The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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SulaBlue's picture

Artisan Bread in 5 Video - did this make anyone else cringe?

A video by the authors that just made me cringe!

I watched this video this morning and I just couldn't help but cringe!

Volume measurements.

Salt tossed right in on top of yeast.

Flour that was scooped out of the jar instead of at least being spooned into the cup.

Instructions that it doesn't matter what angle you hold your knife when scoring.

Comment to let your bread cool "a little" and not cut into it while it's "too" warm.


My, what a bread-snob I've become!

SylviaH's picture

Thin Crispy Crust on pizza

I love making pizza and it's done pretty often around my house..indoors and in the wfo.  So all these pizza's on TFL lately have really been giving me the craving!  I used the Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough recipe from PR American pie book.  I made dough with KAAP and KAB flours.  This is a recipe that makes a thin crisp crust with airy pockets in the crown.  Usually I make a thicker crust for use with heavier toppings like sausage or pepperoni and the extra cheeses and tomato that we like...but this time wanted the heavier toppings with the Thin and Crispy crust...It's a little sticky and a touch tricky to stated in the book..  Well, I've had enough practice now that it's become fun and consistant to make great tasteing pizza's.  Useing the KAAP flour makes the dough even a little more stickier...but with a little practice the dough can be shaped fast with only a little added flour on the peel!  Tonight I wanted a thin, crispy crust with extra's,...I used the AP flour dough balls out of my freezer.   I love the tomato sauce with the spices, herbs, garlic, several cheese blends, fresh garden basil, EVOO and sausage on this one pictured..the other 2 were devoured to fast to get photos.  I went pretty heavy on all the toppings and still got a great crust that stood up, crispy, crunchy and very tastey.  Also this dough was frozen and thawed.  Another plus for convenience!  One thing I do to assure the crust stays crispy is to always place it either on a paper bags are great...or saved cardboard.  I place the bag on top of a cutting board and then is served on paper plates...another plus for cleanup time..  If you put your pizza onto a pizza pan or a plate your going to get a soggy crust real fast.  The crust has a fantastic flavor!

Baked at 550F on 1 hour pre-heated stones indoor convection oven

Lot's of thick tomato sauce under the cheeses,  and carmelized on top of the bubbles!

Thin, Crispy, Crunchy enough to hold that piece of sausage and cheese on the tip without folding under...nice crispy, crunchy, bubble in the crown!

The dough was stretched out thin enough to see through and the crown left a little thicker..placed directly onto a lightly floured paddle after being shaped between my two palms and flipped back and forth over my wrists and gently stretched in my hands and topped and slid onto the stone and baked about 6 minutes.



bakermomof4's picture

Winco Foods - the flours in the bulk section

I have been shopping at Winco in the bulk section and noticed that they carry -

Whole Wheat Flour and Whole Wheat Bread Flour among many other flours. This got me wondering what exactly the difference was because had not heard of a Whole Wheat Bread Flour. Last time I was there the guy working in that department told me that if I wanted to buy a full bag next time call 2 days before shopping and they will set aside for me. So today I called and talk to them and asked them about some of their flours and this is what he told me:

Whole Wheat Flour - ADM Milling - not sure what one it is from their list

Whole Wheat Bread Flour  item #1748 - Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour item #1731 - Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Bread Flour - ADM Milling Atlas Flour (which their website says is First                    Clear Bakers Flour 14.5%

All Purpose Flour - ADM Milling, I believe it is the one they call ADM H&R 10.25%

Dark Rye Flour - Bob's Red Mill

He also told me that the if we want a full bag - the Bob's Red Mill comes in 25 lb and will receive 5% off the price for full bag purchase. The ADM flours are 50 lb bags and the price is the same as if buying by the pound in bulk section - just more convenient if using large amounts.

Has anyone used the ADM flours?


wutan's picture

Russian Super Culture


As much as I care about the women who shares my kitchen she has tested the bonds of our relationship like nothing in the past twenty years. One morning while waiting for coffee she nonchalantly stated that she threw out the slimy, white stuff in the fridge.  I said what?....she said.... you know the stuff in the container with the orange lid?..... I said.... my sourdough mother that I've kept alive for over year that provides your morning toast? She said oops.... I guess I should have asked you. To say the least "woe was me" and (wife) was sentenced to two weeks of store bought bread.

After recovering from the loss of my old friend  I purchased a Russian culture from Sourdoughs International and built up a new mother. The new stuff is quick and while it produces adequate SD bread it proofs so fast that my baking habits needed adjustment. With my old yeasty friend first build was usually 3-6 hours (85 F) with the second at 12 hours (75F) and the final at 2-3 (80F) hours. I know the times are off but my loaves were nicely proofed had awesome oven spring were golden brown tasty and sour. The new Russian culture is now heading into hooch at 12 hours, I tossed the first batch and tried a second which proofed the same way. With all that said is anyone using a Russian culture from SDI and what are your results??  The culture also has a very unique SD aroma which is nothing like my little friend from last year. Could anyone using the SDI Russian culture please share their experience with it..



gothicgirl's picture

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread

Posted on 5/26/09 at

Do you impulse buy?

 Chipotle Gouda Cornbread

I do.   My impulse buys are most often food related.  Last week I discovered a really great local cheese shop in Dallas and I could not help but go in and shop.  I got some terribly expensive, and very tasty, sea salt caramels, some disappointing dark chocolate, and two superb cheeses.  One was a sharp cheddar made in Texas, and the other was a raw milk Gouda, also made in Texas.

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread 

The cheddar has been easy to use in sandwiches, egg dishes and such.  The Gouda was different.  I had picked it on impulse with no plan for it.  So, I had a think and decided to add it to some cornbread along with some extra spices, and some left over buttermilk.

 Chipotle Gouda Cornbread 

The texture is soft and creamy, there is a slight smokey flavor followed by a gentle spice, and it is some of the best cornbread I have ever had.

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread  Yield 18 muffins or 1 - 9″ round loaf

5 oz all-purpose Flour
5 oz corm meal
1 1/2 oz sugar
.5 oz baking powder
.75 oz non-fat dry milk
4 oz Gouda cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dry chipotle powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 egg, beaten
9 oz buttermilk
.5 oz honey or corn syrup
6 oz butter, melted

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 12-cup muffin pan, or a 9″ cake pan, with non-stick spray.

 Chipotle Gouda Cornbread Chipotle Gouda Cornbread

In a large bowl mix the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, non-fat dry milk, and spices until well combined.  Add the cheese and stir to combine.

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread 

In a separate bowl mix the egg, milk, honey or corn syrup, and butter. 

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread 

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the went into it.  Fold the mixture gently, mixing until the dry ingredients are just moist.  Do not over-mix.

Scoop into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup half way with batter, or pour the patter into the prepared cake pan.

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread 

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes for muffins, or 25 to 30 for the cake pan.

    Chipotle Gouda Cornbread 

Allow to cool in the pan for 3 minutes before turning out of the pan.

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread

Serve immediately.

Chipotle Gouda Cornbread


davidg618's picture

"Adjusting" sourdough starter

Last week's result

Yesterday's result

Using Daniel DiMuzio's guidance, both from his latest book "bread baking, An Artisan's Perspective", and following his posting here on TFL,  I've been working with two different sourdough starters,from different sources. One contributes flavor much to our tastes for sourness, but disappointing in proofing times, and lacking in oven spring, and a second starter that has been phenomenal in yeast activity, i.e., proofing and oven spring, but dissapointing in our preferred sourness. Both starters are maintained in the refrigerator at 100% hydration.

Last week, using Daniel DiMuzio's pain au levain formula with firm levain (480g ripe firm levain, 700g total flour, 68% hydration) I built my firm levain at room temperature (76°F) from the first sourdough starter with three builds, spaced approximately 8 hours apart, gradually increasing the mass three times each build, and, simutaneously, reducing its hydration by one-third each build. DiMuzio's formula calls for a pre-ferment 60% hydration, I chose to match the dough target hydration, 68%, because I wanted to keep the build as wet as possible during its ripening hopefully favoring yeast development. I visually checked its progress and fed it its scheduled builds based on observable peaks; nevertheless, the build interval was nearly eight hours each time.

Expect for using all white flour, I followed Dan DiMuzio's formula exactly. I mixed the dough in my stand mixer for five minutes, allowed it to rest 30 minutes, and bulk fremented it with three stretch and folds spaced at 45 minute intervals. Doubling took approximately, three hours after the final stretch and fold. I shaped two boules (one 1-1/2 lb, one 2 lb); proofing took 2 and 1/2 hour. I baked the loave at 480°F, covered, with steam, for the first ten minutes, reduced the oven temperature to 450°F, uncovered the loaves and baked for another fifteen minutes until internal temperature was 206°-208°F.

The results were very gratifying. The proof times were nominal, compared to most sourdough recipes I've read or tried, and the oven spring was adequate, attested by first photo. I didn't get a photo of the crumb; it was close but light and airy, not dense; and the flavor was delightful to our palletes.

For three days immediately prior to yesterday I've been caring for a firm levain, built from the second starter (great yeast activity, disappointing sourness). Starting with 50g of seed starter, I added sufficient flour to immediately reduce its hydration to 65%, subsequently I fed it, approximately, every eight hours, maintaining its 65% hydration, ending early yeasterday morning with 480g of ripe firm levain. My goal, of course, had been to favor bacterial growth, as Dan suggests, over the extended build period.

I made the dough, shaped and baked the loaves as identically as possible to the first starter test. Proof times were, as expected shorter: 2 hours, and 1 and 1/2 hours respectively.

The results were equally gratifying, The levain retained its previous yeast activity, and the level of sourness we hoped for was achieved. The crumb is nearly identical (perhaps a little more open) compared to the first starter's loaves. The first two loaves are history, so I couldn't do a side by side comparison.

For sourdough, I'm satisfied, for now, with the three step build (increase/decrease by thirds from seed mass and hydration) I'm using, so I don't think I'll do anything with the first starter. On the other hand, I'm considering ways to improve the second starter's bacterial contribution to flavor, but ultimately regain its maintenance hydration, and the ability to build a ripe levain in one day. I suppose the most obvious thing is repeat the three day firm levain build, and then use my twenty-four hour three-build modification back to maintenance hydration. Waiting is...

dmsnyder's picture

Pizza made with Pat's baguette dough

Last night, I refreshed a liquid levain with the intension of baking a batch of Pat's (proth5) baguettes today. I made a slightly higher hydration dough with Giusto's Baker's Choice flour and 10% KAF White Whole Wheat.

This morning, I mixed the dough, did the autolyse, stretched and folded, and put the dough in a bowl to bulk ferment. After the first folding, my wife and I dashed out to run a couple errands. As we drove, we discussed dinner and decided we felt like pizza.

Sooo ... Pat's baguettes turned into the best pizza crust I've yet made. It was so good! It stretched beautifully thin without tearing and baked up crisp with a chewy crumb. The bottom was cracker-thin and crisp. The slight sourdough tang in the very flavorful crust was lovely.

I finally mastered "more is not better" with the toppings: a very thin film of the sauce in Floyd's "Pizza Primer" with a little fresh mozzarella and quite a lot of mushrooms. A sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan. The photos were taken before I added some leaves from our basel plant.

I also made one pie without mushrooms. It was also yummy.

Pat's formula can be found here:


dmsnyder's picture

I'm nuts about San Francisco Sourdough from "Crust&Crumb."

Peter Reinhart's recipe for San Francisco Sourdough Bread in "Crust&Crumb" is one I keep coming back to. I have enjoyed many French-style levains with a more subtle sourness, but I still prefer the assertively sour San Francisco-style Sourdough. Reinhart's formula in C&C is the one with which he won the James Beard Award, and it is a winner in my book too.

I generally make three 1.5 lb boules from this formula, but I had wanted to make a sourdough walnut bread again for quite a while. So, I made two of my usual boules and one batârd with walnuts. The walnuts were lightly toasted (15 minutes at 350F) and kneaded into 1.5 lbs of the mixed dough before bulk fermentation. 

I think this bread has the most beautiful crust! Can't you just hear the crunch when you imagine biting into a slice?

And for the crumb aficionados ...

The crumb is not as open as usual. Maybe the white whole wheat (10%) was thirstier than I thought.


Nomadcruiser53's picture

Fried chicken and Cornbread.



Cornbread's not much to brag about, but it sure tastes good. Done in a cast iron skillet with bacon, onions, corn and cheese.

summerbaker's picture

Peach Pie

Okay, I'm going to admit it.....  I'm just about the only one in my family with a sweet tooth!  One of my grandmothers had one but unfortunately she is no longer with us.  I realized that I was the sole family member left to carry her torch as I gradually noticed that I was the one who always got nominated to make desserts for our family gatherings.  It's not that I'm some kind of pastry chef, I'm just the only one who really enjoys making desserts.  So this is how I will preface yet another post from me in the "sweets" forum.

I got the recipe for Summer Fruit Pie from the CI Best Recipe book, and I have made it with various fruits many times.  In this instance I used the excuse that I had received fresh peaches from my parents who had picked them from a peach farm here in North FL.   After DH and I ate our fill of raw ones, I put the rest in this pie:

This is a very easy and satisfying crust for which the food processor does most of the mixing.