The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
Janknitz's picture

Hand mill questions

I'm interested in grinding my own grains--just in the daydreaming stage, BUT I have some questions:

1.  Just how hard is it to crank a hand mill??  Is it something a wimp could do (the wimp being me)?

2.  One of the reasons I don't want an electric mill is the noise.  Are hand cranked mills noisy?

3.  The other reason I don't want an electric mill is that with bad asthma I don't really need to be breathing in a lot of grain dust.  Is that much of a problem with a hand mill?

Any recommendations for a hand mill that is easy to crank, doesn't produce too much dust, is adjustable for differnt grains and grinds, and reasonably priced?

flournwater's picture

Bread Cost Calculator

I've received many email requests for the Excel Costing Calculator I assembled recently and all requests have been fulfilled (as of this posting).

Because of the interest I also posted it on my web site.  Admittedly, it is somewhat crude, but it works, and I will do my best to improve it as I become more familiar with Excel's idiosyncrasies.

If you're interested you can check it out at:

  -  click on Technical Stuff, then onTopic 5.


oceanicthai's picture

Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough Boule


I was inspired by JMonkey's bread from 2008 & from another bread I tried from Mike Avery's blog.  This bread was absolutely delicious.  I used my usual recipe for my sourdough boules with a 7-grain soaker so I wouldn't feel so guilty feeding it to my family.  I added 50 grams of Dutch cocoa, 100g of dried cranberries, and chocolate chips, folding it in the way JMOnkey showed so the chocolate wouldn't burn.  Worked fantastic. 

nicodvb's picture

What is exactly cornflour?

Sorry if the question is stupid, but someone wrote me that cornflour is actually corn *starch* rather than a more finely milled corn *meal*.

Can someone disambiguate the term, please? I'm losing my sleep :-)


SteveB's picture

Video - Craig Ponsford Bakes Ciabatta Integral

This video might be of interest to all you ciabatta fans out there.



Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

Bill Yosses (White House Pastry Chef) at Harvard University

To those of you who enjoy the science of things, these series of food science videos on Harvard's YouTube site are GREAT!

 Most are well over an hour, but well worth it!!  Enjoy


dwfender's picture

Heavy Topped Pizzas

I use the pizza recipe from BBA. The dough itself is excellent, easy to work with and pretty solid flavor. The other day however, I ran into some problems.


I made a buffalo chicken pizza. Obviously, this is a topping with a good deal of weight and moisture. I tried to spread the crust as thin as possible in hopes of getting a crunch out of it. It backfired and all I got was a crust that couldn't hold the weight of the toppings. So, I remade the dough recipe and tried it again, leaving the dough a little thicker and allowing it to cook slightly longer and I replace the heavy toppings with a simple tomato sauce and mozzarella. When the pizza came out of the oven it looked great. Nice dark bubbles on the crust, crisp and sturdy. I put it down on my wooden cutting board to cut it and before I knew it the center of the pie was already soggy. I cut it and ate it and I noticed that the flavor of the crust was pretty good but the texture wasn't. It was too chewy although it did have a nice crunch. 

So, to recap...My problems are, the center of the pie won't keep the crunch, or is too soggy, and the crust is slightly over chewy. 


My next try, I'm going to up my dough weight from 6 ounces to 9 ounces and stretch it to the same size. Hoping the extra dough will sit in the center and give it some structure. 


I've tried this dough with and without any fat in the recipe. I tend to leave it out for more crunch but haven't seen a difference in the way it changes the structure. Hoping someone might be able to shed some light on what I'm doing wrong. 

kvolluz's picture

Problems with Jim Lahey No Knead Methods - Poor First Rise, Too Dense, Etc.

Hello, everyone.  I am new to baking as a result of seeking new uses for my Lodge dutch oven.  Of course, I discovered Jim's book in that process.  I've tried the basic white bread on several occasions and am not having any success to my great embarrassment and frustration.  My first rise just isn't getting to the size as described in the book.  I've checked my flour and it has the appropriate protein content.  I've changed my yeast to a new jar in order to make sure that it is fresh. I use a food scale in order to get the portions correct.  I use a thermometer in order to make sure that the water is the correct temperature.  I've even changed from using a metal mixing bowl to a plastic one in order to make sure that the dough is not too cool during the first rise.  All of this to no avail.  While I do get a rise, stopping at various times between 12-18 hours, it never doubles in size.  For my second rise, I place the dough in my warming drawer and that doesn't seem to help.  My breads barely get over 2 inches tall when completed (measured at the widest point).  And, of course, the bread is a quite dense, chewy, and simply not a pleasure to eat.  Since I've read so many great reviews of Jim's book and the no knead process generally, I know that I must be doing something wrong but am now at a loss as to what to do differently.  Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions, or advice (other than to buy my bread at the grocery store!!)?  Should I put the dough into the warming drawer for the first rise as well?  Of course, that's not in Jim's book but I really do not know what else to do.  If I can get a better first rise, I'm sure that my results will improve. I'm not going to give up.....I will also change the brand of flour (and yeast again) in order to see if this makes a positive change.  Look forward to hearing any thoughts.  Thanks.

hening's picture

japanese white bread

I only baking Japanese Bread.
My family love the airy, moist, soft and fluffy texture very much.
This is an excellent recipe for the light diet.
Good for making either sweet or salty sandwiches.

White Bread
bread flour (or all purpose) 100%  250G--for a 450G loaf pan
instant yeast 1.2%  3G
water ≥76% 190G+
sugar 4%   10G
salt  2%   5G
milk powder 2%  5G
unsalted butter 4%  10G

You can use vegetable oil instead of butter to make a vegan bread.The percentages of sugar and butter are much lower than the normal recipes, but the milk powder give enough helping for its fermentation.
Just follow by regular directions of making straight dough (directly fermented)

oceanicthai's picture

Bacon, Dill & Roasted Garlic Sourdough

Dill, bacon, olive oil, roasted garlic sourdough bread.


The fam's favorite bread so far.  All gone already.