The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I've finally done it

Jaymunnie's picture

I've finally done it

After over a month of trial and error, I've got a working recipe for a wonderful loaf of simple white bread for my pullman pan, and now I'm looking to broaden my horizon with different flavors and ingredients.  I was going to do an italian herbs and cheese loaf, but I'm unsure of what kind of cheese I could use.  I'm debating between shredded cheddar and grated parmesan because I'm not sure how either of those would impact how the loaf turns out, aside from taste.

clazar123's picture

Integrate chunks of feta or gruyere for a tangy pop. Add herbs-fennel and rosemary, chive blossoms or leaves, organic rose petals for color, mozzarella and pepperoni for pizza bread,etc,etc. Dried fruit, raisins and craisins with coriander and cardamom, turmeric for a screaming yellow look.

How long can I go on?...….jump in and try whatever appeals.

dabrownman's picture

add ins.  Just pick your favorite Italian stuffings and have at it.  Durum semolina, Romano, sun dried tomato, olives and rosemary with fresh garlic and put them in focaccia and pizza dough two Italian breads.  Then you can do a Greek bread a German one etc.  the American one can be Wonder Bread :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

your Q on another thread...


I've been following a sourdough starter recipe.  It's my first time making sourdough and I don't know what to expect.  The recipe calls for:

Day 1 - 50g Flour 50mL water  100g total

Day 2 - Feed with another 50g Flour and 50mL water  now 200g total

Day 3 - Discard 100g of starter and then feed with another 100g Flour and 100mL water 3 x 100= 300g total

Day 4 - Discard 150g of starter and feed with another 100g Flour and 100mL water

Day 5 - Discard 200g of starter and feed with 150g Flour and 150mL water

Day 6 - Discard 250g of starter and feed with 200g Flour and 200mL water

Today is day 3 for me, and I noticed that the top of my starter had scabbed over in the jar...not sure if that's a good or bad thing.  I've been keeping my jar in a lukewarm place with the lid just placed on top, not even sealed, just so pests or anything else can't get into it.  I am using White Lily unbleached bread flour which is one of only 2 other bread flour types I have access to in the small town that I live.  I'm noticing small bubbles here and there, and I'm not sure about the smell.  How do I know if this is a viable batch? Or if I'm even using the right flour? Or if I'm even doing it right at all?


Some answers...  First, I'd like to apologize that your earlier questions got passed over, it gets busy here sometimes.  Anyway, starting a sourdough starter can be an awesome thing to do and it is a test of patience. Third day already.  Looking over the recipe it gets bigger and bigger each day, not so necessary.  Scabbing over may mean nothing, remove it and keep to it.  You could stick to day two directions for the week and save yourself a bit of flour.  When the yeast raise the starter ( do you know exact temps?) then more flour food will be needed.  Let's see what we can do to reduce waste. 3 has 300g goop.  Day four reduces this by half.  I think you can reduce this down to 50g and feed only a tablespoon of flour ( 20 to 25g) and a few spoons of water to bring the consistency back up to a batter.  Do this each day  for the next few days without discarding.  Stir the goop a few times each day or just swirl the starter around in the jar. You want the starter to be around 75°F to 82°F while it is standing.  Lower, and it will take longer than a week. There are many threads here telling what to expect as bacterial colonies go thru changes and yeast starts to multiply.

If you are worried the starter is drying out on the surface, float a spoon or two of water above the starter. There are no concrete rules as to go about getting a starter going, each starter is a little different.   The bacteria and yeasts will take their own time and this can vary from house to house, flour to flour and water to water.  Bubbles are good, it means activity of some sort. You know your yeasts have arrived when you get fermenting aromas a day or two after cheesy aromas. There will be more bubbles and if the goop is thick enough, it can rise some.  A clear jar helps see gas bubbles forming in the goop.  

An increase in rise combined with yeast aromas indicates it's time to increase the flour food amount which might include a discard.  I would do it this way... remove 50g from the jar before feeding it, put the jar back into place and feed as scheduled. This will serve as a backup.  Now take the 50g you placed into a new clean jar and feed 50g each flour and enough water to make something like toothpaste or a soft dough.  Mark and let this ferment observing the rise over the next 12 to 24 hrs.  

When it peaks and starts to fall down or deflate, discard down to 20 g and feed again using 50g flour and enough water to make a soft dough (about 40g)   Repeat until your rising and peaking under 8 hrs. Then starte feeding at 12 hour intervals to conform to your schedule.  

When it doesn't rise or do anything in a 24 hour period, return back to your scheduled back up goop and give it another day or two to ferment longer while giving it small feedings warmth and stirrings.  When it gets over 300g, reduce back down to 50g adding a spoonful of flour and enough water to make a paste or batter.