The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


kmcquade's picture

Sometimes I look through recipes and don’t have what they require or just want to use stuff up that I have. Lately I have been enjoying my seed and grain breads, and mixed flour breads. I had some nice organic brown rice and some millet I wanted to use up. Personally, I think the hydration in dough is often the deciding factor in a quality outcome so I try to pay attention to that and try to determine it for recipes I review.

 OK, so first I needed to decide how much bread to make. For this experiment I figured I would start with a 1kg loaf just to test.

  • I was shooting for about 70% hydration.
  • I wanted to use my nice organic Starter about 30%
  • I figured about 1 cup of the cooked rice and millet would be a good amount
  • I wanted some milk contribution for softness
  • I wanted some organic brown sugar for sweetness

So here is the method I used.

So my initial plan was to use 500gm Organic AP flour

  • 150 gm. Starter (30% of 500)
  • 113.5 gm. cooked millet (about 4oz)
  • 113.5 gm. cooked organic brown rice (about 4 oz.)
  • 113.5 gm. Milk (about 4oz) (2% low fat  is all I had )
  • 2TBSP Brown sugar
  • 1.5 TSP Salt – just from experience about the right amount.

Also just to hedge by bet, I spiked with about ¼ tsp. instant yeast in case my starter is not behaving – I did feed the starter 2 times prior to use.

Water? How much water should I add?

Given a 150 gm. of a 100% starter, that means it contains 75gm flour and 75gm water

So my total flour was 500+ 75 = 575

For basic 70% hydration this would need .70(574) = 402gm water

 But,  there is already 75 gm. of water from the starter, and there is a lot of water in the cooked rice and millet ? How much you ask?

Well I assumed a 2:1 ratio because I used 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice

This would mean that if I used 113.5 gm. cooked rice  A little math shows that:

The rice was 37.83 gm. and the water was 75.66 gm.

Here is the math for those interested

                        R=rice , W = water.

(eq 1) R+W =113.5

(eq2) W= 2(R) (water is twice as much as the rice weight)

            Substitute EQ 2 into eq 1

(eq3)  R+ 2R = 113.5

            Solve for R

R(3)= 113.5

R= 37.83

W=2R = 75.6

 I was not sure about the millet, because I did not take exact measures when cooking it so I assumed that same 2:1 ratio  - and used 75 gm. for the water component of the millet too.

 Ok so now we have:  desired water 402 gm. – 75gm (from the starter) – 75gm (from the cooked rice) – 75 gm. (from the cooked millet)  = 177gm

But don’t forget I have 113gm of milk,  so 177-113= 64 gm. of water needed to get close to a 70% hydration.

So what happened – Theory meets reality.

When I mixed it all up the dough seemed too dry, so I needed to add another 30 gm. of water or so. I believe I overestimated the water contribution from the rice and the millet. What I should have done was precisely measure the rice and millet  and water separately. Even that, it’s hard to determine the amount of water evaporated during cooking anyway.

 If I just used my original estimates and added 30 gm. H20  I get a hydration of 64% which is about how it felt under my hands – close to the hydration of a French bread ( 65%) but of course heavier because of the grains . My final dough weight was 1,117 gm. pretty close to my 1,000 gm. initial goal.

 On to phase 2 – the dough was on the cusp of being able to hand knead vs. having to do stretch and folds  ( I might add ,all my breads are hand needed – no mixer) .  I let it bench rest for about 1 hour in a cold Seattle Feb kitchen and did a couple stretch and folds then placed in the fridge overnight.

Pretty sticky dough

 Day 2

Out of the fridge the next morning for a few hours because it is cold in our kitchen – then shaped and proofed if for about 1.25 hrs. Bake in a cloche 475F covered 15 min, uncover and bake for another 15min at 450. It still was not reading hot enough inside probably because of the rice and millet, so it took another 15 at 420. (I find I get a crispier crust if I progressively decrease the temps.)

Result See picts

Moist Chewy sweet crust with that nice millet essence and color.



bitcat70's picture

Millet rye bread

November 1, 2012 - 7:03pm -- bitcat70


I wanted to try the Millet Rye Bread recipe from "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" but the ingredients for the sponge just don't seem right. It cals for water, millet, yeast and... rye flour? After mixing the ingredients it tells me to wait until it triples in volume. Is that even possible with those ingredients? As you notice there is no white flour in there. I want to bake this bread because I would like to expand the list of ingredients I use for baking and because I never baked one like that before. Thanks for any insights.

tmgoodsell's picture

Finding bulk grains and nuts in Europe

June 4, 2012 - 2:42am -- tmgoodsell

I already posted a question about grain mills to use in Germany but I also need to know if I can find supplies over there.  I currently mill my own flour, including gluten free flours for my son.  Does anyone know of a good supplier near Spangdahlem AB for buying whole grains in bulk?  I don't know if I can afford to feed my family if I can't mill my own GF flours, they are just too expensive.  Would Amazon be my best option?  If anyone has experience with this or knows of someone who does, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thank you so much in advance.

freerk's picture

Baking with one hand; german rolls baking video

September 3, 2011 - 7:34am -- freerk

Hey fellow TFL-ers,

Working hard on my baking with one hand skills. Thank you Panasonic, for a sturdy tiny camera, that will even survive a plunge in the dough (not that it has happened...yet)!

Welcome to the Bread Lab :-)


The YouTube video is hereby completely dedicated (I hope you appreciate this) to Hanseata (Karin)! Thank you for all your wonderful formulas on here, and making my favorite list read like a copy of your profile; this one's for you!

halimahanne's picture

Hello all!  I've been reading this site and playing with artisan breads for.. oh 6 weeks now.  Anyway, great site and great information, thanks!  

Recently I bought a cookbook called Good to the Grain which has recipes with a bunch of different flours, including brown butter scones with teff, buckwheat cookies and more.  So, being rather poor at following recipes, I decided to make something up with my stock of weird flours for extra flavors. O M G! I ate half of the first loaf the first day.  I'm not sure that I can describe the flavor...sweet and rich... thats not quite right.  But I would like to share, cuz it was so yummy.

Biga/Poolish thing:

50 g millet

70 g barley

40 g teff

170 g whole wheat

320 g water

1/8-1/4 tsp yeast

I made at night and put immediately in the fridge at 9:30 pm.

Final Dough


180 g AP

tsp yeast 

85 g water (on the warmish side to warm up the cold dough)

17 g salt (TB)


Autolyse 30 minutes without salt.  Added salt and did the French slap fold thing for maybe 5 minutes (where you pick it up bang the end on the table, stretch and fold it over).  Then I did 3-4  envelope thingys over the next 3 hours.  Shaped (not so good at that yet), rose and baked at 500 5 minutes with steam and then turned down to 450.  Not sure how long, used a thermometer  for doneness.

I want to try other breads (I have a starter in the fridge) yet I'm making this again for tomorrow! I'm addicted. Let me know what you think!  Thanks, Halimah

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you my bake from last night.  I made this bread using white corn flour, freshly milled jasmine brown rice, and millet.  I may have overhydrated, but I think it turned out nicely.  Enjoy!



700g AP

100g Jasmine Brown Rice (freshly milled)

100g Millet (freshly milled)

100g White Corn Flour

188g SD starter @ 60% hydr

700g Water

20g Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp ADY

1900g Total Dough Yield



6:35pm - Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl well, cover and let rest for 25 mins.

7:00pm - Knead for 30 seconds using wet hands and french fold kneading method in mixing bowl ala Richard Bertinet.  Cover let rest.

7:30pm - Turn dough.

8:00pm - Turn dough.

9:25p - Divide and shape into 2 boules.  Just do 2 letter folds, place in floured linen lined banneton and let proof for 1 hr.  Arrange baking stones on 2 levels along with steam pan.  Preheat to 500F.

10:00 - Turn dough out onto floured peel, place in oven directly on stone.  When all loaves are in, place 1 1/2 cups water in steam pan, close door.  Bake 15 mins at 450F with steam.  Rotate between stones, bake for 30 minutes at 425F.  Loaves are done when internal temp reaches 210F.  Cool completely before cutting.


Submitted to Yeastspotting on 5/6/10

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to tease you a bit.  I don't have pictures yet, but here is the recipe for something I will call the "Everything Levain".  I pretty much had all this stuff laying around in my kitchen, so I wanted to make a bread using all of it...  Here is the recipe below.  I will post pictures later this weekend.

Edit: So I finally cut into it.  A friend whom I gave a loaf said the crust was too crusty, and the inside was a bit "dense"...  My loaf, while it was very "crusty", I found the crumb to be pretty OK.  As for the taste, it's pretty OK.  There were so many things it it, that I can't really place any of the flavors individually...  I prefermented 50% of the total flour, with most of it being the mixture of bits.  Maybe next time I will preferment less, up the hydration, and bake it for a shorter amount of time...  Overall, I am pleased with this "bold" bake...  Enjoy!


3/16/10 - Everything Levain

Stiff Levain (60% Hydration)

440g - Bread Flour

70g  - Rye Berries (freshly ground)

70g  - Spelt Berries (freshly ground)

70g  - Hard Wheat Berries (freshly ground)

70g  - Millet (freshly ground)

70g  - Jasmine Brown Rice (freshly ground)

70g  - Cornmeal

70g  - Graham Flour (Bob's Red Mill)

70g  - 10 Grain Cereal (Bob's Red Mill)

600g - Water

100g - Firm Sourdough Starter (60% Hydration)

1700g - Total


Final Dough

750g - AP Flour

250g - Bread Flour

760g - Water

36g -  Kosher Salt

¾ Tablespoon - Instant Yeast

1700g - Stiff Levain

Yield - 3500g dough



Stiff Levain

7:30pm - Grind all grains

7:50pm - Mix all with wooden spoon until combined, knead with wet hands until rough dough is formed, cover and let rest.

11:30pm - Knead into ball, transfer to oiled container, cover and let rest on counter.



1:00am - Transfer to refrigerator overnight.

8:30am - Turn dough, shape into ball, return to refridgerator.



12:52pm - Take levain out of fridge, place on counter and let rest.

1:00pm - Mix flour/water from final dough, place in oiled container and let rest/autolyse in refrigerator.

6:04pm - Take dough out of fridge.  Measure out salt and yeast.  Cut up stiff levain into pieces and place onto dough, sprinkle with salt and yeast, knead 5 minutes and rest for 30 minutes, covered.

6:50pm - Knead dough 1 minute, cover let rest for 30 minutes.

7:20pm - Turn dough, cover let rest.

9:00pm - Divide dough into 3 equal pieces, shape, place in linen lined basket, covered with towel.  Proof for 90 minutes.

9:30pm - Arrange 2 baking stones on different  levels, arrange steam pan, turn on to 550F with convection, preheat for 1 hour.

10:30pm - Turn off convection, place 1 cup of water in steam pan, close door.  Turn boules out onto floured peel, slash as desired and load directly onto stone.  After last loaf is in, add 1 more cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Lower temp to 460F and bake 1 hr with no convection, rotating and shifting loaves between stones halfway through bake, lower to 430F for remaining half of bake.  Loaves are done when crust is deep brown, and internal temp is 210F.  Cool completely before cutting.


copyu's picture

Millet varieties...?

January 3, 2010 - 2:07am -- copyu

Hi all,

I've just come back from a long shopping trip. I was panicking about finding all the requisites for tomorrow's bake, as I live in Japan, where tastes are somewhat different from those of westerners. Still, I was successful—I even found amaranth and European Anise, eventually!

However, I am now confused about 'millet'. I found at least 6 or 7 different varieties in one store and was wondering which ones are used in Europe and the USA, if anyone can help.


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