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My weekend workshop taught by Dave Miller - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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My weekend workshop taught by Dave Miller

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  • My weekend workshop taught by Dave Miller

    These are half of the breads made in the Whole grain breads workshop staring Dave Miller. This workshop was hosted by the Los Angles Bread bakers, meetup, group, Grist and Toll, the urban mill, Who provided all of the freshly milled flours and staring the master baker and master miller Dave Miller. Two wood fired Alan Scott style ovens were used to bake the breads, check out Michael O'Malley's mobile oven at, Thank you Michael!


    Dave is located in the Chico California area and his breads are available at the Chico Farmers Market. Dave has something like 30 years of professional baking under his belt and many many years of milling the flours he uses to bake with. If this were not enough, Dave only uses sourdough, natural levain, and high hydration in his breads. Dave mills his grain the day he requires the flour and whenever possible, works directly with the farmers that provide the organic grain.

    We worked with four flours, triple IV, hard winter red wheat, Sonora, soft wheat, Spelt and Rye. The photos show Triple IV, the oblong loaves, and Sonora, the round loaves. The doughs, except the Rye, were mixed Saturday afternoon and then retarded overnight at what had been planned to be 47F. These doughs were then portioned shaped proofed and baked on Sunday.

    When Dave arrived at the Altadena classroom location on Sunday the refrigerator had not cooled the dough and all three doughs were in varying states of over proof. The Spelt was in the worst condition, imagine your normal starter before being fed, and although it was felt to be unsalvageable Dave used this as a “teachable moment” and the dough was portioned, shaped and ultimately baked in pans. The other two doughs were very slack and over proofed but were also shaped and baked.

    To maximize the bread flavor, digestibility, and enable a complete bake, Dave is adamant about the use of high hydration and more so with whole grain flour, These doughs were mixed at 110% hydration. Yep, that’s 110% water to flour ratio. I volunteered to shape 6 or so loaves of the Spelt dough and learned more about shaping slack dough in 10 minutes than the past 5 years of serious home bread baking.

    Please imagine shaping something that feels something like a glutinous tapioca pudding where the tapioca beads are bubbles, or wet your hands sometime and try to shape a wet starter. To shape these loaves, wet hands were absolutely mandatory and without the generous use of water, no shaping would have been possible.. at all. The last picture shows the crumb and crust of the, from left to right, triple IV, spelt, and Sonoma. These are all denser than ideal but considering the degradation of the gluten.

    I'll add a picture of the rye later.

    Dave is truly a master of his craft and a very talented teacher.
    Thank you LABB, Grist and Toll and last but not least, Dave Miller!..



    PS If you ever have a chance to attend a workshop with Dave Miller, Do It!!

    additional links
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    Last edited by SCChris; 01-21-2014, 12:12 PM.

  • #2
    Re: My weekend workshop taught by Dave Miller

    Sounds like fun. I have to remember the “teachable moment”, next time things go south
    Check out my pictures here:

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.