The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Cliff Johnston's picture

WHEAT MONTANA's Prairie Gold

March 29, 2007 - 2:11pm -- Cliff Johnston

Try as I may I wasn't able to locate a local source of hard, spring, golden wheat at a reasonable price.  The freight cost made ordering direct prohibitive.  So, I had my nearby health-food-store-pill-pusher try to find any hard, spring wheat for me.  I'll give them credit.  They will try to find whatever I ask of them.  Imagine my surprise when I picked up the wheat today and found that they had obtained a GOLDEN, hard, spring wheat for me - Prairie Gold as grown and sold by Wheat Montana.  Here's their web site:  http://wheatmont

JesterBread's picture

German Coookies?

March 29, 2007 - 11:11am -- JesterBread

I am entering the Canadian Skills competion this next month, and one of the required product is a cookie. I'm think in going with a German theme for all of my products, can any one refer my to some seriously delicious german cookies??? website maybe? i remember earlier this year I made a german cookie for christmas, it had a premade waffer bottom? anyone remember what these badboys are called (I've got a horrible memeory) ??

thanks in advance!

chuppy's picture

Good Flour

March 28, 2007 - 8:51pm -- chuppy

Good evening! I am beginning to read more about different flours and not to mention going through quite a few bags at the same time. I've always bought gold brand as a family tradition, but this web site seems to suggest using the King Aurthur flours. Does it realy make a difference, and how can You buy flour in bigger quantities for less?

Thanks, Chuppy

JesterBread's picture

big hey from Nova Scotia

March 28, 2007 - 6:44pm -- JesterBread

I've been meaing to sign up on this board for a while, who could ask for a better site?

 Right now I'm attending the Boulanger program at Nova Scotia Community College, desparatly scrambling to find a job placement for my third semester, and equally scrambling to but together a menu for the canadian skill competition boulanger division.  just want to chill here and talk bread, maybe pick up some tips and formulas.


tattooedtonka's picture

Bread Books

March 28, 2007 - 5:05pm -- tattooedtonka

Good day everyone,

I have noticed numerous folks making comments about different baking books that they have or use.  I was wondering what books, if any, do you folks use, and how do you like them.  I have seen alot of diffent books out there, and was wondering what ones you may really love or not like so much.  I really enjoy reading and learning anything I can when it comes to baking, and Artisan style Breads.  Any insight you folks would be willing to provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and have a great day.


Mini Oven's picture

Weather, has it ever affected your baking day?

March 27, 2007 - 10:25pm -- Mini Oven

Just like cakes, bread can also be affected by weather conditions and rapid changes in airpressure.  I never quite figured out if bread rises consistantly during tornado weather and don't remember baking during a huricane.  Maybe somebody has.   Have you ever noticed if a bad baking day was related to bad weather?  Or a good baking day also had plenty of sunshine?

JMonkey's picture

As my wife was away in Washington, DC for a conference, there wasn't much time for baking, since I was alone with a three-year-old, an all-consuming (though rewarding) task if there ever was one. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, especially since I had a craving for Desem bread.

Alas, though I finally went for 85% hydration, I had no time to fold the dough properly. What's more, since I was pressed for time (I was needed to help put out a fire in the bathroom, taste chocolate treats made of wood and eat blueberry muffins with a baby polar bear, as all proper polar bears do) I never really kneaded it thoroughly in the first place. The result was as could be expected -- desem flatbread. Though tasty! Unfortunately, the Desem, knowing it had not risen to the occassion, was too camera shy for a photo.

Pizza, however, is another ball of wax entirely. This was pretty simple. I based my recipe on the sourdough pizza crust from Peter Reinhart's American Pie.

I used Arthur the whole wheat starter at 100% hydration, which made the dough about 30% whole wheat, and shot for 66-68% hydration. I also had to do a half-and-half mix of KA Bread Flour and KA All-Purpose, since I ran out of bread flour, and added 2 Tbs of olive oil. Also, instead of making four 10-oz dough balls, I made two 12 ounce dough balls -- I like a slighly bigger pizza than Reinhart, I guess.

Saturday evening, I kneaded it up lightly, folded it twice during the initial four hour fermentation and then divided it into two. One dough ball went into the freezer while the other went into the fridge. The next day, at 4pm, I took the dough ball from the fridge to warm up, grated the cheese (2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, 1 oz feta, 1 oz parmesan), cut up the olives, sliced the turkey sausage, defrosted the sauce (I had some leftover a couple of weeks ago, so I just threw it in the freezer -- thawed out well! I highly recommend Reinhart's recipe for basic tomato sauce.), and roasted half a yellow pepper I found in the fridge, still fresh, over our gas burner. I set the oven to 550 F at 5pm, and then headed for the airport. When we got home with Aurora around 6ish, it took just 10 minutes to make the pizza and slide it into the oven. Bella! My first (successful) sourdough pizza!

Later that evening, I finished up the weekly whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread that is a lunch staple for our family. It rose well. Tasty stuff.

This weekend, we're having our annual church dinner at my homey Unitarian church -- I always enjoy it because it gives me an excuse to bake something I'd never bake at home because:

  • My wife and I are each trying to drop 15 lbs.
  • I'm kind of a nut about ensuring my family eats nutritious food, which means whole-grains.
  • Dammit, I bought a grinder and 200 lbs of wheat berries! I've got to use it!

Any suggestions for what might be tasty? I was thinking a big old brioche, or maybe that Artos bread from the BBA. Anyone made that before?
chuppy's picture

I am presently trying a starter that I found in the Joy of Cooking pg. 756. It didn't work well at all! I see al of these lovely starters and need a little help! Any suggestions?


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