl of my DLX mixer was placed in freezer for 10 minutes before mixing and kneading the dough..The sugar was dissolved into the cold milk in the DLX's bowl..Yeast was added and whisked in..Eggs were whisked in next, followed by the warm butter, which naturally formed small globules as it chilled..The salt and cinnamon were whisked into the flour as evenly as possible..The dough was mixed and kneaded for 6 minutes on medium speed on the DLX using the roller and scraper..The cold, drained raisins were added during the last 2 minutes of the kneadind process..Dough was hand kneaded for 15-20 seconds on an oiled bench after removal from the DLX's bowl..Bowl was washed in cold water, dried, and sprayed with pan spray..Dough was returned to DLX's bowl, flattened, covered tightly with 4 layers of plastic wrap, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator..Final dough entered the refrigerator at 1:50 PM EST on Wednesday, 02-25-09..

Final Dough Temperature: 68F

Yield: 2,698g (5 lb. 15.1 oz.) final dough

Baker's Percentage Formula

Milk---------38.64 %








Raisins----- 22.73



Total-------218.33 %

My main questions to those more familiar with overnight, cold, bulk fermentation are, "How do my salt and yeast percentages appear to you??"..I originally figured out the percentage of salt for a recipe containing 1,135g (40 oz.) of bread flour..Which was a percentage of 1.25%..The 170g (6 oz.) of butter also contains salt, although I do not know at what percentage..It is my intention to bake this bread in my 8.5" Pullman pans, and to perhaps even ice several loaves with a vanilla frosting..

Thanks in advance to anyone able to critique this recipe, and to possibly offer suggestions for improving it..