The Fresh Loaf

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Floydm's picture

I tried baking a Couronne this weekend:

The bad news: the dough was too slack for me to shape very well, so it didn't turn out terribly pretty.

The good news: the slack dough made wonderful bread. Even with a quarter of the flour whole wheat, it was light and airy. We gobbled it up.

The recipe was roughly the rustic bread I've baked many times. I think I went a little heavier on the whole wheat than usual, but I wasn't paying close attention.

martin's picture

I first started playing with sourdough breads a couple of years ago. Unfortunately they did not turn out well although I kept trying for almost a year.

This I came across Dan Lepards site (and later this one) and bought his book. I followed his recipe for the levain and after four or five days realised that my previous efforts did not resemble the bubbling mass I now had. My first attempt at the White Loaf was not a success, but I think that was because the climate temperature was around 34 C and I tried to keep to his recipes suggested timings. The dough became very slack, well liquid really.

After contacting Dan through his website, he gave me some advise on the methodology and the next batch I made turned out fine.

This morning when I pulled a couple of loaves out of the oven, they really looked great. They had risen to almost double their size and just looked healthy. My customers love them. (Sorry I have no pictures, I use Linux System Computer and the only thing I cannot get to work with it is my cheapo Kodak digital camera ez200. I must try to get a new camera that has the required driver.)

I reflected on my earlier efforts and am so glad I perservered. I much prefer using the levain to yeast these days for many of my breads. I think levain is more robust and forgiving to work with than yeast and I guess it suits my style of baking.

timtune's picture

After used to having bread for breakfast, i was deprived of my usual breakfast treat when my exams came and my last loaf finished recently.
This is what i have to do when i have lil time on my hands.
A loaf prepared in 15 minutes!!

Had to make a brown soda bread... too much Soda i think. Affected the taste..haha..or is it suppose to be like tht?..i dunno. The people in the place where i live only calls white fluffy, sweet - cake liked things as bread. They would term all my breads as alien... :P

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Bakenstein's picture

I finally started to do the little trick of holding back a cup of flour out of the recipe and using it as I knead. The dough has a much better hydration.
I am so used to cooking and baking very rapidly and always trying to organize for speed. Now its time to organize to achieve the bread's best potential. Slowly stepping it up to the next level.
I also decided to hold off on my starter. I want to thoroughly understand yeast breads first from the ground up-literally. Flat breads first.
Maybe somewhere down the road I'll build my Wood Fired Oven....but not too far!

martin's picture

Apart from the fact that most of us eat Peanut Butter on Bread. This has not much to do with Bread.
A few months ago I made some Peanut Butter just to see how it would turn out. It was good so I made some more and gave sample to our Organic shop.

They loved it and now I am having a job keeping up with the demand. It is sold in all 5 outlets of the Organic store. The bottle-neck is in peeling the peanuts. We did try using ready-peeled nuts but it was not the same. Once the skins are removed the nuts seem to lose their oils.

If anyone is interested in the recipe let me know, but be warned its time consuming and good exercise for the heart!

Floydm's picture

Firefox users: click here if you want to download a Fresh Loaf search plug-in.

On that page, you click on the title "The Fresh Loaf". It'll install a little search plug-in. Then you can go up to your search box and click on the logo to switch engines. The Fresh Loaf icon looks like this:

search box

The Fresh Loaf search always at your finger tips... what more could you ask for?!? ;)

Non-Firefox users: read why you should switch.

whitedaisy's picture

My loaves from lesson #2 turned out very good. The first batch didn't rise very much, so I let the second batch rise for a lot longer. My hubby is impressed. This site may convince him to send me to Chef School :o)

martin's picture

Its 10:26 AM and I have just finished Baking. I started at 04:30. Shortly my wife and I will be off to deliver our bread to an Organic Shop we bake for.

Three years ago we started baking in a small shop. We had the idea of baking healthy wholegrain bread. Boy were we wrong. Mostly we just got complaints about how hard the bread was. I have to say that in Malaysia bread is very very very soft and fluffy. However there is a tremendous rise in Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Obesity etc that we thought the Whole Grain approach was a good one.

Despite poor sales we persisted, augmenting our income with wedding and birthday cakes.

Last year, around Christmas time, I entered an Organic Shop, can't remember why. A young lady, one of the sales assistants came up to me and pulled my beard and called me Father Christmas. Outside the store there were several Chinese men running around with red coats and false beards rumbling HO HO HO. I was the real thing.

After this rather wonderful greeting we started talking about the products in the store and my wife and I told her we were bakers. "Why don't you sell here she exclaimed!" Well to cut it short we sent over some samples, they loved it and now we supply four days a week. Nearly everything gets sold.

There was nothing wrong with our bread, we were just selling it in the wrong place.

whitedaisy's picture

My oven was full of turkey today, so I decided to give the English Muffin recipe another try. My last attempt was a disaster! I added way too much flour. And I didn't think to roll the dough out in small amounts, so I ended up with a lot of corn meal in my dough. Today's muffins look and taste great. They even have those tiny air pockets.

whitedaisy's picture

I made the bread from lesson #1 again last night. I was busy making soup too, so I used my stand mixer for the kneading this time. I think this helped me not add too much flour. I used the dough for soup bowls, which my kids loved!


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