The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


whitedaisy's picture

I began an new start early last week, only to find MOLD in my start on day 4!!! Not sure I'm cut out for sour dough...

Floydm's picture

My Ciabatta (sung to the tune of "My Sharona")

my ciabatta
Oooh my little crusty one, my crunchy one.
Making you was awf'ly fun, My Ciabatta!
Your crumb is my fav'rite one, my fav'rite one.
When you gonna be done, My Ciabatta!

my ciabatta
Ready to munch, don't want to wait
for you to cool. Cooling on the rack, wire rack,
Time to eat. My my my i yi woo! M M M My Ciabatta...

my ciabatta

This was my best ciabatta to date. The two three things that seemed to make a difference were extremely slack dough (75% hydration), lower than usual yeast (cut it by half), and pressing it extremely thin before putting it in the oven. Other than those few changes, the dough and technique were basically the same as my daily bread.

Good stuff. More baking tomorrow.

KP Crumbworth's picture
KP Crumbworth

I made a boule today that was one of my better efforts.

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It tasted very good, but I think I can go wetter.

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I'm also looking for more of a blistery crust- one that crackles a bit more. I'm really trying to get the mix of crackle, shatter, and chewiness just right which is kinda tough doing 1-2 loaves per week. I have BIG plans this weekend which include deep dish, and regular pizza as well as a ciabatta, and another wetter boule.

Fun Stuff,


Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

I'm determined to make the Whole Wheat recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice work. This will be my 3rd try.

Got started last night.

I put together the soaker with stone ground rye flour. It was 4.25oz flour to 6oz water. Covered, left on the counter.

Then I put together the poolish. I used KA whole wheat flour. 6.75oz flour, and 6oz water. The directions say to "mix the flour and yeast, and add the water until it forms a thick paste. Stir only enough to hydrate the flour."

First problem: 6oz of water was not even enough to pick up all the flour. I had to at least double the water to make something that didn't resemble Play-Doh.

I got it to a "thick paste" consistency, and waited a few hours for the first bubbles. I then popped it in the fridge, where it waits for me now.

More to come, hopefully with pictures!


timtune's picture

Just a few days ago, i decided to try Pete Reinhart's Pane Siciliano. It's been a long time since i've wanted to try this..

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Wished i'd shape it better though.
But the semolina adds something nice to it :)!

Anybody tried Pane di Altamura before? Is it 100% durum flour bread?

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

It's still easy to cut yourself while slicing bread. Yesterday, when halving one of my Pane a l'Ancienne from TBBA, I put my hand on top of the loaf, and sliced along the side, like I always do. It removes the possibility of getting the knife in the palm of my hand. Instead, the knife skipped on the (beautiful) crust and right into the pad of my middle finger.
I managed to keep the blood off the bread! :) And boy, was there a lot of blood.
I served it at a friend's party, and it was the talk of the room. Nothing trumps fresh bread!


KazaKhan's picture

I started out on Saturday morning creating a fresh starter using 75% water to flour.

I moved on to a lunch loaf and a couple of baguettes.
Lunch Loaf & BaguettesCrumb

On Sunday it was a four strand platt, a lunch loaf and a couple more baguettes, however when proofing the platt dropped on to the baguettes. One baguette survived and the other was put aside to use for pizza later on in the day. The little bread roll was by my two year old daughter. I forgot to take a photo of the finished platt, I took it to my parents place to eat while watching some football it only lasted 15 minutes. I also forgot to take a photo of the finished pizzas, they were thoroughly enjoyed as well :-)
Four Strand PlattLunch Loaf & BaguetteDead BaguettePizza Base

I also added some malt to my starter in the morning which resulted in quite a lot of activity by the afternoon. (Images deleted...)
I suppose it doesn't look like much but I spent all weekend making and eating bread...

Teresa_in_nc's picture

Today is Saturday, a bread baking day: I've made a batch of Low Fat Bran Muffins with apples, raisins, oat bran and All Bran cereal and later today I will be making a whole wheat recipe as a tester for author, Peter Reinhart. Perhaps I will start Floyd's Pain Sur Poolish later today and finish it up tomorrow. So many little time.

Recently I received a copy of Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery. This is a book that I have wanted for a long time, but it may now be out of print. I was thrilled when an internet forum friend found a paperback copy on Ebay.

I'm now making my way through this fascinating book of history, investigation, and comment about all aspects of bread cookery. I've read about grains, milling, yeast, salt, other ingredients, bread ovens and am now up to bread factories. The recipes are in the second section of the book. First published in 1977, this book is universally acclaimed to be a major source of information on the subject of English bread and yeast baking. Mrs. David died in 1992.

This book is recommended to all the bakers here that want to learn more about the history of bread making.

whitedaisy's picture

While dealing with the stress of my best friend having a baby, my cousin dying and my hubby graduating as Valedictorian, I haven't been making dinner, let alone bread.
I finally managed to pull a loaf together last week, much to my family’s joy. It was just the loaf from lesson #1,(because that’s the recipe I can remember, so I don’t have to hunt down a recipe card) made with wheat flour instead of white. They complemented me so much, it made me remember why I bake.
Hopefully life will slow down and let me do more baking…
I finally tried to put a sourdough start together. It is day 5 and I have no bubbles, no growth, only a lump of wet flour. I think I’ll start over tomorrow.

timtune's picture

Just to update my blog,

I recently made 2 kinds of breads. First was a barley stout bread (malt syrup, rye, wheat, barley grains and ...Stout! :) ). Nice aroma with a slightly taste.

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The other is a maneesh zatar (in the front) and pitas.

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The zatar spice blend adds a wonderful aroma. Mmmm


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