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The Fresh Loaf
dough experiment

dough experiment

I intentionally made a cake batter like sourdough and it's pretty weird looking with the top split off. I am curious how much liquid can you put in a dough before it can no longer function as a dough? 

Omcan 10 QT mixer VS Eurodib 10QT mixer?? Which one is better?

Omcan 10 QT mixer VS Eurodib 10QT mixer?? Which one is better?

I am new to this forum. My kitchen Aid stand mixer just died and I am looking to buy either Omcan 10 Qt mixer or Eurodib 10 Qt mixer. Can anyone give me some suggestion?

Bubbles but no rise

Bubbles but no rise

So a few months ago I started another round of starter,  my 4th one.   On the upside this one's still alive and not completely funky.   So I uses the pineapple liquid start,  I did one rye,  and one whole grain multi which is switching to a white (I grind my own flour).   So after running the week with the pineapple juice I had a few bubbles,  I kept feeding and tossing or using the extra.  Then it didn't rise still,  so I thickened it and put it in the fridge for a week.   Pulled it out of the fridge and have been feeding 20g of starter 10g of flour and water twice  a day for 5 days still just bubbles no rise.   Lots of strings when you dip a spoon and pull it out but no noticeable rise.   Any recommendations? 

1000 g multigrain bread recipe

1000 g multigrain bread recipe

Although I have baked many multigrain breads, I can't find one based on 1000 g of flour. I have looked through my (extensive) library of bread cookbooks to no avail.  I have tried converting both Jeffrey Hamelman and Peter Reinhart's multigrain recipes to 1000 g and also tried using the baker's percentage, but I'm stuck. 

I have 2 perfect sized cast iron pots I use all the time when making Ken Forkish's artisan bread recipes (all based on 1000 g); however, his recipes do not include grains or seeds. 

Does anyone have a formula they can share?


Keeping It Simple

Keeping It Simple

These were commissions! 20% whole wheat, long cold bulk fermentation (24 hours) and long cold proof (18 hours). 300 g levain for 800 g flour, so about 38% levain by baker's percentage. Produced two medium-sized loaves. I can't stop experimenting with levain percentage!

Challah Easter Basket

Challah Easter Basket

I received a challenge from a facebook friend and this is the result.  I think it came out pretty good.  I used this as my guide along with the help of google translate:

Electric Motor Experts -- KitchenAid K5A Modification

Electric Motor Experts -- KitchenAid K5A Modification

 Electric motor experts:

This is a jam only I could get myself into. Someone posted a modification for the Hobart-era KitchenAid K5A mixer on a Yahoo group devoted to electric mixers. It replaces the speed control on the K5A with a more modern speed control for the later-model K5SS. Sounds like a worthwhile modification.

The problem is this. The K5A wiring diagram shows a grreen wire coming from the left brush and going to one side of a switch for AC power. In his instructions, the O.P. wires the black lead of the power cord directly to the AC switch. The other side of that switch goes to the phase control board; the switch is thus in series with the black lead of the power cord. In the mixer, the green wire from the left brush is joined to a wire connected to one side of the switch by means of a wire nut. To connect this switch to the phase control board, the wire nut must be removed and replaced with a push-on terminal. What then becomes of the wire from the left brush which is now disconnected? In the K5A schematic it goes to one side of the wirewound resistor when the power switch is closed.

For this reason his modification istructions aren't making sense to me so I figured I would post here. I have posed this question on the Yahoo board but I don't know if or when the author of this modification will be back with an answer. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Many thanks in advance for any help. Hopefully you can download his instructions here:

Raisin Pecan Whole Wheat Levain Baguettes

Raisin Pecan Whole Wheat Levain Baguettes

Recently I had an urge to try to recreate one of my favorite breads.  This one originated in Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Portland, OR.  To me it tastes almost like a dessert or sweet treat.  Eaten fresh, toasted, whatever, and with a slathering of butter or cream cheese across the top, the sweetness of the raisins just pop out on the taste buds.  It has more whole grain than any of the other baguettes I’ve made at home so far, and uses a stiff rather than a liquid levain.

A few differences to these include a “pre-shape" right out of the refrigerator as a square rather than cylindrical, a very short rest before final shaping and cross hatched scoring rather than the traditional baguette scoring.

This was my third attempt and I feel as though I am coming close to reproducing the original.  Well, as close as my taste buds will help me recall.  My first was working out the details, second was ironing out some of the procedures, and this attempt was the cleanup version, where I tried to make the baguettes shorter and more torpedo-like than traditional baguette.  These are actually about 12" long, although you wouldn't know if from the photos.

I still have a bit of work to do on the shaping, but think that I am almost there.

Here is my take.

And here is the only picture of Ken’s original version that I can locate, from his bakery website.

As the famous saying goes: “Man cannot live by Raisin Pecan bread alone”.  In between my attempts at the baguette, I decided to run a SJSD batch, but increase the volume by 25%, thereby making larger versions of David Snyder’s original beauties.  I also changed the SJSD liquid levain build, following dabrownman’s build schedule, albeit in 1 stage rather than his 3, and to sub out all of the levain flours with a 50/50 WW/Rye mix of flours.  So maybe this qualifies as a SoSJSD (Son of San Joaquin Sour Dough)  baguette!


I'm getting pretty consistent scoring (especially now that I've left my cold proofing experiments in the rear view mirror), but I'm not getting those big ol' ears, which I so love, with any consistency.  I'll blame it on the new oven (I'm certainly not going to take responsibility, now am I?).  

Or maybe I'll just Blame it on the Bossa Nova


Thoughts on the un-bread holiday of Passover

Thoughts on the un-bread holiday of Passover

I'm big on the celebration and the rituals of Passover, but I have many questions - way more than the traditional four that are asked and answered each year. Mine have to do with sourdough starters, matzo making, etc. Here's my synopsis of the holiday and my questions.

I thought, since one is supposed to discuss all aspects of the Exodus, a Fresh Loaf forum would be a good place to ponder the bread and un-bread aspects of the holiday.

A lovely holiday to all who observe it. May your week without bread (and some other foods) go well. To anyone else, it's an interesting topic.


Farmers' Market, Supermarkets, Food Shop

Farmers' Market, Supermarkets, Food Shop

Man oh man, how long has it been? 3 months since my last post on TFL? Well, it’s about time I post a quick update on my progress.

For those who don’t know, I’m an amateur baker turned pro (for about a year), now operating a sourdough microbakery called Siem Reap Bäckerei in Cambodia, Southeast Asia.


In my previous post, I mentioned the launch of a Farmers’ Market in Siem Reap, the first of its kind in the city. Initially, traffic was high and steady but since then has slowly dwindled.  

The future existence of the Farmer’s Market seems doubtful, but I’ll remain optimistic until the ship sinks.


About a couple of months ago I discontinued the production of my bread rolls. Too much effort for too little money. Some of my regulars were upset with the decision, but what else could I do? Plus, my health and happiness was compromised. The bread rolls weren’t naturally leavened and my heart belonged to sourdough. 


In early April, one of my clients, a luxury resort in Siem Reap, requested me to prepare challot (plural for challah) to their specifications for a Jewish event in March. Having little experience with challah, I was reluctant to accept the request but did so anyway. I had one month to prepare myself, so why the heck not?

Every week thereafter, I tested and adjusted my recipes, offered and sold my experimental challot at the Farmers’ Market.


Finally, trial after trial I was satisfied with my final product. Made with a stiff sourdough, unbleached T65 French flour, whole durum wheat flour, free-range chicken eggs, natural mineral water, extra virgin olive oil, honey, sea salt, and commercial yeast, topped with poppy seeds.

Praise the bread gods, my client and their customers were super happy with the challot!


Not too long ago, in mid-March, we celebrated the birthday of my business partner. We hosted 100 or so guests, with the majority being local Cambodians.

I was shocked to discover that my breads were depleted by the end of the party. Sourdough breads are generally incompatible with the palates of locals, and I was certain that the bulk of my breads would be left untouched!

For about 2 or 3 weeks I have been delivering my breads to an acclaimed Khmer restaurant called Garuda. Garuda is situated in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

It’s official! My bakery’s reputation has reached beyond our home base in Siem Reap!


Currently, I produce only 2 sourdough breads on a regular basis: a 7-grain loaf and a muesli loaf (containing walnuts, almonds, raisins, and rolled oats). I’m now working on a third loaf I call “Snow White”. It’s a French-style country bread whose greatest advantage is its food pairing versatility. Cheeses, cold cuts, sweet or savoury dips and spreads, soups, you name it.

Trials are nearly complete, perhaps as soon as the end of this week. I’m convinced the Snow White will be a big seller, so I’ve been anxious about its completion.


Look! Eco-friendly, paper bag packaging!

We’re now on our way to supplying sourdough breads to a few major supermarkets in town---but mini-sized. Why? Because we now know there’s high demand for tiny, adorable breads, more so than our standard 1 kilogram and half kilogram loaves.

As a test, last Sunday I made mini 7-grains (200g each) for the first time at the Farmers’ Market. Unexpectedly, they all sold out within a few hours.


My latest project: opening Phsa Aha (i.e., Cambodian for “food shop”), a cooperative artisanal food shop and restaurant.

For months my business partner and I searched high and low for a cafe or restaurant to house our breads. But, then, we realized dozens of food artisans in Siem Reap were in a similar position.

In the span of a few weeks, we’ve hunted down some of the best food artisans residing in Siem Reap, including a master butcher from Germany, a pastry chef from France, a former barista / now coffee consultant from Australia, a cheese producer from Italy, a free-range egg producer from Switzerland, several farmers of organic produce, and a few other skilled persons in the food arts.

Phsa Aha is coming into fruition, folks, and I can hardly contain my excitement!


Although I’m not around as often as I like, please feel free to message me for tips, thoughts, or whatever. It’s nice to stay connected with fellow bread bakers, especially in a country where they’re far from many.

Thanks so much for reading up on my bakery. Farewell and may your breads give you and others everlasting happiness!

Head Baker 
Siem Reap Bäckerei

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