Author Topic: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.  (Read 2867 times)

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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2017, 01:40:01 am »
Got two more batches of bread ( four loaves ) done. For the first one I replaced one cup of bread flour with one of Barley flour. The overall flavor is slightly different than the original recipe. I a really good way.  I'll add more the next time.  Finding out that barley takes up a lot of liquid. It has less gluten but way more fiber than white wheat flour. That bit of fiber sucks up moisture like a sponge. Ended up with a dough that was on the cracky dry side. Not the best looking loaves. But a flavor worth doing again. The crust has a nice crunch to it. I'm really liking this. Liking it so much I've already eaten half of the first loaf. With the fiber content? I should be firing off like a cannon in the morning.  :D

The second batch of bread I tried another experiment. I reduced and clarified three tablespoons of unsalted butter. Slowly reducing it down to a bit over two tablespoons and letting it darken to a deep caramel color. Yielding a very nutty flavored butter. Used that with two tablespoons of shortening. Allotting me the four tablespoons of fat for this recipe.  Again. Same bread with a different flavor. Really nice flavor. It's the first day. The nutty flavor will intensify tomorrow. When I do this again I'll replace all the shortening with the darkened clarified butter.

I now have three open loaves of bread. The originally modified Shaker recipe. One with Barley and one with darkened clarified butter. Each loaf has a different smell and taste. Each one makes an awesome sandwich bread. I really do need to put this recipe aside and try others. There is a whole world of flavor out there I want to try.
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2017, 12:55:00 am »
learned something about Barley from an old cookbook that I got in the 80's. It's a cookbook dedicated to bread. Written by an ordained Zen monk. He writes to get a better flavor our of barley you should toast it in a pan on the stove first. I'll have to try that. The next bread I'm going to try is out of this book.

I think I mentioned earlier that I found a forum on bread making. So I tried to join. Twice now I've tried to join. Here's what's happened. First time I do all the essentials and fill out the form. Hit 'send' to get an email with a time sensitive link. Got the email quickly. Clicked on the link. To get this message. "You have use a link that has either been opened before or is outdated" bla bla bla....  there's more stuff said. Basically telling me to try again. So I did. Again, again, again, again.......two days now. The never ending circle of a broken program with no way to contact them. There was a furry forum that I had the same trouble with. The only way to see the forum was to join. Eventually I got in. Can't say how many times I actually tried. It went on over the corse of a few weeks. When I finally got in? The forum itself was all but abandoned. Guess if you make it really hard to join people are not going to try. Haven't been back. At least on the bread forum I can read what's there. Just wont be able to get my questions answered. And I do have a few.

Picked up some stone ground whole kernel wheat flour. I really didn't think I would find any. Going to use that to add a bit of flavor to white bread. I did read that once you open whole kernel flour you have to refrigerate it because of the oils. I have had home made wheat bead years ago. I remember it being sweater than white. And way better tasting than what you could get at the store. This should be fun!
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2017, 11:40:27 am »
That forum that I've been ranting about. The Fresh Loaf. They do have a way to contact one of the mods. Problem fixed. I'm IN! And i have many many questions. Now it's time for reality to over ride fantasy. Here's what I mean. Many years ago I learned that fire is nothing more than energy being released from a chemical reaction. The reality behind learning that is nothing happened. The marshmallows I was roasting didn't taste any different. Water didn't boil any faster. And watching a fire was just as relaxing. The same goes for cooking or baking. I have heard over and over that baking is an exact science. If you don't use the exact measurements you will not get a good result. it doesn't take long to figure out that's not really true. I've read a good hundred different recipes on white bread. Each recipe is different by adding or subtracting. A recipe may have none of 'this'. One might have some of 'this'. Another one with lots of 'this'. Doesn't matter what 'this' is. Each bread turns out to be bread. Each one tasting different or having a different crumb (texture) than the other. Without any real knowledge I modified a bread recipe. Each different modification turned out a great loaf of bread. To take this to the extreme I've seen videos where bread has been made by sticking wet dough to a board. A mixture of flour, salt and water. Then leaning that board towards an open fire. Makes bread. So what am I getting at? I found out about a book. "How Baking Works".  This book is over 520 pages on nothing but what does what. How eggs react to flour. How salt reacts to eggs. If it's used in baking it's listed. Nothing else. When I saw that book the geek inside me screamed and did back flips. That's when reality sank in. That whole fire thing. And how it changed nothing. You could have a doctorate in chemical physics and your bread wont turn out any better than anyone else's. Bread isn't an exact science. What bread takes is learning a few basic techniques. Because you learn better by doing it takes effort. So bread takes effort. The science behind that effort? Not knowing why water boils will not change a hard boiled egg. : )

I let a friend barrow that refrigerator bread book. Him and his wife are always trying to make fresh bread for the family dinner.  Hopefully what the book has to offer will do them good. I'll let you know. There are may people who rave and praise that book. My single opinion should never sway anyone from trying it.
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 01:17:07 pm »
Latest bread experiment. And this one did involve the fridge. Made a batch of dough. Prepared it all the way to getting in the bread pans. Placed them in the ice box. That was last night. Today I took both pans out. Let them sit for 90 minutes. Then popped them in a preheated oven. The bread rose a bit in the fridge. But then not derring the warm up nor in the oven. I'm left with very nice tasting, moist but dense bread. There is a lot that could have gone wrong. Going to ask some questions on the FL forum. One of the things that could have happened is a result of the sweetener I used. Instead of sugar i used sorghum molasses. Only one tablespoon. It's not a sweet as sugar. The yeast could have run out of food before the baking was done. This results in what's called 'over proofed' bread.  Bread is all about keeping the yeast happy. What i'm left with is still great tasting bread.

I did something stupid this weekend too. I forgot to add salt to one batch of dough.  This bread turned out looking great. These loaves wont go to waste. Now resting in the freezer. Wrapped in plastic and foil. Will be turned into stuffing for Christmas dinner.
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2017, 08:38:04 pm »
There are two things I could have done wrong here. First I should have let the dough double in size in the bread pans. Then put them in the fridge. Secondly I didn't check to see what the temperature of the dough was before I started baking. To cool and the yeast would not be active enough to spring. Trying new things is a learning experience. Trying them without fully reading what other people have done is fault on my part.

The idea of 'retarding' bread isn't new. I've read that some large bakeries make bread dough the night before. Then let it warm up and pop it in the oven the next morning. This would be just about perfect for me. I could get home at night. Spend about three hours putting two loaves together. Chuck em in the fridge. Next day or so take em out. This time putting them in a closed oven with a pan of hot water to rase the air temp. Let them warm up. Then bake. In a total of two hours and ten minutes have one or two fresh loaves of bread. Will try this again.


 
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2017, 11:48:39 am »
It's bread. In the end it's just bread. I had no idea bead could be made in so many different ways. Not different breads. The same loaf of bread. It's safe to say the idea of kneading the dough has been around for 5000 years. Tried and true method. But how to knead. There are now many different ways to knead. Everything from the old fashioned pound and stretch, the gentle push and turn to using a spoon or spat to fold and stretch really sticky dough. And then the no knead techniques and refrigerator bread. In the end it's a loaf of bread. But wait! There's more! Now lets talk about forming and cooking that loaf. To bake you have many choices. Bread and baking pans, cooking stone, cast iron, dutch ovens, 1/4 inch think seasoned steel sheet and clay pots. Wood fired ovens! But that's a hole different ball game. Forming the dough? Do a google search for 'artisan bread'. I think there as many traditional ways to shape bread as there are small towns in all of Europe and Asia. You could take a plane white bread and turn it into some really fancy shapes. Impress your family! Impress your friends! Impress your neighbors! But in the end it's still just bread. I didn't even touch the different ways to prepare the dough. The same ingredients to make the same loaf of bread. It's no secret i like to alter a recipe to make what's called a sponge. It's got lots of different names. Barm, binga, mother, starter, poolish madre... but it's all the same. Taking part of the liquid and flour, sugar and the yeast. mixing it and letting it ferment for a short time. Now I've learned that I could let this sit out in the open and 'rot' for four hours. I know the ten to 30 minutes i let it sit really adds more flavor to the finished loaves. You know I have got to try the four hour rot. :)  In the end it is still just bread. And even if it turns out wrong. Like the Cinnamon disasters i made last year. I used a 1/2 cup scoop instead of a 1 cpu scoop. It's still eatable. It's still a lot of fun to do.

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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2017, 12:58:07 pm »
Talked to the guy I let borrow the refrigerator bread book. Loves every page of it. Wife is going nuts over it. Made some bread and really like the results. Awesome! Proof that a personal opinion is just that. Personal. He and his wife are like thousands of other people who love that technique.

About that bread forum. The one with the broken register program I fought with. The one I was really excited to finally be able to join. In all the time I was reading the posts I should of at the least checked the posting dates. There are members answering question that were posted seven years ago. Not very active.  I've asked one question on that forum. Waiting for a response.  I'll look for a more active place to ask questions. So despite my objections I've gone back to getting books. As someone who is older than dirt I'm used to using books to get answers. Honestly rather talk to people on line. You can learn so much more that way.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2017, 10:56:11 pm »
Well what do you know. I got answers! I have a few cook books that say I can use either bread or all purpose flour to make bread. So i asked about it. American all purpose flour is high enough in protein to make bread. It's close to the flour used years ago in Europe. Which is really good news. Because I've run my town out of bread flour.  :D No i'm actually serious . I've bought ten five pound bags of bread flour in the past four weeks. I may have to head east and raid bigger towns toward St Louis.

There's nothing like peanut butter and jelly on home made bread.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2017, 11:54:29 pm »
Talked to the guy I let barrow that icebox dough book. Tells me him, his wife and kids are loving it. They've had fresh out of the oven bread for dinner every night now. Tells me his wife is going to try some artisan bread. Bring me in a bit tomorrow to try it. The book I keep talking about, in case you want to try it,

https://www.amazon.com/Artisan-Bread-Five-Minutes-Revolutionizes/dp/1250018285/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512714451&sr=8-1&keywords=artisan+bread+in+five+minutes+a+day

There are two books by the same guy. Get the 2013 printing. It's called "The NEW Artisan bread in Five Minutes a Day..." Big difference in the books.

I'm making a different bread. It's called "Pain De Campagne". Translates to 'Country Bread" This bread has a few firsts for me. First of the firsts it's the first bread I've ever made that doesn't call for sugar or any kind of fat or oil. Secondly of the firsts it has whole wheat flour. And more firsts is the way it's made. You start out making a starter. This is a mix of  yeast, wheat flour and water. This is left covered in a bowel and on your counter for 24 hours. I took a sniff a few hours after. Wow. got an alcoholic buzz. Took a whiff 12 hours later. Still just as strong. Tomorrow I'll be making the sponge. This is done by adding a mix of the wheat and white flour, more water, to the already rotting on the counter, starter. This will sit out for another 24 hours. The bread get's put together and baked on Sat. This same bread recipe has been made in France since the Middle Ages. Said to be 'The Taste of France'. Whoda thought. Looks like I'll have France in my mouth over the weekend. Let you know how it turns out.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2017, 01:43:41 am »
Well I didn't get to taste the bread his wife made. Apparently it was really good. I'm happy for them. And really glad that book is helping someone. It would have collected dust at my house. And speaking of over here. The bread i'm making. The sponge rose and fell a good two inches in the large bowel it's fermenting in. And I do mean fermenting. It's gone from smelling like a drinkable alcohol to a rubbing alcohol to a sweet yeasty wine alcohol. In fact my kitchen smells awesome! But that could be the alcohol fumes  :D Looking forward to making this bread. Going to try it in oblong loaves. Will also make a few loaves of the regular stuff for sandwiches.

I'm going to start doing more of the kneading by hand. Only use my mixer or food processor when by hand is to rough on me. Ive learned from people who know better than the mixing I have will quickly bread down if I keep this pace up. So I'll save it for when I wimp out. I'll also have to get a heavy plastic table cloth. Or make a wood surface to work on. My 1930's kitchen table is covered in lead base paint and finishes.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2017, 09:21:27 am »
At the rate you're making or experimenting with bread, maybe you and Old Rabbit should open up a bakery/store.  :D He does the cookies and sweets, while you do all the bread products. :D
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2017, 10:22:08 am »
Now there's an idea. We could call it "Rat-N-Rabit Furbakery"
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2017, 10:42:09 pm »
Well after taking three days to make this big loaf of bread. I can finally say I have a failure. I tried my hand at a true artisan bread. Something that takes skill. It's apparent I don't have the skill yet to make this right. But I wouldn't have known that if I didn't try. I can learn more by making sandwich loaves. I'll try my hand at artisan bread again. But it wont be this loaf. After all that I don't like the way it tastes. So having all of France in my mouth didn't turn out. But that's OK. I'm not French. I'm Italian! : )
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2017, 02:48:09 pm »
After doing some research here's what I did wrong. That I know of.

What I did derring the kneading. i kept adding flour to the mix. Instead of allowing the dough to become elastic I forced flour into it. A sticky dough will become elastic without adding flour to it as you knead. Formed it into a ball and set it up to rise. That's when I remembered  I forgot to add salt. So i tried to knead the salt into the dough. The result is the salt was unevenly distributed. The dough was supposed to take up to 2 1/2 hours to rise. After about an hour I was looking at something the size of a basket ball. Almost five times the size of the original ball of dough. The salt was not doing it's job controlling the yeast. So between forcing to much flour into the dough and uneven salt I ended up with a dense overly moist bread. There may also be a problem with my oven's temperature readout. This is a common problem with all ovens. Even professional ovens.

What I ended up with is a perfectly eatable loaf of bread. With a stronger taste today than it had yesterday. Word to the wise. If you don't like sourdough bread? Don't make sourdough bread. :) I knew I didn't like this kind of bread before I made it. But wanted to try it anyway.

A confession about buying books. I said in an earlier post that I don't think books are necessary in the age of social media. I've looked at some bread recipes on line. For what little I do know about bread it was easy to see. Some of these on line recipes are really off the wall. Your best bet is to stay with sites like All Recipes dot com. Just be aware. You will have to go through a few hundred short bread, coffee cake and sweet bread recipes to get to a hand full for bread.

When looking for books I like to first go to Amazon. The first thing I look at is the costumer reviews.  The reviews I'm mostly interested in is the 3 to 4 stars. I'm looking for "misleading, recipe wrong, improper ratios, misprints" or anything else that says some of the recipes are wrong. Don't buy the book. No matter how cheap. What I do find most common is books with a very high approval will have people complaining there is no or not enough pictures. Well grab some crayons and make your own. : ) Now back to buying. I go through the prices on Amazon and compare with the prices on EBay. One more thing before you click that "buy now' button. Always check a seller's rating. Buying something off the net should never be a gamble. 

The books I have gotten the most out of,
"The Bread Baker's Apprentice". This book is not for thou's looking for lots of recipes. For a 300+ page book I think it's only got 100 or so recipes. This book is about techniques.
"Secrets of a Jewish Baker". First addition.  This is another book on techniques. With an added bonus of insights from someone who was a pro baker. Lots of sourdough and grain breads.
"Bernard Clayton's New Compete Book of breads. Revised and Expanded". Great selection of recipes. Each one divided into three techniques. By hand, mixer or food processor.
"The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. There are quite a few books named the same. Make sure your getting the right author. 300 recipes. All of them right. This is the book I got the bread from the middle ages.

Within these books there are conflicting information on the hows and whys. Proves there is more than one way to make bread. Try everything. Then stick with what you like and works for you.

And above all. If your just starting out find good social media. And ask as many questions as you can. Because social media is still better than books. But you still need a good solid place to start. And a good book is a great foundation to start from.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2017, 11:02:50 am »
My latest experiment. I'm doing this before asking about it. That's why it's an experiment. Probably has more to do with I'm a guy. And as I man I typically don't follow directions well. :) Been watching vids on youtube about no knead bread. They all seem to have two things in common. They are all made with few ingredients. They are all very wet doughs for bread. So I did it differently. I made a batch of the bread I've been eating for a few weeks now. I had to incorporate the shortening by melting it. And I added 1/4 cup more water to make a sticky dough. This sticky dough sat overnight. This morning I preheated my oven to 400. That's 50 higher than what the original recipe calls for. I placed my dutch oven in and let it heat up for 30 minutes. Turned my dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Worked it a bit to re aerate.  Formed it all into one saggy ball and let it sit covered until the dutch oven (DO)was hot enough. With the DO ready I rubbled flour on the outside of the now risen glob of dough. Scored the top to allow steam to escape. Placed it in the oven and then turned the temp back down to 350. The bread is now doing it's thing. The only thing I have left to do is uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking. This will allow the top of the bread to brown up as well. Let you know how it does!turns out.

Here is one of the many vids on youtube about this technique.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRj5zpmgIlg

Some things.
The oven is a great place to let dough proof. If you have an oven with a incandescent light that bulb will work as a heat source. A 60 watt bulb is the most inefficient light bulb we have. This bulb creates a lot of heat. So it will keep your oven at a good 80+ when lit.

The bread recipe i used called for milk. So I put milk into my dough. This milk has been sitting in dough for 8 hours. Cheese? I'll find out soon.  :D
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2017, 11:24:34 pm »
Living up to my second failure. It's not a bad thing. It's a learning thing. However the worry about the milk? Not a thing at all. Not soured or fermented. Truth is, despite the bread being soggy and under cooked it tastes great. Until you get a bit of raw dough. But that's totally my fault. I'm going to do this again. This time without adding more liquid. Separating the dough into two loaves instead of one bing one. And do a bit of kneading to incorporate all the ingredients together. I will also knead the dough before it's final rise. This way the dough will have more of an outer structure to it. And i'll be putting it back into bread pans. Not my huge dutch oven.

The taste. Going back to where this started. My first loaves of bread were created by blooming the yeast in water. Then adding everything together. Making dough. Great home made taste. Then I started making a 'starter'. Using part of the flour and some of the ingredients. Letting this sit for a bit. Then adding everything together and making the dough. Better home made taste. This time I made the finished dough. Let that sit for 8+ hours. This made the overall flavor more complex. There are really nice tasting undertones. Guess that's what you'd call them. It's the same great tasting bread. But with more to like.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2017, 12:30:52 am »
The one big thing about failure is, if you don't know what your doing your bond to do it again. Yep. At least these two loaves are eatable. I don't mind failing. As long as I can eat the results. :) I learned this after I tried this last experiment. The longer your going to let dough ferment the smaller amount of yeast you should use. Using all the yeast the recipe called for caused the dough to 'over proof'. This is when the yeast simply run out of food. I did end up tossing the second failure. To raw to eat. So no more experiments for me. This weekend I plan on trying two different recipes. Believe it or not this one recipe is starting to taste 'normal'. You know your getting jaded when home made bread starts tasting like nothing special.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2017, 08:53:26 pm »
Well sometimes when you fallow recipes things still go wrong. I have a problem. But I still have four nice and eatable loaves of bread. Same flour ( Pillsbury bread flour ) same yeast well same everything. Except a different recipe. This turned into the bread with the least amount of flavor I've made to date. It's only saving grace is a thick crunchy crust. If I make this recipe again it's not going to be bread. It'll be long crunchy bread sticks covered with butter, olive oil and garlic. The crust reminds me of the taste of pretzels.

The problem I'm having is ripping dough. When forming dough into it's final shape it's good to get a tight outer skin. You do this by stretching the dough as you tuck it to the underside. When i do this the dough rips. I asked and got an answer to this problem. Looks like I'm to aggressive. I end up ripping the dough wile kneading it. Whoda thought anyone could be to aggressive when kneading.  :D

Really hope all this is inspiring enough for you to give bread making a shot. Because it's not only fun. It's a hobby you can eat. If you live in a place that has an oven the only thing you need to buy would be two bread pans. If your not sure buy good all purpose flour. Like Pillsbury or King Arthur. The gluten content in both of these is high enough to make great bread.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2017, 12:38:10 am »
Went and gave than refrigerator bread book to my coworker. Both he and his wife are infatuated with it. Says they've been eating some great breads. I'm really glad he likes it. And glad I gave it to them. It would have sat and collected dust at my house. And that's not what a cook book is for. I am kinda bummed that it didn't do well for me. There is a few of you who would of liked to know more about it. Unfortunately all I can do for you is give second hand news. If your interested in buying this book "The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" best bet would be to wait till after the holidays. People are pushing the price of all good bread books up right now. They will go down soon enough.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2017, 10:42:32 pm »
OK  before we go any farther I'd like to talk about flour. Starting with all purpose. And a bit of history. Over in Europe, where most of todays bread recipes originated from, they didn't have the flour we use today. The high gluten, the stuff that makes dough elastic, flour that we have today is from America. The native wheat of the upper midwest produces the best bread flour. Now with that in mind. It's not only possible, but some people prefer the softness of the bread when using all purpose flour. So it's no problem if you want to use all purpose flour for your bread. A word to the wise. You really do get what you pay for when buying flour. There are four types of wheat that can make flour. But not all make good flour. If you buy a bag of cheap flour your going to get something that is great for thickening stews, rouxs and might even make good play dough. But not even good cookies. 

Now is the time to talk about brands. One brand in particular. A brand that I've had experience with. And have heard of other's with the same experience. And around the holidays, if you look, will be the brand left on the self after other brands are gone. The brand? Gold Medal. There are people who swear by this brand. But most swear at it. I'm not going to say don't buy it and try it. I will say I don't know anyone who uses it.

Tomorrow I'll be making cookies! Lots of cookies. Even chocolate chip! Lots of cookies. Sunday I'll be making a few more loaves of bread. And try my hand at artisan shaped dinner rolls. Monday I'm doing a full turkey dinner. Making stuffing with home made bread. Good vedgies. Mom's bringing the pies. Be lots of eats. Tuesday I'll be spending all day cleaning what i did all weekend. : )
It's been said that rats can gain access to your home by climbing up threw your toilet. I prefer to use the front door.

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2017, 01:04:23 am »
Today i did something I should have done before I even started all of this. Used an oven thermometer. My oven is 10 degrees off! It's actually hotter than what the control is set on. This could be a big factor in my bread not rising well. The outer crust could harden to fast. Not allowing natural expansion of the yeast gasses. I'll find out tomorrow. I did turn the oven down wile making cookies today. it helped.
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #46 on: December 25, 2017, 09:56:44 pm »
Merry Christmas everyone! The rolls I made today turned out really good. I followed this youtube vid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUx7ZL7qPZU

Because I keep my house between 35 and 50 percent humidity I always have to add a bit more liquid to the flour.  In this recipe I added two extra table spoons of milk. My dough also tends to dry out more as I'm kneading it. Part do to the lack of humidity and part to my very warm hands. This is something you will learn as you make bread. How the air in your home effects your dough. That's why most good bread recipes give a this to that ( example: 6 to 7 cups ) for flour.  Making bread becomes more of a feel as you go. Watching the youtube channel 'The Bread Kitchen" is also a great way to see the differences in types of bread dough. You can make her stuff and actually see what it's supposed to look like. I could watch her all day. Her voice alone is awesome. What's also nice about her channel is she's broken the recipes down to make one loaf instead of two. I've heard of people using bread machine cook books. Replacing the fast acting yeast or bread machine instant yeast with the old fashioned active dry yeast. And using the two rise method to get a better tasting bread.  Because it's true. The longer it takes to make the bread the more flavor it has. And if your going to make home made bread you might as well have as much awesome flavor as you can get.
It's been said that rats can gain access to your home by climbing up threw your toilet. I prefer to use the front door.

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2017, 04:33:00 pm »
Off work today so I made more bread! Why not.  :D Tried a different bread recipe. This is an enriched bread made with butter, milk and eggs. So it should have a different taste than my go to loaf. And I'm learning more. My house is both dryer and cooler than most. The dry air is the reason I have to add more liquids to the recipe. But I am experiencing something odd. You would think that if my house i cooler than most the bread with talk longer to rise. Not the norm here. The first rise on this new recipe calls for one and a half hours. At forty minutes the dough was more than doubled in hight. So I punched it down. The second rise was supposed to take 30 minutes. At twenty the dough was again risen enough. I divided the dough and put it in loaf pans. However this time it look longer for the dough to rise than the time suggested. In the end the bread rose nicely in the oven. Still hot so we'll have to wait to see what the insides ( crumb ) looks like.

Like the amount of flour and liquid that goes into a recipe. The time it takes to rise is also up to the dough. The recipe I just used called for three rises. A total of two hours and twenty minutes. In reality it only took one hour and thirty minutes to get the job done today. Had I waited and used the suggested time I would have had over proofed bread. That's when the yeasties run out of food. You end up with a short dense loaf. Still eatable and still way better tasting than store bought. So when you start making bread don't be hung up on the rising times. If it takes longer for your bread to rise then let it be till it's right. If your's ends up like mine did don't wait. 

The down side of this new hobby. You have to wait till most of what you've already made is eaten before you can try something new. There's only one of me. I can only eat so much. Even when it's this good

Finally found a way to share pics! Here's a link to the Fresh Loaf forum. A thread I started.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54700/fresh-bread-and-rolls-christmas

« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 04:56:26 pm by cause the rat »
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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2017, 02:08:17 pm »
You know I said a wile bake that I was just going to follow directions and ..bla bla bla.. :D Hey,  it's more fun to play!

There are two ways to make bread. One is the direct way. This is where you mix everything up and make you bread. The second way is using a starter. This is where you take a portion of the flour, water and yeast. Mix it up and let it ferment for a bit. The difference in your bread is night and day. Yes the direct way will make a great loaf. But taking the time to use a starter will make good into awesome. Now when most folks think of a starter they go right into sourdough. That fermenting monster you have to keep alive in your refrigerator for weeks on end. Yes that is a starter. But only one of them. The easiest one to use is called a sponge or poolish. Because you can start any yeasted bread recipe with one. All you need to do is take out equal parts of flour and water.  It is a simple as using one cup of the flour to one cup of the water. Add your yeast. Keep mixing till you get a sticky batter. One that stretches out with your spoon as you go. Then cover and let this batter sit for as little as one or up to 4 hours. Then follow your recipe and mix the remaining liquids into this. Add all your dry and other ingredients. And follow the recipe as if you never did anything different. What will be different is your bread will be your bread, but better. 

I've just learned that there is a traditional Italian starter called a 'Biga'. This is a stiff starter. Instead of making a batter you make a stiff dough. The ratio of flour to water in a Biga is 4 parter flour to one part water. So one cup of flour would get 1/4 cut water. Again, just as using a sponge you can start any yeasted bread recipe with this method as well.

The difference between the two. A sponge will have more fermenting. You will get some sharp or sour flavoring because of the fermentation of the natural sugars in the flour. Because of the lack of water a biga has less fermentation. It's said to give a yeastier, more champagne  flavor to a bread. 

I've also learned the longer your going to let a starter ferment the smaller amount of yeast you should use. There's a percentage calculation for this. But unless you have a kitchen scale that can weigh a postage stamp.... This is used for bakeries who use 100 pounds of flour and can mix 10 parter per ounce. For us normal folks you can divide a 1/2 teaspoon by eye. A full 1/2 teaspoon for eight hours, a half of a 1/2 teaspoon for 12 hours and so on.  This is for both sponges and bigas.

Now for me, someone who doesn't like sourdough bread, a biga just might be the answer. This is my experiment. I've set up two starters that'll ferment for 12 hours. Both using one cup of bread flour, one whole wheat. One is a biga the other is a sponge. Then make the bread! I know taste is subject to the preferences of the one eating. But I will be able to tell you if there is any difference in the smell and taste of the breads made.

I'm in no way a pro at this. A beginning artist just learning how to hold a pencil is more like it. Sharing my experiences the best way I can. And hoping to inspire you to try this at home.
It's been said that rats can gain access to your home by climbing up threw your toilet. I prefer to use the front door.

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Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2017, 02:26:27 pm »
I've got the sponge bread started.  Last night, at three in the morning. After sitting in a bowel on my kitchen table for 12 hours. The sponge with only 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. These two cups of flour rose up and pushed the lid up on a 6 1/2 cup bowl. Awesome!  You never want to put a tight lid on something that's fermenting. Gasses will blow the lid right off. And the pressure will guarantee you'll get bits of dough all over your kitchen. This was only going to sit for 12 hours. Decided to go farther with it. Let it sit for 24. The aroma off of the sponge  is amazing. What's more amazing is it was still alive at 24 hours. Hadn't fallen down into a sticky mess.

I had to add a bit more water to the mix wile making the dough again. Because I keep it really dry inside my house. Your results will be different.

The biga is still waiting to be made into bread dough. With only a difference in the amount of water between these two starters they both have a unique smell to them. Where the sponge had a sharp slightly yeasty smell. The biga has a yeasty champaign smell. Almost sweet. Really hope the difference is as strong in the final breads. 
It's been said that rats can gain access to your home by climbing up threw your toilet. I prefer to use the front door.