The Fresh Loaf

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holds99's picture

Yesterday I made Rose Levy's Cinnamon Raisin Loaf from her Bread Bible.  It's an enriched dough, using a sponge and lots of butter (no eggs, except one beaten as a wash for the interior of the rolled dough.  It gets rolled out, an egg wash applied, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and rolled into a loaf.  It's somewhat labor intensive but the recipe produces a really good bread.  However, there's a mistake in her recipe, which if you have Bread Bible, you should note.  On page 261 - "Flour Mixture and Dough", she lists the ingredients: flour, dry milk, instant yeast, unsalted butter, and salt.  In Step 2 she tells you "Combine the ingredients for the flour mixture and add to the sponge."  She fails to tell you to reserve the salt until after the flour, which you cover the sponge with, has bubbled through and you have mixed the butter into the dough.  She later tells you (Page 262, Step 3), after adding the butter and mixing it into the dough, then add the salt.  So, make a note on page 261 to hold the salt out of the Flour Mixture until Step 3: "Mix The Dough".

Anyway, for the "scoring artists" out there, the crust/exterior "look" of this bread is unexciting, but it's great tasting bread.  I mixed it by hand, as I have been doing each time I make a new recipe lately, and I'm going to do it again later.  My "unprofessional" opinion is she over handles the dough a bit.  After 1 hour in the fridge the dough gets divided, rolled out, egg washed sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, rolled up and put into baking pans.  At this point (make a note in your book) the dough needs about 2- 2 1/2 hours at room temp to allow the butter to soften sufficiently so that cold butter (in the center, doesn't inhibit the oven spring/rise).  So, I'm going to try making some changes to the mixing technique and final proof it longer next time and see how it works out.

Instead of using only raisins (per the recipe) I used a mixture of half golden raisins and half dried cranberries and that worked out nicely for both color and taste. 

 Cinnamon Raisin Loaf No. 1

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cinnamon Raisin Loaf: Cinnamon Raisin Loaf No. 1 

 Cinnamon Raisin Bread No. 2

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cinnamon Raisin Loaf: Cinnamon Raisin Bread No. 2

shimpiphany's picture

with the help of my dad and sister, i finished the insulation layer on the oven. the only thing left to do now is a plaster layer - which won't affect the performance. that means baking can begin as soon as this layer is dry enough.

before we applied the final layer, though, i ran a cook of four pizzas.

we gobbled the pizzas after they came out, so this is the only "cooking" photo.  i used parchment paper because i don't have all the oven tools yet, and couldn't clean out the ash.  my sister is fabricating most of them for me (she is an artist and metalsmith), so i should have all i need soon, well under my $200 budget:

a few days later we put on the insulation layer, a 5 inch thick layer of mud, sand and straw.

here we are mixing:

here's the final layer. we were all covered in mud with no one to take pics of the process, so i only have a photo of the end result:

i'm going to build the door this week, and with the weather as hot as it has been, it should be ready to bake by friday.

wish me luck, and thanks for all your support.

ejm's picture

Who needs English Muffins when serving eggs with Hollandaise sauce!?

eggs fauxrentine

Instead of toasting English muffins, we toasted our multigrain bread, made with seeds, corn, rolled oats, oat groats, oat bran, buckwheat, rye and wheat flours to make Eggs Fauxrentine (ouuchh! sorry about that!)

On the day that we decided to have this extravaganza of eggs with Hollandaise, I was hoping to make Eggs Florentine. But we didn't have any spinach, so I decided to try using radish greens instead.

WHAT a brilliant idea!

So was the multigrain bread toasted for the base. And the bacon. And the chopped chives from the garden. And the radishes on the side.

You've got to try this combination and make "Eggs Fauxrentine"! (Hard boiled eggs* with bacon, radish greens and hollandaise garnished with fresh chives and radish roots).

* Instead of hard-boiling the eggs, you can gently poach them so the yolks are still soft. (Brrrr. Personally, I can't think of a more disgusting way to start the day, but there it is.)

Did I mention how great this is? The multigrain bread was particularly good as the base. Its nutty flavour is the perfect complement to the Hollandaise - especially this particular Hollandaise that had a little more lemon than some.

Yes, you really must try this!

Just a word of caution, make sure that the radish greens are young and tender rather than large and furry. A couple of days ago, I added some radish greens from a more mature bunch of radishes to a sandwich and it was just a little too much like having a bit of wool in the sandwich....

eggs fauxrentine


Please read more about radish greens:

Oh yes, and here are our recipes for:


This is a "YeastSpotting" post. For details on how to be included in Susan's (Wild Yeast) weekly YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:


edit: added apology for the rather horrible name for this truly delicious dish...
boredhumor's picture

I read something on this site about getting a free starter, the "Carl" one. I googled it and sent away for it and got it about 2 weeks ago. After reconstituting Carl and proofing both Carl and my starter, I made sourdough bread from a recipe that I found on their online brochure, the San Fransisco Sourdough Bread recipe that they said comes from Bread Alone or something like that. It took a LOT of work and time (and made a watery mess on the floor when I poured the water in the oven), but the four loaves that came out were the most beautiful, perfect, delicious sourdough loaves I have ever seen! (not really, but they were awesome to me). I couldn't really tell a difference in the two breads.

Yesterday I made french baguettes, but they turned out soft. I had to leave at the very end of baking, and left the egg-white-washing and oven-water-pouring to my dad, so he may have done something wrong. I also made honey-whole wheat bread, and undercooked them.:( I was disappointed. I'm not very good at telling whether bread is done, especially from loaf pans. They still taste good, though.

Today I want to make more sourdough stuff (I proofed it yesterday), maybe sourdough pancakes or something?

dmsnyder's picture

Light Rye & pumpernickel

Light Rye & pumpernickel

Silesian Light Rye from Leader's "Local Breads"

Silesian Light Rye from Leader's "Local Breads" 

Silesian Light Rye crumb

Silesian Light Rye crumb 

Pumpernickel crumb

Pumpernickel crumb 

The Silesian Light Rye from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" is even lighter than the usual "Jewish Sour Rye." It is a lovely bread that my wife and I always enjoy fresh or toasted.

 Leader's recipe calls for free form loaves, but I've usually made it in brotformen. I recently bought a couple of oval brotformen from SFBI, and this was their maiden voyage. The dough was quite extensible. It was hard to form the loaves short enough for the brotform, so they ended up sort of brot-deformed. 

Also, Leader calls for caraway seeds as an optional coating, but I like them in the bread, so I added them for the final minute of mixing.

Greenstein's pumpernickel is another favorite of mine. It is made with rye sour, pumpernickel flour, first clear flour and altus (stale rye bread, soaked in water, then wrung out and added to the dough). I use granular caramel coloring, which not only makes the color "black" but adds a bitter flavor without which this bread just doesn't taste "right" to me. This is a bread that makes good sandwiches, but my favorite way to eat it is spread with cream cheese , untoasted, as an accompaniment to scrambled eggs. That's my breakfast for tomorrow morning.

Dough for Nury's rye is retarding to bake tomorrow. I'm thinking of cutting some of the dough into squares to bake as rolls (hamburger buns?). I may set up another bread or two, if time allows.

Hey! I haven't baked for the past two weeks. I was getting kind of twitchy. I feel so much better now. :-)


jonesy's picture

How can I get into the forum conversation, without creating a new subject. I live in Devon, south west on the UK. Just recently found your site, because I have only recently started to bake. Hello everyone.

foolishpoolish's picture


ehanner's picture

I have been baking for about 2 years now. A check of my history shows that I have been on the road to enlightenment for 1 year and 23 weeks at TFL. I started with the BBA by Peter Reinhart and then his Whole Grain Breads. A few other books have caught my interest along the way and I noticed that Hamelman's "Bread" always got high marks but some thought he was really talking to the pro audience. I started to notice that many of the breads I liked had references to Jeffrey Hamelman so I thought I would take the plunge and see if I could keep up.

To my delight, I spent the afternoon browsing my new copy of Bread. This is a wonderful book. The recipes are easy to understand and well described. Yes there are larger volume recipes for a commercial bakery but in every case there is a 10% Home version for my uses. Every technique I have been curious about, every style of bread common in this part of the Artisan world is covered with clarity and detail. Many have options for enhancing the flavors or adding ingredients to change the personality.

I have already been baking some of these recipes so I know they work, not that that would be a serious question. I'm going to enjoy trying some of the more unusual breads in this collection and learning the special techniques.

We at TFL are generous with sharing our recipes and methods and that's a good thing. Being able to pick up this book and understand the author from the first page is saying something. Mr. Hamelman is an effective communicator. This is a well written book and I highly recommend anyone who desires to understand baking and the methods involved, purchase a copy or try to get your local library to get it for you. The Amazon link from the front page here will take you to a link where TFL will get credit for the sale.

I'll be posting the results of my experiments here.



ehanner's picture

Recently I have been trying to find breads that deliver great flavor with a nutty after taste and also look good. After I found Mark Sinclair's Back Home Bakery recipe for Multi Grain bread I have come to appreciate his experience and sense for selecting grains and methods. I have made 5 or 6 batches of the Multi Grain and it is just so full of flavor I can't get over it.

I thought I would give his Rustic White Bread a try since he had recently changed the formula to include a Biga or sponge and it's a simple recipe that only requires starting the process the evening before. The link to the new recipe is here "Mark's Rustic White"

The recipe calls for a rye sour starter which I have going most of the time. I just started feeding my white 100% starter with Rye whole flour and in a day or 2 it was very active. The recipe calls for 15 grams of starter and if you don't want to convert or don't have a starter at the moment you can use 15 grams or whole rye and 1/4th tsp of yeast instead.

After about 10 hours the biga is active and has doubled at least and I think any time after that you can mix the dough. Mark has you add 50 grams of Whole Wheat in the final dough which is one of the things that helps with the flavor. It seems like a small amount but believe me this is a very good white bread.

One thing I did change the second time I made this bread was to reduce the amount of salt slightly. He calls for 25 grams in 1050 G of flour which I could taste. It wasn't salty enough that any one else has tasted it however so maybe it's just me. I lowered the salt to 2% or 21g, it's a little thing.

The dough is soft and not quite ciabatta like so you need to use flour on the counter when you do the folds and move quickly. The 2 in the picture below are 1.5 and 1 pound (on the right) which I didn't get the end tucked in.  It does seal up well when I put the bottom side up in the banneton for proofing. The crumb is slightly ope, just enough that it's a great sandwich loaf also if you use a pan to bake in.

This is a simple white bread that has a complex and delicious flavor. The biga is a natural yeast so you do get a hint of mild sourdough taste.  I retarded a loaf in the banneton overnight and got a slightly more sour flavor which was nice.

I think this would be a good base for all sorts of things. Savory or raisin come to mind. This will be my "Daily Bread" for a while. It's easy and surprisingly full of after taste flavor.  

Mark's Rustic WhiteMark's Rustic White

R.C. Hiersch's picture
R.C. Hiersch

Dear Floyd,

Thanks for the marvelous website!  Thanks for the recipes, too!   

 There is a detail missing from the Struan bread Recipe, that Peter insisted upon - Egg wash:

We used one egg to about eight ounces of water, in a 12 ounce glass, stirred with a fork, then poured into the plastic reservoir of the paint sprayer we used for that.  Sometimes, for a small batch of a bread, we'd just brush it on, but usually it was sprayed.

A home baker could brush it on.  We used to spray it on with a "buzzer" plug in paint sprayer, at the low table by the bench, before loading the loaves in the shelves on the 175 loaf rolling "train" rack, to go into the proof box.

We didn't use undiluted egg, because it was too thick, and congealed at the edges, giving "scrambled eggs in the pan", as Karen D. would say.

 The reason for Egg, instead of water, was first for retaining more of the seeds, that would otherwise just fall off, next for flavor, and lastly, for the browning of the top.

Many did not agree with it, because of the inevitable mess from overspray, but Peter insisted, and that's how we baked it - from 1990 to 1993, when I was there, from apprentice, bagging, through Slicing, to  Mixer, to Plant Manager, after eight months with that Struan, Cajun Three Pepper, Wild Rice and Onion, Buttermilk Bread, and so on, including the Pullman Loaves.

I remember "MO", the huge ex-Navy slicing machine we used to use, until we shipped it back to PA, and the adjustment period with the new slicer, and the two small belt driven slicers that we often used when everything else failed, and who could forget Brother Juniper's Breadbox!

I remember you were a dependable island of sanity, and  appreciated for your stability and drive, which calmed the atmosphere a great deal. 




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