The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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kolobezka's picture

Which grain mill?


I would like to mill my own wholegrain flour at home but do not know which grain mill works best. Is it better to buy a separate mill - a wooden one from Komo or something like Nutrimill. Or is the grain mill attachement to KitchenAid or Bosch mixer or Champion juicer doing the same job?

It would be great if it would grind also some legume flours, would not be too noisy and would not destroy the nutritional value by overheating.

Any advice and recommandation are welcome!



klmeat's picture

starter weight

I have a question that is driving me crazy , how can a stater be 166% hydration . 100%  would be the total or complete weight . would it be for every 100 oz of flour , I add 166 oz of water ? any help be appreciated , how any thing can be over 100% escapes me . thanks

rick.c's picture

Anis' Baguettes, Question @ dmsnyder &/or mcs &/or you


OK, so I have made this recipe several times and, well, I have not been wholly impressed.  The flavor is delicious, but the dough is in general difficult to work.  I don't and up with anything that resembles David's las post, nor a dough that resembles Mark's in his baguette shaping video,

Not that I would consider myself in a league with Dmsnyder or MCS, I just end up with a dough that sticks to everything, is nearly impossible to form, and slashing it is kind of useless.  I have tried ranges of KA AP & bread flours with no apparent change in the loaves. 

My question is, should I just hold back on some of the water, or is there something I am doing to not develop the gluten enough?

The recipe I used this time is...

300g KA Bread flour
100g KA AP flour
300g Water
8g salt
1/4 tsp yeast

Procedure was

  1. Mix to combine, rest for 20m, kept in fridge from this point on

  2. "knead" I do this by using a fist to spread the dough as far up the sides of the bowl and the folding back in, probably 6-7 times

  3. stretch and fold after 20m, I do this in the air-kinda like stretching a pizza, then folding it back onto itself

  4. retard 20ish hours, remove from fridge and S&F again

  5. let come to temp, usually ~ 2 hrs

  6. pre-shape, rest 20 m, then shape

  7. Let rise about an hour, bake under steam for 10m then dry for 15m

Note:  I don't use any flour for kneading or stretch and fold, or pre-shaping.  These pissed me off some so I rolled them in flour for the final shaping.

This made these 3 loaves


You can see the scores have nothing but color difference going for them, I knew they were going to be this way in such a slack dough, so I went a little overboard.  Also, a crumb shot for david, since I have asked for his input

Sliced too soon, but I was hungry.  It is interesting that the crumb was most open where I couldn't 'tuck' the dough because it was too sticky.  The left side of the front loaf in top picture is what is shown split above.  There was sporadic flour on the counter when I was shaping them and this end didn't get any.


Anyway,  Thanks in advance,  Rick


RobynNZ's picture

Poilane Video

Dorie Greenspan has posted a video clip which I think will appeal to TFLers:

It was too slow on my computer but I found by clicking "share" the video would pause and the next bit would slowly download, so alternating between 'share' and 'play' when it stuttered, I was able to watch it at normal speed.

Victoria CHA.'s picture
Victoria CHA.

Scorching problems with Jim Lahey no-knead bread recipes

I have been using the Jim Lahey no-knead bread method for several months, and with great success. The flour I use is organic, from Natural Way Mills of Middle River, Minnesota: Gold N White unbleached, containing the germ, as well as their whole wheat flour. I get a beautiful, chewy interior and a crisp crust, and magnificent flavor.  However Lahey is a fan of scorched crusts, and I am not. The problem is with the bottom crust, on which, whether I use all unbleached white flour or a mixture of UB white and whole wheat, or rye, or semolina (2:1), there is always a circle of scorching about one inch within the bottom perimeter of the loaf. I use a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven, 5 1/2 quart size. This occurs using his temperature, 475 F, baking dough covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 6 - 10 minutes, until interior temperature is 195 - 200 degrees F.  The last few minutes of covered baking I can smell the scorching begin. I've tried lowering the baking temperature to 450, and while the circle of scorching was very, very light, I did not get as good a spring or as wonderful an interior texture or flavor. Can anyone help with this problem?

sortachef's picture

Greek Easter Bread: Lambropsomo

Sortachef's Greek Easter Bread

 Greek Easter Bread


Makes one 2 ½ pound loaf


4 Tablespoons butter

2 heaping dessertspoons of honey

2 eggs

2 teaspoons dry yeast

1½ teaspoons salt (2 if using unsalted butter)

1 teaspoon anise extract

20 ounces (about 4 cups) unbleached white flour

1 1/3 cup water at room temperature

¾ cup additional flour for bench work

A 14" pizza pan fitted with parchment paper


4 red hardboiled eggs (see Dyeing Red Eggs @ )

1 eggyolk+1 teaspoon water for wash

4 teaspoons of raw hulled sesame seeds


Note: A flexible bowl scraper (or a Tupperware lid cut in half) comes in handy for working this dough.


Make the dough: In a mixer fitted with a flat beater, cream together the butter, honey, eggs, yeast, salt, anise extract and 1 cup of the flour. Beat well for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water and ½ cup flour, beat for a minute; another 1/3 cup water and ½ cup and beat, etc., until you have used up all the water and all but a cup of the 20 ounces of flour. Beat for a further 2 minutes.

Scrape off the flat beater, scrape down the bowl, and put in the other cup of flour. Switch to the dough hook; run mixer 10 minutes on low (mark 2 for Kitchenaid). Scrape down bowl if necessary. The dough is not stiff enough for the hook to pick it up, but this mixing will improve its structure.

Knead the dough: Sprinkle half of the benchwork flour onto a counter or board, scrape the dough onto it and, using the scraper, quickly fold the edges in to the middle. Put a bit of flour onto the dough and let it rest for a few minutes while you clean out the bowl.

Knead for 5 minutes, adding flour as necessary until you have used up the ¾ cup of extra flour.

First rise: Put the dough into the bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 3½ hours.

Second rise: Use the bowl scraper to pull the dough in from the edges, releasing the air, and then let rise 1½ hours at room temperature.

Make the braid: Turn the dough out onto a barely floured counter. Cut a 5-ounce piece of dough off and put it to one side, covered. Now, make bulk of the dough into a snake about 2 feet long, rolling it on the counter under your hands to stretch it out. Let it rest for a few minutes. For the next step you will want a clean section of counter 3' wide, with no flour on it or the dough will slip instead of roll.

Roll the dough snake out to 3' long, and cut into three equal pieces of about 12 ounces by weight. Roll each of the three pieces out to nearly 3' long. Your dough ropes should be 5/8" in diameter and roughly uniform.

Put 3 ends together, cross two ropes and throw the third across the Y. Braid until the ropes are used up, keeping the dough slack to keep the braids loose and thick.

Make the loaf: Lift one end of the braid off the counter and slip the parchment lined pan under it, and then lift the other end around to form a circle. Overlap the two ends of the braid by an inch, and push your thumb down in at that point. The first egg will go into that depression.

Adjust the braided ring on the parchment to make it as round as you can, and push your thumb down to make depressions at the other 3 quadrants. Carefully put in the eggs.

Roll the leftover piece of dough into a snake the thickness of a pencil. Around the eggs, snip 4 places with scissors to receive the ends of the dough that crosses over them. Cut pieces of dough to make the crosses.

Final rise: Cover lightly with a cloth and let rise for 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400º. If you're using a pizza stone or quarry tiles (recommended), let them heat up for at least 30 minutes.

Glaze and bake: Mix the egg yolk and the water in a ramekin, and brush the egg wash over the dough, being careful not to cover the eggs. For best coverage, brush a second time. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400º. Turn oven down to 350º and bake for another 25 minutes, turning the bread around at halfway.

Let cool for at least an hour before sharing with your Greek friends.

See original content at

Sedlmaierin's picture

Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased whole grain-HELP PLEASE!

Ok, so unless I have a moment of being a complete idiot, I think there is quite a mis-print in the amounts for this bread, under the home column.Anybody who has baked this bread and who can verify  my math here would be helpful-I will write up what I come up with once it is baked. I just want to bake the BREAD!

Ok, so it is a 65% hydration dough with 11.2 oz of AP flour and 4.8 oz of rye flour-that would put the water at 10.4 oz, right?



Sedlmaierin's picture

Has anybody used old rye bread to feed your starter?

Just wondering-I read about it on a German blog. I have (sadly) a whole bunch of rye bread that just wasn't quite up to par that I would be happy to use to feed my starter. The blog I was reading also mentioned that using old bread also makes the starter very sour-yippie for my taste buds. So, please chime in if you hav ever tired it and with what results.



copyu's picture

Bauernbrot confusion

Hi everyone,

I've been searching for a recipe that I would call "Bauernbrot". When I do find a recipe with photos I usually say to myself, "Hmmm—Nice 'Landbrot'!" Then I keep searching

The one I want doesn't have a particularly dark crumb (although that's possible to do with brewed coffee, caramel, molasses, cocoa powder, etc...) On the other hand, the loaf I want has a very dark, almost 'burnt'-looking crust. I live in Japan and one of the best rye breads I've ever tasted goes by the name Bauernbrot—it's always a torpedo shape, rather glazed looking and almost disgustingly brown—seriously—many Japanese would reject the loaf just because of the color. I rejected it too, for a while. It's obviously at least 60% rye and definitely sourdough

One day I was looking for 'Landbrot', my former favorite, but they were out of stock and there wasn't any "Muenchenerbrot", either, so I took a chance and bought the over-baked looking "Bauernbrot". It was a very pleasant surprise! I've made a similar-tasting bread from Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb", p106, in paperback [naturally-leavened rye bread (a 2-3-day build) using a 'barm starter'] but the crust color was fairly normal

Tonight, I found a German recipe for "Bauernbrot" that states the bread must bake for 60-70 that the secret I've been missing?  [I've read that the 'real' Pumpernickel, for example, were baked after the regular breads, once the ovens had started to cool down, and that they were left in the untended ovens for several hours.]

The recipe I found tonight looks just like many other German rye breads, although it contains a couple of grated potatoes in addition to the flours

Any other tips on how to get that 'burnt umber' colored crust?

Thank you,




bshuval's picture

Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets: bread

In the UK there is a fantastic TV show called "Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets". It's a delightful program presented by the wonderfully enthusiastic Raymond Blanc. His passion with food is thoroughly addictive. In each of the series' eight episodes, Raymond Blanc concentrates on a topic and showcases several related recipes. Some are quite simple, some are exceedingly complex, and Raymond does them with such grace and ease it is a joy to watch. There's a genuine feeling of honesty throughout the series.

Last night's episode was about bread. Raymond began the episode by making a wonderful cream-filled brioche. He placed his ingredients in the mixer, then struggled trying to operate it, realizing that it wasn't plugged in (such is the joy of this show). Once that problem was solved, he mixed the dough, added the butter, and proved the dough. Then, he shaped it by hand to a perfect round, filled with a creme-fraiche custard, and baked this delicacy. The nice thing about this show, that they are not afraid of showing mistakes -- Raymond had shaped the dough too thinly, and there was a little hole in his round, so that some of the filling escaped. He shared the brioche with his two sons. 

Raymond moved on to make a versatile country bread dough, which he made into a plain loaf of bread, a fougasse topped with various tasty things, and beer-topped rolled that looked delicious. Watching Raymond talk about bread with such passion was a joy. 

Raymond then went to visit a miller in search of some flours to make a Gluten-free loaf. They made an attempt with some chestnut flour that wasn't a total success, but was quite tasty, according to them. 

Raymond's final project was an apple croustade, a yeast dough preparation I have never seen before. He made the strangest yeast dough, where the liquid was in the form of beaten egg white mixed with egg yolks, water, and some sugar. The dough is then stretched by two people to a paper-thin layer, not unlike a strudel, and brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar. This is cut into squares, and place in neat little nest-like parcels in small tart tins to dry overnight. Then, Raymond thinly sliced apples, arranged them in a beautiful rosette, and baked them with butter and sugar. The next day, the dough parcels are baked and the caramelized apple rosettes are warmed up. The dessert is plated: place the apple rosettes onto a plate, and top with a dough parcel. Pour some vanilla-pear sauce around this, top with ginger-vanilla ice cream, and finely diced stem ginger. Wow! They finished the program with with Raymond and one of his apprentices sharing one of these. 

I'll probably never make the croustade, but the cream filled brioche is on my "to bake very soon" list. 

I whole-heartedly recommend that you watch this program. If you live in the UK, you can catch the program (and past episodes; I recommend the chocolate episode) on the BBC iPlayer, here. If you live outside the UK, as do I, you should make the effort to get a copy of this episode, because it is well worth watching.