The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Calcutta, India

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frangipani's picture

Hello from Calcutta, India

hello, am a longtime lurker on the site, came here to learn more about baking with whole wheat flour in India (atta), and found a lot of resources. I am keen to learn how to bake my own sandwich loaves, with as much whole grain as possible. 

My baking supplies are limited right now to store-bought atta flour, maida and a small toaster oven. I've had some luck with a sourdough loaf, but not with a regular sandwich loaf.


PaddyL's picture

I have baked bread in my little oven, one loaf at a time, and it is doable.  I gather that your atta flour is simply whole wheat flour sifted, so it should work just fine in whole wheat breads.  Sorry, but I don't know what maida is.

dabrownman's picture

with Atta is that is a durum wheat variety.  The protein is high but the gluten is not nearly as strong as regular wheat varieties.  You might try sifting out the bran (atta) and use that to feed the SD levain so that it gets and stays wet as long as possible and less likely to cut the gluten strands.  If you sift out the atta and don't use it at all you will likely get a 80-85 high extraction durum flour which is still pretty healthy since the most healthy white flours start at 72% extraction where they sift out 28% of the good stuff.

Miada is usually more like cake flour and usually beached as well to make it soft and white.  Probably not to good for bread from a gluten point of view.  

frangipani's picture

Thanks Dabrownman. I will try sifting the atta in the future!

msneuropil's picture

Have you tried baking on the stove top with a cast iron or heavy 4Qt pot??  I used to bake bread with the pot sitting in a camp fire.  I got acceptable bread that way so why not try it.  I heated the pot while cooking meals...then after the fire turned to coals...I put the dough into the pot and piled the coals around the pot and left it to go fishing.  Came back and fire was almost out and bread was done.  Might work for you.'s picture

Dear Fran,


I live in Karachi, Pakistan  and have been baking breads in my oven successfully, now trying to develop a saurdough seed culture. Since you have created one,  share your process. i am following rye flour and pineapple juice method. But I am worried about the time for feeding and stirring since the temperatures here are higher. Would truly appreciate any insights from your experience. Farah

frangipani's picture

Hi Farah,

I basically followed a simple method to make my sourdough. I kept aside a small lemon-sized ball of a yeasted, proofed dough I was going to bake! Then I put it in the fridge. Whenever I want to use it, I just bring it out, feed it some sugar and flour, wait till it's bubbly (in our climate only a few hours), and I add it to the new dough. To be honest, I have only done this 2-4 times, but it has worked nicely. I got a quite tasty loaf with nice large holes.

What do you bake with? Atta or maida?


EDIT: just saw your thread - facebook is blocked at work so I can't see your blog, but look forward to it!