The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Maine!

BBQinMaineiac's picture

Hello from Maine!

Hi everyone. This is my first post here.

I'm not a new bread baker, but my more in depth interest in bread making is new. I was basically discussing that with a member here and as she told me, "I'd do you a disservice if I didn't strongly suggest you go over to "The Fresh Loaf.". So here I am to take part when I know something, but for now to mostly learn and ask questions.

I'm a retired gent, so is my wife, except she's not a gent :-) . As you can tell from my username I live in Maine and I like southern BBQ. I do 99% of our cooking, and I enjoy it,  but my wife does help at times as my sous chef.  I began my more in depth "study" of bread making approx' 6 months ago with the gift of an older Kitchen Aid mixer from a friend. That mixer required lubrication and was given to us because of that condition; our friend thought I could fix it. I did, and for a few months we didn't buy a single loaf of store bought bread. Then the gears stripped in it. In the interim of shipping it out, the repair, and getting it back, I began looking for a new mixer. My answer was an Ankarsrum. So far I'm loving the new mixer.

Making the bread I made on the KA was easy, but I still wasn't happy with the flavor of the bread. To me more flavor means sourdough. Those first loaves were  pretty easy. But now I wanted to use fresh ground hard white wheat for even more flavor and nutrition in my bread. It took approx 3 weeks to perfect that KAF Rustic Sourdough made with fresh ground hard white whole wheat. BTW, our dogs love failed loaves that are cut into treats and slow baked hard/crunchy. Plus I know what's in those treats. :-) I'm saying that I had lots of failures with that loaf before figuring it out.

The other night I made hamburger buns (2nd time, but this time they were superior)  for cherry smoke grilled burgers made with our fresh ground beef. My wife declared them the best burgers she ever ate because of the buns and the ground beef. She's had my cherry smoked burgers before, but always with store ground meat. But back on subject...

I need to expand my horizons even more though. I absolutely must master the NY Sourdough Rye (aka Jewish Rye, or that's what we called it growing up) that I remember my parents buying for a treat now and then outside of NYC when I was a child. I miss it and it's a fantastic loaf. If I can get that flavor with fresh ground rye so much the better.

So I plan to read, ask questions, and when able, add something to threads.

Thanks for taking the time to read this folks!

Edit: Oh, and I make a killer thin crust pizza.

DavidEF's picture

Try the search box at the upper right. You may find exactly the Rye you're looking for, or even a better one than you could have imagined. Lots of people around here like rye. Thanks for coming, enjoy your stay! Oh, and I'm looking forward to reading about your hamburger buns, and your pizza, if you get a chance. I use my sourdough for pizza, and words can't describe how awesome that tastes!

BBQinMaineiac's picture

Hi David, Thanks for the welcome.

The pizza dough I now make is the Americas Test Kitchen thin crust. I'd post it but it's probably copyrighted. I do make one change though. ATK says to use it within 3 days. I find that it can stay in the man cave refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. In the kitchen reefer maybe not so long, but the MC reefer doesn't get opened every 5 minutes and it hovers near 32°F. I have a picture I think. Sorry, I'm bad. I can't do it, PhotoBucket isn't supported.



DavidEF's picture

I have a pizza crust recipe I used for years, and it was pretty good. When I started with sourdough, I tried mixing my pizza crust recipe with the sourdough instead of using commercial yeast. It was pretty good then, too. Now that I've been learning a lot more about sourdough, I've stopped using that recipe. Since sourdough has such a wonderful flavor already, I don't add any enrichments to my pizza dough. It is just flour, water, starter and salt. And, on the subject of staying in the fridge, mine doesn't develop its best flavor until at least the fifth day in the fridge. Then, it is indescribably good for bread or pizza. I still need a good hamburger bun, though.

dabrownman's picture

I too am on the lookout for the next great hamburger bun, cure, smoke and grill  all kinds of meats and sausages  veggies etc (and one day flour for bread if I remember to get to it), pickle and jam just about everything, make 99% of the meals and am retired too.  You could be my twin now that you have found TFL and are taking your bread to a new level. 

Happy baking BBQ.......


BBQinMaineiac's picture

Yup, we sound like clones dabrownman. We garden and can  the produce, make pickles, jam from our highbush blueberries. I don't grow my own wheat yet though. I've been thinking of it, but when one looks at the price of wheat, it's pretty inexpensive.

But anyway... hamburger buns. I hope I'm not violating anyones copyright. If so, could a moderator remove it please?

Primo Grill Forum doesn't care, I'm  a mod' there, but I don't know what "Fermipan" is. They might care.

Note: Instead of one chicken egg the last time I made them I used 2 smaller guinea hen eggs. They have a higher percentage of yolk to albumen and the yolk is orange. The buns were a fantastic yellow color and very soft. Maybe a chicken egg with added lecithin would substitute for the GH eggs? Just a guess. Hey, this is an art, right?

In the Ankarsrum I use the roller setup. I love that mixer. The recipe is a hodgepodge of KA and Ankarsrum mixer instructions. I suspect it was written for KA, the Ankarsrum addons are my notes to myself.

Recipe follows.

Lynnes (from Hamburger Buns

Yield: 12 buns

Lynne gives credit to :

"Two Hour Buns Fermipan Quick Rise Yeast Rolls"

These buns are fantastic and fast!


1 1/2 cups water (lukewarm) (350 g)

4 TBL sugar (48g)

3 TBL oil (37g)

½ tsp salt (3 g)

1 TBL Quick Rise instant yeast (9.2g)

1 egg

3 1/2-4 cups bread flour (divided) or enough to make the dough workable (520 g)

Misc' Flour for the working surface and hands



Do in the order listed. Don’t use the kneading attachment, use the mixing attachment. (KA instructions)

Mix yeast, sugar, salt, 2 c flour, and ½ the water with the mixer in the mixing bowl. Turn off.

In a separate bowl mix the egg and oil. Add to mixer bowl.

Rinse egg/oil bowl with the remaining water and add to mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. As it’s mixing you adjust the flour to form a loose dough. It will be sloppy, but you’ll need to hand form the buns, so make a suitable dough. In the Ankarsrum I knead long enough to fully develop the gluten. This will be a soft but easily worked (by hand) dough. Kneading in the Ankarsrum takes about 6 minutes.

Turn the mixer off. Allow to rise for 15 minutes.

Turn the mixer on, to punch the dough down. Turn off and allow to rise another 15 minutes.

Flour your countertop and turn the dough out onto it.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, divide each piece into 2, then each of those into 2 again. You’ll have 12 equal pieces (82g).

Flour your hands and form the buns by gathering the dough at the bottom and forming a round smooth top. Pinch the dough at the bottom together. Adjust size by flattening and spreading them after forming them into a round. Sort of like a tiny pizza, but not to that degree. Just use the hands. (The original recipe said nothing about stretching the dough balls at all)

Place into a greased pan, pinched bottoms down. Allow to rise 1 hour. Bake in a 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes. Cool and use.

Darwin's picture

Fermipan makes the yeast, so I would guess they are happy for the plug   :)  I like guinea hen, but never had their eggs.

BBQinMaineiac's picture

Ahh, got it. Riddle solved.

Our GHs range free so that they can eat the ticks and unfortunately they won't use a nest box unless they're confined. So one must try to figure out where the nest is located in the puckerbrush. I mark 5 eggs or so so that they keep returning to it. I remove the unmarked eggs. I like them better than chicken eggs. They fit on a sausage patty/cheese/biscuit perfectly. Plus they're mostly yolk. Does anyone really like egg whites? :-)

This year they caught me stealing eggs and then they changed the nest location. There are probably a few hundred eggs in it now and even If I find them they'd only be good for 'tilling into the garden.

hanseata's picture

Welcome to TFL!

Like you I'm fortunate to have a spouse who always declares the bread I just baked is "the best I ever had".


BBQinMaineiac's picture

Karin, don't tell me that! I never thought she'd go the white lie route.