Saturday, November 7, 2015


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

After a rather underwhelming bread experience in an - otherwise nice - hotel last year, I challenged my co-bloggers, facebook friends and hobby bakers from The Fresh Loaf to help fill a basket with "Bread for Götz von Berlichingen", to provide Schlosshotel Götzenburg with a better breakfast choice.

I was so happy with the interesting contributions that I promised myself to bake as many of the 30 breads as possible, and, also, to showcase some of them on my blog - like  Khalid's Götzenburg Bread from Dubai, und Britta's Double Potato Loaf for Götz from the Lower Rhine.

Just in time for Zorra's World Bread Day 2015 I was happy to present Fresh Loaf blogger Dabrownman and his Swabian Potato Bread for Götz of the Iron Fist.

Dabrownman lives and bakes in Arizona

Dabrownman - "everybody calls me Brownman" (or DBM for short) - resides with his wife, college age daughter, and dachshund Lucy in Arizona.

An architect by schooling, he designed and supervised worldwide the construction, and ran the operation of distribution centers for the food industry. "Food and Facilities is what I did the last 23 years".
Dabrownman with "Apprentice" Lucy
Meanwhile retired, he threw himself wholeheartedly into bread baking. With 429 posts since 2012, he is one of the most productive hobby bakers and bloggers that I know.

But not only his recipes with their abundance of  grains and seeds are interesting - his posts are also often very funny!

It's hard to believe, but he is proud owner of just one single baking book: Clayton's Complete Book of Breads. ("With a title like that you only need the one.")

Instead of buildings he is now designing and constructing breads, with help of his four legged "apprentice" Lucy, who obviously has a preference for hearty, crusty loaves, and loves being busy in the kitchen.

Just like her "master", Lucy can't stand the idea of baking the same old loaf twice. "It's like designing and building the same building all the time - much too boring!"

With every bread he bakes, Dabrownman feels inspired to try a new, even better loaf. He doesn't really want to waste his time "to bake over old bread. and hope to get the new bread baked!"

According to Lucy, bread baking, also, keeps the retiree too busy to hang out too often in motorcycle bars!!!

DBM's Breakfast Rolls with Snockered Fruit & Chocolate 

As you can see from the gorgeous photos on his blog (food porn alert!), the passionate baker also creates scrumptious pies and other pastries, like Whole Grain Breakfast Rolls with Snockered Fruit & Chocolate;

DBM swears by freshly milled flour: "It has a more complex flavor, a better, deeper, and more earthy taste. It also is more active in starters and levains".

Resting after a busy baking day!
For his levain he typically takes only a small amount of starter, feeding it in three steps, and then places it for 24 hours in the fridge.

He prefers yeast water over commercial yeast, and often mixes it with his starter.

DBM sifts his whole grain flour, and adds the extracted mineral-rich, coarser parts to his starter - to expedite the fermentation of the levain, and to ensure the hard bits are sufficiently soaked.

"Seems to work well - I have very active levains, and the rise and open crumb are pretty good".

Dabrownman likes Bertinet's dough processing workout, slapping the dough several times forcefully on the countertop. I prefer a gentler approach, and the - less strenous - stretch & fold à la Reinhart that I use for many of my doughs.

Though sifting and extracting the whole grain flour is a bit of an effort, the result is well worth it!

After making it twice, the crusty, hearty bread became one of my favorites (even though my crumb is darker, and not quite as open as DBM's - his extraction might be more efficient.)

An especially hearty wheat-rye bread -worthy of a knight!

8 g mother starter (rye, wheat, spelt, 100%)
50 g old bread, crumbled (I toasted it)
20 g freshly milled, sifted whole rye flour (85% extraction) (*see preparation)
20 g freshly milled, sifted whole wheat flour (85% extraction) (*see preparation)
35 g extracted coarser rye- and wheat parts (*see preparation )
75 g bread flour
203 g potato cooking water, cooled

Final Dough
50 g freshly milled, sifted whole rye flour (85% extraction) (*see preparation)
150 g bread flour
8 g salt
2 g instant yeast
25 g potato cooking water (more as needed - I added an extra 15 g)
100 g cooked, mashed potatoes
25 g softened butter or vegetable oil (I used sunflower seed oil)

Potatoes with thin skins don't have to be peeled

PREPARATION  (85% flour extraction)
Mill about 135 g rye (not too finely - Nutrimill setting exactly between "Finer" and "Coarser"). Sift flour several times through a fine mesh strainer, to extract 15% of the coarser parts (about 18 g will be needed). Set aside both extractions separately.

Repeat this extraction procedure with the wheat. Mix the coarser, extracted wheat bits with the same amount of rye bits (a total amount of 35 g are needed for the starter.)

Boil unpeeled potatoes. Reserve potato cooking water, and let it cool (you will need about 250 ml/1 cup.) Potatoes with thin skins don't have to be peeled.

Mix all starter ingredients in a bowl. Cover, and leave overnight at room temperature (9 - 12 hours). It should double.

The starter should double overnight

Stir starter, and let double again (3 - 4 hours).

Add starter to the other dough ingredients

Mix all dough ingredients. Leave for 30 minutes, then knead at low speed for 8 minutes, adding more water as needed (dough should clear sides, but stick to bottom of bowl).

Transfer dough to a work surface lightly misted with oil or water. With oiled hands, pull and press dough into a rough square, then fold it from top and bottom like a business letter in 3 parts. Fold the same way from both sides.

Stretching and folding the dough

Gather dough package into a ball, and place, seam side down, in an oiled bowl. Cover, and let rest for 20 minutes, then repeat S & F four more times at 20 minute intervals.

Leave for about 1 hour (dough should look puffed). Generously sprinkle a rising basket with a mixture of wheat and rice flours (to prevent sticking.) For an attractive, rustic look, sprinkle the bottom of the basket with coarse ground or rolled rye or wheat.

Instead of flour, you can sprinkle the work surface with chopped rye 

Pre-shape dough into a round, then shape it into a boule. Place, seam-side up, in the prepared basket.

Dust the surface with flour, then put the basket in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate for 12 hours (overnight).

If you want to score the loaf, place it seam side up in the basket

Remove bread from refrigerator about 2 hours before baking, it should have almost doubled. If not, allow it to sit longer on the counter.

Overnight the bread should almost double

Preheat oven to 500ºF/260ºC, including baking stone and steaming device.

Don't be too timid when you score it!

When the bread is sufficiently proofed (finger poke test: a dimple should not fill completely up again, but remain visible), place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Score, as desired.

Place bread in the oven, steaming with a cup of boiling water. Reduce temperature to 450ºF/ 230ºC After 15 minutes, remove steam pan, and reduce temperature to 430ºF/ 220ºC - switch to convection mode, if your oven has that feature).

Bake for another 20 - 25 minutes, until bread is nice and brown (the crust shouldn't be to light!) and it registers at least 205ºF/96ºC.

Let bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

A rolled rye topping gives the bread an attractive rustic look

BreadStorm users (also the  free version) can download the formula:


  1. Great post Karin! Your rendition of our friend DA's bread came out terrific. Nice to share some more info on our resident baking guru from TFL.
    I just got back from a 14 day trip to China and I can't wait to get back to baking some hearty bread. Hard to find anything too good where I was.

    1. Thanks, Ian, I hope you are waiting with baited breath for your turn :)
      I can imagine that you got withdrawal symptoms - I get them, when I can't bake, and, worse, when soft, white, fluffy bread is the only thing that you can find anywhere.
      Happy baking,

  2. HI Karin. Sounds great. Having newly acquired a flour mill and trying to sort out how best to use it for my baking, I have two questions. First, if you have a mill, why use bead flour? Why not mill hard wheat and bolt it? And second, if you have a strong sourdough starter, why add additional yeast? Best, Mark

    1. Hi, Mark, the only reason that I don't mill whole wheat is my going through a lot for my little bakery, so I purchase my most often used flours in 50 lb bags. The small amount of commercial yeast makes the rising time more predictable. If you don't want to add it, you might have to wait longer for the dough to warm up and rise some more after taking it out of the fridge.
      But freshly milled flour performs a bit different, it has more enzyme activity, so your dough might rise faster, anyway, even without additional yeast.
      Good luck, and let me know how it turns out,

    2. Hi Karin - It turned out quite well. I substituted freshly milled hard winter wheat for the bread flour, which I sifted and then remilled the bran. When that was sifted it gave me something like 94% extraction - I saved the remains hard bits to coat the surface. It needed a lot more water than your formula calls for. I ended up adding an additional 70g (for a total of 95g) - the freshly milled flour seems to soak up a lot more water than the flour I get at the store. And I skipped the commercial yeast. I got reasonably good oven spring and a reasonably open crumb. And, most importantly, it is delicious!

    3. Nice! You are right, you should never stick slavishly to the recipe amounts of liquids, but adjust it according to how your dough looks and feels. Freshly milled flour might absorb more water, and you obviously got it right.
      I'm glad you like the bread - the little extra work with the sifting is definitely worth it.
      Happy Holidays!

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