The Fresh Loaf

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beanfromex's picture


This is Ramona proudly showing her first ever loaves. Nobody in her family has ever made bread this way. Mexico is not a country where loaves would have been easily accesible some years ago. The corn tortilla reigns. This is now changing with more people having access to stoves, and wheat.

Ramona has now cooked bread at her mothers home in Macuspana. She is eager to learn and cant wait to experiment with the loaves .

This recipe is from "the joy of cooking" Basic white bread.

beanfromex's picture

This is a puffed up roti that we cooked at Sabrina's. This puffing is what you want when cooking roti.

beanfromex's picture

In preperation  of the "times loaf experiment tomorrow,
we went to "el centro" (downtown) to a store known for its selection of enamel pots. I bought a wonderful 4 qt. baby blue one with lid and a handle for the equivalent of $7 US.  There were larger ones that may have been 20qt pots for 17 US dollars.

I thought this store had a great selection of enamel and cast iron, but I saw no cast iron. The other material was some sort of incredibly lightweight aluminum pot.  There was also a 8 qt heavy weight type of steel pot for $37. but it was quite heavy and without knowing if this is a technique  worked, I dcided against it.

We then went to the "home depot" store. I was looking for natural flowerpots that I could use as a cloche. I did not find any plain ones, they were all painted. Most with enamel. The other selection was plastic. Plastic is quite popular here as the terra cotta ones tend to mold in an unpleasant way, not the lovely green that I have seen in canada and the USA. Here it is a murky browny black and quite thick. This is quite noticable in the rainy season.

As I write this my "times" dough is in the fridge until tomorrow afternoon. I followed the direction as the video said. It felt strange not to oil a clean bowl.... 

Tomorrow I am planing on continuing with the "times" bread and making the cottage loaf again but using a third WW . I also want to play with the shape...

 Hasta luego

Floydm's picture

So I set out today to try the new technique that we've been discussing from the New York Times article. I created a dough like what he described the night before and gave it an 18 hour rise.

This morning, I dusted off a Le Creuset pot I got as a gift a few years ago but have rarely used.


18 hours later, the dough was extremely bubbly. Personally, I thought it smelled a little overfermented. Slightly alcoholic.

bubbly dough

Around 80% hydration, folding it was a pain.






folded dough

floured bowl

Despite flouring the bowl like crazy, it stuck.

sticky mess

I baked it anyway. It came out ugly, but with pretty nice crumb.

both loaves


The pretty loaf was a sourdough I baked the same way (in the pot covered for 25 minutes, in the pot uncovered for about 20 or so at 450). It was a damp dough, but not *that* wet. More like 65-70% hydration. Much easier to handle.

sourdough loaf

I may try it again, but I'm not overwhelmed by the results. They are good and it is a little simpler, technique-wise, but I enjoy a more traditional approach too.


Floydm's picture

I made a multigrain bread a weekend or two ago:

Multigrain bread

I made a porridge of grains the night before. Oats, millet, quinoa, polenta, and anything else I could find.

multigrain bread

I added all of that to a simple dough. Slightly sweetened with honey, softened with some milk and oil

multigrain loaf

Oh yeah, and buckwheat. Mental note:I really detest buckwheat. At least in a loaf like this. Much too strong a flavor.



Floydm's picture

The furnace is acting up again. No heat this weekend. Thank goodness it won't be that cold, but you can bet I'm going to be baking a lot.

beanfromex's picture

I used the starter than I have been carefully feeding since last thursday night. All indications were right, smell, bubbles etc..and baked somethng that looked great, and felt like a doorstop. It was a VERY dense loaf, not what I would choose to have again. So I fed the starter and popped it into the fridge...perhaps I will try again next week.

However, today I taught Ramona how to do the cottage loaf from last weekend. Again, excellent colour and crust and a reasonable crumb.  I sprinkled cornmeal onto a greased baking sheet and the bottom crust is wonderful. And used poppy seeds over the egg waah.

Ramona did not get the wash evenly around the lower loaf, so you can see where it dripped and where she missed. ...but she will see this tomorrow and learn from it...

Perhaps I should get her to have a try at the sourdough....

I am going to play with this recipe and introduce whole wheat and seeds into the loaf ..

stay tuned... 

beanfromex's picture

Well the sourdough is now into the fridge for the next phase of folding every hour for the next four or five hours. I will then leave it overnight on the lower shelf inthe fridge.

It seems like a surprisingly small loaf given all of the work on the starter..which began last Thursday. I have put the remainder into the fridge after feeding and will use it again next week, should this loaf work....if not, I am going back to tried and true recipes...and the trusty cottage loaf from the weekend.

For the most part, I have followed egullets sourdough directions. Sourdough seems to be one of the more complicated, many version type of baking out there. I have read about concorde grapes, pineapple juice and so many things wtih regards to this bread that I am a bit confused. I am buying a book in Canada in december, and am leaning towards the BBA.

I took some pictures of my starter, but do not think you can see anything due to the flash...I will have to work on that.

beanfromex's picture

I started this starter on thursday evening, and this morning I noticed a subtle change in the smell, for the better. The harsh sour smell had gone .

I poured off all the top forming houch and have been feeding it faithfully every 8 hours. Today I think I finally have enough bubbles to make the dough tomorrow and bake the bread on wednesday morning.

Ramona also tried making two loaves at her families home over the weekend. Only one of the two loaves rose and one of her children touched a loaf on its final rise and probably punctured the surface. 

The last thing I baked was the cottage loaf, recipe given in previous blog entry.  We have now eaten all of that loaf and I want my husband to concentrate on the oatmeal raison in the freezer before I bake anymore...other than the sourdough that is...

 Hasta luego...


tomsbread's picture

It was a bread making marathon for me this weekend as I experimented with Jeffrey Hamelman's 70% Rye sourdough using the Detmolder 3 stage method and tried shaping some of Richard Bertinets Fougasse and Epis. Pictures in

I have tried posting pictures into this site but it still eludes me :(



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