The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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carltonb's picture

The kitchen side of my facility just purchased a Woodstone gas Fire Oven.

Like this one

We have been making lots of pizza, and traditional savory items in cast iron pots and plates.

It is now time to experiment with bread. It has been over 40 years since I have used an oven that gets up to 700 degrees. Any suggestions on baking bread in it.



Carlton Brooks



freerk's picture

For New Year's Eve I decided to share this wonderful traditional Dutch cookie-recipe.


Up to this day people in the northern and eastern regions of The Netherlands eat this waferthin cookie for NewYear's Eve.


They come in two varieties: flat and rolled up.


The flat ones you eat the 31st of December, the rolled up ones you can eat starting the 1st of January.


The flat wafers represent the old year that has fully unfolded. The rolled up wafers stand for the new year, that still has all of its secrets rolled up in it self



This recipe yields at least twice the amount shown in the picture.


To make the cookies waferthin you will need a WAFER IRON.


500 grams AP flour

450 grams white caster sugar

30 grams of vanillasugar

5 eggs

200 grams unsalted melted butter

lukewarm water if needed

Combine the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla sugar in a large coleander.

Mix at high speed over a pan of hot water ("au bain marie") until the eggs turns slightly whiter and the mixture is nice and frothy.

Take the coleander away from the hot water pan. Sift the flour into the mixture. Add the melted butter little by little to form a smooth batter, about the consistency of yoghurt. The batter should "ooze" from the spoon.

Add some lukewarm water if needed to get the right consistency.

Spoon a dollop of batter on to the heated wafer iron and press hard for about 8-10 seconds. The wafer should come out nice and golden brown.

When making flat wafers: leave on a rack to cool.

When making rolled up wafers: roll the wafer onto a fingerthick wooden ladle or thin rolling pin. Let them set for about 20 seconds and transfer to a cooling rack.


Wishing all of my TFL-friends a healthy, inspiring and positive 2011! Thank you for all the feedback on my posts. I hope you will all continue to make me a better home-baker in the coming year!


Warm greetings from Amsterdam,





Franko's picture


The Last Loaf of 2010

Earlier this month I made a trip down to Cowichan Bay to visit True Grain Bakery and to pick up 30K of Red Fife flour that I'd ordered for breadsong a fellow B.C. Resident and TFL member, and myself. Cowichan Bay is a small, rustic seaside village with a fair number of various shops and restaurants lining the sea side of the main drag, and is a popular tourist stop here on Vancouver Island.  The bakery itself has a funky eclectic look to it that is totally in keeping with the general ambiance of the village, with lots of bric a brac and paraphernalia decorating the walls. The staff were all very helpful and friendly, greeting me almost as soon as I walked through the door. When I told them I was there to pick up some flour that I'd ordered, the miller himself came out from the adjacent mill room with our flour and thanked me for the order, and asked if there was anything else he could help me with. Two weeks earlier I'd sampled some of their fabulous Christmas cake at one of our local craft fairs so I asked him to put one of those on the bill as well. After I'd settled the bill I asked if I could take a few pictures of the shop while I was there. He told me that'd be fine and allowed me access to the mill room so I could get a few shots of the mill setup.  I took a few photos of the bread display as well, but by now the small shop was filling up with customers, making it difficult to get any decent closeups of the breads. I can tell you that from what I saw of the breads it's all very good looking product, obviously made with a lot of skill and attention to detail. 

I'm looking forward to my next visit to True Grain,which will probably be in early Spring 2011, depending on how quickly breadsong and I go through our flour. Hopefully I'll be able to get some pics of the production area and the ovens at that time.


When breadsong and I were messaging each other to set up the arrangements for shipping and payment for the flour, she raised the question of whether the 75% sifted RF that we ordered would be considered a high extraction flour. At the time I wasn't entirely sure as I've never had occasion to use it either on the job or at home. After a quick search I found that high extraction flour lies between 75% and 100% . The best information I found was on Joe Sloan's 'Hamelman Challenge' Blog where he explains what high extraction flour is exactly and provides a conversion formula so that you can blend your own.

I've also noticed since then that Hamelman provides a description and formula as well in his side notes to the Miche recipe.

I sent breadsong the link and she ran the numbers through her Exel spreadsheet and sent me the results the next day. Darn good teamwork I thought.


Now that I had the information I needed I was finally ready to make a bread from Hamelman's book that I've wanted to make for a long time which is the Miche, Point a Calliere. This mix being a first run of the formula, I stuck as closely to Hamelman's recipe and instructions as possible, the major exception being that I built the levain over a 3 day feeding rather than 2 as the recipe calls for. One thing I've noticed since using the Red Fife is that it doesn't take quite as much water as regular bread flour to get a nice supple dough that's easy to work. In this mix however I stayed with the indicated overall hydration and made some minor flour adjustments during the second phase of the mix to achieve a very soft but cohesive dough that could be further developed through the fermentation and folding to follow. In total, I did a stretch and fold 4x over the course of a 2 ½ bulk fermentation,which gave it enough strength to hold a low profile shape after molding. The final proof was just a little over 2 ½ hrs and the dough weight before baking was 1.654kg /3.6 lbs and 1.371/ 3.0lbs after baking, a difference of just over 17%. The oven was steamed using Sylvia's method, and baked on the stone for 20 minutes @ 440 before removing the steam tray and rotating the loaf. Then another 30 min. @ 420 and 15 more minutes with the heat off and the door slightly open. Big loaf, long bake. I left the loaf wrapped in linen for 20hrs before I took the first slice just to let it settle and for the flavours to ripen. This bread is definitely not lacking in the flavour department, with a good sour tang, but the rich wheat taste of the Red Fife predominating overall. The crumb is chewy with some semi large holes and the crust is nice and crackly. This is one of those breads that doesn't need anything else with it to fully enjoy, but a slice of cheese or sausage, maybe a bowl of soup and a glass of red wine wouldn't take anything away from it either. Hmm, I think I just came up with what I'm having for a light dinner tonight. Some crumb and crust photos below.

Hope everyone at TFL has a Happy New Year, and all the best for 2011!




breadsong's picture

Hello, With many thanks to Franko for sourcing this wonderful Red Fife flour for me (so very kind)!
I've now the luxury of baking with this heritage, organic, stone-ground, 75% sifted whole-wheat from True Grain Mill, and I am very grateful.

These breads were made using Mr. Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat (Red Fife) Flour, as Franko had done.
Franko really did a beautiful job on his bread; his post is here.

The Red Fife is a lovely, top-notch flour to work with, and my husband and I were very happy with crust, crumb and flavor it produced in this bread.
We cut into the small loaf, trying to wait a decent amount of time to let it cool off!
The dough was retarded in the fridge for 20 hours before baking.
I included a picture of the Red Fife flour below (on left side of plate; my other stone-ground whole-wheat flour on the right side of plate, for comparison).

Happy New Year everyone! from breadsong

Yolandat's picture

I had to work Chistmas day for the last time before I retire in January. It was a quiet day with lots of empty beds, quite unusual for out ICU. We had a lottery for Boxing Day and I won the day off. I visited with my sister and her husband for a while and went home and set up a batch of bagels for Boxing Day morning. I had some small spots where they spilt and I am not sure why. I couldn't find my timer and guessed on 2 minutes for the boil so that may be the problem. Noone seemed to care though and they tasted great.

salma's picture


breadsong's picture

Hello, I am taking a trip down memory lane in trying to make this sourdough rye with walnuts.
I got to taste a rye bread with walnuts, made by Mr. Hamelman, at the IBIE show in Vegas in September.
His bread was absolutely delicious!!! I'm afraid I'd never had the pleasure of tasting good rye bread prior to tasting his.
Using his formula, I hoped to re-create the flavor here at home. I just tasted a tiny slice and although my bread could never match his, it is good and tangy, and I love the walnut flavor in this loaf.

I did two things differently from the formula/instructions...I added 15g of vital wheat gluten to the mix to try and strengthen the dough, to compensate for the 50% rye; and for some unknown reason, thought I had to proof the loaves seam side up (consequently scoring after proofing, not before proofing).  Also, running behind schedule this a.m., I just caught the sourdough as it was starting to deflate and am not sure if that had an impact on how this bread turned out.  Having never baked with 50% rye before, I didn't know if I should be expecting any oven spring or not, but I didn't get any.

Here are my pictures: First loaf, no blowout; second loaf, side blowout; and a crumb shot


Here's Mr. Hamelman's bread from the IBIE show (demonstrating what this bread actually should look like!):

I will definitely try this bread again, maybe at 40% rye overall and see how it goes.
Regards, breadsong




breadsong's picture

Hello, These loaves are to bring to a New Year's potluck (no crumb shot...although the bread smells so good I'd dearly love to cut into one so I can taste it!).

Inspired by louie brown's Olive Leaf scoring to evoke the olives in his bread, I tried to score little garlic bulbs on the tops of my loaves.
They turned out looking more like strange, animal paw prints...!   :^)

This dough fermented beautifully - I hope there will be a nice crumb once it's cut & that everyone likes it!
Happy New Year! from breadsong

davidg618's picture

Inspired by LisaL's question  Baguettes by noon? I baked a sourdough version of my overnight baguette formula for the first time.

Beginning with 25g of 100% hydration seed starter I built 310g of liqud levain over a twenty four hour period, feeding 75g each of AP flour and water at the start, and the same again after twelve hours. I scheduled the build to be ready yesterday at 10am. I wanted to bulk ferment for 24 hours, at 55°F. I had an appointment this morning, otherwise I would have preshaped, this morning at 7 AM, to demonstrate I could have finished baguettes before noon: LisaL's goal.

I mixed the dough (1050 g, 68% hydration, 100% AP flour) at 10:00 yesterday using ice water to immediately chill the dough, autolysed for 1 hour, and did four S&F's at 30 minute intervals. The dough was placed in the retarder--my wine closet--at 55°F immediately after mixing, and returned after each S&F.

I removed the retarded dough at 10:15 AM this morning. It had quadrupled in volume! (Note 1 to myself: Don't ferment for so long, or reduce the levain by half.)

I preshaped 3, 350 g baguettes and let them rest 1 hour at room temperature (We've been having a cold spell here, the room temperature was about 67*). After restiing i shaped them, and placed them in a linen couche. I checked the dough temperature after shaping. It was a chilly 61°F.

The loaves proofed for two hours, I baked them in a preheated oven (500°F), on a baking stone, reducing the oven temperature to 450°F immediately after loading with steam for the first 10 minutes. I finished the bake in another 10 minutes at 450°F with the steam source removed.

I finished at 1:38 PM (including taking the first picture) . Three hours, and 23 minutes. Had I started at 7 AM I would have finished about 10:30 AM. The yeasted version of this dough usually proofs in 1 to 1-1/4 hour.

and the crumb

It's doable, Lisa.

David G

jgrill's picture


Last week I mixed, and baked my first pandoro, the Italian cake, rich with sugar, butter, and eggs, as well as cocoa butter, and a bit of vanilla extract (from Maggie Gleezer's Artisan Baking).

This was much more a batter than a dough, and was not easy to shape into a log, and from that, into a ball…in fact, I was happy to get it into the pans.

I did let it rise from about 6:30 P.M. until  almost 7 A.M., and by then it had still not domed above the tops of the tins. I put both tins in my upper oven, and turned on the oven to "proof," and they did rise a bit more. Then I baked them in my lower oven at 350° F for 30 minutes, rotating the pans at 15 minutes.



Can't yet comment on flavor as these will be served on Christmas day, but the aroma is wonderful. Hope I don't forget the powdered sugar.


Update: I didn't forget the powdered sugar (My wife, Linda, made sure some was placed in a baggie for each cake when we took them to two separate family food events christmas day).

Flavor was excellent—sweet, but not too sweet. Cakes were light, and altogether well received by all who had a slice. I am pleased, and will make these again (as I now have a lot of cocoa butter).



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