The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

yozzause's picture

Me and My grand daughter EMILY aged 4  baking mini pizzas 2010

What fun we had and lunch to boot

yozzause's picture

I was always amused as an apprentice that in the award rates for bakers there was a category for single handed baker  i could just imagine some poor soul that had been in a loosing argument with the dough dividing machine. Of course it actually referred to a baker employed on wages working alone doing the whole kit and caboodle.   

Anyway i am currently a single handed following a rotator cuff and repair to a full width tear of the tendon in my right arm six weeks with an abductor sling on both night and day  fortunately that came off last week and now a further six weeks with physio and passive exercises.

Today's bake was a sour dough  Multi grain with home brew lager and a dash of molasses

300g multi grain mix flour

300g sour dough culture (100%hyd)

100ml home brew lager

9g salt

9g molasses 

all the ingredients brought together for a quick mix then allowed to autolyse for about 20 min then a further 5 min mix and another autolyse for about 20 minutes and a further mix for about another 5 min in the kenwood chef.

the dough was then stretched and folded after an hour and repeated  and then made up and into a cake tin  allowed to prove for 1 hour and into the fridge with cling film overnight the next morning it was put outside into a warm spring day for an hour or so then brought in and washed with an boiled arrowroot (starch) paste to help stick the sesame seed and give the dough piece some protection from the fierce heat of the oven.

 No scoring was attempted as the dough was below the top of the container and it was fairly fully proofed hence only a small amount of oven spring shown in the photos

i was pleased with the loaf it had a nice open texture and an excellent taste.

the dough has risen quite well and close to full proof

a small amount of oven-spring no tearing of the crust


the cut loaf revealing  a nice open structure and the graininess of the mixture

 a few slices with some dislodged sesame seeds

all in all very happy with the result excellent taste and not to bad for a single handed result

regards Yozza 

Floydm's picture

I get a lot of books from publisher, most of which I don't post about, but I received one today that I really like. 

Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project comes out in a week or so.  It is a little book but contains a really nice selection of cookie, biscotti, and meringhe recipes.  There are a nice range of recipes, everything from basic sugar cookies to fava bean cookies, and while a few require ingredients that I don't keep around the house (fava beans, pine nuts), none of them that I've looked at strike me as terribly complex or inaccessible.

What else.  The photography and typography are nice, the paper feels nice, it is just... a really lovely little book, one that feels more expensive than the thirteen bucks you can pick it up for right now. It'd make a nice, inexpensive gift for anyone you know who likes to cook and bake but hasn't yet caught the bread bug. 

I've not baked any of the recipes from it yet, but I shall soon.

probably34's picture

Does anyone have a really good yeasted rye sandwich bread recipe that they would be willing to share?

Przytulanka's picture

I have never been a big fan of pears. I eat only a few per year. But when I saw those I decided to buy a few. They were delicious. Their beauty inspired me to bake this bread.

453 g water

283g whole rye flour-stone ground
453 whole wheat flour

 Mix the flours and water until the dough comes together and you have a sticky mass and put the container in the refrigerator for 12 hours 
125 g water
125 g whole rye flour
25 g whole rye starter

Final dough:
all soaker from refrigerator
255 g starter
Mix the ingredients (it's not easy) and let rest 30 minutes.
Add salt work it through the dough. Let rest 30 minutes. Fold the dough and let rest 30 minutes. Repeat the procedure once more.
Allow the dough to ferment for 4 hours at room temperature.


Flatten the dough into a disc, put 100 g of pistachio nuts (toasted, salted) and pear cut in to pieces. Fold in each side, and then the bottom. . Turn the dough over and shape your pear. Try to shape thick neck to prevent from burning during baking. Use XL raisin or dried plum to make stem end of the pear. Place the pear on peel with parchment . Cover with plastic to avoid drying the dough.

After 3-hour proofing preheat the oven to 500F with a.baking stone. Prepare 1 cup of  hot water for steaming.Score the loaf.
15 minutes-480 F
15 minutes -450F
Remove  the parchment, cover the bread with foil (it's brown enough) and bake 10 minutes in 400F.

 Adapted from the recipe from: Discovering Sourdough and inspired by


amolitor's picture

As you probably know, there's a technique for improving bread which involves adding some quantity of "old dough" to the new dough. Some dough from the last batch, that's 6 or 12 or 4 hours old, or something. While this is great for commercial bakers, it's a little bit less great for the home baker. Here's what I've started doing:

Whenever I bake a yeasted more-or-less white bread, I save a 2 or 3 walnut sized balls of fully developed dough (just before shaping). I wrap these individually in a piece of plastic wrap suitable to cover my normal mixing bowl, and freeze them. Then, when I want to do some pate fermente action, I thaw a ball out the night before. I soak this dough in 1/4 cup or so of warm water to soften it up, and then mix in anough flour for a stiff dough (2/3 cup to 3/4 cup). Knead enough to mix the thawed old throughout. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap (which you can now use to cover the bowl for the entire batch of bread, see?) and let stand overnight.

If you want more "old dough" you can repeat the process, adding more water to your risen dough, and more flour, and let that rise.

You could do the same thing with yeast and so on, to make a new dough the night before, but I find this to be very convenient.


wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

I baked this bread for the second time and made a couple of changes. Here is the ingredient list as printed.

Buttermilk White Bread
Recipe By: James Beard in Beard on Bread

  • 2 packages active dry yeast

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115, approximately)

  • 4 cups unbleached hard-wheat flour

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 3 tablespoon melted butter

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Changes I made were to use instant yeast and reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon, next time I'll use even less.

I left out the 1/2 cup warm water and used 3/4 cup buttermilk (made from Saco "Cultured Buttermilk Blend" powder) plus 3/4 cup of non-fat milk. My 4 cups bread flour at 120 grams per cup with the 1.5 cups liquid was plenty wet enough without the water. I couldn't find anywhere that Beard defined what a cup of flour should weigh.

I also cut the salt in half and used canola oil for fat instead of butter.

I did a 20 min autolyze, then mixed in the oil and salt for a few minutes, then did a couple stretch and folds after 30 and 60 minutes and shaped after another 30. The dough more than doubled in the first 30 min. (I took out 75 gr of dough to make a small roll since last time the quantity (about 920 gr) seemed to much for my 9x5 pan.)

Dusted top with some sifted flour and proofed about 45 min which may have been a little too long as dough had not only domed above pan but was starting to hang over the edge. Fortunately that sprung up in the oven to make a nicely shaped loaf.

Baked at 375 for 40 min, removed from pan and left in the cooling oven for 8 min (on its side, as recommended by Beard).

After cooling I sliced this and I can tell you it smells wonderful.

Here is the loaf cooling.

Beard Buttermilk cooling

And here is the crumb close up shot. Looks good to me! Note the knife dragged some of the flour from the top down into the crumb. I didn't notice this until uploading the pic.

Beard Buttermilk crumb

I'll add a taste update after I have some for lunch.

UPDATE: Really enjoyed a sandwich at lunch. This was better with the half buttermilk half non-fat milk. I think I'll cut back the salt a little more to 1 tsp and reduce the yeast a little as well.

Submitted to YeastSpotting

saumhain's picture

Well, actually, I do love my new job. It's not as boring as the previous one and so much better than studying @ uni (at least my uni). But it has like two major drawbacks: firstly, we are not allowed to wear jeans in the office, and the second, which is really depressing - I have practically no time to bake bread!!!

I leave to work at 8 in the morning at the latest, and get back at 7 if I am really lucky. Of course, I still can bake yeasted breads, but it's not possible to bake sourdough breads... And it's such a shame, 'cause it took me a while (three failed attempts)  to raise a new starter after I've arrived from Austria, and I baked only 3 or four sourdough breads ever since. I do hope that when it gets a bit colder in our flat my starter won't ripen in 5 hours and I would then prepare pre-ferment early in the morning and bake when I come back home. For now I can bake only during weekend.

Last week I baked Hamelman's 5 Grain Levain. Oh yes one (of many))) precious present from Austria - Hamelman's "Bread", which I have been exploring and studying for 2 months already and continue to do so. I really enjoyed this bread, it was really good and tasty even after a week or so, although it became a bit sour.

The same weekend I tried to bake 40% Rye with Caraway (I was tempted by its variation, which Hamelman suggests - Salzstangerl - delicious salt sticks sprinkled also with bit of caraway, which I bought quite often in Austria). But it was a complete fail. Honestly, I had never failed with sourdough before; this time, however, I followed measurements and instructions precisely, but the dough was... Well, strictly speaking, it was not even dough - it was more like muffin batter, obviously with no sign of gluten. I mixed it, got scared by its consistence and then left it for 20 minutes or so, hoping in vain that the flour will absorb water by this time. But since it never happened and I was feeling completely desperate, I just threw it all away. May be someone had the same issue with this recipe? If not, I'd love to learn what could possibly go wrong, any suggestions are appreciated, since I have absolutely no clue.

This Saturday I baked yet another rye bread by Hamelman, this time with much more success. I have chosen his Flaxseed Rye, published in Modern Baking in March 2009. Both dmsnyder (which measurements I used) and hansjoakim had lovely interpretations of this bread, which I liked a lot. Besides it includes "altus" (bread soaker) and I always wanted to taste bread made with it. So, what can I say? Yet again the dough was wetter that I expected, even though I cut down 44 grams of water from the final dough!!! It was also proving a lot less, since I've told already, it's really hot at my place. The final result was still amazing - despite the relative small percentage of rye, it tastes like a real rye bread, goes well with almost anything. Stores good too. I am really satisfied with the result but I keep on wondering what kind of flour is there in America that Hamelman uses, which requires so much water??


Mebake's picture

This is baked from Hamelman's "BREAD", levain breads.

I knew that the radiant heat from a preheated stone will result in an unmatched ovenspring, so i played with my steaming technique a bit to accomodate the stones.

Here is a picture:

The roaster lid had no hole, and no steam was injected. THe result is not bad, but the color suffered somewhat. I had to endure to hassle of tkeing the stones out after 15 minutes, and shifting the rack upwards to finish the loaves, otherwise the bottom will be charred.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

There was a period of time where my brother and I were buying each other different salts for fun…  He went to Hawaii one time and brought me back a small bag of  Alaea Sea Salt (Hawaiian Red Salt).  Time passes, I buy him some other salt…  Then he goes to Hawaii again to visit a friend of his, and she sends him back to the mainland with 3 more bags of the stuff, which he gives me…  So now, after a few years, I still have tons of the stuff, so what better idea to get rid of some of it by trying some in bread… 

Interesting stuff.  It contains a small amount of harvested reddish Hawaiian clay.  You can reference this website: for more info.  The salt has an interesting clay/mineral taste to it.

I decided to make a simple pain au levain and try the stuff out… 

900g AP (King Arthur)
50g WW (King Arthur)
50g Rye Flour (Mix of Hodgson Mill and Arrowhead Mills Organic)
250g Liquid Levain @ 100% Hydration
660g Water
26g Alaea Sea Salt
1936g Approx Dough Yield

7:00pm - Feed storage starter 100g AP and 100g water.  Starter should double in 2-3 hrs.
10:00pm - Weigh out all ingredients, grind the salt with a mortar and pestle.
10:15pm - In a large mixing bowl, add in the following order, liquid levain,  water, flours, salt.  Mix with rubber spatula until a rough dough forms, then with wet hands squish dough until there are no dry lumps.  This should take about 3 minutes.  Place bowl in large plastic bag, rest.
11:00pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.
11:30pm - Lightly oil a large plastic container (4L).  Turn dough (stretch and fold in bowl), place in plastic tub, place in refrigerator.  Go to bed.

8:45am - Take dough out of refrigerator, turn dough in container, cover, return to refrigerator.  Go to work.

6:15pm - Divide dough into 2 equal pieces (975g), preshape into boule.  Let rest 15 minutes seam side down.
6:30pm - Final shape, let proof in floured linen lined bannetons seam side up.  Place bannetons in plastic bag to prevent drying.
8:45pm - Arrange baking stone and steam pan (loaf pan with lava rocks.  Fill halfway with water).  Preheat oven to 500F with convection.
9:30pm - Turn off convection.  Turn boules out onto a lightly floured peel, slash as desired, place into oven directly onto stone.  When last loaf is in the oven, close door.  Turn down to 450F.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Remove steam pan 15 minutes into bake.  Rotate loaves halfway through bake.  At end of bake, check internal temperature and weight.  Should be between 205F to 210F, and weight approx 15% less.  Return loaves to off oven for another 10 minutes.  Let loaves cool overnight before cutting and eating…

Notes:  I should have let the boules proof for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

8:45am - Cut, take picture of crumb, eat...

Sent to Susan @ Yeastspotting on 10/6/10


Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries