The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


DanAyo's picture

The following are links to our Community Bakes

Below are tips & ideas that you may find useful. 
You can use THIS LINK to view all tips in a web browser.

For those in the US, the History of King Arthur Flour Company is very interesting and historic.

Although not listed as a tip, the links below may prove interesting for some.

Miscellaneous Blog Post

A compilation of my bakes during a Community Bake


I am trying to use a Table of Contents for my BLOG. Links to blogged bakes will be posted to this page. I plan to post a link to this page on all BLOG bakes, experiments, tips, Community Bakes, etc..

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Phase 1 - the bulk fermentation

Phase 2 - the pre-shape

Phase 3 - the final shaping


MPH23's picture

This seems to a problem with almost every recipe that I try (see picture).


For these loaves I tried:

I followed precisely as written.


There was very little change to the dough appearance/behavior after an overnight cold ferment. It was pretty solid. When I went to move it from banneton to dutch oven I could feel it deflate more (not that there was a lot to begin with).




Bob's Red Mill Whole Weat


Dove Farms strong white.





Kjknits's picture

I was watching random suggested videos on YouTube recently, and Lisa from Farmhouse on Boone popped up making sourdough puff pastry (recipe here). I’ve never made true puff pastry, with the butter envelope and all of that, instead being quite satisfied with King Arthur’s fast and easy puff pastry (It’s made like a biscuit dough; the butter is cut into the dry ingredients, then you add sour cream as the “liquid” and perform a few sets of folds…I always do more than the one fold they call for in the recipe).

At any rate, I was intrigued with the sourdough aspect of Lisa’s puff pastry, so I had to try it. It came out amazing! The recipe yields 2.5 lbs of dough. The first day I made four apple turnovers with half a pound of the dough. They were kind of goofy looking, because I forgot how to shape them (it’s been a while), but absolutely delicious and so, so flaky. 

The next day I used one pound to make a lattice crust for my go-to chicken pot pie recipe. I baked the crust on the filling…next time I’ll bake it separately on a baking sheet for maximum rise and flakiness, because the bottom of the dough stayed gummy on the filling and there wasn’t as much puff. No pics of that; we gobbled it up for dinner before I had a chance to take any. 

One pound is in the freezer and will probably make either a breakfast puff pastry “pizza” (you roll the dough out and put some cooked bacon or sausage on it, then scrambled eggs, then grated cheese and bake, like this recipe), or maybe some ham and cheese pinwheels for a fun “fancy” dinner. 

tpassin's picture

This loaf is a slightly changed version of the bread in my previous 50% einkorn post

Here's what I changed:

1. Used KA bread flour for all the white flour, as I had intended all along;
2. For the soaker, I used more water with the bran (about 30g) and heated the mixture to about 150° F;
3. During initial mixing I withheld about 50g of the planned water (see below);
4. The hydration ended slightly lower - about 20g of water less;
5. I proofed the loaf in a proofing basket;
6. I retarded the loaf in the refrigerator overnight.

Here's the formula from before:

220g sifted einkorn (Locke's mill)
all the soaker
200g KA bread flour
150g white sourdough starter
270g water (but see #3 below)
10g salt

For #3, after I mixed everything by hand and worked all the water in by repeatedly squeezing the dough, I thought the dough could handle more water.  I was mindful that in reading, it's always said that einkorn either can't absorb as much water or that it absorbs water slowly.  My plan was to get gluten development started and then work in more water.

This seemed to work - the dough was not sticky or hard to handle, so I added about 30g more.  It didn't absorb much, so I let the dough rest covered for half an hour with the unabsorbed water sitting in the bottom of the bowl.  Then I mixed by squeezing and kneading, and all that water got absorbed.  The dough felt good and easy to handle, so I didn't add any more water.  This means the total water was about 250g, not the 270g originally planned.  This makes the overall hydration including water and flour in the starter about 66%.

After this, I did a first S&F after 30 minutes - basically coil folds, though I took the dough out and stretched it in my hands for the last two turns.  A second S&F after a further 40 minutes, also between my hands.  The dough was getting extensible, but was willing to hold a shape, and was not sticky.  Altogether, the dough was much easier to handle compared with the previous einkorn loaf.

After a 5 hour bulk ferment, the dough had more than doubled and was growing rapidly.  I shaped it into a log without making a preform, and put it seam side up in the rattan proofing basket. Shaping was easier than the previous loaf because the dough was firmer and not sticky.  I covered it with a thin cotton hand towel.

After 45 minutes the loaf was rising well and possibly proofed well enough to bake, like the previous loaf after the same BF and proof times.  Instead, I put the loaf into the fridge.

The next morning I preheated the oven to 410° F for an hour. I took the loaf out of the fridge 10 minutes before bake time.  The top (while in the basket - i.e., the seam side) was pretty dry so I wiped it with water.  I inverted the loaf onto a parchment-covered cutting board, slashed it, and baked with initial steam for 37 minutes, to internal temperature 208° F.

The results were very pleasing.  The loaf was not overproofed during the overnight retardation, the crumb was a little more open than the previous loaf and was on the soft side (like the previous loaf).  The shape of the loaf was more pleasing because it had not had a chance to spread sideways much, and the overall volume was good.

Overall, I'm happy with this loaf, and the experience makes me more confident about raising the proportion of einkorn in the future.

In the pictures below, the slice may look smallish because it is the first slice off the end.


dmsnyder's picture

Pan de Cristal

David Snyder

September, 2023


Pan de Cristal is a bread that has intrigued me for some time. It is a white bread similar to an Italian ciabatta but of even higher hydration. I was a bit spooked by the anticipated challenge of handling such a wet dough until I viewed the instructional video made by Martin Philip, the fellow who took Jeffrey Hamelman’s place as head baker at King Arthur Bakers.


Here is a link to Martin’s video: Pan de Cristal demonstration video


And here’s a link to the recipe on Kingarthurbakers’ web site: Pan de Cristal Recipe


Pan de Cristal is based on a traditional Catalonian bread. The currently popular version derives from a recipe developed around 2010 by Jordi Nomen of Concept Pa Bakery in Barcelona. The original recipe may have included some sugar and some olive oil, but Martin’s version uses neither.


Versions of Pan de Cristal have been posted on The Fresh Loaf several times in past years. You may find these interesting and instructive.


I have now made Pan de Cristal two times. The second time I used 10% freshly milled hard Spring white whole wheat with no perceptible change in the bread - crust, crumb or flavor. This is a very nice bread. We have enjoyed it particularly for sandwiches. I have not yet used it for panini but plan to do so. Adding some olive oil and maybe some sugar are other variations to try.


Here are some more photos to encourage you to make this bread for yourself:







Happy Baking!



Yippee's picture


Please see here and here to learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS). 



While in Hong Kong, I sampled pineapple buns (called 'ball-law-bao' 菠蘿包 in Cantonese) from various bakeries I passed by. To my disappointment, they didn't live up to my childhood memories. Some lacked that satisfying bounce after a bite, and some had an odd taste in their pineapple crust. However, my disappointment quickly faded because I found the perfect, authentic recipe to recreate the ball-law-bao of my youth. This recipe comes from the book Hong Kong Bread by Chef Yung Ling Yau. P.S. There's a newer edition of this book with a revised title and additional recipes, including two more of my childhood favorites: egg tarts and coconut tarts.

Since decent ball-law-bao is hard to come by, I feel compelled to share this recipe with those who long for the delectable taste of this classic treat. 


While working with Chef Yau's recipe, I noticed something interesting: no salt was used. Surprisingly, the absence of salt didn't result in any unusual taste, thanks to the sweetness of the bread that masked the blandness. However, it's worth noting that the blandness becomes quite apparent in other salt-free bread dough, like Montreal-style bagels. So, generally, it's not a good idea to skip the salt.


The format of today's recipe differs from my usual ones, as I prepared the instructions for a friend who adores my ball-law-bao but lacks experience in bread baking.





Ingredients for the Pineapple Crust 

- enough for 16 buns; use half for one bake


- Pastry/cake flour: 168g

- Sugar: 112g

- Butter: 14g

- Milk powder: 14g

- Egg yolk: 1

- Lard: 66g

- Condensed milk: 28g

- Evaporated milk: 28g

- Ammonia carbonate: 2g (available at Michael’s or online)

- Baking soda: 1g

- Yields approximately 454g of crust




1. Mix the above ingredients until they are just homogeneous.


2. Use half of the batch for one bake. The crust per bun should be approximately 28g. Roll it into a ball, flatten it into a disc by hand, then gently roll it out once. Rotate the disc 90 degrees and roll it out again. Repeat this process until you've come full circle. The discs should be large enough to cover the proven dough balls' top. Refrigerate the discs while the buns are proving.


3. Refrigerate the remaining crust for the next bake.


Hong Kong Pineapple Buns


Ingredients (for 8 buns):



- All-purpose flour: 243g

- Whole egg: 1 (about 50-60g)

- Sugar: 38g



- Warm water: 84g (divided)



- Whole-wheat CLAS (flour + liquid): 19g

- Kosher salt: 3.8g (optional)

- GOLD yeast: 1.8g



- Butter: 23g (diced)



- Milk: 51g




1. Mix

  - Add ingredients from A. to the mixer with a paddle attachment.

  - Start the mixer.

  - Gradually add B. until a dough forms and all ingredients are moistened. Reserve any unused water for later use; you may not need all 84g, depending on how absorbent the flour is.


2. Rest

  - Cover the dough in the mixing bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.


3. Mix (again)

  - Switch to the dough hook.

  - Add C. and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add a little water to moisten if needed.

  - Mix with the dough hook until the dough gains strength and starts pulling away from the mixing bowl's sides.

  - Gradually add D. until well incorporated.

  - Gradually drizzle E. while the mixer is running. Add more after each drizzle is well incorporated into the dough.

  - If, at any point, the machine sounds labored or heats up, stop mixing and put the mixing bowl into the fridge to cool for 10 minutes before resuming mixing.

  - If you feel that the dough can take in more water or it feels dry (though not likely), and you have water reserved from above, drizzle it into the dough while the mixer is running and mix until it’s well incorporated.


4. Bulk Ferment – 1st rise

  - Place the dough in a straight-sided container and let it rise in a warm place until the volume doubles.


5. Divide and Preheat Oven

  - Divide the dough into 8 portions, approximately 63g each, and shape them into dough balls.

  - Prepare the crust, dividing it into 8 portions, approximately 28g each. Flatten and roll them into discs large enough to cover the top of the dough balls.

  - Preheat the oven to 392°F (for a darker crust) or 375°F (for a golden crust).


6. Final Proof - 2nd rise

  - Cover the dough balls and let them rise in a warm place (around 30°C) for about 30 minutes or until the dough appears slightly puffy.


7. Bake

  - Place a crust disc on each dough ball.

  - Apply an egg wash (whole egg whisked) on top.

  - Bake on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until the top appears golden. Rotate halfway through.


















tpassin's picture

After trying my hand at a 50% spelt loaf - see

I made a similar loaf with 50% einkorn flour. The stone-ground flour comes from a local restored water mill.  I've read a lot, mainly on this site, about how einkorn flour is runny and sticky and won't hold its shape.  E.g.,

I did recently make a loaf of mostly einkorn that I had to bake in a loaf pan - it had a very fine taste -  and I wondered if I could make a 50-50 formula hold a shape better.  I have also read that you won't really taste the einkorn difference until you get to a much higher percentage of einkorn flour.

The formula and procedure were nearly the same as for the 50% spelt loaf, with one exception I'll talk about in a minute.

220g sifted einkorn (Locke's mill)
all the soaker
200g white flour
150g white sourdough starter
270g water
10g salt

I increased the salt from 9g to 10g in the hope of strengthening the gluten.  My kitchen sifter sifted out about 7% of the flour weight, the same as for the spelt flour from the other post.  I poured 150% of the weight of the bran in boiling water to make a soaker, which I added back during initial kneading.

The big difference with the spelt loaf was that I didn't use bread flour for the 50% white component  By a mental lapse, I started adding all purpose flour, and only realized when I had put in 150g of the planned 200g. The remaining 50g was King Arthur bread flour, and I added another 10g for good measure.

Otherwise, the dough and its development went almost exactly like it did with the 50% spelt loaf.  I did proof it about an hour longer (I was out on a visit to a local farm market), and the bulk ferment volume had tripled.  Nothing wrong with the rising ability!  Overall, I did two stretch-and-fold sessions as for the spelt loaf.

Now for the shaping - gulp - the dough was pretty extensible and sure enough, didn't want to hold its form.  I rolled it and re-rolled it about 4 times and finally got to a point where I thought there might be some chance for a free-standing proof.  If it didn't work out, I figured I would convert the loaf to a pan loaf.

After 45 minutes, the loaf was proofed enough but it had spread out a lot sideways.  I suppose that was to be expected.  I thought it could make a successful bake anyway, so I went ahead and slashed it and baked with steam.  It baked to an internal temperature of 208° F in 30 minutes at 410° F.

You can see from the pictures that although the loaf did end up very wide, it rose decently and the crumb is quite open for this kind of flour.  I think this bread would work well in a pain rustique form factor.

The flavor?  It was very pleasant, but I thought the distinct einkorn taste was not very prominent.  This fits in with other's remarks that a higher percentage of einkorn is needed to let its distinctive flavor come forward.

CrustyJohn's picture

I've long been yearning to bake a nice perfectly rectangular rye loaf.  Earlier this year I finally bought a pullman loaf pan, but since starting to use it, I've discovered it's not so simple as just baking a loaf in such a pan.  Thus far the rye loaves I've baked in it have stopped their rises just a little short of the rim, thus resulting in a slightly domed top.  On the other end of the spectrum, a wheat loaf blew the lid off the top.  There's nothing wrong with rounded tops, but I wanted the Nordic esthetic.  I realized it's important to get the dough volume right.  With this loaf I finally did that.  For my loaf pan (the standard length pullman I believe), it seems to be 1000g of flour/seeds and whole or chopped grains

It was a three stage affair:


100g Maine Grains rye flour

100g water

35 g starter

~let sit at room temp. (60s) overnight (~10 hrs)

2. add

400g seed & multigrain mix

50g barley

200g rye flour

mix thoroughly and let sit ~4 hrs at room temp (60s)

650g water

3. add

250g rye flour

mix thoroughly, place in oiled pan, smooth top with water and dough scraper.  Let rise until nearly at top of pan.  This happened sooner than I expected (about 3 hrs) so I put it in the refrigerator to put it on hold until I was ready to bake. 

Baked at ~450 for 40 min. then 400 for another 30-40 min.  Took the lid off for the a bit toward the end to brown it up.  Let cool in turned off oven.


The close reader may notice that missing from the list of ingredients is salt. This was not my intention, but the loaf still tastes quite good, probably better than a what loaf would taste sans salt.  I guess I'll have to bake another rye loaf!

aly-hassabelnaby's picture

Hello everyone,

I've posted the latest recipe on my blog for a type of bread we have in Egypt called "Eish Senn". It's a pocket-style bread with lots of wheat bran mixed into the dough. Have a look and let me know if you give it a try and what do you think of the flavour?


The Breads of Egypt - Eish senn


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