The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Eran's picture

Yeast and health


I have just stopped following an alkaline diet which banns yeast consumption. My reasons for stopping were the lack of science behind the approach. However, some things remained with me, like the sugar free part of the diet.

However, for a couple of years now I've been suffering from repeating skin rashes on my legs, which improved dramatically while following the diet. I am obviouly not interested in reversing that process. I have been told that yeast (which feeds on sugar) is not highly recommended untill symptoms are gone.

After reading a few posts here, it seems like some people here are quite educated about the different types of yeast and bateria, and might be able to give me some sound answers.

So I wanted to know:

  1. Will sourdough be better for me?

  2. Is unleavend bread the best?

  3. What about baking powder or self rising flour?

Thank you very much!



dmsnyder's picture

My first Épi de Blé

This was my first attempt at an "épi de blé," or "sheaf of wheat" shape. I made it with Anis Bouabsa's baguette dough. 

Épi de Blé



Janknitz's picture

A Day in the Life of Bread in History


As a knitter, I stand in awe of the work that went into a simple set of clothes in the past-I'm talking about a time before you could walk into the nearest store and buy a ready-made article of clothing, and even before someone of modest means could buy cloth to make her own clothing.  A time when getting a new dress meant first shearing the sheep or harvesting the flax, then spinning the thread, weaving the cloth, and finally sewing the garment-weeks, months, perhaps almost a year, just for a new dress.    

 I have the same sense of admiration and curiosity about bread and how much work it took to produce that daily loaf to feed a family the days before you could buy a 5 lb sack of flour at the supermarket, yeast in packets, and bake it in an electric or gas oven.  Or run to the corner store to buy a loaf (which I know was more possible in the 1800's in most cities, but perhaps not in rural locales). 

 So I'm calling on anyone with an interest in history (an historical re-enactor, perhaps, SCA member, etc.), who has listened to their grandparents' stories, or who has researched this and can tell about a day in the life of bread for a particular time in history and locale (your choice of time and place).

 Here's some of the things I'm curious about:

1.  Approximate time (i.e. 1840's, 1700's, etc.)

2.  Place (if it's an unfamiliar locale, please describe i.e. in the country or a place of commerce, terrain, climate, etc.)

3.  Source of grain (i.e. can most people in that time and place afford to buy milled flour or whole grain or do they have to grow their own?  Where does it come from and how does it get to the consumer?)

4.   Types of grain common to the locale and time.

5.  Source of leavening and how the leavening source is perpetuated. 

6.  Type or types of bread commonly produced.

7.  Describe what type of mixing and  baking vessels might have been used, if any.

8.  How is that bread baked?  What is the source of the heat for baking?    

9.  Describe a "day in the life of bread"-in other words, the baker's day (or days) producing that loaf??? 

10.  Finally, care to speculate how that baker managed time to bake and also get everything ELSE done without modern conveniences? 

I hope this will be a fun and enlightening thread. 

calliekoch's picture

Great Sourdough Article in The Independent (UK)

I came across this article today. It has good history and basics of sourdough:

dausone's picture

Refreshing and storing Reinhart's barm sponge starter

Ahoy! So here it is, my first post here on tfl and it coincides with my first attempt at sourdough, which is no surprise, so please forgive the naivete.


I have a couple of questions regarding the refresh and storing periods of Reinhart's sourdough barm sponge on pages 74 and 75 of Crust and Crumb. Reinhart instructs that you feed your barm every 2 days and he also says that just after feeding the starter you let it ferment at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours, depending on climate, then refrigerate overnight before building it into dough. But if I am not going to be building dough for a few days do I just leave the starter in the fridge and take it out in 2 days for my refresh, again letting it ferment at room temperature? If so, do I have to let the starter come to room temperature before feeding or can I just feed straight out of the fridge?


I know the answers are probably right in front of me but I would feel a lot more confident going into this with some concrete yes or no's from those who have mastered this process. Wish me luck and thanks for the comments and suggestions in advance!



Let This Night Explode's picture
Let This Night ...

Steam-injection for a Conventional Home Ovens

Steam-injection for a Conventional Ovens.

Finding yourself a piece of red clay quarry tile is one leap toward great bread - but what about the steam necessary for the beautiful crust?  have any of you professional bakers found cheap (or every moderately costly) meathods of converting Aunt Ann's oven into a aristan bread factoy?  I'm a professional baker and have been for a number of years, so this is a power I know how to use and use well. 

I'm trying to find a way to bring those great products home with me


LindyD's picture

Is your sourdough starter old and ugly?

You could always try this.

Courtesy of PJ Hamel and King Arthur Flour.

fsu1mikeg's picture

Bought some Italian flour--Now What?

I wasn't planning on it, but I just happened to come across some important doppio zero flour at the farmer's market.  At $1.69 for a 1000g bag, I thought what the heck.  I have yet to open the bag, but I know from reading about doppio zero flours that it's very finely milled and not very high in protein.  The bag seems to indicate it's good for cake, bread, and pasta.  I am only interested in using it for bread or pizza crust.  What I am unsure of is how to utilize this flour in a bread recipe.  Does it need to be mixed with a strong bread flour to produce decent bread?  Or is to be used as it is?  The brand is something like Delvededre; the four description is farina granaro tenero (sorry if I butchered that, but I'm going by memory).





ques2008's picture

oh no, not another one!

Hi Folks,

You guys have seen this many times over and I was hesitant to post it, but I really wanted to acknowledge the generous spirit of TRAILRUNNER and MARNI who were kind enough to give me the link on how to make a woven round challah.  This was like a month ago and I finally got around to doing it last Good Friday.  I was quite nervous at first, and the instructions given on the site were rather confusing but I managed to get it right on the second try.  I'll have to do it soon again lest I forget the technique.

I followed the technique posted by Tamar Ansh on chabad dot org, but I took the recipe from triple w sugarlaws dot com for her braided bread recipe.  I find that her recipe seems to have the right proportions because the dough just comes together beautifully.  I've come across recipes where I had to over-knead or underknead but hers was the ideal mix.

So trailrunner (Caroline) and Marni, you did ask for photos, so here it is!

round woven challah


ermabom's picture

How much dough in a pullman pan

I just got a 13x4x4 pullman pan. I made the recipe from KA and it filled the pan perfectly. Unfortunately, I didn't weigh the dough before I put it in. I just tried 23 oz of dough and I don't think it is going to fill the pan. Instead of trial and error, I was wondering if anyone knew what weight of dough is ideal for this pan.