The Fresh Loaf

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zainaba22's picture

Becke from Colombus Foddie has unveiled the new theme for breadbakingday #02 - bread with fruit.

More information about how to participate, deadline etc. you'll find here.

1 cup white flour.

3\4 teaspoon baking powder.

1\4 teaspoon baking soda.

1\2 teaspoon ground cardamom.

3\4 cup dried dates.

1\3 cup hot water.

1\2 cup butter.

1\2 cup brown sugar.

1 teaspoon vanilla.

4 eggs.

1 teaspoon salt.

1 cup Chopped walnut.

1/2 cup fresh dates, chopped. (Optional)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a small bowel mix together:1\3 cup hot boiling water + 3\4 cup dried dates. (let it cool before use it).

3)In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together butter and sugars for 2 minutes.

Add eggs mixing well, Reduce speed to low and add dates mix, dry ingredients, vanilla, fresh dates and Chopped walnut; mix until well combined.

4) Pour the batter into the prepared (9 inch pan), and smooth the top. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with Arabic coffee.

ryan_d's picture

Being new to the baking world, I've been trying out different breads that caught me interest. The first one was made about two weeks ago with help from my girlfriend. Being a Philadelphia boy living in Atlanta, I've been missing pretzels. Watching Good Eats the other day was a new episode dedicated to pretzels so I figured why not.


Here's a picture after the baking soda soak. Watching this pretzel episode, Alton Brown shows how to use bowling baking soda instead of the lye bath to get nice color on them so this is the route I took.

This one I'm quite proud of. My girlfriend and I couldn't find pretzel salt anywhere and we didn't want to order it online because we wanted to cook that night. Our best idea, go to the mall and sweet talk the Auntie Anne's Pretzel girl for some. What we got was almost a full pound of the white stuff.


Lastly, a few shots of the final product. I didn't rotate them properly so the ones on the top rack got darker than the bottom, but they were all good.


The second bread was made last night and was my attempt at italian bread. It came out quite good but I'm still having a problem w/ a lot of my breads where the top is rock hard. I'm going to have to ask in the forums when I get a chance. Otherwise, this was quite tasty, especially for a midnight PB & J :)




Thegreenbaker's picture

SO, I havent made bread in a little while apart from my LSA mix bread that tasted great but never cook properly. I have been hankering for some good real bread.

So Monday evening I mixed together my preferment 1kg of flour in total, but a mixture of rye, wholemeal whole wheat, white unbleached wheat, semolina flour, gluten flour, salt, yeast, Rice bran oil.

I left it out all night until around 10am when I begn to make it into bread.

I added Wholemeal wheat flour, white unbleach flour, gluten flour and medium grind semolina into one bowl. I added half the preferment, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of yeast and 1 of salt. mixed and kneaded and left of an oiled tray covered with a wet teatowl to rise.

I then mixed another bowl with wholemeal wheat, white unbleached wheat, gluten flour, rye flour the rest of the preferment, oil and buttermilk, salt and yeast. Mixed and kneaded this also and put aside to rise as I did for the other dough.

I left them for 3 1/2 hours. Came back, folded and left for another 2 hours.

Came back and divided and shaped the semolina dough which I came to call the Pugliese (even though a Pugliese doesnt contain rye or is my version of it now ;))

I loosely chaped it into 3 rustic loaves and 2 rolls. the rustic loaves I tried to shape into ciabatta loaf shapes and one I made my first Fendu. Turned out nicely :)

The rye I left for a third rise as I just didnt have time to shape it, so I folded it and left it covered for another 90 mins.

It became a big sandwich loaf and 5 rolls.

It all came out so well, and I am so happy with myself! What lovely bread!


The Fendu isnt in the picture because we had already eaten it!!! 




xabanga's picture

I've been craving chocolate lately so I made these on a whim:

Here is the recipe link.

weavershouse's picture


Thanks Bill for the great recipe. These were fun to make and I'll certainly make them often. I made them 3 oz. each so ended up with 12 or 13 rolls for each batch. I made sandwichs with the first tomato from the garden and our lettuce too. I didn't have time to take a better picture because my husband was standing there begging for his second sandwich. He said I take more pictures of my breads than of my grandchildren:D.



Anyway, I have to improve my shaping some but otherwise these are sooo good and easy to make.



By the way, what does 30g of olive oil come to in tablespoons? 

Thegreenbaker's picture

I decided to make a quick loaf of bread yesterday. As I was mixing the half white half wholemeal flours I thought to myself "What could give this extra flavour?" I then remembered that I had just purchased some LSA mix (linsees, sunflower seed and almond all ground up) and threw in 70 grams of it.

Once hydrated the dough was sticky and I had to keep adding flour to get it to not stick to my hands.

It rose nicely, but not as high as my normal daily bread and the oven spring wasnt as good as I normally get it either.

I baked it for 45 mins at  190 degrees celcius. I took it out of the oven and let it cool for a good 15 mins then broke it open and it was so moist and doughy I was shocked, so I put it back in the oven and baked it for another 15-20 mins.

The crust was nearly burned but it was still moist.

I think it was the LSA mix.  Linseed has a quality to it that makes it a good binding agent. It gets gelatinous and gooey and is used as an egg replacer. I once added them to some muffins (whole not ground) and soaked them first to make them easier to chew and the water became gelatinous and was absorbed by whatever the coating is around the seed to make the whole lot quite icky looking, lind of like fross eggs.  (I know! Sorry about the mental picture!)

So I am pretty sure it was the ground Linseed but am now worried about the state of the oven. :S


Although the bread was doughy, it was actually cooked....just very very moist, and it tasted wonderful........SUCH a pity about the effect the linseed has! (flax seed) 





Floydm's picture

I'm having a good, relaxing weekend here. I hope y'all are doing well too.

Inspired by LilDice's quick rustic pizza, I made pizza last night. I didn't follow the rustic pizza recipe exactly, but I did use a dough with around 90% hydration. I made it around noon and folded at 2 and 4, then baked it around 6.

The results were really good. I did one pesto pie:

green pizza

And one with tomatoes, cheese, basil, olive oil, and garlic. Lildice: how can you forget the garlic?!? ;^)

red pizza

a whole pizza pie



Real nice open crust. Much more sturdy that the neo-Neopolitan dough I usually use and which required the nose to be folded up, NY pizza style. I'm not sure I prefer one over the other, they are just different kinds of pies.

Blueberries are here. I made blueberry muffins this morning. And a batch of banana nut muffins too, while I was at it.


I've still got another day to bake. Methinks my sourdough starter is feeling left out, so I'll have to do something to entertain it.

jr.wraith's picture

I chose this bread because I wanted to try sourdough for my second bread to bring me to the next level. I also wanted the raisins for a little pizazz to the taste. I think this one came out great. I'm glad that my dad helped me. It would never be such a success without him there. The looks beautiful. Hope you like it.

Sourdough Raisin Bread Crust

Sourdough Raisin Bread Before Baking

Sourdough Raisin Bread Inside


  • 40 g Sourdough Starter
  • 229 g Water
  • 103 g of water for soaking raisins
  • 150 g Golden Raisins
  • 10 g malt syrup
  • 9 g Salt
  • 100 g Whole Wheat
  • 25 g rye blend
  • 355 g Ka organic Ap

Mix all ingredients in a big plastic bowl. Use a dough scraper and work in circles toward the middle all the way around 5 times. At 11:50am My dad said to let it rest for 1 hour.

At 1:00pm I finished kneading the dough using the french fold technique for a few times. It turned soft and not so sticky, and I made it round and put it in the special plastic rising bucket. It was up to 1 qt.

At 2:00pm I folded it. At 3:00pm I folded it. At 4:30 my dad folded it because I was gone acting in a play. I'm the cowardly lion in the wizard of oz.

At 8:30pm it was up to 2qt. I made a round loaf. I pulled up all the edges to the middle like a bag and squeezed it. I turned it over and squeezed it in all around the sides. I turned it over into a bowl (my dad put the couche in the bowl) with special couche cloth in it. I put flour in it and rubbed it everywhere all over the couche.

We put the whole loaf and a bowl of hot water in the microwave oven.

I fell asleep! My dad baked the loaf at 11:00pm, but he wrote in my notes. The temperature was 425 for the first 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the temperature was dropped to 400. It was done at 11:30pm.

We cut it today and had some. It was delicious bread!


bwraith's picture

Many thanks to Susanfnp for posting a great sourdough bagel recipe based on Nancy Silverton's bagel recipe. She also provided a number of key tips as I made these. I posted photos of the first time I did these, and now I have some photos of my second attempt, as well as a spreadsheet with more details such as bakers percentages and preferment percentages.

Sourdough Bagel Recipe (revisited version)


  • 335 grams (12 oz) 90% hydration white flour starter
  • 20 grams (0.6 oz) sugar
  • 12 grams (0.4 oz) malt syrup
  • 14 grams (0.6 oz) salt (I made salt bagels, so the salt in the dough is reduced to avoid too much salty flavor. Use 17 grams salt normally)
  • 2.8 grams (0.1 oz) instant yeast
  • 359 grams (12.5 oz) water
  • 186 grams (6.5 oz) first clear flour (I used KA First Clear Flour. Substitute a high ash or whole grain flour - maybe rye, whole wheat, Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo, or just use white flour)
  • 587 grams (20.5 oz) high gluten flour (I used KA Sir Lancelot High Gluten Flour. Substitute bread flour or other high protein white flour.) This time I corrected an error in the previous version and made the hydration lower, probably around 56%, which unexpectedly made the bagel dough stiff enough that it was a bit more difficult to shape the bagels. However, I used Susanfnp's suggestion to spray the surface of each 3 oz piece with a fine mist before shaping. This makes a world of difference.

Mix Dough - Day Before Baking

I had to mix and knead these by hand, since I have no mixer in this house. While reading the Nancy Silverton recipe, the idea seems to be to get a very stiff dough. I mixed all the dry ingredients in one bowl. I mixed the water, levain, and malt syrup in another bowl and then poured the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a dough scraper I worked around the bowl a few times to get the ingredients initially mixed. I then vigorously kneaded the dough, using a traditional squeeze and fold kneading technique. This was not so easy with the stiff dough, but after about 5 minutes, the dough started to become elastic and fairly smooth, even if very stiff. After a few more minutes, the dough seemed fairly similar to what I had with the mixer in my first attempt at this recipe, documented in a previous blog entry. Since the dough is so dry, there is no need for dusting the counter with flour. In fact, you should avoid any extra flour, as the dusting can interfere with the smooth sheen of a proper bagel.


Divide the dough into about 18 3 ounce pieces. Since the dough is so dry, it may develop a dry skin fairly quickly, so proceed smartly to the shaping stage. Don't dilly dally at this point, as the dough pieces will become too puffy quickly if they are allowed to sit at room temperature for very long. However, the pieces need to rest a short time, maybe 5 to 10 minutes, so that the gluten will be relaxed enough to shape the bagels.

I was more experienced and faster at shaping this time. The first batch of nine was placed on a jelly roll sheet, and immediately refrigerated. I discovered the next day that the first batch needed to rest on the counter for about 1/2 hour to ferment enough to come to the surface while boiling. The second batch, which had risen a while longer, was ready for boiling immediately out of the refrigerator the next morning.

If you have a fine mist spray (I have an atomizer meant for olive oil that I use for water), you can make shaping easier and avoid the dry skin, particularly on the pieces you shape last, by spraying a tiny amount of water on the pieces before you shape them.

To form the bagels, roll out an 8 inch rope shape with your palms. If the dough is too stiff or you make a mistake and want to start over, let that piece rest a few more minutes, and move to the next piece. Take the 8 inch rope and hold it between your palm and your thumb. Wrap the rope around your hand and bring the other end together with the end you are holding between your palm and thumb. You now have a "rope bracelet" wrapped around your hand. Rub the seams together on the counter to seal them, then take off the bracelet, which should look a lot like a bagel, hopefully. Stretch it out so you have a large 2.5 inch hole. It looks big, but it will shrink or even disappear as the dough rises during boiling and baking. The hole needs to be big looking compared to a normal bagel.

Place the bagels on parchment dusted with semolina flour on a sheet.

This time I used coarse corn meal, as I had no semolina available. This worked fine and seemed to make no difference to my results.

Cover with saran or foil or place the whole sheet in an extra large food storage bag (XL Ziploc is what I'm thinking here). The idea is to lock in moisture to avoid any dry skin forming yet allow room for some slight expansion as they puff up. Place the sheets in the refrigerator to retard overnight.


Bring 5 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a good sized stock pot to a boil. Place a bagel in the pot and make sure it floats to the top. If so, you can do 4-6 bagels at one time. They should only be in the water for about 20 seconds. Push them under periodically with a wooden spoon, so the tops are submerged for a few seconds. In my case, I never managed to get the bagels out before about 30 seconds were up, but they came out fine. If the test bagel won't float, lift it out with a slotted spoon, and gently place on a rack to dry and allow the bagels you have removed from the refrigerator (I did 6 of them at a time) to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes and try again.

In fact, the batch I had shaped first the night before did sink to the bottom when I tested one. So, I left the first batch out for about 1/2 hour before it was ready. I then put them back in the refrigerator, since the baking and boiling process for the other batch was extending beyond 1/2 hour. I could tell the first batch was beginning to be ready, since I could detect a very slight puffiness in them after 1/2 hour.

The first batch floated immediately out of the refrigerator, probably because my second batch were formed and shaped after a rest of about 20 minutes while I was working on the first nine the previous night. Except for letting the first batch rise on the counter for 1/2 hour, I kept the bagels waiting to be boiled in the refrigerator to avoid any excessive rising. If you let them rise very much, they will puff excessively and become more like a bun than a bagel.

Dip in Seeds

Make plates of seed beds. I made three seed beds. One was 2 parts caraway seed, 1 part anise seed, and a pinch of salt. Another was 2 parts dill seed, 1 part fennel seed, and a pinch of salt. The last was poppy seed and a pinch of salt. I also made salt bagels, but those were done by just sprinkling a little kosher salt on some of them with my fingers.

Right after the bagels are removed from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, place them on a rack to cool for a few seconds. After they have cooled of slightly and dried enough not to ruin the seed bed with too much wetness, pick one up and place it round side down (the tops down), and gently press them into the seed bed. Pick them up and place them right side up on a sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted lightly with semolina flour or coarse corn meal.

This time I made only salt bagels. It wasn't convenient to get seeds, and my kids and I both love the salt bagels anyway. I just sprinkled a very, very light layer of kosher salt on them with my fingers while they were sitting on a rack just after they were boiled. The salt sticks to the wet surface, so you don't need to do anything but just sprinkle the salt on them. Careful, you can definitely put too much salt on them, even if you use a somewhat smaller amount of salt in the dough, as I did in this case.


Preheat the oven to about 400F. No preheat may work, but I'm not sure. It seems easy, from my limited experience, for them to rise too much. The result will be an open bread-like crumb, instead of the very chewy, more dense crumb expected in a bagel. So, I didn't risk a no-preheat strategy in this case.

If you have a stone, you can transfer the parchment paper on a peel to the stone and bake directly on the stone. I baked them for about 20 minutes at 400F. You can also bake them on the sheet.


Allow the bagels to cool.


The bagels were chewy and delicious, as they were last time. However, I think the lower hydration was a definite improvement. I succeeded in getting a stiffer, drier dough this time. They had less tendency to rise excessively, even though I let them sit on the counter a little longer than last time. The resulting crumb was a little more dense and seemed just like the real thing this time. Last time, the slightly higher hydration gave me a slightly more open crumb, which seemed just a hair too soft and open like ordinary bread. This time, the crumb was dense and chewy and just right for a bagel.

Abigail's picture

Hallo Paula,

Here in Australia we have two magazines Earth Garden and Grass Roots which sometimes have recipes for bread making ( among other topics for folk trying to be more self sufficient) and how to "make do". Perhaps in USA there is a similar magazine or web site that wil help you with your query.

Best wishes, Abigail


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