The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

manuela's picture

Mrs. Sulzbacher's Chocolate Hearts

I think these cookies are really wonderful



3 oz. (3 squares, 85 g) unsweetened chocolate

1 lb. (454 g) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or as needed), slightly beaten

granulated sugar as needed

The egg whites must NOT be added all at once, but little by little or the dough will be too soft and the recipe will fail. 

Melt the chocolate over hot water then add it to the confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.Using the flat beater attachment mix briefly on the lowest speed, adding the vanilla. The mixture will be lumpy and most of the sugar will not be incorporated. Add the egg white 1 tbsp at a time, mixing on the lowest speed. You won’t probably need all of the amount indicated. The dough is ready when it is stiff and holds together when you work it by hand. The final consistency should be like play-dough.



Keep the dough in a bowl covered with a plate–plastic wrap does not work well—the dough tends to dry if left exposed to the air even for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). If the temperature is higher, the cookies will puff up too fast and loose their shape.

Sprinkle a very generous layer of granulated sugar on a board and take an orange-size piece of dough, leaving the rest covered. Work the portion of dough briefly between the palms of your hands, then place it onto the sugar covered surface and roll it 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick (not thicker). Flip the flattened dough a couple of times while rolling it so that both sides are well covered with sugar.chocolate-hearts-rolled.jpg

Form the cookies with heart shaped cookie-cutters and place the cookies on a very lightly greased baking sheet. The dough scraps cannot be kneaded again because of the granulated sugar, so try to minimize the spaces between cookies while you shape them. The scraps can be baked as well and will make cookies as delicious as the rest, albeit of less perfect shapes.

Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, they will puff up a little and dry like meringues. When they are ready switch off the oven leave them in the oven for a few more minutes to ensure they are really dry.

Cool the cookies on racks and store in airtight containers.

Note: these quantities will yield approximately 4 baking sheets of cookies. You can halve the recipe, but they are so good it would be a pity to bake a smaller quantity.


from bakinghistory

rainbowbrown's picture

Pain à l'Ancienne

Pain à l'AnciennePain à l'Ancienne


The other day I made the Pain à l'Ancienne from Reinhart's BBA. I can't even believe the flavor this bread had. Really, I was thoroughly taken aback. I feel like I can't even talk about it...but it was...

I know many of you have this book and if you haven't yet, try this recipe. Really. Try it. It was a very simple recipe. Do it. Now.

and have fun.

mcs's picture

sticky bun - video

Hey there, In the spirit of JMonkey who has nudged the fresh loaf in a sticky bun direction, I'm putting up video #4, "Sticky Buns". It's more of a recipe specific type of video, not really a tutorial, and without commentary. It's a little different than the others, but maybe you'll find it inspirational enough to make some. Hope you like it.




foolishpoolish's picture


Anpan 1


Anko paste (easily enough for 8 to 10 Anpan)

1 cup Azuki (aka Adzuki, Aduki) beans
100g Caster Sugar (adjust to taste)
4 cups Water (enough to cover the beans and then some)
  • Rinse the beans thoroughly. 
  • Cover the beans with water in a saucepan and bring up to a simmer.  
  • Cover with a lid and continue to cook at a gentle simmer until the beans are very tender (about 1hour)  If needed, add more water during cooking to keep beans submerged.
  • When beans are cooked, strain and retain some of the cooking liquor.  
  • Mash and pass the strained beans through a sieve (retaining some whole beans to add to the final paste if you like the texture)  
  • Add sugar, to taste, to the sieved/mashed beans. The mixture will noticeably slacken. 
  • Return the mixture to a saucepan on a medium low heat and continue to cook until the mixture colour darkens to a deep red/burgundy (about 15 minutes). Add some of the strained bean liquor if the mixture becomes too dry. 
  • Leave the paste to cool (it will clump into a smooth ball). It's ready to use!

 You can keep Anko for at least a week in the 'fridge.

Dough (makes 8 large Anpan):

500g All Purpose White Flour (or a 50/50 mixture bread flour and cake flour)
300g Milk (I use semi-skimmed)
60g Caster Sugar 
1/2 tsp Salt
60g Butter/Shortening (or 80 to 100g vegetable oil)
1 tsp Instant or Active Yeast 

For glazing:

2 tbsp Butter (melted)
2 tbsp Milk
1 tbsp Caster Sugar

For sticky, shiny finish:

      <beaten egg optional> 

1 tbsp Golden or Corn Syrup (warmed)
1 tbsp Water
  • Mix the dry ingredients and add the milk.
  • If you're using active yeast then activate by whisking into warm milk to which a teaspoon or so of sugar has been added.
  • Knead until you have a smooth dough with medium gluten development. 
  • Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Mix/Knead in butter/shortening/oil bit by bit until (this can get messy initially!).  Keep going until you have a smooth dough once again (few minutes more kneading)
  • Leave the dough to bulk ferment until doubled in size (about 2 hours)
  • Degass the dough. (Can stretch and fold if desired)
  • Divide the dough into 8 portions and roughly shape each into a ball.
  • Let the dough balls rest for 10 minutes
  • Flatten and stretch each ball into a circle about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
  • Place a 1 1/2 inch (or more if you like!) ball of anko paste in the centre and bring the dough edges over to envelop the anko and squeeze to seal.  
  • Lightly press and roll the ball, seal side down, on a slightly tacky surface to ensure seal.
  • Leave the buns on a lined baking sheet to prove until doubled in size again.  
  • Heat the oven to 180C /  350F (I'm basing on my less than wonderful fan assisted electric oven.  You many need to adjust)
  • Brush each bun with the melted butter/milk/sugar mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.  
  • For a shiny sticky glaze brush each bun with the syrup/water mixture towards or at the end of baking and leave in the oven for an additional minute. 
  • Allow buns to cool.  The crust should soften fairly quickly although I find covering with tin foil for 10 minutes immediately after baking does help.


Many recipes call for adding egg to the dough. Having made two different batches in the last two days I'm of the opinion that an eggless dough gives the result closest to the sweet asian bread dough I'm familiar with. Not a strict rule by any stretch of the imagination. Some Anpan (Sakura Anpan) use salt-preserved cherry blossom as a garnish placed on top of the bun in the centre and pressed in to form a 'belly button'. Other variations include white bean paste filling and sesame seed garnish. You can also use the dough as the basis for Melon Pan and other sweet asian breads. 

Apologies for mixing volume measurements with weight measurements.  If, for example, the yeast you use is composed of larger granules then increase to 1 1/2 or 2 tsp.  


<modified 14/2/2008 --FoolishPoolish> 


bakerb's picture

B’s Five Layer Hidden Focaccia

OK! OK! OK...I had this idea to use pesto, olives, & cheeses, you know, yum Italian flavored stuff, in a bread loaf, and I thought I'd just use the rolled-out, then rolled-up technique, but then I thought of trying this:

B’s Five Layer Hidden Focaccia½ the dough of Floyd’s Italian Bread…nice wet flippy dough…1 jar Organic Bella Terra Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, 3 oz.7 pimento stuffed green olives, sliced¼ t. fennel seeds, toasted & slightly crushed4 hunks sun-dried tomatoes, chopped2.2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano1 oz. fresh mozzarella piecesDivide dough into 3 pieces, 2 large & 1 small…Stretch or pull one of the large pieces to about 10 - 11 inches in diameter …place on peel on cornmeal sprinkled parchment…spread ½ of the pesto, ½ of the olives, ½ of the fennel seeds, ½ of the tomatoes, & ½ of the cheeses onto the dough within ½ inch of the edge…Begin to preheat  the oven, stone, & water pan to 550 degrees, convection…Stretch or pull the small piece of dough to just barely cover the toppings…spread on the rest of the toppings, in the same order as above, to the edge of the second dough…Stretch or pull the last large piece of dough the same size as the original…mist the bare edge of the original dough with water…place the last piece of dough on & press & seal the edges…check for large air pockets between the top dough & the toppings underneath & poke a hole to release the air…My prebaked loaf was about 1 inch high x 12 inches diameter…it sat for about 15 minutes while the oven finished heating…Thoroughly mist the loaf with water…slide the parchment & loaf onto the stone, pour 1 c. hot water into water pan & mist the loaf again…mist 4 more times, 30 sec. apart…lower temperature to 450 degrees, convection (lower temperature 25 degrees if no convection)…bake 22 minutes, rotating once…207 degrees internal temp…

My baked loaf ended-up measuring 2 inches high x 11 inches in diameter… I did not slash it, it didn’t split as it baked and only leaked slightly on the top in 2 places…the crust was dark, doughdoughloafloafloafloafcrumbcrumbcrumbcrumbcrumbcrumbcrumb layerscrumb layersthin and crispy, the crumb was airy & moist and the” toppings” were oh so flavorful…I guess, if anything, I would add more olives & cheese...

zainaba22's picture

Quick 10 Minutes Dough flat bread

Makes 4 large or 8 small.

 1 recipe 10 Minutes Dough ( I use 2 whole wheat flour cups +3 white flour cups in this recipe).

1) Preheat the oven to 550F.

2) Divide dough into 4 or 8 pieces.

3) Shape each piece into a ball.

4) Roll each piece to round.

5) Place onto oven trays or hot baking surface for 2-3 minutes.



woefulbaker's picture

Bread Science

Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Baking Bread  (Emily Buehler) Having read the excerpts, I feel sure I would enjoy this book.  I really want to learn more about the science behind the bread (and applying it to improve technique, of course).  This looks to be the perfect book for me.  Some complex microbiology and organic chemistry explained in easy-to-follow diagrams and description. Does anyone have this book? Love to hear opinions.I'm hoping to order a copy soon (hope they can ship to the UK).   --Toby 

ehanner's picture

Eric's awsome adventure

Corn Rye CrumbCorn Rye CrumbMulti-grain CrumbMulti-grain CrumbCorn Rye
Corn Rye
Multi Grain Levain
Multi Grain Levain

Today I planned to bake two breads I had not done using my new DLX mixer. I have been drooling over dsnyder's photo's of Hamelmans multi grain levain and also his corn rye. So today was the day to try both. The corn rye is split up the side like his first ones were. It seems like the docking wasn't effective at releasing the steam pressure. The second image is the multi grain which turned out very nice. The recipe makes 3- 1.5 Lb loaves which I used MCS's shaping technique on and I'm a convert. Just a little pushing, rotating, pushing and bingo a very nice tight ball with no open seams. Thanks Mark for that tip!

Anyway, when I get crumb images I will post by edit. Thanks Dave and Liz for the formula's and Zola for the DLX tips. I'm hooked, that's a really great mixer. The slack corn rye would have been very hard to get right with a KA and the DLX made child's play of that one.

The crumb image above is the Multi Grain Levain. NOW I know what all the fuss was about. The crust was crispy and crunchy and caramelized, full of flavor. David said leave it in the oven 15 minutes longer than you can imaging it would stand which I did, with the last single baked loaf. The two above didn't get that last 15 minutes and they look great but they don't have that snap. Future loaves will get the Snyder treatment. Thanks David!


ejm's picture

ISO Portuguese cornbread (not sweet)

I believe that bread I'm looking for is called broa de milho. It is quite crusty on the outside but very moist inside with a dense almost white coloured crumb.

In the thread entitled 'looking for a recipe for Portugese Bread', pumpkinpapa posted a recipe for Broa. I tried replying in that thread but foolishly put the reply deep inside the thread to ensure that it would surely get lost. I hope it's okay that I am reposting my questions.

  1. Is the cornmeal yellow or white?
  2. Is the resulting bread quite dense and moist?
  3. I don't suppose you have a photo of the crust and the crumb, pumpkinpapa?

Many thanks!


P.S. A while back, I tried making Portuguese Cornmeal White Bread (Pao A Moda De Sao Miguel) from Gourmet 2000 but it wasn't quite right. The bread was good, just not what I was hoping for.

ehanner's picture

DLX Question

Hey all you DLX users, I just took delivery of a new DLX Assistant mixer which looks like it will be fun. I have read where the first thing to know is that the water goes in first and the flour as it becomes incorporated. I'm wondering about the roller position is a little confusing. The manual says fix the roller 1 inch away for a 2 loaf batch and 1.5 inches for 3 loaves and so on. Others seem to say leave it loose and let it ride the edge.

I searched the forum for nuggets and ran a test batch to experiment with 1100 grams of dough at 65% hydration. It was dry enough to put up a fight as the roller followed the dough. Just wondering what the best advice is for the roller position.
Thanks in advance.