The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Blackwill's picture

Looking for Cracker-topped Wheat Roll Recipe

Hi, all....

A few years ago I was working at the Paris Las Vegas (Banquet Chef).  Our Executive Pastry Chef created a large number of rolls for a banquet, and I have been looking for a recipe for these rolls since I returned to California 2 years ago.  They were dubbed, simply "Torrified Wheat Rolls" on the menu...but they were topped with a thin disk of crispy, almost cracker-like bread (kind of like the rolls were wearing a beret).  All of my searches for a similar recipe have turned up nothing, and I was hoping someone here could help me out by either providing a real name for this bread style, or, even better, a recipe!!


Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give,



California, U.S.A.

Kingudaroad's picture

Question about bulk fermenting at 55 to 60 degrees

I am doing some poolish baguettes tomorrow and was thinking about doing the bulk ferment in my wine fridge that can be manually set anywhere between 50 and 60 degrees. I was thinking I could do a longer, slower ferment. My questions are...


Will this have a beneficial outcome to my loaves?


How much longer will it take to ferment at say 55 degrees compared to 72 degrees?


Any input or related experience on the subject would be appreciated.



JeremyCherfas's picture

Muffin trade secrets

Wonderful article in the New York Times about trouble over the secret processes for making Thomas' English Muffins. Great fun -- though perhaps not for the people involved.


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My Homemade Bagel Boards

The lack of bagel boards kept me from tackling bagels, so I decided to make my own bagel boards.

Have a look at the video below.

They're nothing fancy, but they work rather well for a home oven. 

Homemade bagel boards.

The board is 14 x 6 x 1" redwood (4 will fit in a home oven).

The heavy duty linen is from art supply store (just heavy duty canvas I've used for years for couche, etc.).

Everything else (screws, handles, etc.) are from Home Depot, where I also bought the board (and had it cut to spec for free).

I soak the boards/linen before putting raw bagels onto the boards; then, into the oven they (the boards with raw bagels) go.

The large handle makes it easy to flip the bagels off the board (onto the baking stone) after a few minutes of baking, a task made more challenging because of large oven mitts.

I would have preferred 5" width, but Home Depot only has 6" redwood (and wouldn't cut it lengthwise).

The upshot is that, now, I can make gigantic bagels.

When the linen needs to be replaced, it's a simple matter of unscrewing the screws, removing the old linen, cutting a new piece, and attaching it to the board with the screws.

pfilner's picture

Porcelain casserole dish with lid

I recently purchased a porcelain 2 qt casserole dish with lid, $15 at a Target store, and have gotten very nice results with it making a Bittman/Lahey style loaf 1/3 larger than the original recipe (NY times, Nov 8, 2006) by a simplified procedure in which I never touch the unbaked dough, nor transfer it to and from a floured towel.  The breads come out of the casserole dish with a 2 inch wall, a crown 5 inches high, and a symmetrical dome. Loafs made according to the original Bittman/Lahey recipe, especially in larger pots, tend to be no more than 3 inches high, have little or no wall, and are frustratingly small.

I mix the dry ingredients, 4 cups flour, 1.5 tsp salt, slightly heaped 1/4 tsp Fleischman rapid rise yeast in a 3 qt pyrex bowl, add 1.5 cups of warm water, then with a fork mix and form a relatively stiff dough ball, then add 1/4 cup water to loosen the dough ball somewhat for rising. Instead of transferring the dough to a flowered towel a la Bittman, I keep the dough in the pyrex bowl for the 18 hr rising, 15 min rest and 2 hr second rising, reshaping the dough ball after each period, then drop the dough ball into the casserole dish preheated at 450 degrees F., bake for 30 min with lid on, then 15 min with lid off.  The bread smells, looks and tastes great, with a crunchy flavorful crust that shatters when bitten,  and a spongy, bounce-back texture inside the loaf. Thanks to the single transfer from pyrex bowl to casserole dish, no scattered flour or flour-loaded towel to clean up    

RobertS's picture

Breaducation of a Rookie: Quietly Going to Pot

I use three enamelled pots with cast iron cores (each is 3.5 qt. size, one round and two oval) frequently now in my bread baking---all three fit nicely into my oven at the same time--- and am delighted with the perfect crust and crumb this Lahey method delivers unfailingly. And for superior taste, I always employ a 24-48 hr+ initial cold refrigerator ferment,  using ice cold water (77%), instant yeast .7%, table salt 2%, and 100% unbleached Canadian white all-purpose flour. On a stack of Bread Bibles, I solemnly (if immodestly) swear my Lahey Cold Pot Bread has no equal in the land, or in heaven for that matter.

But in my opinion the method Lahey suggests for proofing and "loading" the dough into the pot is fraught with unecessary difficulties. He suggests proofing on a wheat bran-sprinkled tea towel, and then inverting this "package" and plopping it unceremoniously into the hot pot. (In the Bittman video he looks like a farmer dropping a boulder off the top of his barn). The problem is, the very wet dough looks like a wayward handful of jello, and is liable to get out of hand, literally. Furthermore, the odds are good that this very wet dough will stick to the tea towel just as you are about to upend it. The result can be a less than perfect crust and less than perfect crumb structure.

The solution I came up with does not involve using parchment paper. (I hate putting that stuff in my pots).

1. Lightly oil the bowl in which you proof the dough, and then sprinkle  wheat bran into the bottom. Cover with towel and when proofing finished, sprinkle more wheat bran on top of dough.

2. When oven is heated, take pot out and place on stovetop. Close oven door quickly. Remove lid.

3. Using gloved hand, tip pot over toward stovetop. Using other hand, roll dough from bowl into the pot using a quick, decisive wrist turn.

You will find the dough goes into the pot very, very gently, with the top of the proofed dough now on the bottom of the pot, with your carefully-nurtured gluten structure undisturbed.


Lillibread's picture

French Bread

About a year ago I began baking french bread - I've primarily been using Ciril Hitz recipie from "Baking Artisan Bread".  I'm not getting the air pockets that I'd like in the crumb structure.  I'm wondering if someone might have advice for me.  The recipe calls for a poolish - I've been careful re: time/temperature in that regard.  Same w/ the dough.  I've got a Kitchen Aid mixure - I've try to be uber concious about not over working the bread in the mixing process.  Most of the time I use fleischmann's yeast.  I've stayed w/ the recipe is well re: amount of salt.  I've as well been careful not to de-gas the bread as I'm shaping the loaves.  On a couple of ocassions I've even over-proofed the dough just to see if that might make a difference.  It hasn't.  Anybody got any idea on how to get some air (hot air or otherwise) into this bread.  Appreciate your help.

SylviaH's picture

D. Lepard's Choc. Honey Meringues

Very delicious and fairly simple to make, these appealing cookies make a very nice accessory cookie to an elegant dessert or just simply to snack on alone.

With 'Mis en Place' I made these while preparing dinner, placed them in the oven to slow bake.  The recipe is HERE updated..this link should work, scroll down to the recipe.







sharonj1961's picture

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

I am a newbie bread baker and have been working to perfect Peter Reinhart's Cinnamon Swirl Raisin bread.  Although the taste is great, it never fails that after the bread is baked, there is a big air gap inside and at the top of the loaf.  I've tried rolling the dough tighter once I sprinkle on the cinnamon / sugar mixture on and have even rolled the formed loaf back and forth on the floured surface thinking that it would compress the layers together.  Still fairly large gaps.  What am I doing wrong ??

thegrindre's picture

Soft and light sourdough?

Hi all,

Got a question or two but first let me explain.

I've gotten older in life and at 62, I've lost most all my teeth. I once enjoyed San Fransisco's hard crusts and chewy crumb sourdough bread but now I can't eat it. I do miss it so.

Questions are, can a crust be made like the store bought sandwich breads? Nice and soft without loosing the flavor?

Can the crumb be softened without loosing the flavor as well?

Is there a recipe for sourdough bread that's light and soft for old folks?