The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Adam4SD's picture

I always wondered how this was being done... my first try.

I now know what needs to be done to improve on this.  This has no real use other than the wow factor, in my opinion.

sayersbrock's picture

My first blog post is about this wonderfully classic teacake with a rich tradition.  Back when bread dough was prepared at home and then baked in the village baker's oven, bara brith (Welsh translation is mottled or speckled bread) was usually the leftover scraps of dough thrown together and sweetened with dried fruit. 

It did, however, grow into a standardized loaf consumed during teatime, still filled with an abundance of dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries...). 

My version includes raisins, currants, and chopped dates soaked in sweetened Earl grey tea. Enriched with butter, an egg, and orange marmalade, it made for the stickiest dough I've ever worked with. I became a quick convert to the slap and fold technique after failing to knead with other techniques.

Michael Brock

PalwithnoovenP's picture

We love pie so I made some pie to celebrate Father's Day!

These are fried pies. I used a crust that is meant to be very tender and flaky. The filling is creamy tuna in white sauce. They are also very crispy after frying with the crispness that you associate with a croissant.

A fast food chain here sells tuna pies which is popular but I'm not a big fan of it. I will be bold and say that these are a million times better! Everyone who tastes this says that I should sell this and it will be a hit. Should I take the bait?

And a fried flaky mooncake filled with purple yam paste for dessert! Decadent and delicious!

Happy Father's Day to all fathers out there! Maligayang Araw ng mga Ama! Bonne fête des Pères ! 父亲节快乐!

alfanso's picture

Anyone who has been around TFL long enough and is suspiciously odd (or bored) enough knows that my baguette journey began with my baking the Anis Bouabsa baguette.  For the uninitiated, M. Bouabsa is a bread baker in Paris who won the quite prestigious annual city-wide competition in 2008 for the Best Baguette in Paris, and with about 30 competitors it was no small feat.  His rewards included accolades, bragging rights and a meeting with the French President.  Oh, and supplying the presidential palace with baguettes for a year.

My wife's cousin celebrated her 90th birthday with a party last weekend.  Just about a lifelong resident of Paris she invited local relatives and friends as well as her American family, my in-laws included. As our favorite travel partners and nonogenarians themselves, the in-laws asked us to chaperone them to Paris for the event.  Our main goal was to ensure their safety every step of the way.  Literally.  So when folks gush at our vacationing in Paris I have to stop them right there.  It was not a vacation.  Although we had a good time with family there.  And no matter what, we were in Paris, for-cryin' out loud.

We had our free time in the mornings as their day often doesn't begin until 11 or so.  This past Monday, the only rainy day of the trip, we clambered down the Paris Metro steps and headed up to M. Bouabsa's boulangerie.

When he came out to see who was asking for him, I showed him a still from the video I posted a few years ago on the making of his baguettes.  To our utter surprise he said that he recognized me and "knew who I was".  He invited me in to see his workshop and I asked if my wife and cousins could come in also.  Yes.

And then we talked shop.  I don't know more than a few words of French and he doesn't understand English.  But he spoke in French, I spoke in Spanish and we seemed to be on the same page.  I guess shop talk and some hand gestures make a conversation a little more universal.  Unbeknownst to me Cousin Paul videoed about a minute of the encounter. Also unbeknownst to my wife, as she hogged the picture frame during part of the encounter!

The boys talking business


Baguettes after their long cold retard

A huge Pain de Campagne on the loader just after coming out of the oven.

T65 flour waiting to become baguettes

The Tzara Tradicion baguette.  M. Bouabsa's boulangerie is on Rue Tristan Tzara.

A peek into the workshop from the storefront.

We picked up cups of expresso and cafe creme, croissants, a pistachio & chocolate chip "stick" and an incredibly flaky custard filled "cup".  And of course a pain de campaigne batard and a pair of baguettes.  What a delightful experience.

Here's old Morris and me strolling down Rue St. Severin

And the lunch for the American contingent.  That's BD girl Dolly sandwiched between my in-laws, themselves book-ended by my wife and me.

And the same dopey rabbit seems to still get his hand caught in the Metro train doors, just as he did the first time I rode the Metro back in '89.


Danni3ll3's picture

One of my brothers asked me to make buns to go with the burgers and crab we are having tomorrow for Father’s Day. I surfed a number of recipes but kept coming back to this one.

So here they are...

I doubled the recipe and scaled them to 115 -116 g each. And instead of baking them in a foil collar as suggested in the recipe, I used 6 inch foil pie pans. I did half with sesame seeds and half plain. 

We will see how the family likes them tomorrow. 

Adam4SD's picture

I called this Soon Doo Boo Sourdough!

I used only 10% levain and used kimchi liquid, silk tofu, green onions and black sesame seeds. It took around 24 hours until bake.

The flavor came out mildly savory and the soft texture was  wonderful toasted.

Beatrice's picture

Hi bakers, I'm back with one of my favorite formula ever: 20 % rye. I have to admit that the last few baked breads weren't very good, and I think that a reason for it could be the fact that I have to adjust the timings with the hot temperatures that are going on here in Italy.

But finally I think I made it, with this rye dough I stared at every passage and I managed to gain the right times almost in every passage; the only issue being the fact that maybe the bulk fermentation could be pushed a little bit further.

I'm going to write all the passages in order to let you know the details and to have a feedback about some advices or suggestions to be a better baker the next time.


100gr whole rye flour

400gr type 1 flour (here in Italy we call this way a semi-whole wheat flour with a good power, circa 12% protein)

410gr lukewarm water

10gr pink himalayan salt

100gr leaven (built the night before with 20gr type 1 flour starter, 40gr water, 40gr type 1 flour)



8 PM: built the leaven and let it sit overnight covered with a clean towel

5 AM: mix the leaven with the water first and then add all the flour. Let it sit for one hour covered

6 AM: add the salt and mix well with the pinch tecnique and let it sit for half an hour coverd

6.30-8 AM: fold three time, one time every half an hour

8-9 AM: bulk fermentation without foldings, during this time the dough should rise a lot and form some bubbles

9 AM: preshape phase where I tried to develop more gluten strength by moving the dough onto a very lightly floured surface, then I let it rest on the bench for 20 min

9.20 AM: I shaped the dough and put it into the proofing basket and let it rest covered for circa one hour 

(in the photo you see how active it was at this stage)

10.20 AM: I put the dough in the fridge for the retarded fermentation and let it rest there for eight hours

18.20 PM: baked the bread: 20 minutes covered at 245 degrees C and the 25 minutes uncovered at the same temperature.


I am very satisfied with this bread because I was so in tune with all the passages of the process that I feel more connected to it then with the other breads I baked in the past. It is a learning process and I am amazed about how easy it is to forget how important the art of adaptation and adjustment is.

I put in also a crumb shot: this is the perfect pattern for a toast or for a bruschetta, right amount of holes but not so many that the filling would fell down (you know what I mean).

I hope to read your feedback and I really thank all of you for the constant inspiration I gain from this community!

Happy baking, Beatrice! X


Adam4SD's picture

I used 3% of bright dragon fruit powder in the dough with starter and after the bake, the color completely disappeared! So much for anticipating a pink loaf... live and learn.

BPaff's picture

I was well on my way to completing what would have been my best loaf yet. Everything was coming along perfectly as these things rarely do when you're a beginner bread baker. Had great gluten development, pre-shaping and final shaping were very good despite a rather wet dough (50/50 AP and high extraction bread flour @ 80%). This was suspect. Everything was going too well. The crucial mistake wouldn't manifest itself until hours after the fact. The heart sinking moment came after the final rise when I attempted to remove the dough from the bowl it was rising in. The bowl that cradled my novice error. 

I flipped over the bowl onto my peel and noticed the couche that was lying on top of the dough currently and during proofing was slightly wet. And my heart sank. I had a feeling it was a bad idea to have a wet dough rise on a couche that was apparently also not floured well enough. Needless to say the dough was totally stuck to the couche and i essentially had to rip it off, losing all that precious gas that had built up over the day of fermenting. Determined not to totally throw away my days work, I quickly and gently reshaped it and slid it into the oven. 

This was the final product

It was definitely misshapen, and obviously lacked some volume due to the ripping of the dough, but still had a great flavour and was pleasantly surprised with the crumb as well.

I am now doubly determined to pick up where I left off prior to my crucial mistake and complete what was supposed to be my best loaf yet. This may still have been my best yet despite the blunder, which makes it all the more frustrating knowing what could have been. This morning I ran right to the store to pick up some rice flour which will be used liberally for today's proofing.


P.S. anyone know how to salvage this?


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