The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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moxiemolly's picture

Day 35, Floyd's Blueberry Braids, WOW!

Wow, I made Floyd's blueberry and cream cheese braids today (started them yesterday) and they are AMAZING! I did one by the book and made the other with a smear of the cream cheese filling sprinkled with chocolate chips, YUMMY! In case you haven't come across his post here is a link:

I highly recommend trying it. One note, my oven cooks a little fast because it has a convection option so this bread only needed about 25 minutes. Here are some pictures of the process:

The braids before going into the oven, the large one is blueberry:


The braids right out of the oven, it was really hard to wait 30 mins before cutting:


A close up of the delight:



A slice of blueberry heaven:


And a shot of chocolate loveliness:



Thanks Floyd!

trenz's picture

Italian Baking Secrets / The Italian Baker

Hi, I am new to baking and have been reading this site while deciding which couple of books to buy.( awesome site by the way ) I have read the threads  about recommendations and have a question. I can not find The Italian Baker in the bookstore and my librarys copy is lost. I wanted to take a look before purchasing and came across a book called Italian Baking Secrets by Father Giuseppe Orsini. This one I can get at my library. Here are quotes from two of the amazon reviews

This book appears to be very closely related to 'The Italian Baker' copyright 1985 by Carol Field. In fact this may essentially be a "new edition" of that quarter century old book(?) The overall length is reduced, apparently by omitting some of the most obscure material and replacing or substantially rewriting chunks of the rest. Yet the similarities are huge. At least pages 18-55 are reprinted word for word (in the process changing the anecdotal "I" from a she to a he). And the table of contents is almost the same. I wish I knew more about the relationship between the two books and between the two authors so I could better compare the highs and lows.

I guess I didn't need this book because I already own Carol Fields' 1985 "The Italian Baker." I don't know if the joke's on me, but huge portions of this book (including the personal anecdotes) are copied verbatim from that volume. What the heck? To be fair, the recipes are excellent, especially the regional and rustic breads - I'm just not sure this guy should get the credit.

Does anyone know anything about this book? Is it even worth checking out of the library or is it no good?





hutchndi's picture

Coconut Buckwheat Injera or Pancakes

I was making my wife some special pancakes this morning that are gluten free - egg free and dairy free (she is allergic to all) and the recipe I am always using and tweeking got much better. I usually have to use soy or rice milk in place of dairy milk, but this time I tried canned coconut milk. This worked really well and I also thinned the recipe and made a very nice injera type flat bread at the end. I wanted to share it with anybody that might want to try it, or give suggestions. I do add fruit sometimes, but am always working on getting the consistancy and flavor best before masking it with those additions. I usually make the following double batch so that she can have some ready made for later in the week.

3 cups buckwheat flour

2 cups coconut milk

2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp baking powder

3 tsp sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

4 flax egg substitutes (each = 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons boiling water, let sit for a few minutes till gooey)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

enough water for runny pancake batter

ladle a scoop of batter onto medium hot lightly greased skillet.  When the batter stopps bubbling but is still steaming, flip


For a nice injera type flat bread or roll up, add more water to the batter so that it can spread out nice and thin. Cook on one side until the top is dry to touch. Don't flip, injera only gets cooked on one side, this leaves the other side flexible for rolling. There will be alot of bubble holes and be nice and soft inside.

Russ from RI



jacobsbrook's picture

Another "version" of the Rubaud Miche :)

Thank you Shiao-Ping for sharing your wonderful skills as both a baker and a true artist!  Also thanks to MC for sharing with the "inspiring" story from Vermont.  After reading the blogs from Shiao-Ping and Farine I decided why not try???  Maybe the flavor will be what I am seeking. 

I followed as best as I could the formula that Shiao-Ping described, with only timing and my lacking a standmixer being an issue.  Therefore I used an autolyse of the flour, water, and starter, minus the salt for 30 minutes.  Then 6 stretch and folds one every 30 minutes.  After pre-shape and shaping, the dough was placed into the couche  and off to the fridge.  It remained in the refrigerator close to 14 hours.  In the morning the the cold dough went directly into the pre-heated oven at 500F with steam for the first 15 minutes and dropped to 450F for the remaining bake.  I am happy with the resulting loaves.  The flavor is mild and light and I agree with others that the resulting loaves are surprisingly light. The best description I can think of is "YUM". 

I cannot wait to see how they "age".  As usual my scoring leaves much to be desired, but you can't see that when it is sliced for a sandwich.  :)  

Once again thank you to the Artisans of TFL.

Best regards and well wishes.


Agamemnonsmom's picture

When to freeze dough?

I am making the french bread recipe here and need to know if I should cook both loaves and then freeze one. Or can I freeze a shaped loaf (not risen for the final time) and cook another day.  Two loaves will be too many for my small family.


Thank you so much!




Here's the recipe if it matters:



1 cup water
1 cup bread or all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

All of the preferment
5 cups bread or all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon malt syrup, malt powder, brown sugar, or sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water


To start the preferment, mix together the flour, water, and yeast in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave out at room temperature for at least 4 hours and as long as 16 hours.

To make the dough, mix together the preferment, water, olive oil, yeast, salt, malt powder, and dry milk in a bowl with 2 more cups of flour. Mix thoroughly. Mix or knead in the rest of the flour a half a cup as a time until you have a slack dough but one that is no longer sticky. Total mixing time should be in the ballpark of 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the dough in a well-greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature until at least 2 times in size, approximately 2 hours. Punch the dough down and let it rise again for half an hour.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it in half. Shape the dough into a ball or log, cover with a damp towel, and allow it to relax for another 20 minutes.

Shape the dough into its final shape. Cover again and allow to rise for another hour until doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven and baking stone, if you are using one, to 425 degrees.

Right before placing the loaves in the oven brush or spray them lightly with water. Place them into the oven and bake for 20 minutes before rotating them. Bake them another 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the loaf reads 200 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least a half an hour before serving.


cognitivefun's picture

I don't bother to refresh anymore

Storing my starter in the fridge. I just take it out, take half of it and use it to start my loaf, add flour and water and put back in the fridge.

No waste.

Seems to be fine without feeding, "activating"...

Lindley's picture

Freeze ahead of time


I ended up with quite a bit of discard (1-2 weeks old), and want to make something with it that I could freeze now and bake later. I was thinking Banana Bread, Bagels (freeze after boiling), Pizza crusts, and Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Hamburger Buns. Will these work? Any other ideas are welcome :) Oh, by the way, can I freeze onion rings in batter? Thanks!

LindaLou's picture


Hi my name is Linda and I am new to this. I have been cooking and baking for years. But I real never got into the bread baking part of it. I now have the time my kids have moved out. I love this site I check on this site every day. My question is what are the best books for me to buy? Also what tools do I need to get started?

 Thanks for your help


tteddy's picture

my whole wheat is two heavy

I am fairly new to making bread and enjoying it but I haven't quite got it perfected. I would like to be able to replace store bought sandwich bread with home made. my last attempt was using the whole wheat sourdough recipe in the handbook section. It taste vary good but is a little to dense and the crumb is very tight. What is causing this and how can I fix it. I let it rise then retarded it over night before the final rise. any suggestions?  tried to post a pic but cant get it to work.


Salaheldin's picture

Bread with raisins

Here is my first bread with raisins.



300 gm AP flour

50 gm semolina

1 egg

4 tbsp sugar

pinch salt

200 gm water

50 gm butter

1 tbsp instant yeast

handful raisins


step one:


soak raisins in warn water for 30 minuits and drain it before putting it in the dough.


step two:


combine all ingredients in mixer, leave the salt out till the yeast is mixed with flour then add salt.


step three:


after 5 minuits mixing add raisins.


step four:


mix 12 minuits, if dough is very smooth add flour carefully till it is all attached to the hook. don't add much flour, this dough should be 70% moisture.


step five:


get it our of mixer and put it in a place to rise till at least doubled in size.


step six:

put it on bench upside down and make the hamelman fold or anyother folding you do best.


step seven:


shape the dough and let it rise till at least double in size then brush with egg wash and bake for 35 minuits on 230 degrees. you can bake for more but reduce temperature to 200 (this will make harder crust).


see photos and give me your opinions my friends.





Good porosity



thats another loaf