The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dosidough's picture

I’ve been following all the wonderful things being baked by the testers for Norm and Stan and decided I need the excitement of a challenge. Over the years I have had more rye bricks than loaves but lately I use Beatrice Ojakangas’ “Whole Grain Breads” and get good results but I wanted the Sour Rye experience.  We used to have a great German deli that carried some but alas they are gone. I picked “Eric’s Fav Rye”.  Got a quick order of First Clear Flour from KAF, and last Friday evening began converting my starter to rye. First feeding 50/50 white four/medium rye left out over night, a.m. fed all rye and once again late Sat. night. It was very active right off and seemed ready to go Sunday morn so I had at it. Started early so the sponge could sit 8hrs. and I’d have the bake finished sometime around 10/10:30. (Just in time for the annual 4th of July war zone type explosion of our neighborhood)


If absence makes the heart grow fonder can not doing a task give your hands the opportunity to learn it on their own? For 6 months I’ve been barely baking except quick sandwich loaves...shape up, drop in the pan. Suddenly I noticed a totally different feel or awareness when shaping this rye, and the same thing with a sourdough bake for Fathers Day. I think I’m finally getting a strength and tightness to the gluten cloak. It just happened and seemed so natural. Oh that elusive assuredness in the tactile core of this bread baking thing. Isn’t it glorious.

Well, the oven preheated an hour and I don’t use the pan water/ice for steam but mist heavily with water and use a deep aluminum roaster as a cloche. It’s rectangular so for this batard shape I just stretched it out a little and smooshed it in so it would sit flat and be elongated. Not elongated enough!! Guess I got that cloak going real good. the shaped batard was just under 12” and the roaster was just over 13”. after the first 12 min. when I went to remove the cover it stuck, really stuck and I ended up pulling off about 2” of each end getting it off. A biter sweet moment indeed. I was amazed and so happy with the oven spring but now I had a rather strange endless loaf of rye. No heels!!! boooo. Didn’t get a pic of the shaped loaf to compare size to the finished bread but the difference was pretty great.

What a great bread this is. Had to zoom out first thing Monday for the corned beef  kraut and deli pickle. Reuben time! Great sour flavor moist crumb at the just right mode, not too light nor dense. I may try the Greenstein Jewish rye that dmsnyder worked up and posted awhile back. It uses the First Clear flour also. (looks like I may need to order more) Has anyone tried the recipe on the bag from KAF? It has sour cream in it. Ooooh ssoouurrr ccrreeaamm!....

Here’s a “bonus” pic of the sourdough I made for Dad this Father’s Day. One of the prettiest I’ve done even if I do say. It’s good to have the gifts turn out that way. No crumb shot, it was for their meals that week.

Bake on!.......

SylviaH's picture

These sourdough loaves are from Beth Hensperger's 'The Bread Bible'.  There are two different books titled 'The Bread Bible'.  Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'the bread bible' is one of my favorite books. 

This  sourdough bread recipe was designed to bake in loaf pans.  It makes a very nice tasting basic sourdough bread for everyday use for sandwiches and toast.  It was my first attempt at making it and I changed a few things.... next time I will omit the yeast and give the loaves an  overnight in the frig. 

Makes two 9X5 inch loaves

B.H. Recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water 105F to 115F - I used 168g cool water

1 Tablespoon - l pkg. active dry yeast - "  " 1 teaspoon IADY

1 Tablespoon Sugar -                          "  " 1 TBsp. Honey

1 Cup Classic Sourdough Starter            "  " 180 gms - sourdough

8 Tablespoons unsalted melted butter   - ( 1 stick )

1 Tablespoon salt                                "  " 1 Tbsp. sea salt

5 1/2 to 6 cups unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour  -  125 g per cup of Gold Medal Bread Flour

Baked at 350F oven preheated  -  35 to 40 Minutes

You can add 1 to 2 cups of raisins or dried blueberries, or 1 cup of granola to the dough.

I mixed my dough with the paddle in my KA just until shaggy and let it sit covered for 25 min. added salt and with the kneader blade kneaded for until the dough came together and cleared the sides of the bowl and was smooth for about 3 minutes.  Removed and placed it into a greased bowl and did Stretch and Flolds until the gluten was developed.  Divided into 2 pre-shaped loaves rested for 15 min., shaped and placed in pans for final proof.  Baked in a pre-heated convection oven 400 and adjusted heat as loaves browned. 

                                       Pictures taken under kitchen lights so they have yellow cast





Neo-Homesteading's picture


So this is my first Introduction entry to the fresh loaf site. My name is Cat, I'm a homemaker, wife and mother of two young sons. My primary passion is of course being a mother but my real fascination is being a cook and baker. I run my own blog at, my short term goals are satisfying my families need to eat, and ideally I'd like to publish a cook book. My long term goals well... I'd like my children to be grown with fond  memories of how I tried extra hard to give them cherished food memories, for as long as I can remember I've documented things in my mind by the foods of each occasion. Many years from now I really just want my family to have great memories and to be proud of me. 

Although I maintain my own personal blog regularly I plan to update on this site as well. For a few years now I've become mildly obsessed with all things bread, and sourdough especially. I do bake from scratch and often make every meal as home made as possible but my passion is baking and fermenting. In addition to being obsessed with bread I also home brew my own meads, wines and beers, and I'm fond of home preserving. The absolute perfect supper to me is a glass of home brewed mead, a loaf of crusty bread and sometimes even a home preserved chutney or jam. So this is my hello I hope to offer something to this lovely bread head community! 


Dearest Regards, 


hanseata's picture

Baking a big batch of NYBakers' test Hermits left me with the question: what to do with the leftovers? There's only a limited amount of gingerbread cookies that two people can eat - especially if it's very hot outside and Christmas still far away. And there was this pretty, unopened bottle of Limoncello, sitting in my pantry since our spring holidays in Positano/Italy, home of gigantic lemons and wonderful pastry.

Since I have not mastered the art of making mille-feuille filled with lemon cream (yet) the next best thing cool I can think of is lemony cheesecake. Using a master cheesecake formula from "Fine Cooking" magazine as guide line, I combined Hermit leftovers and Limoncello in the first American cheesecake I ever made - and it was not at all dense and heavy, but nearly as light as my German Kaesekuchen, and tasted really "cool"!

Limoncello Cheesecake

Link to recipe:


txfarmer's picture

What's better to celebrate July 4th than making/eating Chicago Style stuffed pizza?!

Followed the recipe here, I have been to chicago and ate their famous deep dish/stuffed pizza numerous times, I won't call this "authentic" (in fear of bashing from Chicago natives ), but it's indeed delicious and VERY similar to what I had from famous Chicago eateries.

My parents had no deep dish pizza pan, nor 9'' deep cake pan, so I used an 9" aluminum pan, which is 3" high, worked perfectly. The extra height allowed me to stuff more ingredients inside! My parents usually prefer Asian foods, but they loved this one - Itatlian sausage, shiitaki mushroom, spinach, loads of fresh mozarella cheese, homemade tomato sauce, what's not to love? Despite the long ingredient list, it's actually not hard to make.

For desserts, I made Japanese style light cheesecake, sometimes called "cotton soft cheese cake".

It has a tiny bit of cake flour and corn starch in the batter along with cream cheese, butter, and eggs, lighter and airier than American style cheese cake, yet still rich and moist. I used a Chinese recipe, but this recipe is pretty similar.

hmcinorganic's picture

I haven't made bread in a while;  busy at work and home.  I've been keeping my starter going so yesterday I had some time and threw together my "9's" loaf based on the 123 recipe on this site.  9oz starter, 18 oz water, (9 whole wheat + 9 bread + 9 white flour) and 2 tst salt.  I haven't been getting great gluten development using stretch and fold, so I made this one in the mixer.  Mixed for 4 minutes, let it rest for 30-60 minutes, then four more.  I did 2 stretch and folds over the next 4-8 hours and then let it ferment overnight in the fridge.  I didn't give it long enough to rise this morning before work but threw it in the oven a bit early.  My scoring on the boule is a bit weird.... I was trying to do the tic-tac-toe pattern but cut too deeply I think.  On the batard, the points "melted" off it looks like (I used shears to cut the points).

smells great.  not my best shaping effort though.  rushing.

RobertS's picture

Still working on making a seed culture, using dark rye flour, so I can create my first barm, so I can make my first sourdough loaf. To make a long story short, conflicting information I had read caused two misfires with my first two starters. Both misfires hinged on the problem of knowing for certain when a seed culture has been successfully created. In one source, it said wait for bubbling and doubling. In another source, it said wait for yeasty smell AND doubling. In another source, it said if there is a yeasty smell, it means the yeast are dead!   OK, so I plunged ahead.  Well, on my first starter, I got the doubling and proceeded to next stage, i.e., mixing up a sponge. Nothing whatsoever happened, not even bubbling, for 5 days (not the 4-6 hours I was hoping for!!). On next attempt, I got bubbling and doubling, but understood that was just bacteria action. For 6 days now, nothing further has happened, despite my following instructions faithfully.

Then I whipped up another batch as per BBA seed culture instructions, but ordered in some food pH test strips. Day 3, which is today, I got doubling, and followed Reinhard's instruction to toss 1/2 and feed again, nevertheless. But where, really, really, is this concoction at, anyway, I asked myself? Gas or yeast expansion?  The smell is --- i don't know--- definitely not yeasty, but it is not unpleasant. My nose hasn't told me anything, really. So I dipped in my handy-dandy pH strip and discovered the culture is at 5. And a couple of bubbles are just starting to make their appearance.

Now I KNOW where my culture is at. (Thank you, Debra Wink.) I look forward to tomorrow, when I probably will be ready to make my barm, and definitely will not be tempted to think that maybe any future doubling is bacteria-caused. And yes, I will take another pH reading just to make sure.

I don't know if anyne has used pH strips in their baking, but as for me, I believe they are a great and really cheap tool which I intend to use from now on.




hansjoakim's picture

A very happy (belated) 4th of July to all American TFL'ers!

Weather's been good lately and I've tried to spend as much time outdoors as possible, so I'm sorry for this late post. To make up for it, I had a go at an all-American favourite this sunday: Yes, you guessed it. And what better way to enjoy a juicy burger than with home-made buns? Here's a link to my recipe.

Hamburger buns


My Norwegian take on the American classic:



For breakfast, I was inspired by Karin's post on the quintessential Danish tebirkes (click here for the post on those). It's been years since I last enjoyed that particular breakfast pastry, so her blog post was all the push that I needed to make some of my own. On my last trip to Denmark, I distinctly recall a "whole-grain" version of the tebirkes. The pastry itself was laminated, and it was sprinkled with sesame seeds (instead of the poppy seeds (or "birkes") used to cover tebirkes). I know there's a version of these pastries called grovbirkes, which is essentially "whole-grain birkes", so that could be the proper name for these things... except there's no poppy seeds ("birkes") on them. If someone knows the name of what I'm trying to describe, please chime in!

Anyways... For my version of these mouthwatering breakfast pastries, I used the whole-wheat croissant dough formula from Suas' ABAP. This dough has 25% whole-wheat flour, which gives the pastries an interesting flavour note compared to an ordinary all-white dough. I wouldn't go as far as saying these guys are healthy, but they're awfully tasty. And you probably don't have them every morning either, so I say go for it.

I shaped them as you would ordinary pain au chocolats (leaving out the chocolate, of course), and sprinkled them with linseeds and sesame seeds. A 1kg dough (not counting the 250gr butter used for lamination) gave me eight well-sized pastries. Baked in two batches:



Utterly delicious!! (I apologise for the lack of crumb shot - I brought all along to work for co-workers to enjoy...)



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