The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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foolishpoolish's picture



Chavi's picture

One of my more recent acquisitions to my bread library is Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. I try to bake bread at least once a week, but as a college student, that isn't always feasible- especially with our tiny ovens. So to inaugurate the book I decided to make a sandwich loaf (hearth baking is nearly impossible in these ovens) and because Im trying to stick to whole grains as much as I can (yes, I sometimes resort to white breads!) the first whole wheat bread in the section it was!

The night before I made the soaker using 1 percent milk (Im baking in Israel, not sure exactly what the American equivalent is). Once that was finished I made the biga- the texture of the dough was exactly right. The next morning my biga had doubled, even tripled beautifully. I put together the dough, which was alittle difficut to assemble- incorporating liquids and solid dough isnt easy. I let the dough rise and then baked in a sandwich shape in a loaf pan (after another rising!) without steam. The bread had beautiful oven spring and developed a beautiful brown color and the most intoxicating bread smell ever.

The bread had beautiful color, crumb, oven spring, and texture...........but I thought it was too salty. I measure everything by weight, including the salt. Either the salt here is different, or I didnt mix it in well enough. Oh well, my sister and brother in law didnt detect the salt and spread with jam it was barely detectable to me.

Overall, good experience.. will try again...maybe try another recipe... Bottom line... I think Im going to like this book...

MaryinHammondsport's picture

Hamelman's Oatmeal BreadHamelman's Oatmeal Bread

This is my second try at Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread.

We're really pleased with it for sandwiches. My husband prefers a pan loaf but I think it would make a good hearth bread as well.


boredhumor's picture

The last few times I've made chocolate chip or sugar cookies, they turn out flat and crispy, not at all puffy or soft, and sometimes they're all brown and burnt on the edges and white in the middle. I don't mind a little crispy, and I definitley don't want a cakey chocolate chip cookie, but I do want a cookie, not a cracker! They still tasted good, but they're all flat and icky. What's wrong with them?! The only things I can think of are too much butter or too little flour.


Sugar cookies

3 cups powdered sugar

2 cups butter

3 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cream of tartar

Cream sugar and butter. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Blend thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and cut out shapes. Bake 7-8 mins or until edges get color.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 and 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 pkg (12oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda; blend into wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 min.

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.


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