The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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fredsambo's picture

Country-Style French Bread with Old Dough Addition


OK so I decided to try this recipe from The Village Baker, which was the real reason I made plain ol' baguettes the other day. It calls for either whole wheat or rye flour or both in the recipe, but I had some KA organic whole wheat lying around so I just used that.

Pain De Campagne


So I first got the yeast going and then I cut my piece of old dough up into little chunks.




I mixed the two together and then added the flour and put it on the mixer. After a 20 minute autolyse I added the salt and mixed it for about 8 minutes, then I rolled it out and folded it on the bench for a while followed by an hour first rising, then a punch, then another hour. Here it is after the second rising.

Bowl 1


Then I flattened out all of the air and shaped it into a boule!




I have no round baskets, so I improvised as I do so often when baking at home. This is just a small mixing bowl with dinner napkin liner.

not a basket


After two hours of proof time we were finally ready to go!



In my ongoing quest to keep my crappy oven hot, I preheated the big pot that I use as a cover along with the oven. I kept it pegged at 550 degrees for an hour before I put the bread in. This is a very hot oven temperature to be working with in a conventional kitchen, if you try these methods, please be careful! I quickly off loaded the boule onto the stone and then gently put the cover on. Then I closed the oven quickly, turned it down to 450; after ten minutes I removed the cover and finished it off.



Once it was at the desired color I shut the oven off and let the boule sit in there for five minutes to crisp up a bit.



And now for the glamour shots. The taste was just lovely, overall I am quite happy with my two day adventure!





I guess I'll make some sourdough next!


Happy Baking!!!


keesmees's picture

panpepato, panforte nero

origin:  siena toscane.  you can make it 2-3 weeks beforehand.

good company for the coffee with wiskey or cognac after the christmas dinner

this is the peppered version I made last year:

preheat oven at 175°C

-500 g mixed nuts: almond, hazelnut, walnut. chopped coarsely and roasted lightbrown in oven.
-2 tablespoons mixed spices: cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, ginger
-1 teaspoon white pepper
-500 g mixed fruit: dried fig, dried apricot, candied orange peel, candied lemon peel chopped coarsely.
-½ cup AP flour

mix all ingredients


-1 cup sugar
-½ cup honey
-75 gr  noir de noir chocolate
-and a bit water

 in a thick walled pan. heat very very slow, don't burn the chocolate!
 stirr till the sugar becomes a bit stiff ( but not caramelized!!!)
from the fire, now stirr in the nut- and fruit-mix.

put the mass in a baking tray (20 cm) with bakingpaper and smooth the surface with a wet spoon or knife.

20-30 minutes in oven at 175°C.

the panpepato is brown already and further browning is no good. so cover with alu-foil if necessary.

-don't use too much nutmeg
-make your own candied peels the day before. they taste better.
-don't burn the chocolate!!! or add it after cooking the sugar and before mixing in the nut- & fruitmix.
-the mixed spices and the pepper fine grounded (powder) not coarse.

-panpepato is normally decorated with powdered sugar (but I don't like the ugly taste of raw sugar)


CountryBoy's picture

Baking Bread in a Cold Kitchen

Baking bread in a cold kitchen is difficult.  My oven only goes down to 270 degrees.  So, I turn it on; warm it up and then let the bread proof in there.  I am aiming for dough temps of about 78 degrees for my fermentation or proofing cycles.

Do others have better ideas?  I have read about constructing boxes or putting the bread in a plastic bag with hot water, but the condensation of doing so can be considerable.


ejm's picture

seed and grain bread

seed and grain bread

Our multigrain bread recipe has a fair amount of rye flour in it. I still haven't found reasonably priced rye flour so decided to replace the rye flour with wheat flour and some corn flour. This is the great thing about bread recipes. They are pretty forgiving and substitutions can be made fairly easily.

The dough was somewhat slacker than it is when it's made with rye flour. But it still rose well. Ha. Almost a little too well.

After mixing it, I left it to rest for about an hour rather than the 20 minutes I thought I was going to leave it. It had risen considerably and only required about 5 minutes of kneading instead of the 10 to 15 I would have given it.

I did manage to shape it in time though. It was just starting to approach the top of the rising bowl - pretty much perfect amount of rising. Okay, maybe a little bit over-risen....

Too bad I saw dmsnyder's post entitled The effect of scoring on loaf shape AFTER the bread was already in the oven!

I almost didn't score it at all - it was on the verge of being over-risen (cough). I was going to score it crosswise but then decided I like the look of the length-wise score. However, if I'd known it would cause the bread to flatten, I would have gone with the crosswise slash - or herring bone. Next time....

Still, in spite of being allowed to overproof, the bread turned out beautifully! It was so pleasing that we decided to use it as cinnamon toast for dessert (after wonderful chicken and vegetable soup made from the carcass of our Thanksgiving roast chicken). When we sliced into it, the aroma was fabulous. I will definitely be making this variation again.

seed and grain bread
allanwiggins's picture

Pain a l'Anciennes/Gosselin

Bakers of America

 I'm trying to find the original (2003) 'message' that Peter Reinhart speaks of in his book : Bread Bakers Assistant - concerning Philippe Gosselin's account of how he makes the now famous Pain a l'Anciennes.  The 'message' was sent by Peter to an internet mailing list detailing Gosselin's description of how he prepares the l'Anciennes. I'm having trouble finding this 'message' on the net : anyone point me in the right direction?

Regards from the UK.


mcs's picture

bread packaging

Most of us make more bread than we can eat.  And hey, why not when it's takes just as long to clean up after making 2 loaves as it does after making 4 loaves.  Anyway, for those of you who give away (or sell) your extras, these bags might be of interest.  I use them for our bakery packaging because they keep things crisp and allow me to package the loaves while they're still warm.  Plus, as you can see, they enable the customer to pick up the loaves and see them from top to bottom.   I print the labels on a single color laser printer (no smudging), which makes them easy to edit.  The ingredient labels on the back are standard name tag size, the main labels on the front are slightly larger.  I use brown ones for the bread and silver ones for the pastries.  

bag closeupbag closeup

assorted bagsassorted bags



hansjoakim's picture

Back from Paris: Hungry for baguette de tradition!

Hi all,

I'm just back from some amazing days in the French capitol. It was perfect: Glorious sunshine, mild weather, the most inspiring autumn colours on trees along the Seine, and the baguettes, my god! the baguettes!

For some reason or other, I'm mostly a whole wheat loaf kind of person, but now I'm really up for trying my hands at some baguettes. In Paris, I often had baguettes de tradition. I don't speak French, but I sort of figured that the baguettes were made from a "fixed" or prescribed recipe. Does anyone actually know the French baguette de tradition recipe? Metric or bakers % would be amazing :)  Are there any autolyse or kneading "instructions" to go with the "traditional" recipe?

Also, Hamelman give baguette recipes made from poolish, biga and pate fermentees. From your experience, which preferment gives the best result? I initially thought that baguettes and poolish go hand in hand.

Thanks in advance :)

Floydm's picture

Norm's Onion Rolls

I too have baked a batch of Norm's Onion Rolls. They are wonderful.

I added 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds to the dough as well as an extra quarter cup or so of rehydrated dried onions. Otherwise, I followed his recipe.

I may have gotten a little too carried away with the poppy seeds and onions, but they were awfully tasty.

redcatgoddess's picture

Basic Baguette Formula

This is the most basic & easiest to acheve Baguette formula from Le Cordon Bleu (where I am trained).  This formula will yeild about 3 22" classic baguette.  You can use this recipe for

 805 g bread flour

16 g salt

6 g instant yeast (or 18 g fresh or 9 g active)

523 g water (or 511g if fresh yeast is used, or  520g for active yeast)


This is what we called "straight dough," basically, everyone comes to the party!

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, includes the yeast (active or fresh yeast needs to disolved in the wtaer 1st.
  2. Add the water to the dry.  Now, just mix the dough w/ you hand, until there is no dry or wet spot (and yes, the dough is still VERY sticky at this point and I know, but just leave it).  Cover it with the mixing bowl & let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough and knead/throw the dough (and yes, it will stick to the counter top or board, but please do NOT use any more flour, additional flour WILL change the formula.  Just knead the dough until it is not longer stick to your tough about 5 - 10 minutes.  Cover the dough w/ the mixing bowl again, let stand for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough and LIGHTLY knead it until the dough starts to show a little tearing on the side of the dough. 
  5. LIGHLY spray the mixing bowl w/ commerica pan spry (to make sure the dough doens't stick to the bowl, then cover w/ the plastic wrap.  Let ferment for 45 minutes (yes.. that's all it takes).
  6. After 45 minutes, slowing & lightly (use a bowl scraper) 'flap' the dough upside down onto the counter, then lightly pat out the large air bubbles & fold the dough into 3rd (3 folds).  Put the semi-rectangula/long dough back to the bowl, cover, let rest for another 45 minutes.
  7. Use a bowl scraper, 'flap' the dough from the bowl & dived into 3 potions (about 450 g each).  Lightly pat out large air cells, 3 folds, cover w/ plastic wrape and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Shaping... seal the seam of the baguette dough by firmly push the seem against the counter (as if you are chopping it, then start from the middle of the dough, slowly roll out the length of the baguette.  Then place the shaped dough onto a inverted baking sheet w/ springle of cornel, parchment, corn meal (pan, corn meal, parchment, corn meal).
  9. After shaping, spry the shaped baguette w/ either commerical pan spry or warm water, then cover w/ plastic wrap again, and let it bench rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Scoring... use a lame or sharp knife. Slash the baguette 5 or 7 times at 45 degree angle & about 4" long on the surface of the baguette.  The angel of the slach should look about 20 degree.
  11. Baking... 400F w/ 8 minutes of steam + 12 minutes = 20 minutes + extra minutes for desired crust color. Now, if you are a home baker, make sure you spry the baguette w/ WARM water HEAVILY then bake at preheated 400 F oven, about 20+ minutes, depends on the desired color.
  12. DO NOT CUT OPEN THE BAGUETTE UNLESS IT'S COMPLETELY COOLED!!!  Restaurants have us thinking WARM bread is the best, however, if you are cutting open a warm baguette, your 2 hrs work has just down the drain for nothing.  It has to be cool, please... another 30 minutes will not kill you...

I made the following Epi w/ this formula.
dmsnyder's picture

Krupnik - soup to eat with rye bread, onion rolls, pumpernickel, etc.

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) with Krupnik

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) with Krupnik

 Krupnik is an Eastern European beef and barley soup that is a meal in itself, with some good rye bread. There are many versions. Mine is an old family recipe, although I have seen almost identical versions in Jewish cookbooks. Unlike the version Floyd makes, mine is strictly meat - no milk products, since it is a Jewish version. I know that it has been altered somewhat from generation to generation, depending mostly on the tastes of family members. The version I will give is as close to that my maternal grandmother made as I can remember.

Recipe for Krupnik

  •  1 lb lean chuck trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 carrots cut into 1 inch long pieces
  • 2 stalks celery cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup dried baby lima beans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried navy beans (optional)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice.  (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper, but each person can add this at the table to personal preference.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water to cover ingredients by 2 inches. Plan on adding more as barley and lentils swell to achieve a thick but not solid final consistency. 
Notes on ingredients
  • When I was a child, I hated beans in this soup, so, for many years my mother omitted them. My tastes changed as an adult, and I now put them in. 
  • My grandmother used a variety of cuts of beef, often short ribs. As we have tried to cut down on fat in our diet, I began using top chuck.
  • My wife's grandmother made krupnik with lamb rather than beef. We have made it this way many times, using lamb neck, and it is equally delicious.
  • Many recipes also add some dried porcini/cepes. I love mushroom-barley soup, but I don't put mushrooms in krupnik.
  • My wife likes krupnik with some tomato, so we now usually add a small can of coarsely chopped tomatoes. This is definitely not traditional, however.
  1. Trim and cube chuck and place in a 8-10 quart soup pot. Add 3 quarts of water. Bring to a gentle boil and skim any scum that rises to the surface. 
  2. Turn the fire down to achieve a steady simmer and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. While the meat is simmering, cut up the onion, carrots and celery (and optional potato) and measure out the other ingredients.
  4. After the meat has simmered for 1 hour, add all the other ingredients and additional water, as needed.
  5. Cook at a steady simmer, stirring frequently for 1-2 hours until the beans are completely cooked and the meat is very tender. Add water to thin it if the soup is getting too thick. When thick, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot if not stirred very frequently.
  6. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  7. Serve with  rye or pumpernickel or other bread of your choice. 
This soup is even better the next day, but you almost always have to add more water as you re-heat it. It also freezes well.  Enjoy!  David