The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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poindexter's picture

Butter and milk substitutes

Hi all.

Are there any substitues to butter and milk called for in bread recipes (for example - white sandwich bread)? I have a problem with dairy products, so I preffer not to include dairy products in my breads.




SDbaker's picture

Rye Flour Starter

Beginning of experiement, start of day 1:

Ok, I am following the basic BBA recipe using rye flower.  I did splurge on organic rye flour and bottled spring water hoping that might speed up the process.

 Day 1:  1 cup rye flour   

             3/4 cup water

Curious why the recipe calls for covering the mixture with plastic wrap.  Isn't part of the desired result capturing local yeasties?  Or, is it that the rye flour has such a high amount of natural wild yeast nothing more is needed and coving the mixutre helps keep out unwanted pathogens?

SD Baker.

Bart's picture

Muesli bread :

For those who asked me to translate, here it is.

Recipe :
250 grams white flour
250 grams whole wheat flour
150 grams water
20 grams yeast
8 grams salt
10 grams butter
200 grams muesli
130 grams water

Method :

Mix the flour and water and let it rest for about
30 minutes. After 10 minutes, soak the muesli
because otherwise it will make the dough to dry.
Add the rest of the water and yeast, mix.
Add the salt and butter.

Kneading is about 10 minutes. Cover it and
let it rest for 15 minutes.
Mix the muesli (after discarding the water)
in and let it rest 20 minutes.

Divide into pieces of 400 grams and shape round.
Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Make a long shape, roll it in wheat
and put it in a bake pan, cover with plastic.
Proof 60 minutes.
(I made this bread in a round shape..)

Bake :
220°C - 35 à 40 minuten.

I am sorry, this recipe is in the metric system.
I do not have the time to convert right now, but
I am sure you all have the tools to do this.

I am pretty sure I kinda made a bad translation,
if anyone has questions, please let me know.

KipperCat's picture

lard - healthier than shortening? how unhealthy?

This post is a bit off topic as it's really about nutritional quality of the ingredients rather than baking quality. 

A recent post on trans fats got me thinking about good ole lard.  I've never cooked or baked with it, but I understand it is available for purchase in many places now.  My addled brain says that it is in fact less of a health problem than the hydrogenated vegetable shortening which replaced it.

I cook and bake with butter - OK, sometimes way too much butter. From a nutrition standpoint is lard really any different?

Jamila's picture




  • 250 grams Fine Semolina Flour
  • 250 grams KA All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbs Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs Dry Active Yeast
  • 1/2 liter Warm Milk
  • 1/2 liter Warm Water
  • 1 tbs Sugar

  • 1 cup Butter or Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Honey

Traditionally Baghrir is 100% Semolina, and it's eaten in Morocco and Algeria. I find it too heavy with just Semolina so I use half flour. You can easily just omit the flour and use only Semolina.

Today I used melted butter and honey for the filling but often I use softened whipped Cream Cheese and a few tablespoons of Honey. I recommend making the filling first and letting it sit as you make the crepes.

Activate the yeast with the milk, water and sugar. When it's frothy, five or so minutes add the flour and semolina or just semolina and mix very well, until all lumps are gone and you have a smooth, soupy batter. Then let the batter sit covered until its frothy and full of bubbles, about 30 to 45 minutes.


Using a heavy skillet melt a teaspoon a little more or less of olive oil or butter (I always use butter) and when it's browned add one soup ladle of the batter to the center of the hot skillet and rotate the pan until the pan has batter spread evenly over it. This crepe is not like French crepes, it should have many holes throughout which means the pan needs to be fairly hot. As soon as you add your batter you will see the holes forming, it's quite pretty. Flip over when the underside is brown a minute or two then leave on the other side for about 30 seconds or so.

Add the filling and roll up!


saxlady's picture

All I get are bricks :(

All I want is to bake a healthy relatively light whole wheat bread that's not a brick!!  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I'm just trying very basic ingredients - this is my method (sorry I don't use percentages).

 1 Cup of Starter (Maintained with whole wheat and water), And adding 1 cup of water, and another cup of whole wheat flour.  I leave this out overnight with a teatowel over it and in the morning it is very frothy and bubbly - so far so good. 

Using a mixer I then add more flour, about 3 1/2 cups (although I have experimented with 2-4 cups, and added additional water) and a teaspoon of salt.  I then let the mixer knead it for about 10 minutes.  By this point it's normally looking like a nice dough, a bit sticky to touch, but coming away from the sides of the bowl (and when I added more flour it just gets too dry).

I then put a teatowel over it and let it rise - I have tried it at various temperatures (ie next to the heater, outside etc etc) and even tried letting it rise in the fridge overnight for a long time, and of course I have tried leaving it for various lengths of time - from a couple of hours, to nearly 24 hours.  Most of the time it seems to rise, and have some decent looking bubbles but it certainly hasn't doubled.

I then tip it out of the bowl and gently squash it down, and fold it.  I've tried folding a couple of times, leaving and then folding again, but it doesn't seem to make much difference.  I then shape it and put it in my bread machine for the final rise and to cook (I don't currently have an oven).  I've tried leaving it to rise and then just letting it cook in the machine, but mostly I set it to a couple of hours for rising and then an hour for cooking. 

Everytime, no matter what combination of rising times, temperatures etc I get a heavy brick. :(

Sometimes it seems like it's rising the second time, but when I get it out, it's a flop - yet again.

I'm getting rather despondant - I've been at it for about 2 months now, about 4 times a week.  Occasionally just for my husbands benefit I've made it with straight white flour (although still using the whole wheat starter) and it's risen beautifully and worked fine - which of course just depresses me even more - there must be a way to get it right.

I've tried a couple of recipes that I found here on previous posts, but with the same result - so it must be something I'm doing terribly wrong.  I grind my flour myself from organic wheat in my champion juicer (grinder) and I always use it freshly ground - I would have thought that would make it better - not worse!

Please - any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading

Auntie_Ai's picture

Help! My Apple Pie came out wet!

This is not about bread but I didn't know where to turn to.  I'm hoping someone from the friendly Fresh Loaf community can help. 

I made an Apple Pie today (first time) and the filling is sooooo wet!  I'm not sure what I did wrong.  Here's the filling recipe:


4lbs of apples (I used 25% Gala, 75% Fuji), cut up into qtrs then thirds

juice of 1/2 lemon sprinkled over the apples to keep them from browning

flour mixture: 

   3/4 C sugar 

   1/4 C all purpose flour

   1   tsp salt

   1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

      1/2 tsp ground nutmet

      1/8 tsp grd allspice


I mixed all the ingredients for the flour mixture then sprinkled it over the apples before putting it into the crust.  I baked the pie at 400F for 1hr and 10minutes. 

Flour Girl's picture
Flour Girl

yucky look on starter

OK, I'm a newbie to creating a starter but have years ago successfully used a starter that I received.  I have a whole wheater starter going....fed it and today it had a pinkish slug on it and it smell a little other words wasn't a pleasant smell.  Question - should I start over making a new batch since I stirred this one and it make have gone bad.  I hope this makes sense.  It did a few days ago double in bulk.  But that pinkish slug made me wonder if it had gotten too hot in the kitchen since my A/C was off. 

After stirring it down, I put it in the refrigerator.  I did take it out after 2 hours to smell it smells much better but I was wondering about the pinkish slug.

zolablue's picture

Auvergne Rye Baguette with Bacon

Also known as Baguette aux lardons.


This is fabulous bread!  I baked it yesterday from Daniel Leader’s new book, Local Breads.  It is a very easy recipe, absolutely delicious fresh from the oven and today it made incredible toast.  The incorporation of slightly browned bacon and his recommendation to retard the shaped loaves overnight to infuse the dough with more of that great smoky bacon flavor is a winner.


His recipe calls for making four 316g baguettes but for some reason I only ended up with about 1100g total dough so I made 3 roughly 366g baguettes.  The dough was supple and slashed really well which I was concerned about with the bacon.  No problem though.


His method of using floured parchment and then making your own couche worked really well for this.  I was able to fit all three baguettes perfectly on a quarter-sheet restaurant style pan with rolled up dish cloths on each side to keep the loaves from spreading.  You make the troughs for the dough creasing the parchment between each loaf and then tuck the rolled cloths against them and the rim of the sheet pan. 


The next day I removed from the fridge and slid the entire thing onto the counter, took off the plastic wrap and covered with a cotton flour-sack towel.  I let them warm up and finish proofing for about 2 hours and then baked.  Even in my small oven all three loaves fit perfectly on my smaller-than-normal baking stone.  I steamed the oven and baked them about 25 minutes at 450°F and was really happy with the way they rose and actually grew ears.  (chuckle)  That is always welcome and always surprising for my breads, it seems but I’m getting better. 


I have not typed up this recipe yet.  I encourage you all to go buy Daniel Leader’s new book.  This is the first of his two books I have purchased so others are way ahead of me in the knowledge of his great breads and first book.  Mountaindog is lucky enough to live close to his bakery – wow!  That would be a treat.  So far in what I’ve read I’m very impressed with this book although since I use a firm starter I do have a couple thoughts that may differ from what his instructions are only by means of my own experience.  All in all it is a wonderful book and I’m thrilled to have it.  Can’t wait to try more new recipes.

Baguettes aux lardons

Great crisp crust and you can see how the bacon bits on the exterior crisp when baked. (yum)

Crumb was creamy with bacon infused throughout in little bits.  He doesn't show a photo of the crumb so I'm hoping this is how it is supposed to look.  He does have you beat the tar out of the dough and with a mixer it does break down the already small cooked pieces.  I didn't mind. :o)

Ramona's picture

Which mill to choose?

Well, I am sure that somewhere on this site there has been a discussion about which grain mill to choose.   I have been looking into this some and have come options and would like to see what all of you use or favor.  I will be grinding whole wheat, rye, barley, spelt, maybe corn.  My main concern is a fine flour, perferably not heated up too much, cleaniness ( I have read that ones with cabinets are not cleanly and have areas not able to be clean and attract bugs), and I prefer not to have to clean my grains, but I am not ruling this out, as I have read that the micronizers are suppose to be the best in the market, but cannot handle a stone going through the teeth.  I also will not buy one that is using mill stones that have aluminum in the stones for binding the stone particles together with.   Here is what I have come across so far:

1. Wondermill

2. Country Living Grain Mill

3. Kitchen Mill

4. Whispermill

5. Grain Master Whispermill ( I have read by some that they won't sell this mill because it is questionable if the quality is still good and the customer service as well, as it is being produced under a new name).

6. Ktec

7. Magic Mill

8. Retsel

9. Jupiter Mill

10. Ultramill

I appreciate all your input.