The Fresh Loaf

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

This is day three of my starter and I think it's on the way to becomming bread.




sourdough starter

chuppy's picture

This is my daily bread I enjoy making for the family.

audra36274's picture

looking for a recipe for Portugese Bread

April 2, 2007 - 2:47pm -- audra36274

My father in law is an old Navy salt and he goes on and on about the Portugese bread he used to get while stationed in New Jersey. I would love to re create the bread for him, but have been unable here in Alabama to find a good recipe. I tried the King Arthur flour recipe but it wasn't quite right.  I am in love with the whole bread making world, and am so happy that I finally found this web site. It has been comforting to find out that others also have this yeast obsession! If anyone from up Jersey way could help I ( and my Pop) would really appreciate it!

Cliff Johnston's picture

Maple Syrup as a Bread Ingredient - Mixed Emotions

April 2, 2007 - 2:46pm -- Cliff Johnston

Today I used a new recipe.  On one hand it was a failure, but on the other hand it had some redeeming qualities.  There were three ingredients which I normally don't use in bread:  egg, maple syrup and milk.  The crust burned before the internal temperature of the bread reached 200°F..  I don't know which of the ingredients caused the crust to burn.  The loaf itself reached an excellent height.

A closer look at the burnt crust follows:

TinGull's picture

Made this over the past couple days and was delightful. Very soft crumb and flavorful too. I used Floydm's recipe which was just lovely. I will start the poolish again tonight to bake off tomorrow afternoon. I want to have this one all the time!


TinGull's picture

This bread was from a starter that was tickled with a little molasses (a question from a previous comment...and got me thinkin' it might taste nice) and it was tastyyyyy!  The bread didn't spring like I would have wanted it to, but none the less made for some tasty bits to slop up pasta sauce :)



I just used KA bread flour, water, salt and some molasses. 

pmccool's picture

I dug my starter out of the refrigerator on Thursday and started refreshing it without a clear notion of what I would use it for, although some type of rye bread sounded good.  Even though it had been 2-3 weeks since it was last used, it bounced back quickly and I had enough by Friday evening to start two different batches of bread.  After browsing through recipes, I decided on the NY Deli Rye from Reinhart's BBA and a sourdough Dark Rye from the new KA Whole Grain cookbook. 

However, before I could get started on either one, my wife asked whether I remembered that "we" were going to make some lemon-blueberry scones for her women's retreat at church the next day.  I confessed that I did not, but since she was about to leave to go do some setup work for the retreat that "we" would get right on it.  After looking at the recipe, I saw that the end product would probably be delicious but it wouldn't be a scone.  It called for melting the butter and stirring it in with the rest of the wet ingredients, rather than cutting it (cold and solid) into the dry ingredients.  I also saw that it would require about 4 batches to yield the required number of servings.  After assembling all of the ingredients within easy reach, I got to work on the first batch.  The dry ingredients called for:

2 cups AP flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

The wet ingredients included:

8 ounces lemon yogurt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

After mixing the dry ingredients, stir in the wet ingredients just until everything is moistened (it's better to stop when things are still a bit lumpy).  Then gently fold in 1 cup of fresh (or thawed frozen) blueberries, trying not to crush the berries.  Spoon onto a greased baking sheet (yields 12-15 scones/biscuits) and bake in a 350F oven for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven when they flecked with brown, remove from the baking sheet and cool on a rack.  

In my case, as soon as one batch went into the oven, I started working on the next batch.  I was very grateful to have my scale on hand, since the yogurt came in 6 ounce packages, instead of 8 ounce packages as they used to.  Score another one for the marketing geniuses who tell us that they are doing us a favor by selling us a smaller package at no additional cost!  Remember (here in the U.S., anyway) when coffee was sold in 1-pound increments and you could but a 1/2 gallon container of ice cream?  Aack!  Okay, end of rant.

Because of the butter and sugar content, these tend to spread out as they bake.  The finished scones/biscuits are softer and more cake-like than traditional scones or biscuits.  I'm not sure what would happen if the solid butter were cut into the flour mixture, as is more traditionally the case for scones or biscuits.  It's possible that the resulting dough might be too stiff to allow easy incorporation of the berries. 


With the scones out of the way, I turned my attention to the bread.  First, I chopped and sauteed the onions for the NY Deli Rye and then set them to cool.  Then I prepared the soaker for the Dark Rye.  That called for rye flour in a pumpernickel grind, which I have not been able to find locally.  So, I dumped an equal weight of flaked rye into the food processor and whirled that I had a coarse rye meal.  The recipe called for soaking it overnight in strong coffee but I'm not a coffee enthusiast, so I opted for water instead.  If I had had some dark beer in the house, I would have used that.  By the time the soaker was, well, soaking, the onions had cooled enough to start the preferment for the NY Deli Rye.  Once that was assembled, it went into the refrigerator until I was ready for it on Saturday.  After that, it was time for some serious dish-washing.


On Saturday, I started the day with some errands (including buying a new lawnmower, but that's another story).  After returning to the house, I took the NY Deli Rye preferment out of the refrigerator so that it could begin to warm up.  Then I got to work on the Dark Rye, combining the soaker with the rest of the ingredients.  The recipe writers apparently have a warped sense of humor, since they direct you to knead the dough until it is "smooth and elastic".  Give me a break!  This is rye bread!  Anyway, I kneaded it (including some stretching and folding) until it was, um, well, more elastic than it started and about as smooth it could hope to be.  It was still thoroughly sticky, of course.  Setting that aside for the bulk ferment, I moved on to the NY Deli Rye.  Since I have made this before, it didn't take long to have it pulled together and ready for it's bulk ferment.  I set both doughs on the counter immediately above the dishwasher to take advantage of the heat coming from that, so both were ready for shaping a little sooner than normal.  I baked the NY Deli Rye first, since it was ready first (it had been spiked with a little yeast), in bread pans.  I also put the stone in the oven to preheat while the NY Deli Rye was baking.  When the NY Deli Rye came out, I slashed the boules of the Dark Rye and set them to bake on the stone, with steam.  They had very little oven-spring, preferring, instead, to spread sideways.  As a result, they are rather low; maybe 1.5 to 2 inches thick at the highest point.


The NY Deli Rye is consistently delicious.  The Dark Rye is also very good.  The molasses flavor over-compensates for the sourness of the soaker, leaving the finished bread just slightly sweet.  Had I used coffee instead of water in the soaker, the coffee's bitterness might have reduced the sweetness.  Since I don't like coffee, I think the tilt toward the molasses flavor is a good thing.  The sweetness will be a good foil for savory accompaniments like ham or corned beef or cheeses or pickles.  I'll definitely make it again. 


All in all, a good weekend for baking.  And, since I already have bread in the freezer, I had gifts for a neighbor's birthday.

riles's picture

Looking for a dairy free recipe for homemade grissini - preferablly wholegrain.  Made in the true artisan way - each one hand formed into a long thin stick.  I want to server these standing upright in a tall glass as part of a cheese and antipasta spread I'm doing for Easter?  Can anyone help? 

sqpixels's picture

I made Naan Flatbread and I made it with sourdough! It was very exciting! Although not really true or accurate, because I don't think there's sourdough in Naans. The sourness usually comes from the yoghurt - which I realised at the last minute I forgot to buy so I used sourdough starter instead. I've been scouring through the internet the past week for Naan recipes because it was my Dad's Birthday over the weekend and he loves flat breads, so I thought I'd make him Naan. And I stumbled upon the blog entry of Il Forno and there I learnt how Naan was made with the help of Julia Child. I know, it's not really authentic or Indian made but still I think it's a good start.


The final taste was beautifully sourdoughy. Haha - not quite Naan in flavour but it was very yummy. It was crispy, very nicely chewy on the inside and I loved the texture inside that was created by the sourdough. Most rewarding even if I actually failed to make Naan. Next time I will remember the yoghurt. 


Sourdough Flatbread
Makes 11

1½ Cup Lukewarm Water
1 Cup Liquid Sourdough Starter
2 Tbspn of Olive Oil
1 Tbspn of Salt
1 Tsp Active Dry Yeast
900g Bread Flour

Chopped Garlic
Sesame Seeds
Poppy Seeds


Mix all ingredients (half the flour) in a bowl of a sturdy mixer until well combined. Autolyse for 20 minutes. Knead the dough and add in remaining flour a little at a time for about 10 minutes until a smooth elastic dough is formed.

Transfer dough in an oiled bowl and cover, leave for half hour at room temperature and refrigerate overnight (I left it in the fridge for 2 days).

On the day of baking, remove dough from fridge and let it de-chill for an hour. Divide dough into 150g portions. On a well dusted surface, roll the portions out until about 0.5 - 1 cm thick. Sprinkle water over flattened dough and sprinkle desired toppings. Cover and leave to proof for 2 hours.


Preheat oven at 250C and place baking stone on the centre rack one hour before baking.

Gently transfer dough to a well dusted peel or the back of a baking sheet. Gently pull and stretch dough out, and make several pricks with a fork in the dough. This is because, the dough will puff out like a pita and so the pricks allow air to escape.

Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm.



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