The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Eli's picture

I decided to post pix of my motherdough which is where this all started. It has a very short history at this time but hopefully it will last a few years and I can pass it down and around. Flour and water.



ejm's picture


After seeing Eli's version of Maggie Glezer's sourdough challah from her book A Blessing of Bread, I really wanted to make challah. But this particular bread uses a firm starter. (Firm starter?! I don' know noth'n' 'bout makin' no firm starters, Mizz Scahlet!) I don't have A Blessing of Bread yet (I do have Glezer's wonderful book Artisan Baking though and it's one of my favourites). And my other cookbooks talk about how to make firm starters but, but, but... I need hand-holding with new techniques. ESPECIALLY where wild yeast is concerned.

So I did an internet search to see if anyone else had made Glezer's challah. And found yet another version of Glezer's challah on Tatter's blog, "The Bread Chronicle". This one is made with a liquid levain. Ah, that's what I like to see!! I'm familiar with liquid levains. Not exactly an expert with them but at least I've used them frequently.

I had fun braiding challah.

challah weavingchallah weaving

challah weavingchallah weaving

I'm sure that it's incorrect to have that little bit of whole wheat flour but I really like to add just a little (using Carol Field's idea of adding wholewheat flour to our highly refined white flour to mimic stoneground flour). I think the tiny bit of whole wheat adds flavour as well, making the bread seem not quite so much like "white bread" that can be so flavour-free.

Our challah was wonderful! Wonderful and flavour-full. I loved the honey in it. And it was really fantastic for breakfast with hard boiled eggs and strong coffee with lots of cream.

  • semi-wild challah recipe based on the recipe for basic sourdough in Piano Piano Pieno by Susan McKenna Grant and a recipe for challah in Maggie Glezer’s cookbook A Blessing of Bread

And yes, Glezer's book A Blessing of Bread is now on my "wish list". I think I neeeeed to have it.


doc-Jim's picture

     Hi There,  I'm looking for any Ancient Greek Recipes for my web site,  Also documentation would also be greatly appreciated.



Traci's picture

Hmm, what did I make?














If you guessed 'gingerbread' from the recipe from Floyd, you are right! It is much darker in real life. I need a new camera.

The recipe is so quick and easy and the crystalized ginger was amazing in it!


ejm's picture

I don't know if any of the Fresh Loafians (thank you, Mark, for such an excellent term!) has already talked about this - there are SO many posts here!! But even so, it bears repeating:

The Breadline Africa Worldwide Blogger Bake Off was created and began on 15 October 2008. (It ends on 15 October 2009 or when US$1 million has been raised, whichever occurs first.) With our support, Breadline Africa can "convert shipping containers into locations for food production and distribution. These sustainable community kitchens will not only provide foods such as bread and soup to those in need, but also opportunities for skills development within these poor communities".

And here's where we come in:

Bake Bread - Give Dough - Feed Africa

There are various ways for you to get involved:

Anyone can join. Once you register, you can as tag others to do the same. So, not wanting to single anyone out... if you haven't been tagged already, consider yourself tagged. Let's get baking and sending our dough!!

For complete details on how you can help, please see:


Breadline Africa is an internationally registered charity supporting ground level African charities that are working with communities to help them to become self-sustainable and "break the cycle of poverty in the lives of individuals and communities in Africa through sustainable, long-term solutions".
hullaf's picture

 Susan's sourdoughSusan's sourdough    

Susan's sourdoughSusan's sourdough    


Like 'dmsynder' I baked Susan's sourdough this last week. (And somehow the above date is wrong, it is October 27, 2008.) I have tried it before without very good results but this time it was right! If you don't succeed . . .  The recipe was similar, only 2/3 of the recipe made, with the flour being  50% General Mill's "Best for Bread" and 50% KA all purpose flour (hoping for less chewiness). My starter was my whole wheat version (1:3:4 ratio) refreshed for two times before using. I made the dough as directed though "mixing" and folding was questionable as my dough wasn't loose enough for doing the "french fold"; it was moreso a "stretch and fold".  I felt the dough gluten development was sufficient and only folded for two times. It doubled in 6 hours. I formed it into one boule, put it into a well floured (I thought well floured) banneton and let it proof 1 hour and then into the refrigerator overnight. It then proofed at room temperature for 5 hours. And then when I took it out of the banneton, it stuck! Yee - I tenderly helped it out but it collapsed a bit and I thought, there it goes. But I put it in the oven with lots of (Hamelman type) steam -- it's difficult with my gas oven of course -- but it rose to the occasion wonderfully, the best oven rise I didn't expect! It came out tasting moderate sour.   Anet

TinGull's picture

Well, I've been MIA in the bread baking world for a loooong time, as I've been busy with my other passion, baking dog biscuits (Barkwheats).

I decided to make these baguettes following the simple recipe.  Holy.......smokes!  These were the BEST baguettes I have ever made in my entire life!  I've NEVER before been able to get a crust that crackled when I bit into it and a chewy crumb that was nice an open.  OH....this makes me want to do this every day now.



Click for full size

Click for full size

I used KA AP flour with Maine sea salt and SAF instant yeast and my well water.  yummmmmmmmmzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

dmsnyder's picture

Susan's Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough

The sourdough bread recipe from SusanFNP is wonderful.

 These bâtards were made with 10% Giusto's whole rye flour and 90% Giusto's high-gluten flour. The starter had been last refreshed 2 days before mixing. This resulted in a 6 hour fermentation. The formed loaves were allowed to proof for 1 hour then refrigerated overnight. They then proofed for 4 hours more before baking. I baked them on a stone, under a disposable aluminum roasting pan for 10 minutes at 480F, then uncovered for another 15 minutes at 460F.

Crunchy crust. Chewy crumb. Moderately sour, delicious flavor.


msj's picture

I have been trying for several years to bake a bread that has what my husband describes as a yeasty flavor that he and I remember from our mothers' bread.  The closest thing I have found is Bob Evans dinner rolls.  I have tried different flours, different brands of yeast all to no avail.  Anyone have a suggestion?

Yumarama's picture

Yeah, it's been a fair while. Not that I haven't made bread, I have, numerous batches in fact. But they were really mostly "sandwich" bread and all basic yeast things; specifically "Susan's Farmhouse White Sandwhich Bead" but using part whole wheat. Not as tasteless as store bought "Wonder" type stuff (which they were meant to replace) but not terribly exciting, either. On the up side, these numerous plain breads allowed me to play with the oven's temp a bit and I think I have it tweaked to be pretty accurate now so things don't burn too much. So let's get on with today's bake.

Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough

Vermont Sourdough

"Today" is a bit of a misnomer, of course. I started this batch three days prior after feeding Audrey 2 and Carl out of a two week stint in the fridge. By their third feed they were back to bouncy and fluffy within 8 hours (I was off at work, so I don't really know how quickly they doubled). So this has been a few days process. The pre-build took a while - but thats' expected - then the fermentation period took the better part of a day and the final proof took over 16 hours of fridge time. This recipe is the Hamelman Vermont Sourdough which I got off here.

This time around, the dough was decidedly stiffer than the Norwich Sourdough I'd made which is a take off from this one. Not exceedingly stiff but stiff enough that when I slashed, it didn't all just collapse and make flat brad as the others I have previously made. (This is decidedly my fault for not yet knowing what the dough should be like and adjusting.) 

The crust is also more solid although it looks like it may have been a bit overdone here. The recipe says 460ºF for 40 minutes but I pulled it out at 30 as it was already rather dark. Looking at the bottom, it's a tiny bit burned, though just a small black stripe along the center. So the oven is still not 100% accurate. But the loaves' insides had reached 200ºF therefore it was done enough already.

I picked Audrey 2 as the starter for this one simply because as I was feeding the two starters, she seemed to bulk up the most - maybe 3 times vs Carl's 2.5 times. So both would have worked well. In fact, Carl seems to have a slightly stronger smell and taste. So maybe I'll give that one a try next in this recipe.

And here's the crumb. Nice mid-sized holes, not too fine or too big, the loaf shape is decidedly oval as opposed to pancake so we're good here. The flavour is nice although not terribly sourdough-ish. Perhaps it will develop a little over the next day or so. Although I expect the loaf may not survive long enough to see. The other one needs to go in the freezer as there are already a couple of types of bread on the counter.

All in all, this one is a success. We'll be making Hamelman's Vermont again.


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