The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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T4tigger's picture

After 7 long days, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are looking and acting like living, breathing starters. Thing 1, the indoor starter almost tripled itself today, and Thing 2, the outdoor starter doubled.

As I expected, they are behaving differently, but I actually expected Thing 2 to be more energetic than Thing 1. I guess I expected the outdoor microflora to be more lively than the ones in the house.

I'm going to keep them at 100% hydration for a few more days and then switch them to 50%. I want to see if I can expand them both enough to bake with them this weekend.

Ruth Redburn's picture
Ruth Redburn


Hokey , When you want to branch out to other recipes, you might like to try Sourdough Pancakes, a recipe from my daughter, Nancy, when she was in college at Santa Cruz.  These are very nice. I also have a sourdough waffle recipe. Enjoy!

Basic Batter

 1 cup starter, 1 cup warm water, 1 1/4 -1 1/2 cups flour.  Put in large glass or pottery bowl and cover.  Put in warm spot. 

Night before prepare basic batter.   Next morning, add 1 egg, 2 Tbl. oil, 1/4 cup instant dry or evaporated milk.  Beat thoroughly. 

Combine 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. soda, 2 Tbls.sugar.  Blend together, sprinkle over batter, fold in gently.  Allow to sit for a few minutes.  Fry on hot, lightly greased griddle, making dollar-sized pancakes. 

browndog's picture

white mountain, whole wheat, shortbreadsLoaves and puppies have this in common, that more is invariably better, so long as you find good homes for them all. An attribute that doesn't hold for everything- mice and snakes are best in sedate groupings of no more than two or three, for example, and I suspect that even bunnies have their tipping point. (Nah, prob'ly not...) I had the remarkable good fortune to find myself handing out bread to nearly a dozen people this weekend. Since any home-baked bread is generally enough to inspire gratitude, I kept it straightforward with a basic all-white loaf and a 100% whole wheat. The wheat worked a treat (God I love that phrase.) The person it was earmarked for is of that rare breed who prefers his bread only a very little removed from the wheat field. I hybridized from recipes in Beth Hensperger's Bread Bible and King Arthur's 200th Anniversary Cookbook, and the dictates of what was in the cupboard. I added a quantity of cooked cracked wheat so as not to be accused of being wimpy, yet the crumb was so, well, edible, that I might've fallen short...oh, the cookies are a couple varieties of shortbread, and now watch carefully as I insult an entire people, I needed cookies of a British heritage, and when I searched for recipes what did I find but shortbread, ginger-nut biscuits, and something alluringly referred to as digestive biscuits... 100% whole wheat w/ cracked wheatwhite mountain white, 100% whole wheat

weavershouse's picture

PAIN RUSTIQUEPAIN RUSTIQUE: PAIN RUSTIQUE: Today I made Hamelman's Pain Rustique and I'm very happy with it. It is creamy and delicious. Thanks TTonka and Susan. I made 3 loaves, one for my neighbor, one in a bread tin for my grandaughter (brushed with butter) and one for us. I will make this again for sure. I'm also going to finally buy Hamelman's book so I don't have to struggle to read the recipe from a pdf. By the way Susan my icons to enlarge the page go off when I go into the file. Who knows why. 

Ruth Redburn's picture
Ruth Redburn

I have made this bread at least 5 times.  I usually make two loaves each time.  I have one in the oven now and it smells delicious, as usual.  Have had no problems with it.  I would like to know if any one has made it with all whole-wheat flour. 

smartdog's picture

I've been learning how to bake breads the past month or so (without much luck with the artisan bread types). BUT, today I decided to try my hand at a Challah. Here is the pictures of the results. Needless to say I am extremely happy with this recipe! Great "crust and crumb" on this one! I LOVE Challah, and this one tops any I've had from the bakeries.

and cut: (excuse the darkness)

Luv4Country Soaps


mse1152's picture

I just finished baking the Cinnamon Raisin bread from BBA. It had no oven spring at all. The only changes I made to the recipe...oops, formula, were to omit the walnuts and use whole wheat flour for 25% of the flour.
















It tastes great, but looks sorta brickish.
















I read recently on this site that cinnamon is supposed to suppress yeast activity. Maybe that's so. The photo of this bread in the BBA is not especially lofty either. Has anyone made a cinnamon bread with really good rise? This bread has 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in the dough, plus about 1.5 tablespoons in the swirl. The yeast is 2 tsp. (instant).



tattooedtonka's picture

Well after reading some posts on here comparing different books recipes on a given bread, I gave one a test.

I have been using BBA's recipe for Poolish Ciabatta, with wonderful results in outward appearance.  The crumb was not as open as I hoped though.

So today I made two Ciabatta w/ Olive Oil from Hamelmans "Bread" book.  The dough was much wetter than I had expected.  And all the recipes in the book print times for mixing with a stand mixer, but not if you are doing it by hand.  So I tried to make an educated guess.  The crumb is o.k. and I have much larger holes in the crumb than I did with BBA's, but I believe I underbaked a little.  I didnt use an internal temp probe to monitor temp, I thought it wouldnt be very accurate with all the large holes I knew this would make.  So I tried to go as long as I could without completely blackening the crust.  Here is what I got.

The flavor of these is much different than BBA's as well.  And I realize there would be some difference due to the Olive Oil being added, but there is a big difference to me.   It tastes good, so I wont complain to much, I just have to work on the times better in the future.

While I was at it I made two loaves of Hamelmans Pain Rustique.  These came out great.  The guesswork I did on mixing times on this worked out well.  I am very pleased with the feel of the crust, and the holes in the crumb.  Here they are.


tigressbakes's picture

rosemary sourdough

This is Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough from Nancy Silverton's book. I used the starter that I have been growing since Feb - my first one (not Nancy's formula) and I have to say I am proud of this little starter! Oven spring!

I tried the La Cloche top on a preheated stone for 20 minutes. I sprayed the top of the loaf and the inside of the La Cloche top when I put it in and boy did it get crispy!



Rosemary sourdough crumb

It came out great! Moist with a nice light sourdough taste, I even think next time I would use slightly less Rosemary than the recipe called for because it is just a bit overpowering to the delicate sour taste.



Rosemary sourdough top

My slashing technique needs help!

mse1152's picture

I've been wanting to make this recipe for a couple of weeks, and finally made time for it tonight. The recipe is at:

I can't create a link to the exact recipe, but you can click on 'Pane Ripieni' in the left column to see it. It's really can create any filling you want. I made it with Swiss chard, garlic, and broccoli, and mozzarella here and there. I sprayed it with olive oil and sprinkled sesame seeds on, but most of them jumped off as soon as I touched a knife to the loaf. Hmmm, maybe an egg wash next time. I meant to include crumbled feta as well, but was overcome by toddler-induced brain damage, and just forgot. It's Friday, after all...




A Little Slice of Heaven

A Little Slice of Heaven

Give it a try. It's easy and very satisfying, especially with your favorite wine. mmmmmmmmmmm...!



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