The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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trailrunner's picture

Alto and sax , my white and rye starters, were outgrowing their containers since I have been feeding and not discarding . I did this on purpose as I need the discard for lots of other goodies. Here is the best yet. I have made this particular banana bread several times but this time I did a couple different things and it paid off.

First I fed both starters 2 x to get them really going...I store them in the fridge so they needed perking up. I also coated the 8" x 4" bread pans with PAM and then a heavy coating of raw sugar, also dusted the tops before baking. Wow...the loaves are so light and tasty and the coating just simply makes them melt in your mouth.  I also converted the recipe to grams so that consistency could be achieved for those of you that are not used to cup measures. I am recording the doubled amounts that I can halve it if you need to. This makes 3 loaves of 8x4 bread pans. 

2/3 c. butter softened ( 150 g)

2 c white sugar ( 400 g)

2 lrg eggs ( approx 100g)

4 c unsifted AP flour ( 500 g) 

2 tsp baking powder ( 10 g ) 

1 tsp baking soda ( 5 g)

2 tsp salt ( 10 g)

2 c mashed very ripe bananas ( 450 g) I keep them in the freezer till I have enough

2 c sourdough starter freshly fed ( 450 g) I have mine at 75%-100 % hydration and I used 1 cup each rye and white starters . 

1 1 /2  c chopped pecans or your favorite nut ( 200g) 

1 tsp vanilla ( 5 g)

finely zested peel from one orange 

Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy, I use my KA on 1 and then up to 3 to get it very light. Add eggs and cont. till well mixed and light. Add vanilla and orange zest and mix lightly. 

Combine the bananas and starter(s) and beat lightly. Add to above on "1" just till mixed. Combine all dry ingredients and fold into above batter by hand. Fold in chopped nuts. Have your oven set at 350. Coat pans as described above and divide batter in 3 pans. Press extra sugar on top of loaves. Place in center of oven and bake for 55 min. till knife comes clean when inserted in center of loaf. 

Let loaves cool in pans for 10 min and then finish cooling on racks...that is if you can wait...we couldn't ! The bread is so tender and light and flavorful. The riper the bananas are the better. Also store them in the freezer in their skins for full flavor and then thaw and squeeze them into the measuring cup. 

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Zeb's picture

Inspired by Franko and many others, here I am joining in finally with the baking in a pot theme. This dough went straight into  a hot enamel lined cast iron pot, no parchment, no oil and came out clean as a whistle....  plus I must mention Dr Fugawe's awesome home grown Oregon starter (Grapplestein) which has emigrated safely to the UK and raised this one for me! I still don't know how to get those pointy slash ends, maybe I should start the slashes higher up or not cut so deep?  Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Grappy 2


Pic below is a crumb shot of my first attempt at using a pot the day before  (which was a smaller loaf and higher hydration) The dough is a straight sourdough with a mix of strong white flour, spelt, rye and swiss dark flour, a little yoghurt, a spoonful of organic barley malt and seasalt

Grappy 1

txfarmer's picture

Went to Seattle to visit my parents for Thanksgiving, made cookies, muffins, 3 different kinds of breads, with no evidence since I forgot to bring my camera. Oh well, they tasted good though! Came home on Sunday and need some bread for this week's lunch, but my starters are sound asleep in the fridge. Made this quick 40% rye from Dan Lepard's "A handmade loaf" using dry yeast. The liquid in the formula is dill pickle juice, boosted by some extra fresh dill, the loaf was very flavorful.


Cucumber Pickle Juice Rye (adapted from "A handmade loaf")

bread flour, 300g

rye flour, 200g (toasted at 400F for 15min)

fresh dill, 10g

instant yeast, 3g

salt, 8g

dill pickle juice 350g (I used 390g)

1. mix flour, dill and juice, autolyse for 40min

2. add yeast and salt, knead briefly

3. bulk rise for 2 hours, s&F at 30, 60, 90min.

4. divide into 2, shape each into batard, proof for 1 hour, didn't double, probably grew 50% at most

5. bake at 430F for 10min, 410F for 35min


It's a compact loaf, some discussion on Dan's forum seems to show the same result, but the oven spring was good, as shown by the scoring marks and nice "ears"

Tight crumb, which I expected with a quick 40% rye loaf, the flavor was nice and intense though

The book has a mistake in the amount of fresh yeast used - it should be 1.5%, rather than 1%, which means 7.5g fresh yeast, about 3g of instant yeast. However I wonder whether even more should be used, since the rise was slow and the breads are pretty small.

Following the book's advice, I made a rye flour glaze (2.5tbsp of rye mixed with 150g of water, heat until boiled while mixing continuously, brush the loaf with this paste 15 mins before the end of bake), It does make the loaf extra smooth and shiny, but the crust became a bit too chewy for my taste.

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

dosidough's picture

Boy am I happy with this method!  Can’t wait to retry all the wonderfully tasty breads I’ve tried from here and books that I’ve liked but just couldn’t get that spring going.  This is a heavy cast iron DO and I’m small; but no problem at all getting this together.  I did a trial set up to see how it would go and everything balanced so perfectly.  When it was all pre-heated I think I lost less heat from the oven because it loaded (although a little crookedly) quicker than using the pot right side up.  All worked like a charm.

Lid on bottom of springform pan, Dutch oven inverted on top

Dough loaded onto DO lid (a bit off center though)

Final loaf and crumb shot, just shy of 3" tall.

Gonna use this method again. Oven’s thermometer isn’t fixed yet so I could only get 450°.  Wish I could devote to a constant stream of baking time right now, but I’ve got wallpaper to get up and tons of stuff to unpack yet. No more fretting on the steam methods in this old electric oven, for boules this is the trick in my equipment. Hurrah!

All is very good and... I’m baking on!


Vogel's picture

I searched for different traditional Stollen recipes, combined several parts from all of them to match my personal taste and then baked my first Stollen yesterday and finished them today. I've never done them before, so I don't know if they will be good. The Stollen are quite heavy; 1 kilogram each. But traditional Stollen are supposed to be rather dense, without a lot of air inside them. Now they need to "sweat" for about a week in order to create the typically moist and soft structure and a good flavour. At least that's the plan and I hope it will work.

If they turn out to be good, I will of course post the recipe. Maybe next Sunday.


Oh, and that's how it is looking outside today, so kind of fitting:


GSnyde's picture

Of course, different people prefer different breads.   I like variety, but I am here to say that I love challah.

Being a newcomer to baking, I’ve only tried eight or ten different breads.  And probably half my bakes have been some variation on Sourdough Pain de Campagne (Hamelman and dmsnyder, for instance).  I’ve managed to learn “on the job” pretty quickly, thanks to lots of reading, TFL tips and occasional chats with David. 

But challah seemed like a different animal.  All those ingredients, and the braiding and all.  So I had decided that I wanted to try baking challah for the first time in a “science lab” setting. You know, with the teacher partly showing you and partly telling you how to do it.  Letting you make your own mistakes, but with a safety net.  “No, it isn’t really best to tie the challah in a slip knot shape; try this nice three-strand braid.” 

I was fortunate enough to find myself this weekend in Dr. Snyder’s bread lab.   With all the ingredients for challah, and with a lot of turkey to be sandwiched for a lot of Snyders.  What were we to do?

David gave excellent instruction.  I know my kneading, strand-rolling and braiding technique were enhanced by the guidance of an experienced challah-er. And the results were more than merely edible (  There’s something really fun about team baking.

Having returned from Fresno yesterday, in time to roast some turkey parts for sandwiches, my self-assigned homework today was to bake more challah, but this time all alone!  Without trainer wheels or a net!  [oooooh!]

I used the same formula as a few days earlier—Maggie Glezer’s “My Challah” from A Blessing of Bread.  It is a yeasted dough and the whole things takes about 7 hours.   It’s easy if you know how to do it. Here's today's homework.



I am happy with everything about this bread: appearance, melt-in-the-mouth texture and –especially- the flavor.   Just sweet enough, just eggy enough.

I know that sourdough challah is supposed to have a longer shelf life, but with bread that tastes this good, I’m not worried about it getting stale before it disappears.  During the course of a quick dinner of Turkey sandwiches, between “yummms”, my chief bread-tester informed me: “this would make great cinnamon toast.” “this would be great for grilled cheese sandwiches,” and “this would be great for French toast”.   I think we have a winner.

Thanks for the recipe, Ms. Glezer.  And thanks for the seminar, David.



SylviaH's picture

My grandson's 17th Birthday Party was Saturday.  After returning from a fun afternoon of Paintball sportpark a pizza party was planned.  I made the pizza dough and sauce, my daughter and another mom took care of the rest.  It has been a busy fun week of family and friends.  I assembled the pizza's along with lot's of volunteer's...who needed no instructions :)  My daughter tended to the oven baking of the pizza's.  They couldn't come out of the oven fast enough and requests for toppings were coming in fast!  What a production we had going!  I would like to share some of the day and my family with you, along with how I managed to make enough dough and sauce for 30 pizza's, last I counted. 

I starter Friday night armed with my little kitchenaid artisan mixer.  Not being able to hand mix this amount of dough and not wanting to be at it for long, this is what I did and the dough turned out perfect and the tomato sauce.  The pesto, chanterelles, shrimp, sausage, pepperoni, assorment of different cheeses where also some other toppings used.  Back to the dough mixing...I made one batch, yes one batch at a time.  I made 6 batches of the basic good old stand-by, Neo Neapolitan Pizza Dough from Peter Reinhart's 'American Pie'. 

My version used: To mixer bowl added in this order:

1 3/4 cups room temperature water

2 Tablespoons of EVOO and using the same Tablespoon I added 1 Tablespoon clover honey...sides off real easy from the previous oiled measuring spoon.

23 oz. King Arthur All Purpose flour

1 teaspoon instand yeast

3 1/4 teaspoons sea salt - a little less salty

Using the paddle, turned on mixer until dough was mixed and formed a rough ball.

Rested 10 minutes - Attached the dough blade, continued mixing until light gluten began to form and the dough was sticking slightly to the bottom of the bowl and starting to slap the sides.   Removed the dough, shaped into a nice smooth ball and placed into a oiled bowl.

Started the next batch, using the same method.  During the mixing and resting of each batch, I would give the previous dough in the oiled bowl a stretch and fold testing for good a window pane...when that was reached, I placed the dough-all into a very large plastic tub.  It was actually a large plastic cake cover turned upside down...perfect and used the bottom for the lid.  All the dough balls were placed into the large oiled tub.

When 6 batches were completed and placed into the large oiled inverted cake cover.  I placed it into the refrigerator for an overnight bulk ferment.

While making the dough, I also assembled my sauce...easiest part making the sauce! 

Sauce:  My version of PR Crushed Tomato Sauce Recipe in 'American Pie'

4 28oz. cans San Marzano Crushed tomatoes

1 28 oz. can SM chunked tomatoes- drained

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

5 teaspoons dried basil

5 teaspoons Mediterranian Oregano

apx. 25 minced fresh garlic cloves

2 TBsp. red wine vinegar, 6 TBsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

5 teaspoons sea salt to taste

Placed all into my 5 lb. plastic flour canister, just filled it..the ten pound would have been roomier, but did not fit into the frig..

The next morning: 

Floured 3 tin foil was very large and two smaller ones..the large pan was little crowded and next time :? would use 2 more smaller tin foil pans instead of the one large.

Dumped all the cold, doubled in bulk dough, onto my wooden dough board and cut, weighed and shaped individual 8 oz. dough balls.  Placed them into the well floured tin pans, keeping them floured inbetween, so they did not stick together as they final proofed...on the way to the party!

I cut and weighed and shaped 8oz. pizza dough balls..did a few 10 oz..but thought a little large, so changed to making all 8 oz. pizza balls.

I did a pretest single batch of this see how it would work bulk fermented and then divided cold the next morning, shaped into individual pizza balls, proofed for a couple of hours and then shaped and worked perfect.  The weather has been very cool and allowed the dough to proof nicely on the drive to my daughter's home and ready when we where to make the pizza's.

I don't have a lot of photo's..I was busy and didn't even get to bring out my camera..would have loved to catch some photos of my daughter making the pizza's in the hot oven...she did manage time to catch a few photos and e-mailed them to me this afternoon..

I only managed to get 2 of the dough and sauce finished...I was ready for some bed rest, doing Thanksgiving dinner the day before, dough and sauce Friday, party was Saturday.


                                        Enough dough for 30 pizza's ........... more than enough sauce...I forgot there were other sauces, so made to

                         much....won't go to waste with some mozzarella stuffed meatballs and pasta!




                                                       Grandson enjoying Red Velvet cupcake decorated like a paint-ball splatter.  Made by a mother of the other boy who was also celebrating his 16th Birthday!












                                               It is very cool and breezy outside.  I quess when your that young you don't feel it.



                                                         Mom on the left baked the

                                                         paintball splatter cupcakes and some serious pizza making in the lovely outdoor kitchen area

                                                         with the Wood Fired Oven.







                                  There's what's left of a couple of pizza's..we forgot to take photo's of the pizza's!










freerk's picture

Hey guys, I need your help!

So my brother saw my breads and now he wants in on it :-)

He wants me to make him and his wonderful family my variation on a traditional regional Dutch currant-bread associated with the holidays. At Xmas, New Years, but also at Easter, in the East and North of the Netherlands a lot of people eat this traditional "krentenwegge" (a heavy currantbread with an almondpaste filling). This is what the original loaf looks like...


You'll have to imagine the almond paste filling in the middle, I could not find a very satisfying pic.


There are numerous traditional recipes going around on the net, BUT.....

I never really liked these breads as a kid. I'm not too big on currants, but a big lover of almond paste, so as a kid I always found myself in a dilemma; I want the almond paste, but do I really need to eat ALL those currants to get it...? After getting too old to eat the almond paste and feed the rest to the dog, I just left the bread for what it was...


Until now! I want to make a lighter version of this bread. I want it to look like a buttermilk cluster (fresh out of the oven here today :-)


and preferably with the sweet taste of polenta dough, where I replace the currants with a decent amount of dried candied cranberries (also fresh out of the oven here today):


The idea is to fill each individual roll in the cluster with a little almond paste whilst forming the rolls. I'm not at all certain about the polenta dough, but somehow I feel it could give me the crumb that I'm looking for (light, airy, yellowy...). Also the sweetness of the polenta could taste great with the almonds and cranberries. That is; if I manage to get it as light and airy as I have it my mind's eye :-)


Before embarking on this triple-fusion baking experiment I would like to hear your input on what dough to choose for this sweet bread. I've also been thinking about the dough for the cream cheese braid. Could that be a viable option?


Thanks to the members here who originally posted these two recipes here. I can't really find out anymore who posted the originals, but you guys know who you are; Thanks a bunch!


I'd love to hear from you guys




happylina's picture



Hello TFL loafer:


I'm glad to come here as a new member. I'm a new baker. I just start baking western bread from 1 month ago. I find here 2 weeks ago when I want to find pot bread. I like here many charming breads. And I'm very interesting with here Tartine bread pot experiment now! Thanks for information about baking bread. Thanks for this website organizer.


I want to take dumpling in this weekend. So I buy pork and celery. Daisy_A ask me if I know char siu bao. I know this South China bread from my tongue. I been take this in restaurant when I stay in  Guangdong. The char siu pork is my favate dish in Guangzhou. But here Beijng no many char siu. I been try to baking this pork last month. It's not same with restaurant. But already ok.  Package,pack, bundle; packet; parcel;bag; yurt all call "Bao" in China.  char siu bao is wheat flour parceled with char siu pork. Many people no take lunch and dinner in Guangdong. They like to take morning tea with small cake and midnight snack with big dish in restaurant.  So Guangdong have many delicate snack.  char siu bao so popular and came from Guangdong. So normally char siu bao meaning  Guangdong style char siu bao.


I search in net. If I want making it samilar with restaurant. I need making a along time raising sourdough. But I want take now(#^.^#). So After 1 day waitting for pork saltd. I finishd char siu baking. I start to making char siu dumplng.  Dumplng dough no need yeast. So I can get quickly. I already have char siu now. So I will making Guangdong char siu soon. And now this my style char siu bao(char siu dumpling)


BBQ sauce:

Soybean sauce 2 T(30ML)*,

Red colour preserved beancurd 1 piece,

Sugar 45G*,

Five-spice powder 1/2 t(2.5ML),

garlic chopped 5G,

Cooking rice wine 1T(15ML),

oyster sauce1T(15ML)*,

Red rice or preserved beancurd sauce 1T(15ML)(optional)

meat:pork 250g

brushing liquide:Maltose(or honey) 30g,water 30ML



Pork mix with BBQ sauce, 2 OR 3 days later, Brushing liquide on pork, 200 degree 35-45 minutes. 3 or 4 time Brushing liquide.

Cha shao Bao fillings:
1.cha shao 400g, diced meat
2.ginger 2 piece green onion 1, cut up
3.water 1/3 CUP(This receipe is for Bao, For dumpling,about half)
0,light soy sauce 2t,   dark soy sauce 1T,BBQ sauce 1T, oyster sauce1.5T, surgar 1.5T,  sesame oil 2T,
4.Cornstarch 1T mix with 2T water.
5.plant oil 1T
WATER for Bao 1/3 CUP, For dumpling, Just a little

Making filling:
Cha shao FILLING: Frying pan big fire-> 5.plant oil 1T->add 2.ginger 2 piece green onion fry ->add 3.boiled-> add 4.-> add 1.chaoshao ,mix, cold, ok
VEGETABLE: Half green onion, half piece ginger, 300g celery, chopped,mix with plant oil 1T,
mix with five spices powder 1/4t, mix all with sesame oil,chicken essence ,salt,

Dough: 250g all porpose flour 125g water 4g salt 1 egg white,   knead 3 or 4 time every5 minutes at first. Can add little  water. 50% dough to 60% dough all ok.

wrap dumpling: Waitting about 30 minutes, kneed and making the dough to a  long strip. cut to small pieces about 2cm diametical 2 cm long. rolling pin  make it to about diametical 7Cm.

put vgetable,after BBQ pork,after close the dumpling. If it dry ,can use some water for easy making.

Fry: For one pan fried dumpling: 100g water 10G all porpose flour mix
1T plant oil on Pan, medium heat,place dumpling as flower looking. Move the pan often. when bottom get yellow colour, pour into wheat flour water on pan. cover tha pan. Move the pan, all the place same heat. After 5 minutes for cooked meat and vegatable, 10 minute for no cooked meat. open cover,stop heat.
 Take a big plate, cover the dumplings, and  the pan cover the plate quickly.

 Ice flowers fried dumpling coming. It's Chinese festival food.

Boiled dumpling: After water boiled, Put dumpling to water. High heat until boil then low heat and add cold water, boil again, add water, until dumplings as ball floating on water. 











I also use my electric cooker aluminous pot baking my pot bread. This bread I use many DIY material: I use millet rose ferment(I made in 1 week ago) mix with soy bean and ginkgo dregs(residue from beans after I making tofu) and full wheat (11/3cup all purpose wheate 11/3 cup whole wheat no bran and 1.5 cup  whole wheat with bran )   80G 100% yeast(20g all porpose flour 20g whole wheat flour). I use about 350Ml  wine and 50 water. ferment and bean dregs all wet. So my dough more than 80% water flour I think. And in room 14 degree 12 hours it's already big up. I think maybe from my wine. I take it out room. It's already cold enough outside. About 33 hour later. It's more big. I take back room in 14 degree. After I finish my Chashao Bao lunch. I remember my big bread. It's already very big and sticky.So I preheat my oven with pot in 200 degree in 10 minutes. After I take dough to hot pot close lid 250 degree 20 minutes. after I take the lid away, 20 minutes 210 degree. After I take pot over and move bread 10 minutes again. After I turn the bread top down. top heat 200 degree open 10 minutes. After stop I open the oven door. Not so happy feeling. so I open oven 200 degree 10 minutes again. After really stop,I open oven waitting about 5 minutes. I take the bread out. And quickly open it.  The time from I start his dough already 48 hours.





Thank you for your reading


have a good weekend




happylina's picture

This my first time making Chaoshao Bao. I'm lucky this bao open flower----Smiling ball.  although it's not big  laughing bao. They are shy(#^_^#)

When I introduce my baking experience.  Kindly new friends talk with me in TFL blog. They tell me they also interesting with Chinese bread.  Daisy_A ask me if I have good recipe for Cha siu bao. And Daisy_A already try to making delicious Cha siu bao. This food we call Cha shao bao.  Since it's from south china rice area. They making this as cake. It's sweet bread with cha shao meat.  I take many Cha shao pork When I live in Guangzhou. But for Cha siu bao. I always thought restaurant for saving money no put enough fillings. And maybe I more like salt pork bao than sweet bao. So I no often take this cake. For me the BBQ pork more interesting. 

I search in internet 2 days ago. There's many receipes for Cha shao bao. But normally they use ammoniapowder for bulking. Many home recipe no flower. I been taken festival opening flower mantou(steamed bread) from my friend before. That bread had very big bursting head. It's familly making tradional food. I think they no use ammoniapowder. At last I find a receipe. The long time leavening sour loaf reacts with baking powder. Big quicklly steaming. After can get big opening flower. So I try this recipe  and get my first Cha shao bao at last night. I know here have many good baker. And texfarmer making very nice bao. So I'm shy to show my Chinese bao. I just want to share this recipe with you: 

Dough Recipe:



leaven dough:


caster sugar: 1/2T

Instant yeast:1/2t

low protein flour: 225g


sweet main dough:

leaven dough: all

low protein flour: 225g

powdered sugar:125g

lard oil(or white oil):60g

baking powder:2t



1) Mix A to a smooth dough.waitting one night.

2) dough turn into paste. fuller vinosity.

(Mine no change into like this)

3)Mix A and B, kneed to smooth and soft sweet leaven dough.

4)Apart to 14 pieces. For one about 53g.  roll to ball. 

5)squash(or crush???) to wrapper,fill into about 33g fillings. 

(If you want big flower no put many fillings. close the ball like a ball. No need making fronce. And thick top better for open flower)

6)You can use cooking paper for every piece(I use one thin gauze). place to steamer. warm place 30 minutes.

7)Boiling water pot. Up the Chashao bao steamer. steam 12 minutes on medium strong heat.   


I made some mistake when I making. This loaf need enough time polish. The recipe write polish time is one night. I made polish loaf in early morning. Mix with half main flour and house made sweet sour rice wine in morning. So it's only 5 hours. And south China very warm. Here my room only 14 degree. So Maybe I need find more warm place. So I have to waiting  to midnight until I think it's ok.  

This is cake not bread. I made half of this recipe. I use 20ml my homemade sweet rice wine  instead of water. I no like very sweet. so I use half sugar of this recipe. 

Cha shao pork and fillings recipe you can see here:

 If you want to know how to making, you can see from here:

You can get infomation from google translator.


Thank you for your reading





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