The Fresh Loaf

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tssaweber's picture

Lady (most of the time) Oreo and I

are back home from our hunting trip. Looking in the freezer my return was needed (and hopefully appreciated) because that thing was empty, not a single piece of bread to be seen. Luckily I brought a frozen loaf of my simple cabin bread with me, so the next morning sandwiches for my older son and my wife for their lunches were possible. As I will be busy the next couple of days I decided to simulate a small bakery day and try to process 9kg or 20lb dough at once. On the plan I put Cabin Bread, Zopf or Swiss Sunday Bread, Farmers Bread (Ruchbrot) and Multi Grain Rolls (Vollkorn Brötli). I started in that order as my calculation indicated that this would work with available space, bulk fermentation, proof and oven times. This morning I finished the Multi Grain Rolls as I retarded fermentation of the dough in the fridge, this retardation ads to the tremendous flavor of this rolls.

These rolls are the favorite of my wife and developing the formula took some time. I'm very happy with the result and I have to make sure there is always a batch in the freezer for Sylvia's lunch sandwich. I also believe that the rye sourdough starter (St.Clair) I got from Mark Sinclair at the Back Home Bakery in Montana gave the rolls the additional flavor and that "something special".



To print or download the formula go here and you can also listening to their "singing" when they come out of the oven:

inlovewbread's picture

This is Biga Ciabatta following the formula in Reinhart's BBA (incidentally the only bread book I have right now). Turned out pretty well considering this was my first time making ciabatta and I messed up on the biga. I did not knead the biga at all and put it into the fridge after mixing and left it. Still came out great! Always a nice suprise. I also had to bake these on parchment on a sheet pan as I did not have a stone. I just got my stone yesterday so I'm eager to try it out!

AnnieT's picture

I took this loaf to supper with the family and their house has much better natural light than mine which helped the picture. The first slices were really holey but the center of the loaf had a tighter crumb. The flavor was excellent and the crust crisp and it did sing, very slightly. Next time I am going to use my more liquid starter for comparison and of course there is always a next time... A.


inlovewbread's picture

I made Anadama Bread from Reinhart's BBA. It turned out great! I will definately be making this bread again.

AnnieT's picture

Here is a picture of my grandaughter Lily with a slice of my first effort, showing off the holey crumb. I used KA bread flour and KA white whole wheat and my newly converted firm starter, and we all liked the flavor. The second try had better oven spring and I imagine the starter is getting stronger, A.


Mel_J's picture

After reading a lot about French flours vs American flours from TFL, I decided to try White Lily's Bread Flour. When I lived in Tennessee, I used to make biscuits with White Lily Self Rising Flour. Its the best (in my opinion) flour to make biscuits. If I'm not mistaken, their flours are made from soft winter wheat, the self rising flour, at least. Since White Lily can only be found in the South, the only way I could get it is by purchasing online. I bought two 5lbs bags of flour, one bread and one self rising (for biscuits). It took a week for it to get here but when I got it, I had to immediately make some biscuits and bread. The biscuits were light and fluffly, the way I like it. As for the bread, I had some issues with my oven, so my first batch of baguette came out very light (crust) but the crumb is wonderful! I decided to try making the baguette again but this time, I bought an oven thermometer to monitor the oven temperature. The crust came out darker than I'd like but the crumb was good. I was soo excited that I had to take a picture of it with my cellphone camera. Its quite blurry, but I hope the picture of the crumb is still somewhat viewable.



I'm not that good of a baker, so hopefully, this will give me motivation to do better.

AnnieT's picture

This is the second version of the challenge loaf, and my recently converted firm starter appears to be getting stronger. The dough had filled the little basket after a night in the fridge and the oven spring was great. I have more pictures of the first effort but can't figure how to post more than one at a time, A.


boathook1's picture

When putting sourdough into the fridge to become more sour SHOULD IT BE RISEN OR DEFLATED ?

Please tell me what happens between the time it comes out of the fridge till it gets baked...

Thanks in advance

dstroy's picture

I just got back from a visit overseas to visit my grandmother. I didn't have a lot of time there, but on one of the days I had the pleasure of being served a lovely tea and cake which got me hankering to make a cake after I got back.


German Marble Cake
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar (I think I may have accidentally put in 1 1/4 c. My cake could have used a little more sweetness but the kids didn't mind)
4 eggs
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. almond extract
3 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
tiny pinch of salt (I skipped it since I used normal salted butter)
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and grease the tube or bundt pan well.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs, and then the milk and almond extract.

In a separate bow, mix up the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and then add that to the wet ingredients, beating into a creamy texture.

Take out about half the batter and add rum and cocoa to the remaining half.

Layer and swirl the batters into the pan, then bake for just over an hour or until the toothpick test comes out clean. Then let it cool before flipping, and add the powdered sugar on top.


I put the white batter in first, then the dark batter on top. I swirled it with a knife a little bit, but I think the chocolate wasn't as heavy as I expected so it didn't sink into the white as much as I hoped. Next time I will poke it into the white batter more to make the pretty pictures inside each slice.

All baked - The trick with these old bundt pans is to really not skimp on the butter when you grease the pan. Otherwise the cake will stick to the pan and you end up with a big mess.

German cakes dont usually have frosting. This is a dense cake, almost like a rum poundcake, and it's best with something simple like powdered sugar on top.


This is a recipe that I think having the really good dutch cocoa truly makes a difference. Its way more expensive than the regular cocoa, but with the rum and almond extract, the really good cocoa packs a chocolate punch that is worth the expense. I'd used a middle-range cocoa but next time I will make sure to get the really yummy Droste powder. 

It's a heavier dryer cake that is perfectly suited to an afternoon tea.


ericjs's picture

Prior to the one-loaf mystery result of my last post, the openest crumb I've gotten from the BBA pain de champagne recipe was a few weeks ago when I modified the recipe to use a dose of the KA levain du jour (dried levain starter), the mild version. I basically made the sponge from this starter as per the instructions that come with it, but made sure the amounts of eveything in the end would total to the same as BBA recipe using the pate fermentee as usual. A second alteration I made was to put most of the rest of the flour (including the whole wheat) into a soaker. The end result was this:

Because I'd changed two different things at once, I wasn't sure if it was the levain or the soaker or both that produced the opener crumb. So I did another batch a few days later with no levain, but with the soaker. The result was the typical crumb I get from this recipe (which has improved a bit over time, as I've pushed the hydration a little, improved my kneading technique, and switched from my somewhat alkaline tap water to bottled water). Interesting thing about this batch though. It had the slight tart tang to it, just as if I had used the levain! I assume that by chance either my pate fementee or my soaker picked up some good beasties...perhaps there were some floating around left over from the levain. Maybe I should start making a point of not cleaning my kneading board!


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