The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

yozzause's picture

 thought I would share this nice little loaf that I made for a friend the other day its 50% wholemeal with home brew stout, a  yeasted loaf. Unfortunately no inside shot as it was given away and well received  by a friend that was showing us his commercial smoking equipment that can also bake a loaf of bread  but not at the same time of course . 


Kind regards Derek


Knightbeez's picture

i would like to find a recipe for these. When Balducci's was on 6th Ave in NYC, they sold a biscotti that was a " break your teeth " hard black pepper biscotti and had a different finish than regular biscotti. Looked almost like they had a water bath at some point in the cooking. But not a ring, biscuit or wreath shape. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

dabrownman's picture

Lucy came up with a lite whole grain sourdough bread this week.  Each of the 8 grains were only 10 grams and nine were sprouted so this is really getting close to a the same type of SFSD style bread that David Snyder is so famous for around TFL.


The main difference is the 8 different grains – Kamut, oat, spelt, rye, barley, emmer, red and white wheat and the 10 g of NMNF rye starter used to make the 8% preferment bran and high extraction levain.  Lucy really cut the levain size this at the temperature outside reached 110 F and the kitchen was hovering around 91 F.

The levain was not retarded but we expect the bread to be fairly sour due to the heat, small bran 100% hydration levain, the 3 week old retarded NMNF rye starter and retarding the shaped dough for 16 hours.  LAB real love the heat and the wet and this dough came in at 75% hydration.

The dough flour was the leftover 40 g of the HE flour, plus half Lafama AP and half Albertson’s bread flour. We did a 1 hour autolyse with the Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  We were at72% hydration but the dough felt a little dry when we started the first set of slap and folds so we chucked in another 3% water to get it slappable.

The first set was 50 slaps and the 2nd set was 20 and the final two were 6 and 4 – all on 30 minute intervals.  The dough had expanded nicely even with the small levain because of the heat so we pre-shaped it and shaped it into a boule before plopping it into a rice floured basked, seam side down, bagged it and put it in the fridge for the retard.

When the we took the dough out of the fridge, we also fired up the oven to 500 F with the combo cooker inside.  Slashing was not required but, when we placed the dough in the cooker and the cooker in the oven we forgot to turn down the temp to 450 F so it stayed at 500 F for 20 minutes of steam.   This hurt the spring a bit,

We love chicken, bean, cheese and grilled veggie quesadillas 

When the lid came off it has cracked a bit and we turned the oven down to 425 F convection for 6 minutes of dry baking before removing it from the bottom if the cooker and baking it another 6 minutes.  At 32 minutes of total baking the bread was 210 F on the inside and nicely brown with small blisters.

It is a pretty handsome loaf….. very crispy on the outside and more boldly baked due to the oven error for sure but we will have to wait on the inside when we cut into it for lunch.  It is nice to make a 2 day sourdough instead of our usual 3-5 day sprouted bread.  Even if the tste may nt be as complex and satisfying

This bread is open, soft and moist on the inside and it tastes as good as it looks.  Maybe not as tasty as a 30% sprouted loaf but this one is closer to the old school SFSD and sourer than a typical SFSD you will find today.  We had a simple P&J sandwich with some honeydew and strawberries for lunch and it was about the best P&J possible especially with home made 4 berry, banana and ginger jam 


8% pre-fermented 8 grain, bran, 2 stage levain,  at 100% hydration - first stage was 4 hours  and the 2nd stage was 2 hours when it doubled – 91 F in the kitchen made the levain twice as fast as usual


8% HE 8 grain flour

42% LaFama AP

42% Allbertson’s bread flour

2% PH Sea Salt

Enough water to get the hydration up to 75%

There is Lucy's salad and a crack shot:-)

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Hi! Today is my birthday and I usually cook even simple meals to celebrate occasions like this but my mom underwent a D&C just a few days ago and was advised to rest for a fortnight to a month so I am the one who is manning the household now; I am doing all of my mom's chores in addition to my own so no time to bake or cook or even check your posts here this time. We just bought some stuff that I like from our favorite restaurant and stall. Pancit (of course, no birthday is complete without this), siopao (steamed buns' one with a roasted pork filling and the other a meatball one) and lechon manok (rotisserie chicken done the old-fashioned way over coals served with liver sauce), a buko salad ice cream (young coconut ice cream with sweetened sugar palm fruits/ice-apples and pineapple bits which I like to eat with some cheese; I know. Weird!), and naturally ripened huge fragrant sweet juicy mangoes harvested from our own yard to boot.

Anyhow, I just want to say I am embarking on a long culinary journey and I just can't spill the beans yet! If it fails, I won't talk about it but if it succeeds, I will post it here with link to this post! :) Maybe you will try to guess, but I won't confirm anything!

Here are some things that I think some of you may like. Last few months, while I've been dieting with nothing to do other than exercise, I became a crazy DIY freak! I experimented to make my own food stuffs that are just commonly bought because they are a little difficult to make.

A jerky style dried fish with sugar and seasoned with spices. March to May is a good time to dry because there is no rain; the wind is cold and dry (this is only true in March); and the sun shines bright and long. The texture is like tuna or even meat with very good flavor, great with rice or even bread. The only catch is this very delicious fish is full of bones! Little children are advised not to eat this because of the hazard. I hanged a boneless one yesterday but it didn't hang very well because there are no bones to support the structure of the fish, I had to put skewers multiple times to at least give some structure but some parts of the meat fell off. If I will make a boneless one again or even just a huge quantity, I think I will need to have a special perforated screen so no hanging involved and much easier for a larger production. 

Here it is hanging in the sun and wind.

My boneless one, see the difference?

Some salted mackerel. Just salt and fish, this is the kind that you eat with porridge and used to make salted fish fried rice. It is dried and fermented at the same time so it has a little pungent smell but it should smell like the sea at the same time. I experimented and took the head of one to see which is better, I should have kept the head, lots of tasty meat there. Store bought ones are one-dimensional salty, you can't taste anything but salt probably to keep indefinitely and/or to mask the bad quality of the fish. My homemade one is salty but just right, very rich and full of umami; you can really taste the savoriness and freshness of the fish. This is best for breakfast fried crispy. served with chili vinegar over some garlic rice.

Again, hanging in the sun and wind.

A slice of Lap Yuk, Cantonese air dried meat flavored with Chinese spices; also called Chinese bacon. Traditionally. pork belly is used but I used shoulder to make it less fatty but I will admit the fat is the best part! :P I will go traditional next time and use belly.

And probably the most infamous of the bunch. :P Homemade fermented krill/shrimp paste! Just krill with some salt fermented for a few days. It is one of the most scandalous smells in the kitchen; literally your neighbor knows you cooking this when it hits the hot pan to be sauteed with garlic and chilies and sugar to suit your taste. I like it sweet and spicy and I could finish a bowl of rice with just a spoonful of this. It really packs a punch!


isand66's picture

I made these last week  to eat with burgers and sandwiches.  It's an updated version of a formula I made a while ago.

I changed the original formula by swapping out the rye flour with freshly ground spelt, used First Clear instead of Bread Flour and upped the water content.  I also switched the olive oil with honey.

Right before baking I grated some fresh cheddar cheese on-top to give it an extra flavor kick.

The end result was a flavorful roll perfect for burgers or just about anything.


Download the BreadStorm formula here.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

About 10 minutes before you are ready to mix the flours and water, add the dehydrated onions to the water to re-hydrate them.

Mix the flours and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  After 30 minutes or so  add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), eggs and honey and mix on low for 5 minutes.    Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape into rolls around 125 -130 grams each.  Cover the rolls with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, grate some cheese or use an egg wash and add your toppings.  Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.


Yogi's picture

The Zen part of baking is the fact that you can't alter every part of an artisan loaf—although you can get close. Eventually the rise and opening of the loafs seam will go its own way and run off in the direction it sees fit. A baker can only control so much before the bake, but once the yeast begin to heat up and ebullition of CO2 is accelerated we can only relax and be happy with what they decided to do. After hundreds of bakes we finally learn to let the loaf decide what artisanal and craft really mean. Defining it ourselves is like telling someone how to interpret Vincent Gogh. The bread will speak for itself and tell its own story, just make sure to have fun and master each step of the process as much as you can, the dough will do the rest. 

I made these last loaves out of a chocolaty coconut porter wort. Wort is the malted barley liquid that is extracted from a brewers mash—hot water and barley. Wort is not beer yet since no yeast has been added. A good brewer makes really good wort; the yeast make good beer. 

I had some extra wort from brew day so I used a 90% hydration level, replacing all the water with porter wort. The wort, and resulting dough, smelled amazing during brew day. The steam coming out of the kettle was intoxicating. Chocolate, coconut, slight roast and toast from biscuit-like malts—wow. I decided from that moment on to always add fresh coconut shavings to my porters(one of the many benefits of living on a tropical island), maybe even my stouts too...or what about espresso? hmm. 

I put two of the loaves in a pan for practice. After making so many loaves in the French free rise style I have really atrophied any kind of American pan training, so I practice on occasion. The pan loaves always come out softer since the crust is focused on one area and the coloring takes twice as long as I attempt to fully bake the inside first with low oven temps. In other words, I still hate pan breads. Give me a free risen scored-up thick crusted sourdough loaf that I need a chainsaw to open up and I'm happy. 

Normal salt, maybe higher than normal, and basic cold bulk ferment for 24 hours where in place for these loaves. I have learned that bulk fermenting is way more fun than cold proofing, and I like the outcome of the crumb better. These were noticeably more sour since the ferment was cold extended and it paired well with the malty sweetness of the porter. I forgot that the wort had hops in it, so a slight bitterness actually came through in the bread. These loaves were so different than the norm and highly appreciated by all.










alfanso's picture

My most recent bread comeuppance has been thanks to Msr. Calvel.  Someone recently posted a page from his book which had illustrations of differing bread forms and an accompanying table listing the features of each.  Well, it turns out that my "baguettes" are not even baguettes according to the man.  They match his characteristics of a "long batard": size, weight, shape and number of scores.  Waddya know?  Well, I'll still cheat a bit and continue to call them baguettes because I haven't noticed any bread police nearby to pinch me on this.

I'd nicked this formula from a David Snyder post about a year ago, who in turn got it from SFBI, so I guess this a nick squared.  I ran out of bread yesterday with my last batch, and the dog's bread treat bowl was running on near empty as well.  Since she doesn't get "additives" in her treats I wanted to bake something pretty straightforward.  I decided on this one, which I hadn't baked in months.  However I did post as "baguettes" the first time that I baked them.

If you are looking for an almost all AP flour dough, relatively low hydration (68%) but feels & acts like a high hydration dough, and which has a delightfully crisp snap to the crust with a lovely fresh clean taste - then this is for you.  I was trying to fit in more adjectives but there must be an editing limiter on this website ;-) .  Here is David's post.


Minutes away from the morning toast...

I made these extra fat - just because!

430g x 4 "long batards" (darn it)

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Today was the first day I really had time to start playing with the new Ankarsrum mixer. I had a small (four loaves) batch of multigrain sandwich dough to make, and we're out of bagels. That sounded like a fair test to start with! I did make a small batch of 50% whole wheat pizza dough on the weekend which was also a pretty good test of a small amount of wet dough. It handled it quite well, using the dough hook and scraper. Oh yes, and I made two batches (2 loaves each) of gluten free 'dough' using the plastic bowl and cookie dough whips. That was awesome. :)

So, essentially there are four ways to mix bread dough - with the dough hook, or the roller, and with or without the scraper for each.

First, the multigrain sandwich bread. This is an enriched dough (milk, honey and brown sugar) with all kinds of good things in it (cooked wild rice, durum semolina, ground flax seed and spelt flakes) so it's a bit soft and sticky and needs to be well-mixed to get everything distributed well. I put the water, milk, honey and yeast in the bowl first and let it mix while I measured all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Using the dough hook and scraper, I found that the yeast didn't dissolve very well, so I put the roller in instead and let it run against the side of the bowl. This worked better to mix the liquids. I then started to put in the dry ingredients, a scoop at time. This is so nice to do in the Ankarsrum because the motor is not overhead and in the way, so it's very easy to dump stuff in while it's running. I let it run with the roller for a bit, adjusting the distance between the bowl and roller a bit as the dough developed. I found that the dough didn't seem to be 'kneading' very much, so switched to the dough hook. I was happier with this. It's fascinating watching the dough roll around the stationary hook as the bowl revolves - so different from the action of a planetary mixer! You think it isn't doing much of anything, and when I took the dough out after about 5 minutes it seemed to be well-mixed (everything distributed well) but quite sticky (not unusual with this dough). However, after four stretch & folds at 10 minute intervals I was impressed how soft and silky the dough was. Even nicer than when I make this dough in either of the planetary mixers (the KA or the big Univex). And just the fact that I can do four loaves in this instead of firing up Max is awesome!

Next, the bagel dough. This was a great challenge - a batch of 24 (so, 2400 grams of dough) using a blend of bread flour, stone-ground whole wheat and stone-ground coarse whole rye. With the stiff starter the dough hydration is something less than 50% - stiff as a board! Once again I started with the dough roller and scraper to mix the water, stiff starter and honey. Then I added all the flours and the salt, and let it work for a bit. And once again I ended up switching to the dough hook. Part way through I removed the scraper (the dough seemed to be stuck in a ball between the two). That worked very well. I poked it with a spatula every now and then, and occasionally moved the dough hook manually. The action was slow but steady and it was really interesting to see how the dough moves and develops over time. I let it knead at a fairly low speed for close to 15 minutes. The machine itself was slightly warm after this, but the dough temperature hadn't risen much if at all. That in itself was impressive after 15 minutes! About 30 seconds of hand kneading and the dough was smooth and ready to rise. Again, very good result. Had I done this batch in the big mixer (30 quart Univex) the dough would have just climbed up the hook. And it would not have fit into the KA.

The only slight downside I found was that it is more difficult for me to get the dough out of the bowl after it's finished. That's because there is no handle on the bowl and it has a slight inward lip at the top edge. Also, the bowl itself weighs about 1.5 kg and a batch of four loaves is another 3 kg, so it's heavy! Minor detail though.

I'm sorry there are no pictures but stills wouldn't have added much to the description and videos of a mixer running can be a bit boring! Boring for me recording it anyway. :)

AnotherLoaf's picture

     Not long ago, while making Anis Bouabsa Baguettes, I had a "light bulb in my head moment". Pizza! I'm not sure why it took so long, but Holy Cow! Best pizza crust ever! I like my crust thin and crispy in the center, and thicker, crewy-crunchy on the edges, and this dough really delivers. It will probably work for what ever style pizza you like at your house. 

This recipe evolved over a series of posts, after much discussion and experimentation, but this is how I recorded it back in 2014:

Flour     500g  (All Purpose)

Water    375g

Salt        10g

Yeast     1/4 tsp ( Instant Dry Yeast)

Optional: In my mind, it's OK to add sourdough to almost any recipe. Make sure to adjust salt and hydration accordingly.

Mix ingredients & knead, just a few minutes, until medium gluten development. Ferment 1 hour, folding ( s&f ) every 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 21 hours. ( This is somewhat flexible when making pizza. I have made one pie after 21 hours, and baked the other two the next day, without any noticeable difference.) Divide right out of the frig & pre-shape into rounds. Rest for 30 minutes, shape pizza crust, top, and bake, which ever way works best for your oven. I bake mine on a stone, in a pre-heated 480 degree oven, for about 15 minutes. I often bake for half of the time without cheese, the add it later. Just me, but we like our cheese gooey! Makes three 12 inch pizzas, or two larger ones, OR one pizza, and two baguettes.

 Recipe History/ Credit: I want to give credit where credit is due.

This recipe was brought to us by Jane (Janedo), a past poster on this site. Jane collaborated with David (dmsnyder), to develop the recipe, and later, David's "San Joaquin Sourdough" was born! (Thanks David and Jane!) At least that's my recollection from reading the old blog pages. The recipe dates all the way back to 2008, way before I was a member.

Now a little of my history:

 I've been baking pan style loaves for many years, but my real bread baking obsession, hearth style loaves and sourdough, began in 2014. Later that year, I found The Fresh Loaf, and I've been hanging around ever since. I have occasionally posted my "bakes" to other peoples blog pages, but I think now it's time to start my own. 

I have a lot of respect for those who contribute here. I know it takes a bit of time and planning in order to create a beautiful and informative post. Many thanks to Floyd, and all the contributors here, past and present. You've taught me so much.





dabrownman's picture

It has been a while since we made pizza and this is a shame after having it again on Sunday.  We have made Giant Strides in making pizza the past couple of years.  Once we had Biaco’s pizza. the best in the USA, we knew exactly what to do take ours to another level that more than rivals Chris Boaco’s masterpieces.

We had additional firepower in that we used the last of our home grown, heirloom cherry tomatoes to make the sauce this time to go along with the home smoked smoked sausage, onions and crimini mushrooms.  The very thin pepperoni was smoked but done elsewhere half a good as we would have smoked it.   The dough had our usual sundried tomatoes, fresh garlic and fresh rosemary in it.

The 10% pre-fermented flour, Albertsons bread flour, at 100% hydration with a pinch of Instant yeast made for the 4 hour poolish.  We added half Lafama AP and half Albertson’s flour for the dough and brought the hydration down to 70% with 2% sea salt, olive oil and sugar.  The EVOO and sugar are there to get the dough to brown properly in the 8 minutes it is in the 550 F oven.

The gluten is developed with 3 sets of slap and folds on 30 minute intervals and 2 sets of stretch and folds. The slops were 50, 20 and 10 and the stretches were from the major compass points.  The add ins went in on the least set of slap and folds

 As some as the gluten development as done, we oiled a bowl and put the dough in it to retard for 24 hours.  Do not forget this step if you want a dough that is flavorful and extensible but strong enough not to tear when making the pie.

We took the dough out fo the fridge 3 hours before we wanted to stretch it out.  1 hour after warming up we divided it into (3) 250 g pieces for 3 pies and let it proof on the counter for 2 more hours.  This dough stretched easily but we rolled it because we love our alligator rolling pin that is perfect for this. 

The only fresh topping was some fresh mozzarella and the red and orange peppers.  We had a blend of Parm, smoked provolone, asiago, Romano and mozzarella for the base cheese with fresh grated Romano and basil for garnish.

This pizza was thin, crisp and killer - as good as you can get anywhere on the planet.  We have cut down on the topping thickness and increased the flavor dramatically,  Now Chris Bianco has something to shoot for:-)  The next step is to make it on our temporary WFO brick oven so stay tuned.

It's not all about pizza.  Gumbo and cheesecake are OK too


Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries