The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Hello, world. About me.

idaveindy's picture

Hello, world. About me.

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.



bread1965's picture

Lots of good stuff.

What would you say your favourite book listed is and why?

And which book taught you the most. If one and the same, what's your second favourite book?

Now books aside, what has baking bread taught you about yourself?

About me: curious.

idaveindy's picture

Tartine No. 3 is my favorite book, based on how his loaves look, use of mostly/all whole grain, and the very professional photography.  It's an art book as much as a cookbook.  I bought Tartine Bread first, but it goes up to only 50% whole grain.  His method for building a levain seems complicated, and while I've tried to use his recipes, I've not done levain like he does it ;  I've only "built up a starter and thrown it in."  He builds up a starter, takes a tablespoon of it and uses that to build up a levain.

Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads is my most useful, and most used book.  He's the better teacher.  His attention to detail and method of explaining things is good for my Asperger's brain.

I should include an ebook by Steve Gamelin.  I discovered him on youtube, and he was the first to inform/teach me about artisan/overnight/no-knead bread. I got the bug, and things took off from there.  I was doing only bread machine stuff prior to that.  I only bought his ebook to "pay" him, as all his stuff is free on youtube.   (No final "e".)  He does an overnight rise with 1/4 tsp yeast, no folds, de-gases by stirring with the handle end of a wooden spoon, no shaping, 2nd rise 90 min, dutch oven bake. Really stripped down, but very K.I.S.S., and it's "good enough" for basic bread and pizza.


DanAyo's picture

Dave, the prices including shipping at fantastic at CLNF. Are the grains good quality?

IMO, your book collection would do well to include Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman. 

idaveindy's picture

From CLNF, I've only bought 50 lb Prairie Gold (HWSW), and 25 lb Kamut.

The PG was pretty good, some black point but well within the top/best classification/grade. I forget the % numbers, but looked up the specs for the "grades" online. I  hand sorted, and weighed the black-pointed kernals versus the sample size. No bugs.  Well within the top grade.

The Kamut from CLNF  was even fresher and better, very little shrunken, green, or dessicated grains, almost no black point at all. No bugs.  And very few broken grains. My one bag of Bob's Red Mill Whole kernal Kamut I got at a grocery store had much more black point, percentage-wise.

Not Prairie Gold, and not from CLNF, but I once got a relatively poorer batch/25-lb-bag, no better than the 2nd grade, whatever they call it, of HWSW, that came from a harvest year that was too wet, and it had way too much black point, some of it into the crease.  It took too long to hand sort.

So a quick look for black point, is one way for me to judge quality.  That and broken grains, and bugs of course.  Broken grains dry out, go soft, and can spoil.

Black point is not totally a deal killer. It's okay to eat, as long as the black does not reach the germ or the "crease".

 Google: grades of wheat black point

to see if you can find the % specs for various grades. IIRC, black point, shrunken, and broken are the main specs. I forget what the others are, that are easily visible and no testing equipment is needed.

I _think_ black point grows or spreads during storage. Sealed in an airtight container, with an oxygen absorber, slows it down, but not enitrely. I forget if  it's a fungus or a mold.

Thanks for the Hamelman rec.

idaveindy's picture

in Hamelman's 2nd edition, how many recipes are for mostly (80% or more) whole wheat?

I probably won't get it until I can get a used copy, Good condition, for cheap. Even though it's been out 7 years, it's still relatively expensive on the used market.  And the reviews mention poor readability due to text color and background color, and pages falling out, so I don't want to drop $29+tax on a new copy.

idaveindy's picture

If you haven't seen them already, I have two posts listing out my whole baking library (I forgot Gamelin), including prices, and mini-reviews.

I got some real deals due to, Half Price Books, Goodwill, and buying on the Amazon used market.