The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My recent breads and two desserts

chouette22's picture

My recent breads and two desserts

Finally I am finding (or rather taking) the time to post about my recent baking activities. And since I am still on vacation, but the semester starts next week, I'd better not rely on having more leisure then...

I have baked quite a bit with my sourdough starter (which is now about 4 months old, but has already spent five weeks straight in the fridge when I was in Switzerland - seems to have survived it well) and we all love the resulting breads. Here are some examples:

The classic Vermont Sourdough (Hamelman):

Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough":

Sourdough Walnut and Sultana Bread (recipe by Shiao-Ping):

This bread was absolutely delightful. I put all kinds of dried fruit (the big black spots you see are prunes). The only change I will make next time is to include a tiny amount of sweetness, a spoon or two of honey probably.

Pain de Provence (Floyd's recipe; herb bread, no sourdough):

Delicious! I made it with all sorts of fresh herbs from the garden, chopped very finely.

King Arthur's Monkey Bread (no sourdough):

By the time I got the camera, the kids with the visiting neighbour kids had already torn into it ...

And for good measure, two desserts.

Blueberry Pie with fresh Michigan berries:

And finally, Eclairs filled with Vanilla Pudding and fresh strawberries. They certainly didn't last long!


As I said in my introduction, I LOVE a certain Swiss bread and have been trying to recreate some kind of copy of the patented original. I'll do a separate post on how that is coming along.




Salome's picture

. . . and I was hoping to find more about the Pain Pailasse in this post. ;)

Nevertheless, the breads displayed look "yuuummmiii" and the desserts as well. Even though I haven't got a sweet tooth... ;)

How was the crumb in the first two? Did you get big holes?

I think I have to bake a herb bread soon.

Salome (Who just got the next trial of the 100 % whole-wheat bread with yoghurt out of the oven . . .)

chouette22's picture

Hi Salome,

here is a crumb shot, a bit irregular, but fairly open.

And I'll write about the Paillasse soon, promised.

Looking forward to your whole-wheat experiments. I am in the process of making one from Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" that I received a couple of weeks ago. I'll post about that too.

Salome's picture

looks nice! I like irregular holes.

about my whole-wheat experiments: I just had a tiny slice of the third Whole-Wheat bread today, because I cut a loaf in half and gave it to our two neighbour-women who live on their own. So I basically tried somewhat "from the middle", took pictures and had other bread for dinner, which had to be eaten first. I'll publish my post when I had some serious slices. . . ;) But you will find it here.

Whole grain Breads or Laurel's kitchen bread book . . . I don't know whether I should get one of these . . . I love Whole Grains, but I don't like enriched doughs with sugar, butter etc. that much. And it seems to me that many recipes out of Reinhart's and Laurel's books are enriched, sandwich-style breads. What do you think about Reinhart's Whole Grain book?


chouette22's picture

... but you are right that many of Reinhart's breads in that book do have a small amount of sweetness (a Tbsp of honey or two, for example), and a Tbsp or two of oil, and many of his soakers are made with milk, buttermilk, or yogurt.

Since I had just gotten it, I have so far read only the chapters at the beginning about his baking method, and then I just leafed through the recipes. I hadn't noticed that fact about it. However, I feel just like you, I don't like my breads to be sweet at all, so it'll be very easy to adjust the recipes. I did stick to the recipe of the multi-grain bread I baked a couple of days ago, since I wanted to see if that small amount of honey was needed or if it bothered me. With all the whole-wheat and seeds added to it, it balanced the taste very well and I will probably leave that ingredient in the recipe.

I bought the book because it has many breads with soakers and that's what I was looking for. I love breads studded with seeds and grains!

PS: The beautiful picture of your whole-wheat breads now greets us on TFL!

SylviaH's picture

Beautiful display of your baking!   


sharonk's picture

these are magnificently beautiful!

chouette22's picture

... Sylvia and Sharon for the nice compliments. :)

bakerslife's picture

All of these breads are so amazing.  They make me nostalgic for my childhood in Little Italy, Newark, NJ.  We use to go to the Italian bakers daily and purchase bread and they looked just like these.  I had the bad habit of poking holes in the bottom of the bread and eating  it while walking home much to the dismay of my mother. 

I have been baking for 50 years and my great-grandmother was a "panettiera" baker and had her own "panetteria"  bakery in Italy.  

Thank you for all of these beautiful breads the staff of our lives.

chouette22's picture

... you had basically no choice but to become a baker yourself. :)

I can imagine that your mother wouldn't appreciate those breads you brought home, with some of the insides missing, but it must have been so good.

summerbaker's picture

I love the cut out flowers on your pie.  Did you just make extra dough and use a cookie cutter?  The loaves look perfect as well.


chouette22's picture

... and yes, I just cut out a few flowers from a little dough I had reserved for decoration (I didn't make any extra, there's always a tiny bit left).

ques2008's picture

I like the way you scored your breads, but most of all since I have a very sweet tooth, I really liked your eclairs - they look yummy.  I wonder if a recipe is forthcoming!