The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
bshuval's picture

Hi all,

Today I had the pleasure (together with Susan, Sue, and Kurt) to attend a class given by Peter Reinhart in San Diego. It was a great class in which we learnt how to make some breads from Peter's new book.

Since I have Peter's new book, I already knew a lot of what he was presenting. Still, I got to taste and see some breads I would not have otherwise made; I got to meet Peter Reinhart; and I got to taste some properly made breads.

We all had a great time, and I strongly recommend this workshop. In case you cannot attend, or are undecided, or simply curious, I wrote a lengthy description of the class on my blog with many pictures. I wrote it quickly, so it may not be very elaborately written, and probably has typos and grammatical mistakes studded all over, so I apologize about those in advance. I hope you enjoy my detailed description (and please feel free to ask some questions lest I haven't answered something).


My blog:

proth5's picture

I am creating a new blog entry to discuss bwraith’s flour test results just to move it up as his original entry was getting old.  I admit we’re going overboard on this, but I find it all very interesting (no pictures- just discussion of flour test results) – so be warned!

Letters in my responses correspond to letters on bwraith’s test results.

I don’t know how to do that “quote thing” so I’ll just put bwraith’s original words in quotes when I want to respond to something directly.

Also, these are just my humble speculations.  If anyone has a more complete knowledge, I would be most grateful to hear their interpretation of the results that were so graciously provided.


As you said…”One main thing that was unexpected for me, was that the lowest ash white flour coming out of the second pass had high protein and wet gluten content, yet it did not have great mixing qualities in the farinograph (low mixing tolerance). My theory is that the first grinding pass may result in some very high protein dust particles being released through the 80 mesh sieve. Maybe that extra protein in the flour out of the first pass is needed for good gluten formation and is proportionately too low in the flour from the second pass. I've been reading that some of the different types of protein vary in size and whether they adhere to the starch granules or not. I guess there are milling operations that use air separation to separate the different sized protein particles and then blends them in various flours to create desired protein specifications.”

What intrigues me is that I am told that the outside of the endosperm is whiter (lower in ash) than the inside of the endosperm and although the protein/gluten is higher it is of lesser quality.  If P2a was producing flour from the outside of the endosperm, this would be consistent with your result of lower tolerance.  What you are getting as flour on P1 would be acting as a balance against the P2a result when blended for baking.I don’t think your process is reducing protein quality – I think that your process may be delivering different parts of the endosperm at different points in the process.Also, if you look at the Seguchi paper that I cite in my other blog post, it may be that the flour was aged insufficiently to see the full potential of its protein.  He is looking at aging periods in excess of 100 days to achieve full potential.

What also intrigues me is that the results for P1 tracked so closely to whole wheat flour.  I frankly would have expected those results to be more like the Golden Buffalo.Nice to know that the multi-pass milling created flour with lower starch damage than commercial flour.  I have seen some discussion that some home milled flours seem to be “thirsty.”  This would be indicative of a kind of starch damage that you did not experience.

Finally – when all is said and done, the values for both of the flours are within those considered acceptable for commercial baking – not necessarily ideal values, but well within tolerances.  This is borne out by the bread that you produce. So, no need to age to maximum potential to get good bread.I know, I need to get enough flour milled to get some tests on my stuff.  I’ll do it – I really will.  I have some other things to attend to in the short term, but I know I’ll do it.  In the meantime –

Happy Milling!


Shawrae's picture

I am very very much an amateur at bread baking of all kinds, but recently I have seen a lot of reviews ( good reviews) on the King Arthur : All Purpose Baking Companion.  Is this book any good for such an amateur like myself.  I have only been baking breads ( yeast and quick) for about 2 years with NOT much success.  But I am definaltely persistant and I keep trying.

So, does anyone have any opinions on this?


Thank you-

Shawna Rae

cnlindon's picture

Here are some multigrain buns from Bob's Red Mill Baking Book. They are easy and fast to make and very tasty. We try to use them anytime we have burgers, pulled pork(as shown) or any other sandwiches that are served on buns. (I know a fatty hamburger served on a multigrain bun may be counterintuitive, but every little bit helps doesn't it?) The only changes that I made are that I cut the recipe in half and I didn't have any millet flour, so I adjusted with bread flour. I also brushed them with water before they went into the oven and sprinkled with rolled oats.




Floydm's picture

I made my pain sur poolish today. I was eyeballing the salt and intentionally added a little more than usual, but I think it overdid it. It wasn't bad, but it just had that puckered look and listlessness it gets when you add too much salt. So it goes.

GlindaBunny's picture

baked rolls

I made rolls to go with the beef stew.  This is my favorite basic dinner roll recipe.

1 1/2 C warm milk
1/4 C melted butter
2 t yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C sugar
1 t salt
4 1/2 C AP flour

Mix ingredients, let rise in oiled, covered bowl for 2 hours.  Shape into 36 balls.  Put 3 balls in each cup of a 12 cup muffin tin.  Cover and let rise for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour.  Brush with egg wash and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.




kebe's picture

I am a new baker, do I need to mix my active yeast with warm water and sugar before I mix in my other ingred's?

thanks, kebe

marketwoman45's picture

I've always loved to bake...cookies, cake, bread...whatever calls for flour I wanna make it.  Recently I've been paying closer attention to the bread we eat.  Noticing the texture, the taste, the feel of the dough.  Our local grocery sells great Italian the price of $4.99 per loaf.  Can't quite let myself continue to pay it.  So I'm off and running....gonna make my own.

Today I have some dough for Italian Crusty Bread in the machine....gonna bake it in 2 oval loaves on my baking stone.  Can't wait to taste it....

zainaba22's picture

breadbakingday 7

bbd #07 with the theme flatbreads hosted by Petra Chili und Ciabatta . Deadline: March 1st, 2008

Many thanks to zorra. for created Bread Baking Day .


2 teaspoons yeast.

3 cups white flour.

 3 cups whole wheat flour.

4 Tablespoons oil.

2 teaspoons sugar.

2 teaspoons Salt.

4 Tablespoons dry milk.

2 cups warm water.

116 g sourdough starter.

Wheat bran for roll the dough.

1) Place all ingredients in the bowl of mixer; beat 10 minutes to make soft dough.

2) Cover dough and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

 3) Divide dough into 16 pieces.


5) Shape each piece into a ball .cover; let it rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

 6) Roll each in wheat bran to a 16 cm round.


7) Bake on hot baking surface for 1 minute per side.




rainbowbrown's picture

I once lived in Southern California in and around Los Angeles where Mexican bakeries abound. I once was in love with pan dulce (sweet bread) and it was abundant. I then picked up and moved to Northern California, to Humboldt County. Here, there are no Mexican bakeries and there is one place to get good mexican food, a taco truck, and the taco truck doesn't make pan dulce. After a long stint of self pity and an apprehension about going forth into the world of mexican baked goods I decided that Dia de los Muertos would be the time to make some pan de muertos (pan dulce with bones and such on top). So I got a hold of three recipes and made one for a Holloween party. They were pretty great and I was quite thrilled. I didn't have a camera back then so no pictures, but they were a little ugly because of my poor attempt at making skulls and bones out of the topping. Anyhoo, yesterday was my second attempt and I used the second of my three recipes. Here they are:

pan dulcepan dulce


These are quite wonderful. The recipe I used this time called for four eggs as opposed to the one egg I used the first time and yesterday when I tried one fresh, the crumb was a bit too moist and rich for pan dulce. This morning though, as I eat one now I see that it has dried out a bit and is perfect. I think this recipe might work well with three eggs...I'll have to try it. This recipe came from the website. It was adapted from Richard Sandoval's (?) recipe. Mine is an adaptation of their adaptation, as I changed several things.

Here you go:


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed, coursely ground
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour



  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, anise seed, yeast, milk, water, butter and 1 cup of the flour.
  2. Stir in eggs and beat well. Add remaining flour, little by little, stirring well with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 9 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky. It will be tacky and very soft. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow it to rise until it has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  4. While dough is rising, make the topping. Cream butter and sugar well. Stir in vanilla and flour until it comes together in a cohesive mass. Set aside.
  5. Once the dough has doubled, heat oven to 350°F. Punch down dough and divide into pieces. I did six pieces, and they all seemed fairly small but once they were all baked up they were huge, much larger than a single serving. Try 8 or maybe 10 pieces. Form into tight balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn topping out onto the counter and pat into a rectangle. Dive into however many pieces of dough you have. Pat each peice out into a flat disk (don't worry too much about the roundness of the thing). Place each topping disk on top of a dough ball. Let rise for an hour.
  6. Once they are ready to go into the oven, slash the topping. Make several curved slashes which begin at a single point and fan out. The shape of this bread and the slashes of the topping is what gives this pan dulce the name concha (shell). My slashes didn't go down into the dough, just the topping. My loaves did rip a little though which I didn't mind. If you want to take this opportunity to score the dough a little, I'm sure that would be ok.
  7. Bake at 350°F, I baked mine in the sheet pan on top of my baking stone. After about 15 minutes rotate the pan and then bake for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 200.

I highly recommend not eating them all on the first day, save some for tomorrow, it'll be worth it. Here are some more pictures of the process as it played out:

dough ballsdough balls

proofed and slashed ballsproofed and slashed balls

Baked pan dulceBaked pan dulce

pan dulce crumbpan dulce crumb


Enjoy. My apologies for the lack of weight measurements, I'm waiting until I make the third recipe and pick my favorite to go through and convert the recipe to weight.



Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries