The Fresh Loaf

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isand66's picture


This is the first bread I made using my new Ankarsrum mixer.  My wife surprised me with it for a Hanukkah/Christmas present.  I have been using the Bosch Universal for many years and loved it, but a while ago a piece on the base broke off and the bowl does not seat properly.  There is no way to fix it other than buying a used one especially since they just updated the model recently.


I have always heard good things about the Ankarsrum and so far I'm not disappointed.  There is a little bit of a learning curve but I'm starting to get the hang of it.  I usually add my dry ingredients first but with the Ankarsrum you are supposed to add the water first and then add the dry ingredients.  I like to hold back some of the water and add it as needed but I forgot to do it for this maiden voyage and it worked out fine.


I am a big fan of adding cooked rice to bread as I like the texture it adds.  I had some left-over Jade rice I made for dinner the other night which had some onions mixed in.  I used some fresh milled Durum flour sifted once along with some fresh milled corn flour also sifted once with my #30 drum sieve.  The egg yolks added some extra moisture and flavor and the sesame seeds added some additional extra flavor.


All in all this one came out great with an open moist and flavorful crumb perfect for sandwiches or dipping in home made Sunday "gravy". 





Here is the link to the BreadStorm files:



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.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.


 Main Dough Procedure


Mix the flours, egg yolks  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain,  cooked rice, olive oil and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  (Note: with the Ankarsrum I adjusted the speed from low to medium).  You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  (Note:  if you are not using fresh milled flours you may want to cut back on the water).  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.  (Since I used my proofer set to 79 degrees F. I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).


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 as desired.


The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.


Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 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 it in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.


Lower the temperature to 455 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.


Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.




PalwithnoovenP's picture

These cakes were made and raised purely with sourdough. In recent years, I have this knack for seizing every opportunity to showcase the versatility of sourdough. Inspired by our native cakes, I researched ancient and vintage recipes and this is what I came up with along with a fair share of failures. Using relative measurements and knowing when and how to adjust, now I can say that I already got the "feel" for making this cakes. I have posted similar stuff which you can find on my blog if you are interested but there are no exact recipes. :)

A new variation that I came up with. I had lots of leftover egg whites from ensaymada making so I made this financier inspired cake. A bit of almond meal next time will be excellent!

Look at those domed tops created by my starter. One might be skeptical that sourdough slows down or might even stop when faced with sugar (especially a high amount) but sourdough still have not failed me.

The texture is unlike any cake. It was bouncy, chewy, dense; very difficult to describe. The flavor is wonderful, that special sourdough flavor and aromatic compounds which can be detected by the nose but cannot be described by the mouth brimming with the aroma of butter with a nutty flavor. The crumb was moist but became moister the next day. These cakes really do improve as the day goes by.

Here is the crumb. The leavening action of the sourdough leaves distinct holes not dissimilar to some chemically-leavened South East Asian cakes.

My olive oil cake with I discovered and perfected in 2020, another variation, this time flavored with lemon. They are meant to have a very rustic look, though I find the looks of the previous ones I made more beautiful. It is different from all of my other cakes, even on the first day it is exceptionally moist with an almost custardy texture. It is almost a cross between a cake and a pudding! If you want to see the crumb, as I have posted sparingly the past year, the original post can still be easily found on the bottom or on the right side of this page depending on the device as of this writing; and you can see it there. In fear of overbaking, I pulled them out of the oven early. I should have baked this longer to get the crispy top crust; it is almost impossible to dry a cake as moist as this.

I hope you enjoyed this post and again I wish all of us a happier and healthier 2021!

Happy New Year!!!

Benito's picture

I’m closing the year out by baking these baguettes.  I spent a good part of the summer and into fall learning how to bake baguettes with a ton of help from Alan, Don, Doc and Danny and I’d like to thank them for helping me to learn how to make these.  I doubt I would even have tried had it not been for their prodding and the Community Bake.

The details of my formula are In this link.

My newly vigorous starter is playing havoc with my timings so I think these went a bit over and so I didn’t get ears.  On the other hand, it could just be that I’m rusty with scoring and need more practice.  I also didn’t do one step that makes scoring easier, the final cold proof after shaping and before scoring.  The dough was proofing so quickly that I didn’t want to chance it getting even further away from me by giving it some fridge time.

Bread1965's picture

This week I followed David and baked this beautiful bread. It uses buttermilk in place of water other than for the levain. I made the levain two days before using it. This bread has a super soft crumb and notwithstanding the dark colour (from the buttermilk) the crust is delicate. The tang from the rye sour, buttermilk and long ferment make this (for me) an instant classic. It's truly a beautiful bread and worth trying. I followed the recipe found here:  Thank you David!




texasbakerdad's picture

I have been trying to make good broccoli cheddar soup for years. I was always disappointed with the results. FINALLY, the stars aligned and I had both an excellent broccoli cheddar soup AND great tasting and great looking bread bowls to boot.

Bread Bowl Ingredients

  • 100g spelt
  • 300g white whole wheat
  • 1000g AP flour
  • 100g starter fed the night before (50:50 hard red)
  • 180g starter from the fridge (1 to 3 days old) (50:50 hard red)
  • 35g salt
  • 85g extra virgin olive oil
  • 85g honey
  • 1150g water (82% hydration not including starter)


  • I needed the bowls done in time for dinner, so the extra starter and honey was intended to speed up my rise. Worked out great, bulk started at 8:54a and I loaded the loaves into the oven at 2:25p.
  • I really love the smell of spelt, at least I think that is the spelt I smell, a buttery smell.
  • Used AP flour because I didn't have any bread flour.
  • I poured the honey right on top of the flour mixture. This caused some problems. Next time I need pour the water in first and then add the honey, just to keep the honey from turning into little honey/flour balls that don't want to incorporate into the rest of the dough.


  • 8:30a: Mix all ingredients except for starter into shaggy mess, let sit for 15 minutes
  • 8:45a: Smear starter on top of shaggy mess and then knead until all ingredients evenly combined. About 5 minutes of working by hand.
  • 8:54a: Transfer dough into proofing container and cover, also transferred 20g to an aliquot jar.
  • 9:48a, 10:45a, 11:49a, 12:53a: Stretch and fold in bulk proofing container.
  • 1:00a: Pour dough onto counter, split into 10 loaves and preshape, then wait 15 minutes.
  • 1:10a: Preheat both ovens to 425dF (non-convection)
  • 1:15a: Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment. Shape each loaf into a buole. Let proof for 1 hour.
  • 2:15a: Score loaves and load into oven. Put 5 into each oven, spread as far apart as possible on the cookie sheets. Baked for 22-28 minutes (I think I baked mine for 25)
  • 2:40a: Set on rack to cool for at least 1 hour.
  • Dinner Time: Using sharp knife carve out bowls.


  • Everyone agreed the bread bowls tasted fantastic. They were the right shape and size too. I wasn't as gentle as I should have been when carving out the bowls, but that is ok, because even though on 2 of the bowls I tore the side a bit, the thickness of the soup quickly patched the tear with a beautiful cheesy ooze.
  • My wife and I were in agreement that a slightly chewier crust and a more tart flavor would have been even better. I will try to make changes to improve on those things next time.
  • I am getting better shaping boules. This was the second time I felt like I got the boule nice and tight during shaping. But, I should have put more effort into pulling the dough towards me after stitching it, that way the seams from the stitching would disappear under the loaf. I'll try to do better next time.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

I started with the following recipe but made a few changes. I chose this recipe because I liked the recipe ingredients and process compared to other recipes.

Changes to Recipe:

  • I did not use a blender at all. This worked out perfectly, in the past I had made similar recipes and blending even a portion of the soup gave the soup a baby food texture. Since the soup already had a roux and creamy cheese, blending was totally unnecessary.
  • For 1/3 of the cheese I used gruyere instead of sharp cheddar.
  • I took 1/2 of the carrots and cooked them with the onions. In the original recipe, all of the carrots were added with the broccoli.
  • I had 3 cloves of garlic to the onion/carrot mixture that was part of the roux.
  • The broccoli was cut into quarter size pieces, smaller than bite size, but not too small.


  • I would have added diced celery to the roux, but I didn't have any. Outside of that one change, I don't think I would change anything. The soup was excellent. Heck, I don't know if the celery would have improved anything, but I just like celery in my roux.

Sorry for the already eaten dirty spoon photo, but I was hungry.


We had 9 mouths to feed and 10 bowls. So I took the smallest bowl and practiced cutting it and got to look at the crumb.

PalwithnoovenP's picture

It's gonna be 2021 here in a few minutes and this is my mandatory yearend post. It has been a difficult time we have all been through. It changed our lives and left us in uncertainty but there is still that glimmer of hope. I wish all of us a better and blessed 2021.

Here is what I made today. 

I've come to terms with some spices this year. Before, at least with my own cooking, I really really hate the strong and pungent smell of some spices; especially cumin, I really abhor cumin! I can say it stinks! Really, it was just me not really knowing how to use and combine spices. When applied properly, it really elevates the taste of food. This year, I've tasted authentic Pakistani/Indian food and it was amazing. I want to taste it again but due to the lockdown, that restaurant closed. As usual, the only way for me to taste it is to make it. Later, I'll show you my first ventures in spices.

A really good shawarma is a childhood memory for me. But it turns out, the shawarma that I have loved as a kid is very far from the real deal in the Middle East, as told by a college friend who grew up in Saudi Arabia. (She was also the one who pointed me to the right direction for that authentic Pakistani/Indian restaurant) After some research, I found a good recipe online; and fortunately too, the city next to my town where I work is becoming more and more cosmopolitan, I found some "rare" spices (at least for me) in one of its large malls.

Shawarma here is always served with a flatbread more akin to a flour tortilla than the ones they use in the Middle East. As a personal twist, I made it with sourdough. It was a simple 70% hydration dough enriched with a little olive oil. I originally intended to make pitas but the bread did not puff up. I think It was too wet, almost impossible to roll thinly and evenly. As a result it did not have the correct texture; it was soft and chewy, just a bit stretchy, and with a custardy crumb. However, the flavor was so good, you could eat it plain.

I can't believe the smell when the chicken was being cooked, even just on the pan, it was insane! I could just imagine how it would smell when grilled properly! Shawarma is served differently depending on the country and meat. As I do not have time to make pickles and fries or to others chips; I chose to go with red onions, tomatoes, and cucumber as accompaniments since it is what I grew up with. I also did not go with toum or garlic sauce since I do not have the equipment to make it. The sauce I used was still garlic-flavored but yogurt-based similar to tzatziki.

Since the bread was too thin to be sliced in half but too thick to be rolled it ended up as a deconstructed shawarma plate later.


Though 2020 was not really good, it is the year in which I first ventured into South Asian Food on my own. It started when I first tasted a legit biryani recommended by my friend. I really liked the taste, then I got to taste their samosa, then many more. I met the owner and found out he is Pakistani. Wanting to know more about biryani and his one especially, I put my "language skills" if you can really call them skills to use. ;) I spoke to him a bit of Urdu (well Hindi is what I really studied a bit but they are just different registers of the Hindustani language) and we became friends immediately. I told him how I like his biryani and I told him the spices that I saw and then he proceeded to enumerate the spices he uses and their relative amounts. All of this in Urdu with just a little bit of English. Sometimes, even just the slight knowledge of various things is of great help. :)

Punjabi aloo samosa - I reconstructed the taste from memory from his samosas, it was sour with a hint of garam masala. One recipe I found was too flaky, similar to pie crust and/or empanadas, it was not similar and I do not prefer it. One time the crust was perfect; crispy, slightly chewy and stretchy but the spices were not right, it had onion and garlic too. Found some coriander the other day and it was much closer, as I did not have amchur, I substituted lemon juice and it almost tasted the same. I upped the ginger and green chilies too. I served it with some lemon chai, if there is such a thing. I really wish I had some imli ki chatni that day!

Last minute onion samosa - different wrapper and filling. I think it was closer to the middle eastern sambusa.

My first Biryani back in August. Some key spices were missing like cardamom, coriander and cloves but the taste was good but not close enough to the one I like. I saw a Kolkata-style biryani and thought potato might be good so I added it even though I still haven't tasted it in biryani before, so this actually is an amalgam of styles of biryani from the different regions in the Indian subcontinent. No aromatics too like rose water and kewra.

My second biryani, Lamb Biryani - Saw some lamb shank and shoulder in the supermarket for the first time and I was excited to try it. I thought it will be perfect for biryani; not knowing that mutton actually refers to goat in India. I made it closer to Hyderabadi style but still missing key spices and aromatics; the natural coloring I used also did not show up that well. Though, I made sure to get some mint as mint is classic accompaniment to lamb. Now comes the coriander (cilantro), I really don't like its taste and thought it will not come through due to all the strong flavors in the dish, Oh how wrong I was! It was so strong that I feel nauseated whenever the pot of the biryani was opened and no one in the family likes to try the lamb as it was too gamey for them so I was forced to eat it all by myself. 

The lamb was great! I love it! The shank was tender and sticky and infused the rice with its wonderful fat. Had it not been for the coriander I would have devoured it really quickly!

My third biryani- really eyeing for a Kolkata biryani with that potato. Still missing some key spices but I added those that I found to the spice mix. I also found a better natural colorant for that vivid streaks in the rice.

My final attempt this year. Finally found those spices; the cardamom, the coriander and I even found authentic saffron, how expensive it was! Especially cardamom and saffron, they really have those special aromas that are hard to describe. The yellow color of the rice came mainly from saffron. Really getting closer and closer to a Kolkata-style biryani, just made spicy with green chilies and with 1-3 aromatic distillates missing.

The Middle Eastern food that I prepared today is just the first, more will come God willing in 2021 and I hope to share it with you. Still tons of food that I learned to make in 2020. I will share them all hopefully in a more fitting post.

This really proves that there is really much to be thankful for, and us being able to witness another year is more than enough for us to consider ourselves truly blessed.

Happy New Year!

2020, you may not be the best year I still want to thank you for the things you have done to me. You allowed me to appreciate and value what I have more than ever, you allowed me to eat less and move more, you allowed me to discover and rediscover wonderful things; but most importantly, you brought me closer to God.

pul's picture

I tried to mimic Abel's Roggenmischbrot which looks quite pretty.

I like to add rye flour to the mix because of the flavor it imparts to bread. Typically, I add around 10% rye but in this version the rye content is higher. This bake has been based on 50% AP flour, 50% rye flour, 2% salt and 78% hydration, leavened with yeast water. I autolysed the dough for about one hour, but then I actually forgot about it, and ended up applying only one set of S&F after the mix. Since I started the process too late, I had to put the dough in the fridge to complete the bulk fermentation. The next day I shaped the small loaves and proofed for about 45 minutes before baking at 250C for about 15 min and then 230C until finished for another 15 min. It yielded two small loaves since the total flour used was only 260 g.

The loaves were baked seam side up to give a rustic look. Great taste and an unbelievable crispy crust. The next time, I will use less fermented flour in the levain, which was 23% for this bake.

 Happy New Year!

leslieruf's picture

Lately I have been concentrating on using up grains and flours stored in my freezer so for the last few weeks I have been making kibbled wheat, kibbled rye loaves. Still some kibbled wheat left but what else is there hiding in there.  Ah...

Ok, its been a while since I used that.  Starter was refreshed and levain built in two steps overnight and first thing in the morning.

10 am Mix soaker - 157 g 6 grain mix + 39 g barley flakes + 70 g near boiling water.  That isn't going to work, too dry. So I gradually added more water until just a little free water left (another 160 g) covered and left.

11:30 am Autolyse 589 g bread flour + 79 g home milled whole wheat + 242 g water + soaker.  I added water to the soaker then added to the flours.  It was still far too dry so I added another 130 g water.  I was working off a recipe I had for a loaf made several years ago but I didn't look up my method or notes.  I have done that this morning, and find that I made this as a porridge bread back then and yes I added extra water but nowhere near the amount I added this time.  Note to self:  update formula in file!

12:30 pm Tip out autolysed dough onto bench, spread 251 g levain (100% hydration) over, dimple in then fold and rollup dough.  100 slap & folds and levain is well mixed in.  Add 14 g salt and continue with another 80 slap and folds.  At this point I divided the dough and completed another 30 slap and folds on each portion.

4 sets of Coil folds were then done at 45 minute intervals and the dough was left to complete bulk fermentation.  I am now leaving BF until it looks about right, puffy and risen.  I am not good at judging % increase as the container I am using at the moment is bigger than dough but allows easy access for coil folds.

5:45 pm Preshaped dough and left covered for 30 minutes.

6:15 pm final shaping then left 30 minutes on bench then retarded overnight in fridge.

7 am Unmould dough, score and spritz with water. Baked in preheated DO at 235 deg C for 15 minutes then uncovered and baked another 17 minutes. 

Crumb shot

Good but not massive oven spring, crumb is soft - a really good texture for everyday sandwiches, crust is not too thick, all in all I am happy with this bake.  Looking back to the earlier bake in May 2018 which was done as a porridge bread, I think the crumb maybe a little better and possibly by using the hot water in the soaker, the effect was probably very similar.  

Let us all hope for a better 2021

Bake happy everyone


_JC_'s picture

It's been a long year of Sourdough Baking, Learned a lot and still learning. Baked my last Sourdough for the year... 2020. 10/90 Whole Wheat and Strong White flour.

  • 315g Strong White Flour
  • 35g Whole Wheat
  • 280g Water
  • 70g Starter
  • 7g Salt
  • 2 Hours Autolyse
  • Added Starter and Salt mixed for 10 mins(Rubaud Method)
  • Fermented for 7 hours or until it was almost doubled.[with 2 stretch and fold]
  • Pre-Shaped - 30 Mins rest(not so tight)
  • Final Shape
  • 15 hours Cold Retard
  • Baked on a baking steel 250c deg for 20 mins/200c deg for 25 mins.
agres's picture

As a kid, I was fascinated by dough troughs, and traditional baker’s technologies. I tried making some dough troughs out of wood, but I was never satisfied with my product. In the kitchens, I made do with stand mixers. Here, at the Tulip Patch, the mixer habit carried over, but I was still on the look out for a dough trough.

We eat a lot of fresh produce, and I bought bins to store produce at the local “cash and carry” restaurant supply outlet. It turns out that they are the “dough trough” that I have been seeking for 60 years.  Somehow they are better than the generations of mixing bowls that I have tried.

They are plastic, rectangular, with good lids, ~ 4” deep, holding ~6 liters. After a couple of dozen batches of bread in them, I find them to be faster, easier, and more convenient than either of my stand mixers. 

These days, my method/technique is to put a weighed amount of fresh ground flour in one corner of the trough, make a well in the flour, put weighed amounts of starter/yeast, and (honey, oil, other) in the well, and a weighed amount of salt in the other corner.  I add warm water to the well and stir, gently mixing flour into the slurry.  The very wet mix comes together and forms gluten rapidly. I stir and add water until I have incorporated all the flour, and salt.  I knead in the trough for a couple minutes. Between the stirring of water into the flour and the little bit of kneading, the dough will pass a window-pane test.

I let rest in a warm place (usually a Styrofoam “cooler”) for an hour, do a stretch and fold in the trough, and an hour or so later it is ready to begin shaping and forming for the final rise in banneton or pans.

I find the trough(s) to be of convenient size for batches of dough ranging from 500 gm to 2- kilo. If I must bake 4 kilo (9 lb.) of bread today, I use 2 of my produce bins as dough troughs. They are inexpensive and I use them for other things such as storing produce.  They do not overload my little kitchen scale.  I do not have to clean the mixer kettle/hook.  And, stirring water into a well in the flour develops gluten and makes a dough faster than my mixers.

At my 1-hour stretch and fold, I reserve back 100 grams of dough, that I keep in the refrigerator. That “old dough” gets added to my next batch of dough. I find this old dough method to be the easy approach to sourdough. The salt in the dough and the cold storage, means the starter will remain in good condition and quite active for a few days.  In the next bake, it provides flavor, texture, and improved keeping qualities.  I find the old dough approach to be less effort than most modern recipes for “sourdough”.

My other adaption to a plastic dough trough is use of a nylon bench knife

Let’s face it, if I want really good bead, I have to go to a bakery, or bake it myself – the bread at the grocery store is not as good as the bread at the bakery.  (I live in a place where a local grocery store gets daily deliveries from 2 of the best bakeries in the SF Bay Area – and I stand by that statement.) Therefor, I try to arrange my baking so that it takes less effort than buying the same quality and kinds of bread. I can mix dough and set it to bulk ferment while I prepare my wife’s breakfast. It can be a yeast dough for lunch or a sourdough for dinner. Yesterday’s bake was whole-wheat  focaccia for lunch and whole-wheat dinner rolls.  Today’s bake is a Korean style, whole-wheat sandwich bread.

However quick and easy it is to make bread; I will always be looking for an easier method/technique to make better bread.


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