The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Truth Serum's blog

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Truth Serum

Iauthor pictloaf of bread



I got to take a great class with Sarah Owens yesterday. I learned many new things. It was grand to hang out with other bread geeks for a few hours.

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Truth Serum

A few shots of the bread meet I attended in New York last Monday. It was big fun.

Daniel Leader liked my bread.

here is the loaf that I made with Farmer Ground Bread Flour.


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Truth Serum

Last month I participated in the Community Bake for Hamelmans 5 grain sourdough bread. I made it 3 times because I was intrigued and pleased with the results. 

I found it was not a dough that it did not knead machine mixing. It benefited from putting some pepita seeds in the soaker, and an autolyse for the flours before adding the starter .

I really benefitted from all the information that others provided. I did not have a charming canine assistant but I did have paper towels. I used these to prevent icky sticky taps.

The pictures came out crappy , but the bread did not!


And of course I had to share the breads with my writing group.

child eating


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Truth Serum

Follow the yellow brick road To Babka land.

I have done a deep dive into Babka bakingCulminating in packing two large loaves in my suitcase and traveling with them to Texas! Where they have been the hit of the breakfast brunch

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Truth Serum


This is a recipe  that I have adapted from Sarah Owens book Toast and Jam. It uses a rye tangzhong and has the option of making it with a combination of sourdough starter and commercial yeast or just using sourdough starter. I have done it both ways and it always comes out great.  If you are not using commercial yeast you will need to use 150 grams of starter.


I have found it is best to grind your 45 grams of buckwheat flour in blender. The little bit of extra effort is worth it. I use a bullet blender.




For the tangzhong

45 grams

Rye flour

115 grams


115 grams





In a saucepan combined these ingredients with a whisk until smooth. Then place the pan over medium low heat stirring constantly until it thickens  about 3 to 4  minutes. It might be pourable and its ok if its thickened beyond that. 




Put this mixture in a 6 qt kitchenaid or large bowl if hand mixing it will be hot to cool it  your milk and butter should be cold

60 grams

Buckwheat honey or wildflower honey

230 grams


85 grams

Unsalted butter,Cut up into cubes

Stir to combined then take the temperature make sure you get this mixture  to 90 degrees F or less before adding the other ingredients.

630 grams

Bread flour

100 grams

Active starter

45 grams

Buckwheat flour

1 tsp

Active dry yeast

100 grams 

2 eggs beaten

Combined all of these ingredients until you cant see any streaks

Let the dough rest covered in the bowl for 20 -30 minutes.

Then add

15 grams of fine sea salt *

*I also add seeds at this point

Knead thoroughly until a smooth dough is achieved, Let proof  till tripled in size. 3 hours if using commercial yeast longer if using sourdough. Watch the dough not the clock


Grease two small pullman loaf pans . Divide dough in half . Form loaves   Watch dough. Anticipate when dough will  almost come to the tops of the loaf tins, so you can preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.



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Truth Serum

Whole wheat bread

 I noticed last time I went to a large retailer that the KitchenAid attachment to grind grain was on sale for $30. I had 20 percent off coupons. I knew that wasn’t going to work well, but I thought that if I made  10 loaves of bread it would not be such a bad investmenI am now a convert. Although it was a clunky noisy machine that works slow Lee

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Truth Serum

   Cookies and yeasted Pretzels  were my gateway baking experience to bread! And this is a post about cookies. On November 2 I had the good fortune of meeting Dori Greenspan, noted cookbook author. I brought my wellworn cookbook,  Paris Sweets  for her to sign and she also signed a copy of her new latest cookie cookbook, Dorie's Cookies! 

 The recipe is in both of these cookbooks but it is a tasty recipe. I'm not going to give it here but you would be able to find it if you would buy the book.  I don't think it's my favorite chocolate cookie but it is it tasty chocolate cookie.  I think if people made more of these cookies there would be more peace in the world! 

I have been baking cookies for many years and it was a personal thrill to meet a cookbook author!  

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Truth Serum

  Yesterday I made a classic mistake by not being patient with a loaf of bread that would've been delicious if I had just given it enough time proofing! 


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