The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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hansjoakim's picture

Jan Hedh, the Swedish bread, pastry and chocolate master, has recently put out his second bread book; the new one is titled "Bröd & kaffebröd" ("Bread and pastries"). I've just picked it up, and baked the first loaf from that book this weekend. It's an inspiring book, written in a style similar to his first bread book, but this one's filled with even more gorgeous photos. Hedh is passionate about bread, and provides detailed recipes for several European style hearth loaves and for breakfast pastries (mostly croissant, Danish and sweet dough oriented stuff).

I decided to try his "country bread from Bayern" first, mostly because of the lovely photo of it in his book :) Hedh doesn't provide any bakers %, so I used a spreadsheet to get the figures. I decided to adjust the recipe a bit (it looked awfully dry, and slightly heavy on caraway seeds), so I ended up with something like: 50% whole spelt flour, 20% whole rye, 30% AP flour. The original hydration was at approx. 62%, so I increased that to 70%. It could've been even higher, I think. I used approx. 1% caraway seeds, and put the whole rye flour in a rye sourdough. I baked it this morning together with some croissants and other pastries shaped from the croissant dough:

Bread and pastries

I think the loaf turned out alright - it rose nicely in the oven, and smelled deliciously of caraway and earthy wheat/spelt. The flavour is similar to that of a mostly whole-wheat bread, but the rye and caraway makes it a bit more exciting. Filling and delicious with hard cheese!

The mandatory crumbshot (I know people get upset if there's no shot of the crumb, so here you go!) reveals a pretty dense crumb, so next time I'll increase the hydration further and perhaps see what a poolish+rye sourdough can do to loosen it up a bit.
Bread and pastries

dmsnyder's picture

These breads were made with my recently activated San Francisco Sourdough starter from I used 100 gms of starter fed with a mix of AP, WW and Rye flours, 500 gms KAF Sir Lancelot flour, 360 gms water, 10 gms salt. The formed loaves were cold retarded for about 14 hours.

The flavor is very nice. It is a little more sour than yesterday's San Joaquin Sourdough, as expected, but still only mildly sour. I'm hoping the distinctive SF SD flavor will develop over a few weeks. Stay tuned.


SylviaH's picture

I was going to make P. Reinhart's Italian loaves when  my husband said we were invited to Monday night football at a friends home and I was asked to bring the bread for the Italian sausage and peppers sandwiches.  So I thought since this batch of dough was already 'without milk' made up for today..I would use it for a little practice run and make it into rolls!  I was very pleased with the crumb and crust...just what I wanted plus some needed practice on shaping hoagies.  Mark from 'Back Home Bakery' has a great video showing how to shape hoagies..they are the pre shape for baguettes!  All mixing was by hand. 

Night Lights!

I just find this photo very relaxing..going into the abyss of the crumb! : ) 


Poppyseeds's picture

I attempted to make the bagels in Reinhart's BBA.  The tops didn't brown (I baked them too long in an attempt to get them brown, so they are also too tough).  They also didn't rise any more after I took them out of the refrigerator and put them in boiling water.  My question, if anyone can help, is:  I didn't have spray oil to spray them lightly before covering with plastic for the second rise.  I brushed them with oil, instead.  Could that have retarded the final rise when I put them in the boiling water?  Would that affect the browning of the bread?  Also, I added the baking soda to the water that the recipe calls for--does that ever affect the rise or the browning in the oven?  I had the oven set at 500 deg. and then turned it down to 450. 

Floydm's picture

I looked into my pantry today and found rye flour, whole wheat flour, rice flour, barley flour, cake flour, pizza flour, and high gluten flour for making bagels but no bread flour.  So, like ApplePie, I decided to go flour shopping.

I didn't visit a mill, instead hitting the local Cash & Carry, which carries a number of different brands of flour, the most noteable of which is Pendleton Flour Mills.  I was pleased that this time they had 25 pound bags of flour for under 10 bucks, so I picked up one bag of their unbleached Morbread flour, which I've been quite satisfied with in the past.  They had their Power high gluten flour, their semolina flour, and their pizza flour blends too, which I'm quite tempted to try next time.

So now I've just mixed up my first batch of Anis Bouabsa's baguettes and will set up a sourdough to ferment overnight tonight as well.  It is nice to have the rainy weather back... perfect for hanging around the house, reading, and baking!

ApplePie's picture

I'm a compulsive baker.  When I'm in a grocery store, sometimes I walk down the baking ingredients aisle, even if I don't need anything, just to look.  Pulling a freshly baked apple pie or loaf of bread from the oven, with its aroma wafting through the house with the promise of deliciousness to come, is one of the most enjoyable experiences in life, in my opinion.

I'm also an engineer who needs to understand how things work.  Baking fascinates me.  The transformation of simple ingredients - flour, water, yeast and salt - into a living piece of dough, and then nourishing loaf of bread that feeds the soul as well as the body is the fascinating intersection of science, the senses, and the spiritual.

Lest anyone think I'm an expert baker, let me assure you I've had plenty of duds:  gloppy underdone pies, bricks for bread, sourdough cinnamon rolls that were so sour they made my mouth pucker - and not in a good way.

So I'm here, and you're probably reading this, because I want to understand and apply the secrets of good baking, one of which is quality ingredients.  Now you can make a decent loaf a bread from store bought flour; I've used King Arthur and Gold Medal Better for Bread in the past.  But in an effort to bake healthier breads, I wanted to find a full-flavored whole wheat flour that wasn't bitter.  That's challenging since whole wheat flour is more perishable due to the oil in the germ.  References from the Fresh Loaf and from Artisan I and Artisan II classes at SFBI point to Central Milling, who produces Whole Foods' 365 Organic Unbleached All Purpose flour.  They also sell unbleached white flour at Costco, under the Central Milling label.

I contacted Nicky Giusto at Central Milling to ask about ordering whole wheat flour directly from the Utah mill.  To my surprise, he said I could swing by Petaluma (in the SF bay area) and buy directly from their warehouse!  I met Nicky yesterday just after he returned from delivering some flour to the Culinary Institute of America in Napa.

Nicky Giusto

Nicky, 4th generation in the flour/baking business, set up and is running this west coast warehouse, which has been in existence for less than a year.  Nicky was very helpful, freely sharing information about the different flours and which ones to use for what you want to bake.  We talked about the business, the wheat market, and the quality of their flour, starting from the seeds they supply to the farmers.

Although the Petaluma warehouse doesn't stock every type of Central Milling flour, they still have quite a selection. This picture shows a depleted supply, deliveries having been made throughout the week.

Central Milling Petaluma warehouse


It was good to hear how Central Milling keeps a close connection to the farmers who grow the grain.  In fact, the photo in the Central Milling logo is of Farmer Brown, the great great grandfather of the Washington farmer who now grows grain for their Organic Whole Wheat Acme Hi-Pro Fine flour.

Central Milling logo

And they do sell a lot of flour to Acme:

Flour for Acme

I ended up w/ 2 50lb bags of flour plus a little extra:

  • 50 lbs Organic Whole Wheat Acme Hi-Pro Fine: High protein, especially good for pan breads. Although you can make a 100% whole wheat loaf with it, Nicky suggested mixing it with some white flour, I think for some softness.

  • 50 lbs Artisan Bakers Craft white flour w/ malted barley flour. This bag he threw in for free, since the bag had gotten a tear (which they taped up) and so couldn't be sold commercially.

  • 2 bags of pancake mix, regular buttermilk and whole wheat buttermilk, just to try.  You may notice that the pictures used on these packages of pancake mix are the same pictures to be found on Whole Foods 365 brand of pancake mix.

Central Milling pancake mix

In the future, I'll probably be coordinating with others to split 50 lb bags of flour.

If you are interested in buying flour from the Petaluma warehouse, contact Nicky via phone - his number is shown at the top of the Central Milling products webpage - to arrange your visit.  Although they aren't set up to sell to a high volume of people, Nicky is quite happy to sell to enthusiasts on an occasional basis.  Just be prepared to take your flour in 50 lb increments.  If there's a bag already opened, he is willing to sell a smaller quantity.  Working on the website is on Nicky's To Do list.

I have no affiliation with Central Milling - just an enthusiast looking for quality flour.



AnnieT's picture

I'll try again




AnnieT's picture

It has been too long since I made bread for my neighbors, aka "The Old People", and as I had a large yogurt container of SD discard today was the day. Or rather yesterday evening when I made the dough. I started with a quart of discard and about the same amount of warm water then added old fashioned oats, dried milk, oil, sugar, 1T instant yeast and salt and added KA white whole wheat flour and Wheat Montana ap flour. Like quahtan I lost count of the exact amount - just kept adding until the dough cleaned the sides of the bowl. Oh, I was using my trusty Bosch mixer. Then I added raisins and when they were mixed in I transferred the dough to the biggest mixing bowl I own and put it into a large plastic bag and into the fridge for the night. When I checked at 10.30pm the dough was straining the bag so I punched the dough down and covered it with David's favorite plasti-crap. This morning it was way over the top of the bowl again, time to shape the braids. I divided the dough into 4 pieces but after shaping the first braid I decided that was too big so I did some judicious downsizing, and after baking I think they could have been even smaller. When they were proofed they were brushed with egg and milk and sprinkled with raw sugar befor baking at 375* for 20 minutes. The grandgirls are coming to spend the night so they can be the delivery people, a task they love. Nana is going to take a quick nap! A.

Well, I have my picture all ready to go - and when I click to get "browse" nothing happens! Maybe later...







SylviaH's picture

I've seen some lovely variations on E.K. Baguette Monge and it's started my craving.  I used King Arthur All Purpose flour and K.A. Organic White Whole Wheat and formulated it for 69% hydration.  I also did an overnight bulk ferment.  I thought they tasted the best of any baguettes I have made so far...which is not saying much because I've only made baguettes a few times.  They really did have such a nice flavor..I ate half of one while trying to take photos...sweet, creamy, nutty also I think my levain has developed a very nice flavor and it really came through..I will have to do this again...but next time without the overnight bulk.

I shaped these as long as would fit in my oven.  I liked the way the corners jumped up from being on the pre-heated hot stone.

They sang nicely to me!  I need a lot more practice than what I have been getting on my slashes!

The Crumb Shot!



Obsessive Ingredient Weigher's picture
Obsessive Ingre...

Waffles are a form of quick bread, so I thought I'd share a recipe for pumpkin waffles that I've been working on + post some photos of them! Let me know what you think.

The initial mix of dry ingredients...

Whisk to blend...

The initial mix of wet ingredients (butter not yet added)...

The wet ingredients blended with the melted butter...

Beginning to blend dry and wet ingredients...

The perfect mix of dry and wet; it's still a little lumpy, and that's perfect...

Egg whites at the stiff peak stage...

The final batter with egg whites folded in...

A fresh waffle about to be taken from the iron...


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