The Fresh Loaf

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thespencers06's picture

Hello all,

My Name is Michelle and I am new here. The past few weeks I have taken a shine to baking, especially yeast breads. I started making fresh pizza dough a while back but never did find the perfect recipe. I have searched thru many websites and tried more recipes than I can count. I started to become intrested in make some yeast rolls for a WV pepperoni roll craving of my husbands. Found a few ok recipes for yeast rolls but stumbled upon an italian bread recipe that I kinda liked. Then I hit buttermilk biscuits. We don't have a panera bread here like in FL and I had some asiago cheese I needed to use so I went in search of a copy cat panera bread asiago cheeese bagel recipe. That's when I found The Fresh loaf. I read in awe thru the handbook and started making a sourdough starter and some poolish. I have tried my hand first at a ciabatta. amazing! then today I made some asiago rolls, to die for. now I have a ocuple bagettes in the oven! I am amazed by the whole process and enjoying learning as I go. Plus my family is pretty happy about it too! here's some pictures of my fun in the kitchen

txfarmer's picture

This bread is inspired by a Japanses baking book (translated into Chinese since I don't read Japanese at all):《日本人气面包店天然酵母的美味面包物语》.Japan has a very exciting and innovative artisan bread baking scene, which heavily influences Taiwan, Hongkong, and most recently China. I am originally from China (live in Texas now), still keep a baking blog in Chinese (, and am pretty closely connected to the ever growing Chinese baking community, so I am lucky enough to have access to some Japanese/Chinese bread baking books/resources. 


This bread is interesting in that it combines the classic lean sourdough bread and Asian style sweet buns in an unique way (typical of Japanese baking, which is very inventive and exciting). On the outside, it's a very typical sourdough baguette dough, on the inside, a sweet paste filling is first wrapped in a crepe, then wrapped in the dough, the bun is then baked on stone with steam just like a lean sourdough bread. In each bite, you get 3 different texture and flavor layered together: crusty and chewy baguette, soft crepe dough, then melt in your mouth sweet filling, unlike anything I've tried before! Since the recipes in the book are from a big-ish bakery in Japan, it's not practical to follow it in my US home kitchen, so I simply took the concept, and used my own formulas for the components, with satisfactory results.


First, make the crepes, the following formula makes 6 to 7 crepes in my 10 inch pan, I only needed 2 for the buns, ate the rest with some nutella and bananas.

cake flour, 90g

eggs, 2

sugar, 10g

milk, 180ML

butter, 30g, melted

- mix everything together, cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour or more, pour 1/4cup of mixture into a lightly oiled pan, fry on both sides until done.

Now the buns,  the dough is a typical baguette dough @ about 70% hydration, the following forumla makes only 4 buns (each around 140g), mostly because it's the last bit of my chestnut paste.


starter, 85g (100% hydration)

instant yeast, 1/4tsp

salt, 4.7g

bread flour, 190g

water, 120g


chestnut paste (lightly sweetened), 120g

bittersweet chocolate, 40g, chopped (I used baking chocolate pieces)

crepes, 2 (from recipe above)


- mix starter, flour, water, autolyse for 30min

- add salt and yeast, knead until gluten starts to develope. 3 minutes in my KA at medium speed.

- cover and fermentate at room temperature for 2.5 hours, with S&F at 30, 60, and 90 minutes. dough is very elastic and beautiful by the third fold, though still pretty wet.

- divide into 4 parts, each about 100g. round and rest for 20 minutes.

- take HALF of the crepe, wrap 30g of chestnut paste and 10g of chocolate inside

- take a piece of dough, press flat, and wrap the filled crepe inside, seal the seam, roll into a small batard

- slash on top, take care not of cut the crepe layer

- proof for 1.5 hour @ room temperature

- bake on stone with steam, 450F, 30 minutes. I preheated to 550F, decreased to 450F after steaming. At 10 minutes, I took out the steam pan.

Makes a great snack or dessert. There are a lot more innovative recipes in that book, can't wait to try more. My last white wine chestnut sourdough also uses the same ingredients, yet it tastes vastly different from this bread, very interesting.


veganthyme's picture

Hello! I am new. I love this site! So many brilliant bread tips! In the few weeks I have lurked (my first encounter was in looking for a Kaiser Roll recipe)--I found Floyd's, made and loved it! I stuck around a bit longer in search of something else: pizza dough. Found Floyd's post on that, too. Loved it. Purchased the Bread Baker's Apprentice last week. I just made Peter Reinhart's Ciabatta yesterday. I know I am behind the curve on that one--the book having been published a while ago--but new to me! There was flour everywhere! But the crust, from the look of it and from what I've seen so far, seems to have baked up perfectly. My house smelled so good while it baked. I'm no professional baker by any stretch, but can honestly say, it was some of the finest bread I've ever had. I also have: The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day (made roasted garlic potato bread from it) very good. I'm having trouble getting a photo to load to accompany this post. Sorry! But I have ciabatta pics on my blog!

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I've been looking at this formula for a couple of weeks now. The mix of rye and whole wheat looks so darn inviting! Even the starter is 50/50. Finally, I get the chance to bake it!

This poor loaf was doomed from the start. I was so excited about this formula. To begin with, I had to retard the starter because I needed more than 12 hours (more like 24) between the last build and starting my final dough. So, I did as the book says and added salt, put it in a cool place. (outdoors) Ok, so it was nicely domed and looks good at this point, we're doing fine.

Next, I can't get to the final dough until 5pm rather than first thing in the morning as originally planned. So, it's actually more like 30 some odd hours for the poor starter. But, it's still looking pretty good at this point. I start final dough, look at recipe and count hours. Looks like I'll be baking at 10pm so maybe I'll just put it in the fridge or outside until morning.

Nope, last sentence in the recipe says "this dough does not lend itself to overnight retardation".

This must be the first bread I've ever made that "doesn't lend itself to overnight retardation. Oh well, 11pm is about my bedtime so that's fine. I can still do this. Onward we go. My third fold is 30 minutes late (on an every 40 minute schedule) because I have a 7pm meeting. Dough is looking really nice, goes from unbelievably extensible on 2nd fold to nice and strong but still stretchy on the third fold. Hasn't risen much though, hmmm.

9pm, still hasn't risen much and it should have already been shaped? Hmm, not too sure about this. I go ahead and give it a preshape, make it into a boule. Put upside down in a steel bowl, covered with plastic. 10pm, no rise. I'm not baking it this way! I would be baking a brick! Ok, now what? Stay up until it rises? The phrase "this does not lend itself to overnight rise" keeps going off in my head!!

Finally, at 11pm I take a "drop dead" look to make the final decision. It does not look ready. It's going to have to rise overnight. My life is not revolving around this loaf of bread! I stick it outside the door to the RV on a table. Should be about 45 degrees tonight, it will be totally "retarded" by morning.

Wake up and it looks very nice, ready to bake! Yeah!! Now, bought new pizza stone for the camper oven last week. I've had some problems with it. Burned a couple of loaves of Eric's Fav Rye but I moved the stone up to the next shelf so I think I have that solved. Last nights pizza was "so, so" but I think maybe the oven didn't preheat long enough. Now I'm going to try putting a loaf directly on the stone for the first time ever. I put the corn meal on the peel. Carefully shape my loaf into a nice "torpedo". Slash with the best slashes I've ever made. I even garnish with some poppy seeds. This is looking really good. My fanciest loaf ever. (except my braided Finnish pulla) Getting excited now!

I open oven, put peel in. Loaf sticks. Grab pastry knife. Push loaf. It squishes up. Folds over. Plops onto stone in a squished up mound. I try to unsquish the mound and push farther into the oven but it's stuck to the stone. Oh no!! Well, Maybe best thing is to leave it until it drys out and unsticks?

Mist oven for steam, close door. Open door to check. Bread has stuck to the door. Crap! Peel parts of bread off of door, try to push loaf back a little bit farther by squishing with pastry knife again.

Alright, nothing I can do now but wait and bake. 30 minutes later, I smell burned bread. I check and have a perfectly scorched loaf, insides are 170 degrees. I flip the loaf over and turn the oven off.

After about 50 minutes, bring the loaf out. Cut off the bottom with a bread knife. How sad! But, let me tell you that this bread tastes so good! The best sourdough I've ever made. I'm glad I didn't retard it any longer as it would have been too sour but as it is, perfection! Very chewy crust, dense but big holes. Complex flavor.

This will be my "go to" everday bread from now on. Eric's Fav Rye will be our sandwich bread and Hamelman's Oatmeal Cinnamon bread is the one I will make for my husband's treat. I will use this mixed flour bread to practice, work on technique. What a nice bread!

Now, about that stone. I think it's going to have to go. It's just too big for my little tiny oven. Back to the old cookie sheet solution until we're back in the house. I think I'll try pizzas on the grill this weekend sometime. For now, I'm already building starter for two more of these mixed flour miches to take to my parent's house on Saturday. Scheduling when I will build/bake these will be a challenge as I'm working a 12 hour shift tomorrow. Why does work always have to get in the way of our important hobbies?

CaptainBatard's picture


I am totally exhausted after packing and cleaning my house for the last three weeks in anticipation of perspective renters coming to look at it on Saturday....I can see the light end of the tunnel with my fingers crossed. One more day of cleaning and then a quick trimming of my sleeping garden and I can get to the real business at hand, taxes, getting a plane ticket, studying French, once again packing and of course, the weekly bread fix!

I want to really thank all the people at FreshLoaf for making this site what it is, a place to learn and exchange ideas about the one thing that brings us all together... the passion for flour, water and salt!

This weeks bread, MC's Gerard Rubaud Miche ala Shiao-Ping is probably the tastiest bread that I have made in my limited baking experience. I used to be a by the book Loafer, but that has all changed since I became aware of the talented baker here at The FreshLoaf and out in the Blogosphere who have expanded my knowledge and comfort zone. The Gerard Rubaud Miche with a whopping 80% hydration had me second guessing myself  the whole time, talk about comfort zone! Will it come together or will it remain the blob that came from the deep lagoon? I have tried several of Shiao-Ping's recent posts, so a wet dough was nothing new and I should of realized it would come together in the end. I followed her basic methodology with a few variations. I used a KA for a quick mix to get the dough into shape for a autolyse and poured it into wood bin to develop the structure with 5 sets of stretch and folds. At this point I thought the dough would yield to a good gentle shaping...but it had other plans! At this point I just laughed...looking down into the bin and said "You want to be difficult do you?" and remained calm. I had to remember that is was 80% hydration after all and to be patient. In the back of my mind I remembered a comment that MC made to Shiao-Ping about the way Gerard treats wet I turned out the dough onto a floured surface and did several more gentle full S+Fs at 10' intervals and that was the ticket!  The rest of the process was uneventful, after an overnight rest in the frig., they went into a hot oven with plenty of steam. When they came out of the oven they began to sing and crackle...and oh.... the smells. I watched the crumb shrink as  the loaves cooled and the crackel pattern become more prominent like a crackle glaze pattern on a fine celandine porcelain vase. The taste was nutty, creamy and moist with a slight tang to the mouth. This is definitely one that will become a favorite.

Thank you Gerard, MC and Shiao-Ping for this wonderful bread.



                                                            "Heavenly....your bread put my head in the clouds..."








This is being sent to Susan@YeastSpotting



SylviaH's picture

A lot of TFLoafers have been doing pizza's.  Hopefully you are like me and never tire of pizza photos : )  It must be the weather.  It rained so hard water ran inside my WFO and now I can't fire it up until it dries out.  I learned my lesson.  Not all storms are the same.  So from now on the oven front gets covered for storms.  It just makes me want pizza even more not being able to fire it up.

The very thinned crusted pizza's where made with the Neo Neapolitan pizza dough recipe from P. Reinhart's 'American Pie'  I like this recipe because at least for me it can be shaped for either a thin or thick crust.  I used ADY instead of IADY and that helps the dough to stretch nicely or become a little more extensible.  I make up several pizza balls and freeze them for quick night pizza dinners. 

I made a white sauce that was very delicious.  It was made with heavy cream, cream cheese, fresh basil, EVOO, sea salt-pinch and garlic.  Then the pizza's where topped with the sauce, mozzarella, parmesean, jumbo chopped fresh raw shrimp, fresh lemon thyme leaves, lemon wedge and a lemon thyme stem for garnish.  The pizza's where baked on stones at 550F in a pre-heated 50 minutes oven.  My husband said the pizza's where very delicious and he loved the sauce.  I almost didn't get the photos.

 Joey Boy, checking out the fresh Lemon Thyme!


 Placed upon a perforated pan to keep

crisp while being sliced.

                                                                 Super thin crust.


                              Crumb of the Crown : )







caviar's picture

Has anyone tried to rec reate this delicious sounding bread. After adding all the ingredients the dough has the consistency of fudge. Stretching and folding does not seem possible.    HELP!      Herb

occidental's picture

A few days ago I made Lavash Crackers from Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice.

Anyone that owns this book has likely paged past the photos of these great crackers and has felt compelled to make them.  I've made them a few times before and always enjoy them as they make a great snack or tool for dipping into a variety of items.  Common toppings I use are sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chili powder and caraway.  I've tried both breaking these into pieces and cutting them before cooking as I did this time around.  I've typically brushed these with an egg wash before applying the toppings though this time I followed Reinharts direction and brushed with water.  I decided I prefer the egg wash as it provides a better looking deep golden finished look.  You can make these easily in an evening and try a lot of different toppings.  Consider giving them a try if you haven't yet!


occidental's picture

Inspired by Susan's post on her sesame sourdough I recently made my own attempt. I admit it isn't as pretty as hers but the taste is great and the crumb is also to my liking. Follow the above link to Susan's blog for details if you are interested in the formula.  I followed her formula pretty closely.  My ferment was approximately 20 hours.  The only other thing is that I am in so much of a habit of creating steam by adding ice to the cast iron lid on my lower oven rack I completely forgot I was going to try the 'magic bowl' method until I took the loaf out of the oven and noticed the bowl sitting on the counter, ready to be used.  So much for mise en place! Here are a couple pics of my version:

From bread

From bread
Recluse's picture

My first time baking a recipe from Hamelman's Bread. I was a little bit intimidated, especially since I've had mediocre results with the few BBA recipes I've tried, and that's widely regarded as the better intro book for the home baker. I'm fairly certain that my lack of success stemmed, not from a problem in the recipes or instructions, but from mistakes that I made due to being totally distracted by all of the gorgeous photographs. And subbing ingredients. I get in more trouble that way...

In any case, after reading through the first part of Hamelman's book, and poring over the instructions a few times, I did manage to successfully follow the recipe. The only thing I did differently was to swap out cracked wheat for flax seeds, since I didn't feel like running to the store for one measly ingredient.  Flax seeds were on the list of acceptable substitutions, so really, I as good as followed the recipe, right? That's what I'm telling myself.

This was also the inauguration of my kitchen scale as a baking assistant. It has been my faithful weight-loss tool for a number of months. I have no idea why it took me so long to use it for this second purpose, as it was an almost magical experience, not having to add an extra cup of flour, or half cup of water, to get my dough the correct consistency. Everything came together in a dough that was a bit tacky, but still very manageable, and I didn't have to tinker with it at all. I feel like I never want to measure by volume again.

Same dough, three different loaves.

I made two 1.5 lb loaves: One round loaf to practice my slashing (I am getting better, ever so slowly), and one pan loaf, because sandwiches rock my world. The approximately 1 lb of dough left I used to make a smaller loaf, which I took in to work. My coworkers happily devoured it, so I guess it turned out just fine. 

Round loaf

The loaves didn't rise quite as much as I expected. I'm not sure if that's because I didn't develop the gluten enough, didn't proof long enough, or if I just had unrealistic expectations for this kind of loaf. In any case, the texture was not at all off-putting or brick-like, and the flavor was excellent. The last few times I've made non-sourdough bread, I was disappointed by the flat flavors that I got, but there was no such problem with this loaf. I happily ate a slice of it plain, and then made a killer tuna salad sandwich with it. I loved the little pops of texture that the grains contributed, and the crackly, toasty crust.

Crumb shot

(Please pardon my taken-with-a-cellphone photographs.)

I still have a lot to learn, but for now I'm content, because this is some of the best bread that I've made to date. Although if anyone has suggestions that might help make my next batch even better, I'm all ears!


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