The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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greenbriel's picture

Looks like a few of us making this one this week! I made one last week but gave it away, I get to eat this one! Tasty flour blend.

I threw a bit of ice in the combo cooker before it went in the oven. Think the extra steam may have given slightly better bloom. Scored with a straight razor. I feel like I've got the banneton flouring about right these days, a HUGE help for me was watching the Forkish video where he gives the bannetons a sharp rap on the bench to get the proofed loaves out. I had a lot of trouble with long proofing before that. I'm just using AP flour, no rice, may have to try that too, everything helps!

alfanso's picture

I took a hard break from my standard baguette life to help my sister in law get her nascent bread skills some training wheels while she was visiting from far away.   I decided to do boule shaping with her, less challenging than the whole baguette pre-shape/shape/score shebang, and selected a bread I’ve never done before, in basically a shape I don’t do.  So it was discovery for both of us, but in different ways.

I’ve dined at Ken Forkish’s Trifecta Tavern in Portland and if I can recall correctly, he serves the Field Blend #2 bread to his guests.  It was delicious and so I took the plunge.  

Using my ~three month old levain culture – meaning that it hadn’t been refreshed for that long and which still has quite a bit of get-up-and-go, we followed FWSY instructions with a caveat or two.  Needing 360g of the 80% levain for the two boules, we only built 400g of levain from the culture and sacrificed a mere 40g of overage to the trash bin vs. how Mr. Forkish builds it in his book.  Count me among the throng of TFLers in deciding to not follow his full levain build amount.

I tried to mostly keep hands off and let my sister in law do most of the heavy lifting, with an ever present eye and words of correction/encouragement over her shoulder.  I was given a banneton proofing basket as a gift a year back, unused and lonely in a dark corner of my closet, until this very episode.  As such, I christened it by rubbing rice flour into the basket and also into a small ceramic bowl.  Not having worked with these before I was concerned with a 78% dough with rye flour not releasing and sticking to the surfaces after proofing.  And so I over-floured the basket and bowl with standard AP flour on top of the rice flour, a mistake which I will attempt to avoid next time around.  I let Sandra use the basket and I put my boule into the bowl for overnight proofing in the refrigerator.

Having only 1 Dutch Oven, the decision was made to bake both at the same time.  Hers in the DO and mine on the ceramic tile baking deck in my oven.  Then the oven was steamed my standard way – both Sylvia’s steaming towel and my baking pan of lava rocks with a near-boiling water pour-over.  

The same initial 30 minutes for the covered DO and steam for the deck boule, the final 15-20 minutes uncovered and steam released.  Below is what this first attempt looked like.  Way too much raw flour on the banneton boule.  What surprised me the most is that my baked-on-the-deck boule did not split on top.  I didn’t score it, as it went into the oven seam side up, but the seam did not open.  Hmm.

After Sandra leaves town later this week, I’ll try the whole thang on my own once more, “second verse same as the first”*.  I think that the second iteration will boast better results, with a bit of learning curve applied as well as my more practiced hands in the mix.  I’m curious as to how these will stack up side by side the next time.  We shall see.


*Herman’s Hermits – “I’m Henry the Eighth” 

breadsong's picture

Hello everyone,
A dear friend sent me a link to a Rosemary Rye Brownie recipe, on the PBS Food Blog, Kitchen Vignettes, written by Aube Giroux. (nice video to accompany the recipe)

Gave this one a whirl for Valentine's Day. A really lovely brownie, the rosemary flavor becoming more apparent the second day after baking and the rosemary a wonderful accent to the chocolate flavor.

(rapidly melting raspberry sorbet alongside, something 'red' for my Valentine)

I love the little hit of salt flavor to accompany chocolate so folded coarse salt in along with the dry ingredients, so the salt would not completely dissolve in the bake.


I've made another of Aube's recipes, her Rye Blueberry Cookie - outstanding! (and another beautiful video)
(the Rye Blueberry Cookie at left in photo below, on the right an experiment with whole wheat and cranberry)


Thank you, Ms. Giroux, for sharing these delicious ways to bake with rye flour!

Happy rye baking, everyone!
:^) breadsong 


DeKay's picture

This is my first blog post on The Fresh Loaf.  Hopefully this bread will interest some of you.

I call this bread Diablo Bread, The Bread of the Devil.  The Sriracha hot sauce in the recipe is amped up by copious amounts of crushed red pepper flakes.  The orange-red color of the baked result is a warning that this is not a bread to be messed with.

This bread goes great with pretty much everything.  It is a match made in heaven with chili.  Or pop it into the toaster oven with some sliced cheddar on top.  Me?  I often eat it plain without even butter or jam.  I just close my eyes and savor every bite.  If you are thinking there is something that this bread won't go with, you are wrong.

This bread is a favorite of mine, and not just because I invented it.  The Sriracha and crushed red pepper flakes are great in combination but are not overwhelming - the bread naturally moderates the heat and you are left with some pretty fantastic flavor that can stand up well with anything you dare pair it up against.  Over Christmas I was making panini sandwiches with this bread, some thinly sliced turkey breast, mozzarella cheese, and dill pickle.  It was ridiculously good.


400 grams unbleached all purpose flour
7 grams table salt
⅜ teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (Yes.  That is a lot.  Not a typo)
260 grams cool water (55 - 65 °F)
60 grams (4 tablespoons) Sriracha sauce (Don't wimp out!  Not a drop less!)
Wheat bran for dusting


This bread is made according to essentially the Jim Lahey No Knead Bread method with my final rise going to around two hours instead of the 60 - 90 minutes he uses. The detailed step-by-step process I use for this bread is on my Mad Scientist Labs blog in excruciating detail.  Much of the text in this entry is also ripped off from that post :-)

After all of the ingredients are mixed, you get a dough with this amazing color.


I bake in a Lodge LCC3 combo cooker with the bread on parchment paper (see the blog post for my technique).  I bake at 475°F for 30 minutes covered with a small ice cube thrown in just before the cover goes on.  I then take the lid uncovered and bake it for another five or ten minutes until I get something like this...


Please give this bread a try and let me know what you think, either as a comment here or where I originally blogged about it.

Gail_NK's picture

If you haven't subscribed to Jarkko Laine's Bread Magazine, do it! It's an amazing publication! (

Now for the transparency disclaimer: Dabrownman and I collaborated on this article for the winter 2014 issue. It was his formulas and photos that really made the article. Check it out here:

And, as a public service reminder - subscribe to Jarkko's creation! It's so beautiful, so informative, and so reasonably priced!!


Gail_NK's picture

If you haven't tried Dabrownman's No Fuss, No Muss Starter - look it up right now. Amazingly simple and more energy and "oomph" than any levain I've tried so far... in my very short baking career...

This formula included a little bit of freshly ground purple barley and the crumb took on a slightly lavender tint from the grain. Love the way the levain perks up with the "little hard bits!"

Happy baking!!

Here's the crumb:



HokeyPokey's picture

What to do when you are in the middle of making bread and your trusted Kitchen Aid goes kaput? 

Carry on, comrade - recipe for a hand made Sesame Sourdough loaf can be found on my blog here


nirli's picture

When I got Hamelman's bread book, I decided to try new recipe every week

my 2nd bread was the Vermont sourdough with whole wheat - got stuck there

I just love it!. This is the 5th time I bake it




blackhatbaker's picture


Before anything, I want to apologize for the poor picture quality. I didnt realize my phone's camera had the HDR function turned on, but it made the photos look all weird.

Moving on, then...

Today was a busy day of baking, for sure. 7 loaves! I'm planning on giving some to family and freinds, though, and if there is extra, I can just stick it in the (already bread-filled) freezer.


Rustic Sicilian Semolina Bread

This bread was inspired by the bread of this baker I met named Marie. She was 85 years old, lived in a tiny little town in Sicily, and had been baking bread since she was a teenager. She had a wood-fired oven, a centuries-old sourdough starter, and she made her bread with 100% semolina flour. The bread she made wasn't shaped in perfect little "S" shapes and sprinkled with sesame seeds, like all of the pane siciliano you see: it was roundish, rough, and most certainly rustic. Yet it was incredibly delicious, especially when she cut a fresh loaf, drizzled (or drenched!) slices with olive oil, and topped it all off with some oregano. Here is her bread:

And here's my feeble attempt at making something similar to it. To make it, i did 300g semolina, 200g of water, and 120g of 100% hydration levain (made with semolina). I kneaded it, instead of doing folds, because Marie would knead her dough by hand. I let it ferment for 3 hours, shaped it into a boule, and let it proof free-form with the other loaves on my makeshift couche for 2 hours. Baked with steam for 20 minutes, and 20 minutes without. I scored it, because i was afraid it might burst weirdly if I didn't. I havent cut into it yet, but am planning on cutting it tomorrow night for dinner, so ill post a crumb shot then.


Here are some basic sourdough batards made with some excellent local high-extraction flour. Hydration was at88%. The loaf on the left didnt really bloom too well; i think it was a scoring issue. We ripped through the first loaf for dinner with grilled eggplant and zuchinni, sundried tomatoes, mushroom and walnut pate, etc. Ill post a crumb shot tomorrow morning. 



The loaves above are 100% spelt with sprouted kamut. Hydration was also around 88%. I couldnt decide between making pan loaves or hearth loaves, so i did both. Again, crumb shot in the morning....


all in all, a fun day of baking!


2/15/15 edit: crumb shots

Here's the crumb shot for the spelt and sprouted kamut sandwich loaf. The crumb is coarse, pleasantly moist, and soft, but a little dense, perhaps. Maybe it was because I used all spelt flour. Oh well. Anyone work with spelt a lot and have any tips?

Here's the crumb for the local high-extraction flour batard. Extraction rate for the flour was 85-90%.

The crumb is moist, chewy, and is well-aerated. Doesnt have the same open crumb as, say, the tartine country loaf, but I wasnt really expecting it to, with the higher extraction rate for the flour. The flavor wasn't bitter at all, but was sweet, creamy, and complex. I think I'll use this flour again, because it made a beautiful dough that was quite fun to work with.

Ill get the crumb of the semolina bread up later, and possibly a post about 3-stage 90% sourdough rye that I have a dough mixed for. Hope this goes better than my first attempt at sourdough rye, which was nicely flavored but ridiculously dense.


2/15/15 edit: semolina crumb shot

Here's the crumb for the 100% semolina bread. It is quite dense, but it is supposed to be like that. However, it didnt really have the same chew of Marie's bread; maybe i should decrease the hydration a bit. I also might bake with less steam and bake seam side up for the rough, slightly duller crust that her bread had. The flavor is nutty and sweet, and the taste of semolina is prominent. This bread made a very nice panino.




greenbriel's picture

I was very skeptical when I took the dough out of the fridge after 24 hours, as it didn't seem like it had risen at all. I felt like the youthfulness of my starter had failed me, but what the hell, give it some warmth and see what happens. After maybe 5 hours on the counter we were in business! Nice bubbling and doubled in volume! I couldn't believe it.

Preshaped, shaped, proofed on a couche and then into the oven with steam. Shaping and scoring probably not as good as the last batch, and no ears, but the crust and crumb were good, and the TASTE! So delicious! I gave one to a friend who went to meet friends for a drink and they ate it at the bar within minutes!


At the risk of this sounding like an Oscars acceptance speech, I'd genuinely like to thank David (dmsnyder), dabrownman, and Hannah (a_warming_trend) for their encouragement regarding the move to SD baking. You were right, it’s a whole new ballgame, I’m hooked! I can totally see why and how people get so attached to their starters. Still working on a name for mine :)

And of course a huge shoutout to txfarmer for the encouragement and AMAZING recipe. You are a wizard [tips hat].

This site has improved my baking enormously in just a couple of weeks! Thanks Floyd!


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