The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder's picture

Rather than creating a new topic each time I want to post messages and photos of what is coming out of my oven most recently, I'm going to try blogging. Maybe I'm the last person on the planet to set up a blog, but this is a first for me, so here goes ...


dickgeneva's picture

Hi,all. I guess I'm the newbie here,but I've been baking for nearly thirty years. I usually do  white/ww   and use

the trusty KitchenAid to do the heavy work. I've recently tried the NYT no-knead and had results from REALLY

bad to great. I finally learned to weigh the flour! Looking forward to a happy time with you all. 

dolfs's picture

For thanksgiving I again made my pumpkin bread (recipe), and this time I made one jack-o-lantern, like last time, and one bread shaped like a turkey.

Thanksgiving turkey breadThanksgiving turkey bread

The picture was taken the day after the bake (Wed bake) and due to some bubble under the crust, it wrinkled a little). Still, this worked out well I think, both shape and flavor. There is nothing left at least!

KipperCat's picture

The 2nd time's a charm!


Partially Proofed Rolls - they started out 1/2 inch apart.


A few extras. These are baked in a 6 1/2" x 10 1/4" sheet.


Interior Crumb

Much nicer results this time – I used a higher percentage of WW pastry flour, less potato & may have developed the dough better. I had a nice windowpane with this one, I don’t remember if I did the last time. The dough seemed too sticky at start of bulk rise, but was very nice to work with when I shaped. Shaping this dough was like night and day compared to my first attempt - the dough was that different. I had planned to make half the dough into a sandwich loaf, but it was so nice to work with I just continued shaping rolls. Now I have 8 in the freezer to pull out and bake.

I used a heating pad set on low for the final proof. It took quite awhile - about 3 hours I think. Maybe next time I'll see if I can preheat an oven to about 95F, which is the recommended temp for rising rolls. I tried to follow Laurel's insruction to let them just barely overproof, i.e. just start to sag a bit. But I was too impatient. They hadn't quite reached that stage, though I think they were close.


Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- based on Dinner Rolls for Aunt Agatha in Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book
- using Peter Reinhart’s mixing method for whole grain breads

20 grams potato flakes
300 grams WW pastry flour
130 grams finely ground white WW flour
¼ cup (45 grams) buttermilk powder
1 tsp. Salt
325 grams water

470 grams finely ground white WW flour
340 grams water
½ tsp. Instant yeast

Final Dough
All of soaker
All of biga
1½ cup (about 325 grams) extra WW flour
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tablespoons honey
1 egg
1¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (56 grams) soft unsalted butter – ½ stick

A few tablespoons of wheat germ

Mix the soaker and biga separately. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, let doughs sit on counter for 2 hours to warm up. Flour work surface using some of the extra flour. Spread soaker and biga into similarly sized rectangles, and generously flour the tops of both. Place one rectangle of dough on top of the other, and chop the stacked dough into about 20 pieces. Place in mixing bowl. Hold back about ½ cup of flour. Add all other final dough ingredients to bowl. Mix with paddle attachment until thoroughly mixed. Allow dough to rest for about 20 minutes. Switch to dough hook for kneading. Add remaining flour in small increments if required (I used it, not sure afterwards that I needed to.) Knead with stand mixer until you develop a nice windowpane. The time will depend on your machine. The dough will be very sticky. Place dough ball in a well-buttered bowl, turning over to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm room for about 2 hours – until your wet finger makes a hole that does not fill in.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured kneading surface and deflate. Divide dough into four equal sections and form each one into a ball. Keep these covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest until the first ball is relaxed, soft and pliable. Gently flatten the dough and cut into 6 pieces. Form one round roll out of each piece, keeping the smooth surface intact. Place the finished rolls on a buttered cookie sheet or cake pan, keeping them ½ inch apart. This recipe should about fill 2 9x13 pans. Cover the rolls and allow to rise in a very warm place (95F) until slightly overproofed, i.e. rolls show slight signs of sagging. Don’t let them dry out.

When rolls are ready to bake, spray generously with water or brush with eggwash. Sprinkle wheat germ on top. Bake in a preheated 400F oven with steam for about 20 minutes (check sooner), just until they are beautifully brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. If not serving immediately, remove from pan to cool on rack.

I froze some of the shaped rolls for later use.

~~~ Things I would do differently next time ~~~

- Increase yeast in final dough to 2¾ teaspoons.
- Make the soaker with all whole wheat pastry flour.
- Increase butter to 5 or 6 tablespoons.
- Include a 2nd bulk rise before shaping. Ideally this would be at a temp of around 80F.
- Make slightly smaller rolls – form each quarter of dough into 8 or even 10 rolls. These might not fit quite as evenly in a 9 x 13” pan but would be a better size.
JMonkey's picture

For Thanksgiving weekend, we've got guests for the first time in years. When we lived in Boston, Aurora and I decided after a couple of years traveling to Atlanta for Thanksgiving that it's just too much to hop on a plane. Flying on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving sucks rocks, and both of us always have to work that day, so we had to rush to the airport in the evening holiday traffic. Then we spend just a few short days before rushing back home on Sunday, hoping our flights don't get canceled or delayed, leaving us marooned in some strange city and missing a day of work.

But now that we're in Oregon, family is (relatively) close by, and so her father, his wife and Aurora's grandmother all came up from Southern Oregon to spend the weekend.

Aurora's grandmother grew up in Oregon, but shortly after she graduated high school (in the 30s), she headed east to NYC to pursue a career as an actor. There, she fell in love with what her local bakery called "Sour Corn Rye." It was dense, had caraway, and clearly contained a high percentage of sourdough rye.

I've played around with rye, but didn't feel entirely comfortable making a rye with more than 50% rye flour for the meal. So, instead, I made a 40% caraway rye that mostly followed the recipe in Hammelman's Bread, which has got to be the most useful and comprehensive bread baking book I've ever seen. And that's coming from a guy who bakes 90% of his breads from 100% whole grains. Hammelman never exceeds more than 50% whole grains unless it's a rye (and the rye section is especially good -- Hammelman has a particular passion for German ryes), but the techniques are applicable to just about any bread.

Anyway, about the rye. The first loaf I made a couple of days ago was at 68% hydration, and, though it was delicious, it wasn't as open a crumb as I'd have liked. So for the holiday bread, I increased the water to 75%. I also keep my rye sourdough at 100% hydration, rather than the eighty-something that Hammelman uses, simply because it's easier for me. I did follow Hammelman and add instant yeast, however, since the oven would otherwise be occupied with a massive turkey in the afternoon -- I needed to bake in the morning. Recipe and percentages are below:


  • Strong white flour: 60%
  • Whole rye flour: 40%
  • Water: 75%
  • Salt: 1.8%
  • Caraway seed: 1.8%
  • Instant yeast: No idea -- I used 1/2 tsp per loaf. Maybe 0.33%?
  • All of the rye flour is pre-fermented as a sourdough at 100% hydration

Ingredients for one loaf

  • Strong white flour (I used KAF Bread flour, which is 12.5% protein): 300 grams
  • Rye sourdough at 100% hydration: 400 grams
  • Water: 175 grams
  • Salt: 9 grams
  • Caraway seed: 9 grams
  • Instant yeast: 1/2 tsp or 1 gram (about)

Again, I was in a bit of a hurry, so after mixing all the ingredients together, I kneaded it for 5-10 minutes until it would windowpane. This was a pretty sticky business, and it wasn't the most pleasant kneading, but with a dough scraper nearby and damp hands, it was tolerable. I then shaped it into a ball and put the dough bucket in my picnic cooler on an upturned bowl. After throwing a cup of boiling water in the bottom, I closed it and didn't open it back up for about 90 minutes. It generally stays about 80-85 degrees in the cooler. I then preshaped the dough, let it rest 15 minutes and shaped it into a batard.

After shaping, I wrapped it in baker's linen that I'd dusted with rice flour (the best stuff in the world for dusting surfaces that will hold sticky doughs) and put it back into my makeshift proof box for anotherr 90 minutes. Then, 45 minutes on a hot stone with steam at 450 degrees F and an hour's cooling.

Great with leftover roast turkey, strong mustard and whatever other fixings you can dig up.

I've just put another loaf in the oven, this time a long-fermentation 60-40 whole wheat-white wheat batard, and it's a cold oven bake. I'll post it later tonight or tomorrow. Hope it goes well with tonight's turkey soup ....

bj's picture

i made the sourdough starter from pineapple at day7 i made a stupid thing i had it in the oven and without thinking turned it on it was partially baked liquid in the center it looks alive should i try too save it ...............thanks bill

okieinalaska's picture

Whole Wheat RollsWhole Wheat Rolls

I am a magazine junkie.  The checkout stand is my downfall.  I love in particular cooking magazines, craft magazines and just anything creative.   

A couple of weeks ago I bought the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine. The pumpkin praline pie on the cover won me over instantly, but inside I found another treasure....some recipes from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.  Six different recipes with wonderful mouth watering photos of the end products.  I was determined to try them.

Right away I made the Cheddar Onion Fantan Rolls....I didn't care for them.  Personally I don't like onions in bread so I am not sure why I thought I would like these, LOL.   Sorry, no picture of those but I did try the wheat rolls today. 

I made a double recipe, let them rise, made the rolls and then let them sit in the fridge overnight. This morning I took them out and let them rise.  The end result, they were pretty good but I know I can do better.  Usually I make cloverleaf dinner rolls but I didn't have the time or the energy last night to do that so I tried to just roll them into balls and set them next to each in the pan (not touching).  Most turned out ok but I think they would have looked much nicer as cloverleaf rolls.  The double recipe made 31 rolls. 

We took them to our Church Thanksgiving Feast today (along with a huge amount of sweet potato casserole).  I had expected a lot of people but there was less than 30 of us.  I think everyone was just as surprised as I was as there were 4 very large turkeys and a ton of other food.  Even after dinner, 2nd's, 3rd's and taking home leftovers I have a little bit left of everything.  (which was fine with me, LOL)  Speaking of the sweet potato casserole, it had rave reviews and they loved it.  I will def. make it every year from now on.

 Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrated it today. : )


ejm's picture

semolina fennel bread

As soon as I saw Susan's (Wild Yeast) post entitled "Semolina Bread with Currants, Fennel, Pine Nuts", I knew I HAD to make it. (Make sure to take a look at Susan's bread.)

I can't decide what I like more about this bread.
The aroma of it baking?

  • Fennel!

The flavour?

  • The currants! The fennel! The slight hint of sourdough flavour from the wild yeast!

Sliced warm with roccolo cheese? Toasted with butter?

  • It's impossible to pin it down. All I know is that we both love it.

semolina and all-purpose flours

We buy our semolina in Indiatown - semolina is called "suji". Even after about 10 minutes of kneading, I decided that the bread dough would probably always be a bit grainy feeling. I added the currants and pinenuts and amazingly, as I was working the dough to distribute the currants evenly, the dough suddenly became smooth and silky!

I really couldn't be more thrilled about the bread. I have only one complaint. It takes no time for a loaf to disappear!

Thank you once again, Susan!

Floydm's picture

Yet another miche I baked last night...


The sad thing is I'm just going to chop this up and let it dry out to make stuffing out of it. Yes, it is cheaper and easier for me to do this than go buy a bag of bread crumbs at the store. Besides, this will taste considerable better I am sure.

okieinalaska's picture

Aunt Bert's Cinnamon Roll's

Aunt Bert's Cinnamon Roll's

 Scald 1 Cup milk, add:

      5 Tbsp. Sugar

      1 TBsp. Salt

Mix - then set aside to cool.

Dissolve 2 ½ tsp. dry yeast and 1/8 tsp. ground ginger in 1 cup luke-warm to medium warm water. Yeast should start to bubble a little in about 15 minutes.

Put milk mixture in large bowl and let it cool before adding yeast mixture.

Add 3 cups of flour, (I always use Gold Medal All Purpose) beating good. Then add 6 Tbsp Wesson oil (or any kind of liquid shortening). Add rest of flour (about 3 Cups).

Raise once. Punch down dough, cover with bowl and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes.

Lightly dust your counter top with flour. Roll dough into rectangle and brush the top with melted butter,  add  the filling.  Roll the rectangle up and cut 1" slices. I don't usually measure the filling, I just go by feel but below is a low end estimate you should probably double it. 

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tbs ground cinnamon

 I take my huge 17x12x3 pan and spray it with Pam, then line it with parchment paper (the Pam helps keep the paper from curling up and also gets the spots the paper doesn't cover). Then I melt approx. 1/4 cup of butter (more or less) and pour it in the bottom of the pan.  Then I take cook and serve butterscotch pudding powder (DO NOT USE THE INSTANT KIND!) and sprinkly some very lightly over the butter.  (don't over do it, less is more) Place the cinnamon rolls in the pan approx. 1" apart; let rise again.  (typically this takes an hour for me) Bake at 350° until done in the middle. (30-45 minutes is how long it usually takes for me)

ICING:  Usually I take 1 pound box of powdered sugar and mix with 1/8 to 1/2 tsp of maple flavoring then add enough milk to make it runny enough to pour.  Sorry, again I don't measure usually.  Make it to the consistency you like.  After I take the rolls out of the oven, I let them cool 5 minutes then pour the icing over the top of all the rolls. I like to have them just barely iced, it keeps the tops soft and from feeling dry and adds a little kick with the maple.

This batch I accidently put  more icing on them than I usually do but they still taste dandy.  (and usually it's a little runnier too so it's more like a light glaze)  Some people like a cream cheese icing on them but not me. 

Makes approx. 20-24 rolls.  I have a huge 17x12x3 inch pan I always bake the entire batch in. It's by Chicago Metallic Professional.  These always come out perfectly done, not doughy.  I like that they have a little crunch to the crust.  You could make these of course in smaller pans and bake in several batches.  When I am giving these away I use those little square tinfoil pans and I think they held 5.  That was a nice size to give away to friends and neighbors.

I made these for a church potluck once before and I had people hunting me down to get the recipe.  I was asked to make these for the potluck tomorrow by several people after the last time I took a cheesecake and they still couldn't stop talking about the cinnamon rolls, LOL. 

Sorry I am not so good at writing directions.  I use this same basic dough recipe for cloverleaf rolls. I will be making some for THanksgiving and will post a pic then. : ) This recipe is supposed to be almost 100 years old (the dough recipe anyway) and is from my husband's Great Aunt Bert who they think got it from her Aunt or Mother. Don't know if it's true or not but it sounds good, LOL.

Amy in Alaska



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