The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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teketeke's picture

Chocolate painting for a special day.

Would you like to surprise your family or friends for their birthday? I do! It is not difficult but time consuming especially if you use multi-color chocolate.But it is worth it when you see their reaction!! That is a speechless moment that I really love to see.  This recipe is posted by Hanaasu. Thank you, Hanaasu!( Japanese: you can understand how to make by pictures)

This SpongeBob cake was for my daughter's 4th birthday. The pink and light blue spongecake was Gary. (SpongeBob's pet snail)   SpongeBob's left arm was broken because I didn't put enough chocolate on the back.

 For my my son's 12th birthday.( bakugan 爆丸) He was surprised, and smiled with a joy when he saw this cake. I forgot to put a little bit of white chocolate to color his eyes.

This is for my husband's birthday.(LADY GAGA) He used to like her song but not anymore.....  I should have made shadow like this: Click this link below.

 It is fun! :)

9/2/2010 I challenged to trace and paint Berry Manilow's face using  a bamboo stick for my sister-in-law's birthday.

 I messed  up  the shadow around his right eye. But my husband's sister was very happy. That made me happy too.

Urchina's picture

Sopa de ajo, aka a fabulous ending for stale bread

While it's not a bread recipe, it's a great way to use up stale bread, especially heels. Very little prep time, very yummy results. Excellent for winter nights. It's a spanish-inspired bread and garlic soup, Sopa de Ajo!


For 4-6 people you will need:

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

as many whole eggs as you have people

a 1/2 cup of stale, cubed bread (I use cubes about 1.5 inches on a side, including crust)

8 cloves garlic 

1 T paprika (smoked is nice if you can find it)

2 T olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Peel and slice the garlic thinly. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a stock pot or Dutch oven until the oil shimmers. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, soft and just barely beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the soup has reached a boil, turn it down to  a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crack the eggs into the simmering broth -- you are going to poach them. Cook until the eggs have reached your desired level of done-ness (I like 'em hard, but that's not traditional -- really, I think poached softly is probably  more traditional). 


Divide the cubed stale bread between the bread bowls. Spoon a poached egg into each bowl, atop the bread cubes. Ladle the broth over the top and serve immediately. 


Makes a delicious, warming, comforting soup, and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. 




P.S. Mods, I know it's not strictly bread, but it's made with bread... please feel free to move to a more appropriate forum if one exists. thanks!

apricat's picture

Sweet bread "cookie" recipe from Sicily

Struggling with a 100 year old recipe that lists only flour, yeast, water, salt, sugar and lard as the ingredients. Directions are just as spare: 7 cups flour. Add  1 cup sugar and salt. Blend in 1 lb lard as you would a pie dough. Proof 1 cake of yeast and use up to 2 1/2 cups of water in the dough. Let dough rest 1/2 hour. Shape cookies. Let rest overnight and bake at 350˚.

I loved my grandmother and my aunt who baked them after grandma was gone. Now it's my turn to bake them for my 90 year old dad, and 4 tries later, these 6 ingredients don't give me a well-raised "bread cookie." 

I have no kneading instructions and no previous kneading experience. I could use some help. Dad's birthday is August 30th. Does anyone know this recipe. Thanks 

bnom's picture

Trusting your gut when formula's don't seem right -- my experience with Hamelman's Vermont SD with Increased Whole Grain

I decided that my first by-the-book recipe I'd make from Hamelman's Bread would be Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain.  I had my starter bubbling, my scale ready, started adding ingredients to the bowl and--wait a minute--this can't be right.  The formula was clearly incorrect (It turns out that I just happened to choose the Bread recipe most fraught with errors).  So I  improvised the best I could. 

I then looked up, on the Mellow Bakers site, the errata sheet and also found Hamelman's email correcting the formula.  Yesterday, I closely followed his formula, so I could compare the two breads while they were still fresh in my mind.   

Here's the crust/crumb from Hamelman's corrected formula:


And here's the crumb of my improvised version:

The winner?  We thought the improvised loaf had a much better flavor and texture.  The Hamelman version was, by comparison, rather doughy and bland. Although I loved the bloom and ears.  I think the answer is in the balance somewhere between the two.  Next time, I keep track of my own formula and post results. 


SylviaH's picture

Sourdough Loaves, Banana bread & Apricot fried pies

The sourdough boulé is the same recipe I baked on my last post, except I made a few little changes replacing some of the bread flour with 120g of whole rye, honey instead of sugar and upped the hydration slightly.  I made two large loaves instead of three so I could make better use of my oven today.  The flavor was delicious and we enjoy very much both versions of this sourdough.  I had 5 very large ripe banana's perfect for doubling the recipe for 'Banana-Nut Bread' from the book 'Williams-Sonoma Bread', this is a great tasting banana bread, today I left out the nuts.  The fried apricot hand pies were made a couple of days ago.  I make them once a year, guess why!  I boil sweetned fresh apricots with a bit of lemon juice into a thick lumpy puree for the center filling or sometimes I use dried apricots for the puree, both are delicious.











Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

ConAgra as King Arthur?

I posted about buying 50 lbs. of KA Sir Lancelot flour here:

Yesterday, I happened to glance at the bag of flour I bought and saw this on the bar code tag:

Sir Lancelot

CC 06252010 21:32 B2

Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid

id- MFG by ConAgra Foods Omaha, NE 68102


Net WT 50 LB

Bar Code: 0081787ER

Question: What exactly did I buy? I thought I bought a bag of hi-gluten flour from the King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. in Vermont, not from ConAgra Foods in Omaha, NE.


Pablo's picture

Jason's Quick Ciabatta au levain

I've been making Jason's Quick Ciabatta lately and decided to try it with a wild yeast starter instead of the commercial yeast.  Except for a greatly prolonged initial rising, it performed much like the yeasted variety.  Instead of the 2 teaspoons of commercial yeast I used 200 g of active starter at 100% hydration, to which I added 480g of water and 500g of white flour and 12g of salt.  The "beat the hell out of it" stage may have taken a couple of minutes longer, but it was basically the same.  During the initial fermenting I boosted the temperature in the Proofinator 5000 (my proofing box) to 90 degrees and it took about 6 hours to tripple.  It was a little stickier to handle but not much and I'd been making the yeasted variety lately so my wet dough handling skills were up to it, also it didn't spring quite as much as the yeasted variety in the oven, but plenty for me and I prefer the taste from the wild yeast preferment.


An experiment that worked!


bread10's picture

Cold Oven - Clay Pot



Just made a wholemeal spelt sourdough with brown rice and final proofed in clay pot with lid overnight.


According to instruction provided with unglazed clay pot - I must place the pot and soaked clay lid into a cold oven to prevent the pot cracking from sudden heat change.

Problem is my loaf is ready to cook and is in the pot already so I'm worried the cold oven will affect the oven spring.

What should I do? 



dvuong's picture

Starter Hydration and Maintenance

Hi all,


I was wondering what the difference was between a starter's hydration % and it's maintenance hydration %.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that there's a difference between the two. 

If you currently have a starter that you are maintaining at 1:1:1, doesn't that make it 100% hydration starter?  Why is it that I'm seeing all this complicated algrebra in the forums on changing the starter's hydration level?  For instance, If I have 100% hydration and I want to convert it to 67% hydration starter, wouldn't I just feed it 1:2:3 (s:w:f) and then continue to maintain it at that ratio? 


I'm soo confused!  I currently have a starter that I'm feeding 1:1:1 but would like to bake a loaf of SD from PR's ABED.  It looks like his mother starter is 63%.  So to convert, wouldn't I just take a portion of what I have now and feed it 2:3 at my next refresh? 



ramat123's picture

80% Sourdough Rye from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread"

Hi All,

Is it possible to make these bread without yeast? Is there a replacement? I don't like the smell and taste of it.