Learnings from Latest Bread Experiments

I’ve continued work with the roughly 30/30/30 seed/flour/grain recipe. The latest iteration used 5 oz of hemp/flax/pumpkin/sunflower seeds, 5 oz of windmill ground rye, and 4 oz cracked rye.

Because the windmill rye was quite coarse, more like meal than flour, I added about a half cup of wheat flour as well, a local red fife, as well as 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten.

My process has also changed. I now do an overnight soak of the seeds/cracked grain in cold water. Cold water seems to be the ticket for non-gummy rye grains.

This time I added yeast to the preferment and then again when I mixed all the ingredients together. I finally got a great rise in the pan but the loaf slowly sank as it baked. I’m still quite happy with the end product. The texture is dense which means it slices nice and thin.

I need to do some more reading about rye and rising. Next time I will increase the proportion of seeds and try 40%. I also want to do a slower, cooler bake like I might for a Westphalian rye.

Microreview: Hayden White: The Historical Imagination by Herman Paul

Herman Paul’s book provides an overview of Hayden White’s thinking about historiography over the years. The book begins with White’s trip to Italy to write his thesis on the papal schism of 1130 and follows his publications and lectures chronologically, including plenty of details about who White was working with and likely inspired by.

Paul’s thesis seems to be that White was a liberation historiographer motivated by humanist and existential ideals more than the postmodern and structuralist movements he is often associated with. The author suggests that White’s central, enduring question is “how to live a morally responsible life in a thoroughly historical world?”

It’s a very interesting thing to read a history about someone who spent his life exploring how the ways an author shares historical information shapes the information. Paul does a good job proving his point but White has made me hypersensitive. There is no substitute for reading White’s work and this book helped me identify the things I want to read first.

Microreview: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy’s mother pressured her daughter into acting in order to fulfill her own ambitions. This honest, well-told memoir gives insight into the life of a child actor who came from a chaotic, unhappy home. I look forward to reading whatever else Jennette decides to write.

Microreview: The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in A Small American Town by Brian Alexander

As an independent hospital in the small town of Bryan, Ohio fights to survive, so do the people who live there. A lack of adequate insurance and the time and money needed to stay on top of chronic conditions costs lives. The author’s focus is broader than the title suggests and the book provides a history of hospitals in the United States while it shows the dire effects of manufacturing jobs leaving Ohio.

Microreview: We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans in Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff

Like the best comedians, the author’s timing is impeccable, with seamless transitions between stories from Native American comedians trying to make a name for themselves today to stars like Will Rogers and Charlie Hill who came before. He knows just when to add a bit of historical context and leaves readers with a long list of new performers to add to our watch lists.

How many seeds can I add to my bread?

One way to make bread lower carb is to replace some of the flour with seeds or nuts. Seeds have more protein and fiber than flour which makes for a slower blood sugar rise. They also add flavor and interest.

How many seeds and nuts can one add to a dough? Several threads on The Fresh Loaf suggested 15-20%.

On page 78 of Bittman Bread, Mark Bittman suggests adding seeds up to 15-30% of the flour weight.

Master baker Jeffrey Hamelman has several seed heavy recipes in the 2004 edition of his book Bread. The sourdough seed bread on page 176 appears to be the most densely seeded, with 7.9 oz of seeds in 32 oz of flour. This is a 1:4.6 ratio of seeds to flour. A couple of other recipes were closer to 20% of the flour weight as seed or a 1:5 ratio.

Hamelman’s recipe calls for toasting the sesame and sunflower seeds for 5-6 minutes at 380 degrees to bring out their flavor. The flax seeds are added to water and soaked for 12-16 hours. Some people theorize that toasting seeds like chia may limit the water they soak up.

What does Peter Reinhart say? In Bread Revolution one variation of the Naturally Leavened Carolina Wheat Hearth Bread created by Harry Peemoeller calls for 283g sunflower seeds in a bread with about 535 grams of flour. That’s a bit more than a 1:2 ratio of seed to flour!

Reinhart’s recipe empowered me to go crazy with the seeds. Experiments with roughly 1/3 flour, seed, whole grain ratios have shown some promise.

Cracked Rye Seed Bread Take 2



  • 5 oz sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 3 oz seeds (1 oz each raw golden flax, sesame, and pumpkin)
  • 2 oz walnuts
  • 4 oz cracked rye
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 15 oz water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp diastatic malt powder

Step 1:


Combine whole wheat flour and 5 oz water. Mix well and let sit a few hours.


Boil 8 oz water on stove. Add rye and salt. Cook until soft. Let sit a few hours.

Step 2:

Combine poolish, soaker, yeast, and vital wheat gluten. Knead until dough forms. Mix in seeds.

Bulk ferment in covered bowl. Shape loaf and put in Pullman pan.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30 minutes. Take off Pullman lid and bake another 30 minutes.


This loaf might be flatter than the last one. I saw some activity during the six hour bulk ferment but absolutely nothing after shaping the loaf. It had two hours before going in the fridge and about ten hours in the kitchen before I gave up and baked it.

The dough is quite wet and sticky so I wouldn’t think hydration would be an issue but it’s possible the rye grains are sucking up all the water. Typically hydration is represented as a percent of flour but I am not sure that works well for a recipe that contains more seeds/grains than flour. I had roughly 370 grams of dry ingredients and the same amount of water. A Tartine recipe for a sprouted grain bread had 940 grams of liquid to 1575 grams flours and seeds.

Cooking the grains did not entirely eliminate the tough chew.

A couple of thoughts:

– My yeast may be dead.

– Maybe bread made from mashed grains doesn’t rise.

– Boiling the cracked rye may have affected the amount of enzymes and required hydration in ways I don’t yet understand per this thread on The Fresh Loaf.

– Use a little more salt next time.

Lower Carb Bread: Cracked Rye Seed Bread



  • 5 oz sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 3 oz seeds (1 oz each raw golden flax, sesame, and pumpkin)
  • 5 oz cracked rye
  • .25 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 13 oz water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast

Day 1:


Combine whole wheat flour and 5 oz water. Mix well and let sit overnight.


Combine 7 oz boiling water with rye. Mix well and let sit over night.

Day 2:

Combine poolish, soaker, yeast, and vital wheat gluten. Knead until dough forms. Mix in seeds.

The dough will be very wet. Press into Pullman pan and cover. Let rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30 minutes. Take off Pullman lid and bake another 30 minutes.


The loaf is quite flat. The bread did not rise very well, possibly due to the volume of seeds and whole grain to flour. I also wonder if something caused it to deflate because it was doubled when I put it in the oven but not when I took it out. I thought it might have been overproofed.

Salt would substantially improve the flavor (I forgot, whoops).

Loaf was cut into 32 slices. It would be easy to get 40 with careful cutting – it was firm and did not tear easily. Two slices were needed to make one normally sized slice of bread. For this reason, the recipe below uses two slices for one serving.

<a href=”https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076″ target=”_blank”><img width=”320″ height=”634″ src=”https://www.verywellfit.com/thmb/H_BaX-Wvl_gFC6DIusai0Qb_pkU=/1000×0/Nutrition-Label-Embed-434312123-ea259ca5cfa14e539b5d133c2dfb4d1e.png” /></a>

11 carbs per serving seems great. Personal past experience suggests sprouted whole wheat flour causes less of a BG increase than straight whole wheat. The 3.5 grams of protein and fiber also help.

I ate two servings for breakfast for about four days. My BG barely blipped. This has been the most successful of my bread experiments by far.

The bread got moldy very fast so I will move it to the freezer immediately next time.

For next time:

  • Remember salt.
  • Fully cook the cracked rye in a pot instead of soaking.
  • Consider using 4 oz grain, 4 oz seeds.
  • Investigate how much rise I can expect from a whole grain mash. What makes bread rise?
  • How does the Pullman lid affect the height of the finished product?

Using Article 78 to Get a Copy of a New York State Birth Certificate for Italian Dual Citizenship

The New York Department of Health will only issue certified birth certificates to a person named on the birth certificate i.e. the child or the parents.  My grandmother, born in 1912, passed away in 1997, long after both her parents. Since everyone on her birth certificate is dead, I need a court order to obtain a copy of this document for my Italian dual citizenship application.

Article 78 proceedings provide a mechanism for individuals to request copies of these vital records. The person named on the birth certificate must be dead. You must provide proof of death as well as proof you are related to the individual. If your parent or grandparent is still alive and won’t order a copy of their birth certificate for you, you are out of luck.

I used this step by step guide created by Samantha Genova  as well as the guide attorney Cheryl Forchilli shared with the Dual US-Italian Citizenship Facebook group. If you are going through the process, I highly recommend you look at both of these guides and search the FB group for ‘Article 78.’

Thanks to the non-profit Reclaim the Records which has worked so hard to make these records publicly available.

Where to File

The Article 78 Proceeding should be filed in the Supreme Court of the county which holds the record. This means you may file in the county in which your relative was born if you want to request a record from the town clerk or you can file in Albany, where the Department of Health which issues state records is located.

My grandmother was born in a very small town and I’m not sure the clerk would be familiar with how to handle this kind of request so I chose to file in Albany where they are used to this sort of thing.

Make sure the state has a copy of the record. Some people get all the way through the process only to learn the state doesn’t have a copy. You can search the New York State Birth Index up to 1942 on Ancestry with a paid membership or browse the index for free on Internet Archive.

Using Article 78 to Obtain Multiple Copies of a New York State Birth Certificate

If you need multiple copies, ask for them in your petition. You don’t need to name other family members as petitioners or give an explanation. I adjusted the language in the petition template to say

‘… to deliver to Petitioner six long-form, certified signed and sealed copies of the (a) birth certificate for Petitioner’s grandmother…’

I don’t know yet if it will work but hope I can save some of my family members from spending $400 for a single document. People in the FB group have reported mixed results. Some received court orders allowing them only one document. Others were sent only one copy despite a court order for more.

Include a Return Date!

The return date is the date you are asking the court to review your request. It must be at least 3 Fridays in the future. I’d suggest adding an extra week or two to be safe.

I filed my petition, request for judicial intervention (RJI), and exhibits on 9/12. I received an index number the next day. I added the index number to my notice of petition and uploaded that a week later (after a clerk reminded me!).

Both my notice of petition and RJI were returned due to a missing return date. The notice of petition template I used simply said ‘at the court’s earliest convenience.’ Some people have had their paperwork processed using that language but mine was flagged, perhaps because I did not include a return date at all on the RJI.

I changed my notice of petition to say ‘on 14 October 2022 or at the court’s earliest availability.’

Correcting Your Petition

While correcting my RJI and Notice of Petition, I noticed that my petition hadn’t scanned correctly – a post it note on the first page obscured some text. To file an amended petition, log into your NYSCEF account and navigate to your Document List. Click File Document to this Case. Select ‘Documents not related to a motion/petition/OSC under the Non-Motion Documents section. You should find ‘Petition (Amended)’ in the drop down list.

Pending vs Processed

After re-submitting those three documents, I noticed that while my amended Petition was processed, both the RJI and Notice of Petition were still stuck in ‘pending’ mode. According to the NYSCEF Resource Center, a ‘pending’ document has been received and is under review. https://askalawlibrarian.nycourts.gov/NYSCEF/faq/346745

After several days of waiting for pending to change to processed, I contacted the Albany Supreme Court to ask if I was supposed to do something. Their number is 518-285-8989. I learned that these documents would be ‘pending’ until my case was reviewed on my return date of 14 October 2022. The clerk gave me the all clear to serve both the Commissioner of the Department of Health and the Attorney General.

On another note, I found it a little confusing to figure out who to contact with questions. Every time I view my case, I see contact info for the county clerk. I was using those phone numbers and email addresses without much luck until someone in that office redirected me to the Supreme Court.

Serving Notice from outside New York via USPS

Service must be made by someone who is not a party to the case. My husband mailed my documents for me via USPS certified mail.

We ran into a major snag at the post office when trying to serve the Attorney General. On their website, the address is simply

Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

My local post office would not accept this address. Their address verification system demanded a street address because I was sending via certified mail. I couldn’t find one online and called the Attorney General’s office. They told me to use

Office of the Attorney General
#1 The State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

My post office didn’t like this either but a different clerk allowed me to override the validation and send anyway.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in this process so far. Hopefully in a few weeks I will have another update!