The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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nbicomputers's picture

rathar that scater this all over the board i will post all holiday bakinmg pics here and some of the formulas that were used

the picks first and i will edit in the formulas when i have time this is only the start and have many more days of baking left

please do not "reply" to any ot the posts with pictures . that wat i can go back when i have time and edit  in the formulas just add a post at the end of this blog page thanks

White pan bread YES that is my scale in the backround (i have been baking for a long time)


i should say that these are all the same wieght but the tall one was in a 6 inch pan and the others were in 7 inch pans  they did not collaps i realy neet to get more 6 inch round forms. no excuse for me not having them.

Checker board Cake

Pound cake





SylviaH's picture


                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a recipe I made

called Steakhouse Blackbread...It is made with a combination of Rye, Whole Wheat and Bread Flour...It turned out to be a very nice dense, tender, flavorful dinner roll...I was very tempted to add some time I will as raisins would go very good with the rich flavor.


cbtb's picture

Hi Everyone:

This is my first time on this website and have a question for you all. I am a recreational baker. I bake sourdough bread every weekend and have several brotforms. Several years ago I found a beautiful brotform with a starburst design on the bottom and am looking for more designs, does anyone have any suggestions of where to find them?

proth5's picture

I am not much of a photographer and well, I am never exactly "happy" with anything I bake. I can always outline the flaws or specific things that could stand some improvement.

But  I decided to show this week's bake - come what may - and here are the results:

Batch 1: Baguettes

I emphatically do not use the Bouabsa technique.  My primary reason is best kept to myself, but to put forth some other reasons, I don't have the timeline or the space to do the cold retarding. Also, it could be (and has been) argued that by pre-fermenting a portion of the flour in the levain build, that I achieve the benefits of the retarding and that the retarded final fermentation is redundant. I do an overnight levain and then bake the things the next day.  No commercial yeast and 65% hydration.  Here's one intact and one cut in half to show the crumb:


I seem to have slipped back in technique to getting less pronounced grigne than I have in the past, but although the photo does not show it well, the slashes did show small ears.  The slashing is uneven as is the shaping and I need to buckle down and get that straightened out.  I recently got a new blade holder and I think that I need to get used to it.  I really can't fault the crumb (or the taste.) This is nothing extraordinary - this is what I get every week.  Some would bake these more "boldly" but I prefer this coloring. A tartine with house made cultured butter and a good salame - that's good eating...

Batch 2: Fougasse

Since this is the time of year that I need to render lard, I always get a lot of cracklings and it seems a shame not to use them somehow.  So this week I made a fougasse with cracklings:


This is just a standard fougasse recipe made with a levain base - 68% hydration, 10% whole wheat flour with .8 oz of cracklings for a 1 pound fougasse.

Yes, I got a thin spot on the large cut.  Darn.  Usually I have some restraint with my bread eating, but I had to tear into this one.  It had a crackly surface and a tender interior lightly flavored from the fat and studded with little bits of piggy goodness.  Very nice.

Batch 3: Home Mill

And then there is the home milled whole wheat levain loaf:

Whole Wheat Levain

This is the most variable of my breads as I contend with variations in both the milling and bread making process.  This was made with hard white wheat milled the same day as the bake. This is a fairly typical loaf although it has spread out more than I would like and I think that it would benefit from a tighter shaping.  The loaf is made at 74% hydration and the crumb tends to vary at different spots on the loaf, although from my point of view there is nothing really wrong with the crumb.  This is my lunchtime sandwich loaf and I prefer the fillings not to drop through. The taste is...delicious.

All breads were baked on a stone with steam - some water in a pan on the floor of my oven and much water sprayed with a pressure sprayer on the stone.  After reading the Suas book's section on steaming I am ever more convinced that in my dry climate and the relatively low hydrations of my doughs that just retaining the moisture by covering my baking breads would not achieve the objectives.  Due respect to the people who use this method, but with my old oven (It will be replaced only when I find "the one.") and no more effort than it takes I'm sticking with steam. Record cold yesterday in the Mile High City - I didn't mind the oven having to preheat.

So, not a bad output for a day after I have finished my seasonal cooking (and shipping) and was determined to take it easy.

Hope you-all enjoy the photos and Happy Baking!

mcs's picture

Sometimes when you find a recipe, it takes a little adjusting to make it turn out how you would like.  Sometimes after lots of adjusting, you come back to the original recipe and find out it was great how it was.  This is the latter.  If you'd like to find the recipe, and method, both Jane (janedo) and David (dmsnyder), among others, have written about it quite a bit here, and have both had much success with this recipe and variations of it.  Anyway, using that as a baseline, I'll mention the adjustments I made to the method, and/or explain the pics.  Oh, and just as a reference, i made (4) 16 oz baguettes in 24" wide pans.
-pic 1 during the first 60 minutes when it is mixed/folded 3 times, I left it in the mixing bowl for the entire period.  After the initial mix, I scraped the hook and bowl and covered them to rest for 20 minutes.  At 20 minutes, I put the hook back on and let it 'mix' for 5 seconds to allow the machine to do the folding.  I repeated this process for all 3 folds.  I was trying this in an effort to avoid adding any extra flour late 'into the game'.
-pic 2 shows the 4 baguettes after scaling and 23 hours in the fridge
-pic 3 directly after preshaping, they were placed on a canvas, seams up,  for 45 minutes and into the proofer (78 degrees, low humidity)
-pic 4 final shaping them 45 minutes later.  I shape them the same way I shape my loaves with the seam away from me.
-pic 5, 6  To experiment, I final proofed two on a canvas and two directly in the pans.  All 4 were placed in the proofer together and all 4 baked on the baguette pans at 415 for 23 minutes (convection).

-pic 7 The top two rose in the canvas, the bottom two in the pan.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the bottom two are slightly wider with flatter bottoms, the top two look a little more 'uncontrolled'.  Probably could've used a longer final proof to mellow them out a little more.



Anyways, the flavor is great with these baguettes and they have replaced my previous recipe as 'The Back Home Bakery' baguette.  Thanks to Anis, Jane, and David for making this possible.


Pre Shaping and Final Shaping


Eli's picture

Levain Honey Oatmeal Loaf

Great toasting and breakfast bread. Very tender and soft. Converted this from a commercial yeast recipe I have been making.

Honey Oatmeal Loaf


Breakfast of Champions!

Second Loaf got much better rise, however I should try a larger pan. These are perfect gift size.Honey Oat Loaf Levain


NewportCoastCPA's picture

can glutinous rice flour be used instead of cornstarch?

pmccool's picture

This weekend's baking included Bernard Claytons Pain Allemande aux Fruits.  It's a marvelously fragrant bread, containing lemon zest, orange juice, anise seed, cinnamon, figs, raisins, apricots, prunes, almonds, hazelnuts, butter and other good things.  I made a double batch, since I tend to make a mess in the process of getting everything prepped.  Might as well have four loaves for my efforts as two, right?  Plus, I can give some for gifts and still have some for myself.  

It is delightful with just a smear of butter, or toasted.  For me, it has the appeal of fruit and spice, without the cloying flavor or overwhelming sweetness of most fruitcakes.

Here's the dough at the end of the bulk rise, just about to make a break for freedom:

Doubled, and then some

The fruit mixture: figs, apricots, raisins and prunes:

Frut mix


This shows the dough with the first one-third of the fruit, ready incorporation:

Dough and fruit

Fruit mixed in, dough shaped and panned:

The dough in the pans

Second rise complete and ready for the oven:

Ready for the oven

And the finished bread:

All done!


Oh, and I baked off Leader's pain de campagne that was begun last evening:

Leader's pain de campagne

Not a bad day in the kitchen!

dmsnyder's picture

I've tried an awful lot of toys and tweaks in my quest for better bread. But Eric's (ehanner) claim that he doesn't see any benefit to using a baking stone and the recent post asking about La Cloche versus a Dutch oven got me thinking: Each new trick I've learned about has been added on top of all the other tricks I've adopted. It sounds like what happens with government programs - If the one we have isn't doing the job, we don't trash it or improve it. We just create a new one to run beside the old one. I call it "Planning by Acretion."

Sooooo ... I made a batch of Anis Bouabsa baguettes. I made them more highly hydrated than usual - about 80% hydration, rather than 75%. I used the same method of mixing and fermentation as usual. They proofed for 45 minutes. They were so slack, I didn't even try scoring them.

Now, here's the big difference: I did not use a baking stone. I did not humidify the oven. I baked on a heavy sheet with parchment, and I covered the loaves with a cheapo aluminum foil baking pan for 10 minutes at 500F, then baked at 480F for another 15 minutes.

Like this ...

Fully Proofed


Covered and ready to go in the oven

Baked and cooling

I'll add a crumb photo later.

Pretty nice results, I'd say. Certainly worth more trials with different breads.

On the other hand, there are other things that I would never want to make without my 7 quart Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot. For example, tonight's dinner.

Chicken & Dumplings



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