easy bread at home


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    Bread at home

    I use a variation of the “artisanal bread in five minutes a day” book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

    I would look at some of the recipes online or borrow the book from a library – the whole book is probably not worth purchasing new.

    For the organic flour we have been purchasing this works out to $2.50AUD which gives two loaves of around 800grams size. we have just gone to a different organic flour which now is at $1.80 for two 800gram loaves

    Initial mix is as per their recipe
    6 cups of water
    1tbsp yeast
    1tbsp salt
    6 1/2 cups flour.
    Mix until sticky/tacky. No need to kneed.
    Rise outside fridge for one hour then into refrigerator. Best to let it sit for at least 24hour, longer the better.
    Then take out of fridge, wet hands (not flour as this mixture is wetter than a normal bread dough) and pull out 1/2 the mixture, form into a ball and drop onto a piece of greaseproof paper or silicone baking sheet.

    Remainder of dough back to refrigerator. Let the ball sit out for about 40 minutes then light the oven on high, aiming for 350-400 degrees Celsius. Slash top of bread with serrated knife. When hot enough (best to have a proper oven thermometer) slide the bread on its paper onto a pizza pan or similar (Hertzberg suggests baking stone).

    Boil a cup of water and place this in the oven soon after in another pan. Bake 30 min at 350-400, in my oven rotating 180 degrees at 15 minutes gives an even cook.
    The out and onto wire rack to cool.

    Best bread i’ve ever made and I’ve tried machines, kneading, potato bread, the NYT no-knead bread
    Lovely sour taste, save a portion to start the next mixture to continue your sourdough culture. Mine has now been going for seven months.

    seems a difficult technique to use in loaf tins. Due to the wet mixture it does not seem to prove well in a tin. Further experiments ongoing.

    Attached files


    Thank you, yapeen. My daily bread is the NYT no knead bread and I have found it reliably good for the last few years cooked in my wood fuel stove most days.

    But encouraged by your great pics, I’m going to have another go at the Hertzberg/Francois recipe again. I wasn’t so impressed with my first attempt. I obviously need more practice when I look at your great loaf 🙂

    I found the recipe a while back on Mother Earth News https://www.motherearthnews.com/ – a site for discovering lots of good information and reminiscent of the 60s (if you are too young to have known or remembered them this will be a good intro!:). You’ll be ‘coaxed’ a bit to join up each time you open another window but it’s not really necessary to do so.




    I use a bread-machine here in Melbourne. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to find a place that sells proper wholemeal or proper sour-dough flour. I am obliged to buy the standard mixtures to be found at Coles – made by “Lauke”. It makes a nice loaf – but not at all as rough and tasty as the loafs that I could produce in the UK.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know 🙂


    Nassim, pending rapeen’s response perhaps this will help, also.

    I buy my organic, stoneground, wholemeal baker’s flour (Demeter Farm Mill) which is milled in Gunnedah NSW from an organics outlet in Sydney – (Honest to Goodness organic food & natural food).
    But I’m sure you could find it at most health food stores where you are, too? If not ask them to order it in for you.

    I find that using all wholemeal flour can tend make the bread a bit dense, but nonetheless delicious. I mix it with their regular stoneground organic baker’s white flour – and it’s very good! I gave my breadmaking machine away a few years ago because the no-knead recipe was just so easy and quick to prepare. Good luck!


    Yapeen – Could you explain, please, how one cycle links to the next with the dough? According to your notes up top, half the dough has now been used, and half the dough has been returned to the fridge. What are the next steps for the latter? Many thanks.


    Thank you Beguine. I must make a bigger effort to find these things. Personally, I find the breadmaker indispensible – I must be congenitally lazy. 🙂


    The best option is a food coop or whole foods store.

    curiously sometimes in larger supermarkets strong flour – high gluten is is the european food section for making pasta – pasta dura flour. This is generally bleached or unbleached white.

    We are lucky enough to have a store that will order in a 20kg sack for us.



    Once half the mixture has been used for a loaf, the other half goes back into the refrigerator for later use.

    When this second half of the batch is pulled out and used, I leave about 3-4 tablespoons worth of dough in the container. THis has the three cups of water added to it and one cup of flour. This then borrows from the sourdough sponge method of feeding a sourdough starter.

    Following at least an hour or the next day, then the rest of the ingredients get added to the container – the tablespoon of salt and yeast and the remaining 5 1/2 cups of flour to make up to a full 6 1/2

    This way I try to keep the polyculture of sourdough doing some of the fermentation along with some bakers yeast.


    We use this recipe too (or at least something similar). It’s great for pizza crust and we make flat thin circles of it, fill with something tasty like BBQ pork, close the dough around it like a filled bun, and bake.

    We use a mix of whole wheat and unbleached bread flour grown & milled locally. Really good bread!


    I would recommend that those who can should consider the Nutrimill electric grain grinder. It is manufactured in S.Korea and sold in the USA under the Nutrimill label. It is fast, good quality, and reliable. Buy your wheat in large quality. It will store very well this way. Then grind what you need when you need it. Grinding adds maybe 3 minutes to my loaf preparation. A bread machine with a horizontal pan and 2 paddles will do a decent job with 100% whole grain breads. It costs me $1.75 US$ to drive to the store if I were to buy flour or bread. Everytime I don’t go I save that amount. I would guess that I save the price of the grain mill in gas in the first 2 years. Not to mention how much I saved on the price of the bread, which is even more significant. If a person can find a good local source for wheat, the price of even organic bread can get very cheap. Sometimes during the cold of the winter I go through a period of months where I will make Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread. It is generally superior to bread machine bread; but they are different things. The bread machine tends to make a sandwich style loaf. It is very easy to add things like raisins and walnuts or other extras to bread machine bread. I can make a 1 1/2 lbs loaf with less than 10 minutes of my time, including clean up.
    The real trick in bread making is the habit. When it is routine it is easy.


    Hiya ! I’d like to recommend Yoke Mardewi’s Sourdough technique https://www.wildsourdough.com.au/ she does classes too if you’re In Western Australia. Using this technique you can make bread using only flour, salt and water.

    Also, without being difficult (and I’ve only just joined this site:) how do you guys feel about bread in general ?

    I’ve been following a Paeo/no grains diet as I have Hashimotos which is linked with coeliacs (30% of people with Hashis have Coeliacs and 30 % of people with Ceoliacs have Hashis – its an autoimmune thing), so I am a bit biased here 🙂 Oh and I miss my gorgeous sourdough – I used to make the most yummo croissants !

    But from a sustainability point of view, wheat is a bugger of a crop – it takes up a lot of space and requires a lot of work, for not much yield in terms of calories. If fact, all the grains are a bit of a dead end from this point of view. Chickpeas and lentils give a much better return with much less work…. Perhaps I should start a thread on making chappatis with besan flour 🙂

    But seriously – should we be eating bread at all ?! Would be very interested in your thoughts !!

    Cheers !


    PS: Yoke rates Lauke flour highly. Eden Hill is good too.


    I buy bulk wheat from my food coop and have been doing that for several years. It gets stored in food grade plastic buckets with gamma lids. I bought a Country Living grain mill and had it mounted onto an exercise bike. You can google this and find plans and photos on line.
    I grind grain to order for my neighbors.
    My recipe also comes from the Mother Earth News but I use the one that makes several loaves. It is OK but I am always looking for better recipes. My stove is a contra-flow masonry stove with a bake oven. It is pretty hard to put in a pan of water. Anyone else have the same problem with a wood stove oven?
    I would really like a recipe that works well with a stonewear bread pan.


    You can make sourdough with any wheat flour. breadtopia.com has a good video on how to get it started, which worked for me. As for not being able to find whole wheat flour in Melbourne… that’s just depressing.


    Thanks – I will give it a look. Can’t you buy wheat berries and grind them?

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