The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
beanfromex's picture

I used the starter than I have been carefully feeding since last thursday night. All indications were right, smell, bubbles etc..and baked somethng that looked great, and felt like a doorstop. It was a VERY dense loaf, not what I would choose to have again. So I fed the starter and popped it into the fridge...perhaps I will try again next week.

However, today I taught Ramona how to do the cottage loaf from last weekend. Again, excellent colour and crust and a reasonable crumb.  I sprinkled cornmeal onto a greased baking sheet and the bottom crust is wonderful. And used poppy seeds over the egg waah.

Ramona did not get the wash evenly around the lower loaf, so you can see where it dripped and where she missed. ...but she will see this tomorrow and learn from it...

Perhaps I should get her to have a try at the sourdough....

I am going to play with this recipe and introduce whole wheat and seeds into the loaf ..

stay tuned... 

beanfromex's picture

Well the sourdough is now into the fridge for the next phase of folding every hour for the next four or five hours. I will then leave it overnight on the lower shelf inthe fridge.

It seems like a surprisingly small loaf given all of the work on the starter..which began last Thursday. I have put the remainder into the fridge after feeding and will use it again next week, should this loaf work....if not, I am going back to tried and true recipes...and the trusty cottage loaf from the weekend.

For the most part, I have followed egullets sourdough directions. Sourdough seems to be one of the more complicated, many version type of baking out there. I have read about concorde grapes, pineapple juice and so many things wtih regards to this bread that I am a bit confused. I am buying a book in Canada in december, and am leaning towards the BBA.

I took some pictures of my starter, but do not think you can see anything due to the flash...I will have to work on that.

beanfromex's picture

I started this starter on thursday evening, and this morning I noticed a subtle change in the smell, for the better. The harsh sour smell had gone .

I poured off all the top forming houch and have been feeding it faithfully every 8 hours. Today I think I finally have enough bubbles to make the dough tomorrow and bake the bread on wednesday morning.

Ramona also tried making two loaves at her families home over the weekend. Only one of the two loaves rose and one of her children touched a loaf on its final rise and probably punctured the surface. 

The last thing I baked was the cottage loaf, recipe given in previous blog entry.  We have now eaten all of that loaf and I want my husband to concentrate on the oatmeal raison in the freezer before I bake anymore...other than the sourdough that is...

 Hasta luego...


helend's picture

Browsing the news feed led me to this recipe for a yeasted pumpkin bread from the World bread day link. I have slightly adapted it and it turned out well although I can't say it is too exciting - a useful recipe for using up an excess of pumpkin I guess.


It is slighltly more orange than the pictures imply with a good caramelly chewy crust and is quite moist but the crumb is a bit tight - although it slices quite well.

tomsbread's picture

It was a bread making marathon for me this weekend as I experimented with Jeffrey Hamelman's 70% Rye sourdough using the Detmolder 3 stage method and tried shaping some of Richard Bertinets Fougasse and Epis. Pictures in

I have tried posting pictures into this site but it still eludes me :(


KNEADLESS's picture

Well we just made our annual trek from the Chicago area down to Fort Myers where we will ride out the winter until May. I am into day 5 of a pineapple juice/whole wheat flour sourdough system and so far, so good. Today I made Floyd's rustic bread recipe again and it turned out very good. What I really want to talk about is a new tool, which I haven't seen mentioned by anyone else. That is, an electric knife.


Like most of the people participating on this excellent site, I have periodic problems slashing. I have had my best success with serrated knives, but for very wet doughs they are too grabby. Today I tried an electric knife and it was like cutting butter. The tops of the loaves were stationary as the blades sunk in.


I would be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this approach.



beanfromex's picture

Today I have tried a new recipe. It is from the "great british kitchen" website and is called cottage loaf: recipeand photo as follows:

Cottage Loaf
Bread-making is soothing and enjoyable, although you do need a lot of time to allow for the rising process. This loaf can be made with wholemeal or plain flour, and as it is baked in the traditional cottage loaf shape, you will not need a loaf tin but just a baking sheet.


15 Gram Fresh yeast, or 2 level tsp dried (1/2 oz)
300 ml Warm milk (not low fat) (1/2 pint)
450 Gram Malted brown flour, strong wholemeal flour (1 lb)
1 Teaspoon Salt
Beaten egg to glaze
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling


Makes 1 large loaf
Dissolve the fresh yeast in the milk. If using dried yeast, sprinkle it into the milk and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes, until frothy. Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the yeast liquid. Beat well together until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a clean bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Cut off one-third of the dough and shape into a round. Shape the remaining dough into a round. Place the larger round on to a greased baking sheet and brush with a little water. Place the smaller round on top. Push the lightly floured handle of a wooden spoon down through the centre of the loaf right to the bottom. Using a sharp knife slash the dough at 5 cm (2 inch) intervals around the top and bottom edges to make a decorative pattern. Cover and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

Brush with a little beaten egg to glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if liked. Bake at 230 °C / 450 °F / Gas 8 for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas 6 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


I found this dough wonderful to work with, quicker due to onloy two risings and very tasty. The crumb is dense without being heavy and would make a great addition to a food like stew or chili, I image toasted this bread would be excellent. The bottom crust was crusty and chewy. The egg wash helped with the colour of my loaves.

I did everything as suggested in the above recipe, including the poppy seeds. The only difference was sprinkling cornmeal on the greased baking sheet.

I took pictures and will try to get them uploaded.

I will definately make this loaf again.

Other than that, it has been a slow baking week. I started a sourdough starter on thursday night, feeding every 8 hours and so far I am happy with the results. It was 1:1 AP flour and water with a .5 cup flour and water feeding. I HOPE to have this ready come monday or Tuesday....but that really isn't up to me is it???

Be well everyone.

zorra's picture

Recently I baked the following bread with chickpea flour. This recipe is my own creation. The chickpea flour gives the bread a light sweet taste.

chickpea bread

100 g chickpea flour
150 g white flour
5 g fresh yeast
~110 g water
1 TL honey
5 g salt
50 g refreshed sourdough

Dissolve yeast and honey in 20 g water. Mix the two flours and salt. Add sourdough, yeast and rest of water, mix and knead your dough (by hand or mixer) until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and leave covered for 1 hour or until double in size. 
Shape and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 230C. Mist inside with a spray. After 10 minutes reduce heat to 190 C and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

Recipe in German:

beanfromex's picture

Life finally caught up with me and the taking of pictures hasbeen set aside until I manage to figure out what th problem is with my uploading pictures...the good news is I have more time for experimenting with the favorite recipes (to your left).

I made the cinnamon raison oatmeal cluster , but prefer my original recipe which is a version of "white bread from the Joy of cooking cookbook". 

I also have sucessfully changed the wheat content to a ration of 2 cups WWF to 4 cups AP flour.  I am very happy with the height and the crumbs of the loaf, so it reamains my tried and true favorite.

Yesterday, I made the pizza and sauce from Floydm's recipe. My husband and I enjoyed the crust and the sauce. I made the thicker crust version, with milk and more oil. I found the dough to handle very well and put it onto a greased and cornmeal dusted pizza pan, and the second pizza onto a non stick cookie sheet with minimal cornmeal dusting. The non stick had better release than the pizza plate.

 The crust was thick and chewy. The only think I would change for the next time is perhaps having a slightly thicker crust into the center, which was almost too thin.

 I am teaching Ramona to bake. (maid). She kneaded the oatmeal raison bread by hand to learn the technique. Southern mexico is not known for its bakers, preferring to buy the products from the local grocery store and due to the fact some years ago many of the poorer people did not have access to ovens. When I replace my oyster kitchen center mixer with the new one, I will give it to Ramona, so she can continue making bread easily. She took the last few loaves home to her children, and they seem excited about learning "bread making".  Thefirst loaf she took on the combi ride home, she received all sortsof comments about its wonderful smell, imagine the odour of freshly baked bread within the confines of a van...

I am still investigating the mixers, but am leaning towards a Delongi.

I am also preparing a list of things that I would like to enhance breadmaking that are unavailable here, parchment paper, a cloche, and an oven capable of getting hotter than 450F...

Hasta luego.

Tabasco Mexico 

Kelly Burgess's picture
Kelly Burgess

I have many favorite recipes, following is one of them. "T" is for tablespoon, "t" is for teaspoon, "G" is for grams.


Kelly's Christmas Stollen

Makes 16.

Here you're basically making a sponge that will proof/rise for 1 hour. A kitchen aid mixer fitted with the paddle works nicely for the process. First combine:

2 T Yeast

1/2 C warm water

Let the yeaest dissolve in the water (the water should be approx. 95 - 100 degrees) and then mix the following ingredients together in a separate large bread bowl:

1 1/2 C warm milk

100 G sugar

120 G butter

4 beaten eggs

Now add the dissolved yeast mixture, and:

420 G flour

Mix well and let rise 1 hour in a warm spot.

While the sponge is rising, chop and grate some extras:

1/2 - 1 1/2 C nuts (I use almonds that I've roasted myself, but other roasted nuts would work)

1 - 1 1/2 C raisins or dates or dried apricots

Whip up some cream cheese with a hand-held mixer or in your kitchen aid, adding icing sugar to sweeten to your liking. I tend to use a whole package and if there's left-over, I keep it in the fridge.

Once the hour is up, add:

420 G flour

Knead well and then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes is up knead in the chopped nuts and raisins, cut into pieces weighing approx. 130 G each (your goal is 16 remember, so weigh the entire ball of dough first and then divide that number by 16 to get an exact figure for your batch), and roll each portion out into a round. Fill one half with a sensible amount of cream cheese and fold the dough in half, sealing in the cheese.

Bake your little stollens for say, 10 -15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The time will vary slightly, but bake until golden (take one out and check until you've got the idea). You can do the typical "brush with butter" when they come out but I rarely do. Hope you like these. I've made, sold, and eaten many thousands.




Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries