The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ejm's picture

A while back, Julie J was asking for advice on how best to crush cardamom for her Finnish cardamom buns. As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it! And finally, this week, I got the chance.


I'm not sure if this is how the buns are supposed to look. I pretty much guessed about how much of an indentation to make for the butter. And as I was inserting butter into the thumb holes, I completely forgot about sprinkling extra sugar on top as per Julie's instructions. But I did think of using some inferior apricot jam on two of the buns. It turns out that this is a great way to use and improve apricot jam! I decided to make a 3-strand braided loaf as well. And then when I was placing the buns on the tray and worried that they were too close together, I shaped 4 of the rounds into snakes and braided them together into a smallish 4-strand round loaf.


Did I take my advice to use the coffee grinder to crush the cardamom? Ha! That would have been too easy. I used the mortar and pestle. Remind me to use our big sharp knife next time. The mortar and pestle is way too labour intensive and leaves rather large chunks of cardamom behind. Or perhaps I will follow my own Fresh Loaf advice to use our coffee spice grinder. Luckily, large chunks of cardamom taste good and are soft enough that we aren’t risking getting broken teeth... and the crumb is beautifully soft and moist. Absolutely delicious with or without extra butter! (The extra butter is really unnecessary! But oh so good!)




edit: link to JulieJ's pulla recipe fixed.

SylviaH's picture

We celebrated St. Patricks Day with a traditional dinner!

Mom's Irish Soda Breads.

Traditional Corned Beef Dinner

Dessert:   Buttermilk cake with Irish Tea Fondant/Glaze

One of our family....Sweet Katie Girl wearin her Green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our Home to Yours!  


koloatree's picture


new guy here from NJ! i am new to baking and look forward to learning about bread from all the cool and knowledgable members here. my first goal to achieve is to create a tasty and nice looking baguette, sourdough, and raisin walnut. also id like to learn bagels, dinner rolls, and sandwich/hoagie rolls! i have the BBA book and just recently purchase the PR whole wheat book. look fwd to learning as much as possible! below is what i baked on sunday.



PR Whole wheat trisitional bread, very good first try


this one is the king authors whole wheat bread recipe that is printed on the back of the flour container...pretty dry and probably will not make again however very easy and quick to make.


first baguette using gold medal all purpose flour. i used the technique posted by
dmsnyder about anis bouabsa. however, my oven temps were way off. the position of the bakingstone was not in true 480-500 degrees, it was much less. mucho thanks to youtube user nothernsourdough for posting technique on how to shape bread!



this was a soudough baguette. i used the italian culture from and this was a same day bread. next try, i will increase the sourness...



this is another sourdough baguette. during the shaping i totally messed it up. thinking of tossing it, i decided to just reshape it. i was surprised that it had the most rounded shape and oven spring, but crumb was not as airy. i think the rise was most likely from the oven increasing the temps? it was my last bake before pizza so i cranked the oven up.




family photo



a pic of my pizza





gothicgirl's picture

I had a craving for carrot cake the other day.  It was one of those cravings you try to ignore, but in the end you submit because, like it or not, you did not try all that hard to avoid it in the first place.

Carrot Coconut Cupcake

Submitting to my desire also gave me the opportunity to play around with a recipe.  I always enjoy that!  I did not just want carrot cake, I wanted carrot cupcakes, and I did not just want carrot, I wanted carrot coconut.  I do not bake with coconut often because my husband, and main test subject, dislikes the texture of it.  Did I say dislikes?  I mean loathes. 

Regardless of the likes of my husband my mind was set on carrot coconut, so on the way home from work I picked up a few things and set to work.

Carrot Coconut Cupcake 

The original recipe for the carrot cake is my father's.  It is an excellent, moist, and very dense carrot cake, but I knew with all the eggs and oil it would make a very poor cupcake.  Besides, I hate getting a cupcake with a greasy liner!  Yuck!

So, I made some modifications, such as reducing the eggs, replacing some of the oil with applesauce, and adding some buttermilk to thin the batter and to add a slightly tangy note to the cakes.   Adding the coconut helped add moisture along with the grated carrots, so in the moistness department I figured I was good.

Carrot Coconut Cupcake 

The original cake calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda for a 9″x13″ cake which is quite dense.  I wanted fluffy cupcakes that would dome proudly inside the liners so I added an additional 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.

My modifications resulted in tender, moist, flavorful cupcakes with a slightly chewy texture from the shredded coconut.  Even my husband, who avoids coconut like the plague, said they were pretty tasty ... coconut aside. 

Carrot Coconut Cupcake Fixins' 

Carrot Coconut Cupcake   Yield 24

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded coconut

Heat the oven to 350F and line your cupcake pans with paper liners.

Sugar, Eggs, Applesauce, Buttermilk, Oil, and Vanilla

In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Blend until smooth and well incorporated.

In a smaller bowl sift the dry ingredients, then pour the dry onto the wet and whisk until the dry ingredients just moisten.

Folding in the Carrots and Coconut

Add the shredded carrots and coconut and fold gently, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Fill the cupcake liners 1/3 of the way full.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the center of the cupcake springs back when lightly pressed. 

Carrot Coconut Cupcake Fresh from the Oven 

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for three minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

Carrot Coconut Cupcake 

I frosted my cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting   Enough to decorate 24 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 - 8 oz bar of cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Blend the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well mixed, about five minutes.  Add the vanilla and blend to combine.

Add the powdered sugar and blend on low until the powdered sugar is moist, then blend on high for thirty seconds to remove any lumps.

Carrot Coconut Cupcake

Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator. 


Posted on - 3/17/2009

mmdione's picture

I've never made bread dough and always thought it required a special gift to make. After hours of browsing, I finally found this great website and decided to give a try. Lesson 1 gave me the basics about the ingradients. That made me jump straight to lesson 2 to officially break the ice.

This is the rising dough :

Rising dough

The result was great!

As you can see, the bread was very yummy :)

bnb's picture

Gave this recipe a try-half a batch. Started the whole process late afternoon yesterday. I did not have the 10 grain cereal, so subbed grapenut cereal. Used orange oil in place of orange zest. The dough accomodated about 2.25 cups of flour. In spite of this the dough turned out stiff.

I decided to put the dough through cold fermentation. The dough stayed refrigerated all evening. Before bedtime set the dough out to rise at room temperature. Next morning, shaped the loaf, gave it a bit of cinnamon filling and let it rise again. Once in the oven, the dough did not have any oven spring.  Once the bread was out, poured an orange creamsicle cream cheese topping over it (recipe below).

The bread was dense, as I expected, yet moist and soft right out of the oven. Good flavor. I was disappointed with orange flavor in the dough, it wasn't fresh and citrus-y. The long fermentation probably dulled the taste or maybe it just needs more orange oil/zest.  Here are some pics:





Orange creamsicle cream cheese topping:

2 tblsps cream cheese (softened)

1/4 cup, heaped, powdered sugar

1/4 - 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 drop orange oil/1/4 tsp orange zest

1/4 cup milk.

Thoroughly whisk everything till smooth. The topping does not dry and set. It stays sticky and wet.

Kuret's picture

It is my girlfriends birthday today so I decided to make her a special breakfast! I had eyeballed the butter scones from Advanced Bread and Pastries before but seeing as how they are so rich I didn't want to make them save for a special occasion. Here in sweden a scone is more akin to Soda Bread than the sweetish style scones you get in Britain och America.

I managed to make them up the day before without my girlfriend noticing and refrigerate them overnight so that I could bake them for here first thing in the morning. I think they turned out pretty good, and my girlfriend did like them so I'm set!

Butter scones


I have also finally taken the plunge and aquired a Pullman pan for myself, maybe a 1.5kg loaf of tasty toast bread is too much for a two person family but maybe a 2.5kg loaf of Vollkornbrot might not be enoguh? hmm.. might have to share any attempts at Vollkornbrot with friends or there will be leftovers for ever! Here the pullman pan Is shown beside my regular breadpan.

and here is how a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread turned out, tasty! This is the same bread I have blogged about earlier, with a formula developed by me. Unfortunately the picture is insanely yellow, but that is due to poor lighting when I took the picture.

This is a secret too, but I have also made two mini cheesecakes for tonights dinner wich I am making for my girlfriend, hope that they are tasty..


Tanya's picture

What is a better choice: an aluminized steel loaf pan that has an oily/non stick surface or a stainless steel pan?  We've been using the former kind for a while and are happy with it, but I'm concerned with how long they'll last.  I have no data on the stainless steel pans.  How well do they work, how long will they last?  We're about to order a large quantity (for us) and I would rather not make any foolish mistakes.  Any help is appreciated.

Thanks, Tanya

Floydm's picture

Very wet here this weekend.  Good for rainbows...

and also good for baking!

I made buttermilk cinnamon rolls this afternoon...

and a couple of loaves of my daily bread to eat with a big pot of soup this evening.


gothicgirl's picture

Have you ever craved something, let's say a cookie, and could not find a recipe that looked like it would be any good?


That is the predicimate I found myself in when I came up with this recipe.  I was fresh off my Lime Bars and I had lime on the brain, but I wanted a cookie.  Something subtle, sweet, and creamy with a hint of lime tang.  So I searched the internet, looked in various baking books, but I could not find a recipe that met my specifications. 

White Chocolate Lime Cookies Fixins, Pt. 1

What is an ingenious baker to do?  Why, make up her own cookies, of course!  I fully expected my first try at this recipe to be a failure.  Most of the time my first go at any recipe requires a fair bit or tweaking, but this time was different.  I would not add one single tweak.  They were crisp at the edges, chewy in the center, creamy from the white chocolate chips, and had a subtle underlying note of lime.  Visually, they were really pretty with golden edges, pale centers, and just the right amount of puff.  In short, perfect!

White Chocolate Lime Cookies Fixins, Pt. 2  

I had my husband and co-workers taste test these for me, lest I be blinded by 'mother's love' for my cookies.  My husband had four cookies, strictly for quality control purposes he assured me, and declared they were really good and I should not change them.  My co-workers did not say much because they all went for seconds with cookie still in their mouths.  There were a couple of moans.   I took that as a good sign!


White Chocolate Lime Cookies 

So, break out the zester and bake a batch of these refreshing cookies!!

  White Chocolate Lime Cookies   Yield 5 dozen cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 - 12 oz bag white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, sugar and butter until combined but not fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, lime juice and lime zest.  Mix to combine. 

Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

White Chocolate Lime Cookie Dough

Mix into creamed mixture until just combined.  Fold in the white chocolate chips.

White Chocolate Lime Cookie Dough 

Shape the dough into 1″ balls, and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the centers just set.

White Chocolate Lime Cookies - Cooling  

Allow to sit on the pan for three minutes before moving to wire racks.

White Chocolate Lime Cookies


Posted on - 3/15/2009


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