The Fresh Loaf

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benjamin's picture

I have made soft pretzels in the past, and have always enjoyed them, however I have always wanted to make a sourdough version. After much internet research, I did not come across any recipes that called out to me, so I decided to do my own. I adapted a Bertinet recipe, simply replacing fermented white dough in the recipe with an equal quantity of firm sourdough starter. I also retarded the dough in the fridge over night... though this was more to do with the fact that I wanted to bake them fresh the next morning rather than anything else.


All in all I was really pleased with the result. The inside was very soft and authentic. I didn't bother with either a lye bath, or boiling the pretzels prior to baking. I plan to try boiling the next time I make these, but the lye bath seems a little to much trouble.

By the way, I will be happy to post the whole recipe if anyone is interested.


happy baking


hansjoakim's picture

I made two loaves this week: The first was a take on the "Pain au levain with whole wheat flour" from Hamelman's book. Although I've had the book on my shelf for just over a year, I hadn't tried any of his pain au levains before. The time was overripe (like a "bubbly, collapsed poolish"-overripe). To make things a bit more interesting, I replaced half of the bread flour with spelt, and added a liberal amount of wheat bran to the recipe. I guess this detracted a bit from the potential loaf volume, but added to its nutritional value and the flavour.

Pain au Levain

Cutting loaves successfully is something of the hardest of the whole bread baking process if you ask me... Since this is a pretty light loaf (only 20% whole wheat and 5% rye), I opted for the classic baguette cut. Not very symmetrical or anything, but a nice bloom on the first cut at least. "The first cut is the deepest", that's a song, isn't it?

Pain au Levain

Below is a photo of the crumb - pretty homogeneous crumb with no large pockets, but that's usually the way loaves turn out at my place. To be honest, I prefer a more even crumb too. I was very happy with the profile of the loaf, especially since there's quite a bit of spelt in there. The photo doesn't show it, but the crumb is also specked with wheat bran. Yum!

Pain au Levain

I really enjoyed making this pain au levain from "Bread", and I was amazed by how quickly it all came together. That's what you get from working mainly with rye doughs, I guess :-)

The flavour is very clean, wholesome wheat and the crust has a brilliant crunch to it. The crumb is also very soft, and this loaf goes well with both fish, meat and cheese.


The second loaf I made was a Leinsamenbrot - a rye loaf stuffed with flax seed. This is approximately 66% rye, so it's a pretty filling bread. I'm getting more and more into making hearty rye loaves with my firm white starter (50% hydration), and I wonder how much further the rye content can be increased without getting those large holes from the dreaded starch attack during baking. For this loaf, approx. 15% of the total flour comes from the starter, the final dough is quite high in hydration (77-78% I guess), and there's only a small speck of yeast in it (about 0.3% fresh yeast). I let it bulk ferment for roughly 2 hours and final proof 1hr 15 mins. I've found this procedure to result in nice, open crumbs and a pleasant rye flavour. If you're after a really sour rye, you'll probably have to opt for a rye starter as well!

Flax rye


I also promised desert! I found some tempting pears at the store the other day, and decided to have a go at a pear tart. I used a sweet tart dough (pâte sucrée), a frangipane filling and sprinkled the poached pears with cinnamon and sugar. Some chopped almonds and powdered sugar in between the pears. I had no idea how much frangipane to put in the tart - I was hungry and running a bit late, so I think I scooped a bit much into it, but fortunately it didn't spill over the edge...

Pear frangipane tart

SylviaH's picture

Pugliese Loaves with Duram Flour from RLBeranbaum's

' the bread bible' This is my first time making this bread, crunchy crust with a nice chew to it and a great crumb flavor that only gets better on tonite's panini's..also a great dipping bread.  I love the color of the loaves and crumb from the Duram flour.  The dough is very similar to working with a wet pizza dough.  I did score with a # slash!  I had a nice oven spring.  I 3 X's the recipe and got 2 nice loaves a 1 1/2 lb and 1 lb loaf..we just about finished off the 1 lb.  the bread is light and disappears fast!  I did all the mixing by hand and used a 24 hour biga.  I'll be making this loaf again...I was very happy with the results.

Thanks to Floyd here's some photo's!  Thank you Floyd!

This is being added as one of my favorite Italian Breads!


blackbird's picture

An old favorite for over 30 years, walnut cinnamon lemon bread is simple, crunchy and chewy.  The basic recipe is flexible rather than perfectionist.  I used frozen orange juice, thawed and room tmperature, back in those days. 

3 cups AP flour

instant yeast perhaps a big pinch

pinch of salt

1 maybe 2 ounces oil

8-9 ounces water

cinnamon as you like, I like it so I may use more than you

walnut pieces as you like, say 3/4 cup

lemon by lemon extract or lemon juice and or zest to your taste ----or you can use orange instead

No sugar or sweetening needed.

Mix all well, you can do some kneading at this mixing time.  I knead in the bowl with my mixing plastic spoon giving 5 minutes or so between a few spoon kneading efforts.

Let rise to double or so, then divide to fit pans, up to three mini pans, kneading is minimal or not at all.   The dough will be a bit wet and clay-like.  I use wet hands to handle it.   Or one big bread loaf pan. 

 Let rise, then into preheated oven at 425F, no steam, cover with alum foil loosely, decrease heat after 20 min to 375F, remove foil.  Baking time depends on your oven and how many times you open the oven.  Say 30 minutes total.  Let cool, or eat warm if it suits you.  Previously I wrote 45 minutes but my mind was thinking of a big bread pan loaf which requires a bit more time.  It is good to check on it so it does not get too dry. 

The simple recipe can be changed by adding eggs when mixing the dough for example. 

I tried a mold but got plenty of spring so it leans.


AnnieT's picture

I know that it isn't a good idea to change more than one thing at a time, but hey, the sun is shining and I feel daring! I stood in front of the Bob's Red Mill display yesterday and for the first time noticed a 5# bag of unbleached white flour which is "Superb for bread making by hand or machine". Also supposed to be high protein. So I took back my usual KA bread flour and bought the BRM - after all it was only $3.79 as opposed to $5.  As I was mixing the water and starter for Susan's Famous Sourdough this morning I had an idea to sub in a little of the cheap beer I used last week for the Almost No Knead bread. Plus a small amount of rye, so I guess that was three changes. The dough seems fine and just has one more stretch and fold to go before proofing. I have tomato seedlings sitting on top of the propane stove, my usual proofing place, so it could be slow going. Has anyone had good or bad results with this flour that they would like to share? Hoping I won't regret penny pinching, A.

ejm's picture

(revised: 23, 24 April to add FreshLoaf recipes; 19 April 2009 to separate FreshLoaf recipes from offsite recipes; )

Favourite and "Must Try" Recipes and Techniques
Fresh Loaf recipes . Fresh Loaf techniques . Offsite recipes . Offsite techniques

Fresh Loaf

Commercial, Wild and Semi-Wild Yeast

Challah, Festive rolls and braids

Quick Breads



There are more links to The Fresh Loaf bread recipes and techniques here: dmsnyder Recipe Index


Commercial, Wild and Semi-Wild Yeast

Egg Breads (Challah, Festive rolls and braids)

Quick Breads



There are more bread recipes here:

dmsnyder's picture

Rye Breads

TFL Handbook section about Rye Flour

Jewish Sour Rye

Norm's Sour Rye

Russian Rye

Greenstein's Pumpernickel

Care and feeding of a rye sour

Hamelman's Flax seed rye bread - Thanks, hansjoakim!

Three-Stage 80% Sourdough Rye Bread from Hamelman's "Bread"

Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye

Sourdough Rye from Advanced Bread & Pastry


San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

Pat's (proth5) Baguettes

Proth5's "Starting to get the bear" baguettes

Anis Bouabsa ficelles

Philippe Gosselin's Baguettes

Baguette Tradition after Phillip Gosselin

Épi de Blé

Sourdough Breads

The Great Baguette quest N°3: Anis Bouabsa   This was the origin of what evolved into my San Joaquin Sourdough

San Joaquin Sourdough 1

San Joaquin Sourdough variation

San Joaquin Sourdough, updated 10/10/2010

San Joaquin Sourdough: Update 6/26/2011

Susan from San Diego's Ultimate Sourdough

Susan from San Diego's Original Sourdough

Sourdough Italian Baguettes (5/2015)

Sourdough Italian Bread

Italian-San Joaquin Sourdough 

San Francisco Sourdough from Reinhart's “Crust&Crumb”

Sourdough bread with new steaming method

Sourdough Multigrain Bread from "Advanced Bread and Pastry"

Greek Bread - Improved

Sourdough Pan de Horiadaki from "A Blessing of Bread"

Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg

This miche is a hit!

Country Bread with fresh-milled flours

Walnut Raisin Sourdough Bread from SFBI Artisan II

Sourdough Bread from SFBI Artisan II

Miche from Michel Suas' "Advanced Bread and Pastry"

Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, from Hamelman's "Bread"

5-grain Sourdough with Rye Sourdough from Hamelman's "Bread"

Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread from AB&P

Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain

My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 4 (The best version)

My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 6 (and final?)

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Sour Cherries

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Figs

Sourdough Honey Whole Wheat Multigrain Bread

Pane Valle Maggia, ver. 2 3/7/2014

Pane Valle del Maggia

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with increased whole wheat flour

Pugliese Capriccioso


Pizza Bliss

Pizza made with Sourdough Starter Discard


Sweet Breads & Pastries

Cheese Pockets


Scoring Bread

Scoring Bread: An updated tutorial

Scoring Bread made with high-hydration dough

Proofing "en couche:" or A Couching Coaching

Flipping Board (Transfer Peel) Demonstration

My sourdough starter routine: a FAQ

Baker's Math: A tutorial 

Converting starter hydrations: A Tutorial. Or through thick and thin and vice versa

Understanding autolyse

Baking under an aluminum foil roasting pan

Hamelman's “Stretch and Fold in the Bowl” no-knead technique

KAF instructional videos

NoKnead.html (by Mark Sinclair/mcs)

Shaping a boule: a tutorial in pictures.

Quick doodle should help (rainbowz's cool diagram of how to use a transfer peel)

Mixing a stiff starter

Norm's onion rolls and kaiser rolls

Norm's Double Knot Rolls

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone (from Glezer's Artisan Breads)

Potato-Nut Bread from South Tyrol (Thanks, Salome!)

SFBI Artisan I Workshop

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 1 

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 2 

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 3

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 4

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 5

SFBI Artisan II Workshop

SFBI Artisan II Workshop - Day 1

SFBI Artisan II Workshop - Day 2

SFBI Artisan II Workshop - Day 3

SFBI Artisan II Workshop - Day 4

SFBI Artisan II Workshop - Day 5

dmsnyder's picture

This was my first attempt at an "épi de blé," or "sheaf of wheat" shape. I made it with Anis Bouabsa's baguette dough. 

Épi de Blé



gothicgirl's picture

Posted on on 4/13/2009

If you do not like chocolate jam packed inside a fudgy brownie, turn back now!

 Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies

This recipe is adapted from one we made in culinary school.  The brownies we made were ok, but we did not use dark chocolate or dutch processed cocoa powder.  I do and the result is superior.  There is also more chocolate chips in my version.  I see it this way, if you are going to have chocolate, why go half-way? 

These are really easy to get mixed up, they cool pretty quickly and are wonderful covered in a shiny layer of dark chocolate ganache.  Again, why go half way?

Frosted Brownies 

The brownies are rich, chewy, melting, and fudgy.  I like them warm, with the kiss of the oven still on them, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or some whipped cream and a drizzle of fudge sauce.  As good as they are warm, however, I also like them cold from the refrigerator.  For some reason these brownies are SO GOOD cold, which makes them excellent for the summers here in Texas when it is ten kinds of hot.  There is nothing like a cold, chewy brownie when it is 105F outside.  Trust me!

Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies 

You can easily double this recipe.  In fact, the original recipe was enough to fill a full sheet pan.  I scaled this down to a quarter of that amount - mostly because my thighs could not take it.  Just know you can scale it up easily and with much success. 

Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies   Yield 20 brownies

3 oz butter
2 oz dark chocolate, at least 62%, chopped
Sugar 14 oz
4 oz golden syrup or honey
3 oz butter
5 oz eggs (about three large)
.75 oz water
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5.25 oz cake flour
1 oz dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 oz chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350F and prepare a 1/4 sheet pan (9″x13″) with non-stick spray, line the bottom with parchment and spray again.

Melted Chocolate and Butter 

In a bowl combine the butter and the chocolate.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir then microwave for an additional 15 seconds.  If the mixture is not completely melted heat at ten second intervals until completly melted.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl combine the sugar, golden syrup/honey, and second portion of butter.  Mix until well combined. 

Disolve the espresson the the water.  Add that along with the eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture.  Mix to combine.

Stir in the melted chocolate mixture.  Blend well.  Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well so that the mixture is completly combined.

Batter - Mixed 

Sift the dry ingredients then add them to the wet mixture.  Mix until just beginning to mositen then add the chips.  Mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated and there are no lumps.

Batter in the Pan Brownies - Out of the Oven

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center is just set.

Brownies - Turned out of the Pan 

Cool completly in the pan before turning out into a cutting board. 

Brownies Topped with Ganache

Frost and slice as desired.

Dark Chocolate Chip Brownie

alyaman's picture

That is my experiment with Chocolate bread... I made it by the sourdough

and shape it like beehive...

For the dough:

500 grams  all purpose flour.

150 grams starter.

1 large  egg

1  teaspoon vanilla extract.

1 teaspoon baking powder.

1/4 cup sugar.

1 teaspoon salt .

4 tablespoon milk powder.

1 cup warm  water.

2 tablespoon butter or ghee.

2 tablespoon cocoa powder

for the filling:

chocolate cut into pieces.

To make the dough mix the Ingredients together

and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Place it in a bowl,


let rest for 1 hour.

Divide dough to squares  and fill it by the chocolate ,Shape each into a smooth balls .

and line it in the prepared pan

and let rest again  for 3 hours .

then Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.


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