The Fresh Loaf

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dolfs's picture

A late entry. For Christmas I made stollen with a recipe that looked like it would produce something close to what I know from The Netherlands.

Dutch Regale's Almond/Rum StollenDutch Regale's Almond/Rum Stollen

I did look at many recipes, but finally decided on a mix of two recipes. I used mostly the recipe from Glezer's Artisan Baking across America for "Dutch Regale's Almond Stollen," but incorporated a slightly different mix of dark and golden raisins with a small amount of candied cherries, all soaked overnight in rum. Dutch stollen uses something called "sukade," but I haven't found that available here.

I suppose this is not an easy recipe (recipe post here). The first try resulted in something that was delicious, but a little flat and dense. It was almost more like a somewhat moist shortbread. For the second try I did the same recipe but worked more on developing the initial dough. The result was better (see picture, although this is not a picture of the best specimen: it disappeared before I could take a picture) and surely was declared delicious by all that ate it.

The almond paste was made from equal weights (250 g) of almond flour (I'm too lazy to blanch and grind almonds), fine granulated sugar, and an egg. I made three times this recipe about two weeks ahead of time. The texture and taste improves notably by keeping it in the fridge over that time.

The stollen went to us and some close friends where we celebrated Christmas. For many other friends and neighbors I made Panettone. We had a progressive block party on the 29th and my wife signed us (me) up for the bread course. I baked 4 baguettes, 3 epis and 3 loaves of Tom Leonard's Country French. I've pictured all these before, so no new pictures.



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures


GlindaBunny's picture

I made another of the "favorite recipes" from this site.


finished pastries 

for the pain aux raisins, I added lots of raisins (my husband loves them).

unrolled pain aux raisins 

sliced raisin rolls

smooshed raisin rolls 

baked pain aux raisins 

unfilled snails 

I used a pastry bag with a star tip to pipe in the cream cheese filling.

filled snails 

baked snails 

redivyfarm's picture

A little help from my friends, please? Bear with me, here comes one of my notorious rambling lead-ins to some serious baking questions. I love The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto-Kasper on Natl Public Radio; doesn't everyone? Years ago she recommended a book, "FoodWise" by Shirley O. Corriher on both the science and the mechanics of cooking. I gave it to my son-in law as a gift and then borrowed it back just the other day. The first ninety some pages are on the wonders of risen bread and there is a wealth of very basic info that I must have encountered elsewhere but have yet to assimilate. Some of it would have helped my most recent baking.

This morning I baked a second attempt at Peter Reinhart's Pain a l'Ancienne rustic baguettes. I mostly use a high gluten flour, about 12.5% protein, but I've heard somewhere that crusty French breads are the product of rather weak flour. For this baking I mixed low protein with high protein white flours 2:1 to get about a 9% protein blend. I followed the BBA formula except that the absorbtion of the water seemed higher than usual so I kept adding a bit more ice-water until the dough remained sticky at the bottom of the mixer as described. I popped it into the refrigerator to retard overnight. This morning it was partially risen when I removed it and let it sit at cool room temperature. After three hours it was actively proofing even though it was still quite cool. I think I allowed this bread to over-proof the first time I made it so I preheated the oven to 500 degrees and turned out the dough onto a heavily floured surface and stretched it to an oblong. I cut the oblong into five strips with the bench scraper dipped in water and baked two at a time at 475 degrees in my curved baguette pan (shaped like this UU) on a top rack with a baking stone. I didn't slash at all because I didn't want to deflate these long thin loaves.

Well, the bread is delicious, the formula is wonderful but my execution is flawed! The crumb is open mostly at the top per the photos- Sorry can't post pictures now- I'll insert them when the problem clears up!

FoodWise says that the problem may be a too hot oven; might the top of my big oven not be the best place to bake these baguettes? I'm also reading that a pale crust such as I'm getting can be from too little protein. What is your experience with these variables? JMonkey, I'd be very pleased with your results!

AnnieT's picture

I received my copy in my Christmas package from England, and at first I was a bit upset because it isn't all bread baking. It does have some interesting reading apart from the recipes, and TFL is mentioned in the Bread Directory. Described as "A lively community for amateurs", and having tried to keep up with the latest postings I think they have that right! My niece also sent me The BIG Book of Bread. The good news is that all of the recipes are given by weight, the bad news that many of them begin: 500g packet white bread mix. It does have a whole section of gluten free recipes, and as we all know we can never have too many bread books, A.

mse1152's picture















Hi everyone,

Here in San Diego, we're working on our third inch of rain since Friday, the Chargers played on TV (and won, big whoop), so it's a good day to stay inside and bake something! I've blogged before about the filled bread from The Artisan site here, but it's such fun to make, and so pretty, that I'm doing it again. The dough is nice and soft (almost sticky), made with just the basic four ingredients. It stretches out very easily to make a bed for the filling.













This time, the filling is a one-pound bag of frozen spinach sauteed with olive oil, lots of garlic, oregano, basil, and chunks of red bell pepper. After spreading the filling on the dough, I sprinkled it with crumbled feta and folded it into the 'book' shape described on The Artisan's bread site. Look for 'Pane Ripiene' on the left hand menu.

I brushed the loaf with olive oil, then sprinkled it with sesame seeds (the best tasting seeds in the world, IMO). Halfway through baking, I rotated the loaf and sprinkled pecorino-romano on it.
















There's something wonderful about a complete meal you can carry around in one hand...leaves the other hand free to hold the wine glass. It's even good the next day at room temperature.
























Try this bread with your favorite filling.


tattooedtonka's picture

One of this weekends breads.  I sure do like the sound of a fresh bread crackin as it cools down, and all them little blisters, love 'em.

Well another weekend down, 3 Pizza's Saturday, 2 SD Baguettes, 2 SD Boules, 4 Breakfast Pizza's Sunday.  I think I really have to give whole wheat and rye more attention.  I love some of the photos JMonkey has of his wheat breads, and Bill's Miche is awesome looking.  I make a couple loaves of wheat and Im still like, anh, I really like white.  But I gotta keep trying, maybe like Bill had wrote, maybe I just havent made the right bread yet.

I still have a poolish in the fridge I made last night that I have no idea what Im going to do with yet.  Did my SD starter buildup and was thinking I should make a Poolish while I'm at it.  Dont know why, but I did.  It will last 3 days so I still got a day to think up something to do with it.

Oh well,


More pic's of my breads and such

ejm's picture

wild yeast bagels

After looking at our bagel recipe sit for months on my recipe stand, I finally made bagels! I don't know why I waited so long. Because I adore bagels....

After admiring Susan's (Wild Yeast) bagels several times, I decided to copy her and use my wild yeast starter too.

And how did the bagels taste? Well, I liked them! I loved them on their own and also with goat's cheese and red currant jelly. And coffee. Of course.

The bagels are firm and chewy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside - just the way that bagels should be (or at least I think so....) Another taster said that there was too much taste of sourdough and not enough of malt. I confess that I didn't really taste the sourness but am certainly willing to tone it down.

Any ideas on how to go about doing that? Can I just add more malt to the dough?

Here is the recipe I used:

wild yeast bagels


This must be bagel season! I see that FloydM has just made bagels too.

bwraith's picture

Retsel Mill and Brass Sieves

Home Mill High Extraction Sourdough Miche

JMonkey's many blog entries on whole wheat, as well several other TFLer's posts, helped me learn to make whole grain breads that are light and flavorful, rather than the rocks and bricks I had thought were inevitable with whole wheat. Then, Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads came out, and I learned more about the reasons for soakers and mashes and gave mash bread a try. Then, I read some posts by Ron, who has posted passionately about whole grains and pushed me to think about trying home milling. Finally, Goetter mentioned stone milling at home with his Retsel, which he said was easy to clean and use, and I was off and running. I just recently received my Retsel Mil-Rite, and I'm happy to say it works just great - quite fast (5 pounds/hr for reasonably finely milled flour) and easy to clean if you need a few pounds of freshly milled whole grain flour.

However, unlike many or most of the home milling aficionados, I am as interested in traditional methods and recipes as I am in the nutritional aspects of bread. As such, I do want to be able to create "high extraction flour" or maybe even some regular bread flour from my whole grain berries to satisfy interests in country style miches and other types of bread that may call for other than pure whole wheat flour. In order to accomplish that, the flour needs to be sifted. MiniOven mentioned brass sieves, and some internet searches revealed a number of places. I finally purchased a range of brass sieves from number 18 through 120 from, hoping to experiment with them to extract more refined flours from my freshly milled whole grain flour. While conversing with the people at Legend Mine, they said it would be backbreaking to sift very much flour by hand, and that I should consider a "sieve shaker". I don't have the sieve shaker yet, but it will arrive soon.

Sieve Shaker

Meanwhile, I went through a laborious process of discovering the right coarseness of grind and which sieves to use. I found that I could get very reasonable results by setting the mill stone adjustment to be just slightly looser than finger tight. The flour coming out was fairly fine - good for a whole wheat bread flour. Yet, it had some percentage of larger particles. I then successively sifted the flour through my #20, #40, and #60 sieves. The #20 caught large particles of bran, about 5% of the weight. The #40 sieve caught smaller particles of bran and other dark parts of the kernel - probably some of the germ from the look of it, with a weight of about 15%. The #60 sieve was catching what I would call a very dark flour, probably some combination of bran, germ, and outer endosperm, about another 15% of the weight. What came out of the bottom of the #60 sieve was very nice bread flour, creamy and slightly dark colored. I'm sure that flour from # 60 would have made a delicious whitish bread. So, the sifting is nowhere near where it could be with a shaker and will never be anything close to the perfect filtering done by commercial mills. However, for my purposes, even this very spur-of-the-moment hand processing was enough to get 65% fresh, creamy, bread flour.

As for grain, I ordered 25 lbs. of Wheat MT Prairie Gold, 25 lbs. of Wheat MT Bronze Chief, 10 lbs. of their wheat berries (hard red winter wheat berries, I think), and 5 lbs. each of spelt and rye berries. I stored them in 6 gallon buckets with screw on hermetically sealed lids and placed oxygen absorbers in the buckets. A 6 gallon bucket comfortably holds 25 lbs. of grain with enough room for the screw-on lid. All the storage buckets and lids were purchased form

Although the Retsel appears to be more than adequate in retrospect, I went off the deep end ealier in the week and ordered a Meadows 8 inch mill also. This one will grind much faster and hopefully won't be too hard to clean.

To create my high extraction flour, I just took the finest 85% that came out of my sifting, which amounted to all of the bread flour (throughs from the #60), all of the throughs from the #40 (a darker semolina-like flour), and some of the throughs from the #20 sieve (very dark, very coarse), such that I had 85% of the total weight of all the flour that I sifted. I then ran the coarser flours back through the mill at a fairly fine setting, which resulted in making those coarse components much more finely milled. I mixed them in with the good bread flour coming out of the #60 sieve, and that is what I used as my "high extraction flour".

I also finely milled enough spelt and rye to make 55g of whole rye flour and 105g of whole spelt flour. I just mixed all the rye and spelt berries together and ran them through the mill once.

I then made my high extraction miche, along the lines of a Thom Leonard Country French with a spelt and rye levain. The overall recipe is 15% fermented flour in a spelt and rye levain, mixed with a soaker of the high extraction flour with 1% malt syrup, 2% flour, and 1 tbsp of diastatic barley powder.

Some photos of the process are posted. Spreadsheets are posted in xls and html format.


  • 30g firm storage starter (any starter will work - use 25% more batter starter or about 50% more liquid starter)
  • 52g whole rye flour
  • 104g whole spelt flour

I mixed this starter at 12:45AM after a night of much experimentation and exercise manually sifting about 10 cups of grain into 40 samples from the sieves trying to figure out the best settings for the mill. The levain was designed to rise by double and ferment an hour or so more by 9:00 AM.


  • 10g diastatic malt powder
  • 15g malt syrup
  • 30g salt
  • 1024g water
  • 1300g home milled and manually sifted high extraction flour

I mixed the soaker in a large bowl using a scraper until it was reasonably well mixed. The mixing was done at about 1:00AM and the soaker was refrigerated overnight.


At 9:00AM in the morning, the soaker was spread out on a wet counter like a great big pizza. The levain was chopped into marshmallow-sized pieces which spread evenly over the soaker and pressed into the dough with the palms of my wet hands. The dough was rolled up and folded a few times, squished all through with wet hands a few times, rolled a couple of times, and placed in my DLX mixer. The dough was mixed/kneaded in the DLX mixer on low to medium for 4 minutes, allowed to rest for 4 minutes, and then mixed for 4 more minutes.

Bulk Fermentation and Folding

The dough was allowed to rise at a temperature of approximately 74F in a cabinet above my coffee machine. Initially the temperature was around 70, but by the end of the bulk fermentation the temperature was up to about 76F. During the bulk fermentation, I folded the dough at 10:40AM, 11:40AM, and 12:40AM. The total bulk fermentation time was 5.25 hours at roughly 74F.

Shaping and Proofing

One large boule was formed at 2:15PM, allowed to sit for 15 minutes on the counter, and turned upside down into one of those San Francisco Baking Institute lined baskets (12" diameter). I dusted the loaf and the basket liner with some of the bran and semolina-like flour from my siftings mixed with a small amount of rice flour. In retrospect, since the dough was not that hydrated (77%), it wasn't necessary to use the rice flour. I could have just used some of my home sifted bran and nothing else.

The basket was placed in a large ZipLoc "Big Bag" with a warm bowl of water and sealed. The proofing temperature was about 75F. I slashed with cross-hatch pattern and baked at 5PM for a total mix to bake time of 8 hours, and a proofing time, starting from 2:15PM of 2:45.


The loaf was baked in my brick oven. The oven was fired earlier and allowed to cool to a hearth temperature of about 450F. I sprayed the loaves with an orchid mister, sprayed the chamber of the oven until it was full of steam (20 seconds), and sealed the door with my wooden wet towel covered door. The bread was rotated every 15 minutes for a total of about 50 minutes bake time. The oven door was left open after 20 minutes, and the hearth temperature dropped to about 400F at the end of the bake.

To do this in a kitchen oven, heat oven to 450F, create steam however you do it, and then drop the oven temperature to about 400F. If the loaf becomes too dark, cover with foil and/or drop the temperature to 350F. Allow to thoroughly bake, so the color of the crust is uniformly dark but hopefully not burnt and the internal temperature is above 205F.


Allow to completely cool before cutting - several hours at least.


The miche has a color that is darker than my usual whole wheat loaves, which may be partly because my sifting wasn't that efficient, partly because the extraction rate may be higher than for Golden Buffalo, which I would normally use for this application, and maybe just the nature of freshly milled flour, which I've never tried before. The texture is definitely lighter and softer than I expect from a whole grain, so the high extraction worked in that sense. The flavor is closer to a whole grain loaf than I expected. If I want a more mild white flour flavor, it may mean using less of the darker, larger particles, i.e. use a slightly lower extraction rate. By the way, the aroma of the fresh flour when mixed with water is most definitely better than anything I've smelled using commercial flour. Everyone in the house commented on the great aroma coming from the dough and the bread. I do believe the flavor and aroma of the bread is enhanced by the freshness of the milling, something commented on by many on the site.

The Next Phase

When I receive my Meadows mill and the sieve shaker, the next phase of the project will be to discover the right settings of the mills and sieves to gain a more efficient separation of the particles from the milling.

Meadows 8 Inch Light Commercial or Home Mill

But Why Did I Do This?

OK, part of it is just fun with gadgets. However, there are several objectives beyond that. One very significant motivation is that I haven't been very happy with the availability of other than white flour or whole wheat flour. I'd like to be able to create flours with various characteristics in the amount I need when I need it. Also, any flour other than white flour will probably have spoilage issues if kept for too long. So, rather than buy a few pounds of some specific flour, pay a lot for shipping, and then use a small amount and throw out the rest when it spoils, I can create the desired flours to order. Much of the bran can be used for dusting or added to cereal, and even the middlings may be tossed into oatmeal or toasted and used in place of wheat germ, as suggested in the Essential's Columbia recipe. If I can make the process convenient and fast, then it will be easier and cheaper in the long run to occasionally buy bulk amounts of a few different berries, as I already just did. Storage is easy for the berries, and they stay fresh for a very long time in berry form.

The result is a drastic improvement in the freshness of my flours, very little waste or spoilage, and much lower cost. I seem to spend upwards of $4/pound including shipping for small quantities to get particular flours I want over the internet. The berries, purchased mostly in 25 lb. quantities, came to less than $2/pound, even if I'm very particular and buy from Wheat MT or Heartland Mill. It could be much less if I can find sources for high quality berries locally. However, it's not a bad guess to say I lose close to half my purchased whole grain flours to spoilage. I could offset the spoilage with flour freezing strategies, but I just think this home milling approach is better. No freezing, easy to use screw-on lids on buckets of grain, and absolutely fresh flour to order. At least, that's what I'm shooting for.

It's true that the cost of the mill and sifting equipment won't be offset by the lower cost of the berries for something like 2-3 years. However, for me the home milling approach is still justified because of the freshness, flexibility of flours I can generate, and the convenience of storing berries. The fact the lower cost will allow for the recover of the cost of the equipment even if it takes a few years is just an added benefit.

Of course, the benefits above are theoretical. Maybe after the next phase, I'll conclude it's not possible to produce the desired flour characteristics with simple sieves and a small stone mill. However, the first phase was almost sufficient, other than the excessive physical effort required to manually sift the flour. If I can make the separation work a little better by discovering the right series of millings and siftings, which should be far easier to do with the sieve shaker, I'm hopeful the results will justify doing it regularly going forward.

Floydm's picture

I made bagels this morning.


I forgot that my malt powder had gone bad, so I subbed in brown sugar. Definitely not as authentic, but still quite tasty for a Sunday brunch.

tattooedtonka's picture

Alright for those that know me here, you already know I like photos so it will be no surprise to you thats theres gonna be a bunch (browndog, you'll be glad you got dsl). 

Some months ago a nice fellow named Crumb Bum gave me a compliment about my experimentations, and not always following the bread books.  I really appreciated that and try to hold true to it still today.  I enjoy, and learn loads from all the books I have purchased on bread, but I like to do my own thing as well. 

With that in mind, I refused to go on the rules that it takes at least a half a day to 2 days to make pizza dough.  I wanted to make Pizza from scratch in the time it takes to get home delivery, all by hand.  And I wanted it to be good.

Here are those Pizza's, all 3 made in about an hour start to finish

Garlic and Cherry Tomato with Cheese

Sausage, Tomato, and Cheese Pizza

The recipe:

  • 908 Grams Flour                                       100%
  • 600 Grams Water                                        66%
  • 29 Grams Salt                                               3.2%
  • 14 Grams Instant Yeast                            1.5%

Take flour and mix in yeast then salt. 

Add water to mix, and incorperate into a wet mass.

Drop mass onto unfloured counter. 

(Note: I use an unfloured surface for this after reading a great explanation from Richard Bertinet that any flour you put on the counter that incorperates in your bread changes the recipe.  This way, the end result is true to your recipe.)

Now once on the counter I use a stretch and fold, over and over until I get a nice shaped ball, and most of the dough has come off my hands and back into the mass. About 6 minutes

From here I cut into 3 pieces 455 grams each (16 oz.) These are for Large 16" Pizza's.  I will end up with a scrap about 103 grams (3.5oz.). 

I shape these 3 into balls and put into a container oiled lightly with Olive Oil to set for 30 minutes.

After about 15 minutes I took the lids off and placed the containers in plastic 1 gallon plasitc bags and sealed. I also start preheating my oven to 500'F. with my pizza stone in the oven.

After 30 minutes I start making a pizza round.  I do pat some flour onto the dough at this point during sizing because the dough is already made, I am just making it easier to work with.

At this point I place them onto pizza screens to build the pizza.

Once built put it into the oven for 8 minutes, during this time start making your next pizza on a second screen.  As the first comes out put in the second, tranfer 1st pizza from screen to cutting board and use that screen to start making your third pizza.  At the end you will have baked 3 pizzas in 24 minutes.


Now for my notes on cheap granite.  I am a big fan of low prices.  Someday granite counters in my kitchen would be a great thing, but in the meantime I go for what I can afford.

In Bennington VT, theres a little place called Camalot Village, its a craft center of sorts.  One of the vendors there is a kitchen counter contractor who puts his scraps out for sale (CHEAP).  I was able to pick up a nice piece of Black Granite 18"wide by 5' long and a solid 1" thick for $40.00us.  Now at $50-100 dollars a square foot at a stone counter store this is a great deal.  This is a little over 7 square feet for less than 1 at the store.

It is my own personal "Big boys cutting board".  Now its a little heavy to move around a bunch, but I think its cool.  And its a great work surface for my breads.

Just something you could look into if you wanted.  There are kitchen contractors all over and they surely have to have scraps after jobs.  A little hunting around and you can find what you want.



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