The Fresh Loaf

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caryn's picture

Since I have shared some successes on this site, I thought I would share a not so good outcome.  Today I was baking sourdough loaves for out-of-town visitors to take back to their home in Madison Wisconsin tomorrow.  I decided to make them two loaves of BBA sourdough with pecans and some whole wheat and rye flours.  So I scaled up my recipe to make 3 loaves, so I could taste the result before I gave the loaves to them.  I baked the first two, since I don't have room to bake three at once, thinking that if the third one was a bit over-risen because of the extra wait for the oven, I would not care, since my husband and I would keep that one.

Well, what happened is I was taking that first batch of two out of the oven  and....the first loaf went flying off of the rack onto the floor!!!!!  Naturally it was the better looking of the two!  (I am usually pleased with the flavor of the breads that I make, but the shaping could use some improvement.)

Thank goodness the loaf that I baked by itself came out without mishap.  So I will send our friends off with the loaves that made it out of the oven properly, and my husband and I will abide by the "5 second rule."  I am sure it will be fine for us to eat, but not to give away.  It looked only a bit worse for wear, having some cracks in the crust from the mishap!

BBA Sourdough With Pecans- 5 Second Rule!BBA Sourdough With Pecans- 5 Second Rule!

The other loaves that I am giving awayThe other loaves that I am giving away

holds99's picture

 Mexican Bolillos - Oval Rolls

Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls - Exterior

 Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls - Interior

Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls No. 2 - Interior

I was rummaging through some of my baking books, looking for something new to bake, and found this recipe for Bolillos (Mexican oval rolls), and decided to give them a try.  They're close to the ones I remember from traveling in Mexico.  I made the dough a little bit wetter than the recipe called for, trying to get a better interior.  They're slightly sweet as a result of a small amount of honey in the dough and are very good at breakfast... and the dough makes really good hamburger and hot dog rolls.  Of course, the Mexicans would probably want to "shoot the Gringo" if they heard me say that.  Anyway, I really enjoyed the baked goods in Mexico.  They make great rolls and fairly simple but terrific pastries and in the smaller towns the bakeries (and bakers) are quite good.  We think of tortillas as being the staple of Mexico, and they are, but they also make some very good bread, rolls and pastries down there.

These Bolillos were made using the direct method with yeast, no pre-ferment.  Although I did stretch and fold the dough as opposed to punching it down (as the recipe suggested), which, I think, gave me a better interior.  They have a small amount of oil in the dough which makes them slightly softer than French style rolls and, of course, a little sweeter as a result of the honey.  Since I sort of winged it with these, if anyone else out there has made Bolillos I would really appreciate hearing about your recipe, how you made them and how they turned out.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Spring has sprung and so has the Allium ursinum or Bear garlic, known in my woods as Bärlauch.



I have two containers of freshly plucked leaves gathered from the forest floor (before the storm hit us) and don't quite know where to start.....

dmsnyder's picture

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese Pockets cooling

Cheese Pockets cooling

When I was growing up, there was a Jewish bakery in town. It was quite excellent, and it really set my standard for Jewish breads and pastries. My favorite pastry was what they called "cheese pockets." I have found these in Jewish bakeries in L.A., and, in searching for recipes on the web, I found one on an Israeli food blog.  There, it is identified as Hungarian in origin. In Hungarian, they are called "Turos Taska." It turns out there is a similar Czech pastry, but all the links I could find were in Czech, which I don't read. I made the recipe I'd found a few months ago. I liked the filling, but the pastry just wasn't right.

 So, I described my memory of cheese pockets and asked our resident "Baker for over 25 years-----Ret," Norm (nbicomputers) if he had a formula that might resemble what I remembered. He generously responded in

Today, I undertook to make cheese pockets. I used Norm's formula for the dough and his procedure. I made a few substitutions because of the ingredients I had on hand with less than satisfactory results. To my good fortune, Norm was there for me, offering fixes and very gently explaining where I had gone wrong and exactly why. I highly recommend reading that topic to anyone who is still learning to bake better, which is, hopefully, everybody on this site! You can find a running account of my struggles and errors and how Norm bailed me out at

Here is the formula and procedures:

 Cheese Pockets

Coffee Cake Dough (Formula thanks to Norm)
Sugar                                     4 oz (1/2 cup)
Sea Salt                                  1/4 oz (1 1/2 tsp, or table salt 1 tsp)
Milk Powder (skim)                   1 oz (3 T)
Butter or Shortening                  4 oz (8 T or 1/2 cup)
Egg yolk                                  1 oz (1 large egg's yolk)
Large eggs                              3 oz (2 eggs)
Yeast (fresh)                            1 1/4 oz (or 3 3/4 tsp instant yeast = 0.4 oz)
Water                                      8 oz (1 cup)
Vanilla                                     1/4 oz (2/3 tsp)
Cardamom                               1/16 oz (1/2 tsp)
Cake Flour                               4 oz (7/8 cup)
Bread Flour                              13 oz (2 3/4 cups)

Other flavors can be added such as lemon or orange rind grated

Note: Using other size eggs or other flours will result in substantial changes in the dough consistency require adjustments in flour or water amounts.

Cheese Filling
Hoop cheese or Farmer's cheese 12 oz
Sour Cream                              1/4 cup
Sugar                                       2 T
Flour                                        2 T
Egg                                          1 large
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours.

Egg Wash
Beat 1 egg with 1 T water

Streusel Topping
Sugar (all white, or part brown) 2 oz (4 T)
Butter                                    2 oz (4 T)
All purpose flour                     4 oz
Cinnamon                              1/2 tsp. 

1. Cream the sugar and butter.
2. Add the flour and mix with your fingers, rubbing the ingredients to a coarse crumb. (This can also be done entirely in a food processor.)

Mixing and Fermenting the Dough
1. Mix the sugar, butter or shortening, salt and milk powder to a paste.
2. Add the eggsbeaten with the vanilla and cardamom and stir.
3. If using powdered yeast, mix it with part of the water. If using cake yeast, crumble it in with the flour.
4. Add the water (the part without the yeast, if using powdered yeast, otherwise all of it),  cardamom and vanilla.
5. Add the flour. (If using powdered yeast, add the yeast-water now. If using cake yeast, crumble it on top of the flour now.)
6. Mix well into a smooth, soft dough. (10 minutes in a KitchenAid using the paddle.) The dough should form a ball on the paddle and clean the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the dough and let it rise to double size. (2 1/2-3 hours at 60F.)
8. Punch down the dough, and allow it to rest 10-20 minutes.

Making up the Pastries
1. Divide the dough into 2.25 oz pieces and roll each into a ball. (My dough made 18 pieces weighing 2.35 oz each.)
2. Place dough pieces on a sheet pan or your bench. (I used a lightly floured marble slab.)
3. Stretch or roll out each piece into a square, 4 inches on a side.
4. Take each dough piece and press the middle with a round,  hard object such as the bottom of a small measuring cup to form a depression in the center.
5. Place about 1 T of cheese filling in the center of each piece.
6. Take each corner of the square pieces and fold 3/4 of the way to the center, pinching the adjacent edges of the folded dough together to seal the seams. (See Note)
7. Cover and allow to rise to 3/4 double. (30-40 minutes at 70F.) Do not overproof!
8.  Brush the top dough of each pastry with egg wash. Do not get egg wash on the exposed cheese filling.
9. Sprinkle streusel over each pastry.

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Bake pasties on parchment lined  sheet pan until golden brown. (25-35 minutes)
3. When pastries are cooled a little, sift confectioner's sugar over each, if desired.

Note: The pastries can be refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point. If refrigerated, allow them to rise at room temperature to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. If frozen, thaw at room temperature, allow to rise to 3/4 double, and proceed as above.


manuela's picture

Potato-rye flatbread with onions


my entry for bbd #7 hosted this time by Cascabel of Chili und Ciabatta and initiated by Zorra. Cascabel proposed a great theme: flatbreads.


2 cups (275 g) (Yukon Gold) potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tbsp (18 g) kosher salt

2 tbsp (15 g) yellow cornmeal (whole grain, stone ground)

1 cup (102 g) dark rye flour

3 cups (400 g) bread flour (King Arthur brand) or as needed

1/2 tbsp (6 g) sugar

1 tsp (4 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water

2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter


1 onion, sliced paper-thin

1-2 tbsp (15-30 g) butter

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Strain and reserve cooking water. Mash the potatoes and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. Measure 1-1/2 cups of the potato water (add extra water if necessary to have 1-1/2 cups) place in a saucepan and mix with the salt and cornmeal. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat and add the butter, stirring until it is melted. Pour the mixture on the mashed potatoes and mix briefly. Let cool.

Once the potato mixture is cold, add the flours and then the yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water. Knead until the dough develops, about 7 minutes at low speed. The dough will be tacky, if too sticky and wet you may need to add a little more bread flour. Don’t add too much, the dough should be tacky because of the rye and potatoes.

Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise—preferably overnight in a cool place. The refrigerator might be fine, but a room with a temperature of 50°F (10°C ), such as a basement, is best.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), place a rack in the middle slot.

Once the dough is fermented, take it out of the bowl and delicately, without kneading it, stretch it and flatten it with the palms of your hands to form a thin rectangle. Place it in a buttered jellyroll pan (11 x 16 x 0.5-inch—28 x 40.5 x 1.27 cm), spread on the surface the onion slices and dot with butter here and there. zwiebelplatz-1.jpg (click on picture to enlarge).

Immediately bake the bread for about 20-25 minutes. zwiebelplatz-2.jpg (click on picture to enlarge)

Notes: it is important that the potatoes are mashed while still hot and mixed with the flours when cold. Warm potatoes make the dough gooey and tend to absorb lots of flour, ruining the final result.

Mashing the potatoes with a fork so that small pieces remain whole is better than using a potato ricer—the potato bits are tasty to find in the finished bread.



From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: “The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According To The Jewish Dietary Laws With The Rules For Kashering: The Favorite Recipes Of America, Austria, Germany, Russia, …”,1919—USA


ida's picture

I foolishly jumped on an auction on ebay.  Just a few minutes until a real brotform's listing would expire, so in a fervor, I bought the thing for ten bucks.


When the beauty arrived, it was about three times the size of a normal brotform.  It's 15 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and covered with shellac.


My fellow bakers don't think it is a brotform.  It was suggested that it might be a fuit basket.  I suggest it's an antique, from the cook's hall in the French Foreign Legion.  But in honesty, I don't have a clue whether it is an old brotform or something else entirely.

rainbowbrown's picture

Barbari (Iranian Flat Bread)



Bread Baking Day 7 with the theme flatbreads hosted by Petra Chili und Ciabatta . Deadline: March 1st, 2008

bbd7<--- Go on, its a link...


So here is my first entry into bread baking day. The theme is flatbreads and I made this Iranian flatbread, Barbari. This is one of the national breads of Iran. This recipe came from the “Jewish-Iraqi health nut/dietitian”, Clemence Horesh and is from Maggie Glezer’s A Blessing of Bread. I made a few modifications and it turned out great. I halved the recipe so as to only make one loaf rather than two and you’ll see my other modifications as indicated by asterisks (*). I’ll post the halved recipe. Here goes:


375 g bread flour (* I used 300 g bread flour and 75 g spelt flour)

1 tsp instant yeast

252 g warm water (*I used oatstraw tea that I had just brewed instead, I highly recommend trying herbal teas in lieu of water. This was my first time and I liked it)

7 g salt

4 g sugar

28 g vegetable or olive oil (*I used a mixture of olive oil and toasted sesame seed oil)

1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Sesame and poppy seeds for sprinkling (*I also used sunflower seeds)


Mixing the yeast slurry:

Combine 150 grams of the bread flour and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn on with paddle attachment in a low speed. Add the water and mix until smooth. Let this stand for about 20 minutes until it puffs up slightly.


Mixing the Dough:

Still using the paddle attachment beat on low and add the sugar, salt and oil. When the salt and sugar have dissolved switch to the dough hook. Add the remaining flour and mix for about 5 minutes. The dough will clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom just under the hook. The dough should feel very sticky, soft and wet.

Proofing the dough:

Form into a ball, place into an oiled bowl and cover. (At this point you can put it into the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just pull it out an hour before shaping.) Let it rise to double, about an hour and a half.



Lay out a piece of parchment paper either on a sheet pan or on your work surface and place the proofed dough on top. Gently flatten your dough to about an inch in thickness and stretch to about 9 by 17 inches. Brush the beaten egg onto the surface. Now take the back end of your wooden spoon and furrow long channels in the dough (I know, I should have photographed this). Take your spoon end and, at a 45 degree angle jab it into the dough until you hit the board below, then lightly drag it down a couple inches, then jab again and over and over from one end to the other. Do this in about four rows across the dough. Like this:







Yeah? Ok. This is to prevent the dough from puffing too much in the oven. Sprinkle the dough generously with seeds.



You have a preheated 550f oven right now right? Me neither, my oven only goes to 500f, but it worked. Place your dough either onto a baking stone or onto a preheated sheet pan. If you used a sheet pan to shape the dough initially, leave it (if your using a preheated one too, just stack them). If you just used parchment as I did, then just move it either with a peel or with careful hands and forearms as I did to the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The top will look a little pale, but the bottom should be browned.



Broil for a minute before serving.




jeffbellamy's picture

I got a comment asking what I meant by proofed Starter. What I mean is you take your sourdough starter out of the refrigerator and feed it and wait until it warms up and is frothy.


This assumes you have some starter and know what I'm talking about.


If you don't you can create your own starter but you should give yourself a couple of weeks to get it going.


You can buy sourdough starters online or you can get some free from Friends of Carl


I just pulled some yougurt bread out of the oven (see attached photo).


I really didn't measure anything, I just poured the largest part of my starter which I've had out (not in refrigerator) for about a week (feeding it 2-3 times a day). I just started adding flour to it until it came together and estimated about how much salt it would take (never forget the salt).


I stuck it out in the garage at about 50 degrees to retard (slow down the rising).


My starter was so exuberant at being out of the refrigerator and being fed reguarly that it just about tripled in volume in about eight hours so I folded it to reduce the volume and stuck it in the refrigerator until morning.


It was back up to the same volume so I turned it out and formed it on a floured board. I didn't want to wait while it got back to room temp (I was a little worried I'd over proofed it) so I stuck it in a cold cast Iron dutch oven and stuck it in a cold oven and baked at 350 degrees for a hour then checked on it.


As expected it had taken this opportunity to rise but had not started to brown at all so I set the oven for 450 degrees and gave it andother 30 minutes.

ohc5e's picture

Just made this bread for the first time with a mixture of KA bread flour and Sir Lancelot High gluten (I can't remember exactly but I think i used 1/4 of the total weight).  It turned out pretty well; I tried to shape them similarly to Zolablue but to no avail...

I used Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour.  It doesn't say anywhere on the package whether or not it is medium or whole rye flour.  It is pretty fine but it has flecks of bran mixed in. Next time I will track down some finer rye to see if it makes a difference in the crumb.  It was pretty open but not as much as I was hoping.  The dough was clearing the bottom of my Viking mixer after 10 minutes, maybe I will also add extra water to see if I can get the crumb more open.  The flavor reminded me a lot of Leader's Pain au Levain.  Seeing as how this bread is to be made over 3 days (from refreshing to baking), I will probably make the pain au levain more often in the future.  Ate it tonight with some French goat cheese...

Pierre Nury's Light Rye

Pierre Nury's Light Rye 

Pierre Nury Crumb

Pierre Nury Crumb 

dmsnyder's picture

Norm (nbicomputers) has generously posted his (scaled down) formula for Sour Rye Bread. I made this bread this morning.

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Loaf

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Loaf


Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Crumb

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Crumb


Here is Norm's formula with my annotations and the procedure I followed.  


  • Cake Yeast ...... 1/2 oz. (I used 1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast.)
  • Water ............. 8 oz
  • Salt ................ 1/4 oz (About 1 1/4 tsp.)
  • Sour (rye) ....... 8 oz (about 1 cup)
  • First clear flour  1 lb
  • Caraway seeds   1 T (not in Norm's formula)


  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached and mix at Speed 1 until all ingredients  are mixed in a ball. Scrape dough off the paddle into the bowl. Remove the paddle.
  • Knead the dough with the dough hook at Speed 2 until the gluten is well-developed. About 10 minutes. Scrape dough onto lightly floured board (I use a Silpat.) and hand knead very briefly. Form into a ball.
  • Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover. Let the dough rest 20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two equal parts. Form into long loaves or round loaves. Place the loaves onto parchment paper, placed on an inverted jelly roll pan and sprinkled with coarse corn meal then folded in the middle to form a "wall" between the loaves, so they do not touch when risen. (Essentially, a parchment couche.) Spray the loaves lightly with spray oil and cover them with plasti-crap.
  • Let the loaves rise until doubled in size (or 90% doubled). This took about 100 minutes at 69F.
  • An hour before baking, place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack. Heat the oven to 450F.
  • When loaves have doubled in size, pull the parchment out flat to separate the loaves by at least 3 inches, spray (or brush) them with water, score them with 3 slashes across the long axis of the loaves and slide them, still on the parchment, onto the pizza stone. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the skillet using a hot pad, keeping the oven door open as briefly as possible. Pour out the water and put the skillet where it won't burn anybody!
  • If the bread seems to be getting dark too fast, turn down the oven to 440F (I did this after about 10 minutes.)
  • Continue baking until the loaves are done. The crust is well browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. This was a total of about 25 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
  • While the loaves are cooling, brush them with cornstarch solution. (Whisk 4 tsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water. Pour this slowly into 1 cup of slowly boiling water, whisking constantly. When the solution is (precisely) somewhat thickened, take off the fire. It can be used while still hot. It can be kept for a few days refrigerated for later use.)

Review of the eating will follow, but I have to eat some first, tonight along with krupnik, a very traditional soup made with beef (tonight, with lamb shank), various beans, barley, lentils (and usually potatoes).   





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