The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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AnnieT's picture

SulaBlue, thank you so much for your kind help. Makes me feel a little bit better to hear that you had a problem too. I am going to give it a try - but it is late and who knows what might happen! Fingers crossed.

Nope, didn't work. I think my problem is that I don't know how to get to Flickr when I am working here. I found the picture and right clicked and found the option that says Copy Image Address - but then what? Oh well, maybe tomorrow. Thanks again anyway, A.


akachef's picture

A while back it appeared that Ubaker was working on a recipe for Power Bagels like Einstein makes.

Was a recipe ever posted.  I am new to this and would really love to have that recipe.



Floydm's picture

I need to update both the features on the homepage.  Any nominees?  Even though it isn't a brand new thread, I'm thinking about David's post on Anis Bouabsa's baguettes since I keep seeing folks trying that formula and being pleased with it and I've been meaning to try it too.  Maybe a rye post too?  Or a SD post?  I'm open to suggestions.

Floydm's picture

Things have been very busy for me lately.  One of the more exciting things has been finally launching the new Mercy Corps website, which we've been working on for some time.  I'm very pleased with how it came out and urge folks to go check it out.

Traffic here has been nuts.  Last month TFL had over 1 million page views, which is an incredible figure.  There were a lot of factors involved in that: an increased interest in bread baking, an increased interest in doing things to save money as a result of the economic downturn, a couple of lucky placements in StumbleUpon, and a number of lively discussions going on here.  I do expect traffic to ebbs as the weather in the Northern Hemisphere turns nicer and more folks turn to their gardens to save money rather than their ovens, but we definitely have a new high watermark.

Despite all this, I have baked some.  Pizza two weekends ago.

Pizza dough

Pizza with sauce

Pizza with cheese

I tried tinkering with Jeff Varasano's trick of setting the oven on self-clean to preheat my stone.  Sure enough, after about 5 minutes on clean my oven locked itself and I had to turn it off for 15 minutes before it cooled down enough that I could open it and turn it back on.  I've not yet made the decision to try clipping the safety, but I'm thinking about it (insert standard disclaimer about "do not try this at home" here).

The pizza still turned out well at 550.

The pizza is done

Last weekend I made the obligatory batch of hot cross buns.

Hot Cross Buns

Yummy as always.

AnnieT's picture

Well, finally, after many frustrating attempts I have managed to post some pictures on Flickr! Just so that you know I really do bake bread. Maybe one day I will figure out how to move the photos over here, but not tonight. Dstroy, you made it sound so simple... Hate to be the only member unable to post, and any help would be gratefully received, A.

mizrachi's picture

Two simple questions regarding my new FibraMent baking stone:


Does one place a La Cloche or other bread pan on top of this baking stone? 

Will steam crack a FibraMent stone?


Many thanks!







jleung's picture

Portuguese Sweet Bread

- What's a portuguese roll?
- Ohhhhhhhh, it's verrrrrrrry good.

So said Michael Stern during the April 4th episode of The Splendid Table.

They're mildly sweet with a touch of honey but don't taste "eggy" or like cake. The dough is a joy to work with and makes your kitchen smell wonderful as the buns are baking. I enjoy having them lightly toasted with a bit of jam, or just plain. I've heard they make excellent french toast, pulled pork sandwiches, or bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches too. They're simply excellent - in fact, someone told me it was even his/her new favourite bread.


These have been a huge hit among other Fresh Loafers and I couldn't agree more. :D

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Mark!

The rest of the post is here.

dmsnyder's picture

I haven't baked the Polish Cottage Rye from Daniel Leaders "Local Breads" for a year! In the past, I have used First Clear Flour or another high extraction flour as a substitute for the bread flour called for in Leader's formula. This time, I followed the formula exactly.

The dough was very wet and sticky, even with very good gluten development. I actually enjoyed working with this dough, which must indicate I've reached a new level of comfort with slack doughs. In spite of the slackness, it had enough integrity to take my slashes without any dragging. I think proofing the loaf in a linen-lined banneton resulted in just enough drying of the surface.

The resulting bread was similar in profile to the Polish Cottage Ryes I had made before, but the crumb was much more open and chewy. I attribute this to the flour I used, in large part, but also to the better gluten development.

This is a "sourdough rye." There is no added yeast. It is made with a rye sour. I made my sour from my usual starter by giving it two feedings with whole rye flour. All the rye in the dough is from the rye sour.


Polish Cottage Rye -2-1/2 pound boule

As you can see, this bread has a rather low profile. The slack dough spreads once it is dumped from the banneton onto the peel. It has only moderate oven spring. I should have put a ruler on the cutting board to provide a sense of scale, but this bread is just about 11" across. 

Polish Cottage Rye - Crumb close-up

As with most sourdough rye breads, this one benefits from deferring slicing until at least 12 hours after it has baked. I am so proud of myself! This is the first time I actually had the self-control to leave the bread uncut for 12 hours!

The flavor of this bread is marvelous. It is moderately sour with a complex flavor. The rye flavor is very much "there," but it does not dominate. 

I recommend this bread to any rye-lover who wants to explore beyond "Deli Rye" but isn't quite ready for the 70-100% ryes. Because it has a high percentage of bread flour, the dough acts like a "regular" sourdough, not like the sticky dough of a high-percentage rye. I also recommend it to any sourdough lover. There are so many things to be said about adding some rye flour to a "white" sourdough, the topic deserves it's own entry.  For now, I'll just leave it at, "Try it! You'll like it!"


Jw's picture

Last saturday I started around 5 in the afternoon to bake, ended just after 11 that evening. First batch was (les) pain a la ancienne, three days old. Sunflower and pumpkin seed versions. One of them turned into 'his royal stickyness', don't know what that happened. 100% same conditions. A bit more flower in the folding helped. The first loafes were in the oven a bit too long, but still ok.

The second batch I made using "David's un-original sourdough after Susan from San Diego's Original Sourdough". Maybe not the best ovenrise, but I was happy with the progress and result. I used alu-foil to cover the loafs for the first third of the baking time. The loafs grew almost too large to fit on one tray in the oven, have to split up next time. Looking back, I noticed that my scoring wasn't too great, but I didn't have much time to focus on that during the whole session.

third: one loaf of sourdough, using the oregon trail description for San Francisco Sourdough bread. worked out fine, tasted just like landbrot from Austria. It is the sunflowercover bread, in the overview picture below, just before the zopf.
fourth: a lot of zopf! this time I used six strand braiding. Video's on youtube were very helpfull! I ended up with a total of 8 of them.

I was all done on sundaymorning and just put the bread out on the table before the visitors came. It was fun to do (make this much bread) and nice to give away at Easter. I will keep things simple for the next couple of weeks (maybe...). The last picture is more of a breadvista, at the end of the bread-a-thon. Now, mondayevening, all my bread is gone. Home with family and friends!

Happy baking!



Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

A couple weeks ago, I got the urge to bake some biscuits to go with the big pot of vegetable-beef stew I had simmering on the stove. I rarely make biscuits because we don't eat refined carbs most days. But once in a while, I just get a craving for old-fashioned comfort food. And, light biscuits are still on my list of things to master before I die. Both the fluffy kind, and the flaky kind. So now, I probably have you thinking this post is about biscuits, and it really isn't. I found this recipe for Flaky Buttermilk Buscuits in Cook's Illustrated (Jan/Feb 2006), and decided to give it a whirl. Not too bad, huh?

The biscuits were higher and flakier than I ever thought possible, but I screwed up a couple steps, and they were not quite as great as they could have been. I forgot to heed the warning to not open the oven door, which I did to rotate the pan halfway through baking. The biscuits immediately fell about half an inch--if you can believe it, they were actually taller than this! Then I didn't pull them out of the oven soon enough, and they turned out a bit too overdone. But what potential these have, so hopefully there will be another post about them in the future. When I've mastered them...

What today's entry's about, is the technique utilized in this recipe for flouring the counter. It worked so well for me, I thought I should share. Ordinarily, I just sprinkle or dust the flour over the surface, as evenly as I can, but sometimes I get a few "drops" that need smoothing out. And sweeping your hand over the top, really just wipes the flour away and it ends up too thin to keep wet or soft dough from sticking. The author, Sean Lawler has you first spray the counter lightly with non-stick spray, and spread the oil evenly with a cloth or paper towel. It really gives the flour something to adhere to, but the dough releases easily. It worked really well for laminating this sticky biscuit dough, and I think it would be great for rolling out pie pastry too. Try it.



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