The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture

Free Dan Lepard baking guide in The Guardian (UK) on Saturday

A heads up for anyone in the UK: On Saturday, November 24th the editors at The Guardian are giving away a 100-page detailed baking guide edited by Dan Lepard. A sneak peek at it is available over in his forums:

This looks well worth picking up.

psmeers's picture

Buttery Egg Bread recipe found (just in time for T-giving)


 Thanks for your help on this topic.  I searched all over the web, and nobody even on this impressive site had the recipe I was looking for.  Fortunately, a family member found an old copy of this spectacular, no-knead, crusty bread.  Always a hit w. my people on special occasions.  Anyone who would like to substitute more specific measurements (like 'stick of butter'), please do!

 Monkey Bread (so-called by the friend of my mother who gave her the recipe circa '68)

3/4 stick butter
1 pkg yeast dissolved in water (half cup)
1/4 cup sugar
3 c flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt

Add half flour to all other ingredients; mix and let rise one to two hours; beat down adn add remaining flour; put batter in fridge; grease top w. melted butter and cover and let stay in fridge; two hours before serving take out of fridge; drop by spoonfuls into two well buttered pans; melt one stick of butter and pour evenly over bread in pans; let rise two hours and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Bart's picture

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut bread

I know that this one is posted before, but this is the first loaf I made from the Peter Reinhart book and it was a real pleasure!  The taste is also great!  I never had a slice of bread that had cinnamon in it.  I once did eat a cinnamon roll while on a trip in the States.  Over here in Belgium I have never seen this kind of bread.  Usually over here they put cinnamon in cookies (speculaas, which you all should try!) But like I said, I never had it over here.  If it exists I have no knowledge about it.

So I hope you guys enjoy the pics.  I just enjoyed several slices ;-)


Floydm's picture

Apple Galettes

Browndog's apple post reminded me that apple season is drawing to a close.

Before it was wine country, Sonoma County, where I grew up, was apple country. This is a recipe from a cookbook I have about Sonoma county cooking.

Apple Galettes
(makes 4-6 pastries)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold water

1 pound tart apples
4 teaspoons flour
4 teaspoons plus 4 tablespoons sugar
4 pinches ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

To make the dough: Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or a couple of forks. Add enough water for the dough to come together and form a ball. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.

To prepare the dough to fill: Divide the dough into 4 to 6 balls. Roll each ball out into a very thin circle.

Note: keep the dough cold if you want a flaky crust! As soon as I had them rolled out I threw them back into the fridge. I pulled them out of the fridge two at a time, assembled them, and threw them into the oven in stages.

apple galette

To assemble and bake: Preheat your oven to 400. Peel and core an apple and slice it into small slices. Put approximately 1 teaspoon flour and 1 teaspoon sugar on a piece of dough.

apple galette

Top with apple slices.

apple galette

Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top of the apples.

apple galette

Fold up the edges to make a little packet.

apple galette

Sprinkle a little more sugar on top. The cookbook also recommends brushing with melted butter, though I skipped this step.

Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes until the dough begins to brown and the apples appear cooked.

apple galette

Hmmm... Well, I could have pinched the dough closed a little tighter, but they tasted great. They are best while still warm and topped with a little vanilla ice cream.

okieinalaska's picture

Aunt Bert's Cinnamon Rolls

Aunt Bert's Cinnamon Roll's

Aunt Bert's Cinnamon Roll's

 Scald 1 Cup milk, add:

      5 Tbsp. Sugar

      1 TBsp. Salt

Mix - then set aside to cool.

Dissolve 2 ½ tsp. dry yeast and 1/8 tsp. ground ginger in 1 cup luke-warm to medium warm water. Yeast should start to bubble a little in about 15 minutes.

Put milk mixture in large bowl and let it cool before adding yeast mixture.

Add 3 cups of flour, (I always use Gold Medal All Purpose) beating good. Then add 6 Tbsp Wesson oil (or any kind of liquid shortening). Add rest of flour (about 3 Cups).

Raise once. Punch down dough, cover with bowl and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes.

Lightly dust your counter top with flour. Roll dough into rectangle and brush the top with melted butter,  add  the filling.  Roll the rectangle up and cut 1" slices. I don't usually measure the filling, I just go by feel but below is a low end estimate you should probably double it. 

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tbs ground cinnamon

 I take my huge 17x12x3 pan and spray it with Pam, then line it with parchment paper (the Pam helps keep the paper from curling up and also gets the spots the paper doesn't cover). Then I melt approx. 1/4 cup of butter (more or less) and pour it in the bottom of the pan.  Then I take cook and serve butterscotch pudding powder (DO NOT USE THE INSTANT KIND!) and sprinkly some very lightly over the butter.  (don't over do it, less is more) Place the cinnamon rolls in the pan approx. 1" apart; let rise again.  (typically this takes an hour for me) Bake at 350° until done in the middle. (30-45 minutes is how long it usually takes for me)

ICING:  Usually I take 1 pound box of powdered sugar and mix with 1/8 to 1/2 tsp of maple flavoring then add enough milk to make it runny enough to pour.  Sorry, again I don't measure usually.  Make it to the consistency you like.  After I take the rolls out of the oven, I let them cool 5 minutes then pour the icing over the top of all the rolls. I like to have them just barely iced, it keeps the tops soft and from feeling dry and adds a little kick with the maple.

This batch I accidently put  more icing on them than I usually do but they still taste dandy.  (and usually it's a little runnier too so it's more like a light glaze)  Some people like a cream cheese icing on them but not me. 

Makes approx. 20-24 rolls.  I have a huge 17x12x3 inch pan I always bake the entire batch in. It's by Chicago Metallic Professional.  These always come out perfectly done, not doughy.  I like that they have a little crunch to the crust.  You could make these of course in smaller pans and bake in several batches.  When I am giving these away I use those little square tinfoil pans and I think they held 5.  That was a nice size to give away to friends and neighbors.

I made these for a church potluck once before and I had people hunting me down to get the recipe.  I was asked to make these for the potluck tomorrow by several people after the last time I took a cheesecake and they still couldn't stop talking about the cinnamon rolls, LOL. 

Sorry I am not so good at writing directions.  I use this same basic dough recipe for cloverleaf rolls. I will be making some for THanksgiving and will post a pic then. : ) This recipe is supposed to be almost 100 years old (the dough recipe anyway) and is from my husband's Great Aunt Bert who they think got it from her Aunt or Mother. Don't know if it's true or not but it sounds good, LOL.

Amy in Alaska


ostwestwin's picture

Malt Bread

rideold's picture

Bakery in Spello, Umbria called Artiganale

We just got back from a trip to Italy (Spello in Umbria was our base) and as luck would have it there was a local bakery just outside our door that made fantastic bread in a wood fired oven. I wanted to take a tour and post some photos etc here but my Italian isn't good enough to do so. We ate plenty of their bread though. A batard of bread made with half farro was under $2 (about 1.20 euro). I came home with quite a taste for saltless bread as that is what most of it is there. I encountered the same thing a while back when I first went to Italy and wasn't terribly fond of it but this time I came to appreciate it quite a bit. I'd like to adjust some of my baking to make some similar loaves eventually. I know the rise times will be different but I'll work on that later. Anyway, wanted to share the fun of travel and discovering local places. If anyone out there is in Spello or passes through some time they are open from 7:30 to about 1 and are called Artiganale. They are on Via Guilia in the range of 40-70 (we were at #97 and they were down hill from us near a little markete).


Anybody been there?

ElaineW's picture

Seeking an Apple Cider Starter recipe


Today, while my grandchildren were visiting, I discovered that I have a gallon of apple cider that is no longer sweet cider. By the time the boys (2 1/2 and 6 1/2) left, I thought of consuming it but then again I thought of how could I use this to make a starter.  Since I do have a gallon of this stuff I have enough to play around with.

I was wondering, has anyone tried to make a starter using apple cider and flour?  If so, what amounts did you use and what type(s) of flour.

I am pretty new to this site but have been baking breads for about 40 years, sourdough for about 1 year and mostly just a rye sour.



redivyfarm's picture

All work (and a few pretzels)

Work has kept my bread making to a minimum the past few months. Visiting all of you at TFL this evening has me pulling the starters out of the fridge and shopping for food grade lye once again. With my family on the road I like to make pretzels just for me. I've been using a boiling water bath with baking soda but I used a link I found here for in Houston Texas and found that they will be offering free shipping November 19th - 23rd. The lye is 8.99 for 2# (the smallest quantity they offer) and regular shipping is 11.99 minimum. If I can wait, I'll avail myself of that window of opportunity, irresistable to internet shoppers, free shipping!

My favorite recipe I've adapted from one posted by the American HomeBrew Association. They require drinking a homebrew (can we substitute a microbrew?) both before and after the pretzel making steps.

4 1/2 tsp of saf-instant yeast

1 1/2 C warm water

2 T sugar

1 tsp salt

4 C high gluten flour

2 T powdered buttermilk

1 well beaten egg

Margarita salt

Preheat oven to 450. Cover a baking sheet with parchment and lightly spray with oil. Disolve yeast in warm water, add sugar. Mix salt, flour and buttermilk powder in the mixer or by hand. Add the liquid and mix for 5-10 minutes with the dough hook or knead by hand. Let dough rest and hydrate for about 10 minutes. I divide the dough roughly into six pieces and roll between my palms into a rope about 18" long. Form the pretzels and give the ends a little pasting down by dipping your fingertips in water and pinching the overlapping dough a bit. Disolve 4 tsp baking soda in 4 C water and bring to a boil. I use tongs to dip the pretzels, one at a time, into the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes turning once. Dry them a bit with paper towels as they come out of the water bath and arrange them on the oiled parchment. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes or until a deep brown. I've learned that darker is better to my taste.

I have experimented with using other bread doughs to make pretzels with mixed results. I think you need a fairly high protein formula and really active yeast to stand up to all the handling and the water bath. One of my pretzel recipes says that as good as pretzels are hot from the oven they are very bad cold and don't reheat well. I don't agree. I store cooled pretzels in a zip-lock and toast them one or two a day in my wide slot toaster. De-lish! The perfect bread-for-one.

dolfs's picture

First Epi and baguette

Today I decided it was time for a serious try at baguette and epi.

Baguette and EpiBaguette and Epi

I made a straightforward french dough (68% hydration) and did not knead, but used the stretch and fold approach, both to develop the dough, and part way through bulk fermentation. I made two demi-baguettes and one epi. Unlike all my previous baking, today I used the convection mode which gave a very even browning of the bread (also used baking stone and steam of course). The crust was crackling, which was also a first for me. Way cool to hear that. It all resulted in a very thin but crispy crust and a very tender inside with nice crumb and decent holes.

Baguette and Epi crumbBaguette and Epi crumb 



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures