The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Kuret's picture

This is what I pulled out of my oven today, a good 2kg of dough worth. First a small batch of light rye rolls made somewhat according to the instructions for making sourdough italian bread that was posted here earlier by Dmsnyder i think. The formula does only call for white flour but as I live in sweden I find that breads should contain at least a small portion of rye!

I made the dough with 20% rye flour wich gives you a dough that handles exactly like a wheat dough but with greater taste and also a somewhat drier feel, due to the high ash content of my whole grain rye flour, I also topped them with a mixture of wheat bran and rolled oats so they resemble the kind of "fake healthy" bread you can buy in stores and bakeries here in sweden.

The other breads were two sunflower ryes as per BBA, made with 30%rye starter and really coarse rye meal for the rye content in the dough. Lightly toasted sunflower seeds make for a lovely taste, can´t wait to open these babies! I have started tt get a bit better at shaping since I studied Marks videos, that technique is far superior to my prevoius attempts. Now I only have to make room for the loaves in my freezer! '

holds99's picture

I'm slowly working my way through the bread section of Michel Suas' terrific book AB&P and found this interesting bread with an interesting history. 

Pain Meunier: (Miller's bread), the loaf has all of the components of wheat (white flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ and cracked wheat) 

The following brief description of this bread, taken from Michel Suas book “Advanced Bread and Pastry”, appears at the beginning of his formula for pain meunier:

“To honor and thank their millers for delivering consistent flour, bakers of old created pain meunier, or Miller’s bread.  The formula was creatively designed to involve all the components of the kernel of wheat in the dough.  As a result, in addition to possessing great flavor, this bread also has exceptional nutritional value."

It's a great bread and fun to make.  I doubled Mr. Suas' "Test" formula and made 4 pounds of dough, divided the dough into three equal part and made three loaves.  I used 2 unlined willow German brotforms and 1 plastic (green) brotform.  The loaf proofed in the green plastic brotform, because of its shape, got a higher rise (photo no. 7, rear loaf) but doesn't have the character or markings that the other two loaves (front two) got from the unlined willow baskets.

I used a K.A. mixer to get the pate fermentee and grain roughly mixed with final dough .  Gave it a 20 minute rest, then did a final mix using the "slap and fold" method (Bertinet) then during bulk fermentation gave the dough 3 stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals.  Let it final proof for another 20 minutes (after the 3 stretch and folds), then divided, shaped and placed it into the brotforms.  It final proofed for 1 hour, then I scored it and into a preheated 450 deg. F. oven with a cup of boiling water into a cast iron skillet for a short blast of stream.  It baked for 30 minutes, turning the loaves midway in the baking cycle.  It's a great tasting bread with great texture (tender with a nutty flavor from the cracked grain) and nice crust. 

Michel Suas' Pain Meunier - Advanced Bread and Pastry

Michel Suas' Pain Meunier - Advanced Bread and Pastry 

holds99's picture

I have had Susan's recipe for these buns/rolls stashed in my "to bake" folder for quite some time.  Anyway, I finally got around to making them and am kicking myself for not making them sooner.  These are great rolls.  Susan puts sesame seed on top but I prefer them without seeds.  You can check her original post for the recipe.  They're easy and  delicious.  I made these rolls 4 oz. each.   

To quote Susan's original post: "The rolls are quite a bit more substantial than the squishy cottony ones that seem, unfortunately, to be standard cookout fare.  With about 40% whole wheat flour, the crust is chewy-tender, the crumb soft but still hearty and flavorful.  And they're not just for burgers; they work for just about any sandwich.  Sized a little smaller, they would also make fine dinner rolls."

Susan, If you're out there, thank you very much for this terrific recipe.

Susan's Hamburger Buns

Susan's Hamburger Buns/Rolls

slothbear's picture

We have a guest coming over tonight, so I went for my standard guest loaf.  1/4 King Arthur WW flour, 2 tablespoons of flax meal.  The six-strand braid is always a challenge for me, but I only had to do it twice today.  After the first time, I realized that some of the strands were too fat, so I cut them down and had enough for a baby challah, also six-strand.


 just after braiding.  I had a little extra left over for the baby sister challah.

 I baked a couple of flax sourdough loaves just before the challah.  And forgot to turn the temperature down.  What's 125 degrees between friends??


The baby challah turned out well.  We'll see how the guest likes Extra Brown Challah.  Yikes, from the other side of the room, it looks like some kind of dark Halloween trick or treat bread:

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.



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