The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ptnf's picture

NEWBIE to Milling at Home

Hello there!  I am new to milling and to this forum.  This site is so useful and with so much detailed information about everything you need to know about milling or baking!  I just have a question and I hope someone can assist me with this.  This may sound repetitive, please forgive a newbie but I have a Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill in my shopping cart on Amazon and would like to make sure this would be a good purchase before checking out.  Right now, I have a KitchenAid KGM Grain Mill Attachment for my KA mixer, it works great but it doesn't mill the grains to the fine flour I am used to baking with.  I am wondering if purchasing a Wonder Jr Deluxe mill would help mill the flour to the consistency I am looking for.  Can someone advise?  Any comments or thoughts are greatly appreciated!!  Thank you!!!


Felila's picture

Dieting and bread consumption

I *hope* I've finally found an effective way to diet. I am doing intermittent fasting. I refrain from eating 16 hours a day (8 PM to noon) and let myself eat the other 8. Probably just a personal quirk, but it's a lot easier to NOT EAT, period, than it is to think about what to eat, how much, can I eat something now, etc. I can stick to a 1300 calorie diet for the 8 hours that food is allowed. 

My bread consumption has plunged. I don't finish eating a loaf before it starts to mold. I trim and cut up the loaf and freeze the cubes, but I can only eat so much bread pudding and strata (especially on a diet). 

I need to revise my bread baking routine so that I make four small loaves rather than two large batardes. Or perhaps even go to rolls. Freeze what I can't eat immediately.

There is going to be a period of adjustment while I figure out oven temps and times. I am a creature of habit and I don't look forward to the change ... but I may end up someplace new that I like even better. 



Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

How do I get more yeast in my (Tartine) starter?

I recently made a Tartine loaf that blew me away.  They were HUGE!  Never were they that big in a year and a half of bread baking.

I don't understand what I did different ??  And how come I cant duplicate that loaf again ??  Their had to be more yeast than normal because the loaves were so big.

One thing in my notes was that the starter was 24 hours old and had a dry skin on top.............could that of been it?


peppermintpatte's picture


Hi Everone

I really hope that there is someone out there who can help. I am at my wit’s end and needless to say it seems hopeless at making bread.

I have tried to make bread on and off for several years. I make bread every couple of days for about 6 months and only get heavy bread, then give a break, and start again. I have even done a 9 month commercial bread baking course and still get the same results. Heavy bread!

I have addressed the flour, too much or too little, the same for water, salt, yeast (dry and fresh) and sugar.  As well as the kneading, by hand, by Kenwood mixer and by bread machine. I have put the dough under plastic, in a plastic bag, in a warm over, in a warm microwave oven, and still the results are always the same. Heavy bread!

I taught my daughter to make bread and her bread comes out light, we use the same oven, flour, water, salt, sugar and yeast. The bread is also put in the same place to rise and I get a totally different result to my daughter.

I did notice that the other day while making bread on a 32 degree C day that my bread was cold and damp, despite using warm water, the dough had doubled in size was cold even though it was a hot sunny day.

I have several good books, been onto YouTube and even have a videos even with all this I still dismal results.

Does anyone have any suggestions or am I one of those people that just cannot make a good loaf of bread.

Thanks in advance

gmagmabaking2's picture

Barb's (gmabaking) Tartine Bread Saga!

My sister Barbra made Tartine bread... I am posting the pictures and she will come on as a reply with the "rest of the story."


There you go... she says things went wrong and these pictures would be proof of that... I am not seeing much bad stuff here... looks pretty amazing to me... 

You go Barb, tell em all about it.

LOL Diane


Syd-a's picture


Yesterday was an experimental day, as I had somewhat promised. I wanted a sourdough loaf, wanted some fruit in there too and also wanted to try some smaller rolls in addition to a loaf.

I added the fruit (which I pre plumped and drained the night before to try and decrease the impact of extra hydration coming from the sultanas) In the last knead and fold phase before shaping and the final proof. This gave a fairly good distribution of fruit within the bread. 

The rolls (80g) were final proofed for about 1h less than the larger loaf (500g) in the end and baked together.

The rolls were great, nice and crusty top and kept their shape very well and had some good oven spring too. I would have liked more spring, but I think I over proof my bread as I am still learning. I was told they tasted good. The sourness was diminished though by the addition of the fruit, naturally. The crumb was a little denser than I was hoping for, but of course the fruit no doubt was the cause of that.

Then onto the larger loafs (no more pictures I am afraid). It was ok. The shaping was very difficult without a banneton or bowl and my attempt at a baton shape was good (compressed by a tea towel wrapped around it). However, it came out a little flat and oven spring was minimal. Again, I think the problem is in proofing times, but despite checking with the poke test it is still hard to decide when to bake or wait longer. 

I also made a 500g wholemeal sourdough for my sister. That had a really good shape and was pleased with the proofing, but the crumb was a little too dense and I believe it should have been hydrated more (I had a level of 65%). In the end it looked ok and I feel I learned more about bread baking and understand some stages that really are critical for getting good loaves.

Thanks a lot for all your help, all the positive comments and encouragement the last couple of weeks, but this will be my last post for a long time as I am having to return to hospital in the coming days. I hope to return, but one never knows.

Take care and happy baking to all


Danthomir's picture

Can't get my kneading right

Hi there! I've been lurking the forums for a while and now I like a ask something if I may.

I never seem to get my dough developed right before it falls apart.

I'm using
- German type 1050 flower (supposed to have a high level of proteins)
- 68% water
- 1,5% salt
- 1% sugar

I mix it in my mixer (Kenwood kMix) for about 2 minutes on speed 0.5 until everything is combined well. The dough is lumpy an coarse. Then I speed it up to speed 1.5 and check up on the dough every 2 minutes. I notice the dough is getting more smooth and elastic, but it keeps being "short" and tearing easily.

Then, after about 7-10 minutes, more kneading seems to reverse the process. It gets less elastic, rips even more easily when performing a windowpane test and is far too sticky. When I try to form it into a ball (which is nearly impossible due to the stickiness) the skin rips and tears into a zig-zag pattern.

So I guess I overdid it. But how is it possible to over-knead it when it seems it was nowhere near the point of being kneaded enough? Ive seen countless of videos where people show an easy to handle smooth dough with a silky shine to it, where mine is always a dull looking ball of ill-behaving goo.

I did some experiments with a little more hydration and I already lowered the salt from 2% to 1.5% to have less tightening effect on the gluten. Didn't work. I tried once to just keep on mixing but after 25 minutes it was still horrible.

Any tips?



wyattg's picture

white bread being white.

Why is my white bread not white but a lighter shade of brown.


I use strong white flour, sugar, salt, yeast , rapeseed oil and water.

Banker's picture

Summer baking and oven spring

I am an experienced baker but I am having some difficulty in achieving  a decent oven spring during the Midwestern summer months. I am baking with primarily white whole wheat flour and using sourdough and yeasted formulas that have been successful. Flour and water are both fresh.  The doughs are slacker than typical even though I have increased the flour.  My house has AC and I have been using a proofing box that has produced good results. First rise is good, second rise is decent but not great.   Any advice is appreciated

beaker606's picture

USA Hearth Loaf Pan--Loaf Size Question

I received a USA Hearth Loaf Pan from my kids for my birthday.  I've wanted one for some time so I'm very glad to have it. My question is just how big (roughly speaking) of a loaf do I bake?  As in 1.5 lbs? 2 lbs?

If this has been answered already, I apologize.  I did a search and didn't find anything.

Thanks in advance!




Link to Amazon product description: