The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
Bob F's picture
Bob F

aisin Bread: Response to Questions

Bob Finsterwalder

 Because my previous tries at bread making were negative I cut the recipe in half. I first started the yeast per instructions in warm water and let stand about ten minutes until it was foamy. Separately milk and butter were heated in a small sauce pan until the butter was melted. This step was set aside until it cooled. When the milk mixture was just warm the yeast (I am not sue how old the yeast was but probably no more that 7 months) mixture was added along with a tablespoon of sugar. The whole mixture was added to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. The bread flour was added a cup at a time with the raisins and mixed on low speed until the dough pulled away from the sides of the bowl. In all about two cups of the three cups were added. The resulting dough was very sticky and flour was added a little at a time to enable the kneading process. I kneaded the dough for about 3 to 4 minutes (About 1/3 cup less than the recipe amount was used) and placed it, covered, in a lightly oiled bowl. I heated the oven for one minute to "warm" and let the dough rise for one hour.

  I punched the dough down and shaped in a glass 9x5x3 loaf pan  I again warmed the oven for a minute and let it rise for another 45 minutes. I pre-heated the oven to 425 F and baked for 10 minutes then lowered the temperature to 350F for 25 minutes until the loaf sounded "hollow" when thumped. Voila a hard,dry, tough loaf.

 To answer another question the recipe was in volume measure not in mass (weight). All liquid measures were verified; nothing was left out or shorted

  Frankly at this point I don't know if this is just the way home-made bread is or if I am missing something. I'm puzzled how commercial bakers get light, moist loaves. Maybe it better eating through chemistry!

holds99's picture

Caution: Before attempting this exercise be sure you're working with a clean kitchen floor :>)


DerekL's picture

 Sourdough starter bubbling away...

holds99's picture

This is Michel Suas version of N.Y Rye from his book Advanced Bread and Pastry.  It's a great rye bread with great taste and texture.  His formula calls for a pre-fermented dough that is made up the night before you bake, left out at room temp. for an hour, then refrigerated overnight and used with the final dough mix the following morning.  This is not a sourdough bread but still has excellent flavor and texture.  I doubled his test recipe and made 4 lbs of dough rather than 2 lbs.  I mixed the preferment into the water for the final dough with my K.A. to break  the preferment up as much as possible.  Then, added the combined flours (equal parts bread flour and medium rye flour), yeast and salt for the final dough, mixing it into a rough mass, then worked it by hand, slapping and folding for about 5 minutes.  Then at the end of the mixing cycle I gave it an initial stretch and fold, then 2 more, at 20 minute intervals during the first hour of bulk fermentation, which took a total of about 1.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation I divided the dough in half and, without letting any gas out of the loaves, carefully shaped them and put them in my proofing baskets.  Yeah, they're weird looking proofing baskets, but they work great.  Anyway. I then baked the 2 loaves in a 450 deg. F. preheated oven, with a blast of steam (1 cup microwaved, boiling water into a cast iron skillet on the lowest rack in the oven).  They baked for 38 minutes in the middle of the oven, turning them around at mid way in the baking cycle.

Here's Mr. Suas description from AB&P: "Rye flour and caraway seeds are a typical flavor combination found in breads from Eastern Europe.  When people from this area of the world immigrated to New York City, they brought their bread making tradtions along.  Rye bread came to be thought of as being native to New York City, where it is particularly associated with Jewish delicatessens."

Here's my first try at Mr. Suas N.Y. rye bread, which I think is a real winner. 

Michel Suas' New York Rye Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry

Michel Suas' New York Rye Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry

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


Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries