Bread Class with Dave Miller

Grist & Toll

Bread Baking Series

Know Your Wheat with Dave Miller

Sunday, June 5, 2016

9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Price: $195.00 Sorry Sold Out

Register here:


At last, Dave Miller, owner of Miller’s Bake House in Chico, CA, is coming to Grist & Toll for a hands-on bread workshop. This class has been a long time coming. Any search for guidance from bakers sourcing local wheat, stone milling, and baking 100% naturally leavened bread will ultimately lead to Dave. He has been stone milling his own flour for his bakery for over 15 years, working with local farmers and teaching us all about the beauty and diversity of wheat long before there was even the idea of a Grist & Toll. Many of our rising baker-celebrities call him friend and mentor, and those of you familiar with Michael Pollen’s most recent book, “Cooked”, will know that Dave was featured prominently in the Air chapter, which focuses on bread.

I have often said, there are bakers whose formulas and methods have the ultimate goal of coaxing the exact same performance out of different types of flour, chasing that consistent, perfect loaf. On the flip side, there are the bakers who seek perfection in a different way: allowing the individual grain to express itself fully and uniquely, embracing and enhancing these differences, rather than trying to force them to conform with a commercial ideal. Dave Miller definitely belongs in the latter camp. And so it is fitting that in our workshop with Dave, we will do what Dave does best:

We will take 2 different wheat varieties and get to know them by comparing and contrasting them with the following exercises:

  • Using a test formula to get to know the wheat
  • Determining hydration percentage
  • Determining the leaven based on our assessment of each wheat and desired bake time
  • Creating a bread formula for each wheat
  • Creating a time table and bulk fermentation process for each wheat
  • Using two different mixing methods (hand mix vs the traditional home stand mixer), we will examine how each affects/changes dough development and structure
  • Tasting the two wheats side by side in freshly baked loaves, prepared by Dave and Nan, to discuss flavor and texture differences

Each student will leave with 2 loaves, shaped and tucked into their bannetons for overnight proofing and home baking. We will have some finishing ingredients available for final shaping, such as soaked sesame and poppy seeds.

All ingredients and materials will be provided for you, but please bring your own apron. Coffee in the morning and a light lunch are included.

*Please note this class has an earlier start time. As we move into the warmer summer months, we want to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. Our format will also be slightly different. Lunch will take place at the end of the class so that we can move through the entire process from mixing to shaping our bread without interruption.

Class size is limited to 12 students in order to allow a complete hands-on experience with plenty of question and answer time. No cancellations after May 28, 2016.

Above Photo by James Kern

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