The Fresh Loaf

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Mothers day here in Australia tomorrow  so I made a batch of dinner rolls by request from my daughter for tomorrow's celebration. I know its not mothers day  all over, and my mum used to think it was great as she lived in England and ended up having two mothers days. Sadly she is no longer with us, but I do have a super mother in law so to her  and  any of the Aussie mums  out there I do hope you enjoy your very special day.




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  I made a nice soft loaf the other day using milk in the dough, I wanted to make another similar loaf as my wife enjoyed it so much  So this time I enriched the dough with olive oil and cottage cheese along with an egg and added dried garlic flakes for good measure. I topped that by adding grated chedder and parmesan on top in the last 5 minutes of the bake 

 In the last shot you can see the softness of the crumb as the loaf is yielding under its own weight where I propped the loaf up for a better angle to the light picture it bounces right back, the taste is all there and I am sure it will make wonderful toast if it lasts that long , if the first slices for the pictures and taste testing are anything to go by

  It was the slightly misshapen one that got the chop, you can see some of the garlic flake in the loaf

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I have not posted for a while but thought id share some bread that was made today , I was using up some stout that I had opened and I also used up the wholemeal flour that I had, it was intended to be 50% but it ended up a bit more than that. same goes for the stout where I used 420mls and 160ml s of water. I soaked the w/m in all the liquid and had chores to attend to. I weighed up the rest of the ingredients so that I could add them upon my return. As it happened  l had to go to the city to file some legal papers and the soak ended up being 7 hours!  The dough was then mixed by hand and again used up some compressed yeast that I had on hand. The dough ended up having a 3 hour bulk fermentation and was divided and given 20 minutes bench rest before final shaping . I  made 2 loaves that I have not previously shaped before and I cant recall the name given to these, but they remind me of  a frenchmen's beret .They are currently cooling so will have to post an inside shot later.

kind regards Derek





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I kicked off with 100g of sour dough culture,100g w/m spelt , 100g bakers flour and 400g of water mixed to a batter and set aside  later I added 250g of bakers flour and mixed together with a spoon half an hour later added 10g of salt and soon after 10g of dry yeast again mixed together with a spoon and allowed to ferment after an hour a set of stretch and folds with oiled hands  and oil around the bowl. half an hour later another set of stretch and folds with oiled hands. half an hour later the dough was spread onto a baking sheet an spread out dotted with grape tomatoes, chopped garlic , white Rosemarie sprig chopped, salt pepper drizzled olive oil and small cubes of chedder and into the oven at  its highest temp before turning down to about 22o -230 to bake nice and crisp .

This was the wettest dough I have worked with but really just a different technique and a very satisfying result




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I purchased myself some w/m spelt whilst my wife was shopping in Fremantle and this is what I did with it

I started off a levain with 200g of w/m spelt and 200g of water and 66g of s/d culture straight from the fridge leaving it to do its thing overnight  in the morning I added 400g of Bakers flour and mixed it together, I let it Autolyse for 1 hour and then added 2% salt and 2% olive oil and 1% dried yeast and mixed by hand on the bench .The dough was then allowed to bulk ferment for 2 hours and it was then knocked back  and divided into 3 pieces enough to fill a banneton and enough for 2 small loaf tins that I  have. after allowing half an hour recovery the loaves were shaped and placed in their receptacles to prove inside  plastic shopping bags tied by the handles. The small tin loaves were given a wash and  semolina flour was dusted over the top through a sieve these were slashed and put into the oven and covered with a deep roasting pan.

The banneton loaf was rolled out onto a dusted plywood hand peel and slashed before being slid onto a pizza stone and the roasting pan being used over it.

This is the result 




 put the knife there to show the size of the small loaves

I just went back past the bread so had to photo the cracking taking place

I was able to cut one of the small loaves and taste , the crust beautiful and crisp the crumb nice and soft and a flavour that stays on the palate even some 5 minutes later.

I shall be taking the loaf to a family gathering for my eldest Grand daughters birthday celebration after school she will be 11 years old today, born on the 11 day of the 11 month.

kind regards Derek


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just a bit of an article that might interest members in the Phnom Penh Post




Phnom Penh Post - The prodigal baker returns, and he’s brought along some fresh ideas

 In his original Siem Reap venture, the Canadian baker was an experimenter. Photo suppliedThe prodigal baker returns, and he’s brought along some fresh ideasFri, 21 October 2016 

Canadian Zita Long opened Zita’s Bakery in Siem Reap in 2014, and his perfectionism meant that he spent little time outside of the kitchen during the past two years. Long became a bit of a local celebrity, and business boomed: crowds lined up for his crumpets, Berliners, apple crumbles and trademark sourdough bread.

But a little over two months ago, he left. Zita’s Bakery closed its doors.

“The last few days [before I left], I remember feeling very confused, and upset in a way,” Long says. “I was feeling hopeful, but also with a little uncertainty.” Long knew he would return to Siem Reap, but he wanted a break, and a little time to explore new trends and techniques. He took off for Perth, Australia, to reignite his passion for the trade.

Long is a young, self-taught baker. He developed his skills while living in Cambodia – where there were limited opportunities to formally learn the trade – and worked on a trial-and-error basis.

Perth was a city of self-reflection, Long says; it is quiet and, more importantly, close to Fremantle. There, Long had the opportunity to study under a retired bread-baking instructor as well as a traditional Italian baker, Nick Agostina. They spoke about technique – as well as their beliefs and values – and Long observed his process.

Zita Long might open a bagel shop next, he says. Photo supplied


“I got to touch dough again for the first time,” Long says with a laugh. “I didn’t think I would miss it, but I did.”

The baker then travelled to Melbourne, which has its own renowned traditional baking scene as well as a batch of new bakeries with cutting-edge approaches. “The croissants and cruffins were tremendous,” Long says, noting that the queues were constant.

“I came back from Australia with an open mind,” Long says. He’s now scouting around for his next opportunity or collaboration: perhaps a bagel cafe. But nothing is set in stone, he adds. He’s not even sure if his sourdough is relevant anymore – or if it’s him or the town that have moved in a different direction.

One thing is for certain: if you’re in Siem Reap, you likely won’t go hungry for too long before his next plans unfold.

Keep up with Zita Long’s projects:

Username *Password *  Contact author: Sarah Rhodes

Just a quick update and article featuring Zita (Bakingbadly) that might be of interest

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Hi Folks just a couple of pics of my new starter at work producing a loaf of dubious pedigree with a whole mix of bits of flours used including country grain mix, wheat meal and some bakers flour. 

My previous culture was lost so the new one was started a short time ago, looking good in its infancy.

Employed autolyse for 1 hour, stretch and folds over 3 hours @ half hour intervals then shape and 1 hour  fermentation at room temperature before  overnight in the fridge proof and couple more hours recovery going into a hot oven with roasting dish over stone for 15 minutes remove and bake off.


Wildflower season here in Western Australia

Time to get away with the camper and see the beauty of mother nature in the bush

Judy & Cindy



kind regards Derek



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CIBATTA style bread 83% hydration and small amount of dry yeast preferment




200ml HI-LO Milk

100g Stone ground wholemeal

0.25g Dry Yeast


I took the opportunity to use milk that was just on the turn to sour for this bread mixing the preferment at 8.50 am  and allowed it to do its thing for the rest of the day later in the evening  i added the rest of the ingredients and mixed this dough by hand on the bench



500g Flour

12g Salt

310g Water


This dough was quite wet but the pick up and slap method was used on the bench with a couple of  20 - 30 minutes breaks (autolyse) this definitely assists in the handling of the wet dough. once finished it was allowed to stand for an hour or so before me  going to bed and was then placed into the fridge overnight. i retrieved the dough at 5.00 am and allowed it time to warm up but didn't reach  room temperature  before dividing and rudimentary shaping and placing on a couch heavily floured with Semolina Ricinta flour.

The dough pieces were given about an hour and half  before being placed into the oven @ 180 for 50 minutes  coming out about mid day 




Kind regards Derek

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Caught up with Zita  TFL (Bakingbadly) in Fremantle today on the first day of spring which delivered us a super day which we were able to enjoy with a couple of new experiences for Zita. No doubt he will post soon on our half day adventure as he did take quite a few pictures  and seemed to have had a good time doing it.

kind regards Derek

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 Yesterday morning I decided to make some beetroot bread, which I had made previously and posted under chamelleon bread due to the fact that the colour changes during the baking process.

This time I was using the beetroot raw and grated 

Started off at 6.00am with making a preferment using 100g flour and 100ml of warm water and 1g of dry yeast

The preferment had developed nicely after 2 hours so the other ingredients were then added

Flour (500g) 452g white + 48g semolina only because I ran out of the white

Salt 10g 

Oil 10g

Beetroot 88g  (2 small peeled and grated beets)

Dry Yeast 12g

Water 300ml

The dough was mixed by hand on the bench  and placed in a bowl covered with cling film while we went off  to the gym and had a swim and a sit in the steam sauna.

 Back from the gym1 hour later the dough had risen note the times written on the film , this is a good reminder for how things are progressing.

The dark spot at the bottom of the picture is the shadow from the lens on the camera.

the dough was then knocked back (degassed) and allowed to recover for 10 minutes  it was then divided into 6 x 180g pieces shaped and placed on a lightly greased baking tray,

The tray was then placed into a large plastic bag which makes a wonderful prover preventing skinning and retaining transpired moisture. 30 minutes later the tray was removed and the dough pieces were washed with a cornflour paste wash and dusted with some semolina flour and scored they were then returned to the makeshift prover for a further 30 minutes to attain a full proof. The loaves were then put into the oven at 220C  with a half cup of boiling water  poured onto a shallow heated tray  at the bottom of the oven to give an initial waft of steam moisture to the oven interior. the bread was pulled out after 30 minutes.



The pink blush of colour is still evident and the beetroot has retained its vivid scarlet which I attribute to using raw beet rather than previously the boiled beet.


 The crumb has a nice moistness and good structure the colour of the crumb is influenced slightly by the small amount of semolina but does transform from the pink to  almost a khaki in my previous bake  hence the heading I gave it then as Chameleon bread. Overall pleased with this although my grand daughter  who was enthusiastic when she though it was cherry cake  but declined when told it was in fact beetroot. Eating wise the beetroot does have a suttle sweetness to it. looking forward to trying some as toast!

Kind regards Derek



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