Gold Forest Grains Flour Tasting and Bread Baking Marathon

LeQuan, with her mom, Chan, for a day of bread baking fun!

However, I will confess, the timing was not good. I had them on one Sunday and the following Saturday was teaching my Taste Tripping Bread Making 101 Class. So, I am a little overwhelmed with bread making at the moment, and though I have made several loaves since, have no desire to spend another day deep in the yeasty pillows of dough until, oh, next winter! All that considered, both days were wildly gratifying for completely different reasons. With Chan and LeQuan the day started with a dignified cup of tea. Look at that pre-bread making perkiness!

And while they sipped with pinky curled, I started the sour dough boule. This was made in the Thermomix and an example of what can be done further down the road as they hone their bread making techniques. The sour dough was on Chan’s list, so we got one proofing and many more to go!

The Sourdough Boule

I will take you through each bread we made this day, in a series, not in the way the day happened. For example, this dough took 3 to 4 hours to rise, then 30 minutes to bake, then time to rest before we sliced into it. But, I will show you each bread in its own “series”. This is the Sourdough Boule Series. Love these boules!

Gold Forest Grains Flours

These beautiful fragrant local flours can be purchased at the City Market or at many other locations listed here. This was my perk for the day. I know how to make bread, but hadn’t worked with Dan’s flour before and was very eager to do so. The aroma wafting out of each bag took me back to my grandmother’s hay loft many years ago: warm healthy grains.

The lightest is Dan’s pasta and pastry flour. I enjoyed it as a whole wheat loaf flour. It was far too course for any pastry or pasta, in my opinion. The darkest flour is the rye. No one ever makes 100% rye bread. Actually, 100% whole wheat bread is exceptionally rare when made artisanally, as well. But, I did both, this day, just for the fun of it. I wanted to taste and test.

Here are the three flours made into bread using 100% of each flour. The one below is made with the pastry pasta flour. It was fragrant, moist and very tasty. You can see the one below, made with the 100% whole wheat flour was made in a smaller loaf pan as it was a heavier and much more dense dough. The bread was also heavier, more most and a little more dense. It was deeply fragrant and flavourful. Both were exceptional with the major difference being the resulting weight of the dough: the whole wheat didn’t rise as high and was a heavier dough. It was also more moist. However, both were clearly made with freshly ground flour, the darker having a fuller body flavourwise.


The rye bread was very dense, but sliced thin, as it always is, had a gorgeous flavour and I wondered why more 100% ryes are not made. It was cut when still warm (above) so the crumb is still a little gummy. The bread was expected to be very dense, so I rolled small rolls. Each rose, but did not double. I was happy with the result, but certainly wouldn’t use it in a sandwich. This rye would be an appetizer kind of bread. I look forward to mixing up the flours and adding them with some white. I know there is some local white (a yellowish flour that Tree Stone uses) from Camrose I want to get my hands on for some of the mixing things up. However, I am one that does enjoy freshly ground, dense and moist whole wheat bread. Love it. We did some (below, later) braided and that is one way I really enjoy it. I will never be without Dan’s flour again!

Learning How To Work the Dough

(Yes, it is all in the tongue, LeQuan!)

I always use the French method for working my dough, now. After attending Richard Bertinet’s Cookery School in Bath and a Bread Making Atelier at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, I will never go back. The dough is so superior, and there is no flour flying around the kitchen. I will not (again) go over this method. You can find the details in the Richard Bertinet post here, but I will say, one has to simply let go, and “believe” for it to happen. The dough seems far too sticky and the urge to add more flour is great if you have been a bread maker the British way.

At this point, each of us had made one batch of white bread. Next, we each made a double batch exactly the same with one of Dan’s flours. After that, we made a double batch of white. When all the dough was made, the first had already proofed and was ready to shape. The rest of the day was spent shaping, resting and baking the doughs. The recipe used was the same for all doughs, and is at the bottom. The only one different was the Seed and Nut loaf where an indiscriminate amount of seeds and nuts were added to the dough and worked into it and then rolled in them: totally arbitrary. The Swiss Roll is a completely different recipe and is also below.

The Epi Series

The Cinnamon Bun Series

The Fogasse Series


The Seed and Nut Series

The Whole Wheat Flour Braid Series

The Rye Series

Swiss Roll Series

Preparing the dough and making this much bread was not very much work, really. The problem was only having two ovens with all this bread to bake. We were a little over our head, time wise, but the gals arrived at 10 and we were finished everything by 4:30 with our lunch break. That even includes clean up!

Would I do it again? Sure! I believe it is critical to pass the tradition of bread making on to the younger generation. There is nothing like it. But, not for a while. I need a bread baking break!


Basic Bread Recipe

  • 500 grams flour
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 10 grams of yeast
  • 350 grams of water
  1. I find weighing the flour most accurate, and with the Thermomix, scale it into the bowl; without it, weigh the flour into a large basin bowl
  2. Scale in the salt, and mix it thoroughly into the flour
  3. Scale in the dry yeast granules, or the same weight in wet yeast; mix it into the flour thoroughly.
  4. Weigh the water, or scale it into the TM bowl
  5. At this point, without a Thermomix, follow #6 to 8; with a Thermomix, # 9 through 11
  6. Mix the water into the flour thoroughly; this will be a highly saturated dough (do not add more flour)
  7. Pour the mixture onto the counter and using a plastic scraper, gather all of the flour into the dough and form a ball; it will be sticky
  8. Start to throw the dough onto the counter in a circular motion, using both hands to gather it in, and then throw it out onto the counter, pulling it back in a circular motion; it will stick at first, but after about 15 minutes (the first time you make this), the gluten with be worked enough to stop sticking, and you will then make a ball with the dough and sit it in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (This is how I learned to make this bread. It is  difficult to understand how to work dough by reading; the technique of working dough has been passed from an experienced hand to a young and eager hand through the ages.)
  9. With all ingredients in the TM bowl, mix together at speed three for 20 to 30 seconds
  10. Then set the time for 4 minutes, and the speed to K (knead); stay near the machine as it may vibrate during the kneading process
  11. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and forma ball; place in a warm place, covered, to proof until doubled in size
  12. Once doubled in size, carefully follow the instructions within the slide show below to make either bread or buns
  13. Let rise for 45 minutes and bake at 500 F for 12 minutes

Swiss Stick Recipe from Betty’s Cookery School:


  • 200g strong white flour (we used all purpose for lack of any other at the time)
  • 3g sea salt
  • 10g fresh yeast (we used dry)
  • 130ml tepid water
  • 5m extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g rice flour for dusting and rolling (I was out, so we used all purpose white)
  • optional: 50g olives, sun dried tomatoes, etc. for stuffing (we used as many as we thought we needed as we sprinkles them over the dough: definitely more than 50g)


  1. Mix flour and salt together in bowl
  2. Dissolve yeast in water (we did not do this)
  3. Add the yeast mixture and oil to the flour mixture (we added all three to the flour mixture at once)
  4. Mix the ingredients together and knead (we used the Thermomix) “Betty” notes that this dough is much softer than a standard bread dough
  5. Proof in a warm area in a lightly floured bowl until doubled in size and springs back slowly when touched (30-60 minutes, depending upon the room temperature)
  6. Gently release dough from the bowl and stretch into a rectangle (about 25 cm long); roll in rice flour and twist randomly to form the shape (we sprinkled the olives on at the rectangle stage, folded the dough over them in thirds, and then twisted to form the shape)
  7. Place onto a line baking sheet and dust with rice flour (we used all purpose); proof again until doubled in size (same time as earlier)
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 400ºC for 25 minutes until golden brown and crusty


  1. says

    Thanks for the hot tip about the flour. I am going to check it out their stall at the market.
    I always make everything with whole wheat flour – which is why pie crust is terrible – haha.
    It actually blows my mind that the three of you made all that bread – beautiful!! I can see why you need a break until next winter :)
    LeQuan’s superman shirt is apt!

  2. says

    Wow, that really is enough bread to last a whole winter. I am afraid I am quite lazy and use the machine to make the dough, then shape and bake in the oven. But I have been trying more and more to spend time making dough by hand, and letting my little one knead with me. Its lots of mess, but lots of fun and well, everything washes out, including the cat.

  3. says

    Great walk thru Val.

    I find it surprising that you mention the lack of 100% ww bread; it’s definitely one of my most common varieties and is growing amongst people who ask me for bread. As well, places like Prairie Mill are making very strong headway into whole grains and it’s a place people should check out if they want something along those lines.

    As well, I can’t forgot to say that time is your best friend with 100% ww loaves (in my experience). I will let dough rise for 2 or 3 days before baking up light, airy loaves.

    I can’t imagine stopping either Val, I think I’m putting down 20-30lbs of flour every weekend these days. I sure dig Gold Forest Grains!

    • Valerie says

      Hey, Chris,
      It wasn’t a lack of ww bread that I was talking about, it was that most bakeries (Tree Stone included) do not use 100% ww flour in their breads. I can find ww bread anywhere. Wonderbread makes a 100% ww version, even. Hilarious. But, through my travels, reading, classes and experience, it has been that ww and rye are typically mixed with white or other flours. As I said, I love the plain freshly ground ww, myself, at home. Richard Bertinet and many of my readings have said that flour should rest after it is ground and be used two to three days later. I don’t do that. I like to use it right away when I grind my own. I use it after it has rested often enough, when I buy it.
      And yes, I too often have bread on the go for a few days. I worship my poolish. It is deep with flavour now and is about a year old. I love using it. I actually have two different ones, but these gals were just learning how to make bread. No need to get it more complex than we already did. I just wanted the working motion to be learned – not just taught… and after all we did, I believe it was!
      How many loaves do you make with 20 to 30 pounds of flour a week, Chris? That is phenomenal. I will be posting my Taste Tripping Class on Bread Making 101 and we used 15 pounds of flour that day and each of 6 people left with a carload of bread. I cannot imagine!
      What I don’t understand is why you won’t teach bread making for me. That is a huge loss to all! I know do many who would come, including me. Your breads are always gorgeous.

  4. says

    What a gorgeous array of bread! I can see why you need a bread break–you made about as much bread in one day as I eat in one year! There is a farm near here that sells freshly-milled flours at the market. The market just opened, so I’ll have to stock up and have my own, much smaller, bread-baking day.

  5. says

    This is so wonderful Valerie! What a great article and picture series. Unreal bread. Thank you for your kind mentions on twitter too!

    Just one correction though if you don’t mind…my name is John, not Dan.LOL

    We have made some changes to the mill grind on the pasta/pastry flour since you purchased from us too. You’ll find that it is a much finer grind nowadays.

    John Schneider
    Gold Forest Grains

    • Valerie says

      HA HA! How many times have I called you Dan, John?? I actually stopped when writing your name as I know I get it mixed up all of the time. So sorry! I loved the pastry pasta flour in bread, so will be curious to try it again, but will probably miss the old one, too! Good to know, though. Love your product – and we do need a good 00 flour like they have in Italy for pastas and fine pastries. However, we have the best bread making flour in the world! Right here, from you!

      • says

        This was the first time Valerie…no problem. I must look like a “Dan” to you. I do the same thing often enough! I am going to do some research on sifting to see if I can come up with something similar to a 00 flour.

  6. says

    What a beautiful array of bread you made together! I love making bread and would have loved to have joined you in the flour fest.

  7. says

    Those are some serious loaves Valerie. A dau of bread baking would have me exhausted. I noticed you didn’t post a photo of the 3 of you after a day of baking…wink:D

    • Valerie says

      Nutty Nanny!
      I cannot believe you have a fear of yeast!!! You absolutely MUST do this right away. Making my own bread is the best kitchen therapy. Bread is the staff of life and there is truly nothing like learning to make your own bread. What do you have to lose? FEAR= False Evidence Appearing Real. The yeast will not hurt you. I promise! 😉

  8. says


    i’m so sorry i’m so late to read your post again. things have been a little overwhelming in the luvtoeat household this week and i haven’t had much mood to blog or even FB for that matter. hope you will understand.

    my dear, you are too kind and modest. if anything, you’ve done much much more for me than i could ever do for you. time and time again you’ve shown me the true Canadian way and heart and i thank you so much for your true friendship.

    i cannot say enough how much fun we had that day and how much i’ve learned from you, and i don’t just mean from bread baking. you have a true heart of gold and everytime we get together, your generosity, warmth, and true friendship just illuminates from within. never change the way you are, my dear.

    i will never forget this day, and not because it was only my 3rd time baking bread and we baked probably more bread than i will bake alone in my lifetime (haha jk), but because you took precious time out of your day to show Mom and I how it’s done so that we can pass on our bread baking skills. it was such a great time chatting with you, learning from you, and well, baking with you. i cannot believe how many pictures you managed to upload. this was one of the harder posts i’ve done b/c of all the pictures we took (so hard to choose) and all the information from just those 6 hours. bravo to you for doing such a great job of capturing everything from that day. i think it took me about a week to write my post (from starting it, proof reading it, editing it, and finally publishing it). i don’t blame you for needing a bread baking break. let’s just say we made lots of soups, stews, curries, and anything saucey to finish up all that delicious bread. i think by the time we finished our portion of the bread, i was craving for rice so badly i even ate one whole bowl of white rice by itself. thank you again for such a wonderful day of bread baking. cannot wait until the next time we see each other, you’re always such a hoot to be around.

    big hugs XXXX


  9. says

    These breads look so professional Valerie and the crust so tempting! I am in awe of people who have the skills and knowledge to bake like this! I always felt like it was too daunting!

  10. says

    Oh my goodness, what beautiful bread! I’m always so jealous when LeQuan is over making goodies in your kitchen – two of my favorite bloggers in one place, only the place is really far away from me! You really are the bread queen, Valerie :) The shapes of these loaves are amazing, and I can only imagine how they taste!

    One day, I’ll haul myself up to Edmonton :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>