The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts



A number of tools exist on this site. Such as:


gtbehary's picture

Still Trying to find a good loaf of bread in South Florida!  We have a nice old antique hand cranked bread dough mixer.  Its shaped like a bucket with the crank on the top.  Does anyone ever use one of these?  I would like to try making a larger than normal size recipe.   We're new to the starter/sponge recipes and we just love them and all of the enthusiasm on your site.

T4tigger's picture

I've never tried one, but I wonder if an old fashioned hand-crank ice cream maker would accomplish the same thing?  It has a 4-6 quart bucket and the dasher would work like a large wooden spoon.

pumpkinpapa's picture

We use a large high torque drill with a mixing paddle for mixing feed grade molasses with feeds on our farm as well as for turning cranks attached to 200 foot cable rigs. Beats doing it by hand!

I've seen one setup like what you mention in Nova Scotia about 30 years ago but never in operation, it would sure be a workout.

sagharbormo's picture


what is the model and make of your drill? thanks

RFMonaco's picture

Panera's bakeries are very good.

Breadbaker70's picture

I've seen these for sale in a hardware store in Shipshewanna, Indiana (Amish Store).  It might be a good workout for the kids.   I use the Magic Mill Assistant from Electrolux in Sweden.  It's a great mixer but a little more expensive than the Kitchen Aid.  Check it out on the net.

Ruth Norton's picture
Ruth Norton

I have (and use frequently!) one that was my mother's, but I have been trying to find a source to send other people to buy them. Do you have the name and contact information for the hardware store?  Thanks!

bakingnut's picture


Ijust bought a breadmaker like the one you described.  It came with an original baking pamphlet.  If you would like the recipes I can send them to you. Let me know.

Janice Mary 1101's picture
Janice Mary 1101

I have an antique bread maker (big enough to make 6 loaves at once).

I would love to have other recipes to use with the bread maker since I only have one.

I am particularly interest in a recipe for Swedish Cardammon Coffe Bread or Swedish Cardammon rolls made with potato water.



Ruth Norton's picture
Ruth Norton

Hi! I have a recipe from my mother that she always made for Christmas breakfast, and I have carried on the tradition. Funny, but neither of us ever used the mixer for it! Don't see why you couldn't, though.

I posted the recipe on my blog, originally in Jan. 09. The link is to bring you right to the recipe.  I know it's risky to follow a link from someone you don't know, and if you'd rather not, just answer back and I'll write it out here.  Also, we use milk rather than potato water, so maybe this isn't just what you're looking for.


Lindash4's picture

Hi Ruth, I am new here and am interested in your coffee bread recipe if you would still like to share. Thanks! The link didn't work.

pambakesbread's picture

Hi Ruth I was browsing this link and found your link to and I could not get it to come up. Is it possible for you to send it to us? I had a Swedish Grandmother but did not get her recipies so I missed out here. Thanks for your consideration. Pam

pahutchens's picture

I have one and have not really used the full capacity. I have used it with recipies of 5 cups flour.

Got mine on ebay. They were selling them in Lehman's non-electric catalog a few years back.

cummingsyachts's picture

My wife and I made a home for a large number of what was called then foster children.

I always looked for this sort of thing and would get the kids involved in doing the grunt work. It was amazing to see the effect that making their own ice cream had despite their whinning. They were so excited to try their hand at creating nearly anything. There is a number of sites that scale recipes very well. I use very often . Try the amish white bread to get the hang of things if you don't know. 

Happy cranking and if you ever think about passing it on my daughters girl scout troop would love to have it. They don't know that yet but they will.


Kevin tuckett's picture
Kevin tuckett

HI guys I have a friend who has an old fashioned hand crank bread mixer but he lost the dough hook. Do you know of anybody who can help me either purchase another hand crank bread mixer or find a parts store? What he uses it for is he goes down the Colorado river being a crazy rafter and he wants to mix bread while he is out there. The high powered drill sounded good...because it can be battery operated...but his trips are 16 days...battery won't last.  So I guess we are looking for the hand crank mixer for kneading dough. Or if there is anyone out there willing to sell theirs I will buy it.


Kevin Tuckett


mattie405's picture

I've seen a few of these in the recent past few weeks on EBAY, most going off very cheap, try doing a search. I seem to remember most were brand new too so maybe the sellers know where to purchase pasts for them and could help you out. Mattie

Mariah's picture

I use to have one of these can't remember where I got it. Used it twice and knew it was not for me. I think it's a two person job. One to hold the bowl abd one to turn the crank. I wish I owned one now though for what reason I don't know. It is difficut to use and kneading by hand or not kneading is an easier way to go. I gave my to my brother who promptly sold it at a swap meet. Kick me. This thing looks and acts like the popcorn pot. Lehmans (spelling may not be right) in Ohio sells all this non tech stuff to the Amish. If you could find out the manufacturer you might be able to order the part. they might be able to do this for you.
I had an Idea. Mix the dough and put it in the bottom of the raft. It should get a lot of tossing and turning.
I know dumb idea. good luck.

James Cloud's picture
James Cloud

I retired after working forty years in the wholesale baking industry and now cooking and baking is my hobby and passion .

James D. Cloud

Maryann's picture

I tried Nigel's instructions on baking bread,  well this is my first one.... i put the bread

in the oven on 500 F, and waited an hour for the dough to rise, which it did, but when

i put the bread in the oven, the houe was all smokey from the oven because  of the flour left on the baking sheet.   I got so worried, the bread was all dark brown, so I took the bread out of the oven set on racks, and waited over an hour to cut into it.  The middle of the bread was not done but the bread looked good.  What did I do wrong, should I have not put the bread in the oven with the flour on the baking sheet?

I think my oven cooked to fast on 425F for this bread, is it ok to lower the oven temp.

Thank you for your help 


sphealey's picture

=== What did I do wrong, should I have not put the bread in the oven with the flour on the baking sheet? ===

The smell of burned flour is a bit unpleasant. I use semolina as the "lubricant" on the peel or bakng sheet where required - it burns at a higher temprerature than AP flour (around 525 deg.F in my experience) and it tends to just turn black without smoking. That said, when you bake bread at higher temperatures you will get a bit more smoke than you are used to, especially the first few weeks as you burn out things that have been hiding in the corners of your oven for years ;-)

=== I think my oven cooked to fast on 425F for this bread, is it ok to lower the oven temp. ===

That depends somewhat on the recipe and type of bread, but in my experience any hearth bread can be cooked between 425 deg.F and 550 deg.f and it will work out. You will get a different amount of oven spring and a different crust as you vary the temperature and baking time. Give it a try and find out!



2brownbraids's picture


Hello Friends of TFL,

I am in the market for a 7 quart mixer, cannot decide whether to go for the KitchenAid 600 or the Viking 7 quarts.  - I had a 5 QT KitchenAid for the past 10 years. Can you please give me some feed backs ?  I mainly want the 7 qt for bread mixing.  Thank you.


jondough's picture

Have you considered the Bosch Universal Mixer?

pmccool's picture

Here's one thread on mixer pros and cons:

You can find more using the "Search" utility, since there have been several discussions about the topic.  Happy researching!


2brownbraids's picture


Thank you PMcCool for you info.  I will check it out before I do anything. 


Arlette's picture

this is a tray of soft pretzels just out of the oven.

jacjietom's picture

I have been trying to get information concerning the nutrition value of at-home,fresh-milled whole wheat flour as compared to commercially milled whole wheat flour. I read that the flour loses 90% of it's nutrition within 72 hrs of milling. The commercial companies disclaim that. Can anyone tell me whether that is true or not???

Also, how can I determine the date of milling on commercial flours. The sack will say ,"best if used by...." usually several months in the future,  but no actual date of milling. In other words...what is the shelf life of whole wheat flours??? How long does it take to get from the actual milling process, through the pipeline to my cupboard?Thanks, 
jacjietom's picture

I have been trying to get information concerning the nutrition value of at-home,fresh-milled whole wheat flour as compared to commercially milled whole wheat flour. I read that the flour loses 90% of it's nutrition within 72 hrs of milling. The commercial companies disclaim that. Can anyone tell me whether that is true or not???

Also, how can I determine the date of milling on commercial flours. The sack will say ,"best if used by...." usually several months in the future,  but no actual date of milling. In other words...what is the shelf life of whole wheat flours??? How long does it take to get from the actual milling process, through the pipeline to my cupboard?Thanks, 
charbono's picture

Certain vitamins will gradually degrade upon exposure to oxygen.  However, I can find no credible source for the drastic decline you cite in whole wheat.  I think it’s a myth, or a reference to refining losses. 


Some millers, such as King Arthur, will show a Julian and a “Best By” date.  The Julian date is a year earlier and indicates the mill date.  I’ve seen Bob’s Red Mill whole grain flour with a “Best By” date nearly 2 years out – a good reason to avoid Bob’s.



trekclg's picture

Sounds like something fun to work might want to pick up a bread machine recipe book from the library and basically dump everything in and mix.....I have adapted several recipes from a couple of different books for my kitchen aide mixer and they come out great!  Fun for quickie could just double a recipe to make seems to me you would just use it like an electric one....only get some great calorie burn while you are at it...enjoy!

trones's picture

I am 86 & have been baking bread since age 11 so have used many recipes & methods.  Baked today & now use the easy way. 

Put ingrediants in a breadmaker & mix to dough stage.  Take out the dough, cut into 4 equal pieces & then roll into balls.  Put 2 balls into large loaf tin, allow to rise then bake in hot oven for 30 minutes.  When baked, allow to cool on tray & when cold, "break" the 2 small loaves.  I then have 3 for the freezer & one to eat.  Does not get time to go dry with this method.   If anyone wants my recipe, just ask!

henryclay64's picture

This sounds like a great idea! Would you mind sharing your recipe? Thanks.

Sally Jones's picture
Sally Jones

I got tired of converting cup measurements to weight in my head (and possibly making a mistake) so I created this little chart (that I can print out--PDF is available).  Hope everyone finds it useful. 

dougal's picture

Laudable effort, Sally, but it needs to be stressed that it can only give a very approximate result. (And the link doesn't work for me.)

Unfortunately, the reason that weight measurements are preferred is that there is NO standard weight of flour that a cup denotes.

Things it depends on include the type of flour, whether or not it has been sifted before the cup is filled, and how much it is compressed into the cup (by sweeping, tapping, or whatever), as well as whether it is accurately struck off level.

The problem is that there is a variable amount of air mixed with the flour, which means that the amount of flour in the cup also varies.

Authors and editors that insist on using cups only, really need to specify how their version of "cups" are measured. Some actually do that!

But converting cups to weight (using a rigid conversion) won't give you more accuracy towards the author's intention, but, looking on the bright side, it should make your baking more consistent and reproducable when you revisit a recipe.

Pjacobs's picture

The oven en my GE profile stove decided not to heat today. First Time. Dough had to go into the fridge. Any Thoughts?


Phil Jacobs

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Some ovens won't start up if the clock is not set.  This can happen if the power was off for just a short time.   Also check to see if the fuse it tripped, reset and try again.

Does anything light up?


BvN's picture

When it comes to flour based recipies, I follow my grandmother's PDS (Pinch, Dab, and Smidgen) system of measurement. I often wondered why pasta dough has no recipie, until a friend explained that there could never be one. It all depends on the humidity of the flour, the air, barometric pressure and other uncontrollable variables. The long and short of it, is that it has to look and feel right - somewhat problematic when you've never made it before. I believe, that one should accept what is, by nature, experimental and recognize that experiments are allowed to fail. --- also keep good notes. No sense in repeating the same failure.

I am, by training, an engineer. Engineers produce "practices" - reliable and repeatable methods for creating something that works. Recipies are not "practices" - mearly generic guidelines. I have best practice documents for all my important kitchen products.

For humor look up the FFF system of measurement on the Wikipedia.

Measuring by weight is the most reliable and reproducable method. Get a "portion" scale because you can zero out the weight of the vessel - measure in what you actually use. Zero out your mixing vessel, dump in your cups, grams, and firkins and record in your "practice" what they actually weigh. Don't bother converting. The numbers arn't all that accurate for your venue anyway (any weigh ? :-).

The size of a mixer is bounded by the size of your oven. I have a Kitchen Aid Pro-520 (5 qt, 450 watt) mixer. The smallest commercial grade mixer around. I cannot use anything larger because my oven is only a 1/2 size convection.

Above all, have fun and tollerate the occasional failure.

Leamlass's picture

I am looking to buy an accurate food scale, but have had no luck after ordering two of them, and had to send them back. Can anyone tell me what brand they have/like.  I would appreciate the feedback.  Thanks.

xaipete's picture

I have an inexpensive Salter brand scale. It works great and is very accurate.


Chuck's picture
  1. Virtually every brand offers a range of prices and qualities. Get the cheapest of any brand, and you'll probably be unhappy either with gross errors or with unreproducible measurements.
  2. The small quantities of yeast and salt are so different you usually can't measure them accurately in the same scale as flour etc. When after a while you want to graduate from teaspoons/Tablespoons, get a second small quantity digital scale that measures to the nearest tenth of a gram.
  3. Mechanical spring scales seem to have not only the usual "margin of error" that's a percentage of what you're weighing, but also an error that's independent of size. It doesn't matter too much for large quantities, but for quantities small enough to make a single loaf, that unreproduceability will completely screw up your hydration levels from one batch to the next. For small batches, a good quality digital scale seems to be the only way to go.
Dice's picture

does anyone have a recipe for anis baguette? I'm would like to try baking them. plaese help.

Thanks Dice

dmsnyder's picture

Hi Dice.

Have you ever tried the search function on TFL? It works well.


farina22's picture

I have a Salter, too. It works fine for larger quantities--flour, water--but if you need to measure salt or yeast, it is waaay off. I tested it with salt when I was doing a 5# batch of flour for pizzas. The scale vs tablespoon measure was off by about 3 times! Just my two cents.

sedmondson's picture

I have a friend that has a Foron Manual Bread Slicer that works great and does allow adjustment of slice thickness.  I am trying to find something similar.  Any suggestions.  I have taken photos of the slicer and are willing to share the photos in an effort to locate such a slicer.

Chuck's picture

I got these large shakers, and filled one with regular baking flour and the other with a non-stick mix (rice flour and semolina). They're like salt shakers on steroids  ...except filled with flour. Since I got them, I've found them so handy for baking I can't remember how I ever got along without them.
Tools - Large Shakers
They do everything:

  • a smidge more flour dusted evenly over my work surface but my hands are wet
  • an even dusting over my couche
  • a light sprinkle of raw flour on the topside of a proofed loaf
  • flour over top of oil on my work surface (both oil and flour to really not stick)
  • a little flour on a piece of parchment paper, so I can scootch a loaf that will proof there
  • cover my whole work surface with no thin spots or voids, but without so much flour I risk changing my dough's hydration level too much

No trying to finagle my way in and out of a flour sack with doughy hands - no trying to guess in advance how much flour to load into a dredge bowl - no having to throw out a lot of flour that didn't get used but that can't go back in the sack because it might be wet.

Shakers now seem so obvious to me I think they should be standard in any reasonably-well-equipped kitchen; yet I had to mail order mine from a specialty house.  (Fortunately many of the specialty houses are listed on - search in "Home & Garden" for "shaker dredger". Note the very wide price range, only partly explained by the wide variety of styles. My top is a screen  ...not a "fine" screen and not "holes", just a screen.) My guess is they're not common because there's some better way.

What's the "better way"?

bunnieluv's picture

We use those shakers for flour, cocoa, crunchy nut toppings, 10x sugar, and for a parm herby garlic sesame seed pizza crust topping before put on the toppings. l love using corn meal in it. I just have to reach my arm quickly into a hot oven and load up any baking stones with the meal which helps release the bread or crust from the stone. 

I keep all my bread baking supplies for the most part in a shaker.  We enjoy mixing up flavorings both sweet and savory to sprinkle into dough or on top of with melted butter, honey, or egg wash!!


glad someone else loves them as well


dmsnyder's picture

I've been using one just as you describe for a few years. It works great. I also use it to flour food before frying, which is probably its intended purpose. Mine is all metal and has small holes, not a screen.

Hmmm ... Actually, I hadn't thought of using it to flour bannetons. I need another one then for an AP/Rice flour mix.


nickk's picture

I tried this recipe several times using a bread flour ( dont have the flour recommended). The crust is perfect but the inside is not soft and light but slightly spongy. I cooked it for about 35mins


any help appreciated



dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Nickk.

I don't know how your entry ended up in the topic it did.

The Bouabsa baguettes are best made with a flour with about 11-12% protein. Lower would be better than higher. The crumb should be tender and chewy. I would not call it "soft and light." It should be very well aerated.

Why don't you pose your question, preferably with photos, in a new topic?


ssor's picture

I often mix 5 pounds of white flour with 26 ounces of whole wheat at 65 percent hydration to make 8 loaves. I have a friend that has and uses a dough pail. She is a gigaintic 4'11' 102 pound PHD that happens to love baking , cooking and gardening. Her dough pail has a clamp to hold it down and when she gets tired her 6'4'' husband takes over.

jannrn's picture

Ruth, PLEASE post your recipe here!! I TOO tried the link but it didn't work.....just got a "this page can not be found" message.

Thank you!