The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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mymeowzer's picture

Making Yeast based Donuts to order?

I am thinking about starting a business where I make donuts to order. I wanted to use a brioche type dough. How do I go about treating the dough? Do I leave it in the fridge and then take out as needed? Do I need to leave the dough to rise outside of the fridge before frying? I have been to many restaurants that have made-to-order yeast-based donuts on their menus and I was wondering how they prepare them so fast.

Thank you..

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Sorghum and Rice Ciabatta

Before going gluten free, I used to love making Jason's Coccodrillo Ciabatta. So quick, easy and delicious! I wanted to try to create something similar with my gf flours and this is what I came up with. If you enjoy the taste of sorghum, you'll definitely appreciate this one. :)

  • 400g flours, mixed to combine - 150g sorghum, 100g rice, 150g corn starch
  • 5g yeast
  • 15g salt
  • 20g psyllium
  • 660ml water

Mix the psyllium with the water and beat until a gel is formed. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix and knead until a smooth dough is formed. Cover in an oiled bowl and leave to rise until approximately 2.5x the original size. Pat and stretch on a floured baking sheet to create very flat ciabatta shapes. Prove whilst preheating the oven to 250c. Just before baking, flip the ciabattas over. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until golden. Do not cut the bread until it is fully cooled.

Sorry about the terrible slice! I need a new bread knife!


cinnamonshops's picture

Arva flour problems - pale crust

Hey all,

Not sure how many Canadians frequent this site (though I know there are some!), but this might be a more general question anyway. I recently bought a bag of Arva Unbleached White Hard Wheat Flour to use for bread, and it seems as though it's resulting in loaves that barely brown at all. Is there anything else that could be causing this? I used it in two or three different recipes, one sourdough and the others not, and all resulted in pale, pale breads. They weren't terrible aside from that, but it's definitely not right.

To put things in some perspective, I just previously made a sourdough loaf (Nancy Silverton's standard white sourdough) in which, as I recall, I used half of the Arva flour and half of what seems like a really nice red fife flour, and the crust was the most beautiful (deep red-brown) I've yet achieved.

Aside from the fact that I've been using different recipes, the other variables are the same (same crappy oven, etc). I've also been experimenting in all cases with a new homemade flowerpot cloche.



Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

The purpose of stretch-and-fold

Hi all. JUst a quick one and I'm sure many of you will be able to give me the answer to this, but what exactly is the purpose of s&f? I'm wondering if it is just to stretch the gluten, etc or if it serves another purpose? The reason being, I am curious as to whether s&f would add anything to my gluten-free baking.

Cob's picture

Terrible London (UK) bakeries...

....are all over my parts.

I've not had much luck with those recommended by the Real Bread campaign. Some of the bread I've bought have really shocked/peeved me off equally.

£3-4 for a sourdough that's worse than mine (my SD is not actually bad!)? Just because it's organic and real. Do not know what's up with that.

Most days I love to bake bread. Some days I like to buy bread and take a day off.

Now I've heard of many good bakeries, such as the E5 Bakehouse and Old Post Office bakery. I don't mean chains such as Gails, Paul's or le pain quotidienne.

What are your favourite loaves worth paying for at which bakeries? I never hear of small, local bakeries.

yamum360's picture

second batch

so I've just baked by second batch, took some pictures and I'm hoping for some feedback.

the method i used involved a refrigerated starter, I removed it from the fridge, added half of my mother starter (as it was time for a feeding anyway) mixed it and left for a few hours to reach room temperature, scooped out 200g, and added 100g of feed and 100g of water, then left it to double, this i divided evenly into two bowls, in one bowl i threw 8 cups of wholemeal, the other, 8 cups of rye and hefty amount of seeds (flax, poppy, chia), to each I added a tablespoon of salt, then added water until I got a dough I was happy with, kneaded for 10/15 minutes, then divided each in half and shaped into loaves. I let these proof overnight, covered with a wet cloth (about 12 hours). First thing this morning I preheated my oven to 200C and baked one of the wholemeal, one of the rye (on a pizza stone) and didn't get nearly as much oven spring as I expected, in fact I barely got any. will post more pictures of these once they've cooled enough to cut into.

so I knocked back the other two, gave them a quick knead, reshaped and currently have them rising again, uncovered. is there something I should be doing differently? I'm quite an experienced baker with commercial bakers yeast, but am still very new to sourdough, I thought that maybe I should just go back to baking with white and work from there, but I'd rather not.

erranbaker's picture

sourdough substitution

I want to convert a dry yeast formula to sourdough. How do I do this? For Brioche or sweet dough for buns?

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

Recommendations for Dutch Oven needed/appreciated

I usually bake in loaf pans, but I occasionally have tried the Dutch Oven method. I have used Pyrex for small loaves and cast iron for larger loaves. Both have worked, but they have their limitations.

I'd like to devote more time to Dutch Oven baking and have some good equipment. Recommendations of size and brand would be appreciated.

Joe McPlumber's picture
Joe McPlumber

Good Starter, Bad Bread


I have very vigorous wild culture i captured here in the California foothills. "SpongeBob" is an organic whole wheat starter who i try to keep at 100%. I'm new to this so i'm not sure what 100% is supposed to look like but SpongeBob is a spongy(!) mass when risen and about the consistency of a stiff cookie dough when newly fed.

My only unconventional caretaking practice is, i can't bring myself to throw any away and so feedings are generally added to whatever amount of starter is in the bowl. That amount fluctuates depending on how much i use and i know that throws off the hydration so i just try to adjust the flour until i have the same approximate consistency as i do when doing it the right way.


Despite many attempts with many recipes i have yet to produce a good loaf. They are usually dense and heavy, although my wife says that they are very tasty.

I began with a no-knead recipe from Instructables .(, however that recipe is short on details for handling the dough after the first rise. I think that my dough collapsed at the point where he says to "turn" it, and i didn't get a second rise.

Since then, because it seemed it should be fool-proof, i've been using the 1-2-3 mixture for my dough and various strategies for proofing and baking. It's almost always the same story. Dough collapses, doesn't double again, and doesn't spring in the oven.

Here's the thing... i'm told that the way to get tasty bread is with longer proofing times. So usually what i've done is mix up the dough at night (and stretch and fold it in some cases), then deal with it in the morning. At that point it is usually something more than doubled and full of tiny bubbles. Thus, it collapses when handled. I can't get it formed suitable to a loaf pan, much less the more advanced shaping. It's too spongy, sticky and wet, and anything i do from that point on is slapstick comedy as i try to unstick the dough from here only to stick it to there. Then i can't get a second rise and i don't know if it's because the dough is exhausted or because it got handled too roughly.

I also tried making my dough in the daytime and keeping something of an eye on it so it didn't get over-proofed. The result, it was under-proofed and tasted like dirt.

Sorry for being so wordy but i am confused and frustrated and even in all this verbosity i probably omitted critical details. I will try to remember them if someone will try to coax the right ones out of me. I'm wondering, e.g., if my starter is way too hungry and consumes the dough before it is sufficiently proofed? I mean, does that happen? What might i possibly be doing wrong and how does a newbie go about making subtle adjustments to established recipes and procedures? I should just like to get *one* decent loaf so i can duplicate the procedure.


- joe

AlamedaSteve's picture

Sour Baguette

Pretty convinced that a decent sour baguette was beyond reach, I decided to give it a try anyway;.........and, I think I got lucky right out of the chute.

I know a lot of bakers have been quite frustrated, so I will attempt to describe the process I used, in the hopes it may help others in their quest.

Okay, I wanted a shiny, crispy/crunchy crust with not a lot of bread volume, so I knew I was going to need a pretty wet, somewhat difficult-to-handle mix.  Here's what I used:

1100g Sir Lancelot

500g wet starter

100g cracked wheat

750g water

40g salt

Rough mix all but the salt, autolyze 30mins, rough mix in salt.  3 s&f's at 45min intervals, then proof for 90mins.  Carefully divide into nine 10oz pieces (fits my stone and oven), let rest 15mins, shape, couche on linen lined cookie sheet, slip into garbage bag, then into fridge for 10 to 15hrs.

Next day - bring oven to 500deg.  Remove cookie sheet from fridge and carefully flip one loaf onto semolina'ed piece of hvy foil, score, SEAL FOIL completely around loaf, leaving room for spring, then into oven, reduce to 450deg.

Bake for 7.5mins, remove packet from oven using peel, cut open the packet to allow all the steam to escape, and return to oven.  After another 7.5 mins, remove from oven, peel foil away from loaf, return to oven, turn up oven to 500deg, turn on convection fan if you have one - this last step is to brown crust to desired finish.  It takes about 10mins more, turning after 5mins for even doneness.

Loaves come out 14" x 2" x 1".

I think what most people have the most difficulty with is the crust.  Using any of the spritzing, boiling water pans, etc I don't think my oven is capable of achieving what I want, but by packaging the loaf, there is more than enough moisture in the mix to do the job - in fact, if you leave the package sealed for longer than 7.5mins, you will have a hard time cracking through the crust.

I hope this is of some help to those who are embarking on the search themselves.

Here are photos that I hope will show the process I used to help makes things a little clearer.


The baguette second from the left, I forgot to score before packaging, so I slit after steaming. 

Good luck.