The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Cooking202's picture

Soft Breadsticks

If at first you don't succeed, as the old saying goes, try, try again.  I made soft breadsticks last week with all-purpose flour and they turned out great.  Today, I tried with wholewheat 2 1/2 cups and all-purpose 1 cup.  I think I should have let the wheat flour soak for a while because it didn't absorb the water the way the all-purposed did, and I was afraid to add too much more flour.  It's in the pan rising (I hope) at the moment,  Is my thinking off base, or should I do a soaker?  Thanks. 


Berti's picture

Sourdough in breadmachine???

A friend of mine has an allergy and she has been baking her own irish soda loaves for a few months. She thinks though that using a breadmachine would save her time and is looking to buy one. She asked me for advice, on using sourdough in the breadmachine (which i would be providing). My first thoughts on this is that it is known to be hard to use sourdough ONLY (no yeast etc) in the breadmachine and that she would be better off doing quickbreads with baking soda.

What are YOUR experiences? I have no breadmachine and prefer to make dough by hand anyways.....

Thanks and greetings


xaipete's picture

DiMuzio's Baguettes with Liquid Levain

These baguettes turned out surprisingly well in spite of a number of recipe mishaps--I improperly jury-rigged some ripe firm levain into an instant liquid levain, made two large loaves instead of three smaller, and left the oven at 500º. The crumb was somewhat open and had a nice buttery flavor, but the loaves lacked a crispy crust owing to their too high and brief bake. I really owe this one another try before deciding on its merits!

dimuzio french baguette


dimuzio french baguette

450 g KA AP flour

290 g water

10 g salt

3.5 g instant yeast

100 g liquid levain

Put together in the usual fashion.



rainwater's picture

Semolina flour???

What is Semolina flour exactly?  I just bought some.  I know it's used for pasta.  I know the Bread Baker's Apprentice has some recipes using Semolina. 

Fresh pasta question?  All the recipes for fresh pasta use eggs for fresh pasta.....but, the ingredients all the different brands of italian pasta just use semolina and water......anyone know anything about fresh pasta, using eggs, not using eggs????

I was thinking Semolina might make better gnocci than regular flour???

Janknitz's picture

A Question and a Story

Question First:  Will Stretch and fold work for pretty much any dough, or do some doughs absolutely require kneading?  

I'm not talking about things like laminated doughs (i.e. croissants) but basic lean and enriched bread doughs?

Now the Story:

I posted already about my experiments adding my new wild yeast culture sourdough to KA's multigrain loaf recipe to lighten the crumb and extend the shelf life.   Following Dan Lepard's suggestion, I calculated the total flour weight an added 30% of that weight in sourdough starter to the dough.

My first try was a disaster, but all my fault.  It made the usually dry dough very wet and sticky in my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I did what I knew was a mistake even as I was doing it-- I added flour, and added and added, and added flour, until it came clean from the sides of the bowl.  I probably added 3 or 4 cups of flour and what I got was this very dense, hard, dry loaf.  DUH!  

So when I tried again, I was determined not to add additional flour.  I mixed it up and kneaded it in the KA mixer for about 6 minutes, then put the sticky mass onto my marble board.  I used stretch and fold techniques and the teeniest bit (really about 1 tsp) of flour to ball the thing up.  After the first rise, I stretched and folded the much tamer dough again before putting it in my loaf pan.

I got a lovely, light loaf.  It still has a dense crumb but that is to be expected with all of the ingredients, but it tastes moist and light and delicious.  Now we will see how the shelf life is.

If stretch and fold can handle that sticky mass, it seems to me it can handle anything.  Hence my question.  What do you think?

par's picture

dough skills

Some decent dough skills..



Mommy_of_7's picture

sourdough bread in bread pan


I'm new to this type of baking and this forum so forgive me if this is a stupid question. I have regual sourdough and herman sourdough and I'm interested in incorporating these into my regular recipes/baking. Also, I would love hints/directions/recipes on making sandwhich bread in a bread pan. I can not find anything. I have no idea what the difference is between knead/no knead recipes for bread. Can anybody help me? Also, I have no idea how I will know if somebody answeres this. LOL!!

Thanks in advance,


par's picture

Hi From Lithuania, Kaunas

Hi Bakers, Greetings from Lithuania - nice to find such a great community gathering around such an exciting topic. We'll make some fabulous bread! Best Regards, Par

Michael 2003's picture
Michael 2003

Bread baking classes?

I live in in Shorewood, just west of the Joliet IL, and have been looking for a bread baking class that is somewhat local to me and have had no success. There's Joliet Junior College but they only offer a basic cooking classes for those looking to go into the hospitality field for work. There are culinary institutes in the area but it's like taking an engineering class to learn how to change a tire, and the experience is out of the question for this one little thing! I even tried chatting up the local bakers, and the Whole foods baker in Naperville is a real baker from flour and yeast to finished product, but I had no success. Perhaps she thought I was attempting to steal her secrets? All I want is to get the basics down and get me going in the right direction. Anyone out here experienced and interested in tutoring?

Janknitz's picture

Thrift STore Find

Our local Goodwill had a half off sale today and look what I got for $1.49 (regular price $2.99)!

I've been complaining of having difficulty cutting my loaves evenly, so I hope this will help.  It needs some cleaning up--I will probably sand it with some fine sand paper because it feels kind of "greasy" .

I have had some good luck at thrift stores lately.  I got my "Apple Baker" cloche for $3.99 and today this.  Yay!