The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

SylviaH's blog

SylviaH's picture

Today I baked 4 loaves, 2 light rye and 2 pain rustique from JH 'Bread'.  After seeing Franko's lovely bake of the Pain Rustique, it sounded and looked so good, what a perfect bread to have on hand. The flavor is delicious and the crust sang.  I left the caraway out of the light rye.  The bread is very good, but I prefer more of a rye flavor. We were up late last night and so it was about 2am I put together my poolish and sourdough..tired as I was today, I baked the breads and made a rotisserie chicken for dinner.  I hope to make a better looking crumb on the next go round.  I bought a new little Bosch compact and usually do all my mixing by hand, but wanted to try the mixer. I love this little compact mixer, but I still prefer to do my mixing by hand...anyway, it was fun getting a little practice using it.














                                         Bad night kitchen lights on the crumb shot of the light rye.




                                  No recipe on these buns.  They were a one of those experimental batches.  Basically a sourdough whole wheat bun recipe that I

                                 messed with adding some APflour, egg and powered milk.  They were very tasty.












SylviaH's picture

Today I made Irish Soda Bread to enjoy with our St. Patrick's Day dinner!  I've listed the ingredients and if you would like to see photos of step by step instructions they are on my blog Here.  Making soda bread, takes a little practice.  The list of ingredients are what i used today, I added a little extra flour, while gently mixing the dough and used a heavily floured board to shape the dough.

1. 280 gms All Purpose Flour - low protein         

2. 8 gms baking soda - Always Fresh - I throw out anything over 6 mos. old

3. 4 gms salt

4. 4 gms Cream of Tartar - "      "

5  300 gms Buttermilk








                         Soda Farls     from the same recipe       Med Low Temperature bake apx. 10 minutes on each side in a well seasoned iron pan.  I also make

                         these on my electric griddle.



           Slice warm or cooled and eat with butter and jam or they make a wonderful bacon or corned beef sandwich.






              I also made one replacing 1/4 cup of AP flour with 1/4 cup organic white whole wheat and 1 TBsp. caraway seed....not your traditional soda bread, but delicious with the corned beef.








SylviaH's picture

While spending time in the kitchen stretching and folding tomorrow's bread, I made a scone cake with some of my frozen cranberries and candied orange peel.  This is a variation on a recipe I have posted Here.     I used the same recipe exchanging the lemon zest for a cup of mixed, candied orange peel, and whole fresh frozen cranberries.  I tossed the cranberries and orange peel in a small amount, apx. 1 TBsp. flour before folding them into the mixed batter.  I like a scone cake shaping because it's attractive, whole or sliced and keeps well, with the added plus of less handling, which makes for a lovely tender moist crumb.  I baked this one about 8 minutes longer because of the added frozen cranberries.






SylviaH's picture

Thank you, Karin, for a wonderful formula!  A Keeper!

My first attempt at working with 100% spelt flour.  

I baked this bread yesterday before rushing out for the day.  It works great for a busy schedule and I could have even taken less time by not over proofing it, I'll know better next time after reading, other members advice about mixing and proofing spelt flour breads.  The 'my' crumb was to dense but the flavor is outstanding,  I loved the spices and nut combo...oh and the buttermilk!  

I finally found 2 photos, that's another story!

ADDED:  My husband had it toasted this morning, detected something he really liked in the flavor...ahhhh, I told him anise and fennel.  He's usually doesn't comment about whole grain breads to much..he said he really liked this that's something!







SylviaH's picture

I wanted to use some Goji berries in my baking and so I thought muffins would be a good start.  I purchased the softer more like raisins dried berries from Whole Foods.  The combination of whole berries, with a pecan topping made a delicious breakfast or snack muffin.  The  fresh candied orange peel I recently made was a great tasting combination with berries, especially the goji berry.  The recipe is my version of Blackberry Muffins from Williams - Sonoma Muffins book.


90 g sugar

3 TBsp. All Purpose Flour

2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter - softened room temperature

Pecans chopped small - 1/3 cup  - 45g



2 cups - 315g Plain All Purpose Flour

185g - 3/4 cup Sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder - Fresh

1/2 teaspoon baking soda  - ditto

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 Large Egg - lightly beaten

5 TBsp. 75g - unsalted butter - melted 

1 Cup - 250g - 8 oz - Buttermilk

 250g - 2 Cups of Fresh Whole Fruits - I used a combination of Goji, Blackberries, Blueberries and Candied Orange Peel


Preheated Convection Oven 375F

I used my XLarge 6 muffin pan with muffin liners - Or you can make 12 smaller muffins - Spray or use muffin paper liners

To Make The Topping:  In a Small Bowl 

Stir together the sugar, flour.  Rub in the softened butter to make a nice crumbly mixture, add the pecans and combine.  Set aside


To Mix the Muffins:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Make a well in the center and add the egg,  cooled melted butter, and buttermilk.

Stir/ using a folding motion, just until evenly moistened.  Batter will be a little not over mix or you will have tough muffins...very important.

The batter will be slightly lumpy.

Fold in the Fruits, use a large spatula, gently.  Do this using only a few strokes, being careful not to break the blackberries.  Do not over mix

Spoon the batter gently filling each muffin cup.  Do not push the batter down into the cups.   Fill up to the rim.

I scooped up a handful of topping and gently cupped my hand over the top of the muffin laying the topping on with a gentle push into a rounded mound.  

Bake until light golden brown, and springs back at the touch.  25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the bake.  

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the muffin pan.



Serve warm or room temperature.













             See the moist Goji berry with it's tiny seed, it's eatable in this healthy power packed berry.  Use them like you would raisins.  They taste somewhere between a cranberry and a cherry, with a slight sweetness and flavor that I think is enhanced with candied orange peel.


















SylviaH's picture


I made a fresh supply of candied orange peels for my spring holiday baking.  I find the video on you tube, by yanghalying, very intertaining and instructive.  By using her method for candied peels, I have excellent results, firm, colorful and tasty candy peels, for oranges and lemons.  

I made a batch of Orange Aniseed Wheels from Ciril Hitz book 'Baking Artisan Bread'.  They are very tasty and an easy one day bake.  Perfect to try out some of my now fresh supply of candied orange peels...they are so delicious, I have eaten so many, I think I'm having a vitamin C overload, they are addicting!




                                                   Brush the Pin Wheels with Clarified Butter and dust in Sugar - for better keeping!












                                     Crumb appears yellow from indoor light...lost the evening sunlight!  Flavor is lovely of orange and aniseed.









SylviaH's picture




While having my morning tea and viewing the latest on TFL, I noticed yesterday was another beginning year for my membership.  I wasn't going to post this bake, but what a great excuse to show what I did for most the day and evening yesterday!  

The weather was gorgeous, finally another lovely warm sunny day. 

We've had a lot of welcome rain and cool weather lately and a day in the high 70's and sunshine was welcome...especially since I had planned on firing up the WFO.

It had the door sealed against the rain and the wood underneath and inside was protected from the wet.  Well, I hadn't planned on it being damp just from the moisture from the rain, so it took me nearly two hours to get a good hot fire going without the smoke, even the wood I had stored inside the oven seemed cool maybe damp, sometimes I think the wood I purchased 'white oak' was a bit on the green side.  They also have fairly large cuts, I like to start the fire with smaller cuts, which I usually ask for at the firewood supply, and build the fire up larger, then I have my fire up a going great without the smoke in about 15 minutes. 

It took me a while just to learn how to make a proper fire. All I learned about making fires was in my 3rd grade 'Brownies' camp trips and then the fire was made in a coffee can and we cooked on top.  I still remember those great hamburgers we made...I always loved to cook even as a kid.  I still remember the first thing I ever cooked.  My mom let me heat up some peas in a pot.  I was about 4 years old...that started my love of cooking!

I think the neatest thing is that once you get the fire going you can tell immediately when it's fired up and ready...then I can start adding a log about every half hour or so...I love tossing the log in and watching it burst into flames without all the smoke...the coals and fire are so hot, no more waiting for the newly added wood to catch fire, each new log just combusts into flames!

Well, I had my head stuck in the WFO!  I said to Mike, when he asked why is your face so red, as he came in from his bike ride..he's so thrilled with his new mountain bike, weighs less than 22 lbs. and has those big new wheels..what a deal he got ;/  

Back to baking!  I planned on pizza's for the us and for the neighbors across the street and then when they were done I had a pork roast, that would be easy, just put a little seasoning on and put it into the oven as the fire was turning to embers, and after that I would make some simple Rustic Apple pies with those lovely organice apples I had in the refrigerator.  I wish now I would have added some nice buns for the shredded pork roast...maybe today I'll bake some!  

Oh, I just remembered, I have some loaves in the frig waiting to be baked, the tea must be kicking in : )

So here's the WFO bake for my third year on TFL.  What great time and learning experience it has been and will be...Thanks to You All :) :) :) and a

'Very Special Thank You' to Floyd and Family or none of us would be here today!


Pictures, this is what I took!!






                   Ham, Pineapple and Creme Fraiche Pizza - Peter Reinhart's American Pie - Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough is used today on all the pizza's




          Mike's, Pepperoni and Plain Mozz Pizza's - I had enough dough for 8 large pizza's - I didn't put very little char on neighbors pizza's




                      Rustic Apple Pies Baking - Dough recipe is from I. Garten's apple tart - Filled with organic apples, little sugar and butter



                                          Ready after about 35 - 40 mins. - I used Gala organic apples - lovely tender and sweet 



                        Wood fired baked pork roast to be enjoyed with tonights fresh baked Sourdough bread 




                         Tonight's Dessert too!





SylviaH's picture

This is one of my favorite whole grain breads, Miller's Loaf @ 100 'sourdough hydration' for the added wholegrains.  I added the 'harvest grains blend' from KAF, I often order this mix when they have free's very convenient and always very fresh.  The Miller's Loaf with whole grains is a recipe from the Northwest Sourdough breadsite.  Since I was baking today I decided it would be a good opportunity to make a French Apple Tart by Sarah Moulten, it is featured this month in Saveur Magazine's 100 Chefs edition.  

I also made fresh ravioli for Mike's carb's boost, before his bike race tomorrow.  I have been enjoying making fresh pasta with the new electric pasta roller attachment's for my KA mixer.  I love this set and glad I went electric attachments, rolls very thin pasta with ease. 












            Recipe calls for:                       Small disk of pasty for an 11 inch tart pan.  The dough is rolled very thin.  Less fattening!



                                Tender and moist apples, with a lovely very thin buttery crust and not overly sweet, the taste of fresh apple is delicious!


          1.  1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting

          2.  tbsp. unsalted butterk cubed and chilled

          3. 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

          4. 7 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and halved - I used a combination of apples I had in my crisper.

          5. 1/4 cup of sugar - I used bakers sugar with 1 tsp. instant clear jel powder

          6. 1/2 cup apricot jam

               Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving... the whipped cream was very nice with this tart


1 - Combine flour, 8 tbsp. butter and slt in a food processor and pulse until pea-size crmbles form about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3-4 pulses.  Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.  Using a rolling pin. flatten dough into a 13" circle and then transfer to a 11"tart pan with a removable botto; trim edge; chill for 1 hour.


2.  Heat oven to 375F.  Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together.  Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves.  Place 1 fanned apple half on out edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves.  Separate remaining apple slices.  Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern.  Fill in any gaps with remaining apple.  Sprinkle with sugar (combined with gel or sometimes I use tapicoa flour - if used) and then dot with remaining butter.  Bake until golden brown, 60-70 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until warmed and loose; pour through a fine strainer into a bowl and reserve.  Transfer tart to a wire rack; using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam.  Let cool completely before sicing and serving with whipped cream.


I set my tart onto a pizza sheet, while baking, or you could use a cookie sheet, to save any mess that might happen.










SylviaH's picture

This is my first time making an Almond version or any version of a Russian Braided loaf and second attempt at posting it..a lot of writing today 'lol'..did better after going out to the movies!  A recipe from 'Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads' Ciril Hitz forward by Peter Reinhart

This bread is every bit delicious and rich as it looks...a real pleaser!  What a lovely gift it makes too!


1.  Whole Milk - I used 2% - 365g

2.  Eggs - I used 1 large and one yolk for sealing seam - recipe calls for 50g for dough

3.  Vanilla bean (optional) I used apx. 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or to taste.

4.  Bread flour - King Arthur All Purpose used -660g

5.  Granulated sugar -70g-  I used fine bakers sugar

6.  Salt - 13g

7.  Malt, diastatic - 7g

8.  Lemon zest - from 1/2 of lemon

9.  Unsalted butter - 70g

10.  Instant yeast - preferably osmotolerant , I used the osmotolerant - 13g or 3 teaspoons


The Day Before Baking

1.  Bring the milk and egg to room temperature...If you use a vanilla bean..split and remove, scrape out seeds. Add to milk.  I added the vanilla extract to the ingredients.

2. Pour the liquids into a 5-quart stand mixer.  I used my KAArtisan mixer and made pauses to keep the motor from overworking.  Add the bread flour and instant yeast,sugar, salt, malt, and lemon zest.  Mix on low speed until the dough comes together (cleanup stage).  Scrape the dough down off the hook from time to time.

3. Soften the butter to a plastic stage.  Increase the mixing speed to medium and slowly add the softened butter in stages.  Make sure each addition is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next.

4.  When the dough is fully developed, check for a good window pane.  Place into a plastic container sprayed with oil and ferment for 2 hours, room temperature.

5.  After bulk fermentation, place on a sheet pan lined with parchment.  I sprayed the parchment with a little oil.  Cover with plastic and place into the refrigerator overnight.  


Remove the dough from the refrigerator.

I rolled the dough out on a lightly floured board to apx. 16" by 1/4" thick, this gives you a nice width to your dough.

NUT FILLING - Can be repaired the night before

Nut Flour - I used Almond Flour - 125g

the recipe calls for corn syrup  25g or 1 1/2TBsp.  I use Lyle's Golden Syrup 2 TBsp. apx.

Water - Up to 60g - 6 TBsp.

If you use pistachio paste you can add 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Combine the ingredients except for the water, blend by hand and you also add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.  I didnot add cinnamon.

Slowly add water until you get a nice spreadable consistancy and can be used on the day of use to help desired spreading consistancy.

2.  Spread a thin layer of filling over the entire surface of the dough, except leave 1 inch of a long end free of filling.

3.  Brush the plain dough edge with a bit of egg wash.  I make a wash with a pinch of salt and an egg yolk.  Roll up the dough evenly into a long log and seal the edge to the roll.

4.  For each pan cut the log 2 inches longer than the pan.  I set my pan down next to log and cut it 2" longer on both sides.

5.Take a sharp knife and slice down the length of the rolls.  Separate and twist two sections together two or three twists, keeping exposed layers facing up.

6.  Place the twisted strands into the prepared loaf pans.  Cover and let proof at room temperature until nearly doubled.  at least 1 hour.

7.  Preheat Oven 325F convection for 30min and bake for 40 -45 minutes until dark golden brown...Reduce temperature if they darken to fast.



Vanilla Bean (optional)  I used 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of almond extracts.

Milk - Up to 35 g - 2 TBsp.

Powdered sugar 150g - 1 1/4 cups

Lyle's Golden syrup - or light corn syrup -1 TBsp.


                                I used 2 - 41/2 X 81/2 lightly oil loaf pans -  This recipe is stated in the book to YIELD - 1 loaf 9 X 4 X 3 plus some extra for cinnamon buns. 



Nut Filling

Sugar Glaze

Egg Wash

Basic Sweet Dough

Chopped nuts for garnish



          Proofing  -  Note:  My new MacBook Pro's all very new to me :) and I love it.  I'm used to my old Windows XP ... so I'm still learning on this one.

I haven't quite figured out all about photo's yet, but getting there slowly but surely...nothing as fun as learning how to work a new PC for this grandma!


Back to the Russian Braid.











                                            Submitted to Yeastspotting




             Happy New Year!














SylviaH's picture

Not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen, or feeling confident yet enough to tackle an authentic italian panettone, but want a lovely festive tasty panettone!  Mix it up tonight, bake it tomorrow!  These are festive little Panettone's and perfect for the Christmas Caroler's along with cup of hot coco! 

This is a feature recipe from .  I did my version of mixing and ingredients, using fresh potato, pecans, extracts, chocolate, almond paste meringue topping. 

You can mix up the poolish tonight and bake it tomorrow! Instead of using the large mold...I used the small single serve size..I just eyeballed the cuts of dough into 9 perfect for the single serve molds.




                                                        " The Sampler "



                                                           Very light, shreds apart, and moist, melt in the mouth creamy crumb!

                                                 No little elf is going to turn their nose up at these!




                                        Submitted to yeastspotting




















Subscribe to RSS - SylviaH's blog