There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Miller's Tale

I wrote previously that I had gotten a grain mill.  This is an update, and I have to say, so far, so good.
 After a fair amount of browsing, I decided on a Nutrimill. 
I also ordered some hard red  wheat along with the mill, to mill in it.  Since then I have gotten some rye berries, some spelt, and some hard white wheat, though I have not milled all of them yet.  For the most part, I have only milled the red wheat, I have bags of white whole wheat to use up before I get to that.  

The mill works great.  it takes this

and turns it into this.

It does not get much flour around, perhaps a very light dusting on the counter, but I make a much bigger mess baking.  For whole wheat, I try to mill a weeks worth, for other ingredients, I mill just about what I need for the dough I am making, by weight. 

Since the Nutrimill is an impact mill, I am careful to look through my grain for any little bits of stuff that would jam up my mill, just like sorting dried beans.   I use a sorting tray I got to sort screws and bolts and such, and it works great.

I have taken to weighing my ingredients, and developed a Bread Weight Conversion spreadsheet to help make the conversions.  Feel free to download it.  I use the same amount of milled flour, by weight, as I would bagged flour. It may be my imagination, but when I first mix it, it seems a bit wetter, but as it sits the flour seems to hydrate and it ends up fine.  

In my first foray beyond basic whole wheat flour, I milled some rye, to make the HB in 5 Whole Grain Rye (page 113 et seq).  I have made this bread before, and I like it a lot.  It was even better with my own milled flour.  I first made some English muffins (see how I do English Muffins) because I like them and I can freeze them for breakfasts.   

 Then, because I wanted to make sandwiches, I made sort of a cross between a foccacia and a weck roll.  Larger than a bun, spritzed with olive oil, and topped with salt and caraway seeds.   They were great. 

So, as I said at the beginning, my milling is so far, so good.  I will let you know how things go from time to time.


  1. how fun that mill must be!!! Someday (I imagine soon) I will try my hand at english muffins. YUM!

  2. Nice that you can mill flour as you need it. I can tell that if I ever got a mill it would be a permanent fixture on my counter. Can't believe how quickly I do through flour!