The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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tattooedtonka's picture

Well the day is finally winding down, and I think I am done. What a great day it has been.  I started off making the kids some home made pancakes from a recipe I found online some time ago.  Since they were made from scratch, my youngest calls 'em "Daddy's Scratchy Pancakes".  It stuck with the rest of the family as well, so that was their request before they went to bed last night.  After the scratchy pancakes were finished off I got to work on my breads.

A couple days ago Bill suggested I try a Focaccia, so with a bucket of starter built up from yesterday I got to it.

The SD Focaccia is Reinharts Poolish version just converted over to SD in place of the poolish.  It has Oregano, Parsley, Tarragon, Basil, with chunks of fresh Mozzarella cheese.

Next up was the two Sourdough Ciabatta's, again Reinharts recipe for a poolish version.

For supper a couple of Pizza's- first one is Red Onion, Garlic, Broccoli, Shredded Mozzarella, and Olive Oil. 

The second pizza is Garlic, Roasted Bell Peppers, Chunks of Fresh Mozzarella, and Olive Oil.  (In case you couldnt see the pattern, I love garlic, and have to limit my tomato sauce intake, so most of my pizza's are made without sauce)

All that is left are two Sourdough Boules that are doing an overnight in the fridge to be baked in the morning.


More pictures of these can be found here

Floydm's picture

I just clicked on my profile (I was looking for the sweet potato soup recipe that is on my favorites list), noticed it said "Member for 3 years, 2 hours, " and realized that I started this site three years ago tonight.

Pretty cool. The site has done much better than I imagined it would and been, with very few exceptions, a real treat to manage. My thanks to all who have made it so.

On the baking front, I'm going to be trying a couple of batches from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Their brioche comes highly recommended, so I'm looking forward to trying that. I've still never made brioche that I found highly satisfying.

Floydm's picture

I made a few layout changes today. I'm trying to make more efficient use of space without reducing readability.

I also enabled user icons. You now can go to "My Account" and upload a small gif or jpeg to represent you. It will show up on any forum or blog posts you make, as well as in your comments.

Let me know if you run into any problems.

GlindaBunny's picture

I decided to add some whole wheat flour to the italian bread this time.


scored dough 

I wasn't paying attention and left the oven high for a little too long... oops.  They're a little dark. 

oops... a little dark 

The dark crust didn't adversely affect the flavor, though. 

sliced bread 

bread with spaghetti 



Thegreenbaker's picture

Again I made my quick bread. The treacle whole wheat loaf.

It again was a success! I think I have hit the nail on the head! This time the Whole wheat/white ration was 75 WW and 25 White. I kneaded it for 15 mins and even got a windowpane! *falls over in shock*

Heres a picture of the finished loaf. This time slashed and it rose so beautifully. I could cry!


and a front on with slices shot....


woo hoo! :)


So if thats the ups whats the down?


Well, I decided to make a fruit loaf...with a marzipan swirl.

It tastes great but it loooooks like something from the swamp! I called it the glop monster.

It would have been great IF I had have made it into two smaller loaves, but after I shaped it,

it just grew........

and grew.......

and grew!!!

Its hanging OVER the bakers stone here, and I thought I'd have a right horrid mess! Isnt it ugly?

It had good oven spring, (hence growing MORE)

Its not the most aesthetic loaf, but it sure did taste good :)


I soaked the fruit in apple juice and mixed spice. I used currants and cranberries and the treacle loaf dough.


Next in like is more ciabatta, more treacle loaf (hopefully 100% WW version) some bagels perhaps and BBA Multi-grain bread.

Keep an eye out, as I seem to be enjoying my picture posts :D




AnnieT's picture

I had promised my grandaughter's teacher a loaf of sourdough and planned to make Susan's loaf, the one baked under the ss mixing bowl. My starter seems to be really hearty and I was pretty confident the loaf would be as good as my latest several. Yesterday was the day, and for some reason the dough didn't have the usual feel and I refrigerated it with trepidation. So while it was warming up for the 2 hours this morning I started a batch of Susanfnp's Semi-Sourdough, thinking that I would use it as back up. The gloomy dough had risen slightly in the refrigerator and to my amazement it rose like crazy under the bowl and even crackled as it cooled. The back up dough was very slack and took lots of stretching and folding and I was sure it was going to make doorstops but the bread fairies were with me and I now have three presentable loaves. All I have to do is decide which one to give away, A.

AnnieT's picture

Maybe disaster is a bit dramatic but I am hoping someone will be able to help me. I was about to shape the boule, using Susan's sourdough recipe, when I noticed tiny black specks in the rice flour coating the linen liner in my banneton. (Pays to out on my glasses once in a while!) Upon further inspection I found that the mold was well established in the linen. Luckily the banneton came with two liners. I hadn't washed the liner because I thought the idea was to get it well seasoned with rice flour and I was very complacent about the fact that my dough didn't stick. I always line it with parchment for the NKB but not for the sourdough. So can I wash the brown linen liner with bleach - I imagine it would be a pain to completely rinse out the odor? Or do I have to toss the liner? Lemon juice and sunshine would be safer but sunshine is in short supply up here in WA. Has anyone else had this happen, and can anyone suggest a remedy? I look forward to any help, thank you, A.

Thegreenbaker's picture

I link my photos from far it is the easiest way for me work it :S


I have a few contacts on my flickr friends list...all people who saw my photos and decided they wanted to add me. So I add them back :)

One contact posted this most delicious looking recipe. It is in another language, but they also have written it in english below the entry in their native tongue.

It looks absolutely scrummy! So, I thought I'd post a link for those who want to have a look.


Thegreenbaker's picture

Today I had a little triumph.

My oven has been broken for 5 days and finally the oven repair man came to replace the element....yesterday....

So, after testing the oven with lentil Pie and Steak and red wine pie (for the hubby) last night. I was ready to make some bread today.


I had made a poolish, but after a bit of a busy/mixed up day, it had been left out for too long and I decided not to use it. I had made it way too wet as it was anyhoo.


So, I threw together a half Wholewheat and half white loaf. Indending it to be a sandwhich loaf as I have missed toast ovwer the past week! *pouts* I decided that I might try adding a teaspoon (heaped) of treacle into the mix thinking it would be nice with the whole wheat. So, I did.

The whole recipe went

2 Cups strong whole wheat flour (about 12 %)

2 Cups strong white flour (about 11.6%) both organic.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons active dry yeast.

1.5 teaspoons salt

about 2 cups luke warm water. (I began with 1.5 cups but then had to add 1/4 cup extra, then a 1/4 cup extra on was then a liiiitle sticky which was alleviated when I kneaded it with more flour)


I mixed the whole wheat and the white flours together in a bowl. added the salt and mixed again.

I then dissolved the treacle and yeast in the water (1.5 cups)...left it for about a minute then poured the oil into the water mixture.

Poured the whole lot into the flour and mixed adding extra water as I went until it came together.

I then kneaded the dough (with extra flour as I'd added a little too much water) for about 10 minutes...perhaps a little more....

and left it to rise for an hour in a warm place.

Then gave it another knead (its a sandwhich loaf) and placed it back in an oiled bowl covered to rise for another hour.

I shaped it and rolled it in seeds then left it to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place (covered)

Placed it in a preheated oven for 50mins at 190 degrees celcius.


What I do for my sandwhich loaves is I own two loaf pans (well 4 but they are 2 pairs in different sizes)

I use the spare loaf pan as a lid while rising and for the first 10-15 mins in the oven.

It works a little like the la cloche and keeps the surface moist so that it has as much chance of springing as I can give it.

Usually it works alright, but tonight.....

It worked a treat.


This is by far the best sandwhich loaf I have made :)


The only thing I'd change is making it 100% whole wheat if I were to keep the treacle in it, or omit the treacle and use honey or nothing.

I didnt score it so it tore, but, I kind of like the says to me I made a good bread that wanted to rise. It looks rustic aswell :)

And below is the crumb shot. Very nice for a sandwhich loaf :) Lets hope I keep repeating these happy results!





bwraith's picture

I've had a number of discussions with TFL participants recently about sourdough rise times versus temperature and inoculation. Temperature has a big effect on sourdough rise times, and sometimes a starter appears unhealthy, when it is really just rising more slowly because of low temperatures in the kitchen during winter. Also, recipes that used to work seem to fail during the winter, but the colder temperatures may be the cause. To adjust for cold winter kitchen temperatures, either the temperature must be managed actively (oven with pilot light or electric light, coolers with a bowl of warm water in them, and so on), or the percentage of fermented flour must be adjusted in the recipe, or much more time must be allowed for the bulk fermentation and proofing.

I constructed a table that provides (in hours) the doubling time, bulk fermentation time, proofing time, and total mix-to-bake time for various temperatures and percentages of fermented flour. The table has two sections, one for no salt meant for unsalted levains, and one for 2% salt meant for doughs or salted levains.

Inoculation, as used in the table, is the percentage of fermented flour contributed by a levain or storage starter to the total flour in a levain or dough. For example, if 50g of storage starter at 100% hydration is contributed to 225g of flour and 175g of water to create a levain, then the total flour is 250g (25g+225g) and the percentage of fermented flour is 10% (25g out of 250g total flour). Similarly, if a dough containing 1Kg of total flour is made by contributing the levain just mentioned to 750g of flour and 550g of water and 20g of salt, then the inoculation or percentage of fermented flour is 25%, or 250g out of a total flour of 1Kg.

The table is made to match up to rise times for whole wheat, high extraction, or generally high ash content flours I tend to use in my sourdough hearth breads. For pure white flour doughs and levains, the times tend to be about 20% longer, i.e. white flour rises a little more slowly.

Your starter may well be faster or slower than mine. If you build a test levain using a representative entry in the table, such as 10% at 75F, you can see how your starter compares to these table entries and then adjust your rise times and proof times up or down by the same percentage. For example, if you starter doubles in 80% of the time indicated in the table, then it makes sense to use 80% of the time in the table for other temperatures and inoculations also.

You can see from the table that the rise times vary over a huge range depending on temperature. Also, inoculations need to be changed drastically for long overnight rises, depending on temperature.

The strategy for maintaining a starter should also change dramatically if the temperature is 65F instead of close to 80F in the kitchen from winter to summer. For example, a 25% inoculation at 65F results in a 10 hour mix-to-bake time, which is a couple of hours before a levain would peak and begin to collapse, but at 80F an inoculation of only 0.5% results in a 10 hour mix-to-bake time. I've used this model at wide ranges of temperature and had reasonable results. The interesting thing to notice is that a 20g:30g:30g feeding at 65F peaks in around 12 hours but a 1g:100g:100g feeding at 80F peaks in around 12 hours, too. Or, if you look at the mix-to-bake time at 65F for a 10g:45g:45g feeding (10% inoculation), it's 12.5 hours, so if you feed that way at 65F the starter won't be getting to its peak and may be overfed if the feeding is repeated every 12 hours, while the same feeding at 80F will peak in less than 8 hours, so a 12 hour schedule will work well at that temperature.

This is simplified from my rise time models, so it doesn't include some additional adjustments for the dough consistency I make in my spreadsheets. Of course, this is a very rough approximation. All kinds of complications may cause these numbers to be different from actual results. So, it's just a guideline and something to think about, and it's biggest use may be as a learning tool or to just get in the general ballpark for rise times. For example, if your temperatures are very different from the ones the author assumed in the recipe, or if you just don't have an idea where to start with rise times for some recipe your trying, maybe the table will help.

Apologies in advance, if it turns out there is a bug in the table somewhere, but at least some of the numbers made sense after browsing through the table.


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