The Fresh Loaf

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idaveindy's picture

Mon Oct 21, 2019.  

I've previously done 40% Kamut, then 33% Kamut, now this is 25% Kamut in relation to Prairie Gold (HWSW), in hopes of better gluten development.  Kamut has more protein, and can be used for 100% loaves, but it's like durum, it's not going to easily be a fluffy yeasted loaf.

525 g Prairie Gold hard white spring wheat (HWSW), home-milled, coarse.

175 g Kamut, home-milled, coarse.

7 g malt flour, home ground Briess malted white wheat from a brewer's supply. So sugar doesn't run out for yeast, for a good oven rise.

25 g dark rye flour, Bob's Red Mill, again so sugar doesn't run out for a good oven spring.

20 g BRM whole wheat pastry flour. I forgot why I added this.

752 g flour ao far.

653 g bottle spring water.  86.8% Hydration so far.  Mixed in stainless steel bowl  at 9:47 am. Start autolyse in oven, about 80 F.

10:20 am. stretch and fold.  11:18 am. S&F.    12:17 pm. S&F.  

12:18 pm S&F.   12:49 pm. S&F.  1:45 pm. S&F.

1:52 pm. Added and folded in 200 g of 100% hydration Starter. No salt yet. 

Flour now = 852g. Water now = 753g. ==> 88.38% Hydration.  

--- Percent Prefermented Flour, PPF, 100 / 852 = 11.7 %. 

Starter is a mish mash of Whole Wheat Pastry flour, Rye flour, home-milled Prairie Gold, and white rice flour.  Culture came from Carl's Oregon Trail starter,

2:44 pm. Now feels like dough!  Folded in salt with some water. 14.5 g Himalayan salt (1.7%), dissolved in 12.5 g water.  Dough now got stiffer with the salt in it. I could feel it change right there.

Total weight = 852 + 753 + 14.5 salt + 12.5 water = 1632 g.  3.59 pounds.

Final hydration = 89.8%.

3:52 pm. S&F.  4:30 pm. S&F.  5:05 pm. S&F.  5:34 pm. S&F.  

6:07 pm.  Fold and shape, dusted with BRM Whole Wheat Pastry flour, because I ran out of AP flour, and my home-mlled stuff  is too coarse.  Put it  in a banneton lined with a towel dusted with white rice flour. One hour Final Ferment in oven at about 80F.

7:07 pm take out of oven, in order to pre-heat oven,  finger test, looks ready, but still  need to preheat oven.  I didn't think it would be ready so fast. Must be the rye and malt flour in mix, and rye in the starter.  Put banneton in fridge. 

7:08 pm Preheating oven at 495/475F.  The first number is oven setting, second number is adjusted/actual temp, as oven is 20 degrees cooler than thermostat, according to thermometer.  This notation allows me to not get confused "Did I write down thermostat setting, or adjusted temp?"

Also pre-heating the Lodge 3.2 qt combo-cooker, and a 14.5" baking stone on the rack underneath the combo-cooker's rack.

 8:04 pm.  Insulated inner bottom of lid/skillet with corn meal, parchment paper cut into 9" circle on top of corn meal, and more corn meal on top of parchment paper.  Inner bottom diameter of lid/skillet is 9".

Load.  Oops. Deflated dough when I inverted banneton into off hand. Should have used something else. Lesson learned.  Scored top with bare razor blade, no lame.

8:06 pm.  Bake covered at 475/455 F. The deep pot part of the combo is the "hat".  Baking stone is shielding the combo-cooker from direct radiant heat of lower oven element.  10 minutes.

8:16 pm.  Continue baking, covered. 450/430 F.  25 minutes.

8:41 pm. Uncover. We have lift-off!  Oven spring!   Even though I accidentally deflated it.  Not enough spring to be Instagram-worthy, but best result so far.  Lower oven setting to 420/400 F.   16 minutes.

8:57 pm. Still uncovered. Lowered oven to 400/380 F.  27 Minutes.

9:30 pm. Take out. Total time 1 hr, 24 min.  Inner temp 208.6 F.    Would like a higher inner temp, but 84 min is enough.

Final loaf weight: 1364 g = 3.00 pounds.

Now if I can just resist cutting into this until tomorrow morning.  Put in a paper grocery bag for overnight.

Tues, Oct 22, 2019.

8:45 am. Cut open.  Crumb is no better than last bake.  So my deduction is just that I got rise in the oven this time that previously happened in the final ferment.  Taste is not as good as previous two bakes at this time point. Maybe because ferments were shorter.  Crust still hard.  Cut off enough to fit the loaf in a 1 gallon plastic zipper bag.  Crumb is still plenty moist, so the crust will soften up in the sealed bag.  Taste usually improves by the 24 hour mark



idaveindy's picture

The big lesson I learned here was that it just takes autolyse time for coarse ground home-milled whole wheat to absorb the water  and make gluten.

I let the 440 g of hard white  spring wheat, 220 g of Kamut, and 25 g coarse ground millet, autolyse for 3 hours. About 86% hydration. It was still a bit like wet sand after 3 hours.

Then folded in the 141 g of 100% hydration levain, but not salt.

Let sit 30 minutes, then one set of stretch and folds.

Let sit 30 minutes, then went to fold in salt,  and lo-and-behold, it was now DOUGH!  No more "wet sand!"


My milling method is this: Weigh out 8 oz of raw berries in quart sized plastic bags: 3 pounds of HWSW (Prairie Gold), and 1.5 pounds of Kamut.

Run the 1/2 pound mini-batches through a hand crank Shule grain mill that "cracks" it.

Store the bags in the fridge to cool them down so they don't over-heat in the next step.

Mill the 8 oz cracked wheat in the Vitamix blender (regular blade, not the dry grain container) for 30 seconds, 20 of which are high speed.  Put baggie back in fridge to cool.

When mixed with water, this coarse grind makes what I call "wet sand."  But with hydration and time, it smooths out.  

Now I know it takes 4 hours to totally smooth out like "dough" instead of sand.

This loaf came out of the oven with real air pockets, not a "foam" style crumb, as my previous 100% whole grain loaves.


idaveindy's picture

Here's my plan.  This is based on past loaves, where I've measured, and where I've not measured; but this is not an exact duplicate of anything past.  (SOTSOT = some o' this, some o' that.)

Started: Tue, Oct 15, 2019.


A)  3 pounds of dough, to fit in a 5 qt oval enameled cast iron dutch oven, (just happens to be Paula Deen brand). I want a big loaf. I bought this DO  ridiculously cheap at a Tuesday Morning close-out store after she "fell from grace" and her stuff was liquidated. It still didn't sell well, so then Tues Morning discounted it further.  

B) Near 100% whole grain/whole-meal, mostly home-milled, (Gotta practice cooking and eating "prepper food" and use up/rotate what's in storage.)  And I just LIKE home-milled whole-meal bread! 

C) Bulk of flour to be home-milled Prairie Gold, HWSW (Hard white spring wheat), and home-milled Kamut

D) relatively lower salt, as I like to eat bread: 

- - - 1) with toppings/dips. 

- - - 2) to sop up sauces. 

- - - 3) and use toast cubes as my carb ingredient for stews. 

Planned Ingredients:


250 g Prairie Gold. Cracked in a manual Shule 3-roller grain mill, then 30 seconds in a Vitamix blender, highest speed, regular blade, not their grain container. The blender heats up the flour. So cracking it first in the cool Shule prevents/eliminates most of the heat build up in the blender. Putting whole kernals in the blender also scratches up the plastic container. I "blend/mill" 8 ounces of grain at a time, about 1 cup or less of whole kernals.

Only 30 seconds in the Vitamix makes a blend of differing particle sizes in each 8 ounce batch, which I like.  The largest are gritty, but still smaller than average sand.  The long ferment times of sourdough baking overcome this grittiness, and I don't notice it in the final bread, as the large particles eventually get fully hydrated and softened. But the somewhat delayed absorption means that you have to make the dough look and feel wetter initially.  It's not all gritty, nor is it all coarse. Each 8 ounce batch just runs the gamut from fine, medium, coarse, to a little grit.

225 g Kamut. Same as above.

50 g fresh ground* flaxseed, for fiber, for looks, and oil. 

50 g dark rye flour, Bob's Red Mill, for taste, look, and fermentability. 

25 g home ground* millet, from BRM's whole  millet, for flavor, and a little crunch. 

25 g home ground* amaranth, from Market District's whole amaranth. For flavor, and a little crunch. 

 (* = done in small electric coffee grinder.) 

25 g coconut flour, store-bought, for a little extra protien and oil. 

total so far = 650 g. 


200 g Levain @ 100% hydration, from Carl's starter

- - - 50 g Generic store-bought AP flour

- - - 50 g Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry flour.  The starter seems to like this.

- - - 100 g water. 


Additional water: 500 g.  (Updated to 550 g to get the right feel of hydration during the mix.)

Salt: 12 gr.  12 / 750 = 1.6%.  Yes, that seems low for near 100% whole grain, but see above. I dip bread in seasoned/spiced oil, or use it to sop up sauces, or toast it and put it in my spicy stews.  The heartiness/robustness of near 100% whole-grain low-salt toast goes well with my highly flavored stew.  This toast and stew combo has a nice macho and frontier-like quality, as if I'm a lumber-jack in the Pacific Northwest, or a grizzled sourdough gold prospector in the Klondike. It would make Tim the Toolman say "Argh! Argh! Argh!"  ... But I digress....


Total flour: 650 g + 100 g from levain: = 750 g

Total water: 500 g + 100 g from levain = 600 g  (Update: total 650 g water.)

Hydration: 650 / 750 = 86.7% (Based on past experience, I may have to increase hydration with this home-milled flour.)

Total weight: 750 + 650 + 12 = 1412 g = 3.1 pounds.



- Home-milled whole-grains go well with an autolyse before adding in the levain, so that the bran and the large particles have time to absorb some water. To facilitate mixing, I don't autolyse all the flour, or use all the water. After a short autolyse, I add the remaining water to thin the  levain, and mix the thinned levain into the still overly wet dough; the wetness of both making mixing easier.  I may give it a rest at this point, while it is still moist (it is still lacking the last bit of flour) and still without the salt, to give the yeasties a head start without salt.  Then I slowly add the rest of the flour comingled with salt.  This last mixing takes the form of folding/kneading.  This is usually the final chance to eyeball and feel the dough and make adjustments to hydration by adding more flour or more water.  

I have done so much "on the fly" or "by the seat of my pants" formulas and mixing, without measuring, that I can't give a fixed  hydration percent for my formulas.  I'm going to try to do better, by weighing my final adjustments, so that I can share my formulas, and actually replicate them myself if they turn out well.

If my dough is too wet, I usually adjust with more  AP flour, or bread flour, or BRM Whole Wheat Pastry flour, as they absorb water much more quickly than home-milled or even store bought whole-wheat. That gives quicker feedback, so I can "feel" when the hydration is in the Goldilocks zone of "just right."

If my initial mix is too dry, I work in water with the fold-and-knead method, and the side benefit is some gluten development.

My bulk ferment is not scientific. I just eyeball it.  I line my banneton with a flour-sack towel, or the linen liner it came with, dusted with white rice flour or a mix of white rice flour and AP/Bread flour.  Letter fold, flour,  shape, and flour the dough, put in banneton. Eyeball the final ferment, finger test.

This will be baked in either the 5 qt enameled cast iron oval dutch oven, or if it's not that big, in the 3.2 quart Lodge not-enameled cast iron combo-cooker.

My 2-pound loaves of this formulation (or thereabouts) usually bake in 1 hour, to get the right combo of internal temp (210F), and color of crust.  So this will  take longer.  

I eventually want to get up to 4 pound miches. I'll first see how this 3-pounder fits size-wise in the 5 qt dutch oven, and then see what it takes to outgrow that and have to use the baking stone.

idaveindy's picture

Favorite Baking Books:

Tartine Book No. 3, by Chad Robertson.

Whole Grain Breads, by Peter Reinhart.

The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Reinhart.

Tartine Bread, by Chad Robertson.

Flour - Water - Salt - Yeast, by Ken Forkish.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.

Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.

The Tassajara Bread Book, by Edward Espe Brown.

Local Breads, by Daniel Leader.

Bread Alone, by Daniel Leader.

The Village Baker, by Joe Ortiz.

The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, by Laurel Robertson.

The Italian Baker, by Carol Field. 

Beard on Bread, by James Beard.

Location: Indiana 

Interests:  Near 100%, and at least 70%, whole grain loaves and flat-breads, mostly sourdough.

Baking Vessels: Lodge 3.2 qt cast iron combo cooker. Glass covered caserole.  Lodge 9" cast iron griddle. 8", 9",  10" cast iron pans. 5 qt enameled oval dutch oven.  Synthetic (cordierite) baking stone, 14-5/8", $10 from Aldi.  Lodge 14" cast iron pizza pan/griddle. Crofton 1.75 qt enameled cast iron sauce pan with lid, from Aldi.  Also bake in 1 qt and 2qt Pyrex/Anchor borosilicate measuring vessels.

Other Gear: Schule grain mill, hand crank, for cracking grain (does not make flour.) Wonder Junior Deluxe (hand operated), from WonderMill. Vitamix blender (regular blade, not the one for grains) for fine milling of pre-cracked grain.  Cheap $10 electric coffee/spice grinder for spices and small batches of flax, millet, amaranth, chia.

Top Two Grains: Prairie Gold (Hard White Spring) from Wheat Montana  (purchased thru CLNF), and Kamut (also from CLNF).

Favorite grains/flours: Prairie Gold, home-milled and store-bought flour. Kamut, home-milled. High extraction durum flour ("Fiber Wala"), from Sher Brar Mills, available at Indian/Pakistani stores. Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Spelt, home-milled and store-bought flour. Hard Red Spring Wheat, home-milled. Teff Flour, from Patel Brothers, or other Indian/Pakistani stores. Flax seeds. 

Favorite Suppliers: Country Life Natural Foods,, group orders. Patel Brothers, and other local Indo/Pak stores. E&S Sales, Shipshewana, Indiana, has 50 pound bags and repacks of dozens of grains/flours. Group order (4000 pounds, minimum) direct from Wheat Montana.


idaveindy's picture

Here in Indy, I'm part of a very informal "buyers club" of Country Life Natural Foods,, that gets free shipping on large group orders.  When you buy 25 or 50 pound bags of grain, the savings on shipping is significant.

I buy mainly Prairie Gold and Kamut wheat berries. But they also have bulk grains and flour of many varieties, seeds, cereals, and just all sorts of "baking stuff" (foods mainly, but a tiny  bit of supply/gear stuff.)  Organic and non-organic. 5 pounds to 50 pound bags.

The minimum order for free shipping via their own truck is $400.  So with more people in the group, we could order more often with smaller orders per person.  You do have to order on their truck schedule.

The coordinator lives in the NW quadrant of Marion County (Indy).  So if that's convenient to you, check CLNF's product line-up, their schedule for truck delivery dates, and ask for the coordinator's contact info.

There is no monopoly on who can make up $400 orders, so if _you_ want to order $400 of stuff yourself, delivered to your house/workplace, or get friends together for a group order, you can do that too.

As far as CLNF is concerned, the "coordinator" is the customer, and makes a single payment.  That person is responsible for collecting money, receiving the goods, and divvying up the order.  



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