The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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RebelBakingCompany's picture

Hamelman's and "Flipping"

I tried Hamelman's bagel recipe this weekend...and will never let go of it! But I do have a few questions:

1. High-gluten flour *not* bread flour...where do you buy this?

2. I felt the bagels lacked the flavor that my other recipes have. Should I add more salt?

3. I was very surprised that his recipe did not include malt powder IN the dough. Might adding it improve the flavor? Will that affect other ratios?

4. I noticed there was no egg wash and I felt they were much paler than other recipes. How can I improve this? Normal for this recipe?

I also tried "flipping" the bagles this go-round, although I don't have a bagel board. I'll admit, the shape was very nice. But it seems to be a small benefit. Anyone disagree? Any techniques you'd recommend?

Skibum's picture

Ahhhh . . . biscotti!

Double chocolate and sweet biscotti:

It ws time to bake another batch of DaveG's fabulous double chocolate, hazelnut, chipotle biscotti  and also try the seeet biscotti recipe he provided.  To the half batch of 2x choco, I added 1 tsp of expresso coffee powder, was out of hazelnuts, (aka filberts) and used alsonds instead.  The hazelnuts provide a better flavour balance to the cocolate and chipotle, but hey, almonds work too!

I have been working through Carol Field's, "The Italian Baker," and checked her biscotti recipe also, which looked much like Dave's.  In the end I used the TIB recipe because, horror of horrors, I had no lemon zest -- my only lemon had been previously zested!  Now the TIB recipe is forgiving in that you can use either lemon extract or zest and/or orange exract or zest. I used lemon extract and orange zest for half the batch and baked according to Daves's loaf style 2x bake instructions, rather than shape the TIB cookie rounds.   I have not been able to stay away from these biscotti, oh my do I love the subtle flavoring!

Today I added lemon zest and some chopped almonds to the last half of the sweet biscotti dough and baked it up.  The lemon zest kicks the flavour up a good notch or two.  I think next batch, I will do half with lemon zest and half with orange zest.  At the pace I am eating these things, I may have to do another batch in the morning, (oink, oink).  The TIB biscotti recipe is listed at the end of this post.

A little ciabatta and salami by the campfire:

The last camping days of the season are now but a distant memory that ski season.  The photo was taken at a campsite along The Icefields Parkway, in Banff, Alberta Canada.

Bake ON TFLoafers!  Brian

Biscotti, from The Italian Baker, by Carol Field

160 g unsalted butter

200 g sugar

1 Tbs honey

2 eggs room temperature

Cream sugar and butter and add eggs one at a time and cream.

1/3 C + 3 Tbs milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange extract or zest of 1/2 orange

1/2 tsp lemon extract or zest of 1 lemon

500 g flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

11/2 Tbs or so coarsly ground almonds to top

1 egg for glazing

I bake @ 300F 20 munites turning halfway, chill 15 munites or so then slice on the diagonal 3/4" thick, turn on sides and bake for 20 munites @ 300F turning halfway, then turn the slices over and bake for another 20.  Yumm

varda's picture

Whole wheat bread with freshly milled Massachusetts wheat

I'm back with new tools.    Ever since Andy (ananda) started posting about baking with local wheat, I've had it in the back of my mind.    However, local in my case means New England, which isn't exactly known as the American bread basket.    In fact I more or less assumed that Massachusetts wheat was an oxymoron.    I did however, keep my eyes open, and found several farms in the area that grew wheat.    The closest however, were not that close, and I had no mill, and, and, and...  But time goes on and new opportunities arise.    With my birthday coming up, my DH asked me what I wanted and I said a mixer.   I picked out a fancy one and was ready to pull the trigger, when I realized that I simply didn't need such high capacity, and would do quite well with a much more modestly priced model.   That meant that I had "saved" a lot of money, so my husband decided to throw in a mill.    With a new mill coming, I needed wheat.   In fact I needed Massachusetts grown wheat.  

I called a friend and convinced her that she absolutely needed to drive west with me to see the leaves (and incidentally buy wheat.)   She agreed that was absolutely necessary, so the other day we went west.    That is 3/4 of the way across Massachusetts to the little town of Gill, where lies a farm called Upinngil, which sells its own wheat.    I tried calling beforehand to see what they had available, but no dice - they didn't answer.    When we got there, true they had 50 lb sacks of wheat in their store, but they were soft red winter wheat, and hard white winter wheat, neither of  which were what I had in mind.   One of the nice women there said that I should come back in two weeks.    That was hardly possible, as my first trip out there had already strained the limits of practicality.   Fortunately at that moment in walked Mr. Hatch, the farmer.    Told of my plight, he said, no problem.   I have some hard red winter wheat out at the cleaner (not the cleaners).   I'll just drive over to the field and pick some up for you.   Phew!   So with a 50 pound sack of wheat in my trunk, mission accomplished.   And yes, the leaves were lovely as well.

Yesterday the mill and the mixer (Bosch compact) arrived and needed to be put to use.   So I got my starter going, and today started milling and baking.   Not knowing my mill very well yet, I milled pretty coarse, and wanting to get to know the wheat, I decided to make all the flour in the final dough my fresh ground whole wheat.      This meant over 75% coarsely ground whole wheat, which is not something that I'm all that familiar baking with, as I usually keep whole grains to 30% or below.   

I have just cut and tasted, and who knew that Massachusetts wheat would be so good.   Mr. Hatch said that he had been growing it as feed for 20 years, but only in the last 10 has he started selling it to bakers who are interested in local foods.    He also told me that a CSA near me makes regular trips out to his farm for milk, cheese, etc.   So it may be that in the future, I won't have to make the trek if I can meet up with them.  

In any case, I think my whole wheat baking needs work, and I am excited to learn more.

The third new tool I used for this bake was a single edge razor for scoring, taking a tip from breadsong.   I love the control it gives.  

Of course that's not quite as exciting as the KoMo Fidibus 21  shown here resting after it's first milling.


Here's to local farms:

and local wheat:

I used my WFO today probably for the last time of the season.    Now I need to wrap it up tight so it can get through Sandy unharmed.

And finally, I'll close with the a bit of Autumn splendor:  first Tartarian Asters (over 7 feet tall)

and mums which can't really compete with the leaves this time of year:

Update:  Just changed the title of this post from ...freshly ground... to ...freshly milled...   It ain't coffee after all.

gmagmabaking2's picture

ITJB FR Week 5 Barley Bread pps. 87-88

This week's challenge bake was the Barley Bread.  This dough was light and smooth and beautiful. The bake went very well and the loaves turned out lovely.  The texture is springy yet dense like a rye bread and the taste is very nice.  I like the "Gershtnbroyt" name for this bread since it is a bit fancier than our daily breads. 

As you can see here Helen's loaves turned out "drop dead gorgeous" her crust was crunchy yet tender and her crumb is very nice. 

She said that the texture was very much like the light rye she makes and the flavor is very nice. She decided since she was going to use her loaves more as sandwich bread, to leave out the seeds. These loaves look amazing.

Barb's loaves look like she bakes "professionally" which she just about does, since she is the fresh bread resource for just about everybody she knows! Her quilting club members are very happy ladies on meeting day.  These loaves have poppy seeds mixed in and they too look lovely. I am envious of all those round loaves.

 Those two sisters of mine are amazing bread bakers... I have always regressed to putting my breads into loaf pans because the round loaves just don't turn out like these above loaves you see.... 

If there are folks out there that can tell me why my loaves look like they do and not like the ones my sisters make, I will take all advice with an open mind and heart and try to learn from your comments and instruction... I really do want to make round bread and free form artisan breads.

I left this picture full sized so those who want to give me advice could get a good look... there was no shiny rounded top... no oven spring and the crumb is almost undercooked looking... HELP! 

Enough about that! The fun was in the communication between we 3 while baking and the smell of my bread was awesome... I subtituted the nigella seeds for a mixture of poppy seed, minced onion, and oregano.... and it tastes real good.

Enjoyed this week together - next week we are making Onion Kichel... which from reading the book I see is really an onion cracker or chip... should be good with soups etc... looking forward to it... Meet us on page 238. Bake with us and send pictures. 



baybakin's picture

Catch-up baking

I know I've been slacking on the posting lately, so here's my pictures post of some recent breads I've done.

Dmsnyder's SF sourdough take IV (

Changes: replaced all flour for Central Milling's type 70 high extraction flour.  Bulk ferment pre-shape instead of post-shape.  Baked in a dutch oven.
This one turned out quite sour, not quite boudin-sour, but still very nice.

Monkey Bread:

Using my house sweet dough, balls of dough are dipped in butter then rolled into chopped walnuts and raw sugar.
Baked into a bunt pan covered in butter and sprinkled with sliced almonds.

xfarmer's sourdough Croissants: (

They came out a bit toasty, my oven runs a tad hot.  Made a few into breakfast sanwiches.  Sharp cheddar with egg and ham, served with some nice coffee (dab of cream)

steve baker's picture
steve baker

Fairy Godmother's Banana Bread

A few years ago I met my Fairy Godmother, and she offered to grant me three wishes.  She told me that the wishes had to be personal, that is, not things like feeding starving babies in Africa or the MN Vikings winning the Super Bowl.  Fairy Godmother explained that the babies and Vikings had their own fairy godmothers, (some obviously better than others), and they were careful not to step on each others toes, so to speak.  She also warned me that each wish would be granted with a provision.

My first wish was easy.  I asked for Good Health.  Nothing else matters much without good health.  

Fairy Godmother said that would be fine, conditional upon my not taking good health for granted, ie: not drinking, smoking, eating junk foods or abusing my body in any way.  Since I have always been pretty good about taking care of myself, (at least since I quit smoking), I figured that would be easy enough.

For my second wish, I asked for Good Friends.  Life has no meaning without good friends to share it with.

Fairy Godmother agreed, on condition that I also be a good friend myself.  This is also something I've generally tried practice anyway, so that was taken care of.

Then Fairy Godmother asked for my third wish.  I replied that with good health and good friends I didn't really need to wish for anything else.  Fairy Godmother informed me that rules were rules.  She could not grant just two wishes.  I needed a third wish.  That's the way it's always been.

I honestly couldn't think of anything.  I didn't want to get my fairy godmother in trouble though.  Finally I asked her if she had a good recipe for banana bread.

"Why, yes I do!" she exclaimed.  "I'll write it down for you."

As she wrote down her recipe, I asked her what condition would be attached to the third wish.

Fairy Godmother thought for a moment, then said, "That your friends and neighbors shall never want for banana bread."

So, every week when I bake banana bread using Fairy Godmother's recipe, I take some to my friends and neighbors.

For friends too far away for direct gifting here is her recipe:

Fairy Godmother's Universal Banana Bread

For one 9 x 5 inch loaf (double recipe to make three 4.5 x 8 loaves) (I usually make a double batch and bake one 9 x 5 and three 5 x 3 loaves because the smaller ones are nice for gifting)

All Ingredients  at Room Temperature

Pre-Heat Oven to 350 degrees

2 Eggs

1 Cup (10 oz) VERY RIPE Bananas*

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/4 Cup Milk

2 Cups Flour (AP/part Whole Wheat/KAF White Whole Wheat or, best of all Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)

1 Cup Sugar

2  teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

* VERY RIPE means as black as you can find.  If mottled yellow is the best you can do, lay them on a baking sheet, poke a few slits on the top side of the peel, and roast them at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until they're black and leathery.  Let them cool and squeeze from peel.  (I freeze these in 10 oz portions)

Additions: (see other suggested adds below) (the important thing is that the additions be about Chip size and their total weight be not much more than 6 oz/loaf)

4 oz Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup (@ 2 oz) Nuts


Mash together Eggs/Bananas/Oil and Milk (I use an old potato masher) Stir until well blended

Whisk together Dry Ingredients

Toss Additions lightly with a bit of Flour to coat them

Stir Dry Ingredients into Egg-Banana MIxture until just evenly moistened

Fold in Additions

Pour into well greased pan.  (If you use Chocolate Chips or Fruit it's a good idea to use Baking Parchment to line at least the bottom of your pan)

Bake about an hour, until center is dry to toothpick test, which will be 190 degrees  (about five-ten minutes less for 4.5 x 8 loaf, ten-twenty minutes less for 3 x 5's)

Cool in pan on rack for ten minutes.   Run a knife or spatula around the edges and remove loaf to rack to cool completely.

Here are some items I've used as Additions:

White Chocolate/Butterscotch/Cinnamon Chips/Toffee Chips

Raisins or Dried Fruit (Apricots/Dates/figs/Passion Fruit/Pineapple etc) in 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces

Coconut/Dry Breakfast Cereal (flakes or shapes)/commercial Granola/Trail Mix

Sunflower Seeds/Soy Nuts 

Suggested Combos:

Semi-Sweet Chocolate/Toffee Chips & Sunflower Seed

Butterscotch Chip & Date

Dried Cranberry or White Raisin & White Chocolate Chip

Mini Chocolate Chip & Banana Nut Crunch Cereal


Pomegranate Arils & White Chocolate Chip (very good)

Raisin & Fruity Peebles Cereal aka Josephs Banana Bread of Many Colors (fun for kids)

Prune and Licorice (very ... interesting?)


isand66's picture

Durum Potato Rolls

I have not made any rolls in a while and since my wife insisted on some "simple" rolls for our lunch sandwiches this weekend I decided to whip something up using instant yeast instead of my sourdough starter or yeast water starter.

I had some left over mashed potatoes so I wanted to use those in the recipe.  I love using Durum flour in my breads so I used an almost 50% mix of Durum with a high protein flour from KAF, called Sir Lancelot to offset for the lower protein content in the Durum flour.

I recently purchased some Avocado Oil so of course I needed to add some in this recipe along with some Agave Nectar for a little sweetness.

The dough was retarded overnight for added flavor and baked this morning.

I do have to say they came out as good as I could have expected.  They are nice and soft and tasty and are going to make a perfect sandwich roll for sure.


400 grams Sir Lancelot Flour (KAF, you can substitute Bread Flour)

374 grams Durum Flour (Do not use fancy Semolina as it is to gritty)

112 grams Mashed Potatoes with Skins

227 grams Water 85 - 90 degrees

255 grams Milk at room temperature

14 grams Instant Yeast

57  grams Avocado Oil

14 grams Seas Salt or Table Salt

60 grams Agave Nectar


Mix flours with yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients .  Mix on low-speed or by hand for 1 minute and let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes to absorb the flour.

Next mix the dough for another 3 minutes on #2 (If you have a dough hook switch use for this step).  The dough should come together and be scraping the side of the mixing bowl and be nice and fairly smooth but still tacky.

Remove the dough to your work surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.  Do about 3-4 stretch and folds and put in a well oiled bowl or container with a cover.  Put it in your refrigerator immediately.

You can keep it in your refrigerator for about 24 to 36 hours.  I ended up baking it in the morning so it was only in my refrigerator for around 14 -15 hours.   The dough should double while in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake the rolls or bread, take it out of the refrigerator and immediately weigh out your pieces or loaves and shape as desired.  I made rolls and let them rise for 1 hour on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

After 45 minutes turn your oven up to 350 degrees F. and prepare your rolls as desired.  I beat 1 whole egg mixed with a little water and put an egg wash on each roll.  I also added some toasted onions to some and some dried cheese mix on some as well.  At the 1 hour or so mark pop them in the oven and turn once after about 15 minutes.  These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.

Let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.

Floydm's picture

Recent baking

We've been having a lovely fall here in BC and I've been getting back into the baking routine.  These sourdough loaves were shared at our Thanksgiving dinner.

Then we had pizza night a couple of days later.

And last weekend I made a big honkin' miche with 5% rye flour, 10% whole wheat.  

I forgot to get a crumb shot, but it was pretty nice.

Of course, what would autumn be without apples and apple pie?  

Recently I learned a trick for making the crust: rather than trying to cube and cut the butter in with forks like the cookbooks always tell you to do, just toss the butter in the freezer for an hour or so before making the crust, then use a cheese grater to slice into little bitty bits.  It is so much easier and having the butter that cold to begin with makes the crust considerably flakier.

Happy baking!


dabrownman's picture

Pierre Nury's Rustic Light Rye with Whole Grain Multi-grain YW / SD Levains and Coffee

We wanted to take a new look at Pierre Nury’s Rustic light Rye from Daniel Leader’s book ‘Local Breads’ that ZolaBlue posted about here:

And my initial attempt here:


We went with our original plan to put some more rye and whole grains (spelt and WW) in this bread to enhance, broaden and deepen its flavor profile to make it something we would like better.


The whole grains ended up to be 20% of the total and it was all used in the levains as has been our choice lately.  We also wanted to use separate YW and SD slevains for this bread to see what difference it might make from the original.  We used coffee instead of water for this bake too. 


We changed some of the methods too.  Instead of the first S&F set, after the 12 minutes of kneading on KA 4, we did 4 minutes of French slap and folds because we like doing them and it seems to help gluten development of high hydration dough considerably.


Once the dough had doubled on the counter after a 2 hour ferment, we chucked it into the fridge where it supposedly wasn’t going to rise much during the 12 hour 37 F retard.


But it did – a lot.  In fact, it rose so much that it stuck tightly to the un-oiled top of the Tupperware tub and if I didn’t have the cheesecake sitting on top of it, would have exploded all over the fridge.  This is a very sticky dough due to the extra rye, spelt and WW and 80% hydration and these additions also contributed to its continued rising in the cold fridge.


So when we tore the dough from the lid after coming out of the fridge, it completely deflated from 5”high to 1”.  You are supposed to gently push the dough out to a 10”x10”square, cut it in half and then gently pick it up from the ends while stretching it out another 2” (making it 12”long) and then plop it on a parchment covered peel for a final rise of 1 hour or until it doubles.  Then it goes into the oven cold without slashing.

We should have shaped each half into ciabatta and let it rise one more time at room temp but we just chucked it in the 450 F steaming oven as a flat bread - 17 " long - without any further proofing toppings, oil or dimples to get a bread made for sandwiches – and it worked!

The bread did spring nicely in the oven increasing its height over 50% and ending up the right thickness to cut in half and be perfect for a lunch sandwich that we hardly ever get a chance to eat.

It baked 12 minutes with steam and then 10 more minutes at 425 F convection without steam rotating it every 5 minutes on the stone. So in 22 minutes it was done and tested 208 F on the inside.  We left it on the stone with the oven off and the door ajar to crisp the skin.

The crust didn’t brown as much as we wanted but it was done.  Since it wasn’t slashed it did crack where it wanted to and the crumb was open, soft, a little glossy and moist.  It was also as tasty as our previous attempt, maybe even more so and made for a fine sandwich at lunch.  Just delicious and would be terrific in a panini.


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ibor's picture

The Art of Braiding Bread

To those interested in bread braiding I wish to inform that I have published "The Art of Braiding Bread ", an e-book available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

The book is now sold exclusively through: