The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello All

yeast infection's picture
yeast infection

Hello All

New-ish to baking bread, I've got 2-3 yrs of baking loaves with KA and Fleishmann's yeast, trying to save money. I think my loaves came to $0.76 each, but it's still straight carbs, now I have finally gotten the scratch together to buy a grain mill. I'm working on motorizing it with recycled parts, ie. I have a 3/4 hp motor out of a gas pump, and a compressor flywheel/pulley sheave, and other bits and bobs from the hardware store.

I have to brag about my sponge. I've got what looks to be a very good sponge going. I took a few pieces of quaking aspen bark in the dead of winter and it bubbled within a few hours, threw the bark away, and babied the colony for 11 days, and got a fruity, banana-like, fruity alcohol smelling, bubbly sponge. Once I'm motorized (a few days) I will be doing a few runs of bread.

I'm going to completely phase out refined flour. I realize that that stuff is nasty, when it's compared to whole ground wheat. 

I have a fantastic wild blackberry patch, and want to see if I can get some yeast from them, too.

This wild yeast business is bringing out the biology class in me!


Here's my pulleys I'm using to gear down my grain mill:


I made a loaf in a glass dutch oven the other day, and pondered whether I should photograph it for y'all, but we ate it :)


I'll stop here and get back into the shed to work on the motorizing setup.







dosco's picture

Pics! Post some pics of the finished product!!





clearlyanidiot's picture

What type of grain mill did you get?

andychrist's picture

Is the grind adjustable between course and very fine?


yeast infection's picture
yeast infection

Yes, the black knob on the front adjusts that. It came with stainless steel burrs. I believe the burrs are suitable for grinding nuts, coffee, spices, beans, flour for bread, etc. If you want to grind very fine flour for pastries, you need the buy the optional stones. The stones are aluminum oxide like bench grinder stones. I was thinking that I should do a mini review of it once I get it motorized, if there are people who want a total breakdown like that. Well worth the $, IMO.

andychrist's picture

Is working the crank manually really so much of a chore, or do you need to process umpteen amounts of grain? Wish they sold hand cranked dough kneaders that worked like your grain mill, I don't have electricity yet at my summer campground. 

Looking forward to your review.

yeast infection's picture
yeast infection

Yes it's really too much labor to hand crank it, but do-able if you really had to. I think I've done two, maybe three batches of bread and think that's enough to get the point that it's too much work. You have to crank the burrs down tight in order to get fine bread flour, and that's hard to crank. I'd take it to camp tho, and do breads in a cast iron dutch oven.

gerhard's picture

I have never really understood the desire for hand cranked dough kneaders, kneading isn't very hard and for higher hydration doughs stretch and fold seems to work well.


Antilope's picture

well on 65% hydration dough. I use this method all the time.

Bingowings's picture

I have tubs and tubs of them in the freezer and jam made from the fruit picked around October.

It's daft that supermarkets charge quite a bit for them but they grow just about everywhere.