The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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AnnieT's picture

I just ordered this book (along with Crust and Crumb) and wonder whether anyone has any comments or has tried any of the recipes? One of the many bed and breakfast owners on the island expressed interest in having me bake bread for her visitors and I figured she would want more breakfast type breads and rolls than plain old sourdough. I found the book in the library and like the sound of many of the breads - so of course I had to add it to my baking shelf. (Any excuse, right?) I would like to hear any comments, good or bad. I would also like to put in a plug for a book I re-read for the umpteenth time, This House of Sky by Ivan Doig, a really good read.

Floyd, I know this is a bit late but is there any way to help TFL to benefit from Amazon orders? A.

coffee1619's picture

It would be really great if all the recipes were not only in grams and ounces, but also in cups, teaspoons and tablespoons.  That way everyone would be able to use these great recipes. 

Bushturkey's picture

I made this bread with a white leaven, elaborated to a starter, which was pre-fermented for 12 hours.

The finished dough had 108% pre-ferment starter, 30% wholemeal Spelt flour, 70% white bread flour and 75% hydration.

The flour and water were left to autolyse in the fridge for 12 hours before the starter, salt and a cold soaker of quinoa (I didn't weigh it so I don't know the percentage) were added and mixed.

The kinky loaf resulted from my transferring it to the oven. My "peel" - a wooden chopping board- was too big to fit and flip over in the oven and the dough flopped off the tile.

Spelt & quinoa loaves

Spelt & quinoa loaves

 The crumb texture is OK, I think (?).

The loaves - a kinky one and a straight one!: The crumb texture is OK, I think (?).

ejm's picture

I made the following for Bread Baking Day (BBD) #08: Celebrate!

apricot roll and 5 strand braid

Because there was enough dough for two loaves, I decided to make one as a roll and braid the other one without filling it.

We really love this bread. And we really loved how much oven spring there was. Imagine how tall it would have been if I'd put the bread in tins to bake!

Next time I will use prunes for the filling, as Manuela suggests, rather than apricots. Apricots are nice but I think the flavour of the prunes will be better with the bread, not to mention, prettier in the roll. And I'll add less filling, and serve the extra in a little bowl on the side. I like the idea of the roll having just a hint of the fruit flavour.

apricot roll

We haven't tasted the braid yet but we know that it will be delicious as well. I may have to make some apricot or prune jam to go with it though.

Please note that I have not forgotten that today is 1 April. But I decided to refrain from playing tricks on the blog this year. I thought my time would be better spent posting for BBD#08 (let alone that I couldn't think of anything...).

dmsnyder's picture

Polish Cottage Rye

Polish Cottage Rye

Polish Cottage Rye - Crumb

Polish Cottage Rye - Crumb

Multigrain Sourdough

Multigrain Sourdough

Multigrain Sourdough - Crumb

Multigrain Sourdough - Crumb


Both of these are breads I've baked several times before and enjoy a lot. This weekend, I ran out of King Arthur bread flour and substituted Golden Buffalo flour in both breads. We had some of the Multigrain Sourdough for breakfast. As I came out for breakfast, my wife, who was just finishing hers, greeted me with, "That's amazing bread." 


hazimtug's picture

This past weekend I made French Bread I, using instant yeast and overnight retardation, following Reinhart's recipe in Crust and Crumb. I ended up with 3 loaves and baked them in our mud oven (traditional for Cyprus). I kneaded the dough as described in the book to disperse the ingredients, form the gluten and hydate/ferment. I should admit, when I performed the windowpane test, I had difficulty forming it. So, I continued kneading an extra 5 - 8 minutes... Then, without testing anymore, I scaled, benched and shaped, let the 3 loaves proof and retard in the refrigerator until the next day. I then took them out the next day, and had them continue proofing for about 2 hours, as they didn't look like they rose enough in just another. In any case, they all looked pretty proofed (doubled in size and soft, the spring was not great though...). As I put the first on the peel and scored it, the big puff just collapsed... I baked it. I didn't score the other ones, afraid that they would do the same. The resulting baked loaves tasted good (much better than bread available around here anyway!), had irregular holes with an airy structure, under a crackly blistery crust (not thick though)... Yet, the two I didn't score had this huge dome on top. What are your thoughts? Why the big dome? Is it because of underdeveloped or overdeveloped gluten, or overproofing before baking?

Looking forward to some tips... Thanks!


bnb's picture

I've attempted a cinnamon swirl bread with a little less than 1/2 the amount of yeast called for in the recipe here:

So, I thought I'd push the limit a little more. The hokkaido milky loaf was a recipe I was very interested in. The entire recipe calls for almost 2 pounds of ingredients with the flour contributed more 50% of the weight. I reduced the yeast to a scant 1/3 of the amount called for in the recipe, so probably around 2.5 to 3 oz

I consulted members here about the unusual pan size used in the recipe. Unfortunately the pans were only available online and were pretty expensive. I decided to throw caution to the wind and use a regular 9x5 loaf pan.

Very low yeast content and the wrong pan size seemed like a recipe for failure, but I went against my good judgement and started mixing.

I wanted a pretty moist and soft dough so I held back about 40 g of bread flour. The dough was very sticky and unweildy but after 10 mins of kneading turned into a smooth, supple elastic dough.

I put the dough, covered, in the oven for the first rise. After 2 hours the dough had no discernible activity. So I set a saucepan of hot water in with the dough and turned on the pilot light. After 2 hours, I saw a little bit of rise. I then turned the pilot off and left the hot water in.

5-6 hours later the dough had more than doubled.

I took the dough out of the bowl and did not punch it down. Cut it into 4 pieces. After the 20 mins rest. I spread each quarter with a filling of dark brown sugar, ground walnuts, orange zest and cinnamon and rolled them up. All 4 rolls fit in very snuggly into the 9x5 pan.

The 2nd rise took only 2 hours with a saucepan of water in the oven. The rolls doubled beautifully.

My oven only heats by 25 f increments, I can't set it 340. So I chose a temp of 350F and set the timer to 35 mins with ice cubes in a tray on the bottom rack.

I was very surprised by the amount of oven spring. The bread increased about 1/4 its size in the oven. The resulting loaf is tender, moist, cotton soft. Very very delicious! 



Original recipe:


jessicap's picture

Last night and this morning's bread was a foccaccia made from Peter Reinhart's pain a l'Ancienne:

I made the dough last night, replacing about 20% of the four with King Arthur's white white whole wheat (a entirely whole wheat flour that's lighter in color and flavor because of the kind of wheat used). I used King Arthur bread flour for the rest. It's an extremely wet dough; the water weight is fully 80% of the weight of the flour.

I poured the dough into a half-sheet pan and pressed it gently into the corners, spreading it liberally with oregano olive oil. (I had pooled some on the bottom of the pan first, so it's olive oil-y all over). It baked at 450 for about 17 minutes, and came out a lovely golden brown.

It's got fairly large, even holes, an almost chewy texture, and a lot of flavor. I'm going to have to try baguettes from this same some time soon.

Bushturkey's picture

Panne Siciliano

 Panne Siciliano

Panne Siciliano - crumb

Panne Siciliano - crumb

I found the flavour and texture to be better the next day (and not in the 2 hours after baking), and there was a little sourness. Is the durum flour meant to be sour? (My "sourdough" is not really sour and it's not previously imparted any sourness to breads).


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