The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ApplePie's picture

Anyone in the SF bay area interested in whole wheat flour from Central Milling?

Hello Fresh Loafers!  Long time lurker, first time posting.

In my quest for sourcing good whole wheat flour, I called Nicky Giusto at Central Milling ( asking about prices and shipping.  I knew that Central Milling produces Whole Foods 365 Organic Unbleached All Purpose flour, and that Frank Sally at SFBI highly recommended flour from Central Milling so I figured I'd give it a try.  To my surprise he said I could swing by their warehouse in Petaluma and buy flour directly (gotta love that!)

I'm planning a run to their warehouse tomorrow to buy whole wheat flour, specifically Organic Whole Wheat Hi Pro Flour Fine, and anything else that catches my eye.  This is the whole wheat flour they developed for Acme bakery's whole wheat products.

Someone at the warehouse might be able to break down a 50 lb bag into something more manageable.  But if not, is anyone out there interested in splitting a 50 lb bag?  I'm sure it's great flour, but I still prefer to try out a smaller quantity.  If you're in the SF Bay Area (I'm in San Jose) and are interested, let me know.


maggiem's picture

Roasted Garlic

Hi, I am roasting some beautiful cloves of garlic (the house smells wonderful) and I am also in the process of warming up my starter for a couple of loaves. I was thinking of crushing the roasted cloves and adding them to my bread during the last few minutes of kneading. Does this sound like a good plan?

Thanks, Maggie

Susan's picture

Simple AP Sourdough

Here's the AP version of my usual sourdough.  It's 61% hydration. Next time I'll stretch the hydration to 65%.  Trial and Error.  It includes 20g of dry brown sesame seeds and 25g of whole wheat flour. 

I like a more chewy crumb than this loaf provides, but for those who want a crispy crust with a soft crumb, here you go:


txfarmer's picture

Still struggling with Horst Bandel’s Black Pumpernickel

I made this bread for the 3rd time this past weekend, and it still didn't rise up to fill the pullman pan during the bake. I've tried all sorts of hydration levels, the latest dough was the wettest one, but it didn't make any difference in terms of the height in the bread. I tried to let it proof to 3/4 inch below the pan lid like instructed in the recipe, also tried to let it proof higher and lower before, no difference, the bread just does not get to the top. So my question is: has anyone baked this bread and have it filled the whole pullman pan to the top, WITHOUT adding any extra flour? What's your trick? I held back water during mixing and add as needed, this lst time I added 10 oz of the final 12.8oz water, I don't think the dough can take any more water than that. The first two times I kept the dough drier, no difference. 

Since it's a big batch of dough, KA doesn't do a good job of mixing it. I actually mixed the high gluten flour with some water first to get the gluten started, then added in the rest of the soakers and rye chops. I am obsessed to get it right but running out of ideas!

I used:

13X4X4 pullman pan (the recipe indicated 13X3.75X3.75 pan, but I think they are the same thing? Really don't think that 0.25 would make such a big difference)

Sir Lancelot high gluten flour

my rye starter was active and double every time after I feed it


What gives?

Susan's picture

Prescott Flaxseed Sourdough

Same old recipe, tweaked a little for the seeds.  I keep learning more and more, thanks to everybody here.  This one's named Prescott, as we're up the hill in Arizona for a short while. 

Here's the way I did it. It's only one way, so bake how it suits you and your location, temp, flours, etc.

20g whole flaxseed and 55g warm water, soaked for about 30 minutes before starting dough

50g firm starter

175g water

275g KA Bread Flour

25g whole wheat flour

6g salt

Mix starter and water, add all of flaxseed mixture, then add flours and salt.  Mix minimally by hand just until flour is wet, rest for 30 minutes, one Stretch & Fold, two more S&Fs at 1-hour intervals, let rise to double.  Keep the dough temperature in mid-70'sF during fermentation.  Pre-shape, rest 15 minutes, shape, then overturn into linen-lined basket.  Put in plastic bag, then into fridge for overnight.  Out of fridge for two hours before scoring, loading into oven, and covering. Oven preheated to 480F, then lowered to 440F after 3-5 minutes.  Bake 20 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered, 5 minutes in turned-off oven.

Note:  You can retard this dough in an oiled bowl after folding, if you like, and continue in the morning.

Raymowick's picture

Software for new retail operation

Afternoon everyone,

Been crawling the net looking for all the guidence I could get but thought it was about time to reach out to those with the passion in the field. I am working with a few others to get a bakery started up in our area and in turn need a good software solution. We will be doing both artisan breads as well as custom cakes.....both retail and wholesale. Our community has a nice void with regards to bakeries, we all have the passion and its a leap of faith we are willing to take.....despite being relatively green.

Would any small business sorts have any software to recommend that helps provide a good foundation?

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Asking for suggestions on what to do with sweet dough

Hello everyone!

I have a batch in the fridge of the USA Team sweet dough from Maggie Gleazer's Artisanal Baking.  Don't really want to make the monkey bread or the cinnamon pull-apart bread in the book.  May I ask for ideas on what to do with the dough?  I happened to add sultanas to it thinking maybe I'll make a loaf of raisin bread but I'm not sure it's the right base.  I'll be taking it out of the fridge first thing tomorrow morning.

Thanks in advance.

Shiao-Ping's picture

Pain au Levain with 20% Spelt

I find Hamelman's Pain au Levain formula very attractive (page 158 of "Bread").  A friend asked if I could do spelt sourdough for her.  I thought I would try 20% spelt flour to start with.  Essentially I took Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat Flour formula (page 160 of "Bread") and substituted spelt for whole-wheat flour.  But I have no confidence in my bread machine to mix and knead the dough properly, so I made two versions to compare: one by hand, my way; and the other by machine, exactly as detailed in Hamelman's book.   


First levain build - 8 to 12 hours before final levain build 

  • 5 g starter

  • 14 g bread flour

  • 9 g water


Final levain build - 12 hours before final dough mixing 

  • 130 g bread flour

  • 9 g stone-ground organic medium rye flour

  • 85 g water

  • 28 g mature culture from above (@ approx. 60% hydration)


Total levain 252 grams.  Reserve 28 grams for future use; with the balance of 224 grams, I split it by two (ie, 112 grams each), one for the dough to be made by hand, and the other for the dough to be made by my bread machine. 


Final dough - the quantity below is to be split by two as above 

  • 549 g bread flour

  • 37 g stone-ground organic medium rye flour

  • 181 g organic spelt flour (of which 1/2 is wholemeal spelt flour)

  • 532 g water

  • 17 g salt

  • 224 g of levain from above


Total weight 1.54 kg to be split into two of 770 grams each; dough hydration 68%




Major differences in the two methods are as follows:

(1) Autolyse:  With the hand mixing version, I autolyse all ingredients, whereas with the other version, salt and levain are not mixed in until after the autolyse. 

(2) The levain: In Hamelman's machine version, the levain is cut up in chunks and spread on top of the dough to mix. With my hand version, I diluted the levain thoroughly with the formula water before adding the flours in to mix.  As a result, the levain in the hand version acts more vigorously.   This means that fermentation happens faster in the hand version (see below).

(3) Fermentation:  Temperature of both of the doughs was roughly 76F as recommended by Hamelman in his book.  Bulk fermentation was 2 and a 1/2 hours and proofing was 2 hours.  An interesting thing was that at the end of this fermentation time, I felt the two doughs with my finger - the one that was mixed and kneaded by bread machine felt just right, however, the hand version dough felt slightly over-proofed, very bubbly, gassy and fragile.

(4) Baking:  I baked the hand version dough first (and placed the other into the refrigerator to wait for its turn).  

(5) Scoring:  My scoring for the hand version dough was shocking; the other one was easier for me as it was in the refrigerator for half an hour.






It is very obvious that that the hand version pain au levain has a more open crumb.  Hamelman says of Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat Flour that "the bread has a clean flavor and a balanced acidity" this would apply to the two Pains au levain here with 20% Spelt as well.  The flavour is really lovely.


It is very easy to over-ferment the dough.  If dough temperature is higher or lower than the recommended 76F (24.5F) due to ambient temperature, fermentation time should be adjusted.



Kroha's picture

Questions about baking with sprouted flour

Hello everyone,

If you bake with sprouted flour and have some tricks to share, I would greatly appreciate it.  I made my first bread with sprouted flour today, Multigrain Struan from Reinhardt's Whole Grain Baking.  It is a recipe that uses biga and a soaker, and proceeds to combine the two with other ingredients (flour, yeast, honey, oil, salt) during the final dough mixing.  then bulk fermentation, dividing the dough and final rising.  The loaves start out in 425F oven with normal steam, but once the loaves are placed there, the temperature is lowered to 350F.  Loaves bake about 40 min and are rotated half-way through the bake.  I followed the recipe and baked on quarry tiles.  I made two loaves (one batard in La Cloche and one loaf in a loaf pan) with organic stone-ground whole wheat and two with organic sprouted (also one batard in La Cloche and one loaf in a loaf pan) for comparison. 

Sprouted flour loaves of either shape did not rise much in the oven, and the scored area sort of sank in.  Stone-ground flour loaves of both shapes had great oven spring and the scoring worked out fine as well.  Now, the taste...  Sprouted loaves were chewy and a bit "wet" to the taste, a bit sweeter than the stone-ground ones, with a more pronounced nutty flavor.  Yummy and delicous is the only word to describe them!  Now if I could only make them more visually attractive.  So, if you have secrets to share, I am eager to learn! Thank you so much in advance.


ellyw's picture

Pudding Chip Cookies

I found this recipe I really like and it is easy and fast to make, I found it on a recipes exchange site you can find more there, I hope you like it.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
half cup sugar
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant pudding, any flavor
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg. (12 oz.) mini morsels
Step 1 Preheat oven to 375F.
Step 2 Beat butter, sugars, pudding mix, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs; mix well. Gradually add flour and baking soda, beating until well blended. Stir in mini morsels. Drop dough by teasponfuls, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
Step 3 Bake at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool on wire racks.