The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture

Anybody in Australia catch A Matter of Loaf and Death last night?  How was it?  

My kids and I are big Wallace & Grommit fans.  That the new one is set in a bakery makes it irresistable.


leucadian's picture

I am attempting to read Janedo's baking blog 'Au Levain', having gotten hooked on the automatic translation that kept translating 'baguette' into 'stick' or 'wand'. I always wanted to learn French, and this seemed like a good motivation. What a treat to visit Anis Bouabsa and Patisserie Poilane. Very cool. As part of the exercise, I made a list of some baking terms. I thought I'd share them here, with the hope of getting some free proofreading and editorial comments.

Stewart  (edited with new words and pronunciation hints 9 Dec 08)

  Vocabulaire du boulanger A baker's vocabulary
  Stewart Walton   9 décembre 2008
  ajouter to add ah joo TAY
  alveolée with lots of holes ahl vee oh LAY
le apprêt second fermentation ah PREH
la autolyse autolyse, enzymatic rest auto LEES
la baguette long thin loaf, 'stick'  bah GET
le banneton basket for proofing ban net TAWN
le bâtard thicker loaf, 'bastard' bah TARD
le blé wheat blay
le bol bowl ball
la boule round loaf bool
la bouillie boiled mush boo YEE
la buée steam in the oven biew WAY (first part like view)
  chauffer to heat show FAY
le chef starter, 'chief' shef
la clé seam on shaped dough, 'key' clay
la couche dusted towel for proofing coosh
la coupe cut,score coop
  croquant crisp crow CON
  croustillant crisp crew steel YAHN
la croûte crust crewt
la cuiller spoon (not a common spelling) coo YAY
la cuillère spoon coo YAY
  cuire to cook queer
la détente rest before shaping day TAHN
  diviser to divide, cut to loaf size dee vee SAY
l' eau water oh
l' épeautre spelt ('grand épeautre) eh PAW truh
l' épi 'head' of wheat eh PEE
le façonnage shaping fa sown AHJ
la farine flour fah REEN
la fermentation fermentation  fir mahn tah SEE OWN
la ficelle very thin loaf, 'string' fee SELL
le four oven foor
le frasage simple mixing of ingredients  frah SAHJ
le frigo refrigerator free GO
le gluten gluten gloo TAN
  gonfler to rise, inflate, oven spring gone FLAY
le grigne expanded slashes on loaf green
le grignon most well baked part of loaf green YON
la huile oil we
la  humidification humidity oo mee dee FEE cah SEE OWN
la hydratation hydration heed rah tah SEE OWN
le lait milk lay
la lame blade lahm
le levain sourdough luh VAN
la levée rising, proofing luh VAY
la levure commercial yeast luh VIEW(e)R
  mélanger to mix meh lahn JAY
  mettre to put, to place met ruh
la miche large round loaf meesh
la mie crumb mee
le miel honey mee ELL
  mise en forme shaping  mees on form
le pain bread pan
la pâte dough pot
le pâton shaped dough pot OWN
le petit pain roll ptee pan
le pétrin bread trough or kneading machine pet TRAN
  pétrir to knead pet TREAR
le pétrissage process of kneading  pet tree SAHJ
la pierre stone pee YAYR
le pliage degas (stretch,  fold, or punch), 'pleat' plea AHJ
le pointage  first fermentation pwahn TAHJ
la poolish high hydration yeast starter POH lish
le rabat degas (see pliage), a hunting term  'beat the bushes' rob BAH
le seigle rye SEE gluh
le sel salt sell
le sucre sugar SUE cruh
le taux ratio, percentage tow
le torchon towel tore SHAWN
le trou hole TRUE
la vapeur steam vah PURE
  Note on my attempt at phonetic pronunciation for English speakers:
  Pronouncing these words as I have indicated will bring peals of laughter from anyone who speaks French, but they should be able to understand what you are saying. The French 'r' is hard for most Americans, so don't worry about it. Try running all the syllables together, and say the word fast. The words will sound better that way. Most of the syllables have been rendered as English words or at least something that could be pronounced with English pronunciation conventions (as if there were any). If there was no close equivalent, I resorted to the following conventions:
  ah combination is always pronounced  as in 'lah dee dah'.
  oo combination is always pronounced  as in 'boot, root, scoop'.
  uh combination is always pronounced as in 'uh, I dunno', and can be dropped at the end of a word..
  ahj combination is always pronounced as in 'fusilage garage'.
  Most 'n's in French are nasal: it's the n sound in 'long' before you say the g.
  The baking process mostly from Joe Ortiz 'The Village Baker'  
le pétrissage mixing and kneading  
la repos rest to hydrate during mixing  
le pointage first rising, also called 'première fermentation'
  Donner un tour degassing, 'give a turn', same as pliage or rabat
le pésage scaling, also 'diviser' dividing  
le détente intermediate rising, 'relaxing'  
le façonnage shaping  
le apprêt final proofing, 'preparation', also called 'deuxième fermentation'
le coup de lame slashing, 'cut with blade'  
la cuisson baking  
  I started this list in order to read Janedo's blogs on and  I have gotten lots of help from friends on the Fresh Loaf.  I used Langensheidt's French Pocket Dictionary for most of the ordinary words.
  A final disclaimer: I'm learning French. I don't speak it very well. Comments and corrections are always welcome.
dstroy's picture

I saw this on today's failblog:



Actually, that looks full of "Win" to me.

holds99's picture


I had a couple of very ripe bananas that had begun accumulating brown spots on the skins and decided to look for a recipe where they could be used.  I found a great recipe for Banana Muffins in Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Bread Bible" on page 121.  Her recipe includes sour cream, butter, egg(s), grated lemon zest, vanilla extract, toasted and chopped walnuts, turbanado sugar and is made with cake flour. 

Although my photos don't look all that exciting, these muffins are delicious...light and moist, with a cake-like texture, and the recipe can be done quickly---and easily.  They're on the order of a quick bread.  She doesn't suggest it, but after tasting them I think they could be frosted with a simple white cake frosting using a small amount of lemon or orange zest incorporated into the frosting.  She suggests making large muffins.  In fact her recipe is called : "Big Banana Muffins".  However, I prefer smaller muffins so I doubled the recipe and made a dozen regular size and a half dozen mini muffins.  They freeze well.  Just let them completely cool on a wire rack, then bag them in a plastic bag and freeze them. They're terrific breakfast or snack muffins. 




dmsnyder's picture



  • Flour500 gms Giusto's Baker's Choice
  • Water375 gms
  • Yeast1/4 tsp Instant
  • Salt10 gms
  1. Mix flour and water and autolyse for 20 minutes.
  2. Add yeast and mix by folding dough in the bowl.
  3. Add salt and mix by folding dough in the bowl.
  4. Mix dough by folding and stretching in the bowl for 20 strokes. Repeat this 3 more times at 20 minute intervals.
  5. Refrigerate dough, covered tightly, for 21 hours.
  6. Divide into 4 equal parts and preshape gently for baguettes.
  7. Allow preshaped pieces to rest, covered with plastic, for 1 hour.
  8. Shape into ficelles (short, thin baguettes).
  9. Proof en couche or on parchment paper dusted with semolina for 45 minutes.
  10. Pre-heat oven to 500F with baking stone in middle rack and a cast iron skillet and a metal loaf pan on the lowest rack. Preheat 45 minutes or longer before baking.
  11. 3-5 minutes before baking, place a handful of ice cubes in the loaf pan. Shut the oven door. Bring water to a boil.
  12. Transfer the ficelles to a peel and load them onto the baking stone. Pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet. Close the oven door.
  13. Turn the oven down to 480F.
  14. After 10 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven.
  15. Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes until the loaves are nicely colored, the crust is hard all around and the bottom gives a hollow sound when tapped. Internal temperature should be at least 205F.
  16. Cool on a rack completely before slicing.
Anis Bouabsa is a young Parisian boulanger who won the prize for the best baguettes in Paris in 2008. He gave Janedo, a French home baker extraordinaire and a member of TFL, his formula, and Jane shared it with us. He uses a technique of a long, cold fermentation which has been used, with variations, by a number of contemporary French bakers.In addition to producing wonderfully flavored bread, it also permits the home baker to make bread using two blocks of about 2-3 hours rather than requiring longer time blocks. For example, I mixed the dough yesterday evening after dinner. I took it out of the refrigerator at about 4:30 pm this afternoon, and we ate it with dinner at 7:30 pm.These ficelles sang loudly coming out of the oven. I cooled them for only 20-30 minutes. The crust was very crunchy, and the crumb had a sweetness that would make one think there was sugar in the dough. Very yummy.Variations on Bouabsa's formula, adding 100 gms of sourdough starter and substituting 10% rye or whole wheat flour for an equal amount of white flour, make a delicious pain de campagne, which has become a favorite bread of several of us.This is described in my blog entries under "Pain de Campagne" and "San Joaquin Sourdough."Enjoy!David


SylviaH's picture

Floyd's Cream Cheese Rolls were the final inspiration to try this recipe.  I made a few little changes to the cream cheese.  I added an egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.  Used my blender and blended it all until nice and smooth.  I made little packages filled with cream cheese with some baking sugar on top with half the dough recipe.  We have some real sweet tooths around here!!  But these are wonderful as they are not really overly sweet at all....very tastey...thank you Floyd for this wonderful recipe and also to the book...The Village Baker!

Floydm's picture

There is a good article in today's Oregonian on challah.  Good timing, since I was thinking about challah and holiday breads in the shower this morning (yes, sadly it is true that some days I think about breads and baking pretty much around the clock). 

I was thinking about holiday breads this morning in the context of updating the home page of TFL to replace the Thanksgiving breads with Christmas breads.  Whenever I update the homepage with holiday breads, I get concerned about the possibility of a perceived geographic or cultural chauvanism here.  I realize that this site has readers and members from countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America; members who celebrate Jewish holidays, Islamic holy days, Christian holidays, Chinese festivals, or a combination of more than one of the above; members who are devotely religious, others who celebrate these festivals in a less religious but no less significant manner, others who celebrate none of the above.  Even secular holidays like Thanksgiving run the risk of alienating readers from elsewhere in the world who either don't celebrate the same holidays or celebrate them on a different date (yeah, that's right, I'm talking to YOU, Canada!).

Bread is significant in so many traditions and celebrations that to ignore the rituals surrounding bread would miss a tremendously important aspect of the history and meaning of bread.  Whenever I've felt like I understand and can share the meaning and history of a ritual bread, I've tried to post about them and share those stories.  Even for non-participants in those traditions, it is enjoyable to learn those stories.

I share the stories and traditions that I feel like I can do justice to, but there are many more stories I do not feel comfortable telling.  The ritual significance of challah is one such example.  Though I've read a great deal about it, as someone outside the Jewish tradition I don't feel like I can do justice to its significance and explain its ritual context appropriately.  The same is true of the breads and baked goods that are baked when breaking fast at the end of Ramadan.  These simply are not rituals I've participated in.

But you may. 

In the next few weeks I'm sure this site will be featuring Christmas breads and trying to explain the background and significance of some of these recipes and traditions.  In the appropriate season, I'd love to see members of other faiths and cultures share their stories and recipes so I and others can learn more about their traditions.  It is great to see photos after a holy day, but it is even better if stories, photos, and recipes can be shared before hand.  The best posts are along the lines of "A week from now people in my part of the world (or of my faith) are going to be celebrating ...  We celebrate this because ...  We'll be baking ... because ... "  I will gladly highlight those on the homepage if they are accessible, well put together, and have photos and recipes to support them.

dstroy's picture

Because I never post anything, but I do sometimes take pictures....

Cream Cheese Snail Madness! (as per recipe here.)

Here are some action shots of Floyd making cream cheese snails for our afternoon tea yesterday:


snails in progress...


rolling out a snake shape...




Adding delicious filling...



Baked, out of the oven....add some sugar glaze...




holds99's picture

I finally got the ingredients I needed to make Norm's onion rolls.  I made them for Thanksgiving dinner and they turned out great.  Everyone enjoyed them very much.  These are the REAL THING!  Thank you, Norm for the great recipe.  I'll be making these regularly.  And thanks to Eric Hanner for his detailed description, in his post, of how to make these rolls and the very helpful pictures.



dstroy's picture

oh my gosh, you guys!

This morning I awoke from a dream where Floyd had taken the family to a Thanksgiving Bread themed Amusement Park.

We even went riding on a roller coaster called "The Buttermilk Clusterbomb".



Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


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