The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts's picture

Tartine's Lemon Meringue Cake in Sheet Form

April 26, 2017 - 12:29pm -- brian@clarkeipl...

My daughter's 18th birthday party is this weekend. She wants the Lemon Meringue Cake from Tartine's book, but wants it in the shape of 1 and 8. This all seems fine but the recipe/directions are for round cakes.

My thought is to use a sheet pan (12x17) and cut into quarters to do the layers and use to shape the "1". Then do two small round cakes to shape as the "8".

Sander's picture

Stretch and Fold

April 26, 2017 - 2:54am -- Sander

Hi everyone,


As I've mentioned in previous posts I live in Saigon and it's always HOT and HUMID here (excuse the capital letters :-) )

I find that works in my favour as I have no trouble getting a new starter going in no time. It also shortens fermentation which actually cuts my bulk ferment in half. I only work on a dough (after autolyse) for 1h30 which is very welcome when combining baking with a full-time job.

I still retard in the fridge overnight so the flavour development and further processing of the dough still happens. 

tinpanalley's picture

Baguette with my levain?

April 25, 2017 - 11:47pm -- tinpanalley

I've got this fantastic levain (only made it two months ago but still proud of it ;) ) and what I'd like to know is if there's any way to get close to a "baguette tradition" like I used to have when I lived in Paris using this levain? I've tried reading Chad Robertson's Tartine baguetter recipe but I'm finding it confusing and Forkish's book, though it taught me how to make my sourdough boules, doesn't talk about baguettes.

If anyone can shed some light on what recipe I can follow to use my levain, I'd appreciate it. Thank you!

oo7wazzy's picture

Mixing Ciabatta

April 25, 2017 - 9:33pm -- oo7wazzy

HI Fresh Loafers

I have been making ciabatta and mixing it by hand and doing the turn and folds, as alot of bakers have recommended. I am pretty aggressive with the turn and folds to get as much gluten development as possible. I do this 5 times every 20mins, and then pop it in the fridge overnight, about 8-10 hours.

will slick's picture
will slick

40% W.W. English muffins

Hello friends, the aim for today’s experiment, will be to modify an existing recipe, (,) to create a formula for 40% W.W. English muffins.


The Will Falzon method, 40% W.W. English muffins


Milk (I used unsweetened Almond) 370G                      61.6%

Water                                                     120G (Divided)    20. %

W.W. Flour                                             240G                     40. %

 A. P.  Flour                                             360G                      60. %

Yeast                                                        21G                         3.5%

Melted Butter                                        32G                          5.4%

Sugar                                                          4G                          0.6%

1 Lg. Egg                                                  (60G)                        10%

Salt                                                               4G                          0.6%

Vinegar                                                        4G                          0.6%

Corn meal (As needed)


1.    The Autolyse

Combine milk, 70G water and all the flour, till the flour is completely wet. Set aside to rest covered for 1 Hour.

2.    Combine yeast, sugar and the remaining 50G of water at 100Deg.F. Mix well, allow to rest for 5 minutes, till frothy.  Incorporate the yeast mixture well into the autolysed dough. Cover and set aside.

3.    In a small bowl combine the melted butter, 1 egg, salt and vinegar. Once cooled, incorporate the egg mixture into the dough. Mix well.

4.    Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes. While still in the bowl work the dough with very wet hands for a few minutes, until a shaggy dough ball is formed. At this point the dough will be very wet and unmanageable.

5.    Cover with well-oiled plastic wrap and a dish towel. Set aside to rise in a warm draft free place.

6.    At 15 minute intervals, preform stretch and folds at the four corners. Continue for one to one and one half hours, until the dough achieves enough strength for a “window pane” to be pulled.

7.    At this point, coat your work surface generously with corn meal. Begin to preheat the griddle to medium heat (350F).

8.    Turn out the dough on to the work surface, coat the top with corn meal.

9.    Using your preferred method, roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ inch.

10.                      Using a cookie cutter or jar lid cut out 16, 3inch muffins.

11.                      Place the muffins on the griddle and cook for 7 minutes on each side. Or until they are well browned and the sides are stiff.


Today’s exercise was mostly a success. However, I rolled out the dough much to thin, (1/8th”) so most of the muffins are way too small. Also I feel the muffins need a little more sweetness. Next week when I revisit and tweak the formula, I will eliminate the sugar and substitute 3 TBS of raw wild flower honey. Also I used almond milk because I realized I did not have enough cow’s milk.

Cooper's picture

So, like an Icarus who flew too high too fast, long before he learned how to build an airplane, last weekend I got too cocky thinking that I could do variations of my own, without having to research proper recipes.  The result was two utterly lifeless loaves, which, albeit still edible, definitely wished they have never been baked at all. 

Since I'm of a firm belief that we can learn just as much - if not more - from failures as we can from successes, I am posting it here as a warning to others like me: "Learn to crawl confidently before you do... well, practically anything else". 

I started with the same simple SD recipe I used a few times before, but decided to split the dough into two parts and make two battards, one with Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and the other with walnuts and figs. After autolyse and final mixing, I allowed the dough to BF for 1 hr. (It was supposed to be 30 min, but it took me much longer than expected to prepare the extra ingredients.)  I then did one set of stretch/fold, divided the dough, flattened each half, spread additional ingredients, and did another couple of stretch/folds. I am not sure where exactly I went wrong, other than I think I loaded waaay to many "extras" into the dough.  Each battard was about 460g of dough, and each received about 70g additional of mixed extras.  As you can see from the photos of the crumb - if you can even call it that - that was definitely too much.

I followed that by my usual stretch/fold every 30 min 3 more times, but the dough, especially one with olives and tomatoes, never became elastic as I expected. I shaped it the best I could, placed into well-floured bannetons for overnight retardation in the fridge, then warmed up for 2 hrs in the morning before attempting to bake. Both loaves stuck to the banneton badly, the one with olives and tomatoes worse than the other one, to the point that both completely ripped when I tried to extract them onto the baking sheet.  I baked with steam for the first 15 min, and they did rise in the oven just a tiny bit, but nowhere close to be called loaves of bread.

I definitely learned my lesson; now I just need to figure out what that lesson was. :-)  Happy baking everyone!


Jim Burgin's picture

Failure to hold boule shape.

April 25, 2017 - 9:10am -- Jim Burgin

Baking "White Bread With Poolish"  in Forkish, p. 98.  

Through four folds dough continued to be very sticky and not hold a Boule  shape.  Not enough tension in the dough.  What do you think caused this?   Room was warmer than Forkish mentions (my room was 73 degrees.)  Too much time fermenting poolish or mixed dough?   Something else.  Appreciate advice?  Jim



Subscribe to The Fresh Loaf RSS