Furtopia | Family Friendly Furry Forum and IRC Chat!

community group sub-forums => foodie furs => Topic started by: cause the rat on November 06, 2017, 02:13:39 am

Title: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 06, 2017, 02:13:39 am
I love home made bread. A few simple ingredients and techniques. A bit of time and patients. You end up with flavor that is unapproachable by any mass produced bread. With nothing more than slight changes between recipes. Adding butter. shortening or eggs and you end up with even more flavors and textures. Unlike store bought bread home made really doesn't last that long.  A few days to a week at best. It's flavor becoming deeper as it ages. But the crumb starts to fall apart. And it molds easily.

A bit of history. I have damage to my right wrist so kneading dough can become difficult for me. So I looked for gadgets. The KitchenAid 600 Professional was highly recommended. Found it on line at a real store for more than half off. Before Christmas sale. Gave myself an awesome Christmas gift. Making bread with this is a dream. Then a few years later I was at an auction. There was a Cuisinart DCL-20011 stainless steal food processor. Still in it's box. The lid had been opened but nothing was ever taken out. The tape was still on the CD. I thought there was no way I'd be able to bid on and win this $330 piece of kitchen equipment. Boy was I wrong. I took it home for the grand total of $18.00. For all you math geeks that a bit under 94.5% off.  :) Between the two the food processor takes less time. But is harder to control and actually see what's going on. Still they both make great bread. But if your perfectly healthy and willing you really don't need either piece of equipment. This naturally leads to the topic of bread machines. The wife and I had one. Used it a few times. If it's what you got and you like it. Go for it. If your looking to make bread and you don't have one. Good.

I have a favorite bread. This bread takes six rising times. The over all flavor of this white bread is dark and very rich. I have others that I like. But this is my favorite. With each new recipe I try I get a new flavor and texture. I tend to stay away from breads that will have an open airy texture. They are really only good for eating by the slice. Tend to not slice thin well and really sloppy for sandwiches.  What i look for in a home made loaf is something that will hold it's shape in the bottom of a soup or stew bowl. And stay together when eaten as a sandwich.

Books. Is it worth getting a bread only book? Nope. Those recipes are no better than the ones you'll find in a catch all book like "Fanny Farmers", "Good Housekeeping" or "The Joy of cooking". And plenty of recipes at places like "Recipes.com". For learning you can find more than you'll ever need on Youtube.  Now there are exceptions. I have a bread book for the gadget geek. Each recipe is written for the by hand, by stand mixer and by food processor. There is major differences in how the ingredients have to be handled. I'd recommend that book,
"Bernard Clayton's new complete book of Breads. Revised and Expanded." If your really getting into the artisan breads then getting a few good books would be worth it. 'Flour water salt yeast", "The Bread Bakers Apprentice" and the like. 

and speaking of books.
I've heard about this. Even watched some demos on Youtube. Bread you don't have to knead. You make the dough, stick it in the fridge and use when you want it. And to make it even more tantalizingly easy you don't even need bread flour. Good ol 'all purpose is all you need. So I bought into it. Yep I bought a book. And today I tried it. Made a single batch. Divided it in half. One half is now sleeping in the fridge. The other? After no needing and only one rather long rising time and a shorter time in the pan. All following directions. Went right into a very hot oven with steam. Nothing elaborate. Just a metal pan with water in it. I ended up with one very nice looking but as flavorless as store bought loaf of bread. The crust, thanks to the steam, is thick and crackly. But without any flavor. Of all the bread that I have ever made this is the biggest disappointment. However, to give the devil his due, the book does say the longer the dough sits in the icebox the better the flavor. All the way up to a 'sort of' sour dough. Which makes sense. I do have dough rotting in my fridge.  So here's the actual purpose for this thread. I'm going to make the second half of this batch in a few days. I'm also going to make a second batch, divide that one in half. Keep both halves in the fridge even longer. Make each loaf and compare them for both flavor and texture. See if all this hype is actually true. Then type in my opinions.

I'm not giving up on the tried and true. it's made wonderful and diverse breads for a few thousand years now.

So for my review of icebox bread.
Day one.
Baking the dough the same day you make it is a waste of time. Completely flavorless.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 07, 2017, 12:48:33 am
So this is where it's all at right now. Just got home from work and decided to make the second loaf. According to the directions it has to warm up for an hour and a half before I put it in the oven. Then it cooks for 45 minutes. I'll let it cool a bit and give it a taste. If this bread still have no flavor I'm not going to bother making more batches.  I still have some of the first loaf so I'll get a great side by side comparison. If however the second loaf has flavor I'll make a full batch tomorrow. That'll be enough for two more loaves of bread. Let it fridge for three days and make one loaf. Leaving the remaining dough in for a few days more. The book says this can stay in the fridge for up to 14 days. But by then there could be lots of problems. I don't plan on turning yeasted flour into hairy cheese in my fridge any time soon.  :)

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 07, 2017, 01:51:54 pm
My review, loaf number two.
I've never had bread that smelt like over cooked popcorn before. Very slight flavor. I didn't steam this loaf. Still has a nice crust. Just no flavor.

Looks like this is going to be a short lived experiment. Bread isn't just a collection of ingredients. It's how it's handled. This idea is appealing. Because it takes less time and work than traditional bread. Take a hunk of dough out of the fridge. Stick it in the oven and have fresh bread every day. Not jut fresh bread. Bread resembling loaves that came right out of an old European oven. This would be great for kids. Impressive for get togethers and the holidays. The book is titled "5 minutes a day". Ninety minutes to let it warm up. Then forty five minutes to cook is hardly five minutes a day. Not sure where they come up with that number.  In the end it looks good. It's easy to do. It's convenient and a bit of fun. And it does resemble home made bread.

The book is full of other bread recipes. Even starters for making sour dough and the like. This is their 'Master' recipe. The one all the others are based off of. Perhaps the extra work it takes to make the other breads will result in flavorful loaves. May go back and try a few in the future. For now it's back to the tried and true. With kitchen gadgets.  :)
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 09, 2017, 12:58:19 am
So, OK I'm still posting here because let's face it. I'm really bummed out about this fridge bread thing. I don't really want to discourage any of you from trying it. It is still fun. it is still better than not making anything. And because it's home made you'll enjoy it more than store bought. And it's still better than buying a one trick pony called a bread machine.

For those interested in home made bread I'd like to leave a link. "The Bread Channel"

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBreadKitchen (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBreadKitchen)

There hasn't been anything new for over two years. But what a wealth of information.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 09, 2017, 01:55:38 pm
Decided today to open a cook book I've had for more than 30 years. "From Julia Child's Kitchen". Wanted to see if there was a real version of the French baguette. Ever one I've seen on you tube is different. Not really a fan of this bread. Great curst and flavor. Awesome to eat with a meal. But full of large holes inside. Not that good for sandwiches.The book has a very limited,  22 pages out of almost 700. Only six recipes, section on bread. To my surprise there is a sandwich bread recipe. And I've learned something new by reading it. Most bread recipes call for the dough to rase two times. I can refrigerate the dough derring or after each rise. And freeze it after each rise. Never knew that. I've also learned something else. I didn't need to spend $$ on a few bread pans with their own lids. I could have made flat top bread like smarter people than me have done for a long time now. Put a flat pan on top of the bread pans and weigh it down.  :)

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 11, 2017, 01:11:47 am
Well we're right back to the refrigerator again. But with something new. I'm going to search around the net to see if there's info on this.  if it works this is my plan. Going to make four loaves this weekend. Try two more recipes. I'm also going to make a batch of my favorite bread. Take it all the way to the final in the pan rise. And freeze the loaves. Take em out of the pans, put em in plastic and store them till I run out of bread. Then see how they turn out. This would be totally awesome. They should take up to two hours to come to room temp. Could even take them out of the freezer and into the icebox so they'll warm up to cold the night before. I've got my hopes up. Now to hope reality lets me down.  :)
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Varg the wanderer on November 11, 2017, 09:11:58 am
Can you post pictures? I love baking, and seeing the fruits of your labors would be great. Or you could bottle the smells and mail them, just skip the refrigerator bread smells
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 11, 2017, 03:15:55 pm
Totally awesome Varg! If I could bottle the smell of home made bread I'd make a fortune. Just the smell of the yeast in the dough as it's being kneaded is worth a bottle or two. Unfortunately I don't have an on line picture program. I do have photo bucket. But they've become a pay to play site. I can't see being charged for my pictures so I'm not playing along. Have no idea how to get pic. to this site.

Going to do a battle of the beliefs today. Make bread from an old Shaker and an old Amish recipe.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 11, 2017, 04:23:22 pm
Sorry about that I had to get back into the kitchen. I got the Shaker bread on it's first rise.

How to make Authentic European bread flour.

To get a flour that is close to what was actually available in both England and Europe you'll need to mix three parts unbleached all purpose with one part bread flour. I've also learned years ago that European flour is slightly moister than ours. So mixing in a bit of fat, butter or even better, vegetable shortening will bring it closer to their flour as well. If you ever do come across very old recipes and want the authentic look and taste this would be the way to go. The best bread flour is grown right here in America. Then shipped all over the world. All your newer bread recipes have adapted the use of this flour.

The difference in bread between all purpose and bread flour. You can make nice tasting loaves with all purpose flour. The only real difference would be in the structure of the baked bread itself. However I wouldn't try using all purpose when making bread not baked in a pan. Stand alone bread needs tension to hold it's shape. The higher gluten of bread flour, or the bread/all purpose mix will allow you to get that. Without good outer tension you may end up with a large flat loaf.

I've yet to make long or round loaves of bread so I can only go by what I've seen or read. Really want to try a few braided and some cool looking round ones. May even try more open or holy bread like the French Baguette.

It simply amazes me. Just how many different flavors of bread you can get with just four ingredients. Flour, yeast, salt and water.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 11, 2017, 10:53:05 pm
My first day thoughts on the two belief breads. The Shaker bread hand two rising times. Once in a bowel and once in the pans.  A very light crust. Nice internal crumb and nice but light flavor. The Amish bread had three rise times. Twice in the bowel and once in the pans. Not sure what happened but the third rise took twice as long to get to size. Then fell somewhat in the oven. The crust is darker and thick with a great flavor. This bread has a better yeasty flavor than the Shaker. Both breads however are two sweet for my taste. Neither bread had a proof time or 'starter' for the yeast. This would have greatly reduced the sugar available to flavor the baked loaf. The Shaker bread takes two tablespoons of sugar. The Amish uses 1/3 cup. That's a lot of sugar.

Bread is always better on the second day. This gives the flavors time to set up. So I'll do a comparison tomorrow as well.

I'm keeping one loaf of each bread out to eat. The second is in the freezer. I'll start on them sometime mid week. See how well they held up. Will have to wait till tomorrow to make and freeze the 'Egg Harbor Bread' dough. Kind of to late tonight to mess with a dough that takes six rising times. But man do I LOVE that bread.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 12, 2017, 07:12:13 pm
Second day assessment on both the Amish and Shaker  breads. Both are two sweet for me. I did locate some other Amish breads on line. All are called sweet and have large amounts of sugar in their recipes. Shaker bread recipes ran the gauntlet from really sweet to normal. The recipe known as Egg Harbor Bread, my all time favorite hearty flavor bread, is a modified old Shaker recipe. I really like the texture and ease of the sweet Shaker bread from these two breads I just made.. I could modify this by making a sponge. This is where you add the sugar to the water/yeast mixture. Then mix in one or two cups of flour. Mix well and let it all sit for 10 minutes. Most of the sugar will be eaten by the yeast. Then mix in the milk and Crisco. Then add the salt right before mixing in the remaining flour to make the dough. I've actually came across bread recipes that say to add the salt to the wet/yeast mixture. Folks this is a bad idea. Salt kills yeast. But you need to have salt in bread. Without it the bread is bland. Oils such as lard or shortening will also effect yeast. So adding them after you allow the yeast to bloom is a good idea. You could always try the oils both ways. See if there is any real difference in your bread. But never add salt directly to a yeast mix your going to let sit. Stir it in just before adding the flour.

Something interesting I've found in old bread recipes. I have a cook book who's original copy right date is 1901. And one old cook book printed in 1967. Their bread recipes call for scalding milk. That's where you heat milk up to a boil for a few seconds. Then let it cool before using it. Piecing this together with remembering store bought milk lasted for only a few days before going sour when I was a kid. To today where I can drink out of the jug for a good week. Perhaps there were more bacteria in the milk in the 60's and 70's. Where today, with better pasteurization these are no longer present. I also have an old bread recipe that doesn't call for any yeast. instead it relies on the yeast in the air to ferment  the dough. I'll pass on that one.  :) I do have good information from plenty of reliable sources  about natural regional yeasts. San Francisco sourdough bread can only be made in San Fransisco. If you take a starter or munster ( that's like the sponge I mentioned above. Only weeks or years older ) out of that area. Bring that starter to your town. Say here in mid MO. The bread will get yeast from the air as you make it. The starter will also get indigenous yeasts from your location. Then quickly go from San Francisco sour dough to your town sour dough. In turn we can both use the same flour and yeast. But our breads will always have a slightly different flavor to them. For the very same reason.  It's nature. Nature is awesome.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 13, 2017, 12:56:10 am
What I did today instead of what I planned.  You know how it goes.  :)

Decided to go ahead and modify the Shaker recipe. Not by the ingredients but how they're put together. Made the sponge like I talked about in the above post. Then added the salt and Crisco as I was adding the rest of the flour. What a difference that made. Same finished look and tight crumb. Better flavor. More yeasty and bread like with only a hint of sweet. This of corse is the first day. Tomorrow the flavors will intensify and i'll know more. 

I have an old food encyclopedia. "Larousse Gastronomique" This was originally written in French. The 1961 book I have is some what in English. I say somewhat because most of the French cooking terms are not translated. Think of it as an encyclopedia on everything cooking. Or in this case everything French cooking. With some hints of recipes. But always French opinions on what good food should be. Here's a sample. I can't use the fancy hyphens so it'll all be in western.

Estouffade of Partridge a la cevenole.
Stuff the partridge with fine pork forcemeat mixed with one-third of it's weight of forcemeat a gratin and a teaspoon of chopped truffles......

In this instants the book has 43 variations on cooking partridge without giving a single recipe.  Including partridge souffle'.  :o Hundreds of variations for cooking beef and chicken. Way more than you would find in any single cookbook. But not a single one as a recipe.

If it is or was used in a French kitchen or anything to do with France it's in this book. Tools, techniques, seasonings and all. Towns, land marks, history.  Got this book at an auction years ago. In a box of stuff I wanted. Kept it for fun.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Kobuk on November 13, 2017, 07:16:42 pm
Since you're making all this bread and making everybody hungry here, I think you should make everybody some sandwiches. ;)  :D  I'd like a roast beef and swiss on rye, please.  :D
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 14, 2017, 03:27:37 am
Sorry Kobuk. Have to get someone else to make you some rye bread. Not a big can of it. But if I had some I'd stick it in an envelope with a good slab of roast beef and send it on it's way! Wont have to put cheese on it. Imagine by the time it makes it to your house it'll of made it's own. Can't promise it's nationality. But if you let it sit in the envelope long enough you might be able to ask it yourself.  :)

Home made bread doesn't stay as moist as store bought. Doesn't have the same level of grease or oils in it. If your going to store sandwiches it's a good idea to remember to rehydrate the bread a bit. A good spin in a microwave may be all you need.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Kobuk on November 14, 2017, 02:48:26 pm
Sorry Kobuk. Have to get someone else to make you some rye bread. Not a big can of it. But if I had some I'd stick it in an envelope with a good slab of roast beef and send it on it's way! Wont have to put cheese on it. Imagine by the time it makes it to your house it'll of made it's own. Can't promise it's nationality. But if you let it sit in the envelope long enough you might be able to ask it yourself.  :)

Somehow, the visual impression I'm getting from that doesn't seem very appetizing.  :P
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 16, 2017, 01:54:03 pm
But Kobuk. Think of the new flavor combos you could enjoy before it kills you!  :D

The real secret to making bread. This is the part I see most people having the biggest problem with. The amount of flour to use. The secret? Let the dough decide what it needs. That's it. No complicated weighing or figuring percentages. In each recipe it gives an amount. Say 6 cups. If the dough is still wet you add a bit more flour. If the dough is two dry don't force more flour into it. If your dough ends up two dry add  water a table spoon at a time till it moistens up. It doesn't take take two much to make a dough right. The best part is even if the dough is a bit sticky or dry it will still make bread. Bread is not that complicated. How it's done. If your kneading by hand. Put bread flour on your work surface. As you knead the dough will pick up flour to counteract it's stickiness. If on the other hand the bread dough feels stiff and a tablespoon of water at a time till it become pliable again.

I keep my house between 35 to 50% humidity. This is because of my allergies. So by any standards the air in my house is dryer than most. When I make bread it does effect the amount of flour i use. If the recipe calls for six cups I usually end up only using five and a half. If your house is at a moor natural humidity level you'll use more flour. The air and weather have a lot to do with this. So if you make the same bread all the time you will notice the differences.

In the process of thawing a frozen loaf. According to all the info I've read it should be as good as the fresh one. Will let you know. Still haven't had the time to make and freeze uncooked bread. Will have to try that soon.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 17, 2017, 01:48:19 am
Every white bread recipe has these four ingredients. Flour, water, yeast and salt. So why the rest?
Nonfat Dry Milk,
Vegetable oil,
Olive oil,

Each additional ingredient not only effects the taste but the texture of the bread.  The first thing I looked up is eggs. Yep. There are websites out there that have this information. I LOVE the web.  Eggs add protein, structure, water and a "richness" to bread. My favorite bread calls for one egg. Guess it would have to be made with out the egg to tell the difference. OK, thats not going to happen. I really love that bread like it is.

Fats like shortening, lard, butter and cooking oils add texture and moistness to the bread. I recently watched a 'Martha Stewart Bakes' episode where she said that lard is better than shortening. Because lard is 100% fat. Crazy old lady. Shortening is also 100% fat.  :) Shortening has a second advantage. It will never taste like pork. I've also learned that butter cooks differently than other fats. It melts faster so it's structurally weaker. And unlike shortening or lard it adds water.

Sugar. I thought sugar was just there to feed the yeast and sweeten the loaf. As it turns out sugar also changes the texture of bread. Because sugar competes and wins with water it lightens up the gluten content. Just like in cake you have a less structured more crumbly bread.

Milk and Nonfat Dry Milk. In my search I found one site that states they are interchangeable and indistinguishable in flavor. I'm guessing someone has never actually drank this stuff. They will not act the same in bread. The milk fat acts like a tenderizer and, like butter, interferes with the production of gluten. A softer loaf of bread.  I want to try a few breads that call for nonfat dry milk. So I bought some. This stuff is not cheap. Hopefully it's worth it. Cuz I aint drinking it. Tastes like soured milk. As far as scalded milk goes? I was right!! it was all about killing things in the milk itself. So if your bread recipe calls for scalded milk use warmed milk instead. it's all good.

It still amazes the heck out of me. Just a slight change in a single ingredient or procedure and you end up with a different flavored bread.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 17, 2017, 02:07:34 am
Something else I thought I'd through in. Because I'm still on that high protein diet.

Average protein in homemade white bread.
8.7 grams a slice.
Average protein in store bought white bread,
2.7 grams.

Tastes better. Better for you. Really not that hard to make.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 17, 2017, 12:40:38 pm
The bread that came out of the freezer.
The only difference was the crust was a bit stiffer. The bread itself, texture and flavor is just as good. I first wrapped the loaf in cling wrap. Then in aluminum foil.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 18, 2017, 01:03:33 am
Pulled a second loaf out of the freezer.  The first unthawed loaf was Amish. This loaf is a Shaker recipe. I'll let you know if there is any degradation in the taste or texture of this loaf.

I keep kicking around the idea of trying that no kneed refrigerator bread again. This time let it sit for a week before baking. Hopefully it'll get past that funky overcooked pop corn smell the last loaf had. Ok you caught me. I really do like kicking a dead horse.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 18, 2017, 10:36:02 pm
The second frozen then thawed loaf. Really good! Same great taste and texture. The crust is a bit more flaky but doesn't in anyway take away from the bread.

Made four more loaves today. All four from my modified Shaker recipe. Two loaves I rolled out and make cinnamon swirl bread. Turned out really good.

Because I modified the recipe I can now call it my own.

Rat Bread.

1 package dry yeast.
1 1/4 cup warm water.
1 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons shortening. At room temperature. 
Up to 7 cups bread flour.  I only use 6 1/2 but your conditions may very.

Two bread loaf pans well oiled. your choice. I use olive oil but any cooking oil will do.

In a bowel or stand up mixer. Add your warm water, sugar and yeast. Add one cup of the bread flour. Mix and lest stand for up to 10 minutes. Add milk and shortening. Stir or mix well. Add salt. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.
Knead for a good 8 to 10 minutes on a floured surface. Dough should stretch when pulled and be smooth to the touch.
Grease a large bowel. Place dough ball in bowel. Turning it to get the oil on the top of the ball as well.
Cover bowel with plastic wrap and let dough sit and rise for 1 hour.
After 1 hour deflate the dough. Knead a few times to get all the gasses out. Divide dough into two equal portions. Knead and press dough to fit bottom of bread pans.
Cover pans with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Twenty minutes before the final rise is done pre heat your oven to 350.
Bake for 40 minutes
Cool out of pans on a bakers rack or heavy towel. You can tell the bread is done by tapping the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow it's good. If not place back in pans and cook for another 5 minutes. Try again.
Let cool for a good 2 hours before slicing with a serrated knife.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 19, 2017, 01:00:54 pm
My first ever attempt at making cinnamon swirl bread. The bread itself is great. The swirl is more like a question mark.  :D  What I did was roll the dough out to about 3/4 of an inch. Slathered on the cinnamon mix and roll it back up. What I ended up with is lots of well risen bread will a bit of a swirl.  What I'll do today is make another batch of dough. Roll this batch out thin.  Slather on the cinnamon mix and have a bread with a real spiral. 

What happened to my first attempt was I forgot about the dough expanding. So when the 3/4 inch thick roll was done there was a good inch and a half of bread separating the cinnamon.  It still has a great flavor. More like an adult version of a cinnamon bun. Not overly sweet. Rolling the dough out thinner will allow for more cinnamon and sugar and a sweeter bread.

Some bread experiments I'm going to try.  I'm going to replace a cup or two of the bread flour with different grains to get different flavors. I've got barley flour. Will have to travel east to get wheat and rye. My idea is to use these flours when making free formed breads. Those big round, oblong and braided loaves. That way they wont just be cool looking white bread. 

I've done some looking around on line. The good news is other people have tried this with great results. I've learned that I can replace up to 25% of the total bread flour with non gluten forming grains. And up to 50% when using whole wheat flour. AWESOME!

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 20, 2017, 12:16:45 pm
My new attempt of making cinnamon swirl bread is in the freezer. Wont know how they turned out till Thursday.

I've done a lot of searching for bread related stuff on line in the past week. More information about the hows, whys and what went wrongs than any sane person would ever need. I love the web.

Here's something different for breadheads. Now you can learn and eat history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtBjqIu5W8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtBjqIu5W8)
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 21, 2017, 03:58:05 am
I look at cook books every now and then. Noticed there's a new five book set on bread. Then got sticker shock. Amazon has it for $532.88. But you do get free shipping.  :) Now this book has a bit over 1200 bread recipes.  So if you tried them all. Say three new loaves a week. That's almost 7 3/4 years. Overkill? Way over the top. Breaking the price down this fives book set offers each recipe at .44. Is that reasonable? My favorite book has 314 recipes. The latest print can be had by Amazon for $19.37. Cheaper by other sellers. If my favorite book's recipes cost .44 each? It would cost  138.16. Not only is that five book set excessive but way over priced.

The moral of the post is. If you do decide to get a few books there's things to stay away from.
One. Don't buy a picture book. Your paying for less recipes, less techniques and less needed knowledge.  if you really need to look at pretty pictures do a google search.
Two. Stay away from one trick ponies. An entire book of wheat bread. A book of 100 variations of pizza dough. And i could go on. I've seen them. These book offer little for the new baker.
Three. A book with a very small selection of bread. And a very big selection of cakes and pastries. If your looking to learn bread. Get a book that focuses only on breads.

What to look for.
A book that has recipes spanning different grains and styles. With well written instructions and illustrations on techniques. Because this book will give you the option of exploring new breads. Perhaps things you've never thought or heard of.

Remember it's not how many recipes you have. It's how many you make that counts. Out of the 314 in my favorite bread book I've only made 5. All five tasted differently. All made with the same flour. I even modded one of the recipes and like the mod better than the original. One good book could give you a lifetime of great breads.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 24, 2017, 07:58:38 pm
And just one more thought about any cook book. That crazy old lady Martha Stewart isn't the only elitist cooker out there. I have a few books with really good info. And a lot of over the reality top BS. No. you really don't need to get fresh yeast from a beer brewery. Nor do you have to use only stone ground unbleached flour.  And any and all the other claims I've read or seen.  It's bread. Even if you mess up it's still bread when it's all said and done.  Even eatable. As long as you didn't screw it up that bad.  :)

There are forums on the net for just about everything. I've found one on bread making! Just bread making. And it's active! It's like the furry and water color forums I belong to. It's got a wide range of people. Everyone from total beginners to people who make a living doing it. For those who are going to be making or just, how could we put it, fresh bread curious?

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/forum (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/forum)

I haven't joined yet. But will. I have way to many questions.

I'm down to my final loaf. Going to be making a few tonight. Been looking at the idea of using beer. I don't drink. So I would have to buy this stuff one can at a time. Or buy a six pack and give the rest away. Beer does make a great cheese or onion soup. Everything I've read suggests a dark logger or ail. But avoid bitter beers. I don't know one from the other. Looking forward to a good internet search to learn of a good choice. That bread will have to wait. Tonight I'll be making the same modified Shaker loaf listed above. If I do make a second batch? Try one with the addition of Barley flour. Just to see what it tastes like.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 25, 2017, 03:40:01 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on November 30, 2017, 02:55:00 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!
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 02, 2017, 01:40:27 pm
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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 03, 2017, 03:17:07 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 03, 2017, 10:38:04 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.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 04, 2017, 01:48:39 pm
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.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 06, 2017, 02:58:07 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 07, 2017, 12:56:11 am
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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 08, 2017, 01:54:29 am
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 (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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 09, 2017, 03:43:41 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Kobuk on December 09, 2017, 11:21:27 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
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 09, 2017, 12:22:08 pm
Now there's an idea. We could call it "Rat-N-Rabit Furbakery"
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 10, 2017, 12:42:09 am
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! : )
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 10, 2017, 04:48:09 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 11, 2017, 01:02:50 pm
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 (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
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 13, 2017, 01:24:34 am
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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 14, 2017, 02:30:52 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 17, 2017, 10:53:26 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 19, 2017, 02:38:10 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 23, 2017, 12:42:32 am
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. : )
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 24, 2017, 03:04:23 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 25, 2017, 11:56:44 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 (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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 26, 2017, 06:33:00 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 (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54700/fresh-bread-and-rolls-christmas)

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 29, 2017, 04:08:17 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.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 30, 2017, 04:26:27 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. 
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 30, 2017, 09:48:35 pm
Well the results are on my kitchen table. In the end there really isn't a big flavor difference. The biga is slightly sweeter and the sponge is tangier. The smell of each bread matches the aroma of the starters used.  My results have mirrored what others have said. A few have said they could taste a real difference between the two types of starters. However everyone agrees. When you eat the bread with food you can't tell the difference. I would like to point out one very important fact. They both taste great. I'll be doing the sponge method. Or 'poolish' as it's called in France. Just in case you want to sound fancy.  :) Between a biga and sponge the sponge is a lot easier to make.

I've got another bread started. It's my first that's just flour, water, yeast and salt. This will sit in the fridge till Monday. Then the bread will be divided into three or four tubes. Cooked on a baker's stone in the oven. Be great bread to eat with all these Turkey leftovers I've got.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on December 31, 2017, 01:46:04 pm
I want to clarify something about the dough I have in the fridge. It's already been kneaded. So it's not the normal fridge dough. What I'm doing is called retarding fermentation. That kinda sounds like I'm slowly getting drunk. :D Actually the technique is used to build favor in bread. Much like starting bread with a sponge. When building the dough I only used one teaspoon of yeast. Remember. The longer something is going to ferment the less yeast you use. There is only so much starch in flour. Once the yeast run out of food you end up with a mess.

The recipe for this,
8 cups +/- flour.
3 cups water
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt.

The bread will cook on a pre heated stone at 450 for anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. I'll have to use a probe thermometer to test for done. Going to have to find where i read what temp bread is when it's fully cooked. The time depends mostly on both the hydration and shape of the bread. It's all new to me.

The hard truth about baking stones. You can go to most any home improvement store and buy the very same thing you pay big bucks for. 18x18 unglazed travertine. Next choice would be ceramic. You can usually get them one at a time. Wash it up. Make sure it's completely dry and bake away! 

And now a confession. After weeks of bread making I finally tossed out fresh loaves. I added whole grain wheat to the dough. I don't like wheat bread. Honestly thought if I only added one cup to 6 cups of flour it would just lightly flavor the bread. Possible would have worked if I had regular wheat flour. The stuff I got is the stone ground whole wheat. I'll stick to other grains. Like barley, rye and the like when adding flavor to bread.

Live and learn. And do your best to enjoy it all.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 07, 2018, 12:45:08 am
so how did my little experiment turn out? I made three loaves. Out of the three the last one is the only one that is eatable. I wanted to see how much I've learned. I have a ways to go before I start making my own bread up. The good news is I could make a different loaf of bread every day for years and still not make them all. Guess the world will have to wait for a bread named 'Fluffy Rat Loaf. : )

And I learned something new. Tossing corn meal on a 450 hot stone makes a lot of smoke. When your very old house has no vent over the stove? Well at least it smelt good. : )

I've got two loaves in the oven now. Two more on their final rise before they go in. Both breads are from the same recipe I've been using. Both started with a sponge that was started last night. These will be my bread for the week. To have both here and at work. I'll freeze three of the loaves. I plan on trying a new recipe tomorrow. Haven't picked it out yet. May try a new cookie recipe as well.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 07, 2018, 07:37:20 pm
I think I've talked about the "Baker's Scale" before. it's where you use weights instead of measurements. it's really not that hard to use. What it's really good for is multiplying or dividing a recipe. It's also good for getting precise measurements. So I weighed everything instead of using cups and scoops. What a difference! First I used all the flour the recipe called for. Didn't end up with my usual 1/2 to 1 cup of flour left out. Second the dough was very easy to work with. I got great results quickly when kneading the dough. Now I did this with a recipe I've never tried before. But when comparing both recipes using the baker scale the ratios of the flour to water are the same.

The new recipe I tried called for butter milk. It said I could use four tablespoons of powdered butter milk with one cup of water. That's the rout I took. Can't see buying a jug of this stuff just to have it rot in my icebox. Don't have much use for it. The bread itself has a good flavor. But I'll have to wait till its completely cooled before I can say if I like it or not. So far so good! Each bread I've tried is different than the next.

I've also learned I can add a tablespoon of vinegar to whole milk and turn it into buttermilk. Usually when I add a tablespoon of vinegar to anything it turns it into a cleaning solution. : )
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 10, 2018, 02:20:54 am
OOps It's not a 'baker's scale' it's called the "Bakers Percentages" But it still works the same way.

My latest experiment! Didn't have much to do Monday after the doc appointment. So I drove to a liquor store I had no idea we had here in this small town. Finally found a Porter beer. I'm not a beer drinker. Don't know one from the other. First one I saw is the one I brought home. Opened a bottle and tried it. And here's what was foaming in my mouth. You take any beer. Open your cold bar-b-q pit. Put a bucket under the holes on the bottom. Then you clean out your pit with beer. What's in the bucket gets up in a bottle and labeled "Porter". Liquid charcoal with a beer aftertaste. : ) I wasn't going to be detoured. I finally found the beer style that was recommended to use in making bread. So poured the bottle into a sauce pan. Reduced it down to one cup and made bread. This is the same go to bread recipe that I've been using for weeks now. I've made it with different aged sponges, poolish and even once with a biga. Each style of making the dough gives the bread a different flavor. So I know what this bread tastes like. I didn't do anything fancy with this recipe this time. Just added the beer instead of one cup of water. The bread turned out with a very unique and actually good favor. It's good with fried eggs. It's really good with roast beef. So I tried it with peanut butter. OK it's not so good... actually it's really bad with peanut butter. So i told folks at work what I did. What beer I used. Then offered to give anyone who wanted the remaining five bottles. Those who had tried this particular beer before told me I was crazy. Out of all these beer drinkers nobody wanted this stuff. Ya, it is really that bad. You know it has to be bad if no one will take beer for free.  :D The name of the beer is 'Black Butte Porter". Just incase you have a hankering for drinking liquid charcoal.

I will try this again. But with a different beer style. I think this time I'll ask actual beer drinkers for their advice on a dark heavy flavored beer.  In all honesty this bread isn't bad. If I was going to have folks over for a BBQ or roast beef sandwiches this would make a great bread for that. The burned charcoal flavor doesn't work with everything. Honestly think this bread would ruin a BLT.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 12, 2018, 02:35:05 am
I wen't over the top last weekend. Still have six loaves of bread in the freeze. This weekend I'll be spending time with my mom. She might end up with some bread. If i don't have any I'll have to make more. Dam this is fun. I can honestly say making bread is fun. And to be able to enjoy something you cooked gives a really good feeling.  I sat there at work. Chewing into a crusty end of a loaf. It was flour that came out of a bag. The water came out of my kitchen sink. Tossed it all together. Kneaded it by hand. Baked it. Now it's bread. And it's better than home made cookies. Why? You eat home made cookies and can feel guilty because your not eating healthy. You eat home made bread and you know your eating better bread than the plastic bag stuff. And it's healthy. With each recipe completely changing the flavor. Hundreds of recipes to choose from. Going from the plastic bag stuff to home made bread is like this. It's like drinking water all your life to finally realize there's tea, koolaid and coffee. Bread is no longer the thing that holds the sandwich together. Bread becomes part of the flavor.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 16, 2018, 03:54:35 pm
Nope, didn't make bread over the weekend. Did a lot of reading and research instead. This added to my already confusing lexicon. So much conflicting data. But I guess that should be expected for something that has been done for well over 10.000 years. Passed down by verbal then written traditions. Ya, we all know the story. From then to modern printing. And now digital. No need for the mellow dramatics. So I'll stay on topic. And try not to be part of all the already published conflicting information. And hopefully get you through it as well. How? Cognitive reasoning via critical thinking.  A over B equals 42. B over A equals 42. In the end I've found any and all conflicting information is what is chosen by the speaker. We're talking yeast here. So if you come across this. "We use type A yeast because (insert the very same reasons other's use type B)" If you come across "We only use non additive all organic yeast? Be prepared to get sub par results.  And pay more for something marketed to crazy people. But going into a tangent on this would be to much fun. I'd be writing this post for days. So let's stay on topic.

There are two options for the home baker. Active dry yeast and the newer Instant, Rapid rise, Bread Machine and other fast sounding names. The difference? They way the VERY same critters are put into stasis. They are both the same yeast. Rapid rise yeast has more living critters so there's more hungry critters to feed.

What this means to the home baker. Yes you can use both. If you have rapid and the recipe calls for active dry then use 1/2 or less rapid. Why? Limited food supply. There's only so much starch in the dough for them to eat and fart. Inviting to many to the party and the food runs out. Things fall flat. 

That's the easy conflicting data and opinions to chew through. Techniques are another. As a musician I can tell you the very reasons why the same guitar sounds different when played by two people. And it's not mojo magic. Not even the physical size or sex of the player. Technique. That's it. As far as bread goes? Try everything and keep what works for you.

You can look at choosing different techniques like I handled a problem at work. We have a day shift supervisor who is in fact a four year old spoiled brat. He has two favorite hobbies, Complaining and running in circles.
I've been there for over 20 years. Option A was the standard then and is now. 4yold complains and wants B. Not a problem. I do B. 4yold complains and wants C. Not a problem I do C. 4yold complains and want D. Again not a problem. I do D. You guessed it, 4yold complains. This entire event took less than two weeks of time. And because of the limitations of a three dimensional universe there are no other possibilities. So with the power of cognitive reasoning via critical thinking I choose A! Why? Because A is easiest on me. You guessed it, 4yold complained. But can't do anything about it. i tried every option and got the same results. Had any of the other options gotten better results that option would be the one I'd be doing. Option A isn't perfect. But it has the least amount of problems for coworkers. Options B, C and D added problems to coworkers and in the end didn't help anyone. The moral of the story is. There are plenty of professional four year olds out there who will tell their way is the only way. Try every technique you find. Keep what works.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 18, 2018, 12:04:34 pm
And just when you think you've learned it all. A no knead method that was invented by a French guy back in the 1970's.


You let the water in the flour make the gluten. Folding the dough once every half hour or so. Then you add the yeast, salt, any fats but they have to be in liquid form but not hot, eggs, sugar and the like. The best explanation I've found for it is,
https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2017/09/29/using-the-autolyse-method/ (https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2017/09/29/using-the-autolyse-method/)
They explain what it is and what it does. Nice pictures too. Talk about using it with kneading.
In this set of videos he shows the technique as it was designed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4tgEQw4ibs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4tgEQw4ibs)
The technique is shown in detail in six videos. The first five on his channel and then number seven.

This technique was designed to work with really sticky doughs. I'm still waiting on answers for using it on regular bread recipes. I'm guessing because there's less liquid it'll take longer to do.

There is a drawback to using this method. You can't use a poolish or biga. However it appears you can use a sourdough starter. But only after you let the flour and water do their thing together. Ya, I know what some of you are thinking, "But rat, if you only add a small amount of yeast you could let the entire batch ferment for say only four to six hours." Yes you could. But this has two drawbacks. First would be time. If the autolyse takes three hours you could be talking nine hours before proofing and baking. Secondly if your bread recipe calls for milk and or eggs. I have no problem with milk. However the proteins in eggs or the combo of milk and eggs could cause nasty things to happen when left sitting in a warm room for six hours. I'm not a pro, this is just my cautious guess.

Fro the sake of this thread i've been looking for things that can be done with almost every bread recipe out there. Autolyse may be a technique that you'll have to pick and choose when to use. it looks like a lot of fun. And kneading can get to be a chore. Especially if your doing three or more batches of bread. I've read over and over again, the best way to kill as stand mixer quickly is to use it to knead bread dough. Even the high power Kitchen Aid Pro I have is no match for the dough. That's why I stopped using it and went to hand kneading. It's a great machine. Works wonders for what it does. And yes it's designed to knead dough. But it will last years and years longer if I don't.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 18, 2018, 05:30:15 pm
Well still no answers so I did some research on my own. If your going to do an autolyse your going to have to have a bread recipe that doesn't call for milk. There is a way to get eggs in. You would have to hold a cup of flour back when making the autolyse. Blend the egg with that cup and fold it in when your folding in the yeast and salt. You could do the same with the liquid fats. Basically any fat or oil in the autolyse will keep it from working.

This next is another example of conflicting information. I asked if dough needed yeast to ferment. Could it be done without it. And got a strict no for an answer. Yet I find by the same people that an autolyse will ferment and flavor the dough. And they told me that without yeast the dough would become a breading ground of bad bacteria. Yet they're saying a 12 hour autolyse makes the bread taste better.  All this by doing a search on the same forum I belong to. The answers given depends on what author answers first. Then there appears to be a lot of up kissing. I think it's time I stopped relying on them. There are other examples of bad behavior. So I'll continue to comment on posts and stop asking questions.

An autolyse can be done for 20 to 60 minutes before you add the rest of stuff to the dough. Usually 30 minutes is all thats needed. I still plan on trying it with the 1 1/4 cut water and 1 cup milk my go to bread calls for. But I will have to knead the dough. The benefits will be I wont have to knead as much. The dough will come together faster. And that's good enough for me.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Varg the wanderer on January 27, 2018, 06:04:50 pm
Every time I read this thread I regret it. I'm trying to eat less bread and this makes me want to make it, which means I'll eat it. If it's as good as you make it sound then I'll eat more bread and less of what I should be eating. :p

I bet they love you in bake sales.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 28, 2018, 01:34:24 am
Thanks Varg.  The truth is home made bread is better for you. Store bought bread averages around 2 grams of protein per slice. Where home made bread averages around 8. I know there's a lot of diets that limit the amount of starches for medical reasons. But if you are able to eat limited quantities then shouldn't the bread be the best you can ... make? Home made loaf is smaller than a store bought one. So if you limit yourself to one loaf a week your still eating less bread then you would buying it. Most recipes make two loaves. Enjoy one and freeze the other for the next week. So have I convinced you to start baking yet? And what you talking about? Give my bread away? MINE! ALL MINE! You know you can make home made pizza dough too. Just go to home depot or Lowe's and get yourself an unglazed 18x18 1/4 inch think or thinker floor tile. Way cheaper and just as good as any pizza stone you can buy. Oooo Home made pizza! Imagine a crust that is actually as good tasting as the toppings.

They've gone up in price sense this video came out,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRuft5bKyZc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRuft5bKyZc)
So Have I convinced you to come to the light side of the force yet? May the yeast be with you.

Set up to make some bread tomorrow. I've started my second attempt at a 'biga'. It's an Italian starter. I'm using what I can out of my go to recipe. Because I can only use water to make a biga and this recipe calls for milk as well. So using the Baker's Percentages' I'm able to use 18 oz of flour with 8 oz of water and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. This will sit out for 12 hours covered to do it's magic. I learned from an Italian bread maker that the more of your recipe you can use to make the biga the better the flavor. He uses 90%. My first attempt at a biga I only used two cups of flour. That equals to around 28% of the total flour. The 18 oz is equal to four cups. or about 60% of the total flour needed. I really liked the flavor I got with just two cups. This should be better. 

I'm also going to try my hand at 'Autolyse'. This is where you add all the water to the flour and let it sit for no less than a half hour and up to 12. Two hours being best for quicker baking. What this does is allows the flour to completely hydrate. The bread gluten forms on it's own. Making it easier to knead. Some breads , like real French baguettes, are so wet all you need to do is stretch the dough once every half hour. But you can look up autolyse on youtube to get the full story better than I can type it. The bread I'll be making isn't as hydrated as that so I will have to do some kneading. I'm also going to have to leave out one cup of flour. I'll mix the yeast, eggs, crisco, powdered buttermilk and salt into that one cup. Then knead it into the dough  This technique wont add to the flavor of the bread. Only make it easier to make. That is it's only down side I can see so far.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 28, 2018, 03:44:21 pm
Finally got the biga incorporated in with the rest of the dough. Lesson learned.

When you make your biga make sure all the flour is equally wet. If not you'll end up like I did. With chunkies. Think of mostly dried paper mache glue.  :D
When adding the rest of he ingredients and liquids, in my case milk and oil, plus the rest of your flour, yeast and salt. Rip your biga up and mix it into the wet flour. Let this sit for a bit so everything will be equally hydrated.

The rest is treating the dough like normal. This dough has 1 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. Ruffly half of what is in a packet. The first 1/4 was added to the biga. The remaining teaspoon was added with the rest of the ingredients. Yeast is alive. The 1/4 teaspoon of yeast has had 12 hours to eat and happily multiply. The idea for good bread is only use as much yeast as needed. To little and you end up with a longer rising but better tasting bread. To much and you'll end up with a flat loaf. The yeast ran out of food.

I've also started the autolyse. Left a portion of the flour out so I can mix in the rest of this recipes ingredients. This recipe calls for dried buttermilk solids, baking powder, salt, sugar, crisco and eggs. Plus the yeast and salt. Because in an autolyse the yeast and salt will interfere with the gluten formation. So you leave them out till you mix it all together. I'm going to let this sit for four hours covered on the counter.

And speaking of yeast. I started out buying yeast in those pre measured packets. You know, like a normal person. Then I bought a small jar of it. Like a somewhat normal person. Now I'm buying it by the pound. Yep, like a crazy person. I got my poundage on line. Things to be aware of when buying yeast. Make sure the seller guarantees a good expiration date. Lots of cheap yeast out there that's near or past prime. Secondly portion what your going to use out into a small container. In my case that glass jar. Then put the foil bag into a freezer bag and freeze it. I've been told by pros that this yeast will last two years or longer frozen. Yep, past it's prime date. That prime date is if it's being stored at room and icebox temps. And remember folks. There's yeast out there marketed for crazy people. Those people who believe that vitamin C and Calcium is bad for you if it's put in something it doesn't naturally come in. Stay away from the overly priced and under preforming "all Natural" brands. There is also a brand out there that doesn't contain the goodies that, for hundreds of years people have known, make yeast happy. Red Star. You will end up setting up a kitchen lab and adding the C and Calcium to get it to make good bread. There is a reason why it's way cheaper than Fleischmann's or SAF-Instant. Both great brands. And don't try bread with wine or bear yeast. Doesn't work. Different yeasties. Just remember this when buying your yeast. Make sure it has all the extra goodies that keep yeast happy.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on January 28, 2018, 11:08:01 pm
Alrighty then. Let's talk results. First the biga started bread. Freaking AWESOME! The bread has a fruity wine like smell and a mellow but pronounced flavor. That Italian baker was right. "The bigger the biga. The better the flavor." The overall flavor is different from a poolish starter. The very same bread recipe. This is totally worth the extra effort and will be done again.

Now for the autolyse. What an experience. So I added all the water to all but one cup of the flour the recipe called for. To that cup of flour I added the rest of the dry ingredients. Let the autolyse sit for two or three hours. I actually forgot how long. The fist thing I did was add the yeast to the autolyse side. Then the egg and oil to the one cup dry side. That one cup dry side ended up looking like dried yellow cake crumbs. So I folded in the yellow cake crumbs into the very sticky autolyse. It looked really bad. My first thought was,"I'm going to have bread with flavor chucks." So I let this sit for a half hour. And refolded the dough. Did this for three hours. Each time I notices less and less of the yellow cake crumbs as they were being integrated into the dough. So long story shout I ended up with over proofed dough. Three hours of folding. One hour of letting the dough double in size. And one hour of letting the dough rise in the pans. What I did was starve the yeast. Usually yeast is in the dough for maybe two and half hours. Five plus hours did them in. So the cooked loaves are flat. However very unusual. They smell like flowers. Garden flowers?? And have an unusual but good flavor. I have no idea why. I've made this bread recipe before. Did not smell or taste this way. I will try this again. This time figure out how much yeast I should use for a five hour fermentation time. It will be considerably less the the two and 1/4 teaspoons I used. OK I'm really hoping it has the same smell and taste to it the next time I do this. Would not want this to be a one time accident.  Oh before I forget. Absolutely no kneading was necessary. All the bread gluten was formed with the autolyse technique.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 01, 2018, 02:47:35 am
The autolyse. Mechanically the entire experiment worked perfectly. Not only did I find that almost any recipe could be started with an autolyse. But fats wont keep the dough from reaching the windowpane stage. The autolyse technique is meant for breads only using four ingredients. Water, flour, salt and yeast. As far as I know I'm the first person to try it with fat, eggs, milk and the like.

Unfortunately this bread's flavor is bad. The smell of flours went away after the first 24 hours. This bread tasted so bad i tossed the second loaf.  The original recipe done the traditional way makes a great loaf of bread. I'm no chemist. I have no idea why doing it this way would drastically change the flavor.  I'm not deterred. I will try this again. Was thinking of doing the very same recipe. Only this time leaving the buttermilk solids out.  I will not be deterred. I think I'm on to something. Really hope this next experiment results in eatable food.  :D

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 04, 2018, 04:37:30 pm
Continuing the autolyse experiment. This time i'm going to use my go to recipe. But modify it a bit. Leave out the milk. Replace it with an equal amount of water. Add an extra table spoon of crisco to make up for the missing fat the milk would have added. Add the baking powder the buttermilk recipe called for. And add an egg. I'm also going to reduce the amount of yeast by half. This way there should be enough starch in the flour to feed the yeast as they multiply for three hours. I've also started the poolish for two more loaves of bread. Incase the autolyse experiment fails I'll still have bread for the week.

My first autolyse experiment hasn't  gotten much feedback on the bread from. I get the feeling those people are, to put it mildly, odd. God forbid someone does something that wasn't set in law by a professional. Your not ALOWED to think. Only follow their recipes because they know better. Ya, that kind of atmosphere. So I'll toss another rock into their placid pool of water when I post my second autolyse experiment results.  :D As I confessed before. My experiment was mechanically a total success. Something some of them say is not possible. ' an autolyse only works for breads using four ingredients. water, flour, salt and yeast. Nothing else.......' What went wrong was an unforeseen chemical reaction. This was not caused by the autolyse. But by condensing all the remaining ingredients and letting them leach into the autolyse. 

My guess has to how this went wrong. And this is a totally uneducated guess. Or this could be really off the wall wrong but I wouldn't know. So take this with a grain of salt.
When you add a smaller amount of something solid into a larger amount of a different solid the smaller is held in suspension be the mass of the larger. Each different smaller amount will create a chemical reaction with whatever is closest to it. Each of these reactions caused by or separated by the larger mass. The end result is the different smaller chemical reactions throughout the larger mass. When combining all the smaller solids. This new mass has an equal amount per particle of all the separate solids. When added to the larger mass the same chemical reaction happens throughout. So the end result is not different chemical reactions. But the same reaction repeated throughout the larger mass.

My reasoning for this thought. If you make a soup with and leave each ingredient large. Each spoon full of the soup will have a stronger flavor of whatever is in the spoon. If you blend that same soup into a smooth mixture. Each spoon full will taste the same. But different than if the soup was unblended.

My second experiment will either confirm my thoughts by turning out really bad again. Or turn our great. If this happens then I'll know a backer can counter act bad chemical reactions be limiting what is added to an autolyse. In this case milk or milk products. I will try this again if it goes bad. There is still the egg and baking powder. One of these could be the cause. Making this again and leaving out the egg or baking powder wile adding the buttermilk powder. And I'll try this again because it fun.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 04, 2018, 11:11:28 pm
Autolyse 2.0 The results. Again the autolyse preformed perfectly mechanically. The dough reached windowpane without kneading. Only using a teaspoon and a quarter of yeast resulted in a perfect rise and oven spring. The overall appearance of the sliced bread is an even structure ( crumb ). Now for the flavor. This bread as an earthy flavor to it. No unusual tastes or smells. The real test will be how it tastes tomorrow. That's when it's flavor intensifies. Any nasties will come out.

I used my go to bread recipe because I knew how it should look and handle. This is the same bread I've been eating for seven of the nine weeks I've done this. By omitting the milk and adding an egg the taste is different. But the structure of the bread is the same.  This is my second time proving that fat will not keep an autolyse from working. Now to stir the stagnet waters on the bread forum.  :D

I've still got two loaves to make. Not going to let that poolish go to waste. Makes some good bread!
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 05, 2018, 02:59:17 pm
Second day. This is the day the bread ripens to it's strongest flavors. It still tastes like bread.  :) Now I'm really perplexed as to why the first experiment turned out really bad tasting. It's easy to point at the buttermilk powder. However I've made bread with it before and really liked the flavor. The first bread didn't taste or smell anything like the one I did with the autolyse method.

Doing an autolyse is a lot easier than traditional kneading. It does take a bit longer. And it does look like most bread recipes can be modified to work. The only thing I can see not working is trying to do this with a starter. Like a biga or poolish. It's a shame. Because I really like the flavors you get with both of those methods. Would I use the autolyse method again? Yes. Especially if my right wrist is bothering me
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 08, 2018, 04:02:03 pm
This weekend I plan on breaking all the rules with an autolyse. I'm going to start it with 50% water 50% milk. I've read that an autolyse is only meant for breads using four ingredients. Flour, salt yeast and water. Proved that wrong. That an autolyse only works with very sticky doughs ( high hydration ). Proved that wrong. Now I want to start it with a source of fat from the beginning. Whole milk. Then add more fat to it derring the wait and stretch cycle.  This means the whole milk will be sitting out for five hours. Might end up with cheese. But cheese bread isn't bad.  :D

I'll also find out if using milk with the autolyse technique is the cause of that bad flavor. I know that was buttermilk powder. But it does contain milk solids. And because milk is used in more bread recipes than buttermilk knowing will help eliminate one or both when using this method.

You know the sad part about all this is I'm using the same recipe over and over again. This bread is starting to taste familiar. Like nothing special. Going to have to start using a new recipe. It's totally amazing how just changing a few ingredients can completely change the flavor of bread. Even the temperature and time the bread is in the oven will change it's flavor.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 18, 2018, 05:31:02 pm
Sorry folks, I know it's been over a week. No I haven't stopped wanting to make bread. I geeked out last weekend. Spent hours upon hours of reading scientific studies and old documents. Documents from the 17 and 1800's. Just to find the answer to a question I had. So I not only didn't make any bread. But I ran out of bread on Friday. So yes. Today I'll be making lots of bread. I'm sticking with my go to recipe. Because i have it memorized.  :D Hey, it's good eats. So my experiment with the autolyse technique and hole milk will have to wait till next weekend.

What I will be doing today is a partial autolyse. Letting the dough sit completely mixed for an hour before I kneed it. It was stated on the bread forum by someone that this worked. Making it faster and easier to kneed the bread. By using the bread recipe I'm completely familiar with it will be easer to see how this will effect the outcome of the bread. I'm thinking of treating this first hour as the 'proofing' rise. The first rise before you divide the dough into loaves. This way I wont have to change the amount of yeast I use. I'll simply kneed, divide and then let the dough re rise a second time before baking. The amount of time the yeast will be in contact with the four starches will be the same.  I'll post and let you know how this worked out.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 19, 2018, 02:07:37 am
OK. after only leaving the dough to hydrate for an hour. Not much of a difference. I still had to kneed the dough to get it to the proper state. Bread turned out nice. Looks like an hour is not enough time to allow the proteins in the dough to develop enough to cut the time you have to kneed. It was fun. No harm done and I have bread for the week.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 25, 2018, 02:39:16 pm
OK folks! I'm calling this the RAT method of making bread. I like the autolyse method. But it takes some thought. And it's difficult to work in other ingredients. The Rat method takes a bit more time to make the bread. But a lot less work. If your just starting out you should make the same bread the traditional way a few times first. Get the idea of how the bread should feel when you have the right amount of dry to wet mixed.

How to make bread like a rat.

Start your bread dough the traditional way. Kneeing it to get the right consistency. Then form it into a ball and let it rest for five minutes. Kneed it again for a few minutes. Then form it into a ball and let it sit for ten minutes. Check to see how close you are to the window pain when you stretch a small wad out. Kneed for a few minutes. Then let the dough sit for five more minutes. Kneed for a few minutes and check. By now you should have window or near window pain. Once you get the dough right continue on with the traditional rise, divide and rise then bake.

Each time you go back to the dough it should feel different. Silkier and smoother with more elasticity to it. All that without kneading for ten to fifteen minutes straight.

Your first rise may take less time so keep an eye on your dough.  Because your yeast has had more time in the dough than it would have had if you did this the traditional way.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 25, 2018, 07:49:39 pm
I made four loaves of bread the Rat way. Super easy. Really turned out well. Very happy with this. Way easier than fighting with modifying the autolyse method. I don't see any problems at all using a poolish or bigga starter with this modified autolyse method. So next weekend I'll be doing the Rat thing with a poolish starter.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 04, 2018, 04:20:36 pm
It's bread day!!! I'm not only making bread for the week. But for the weekend as well. Will be going to Gatewayfurmeet! That's this weekend in St. Louis MO. You know I'll be having fresh bread in my room.  :D In all seriousness I have food allergies. So I'll be cooking enough to last me the four days I'll be at the hotel. But why not have the best!

Done the RAT system twice now. Each time with the same results. Will be doing this two more times today.

RAT = Reworked Autolyse Technique.

Start your bread recipe as normal. Once your happy with your dough form into a ball. Dust it with flour, cover with a towel or paper towels. Let rest for five minutes.

Uncover and kneed the dough a few times. Add more flour if you find sticky spots. Kneed for at least ten times. Form into a ball. If you had to add a lot of flour dust the dough with flour again. Cover with a towel or paper towels and let rest for five minutes.

Uncover and kneed the dough a few times. Check for window pain to see how close you are. Kneed the dough for ten to twelve times. Form into a ball and cover with the towel or paper towels. Let rest for five minutes. Don't add a dusting of flour on this step.

Uncover. Kneed the dough a final few times to knock it down a bit. You should have window pain. If not form into a ball and let rest for five more minutes. Repeat this step.

Put dough ball into a greased bowl and let rise as you would with the normal recipe. Keep an eye on it. It may take less time to double in bulk than normal. Follow the recipe for pan rise and oven temp and time. BREAD! the rat way  :D

There is it folks. REAL history in the making.

I still haven't had to go past three five minute rest periods. If you do it's no biggy. I may be more aggressive with my kneading or putting my dough together.

Unfortunately a shift and job change has separated me from the guy I gave the refrigerator bread book to. I know both he and his family were enjoying the bread they made by it's techniques. Because his wife loves to make fresh bread each week they will be enjoying that book for years to come.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 12, 2018, 04:43:42 am
Heu everyone. No bread making this weekend. I went to a furcon! Gatewayfurmeet. It was AWESOME! Almost doubled last cons attendees. Great new place and really nice con space. Anyway, I didn't make any bread. But I didn't do without. Yep, had home made bread in my room all con long.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 20, 2018, 04:05:23 pm
Well as you can guess I had so much bread left over that I'm still working through it. So again, no bread making over the weekend.

I've been making home made bread for five months. For the most part of those five months I've been making the very same recipe. Sure I can change up the flavor by making a bigga or poolsh starter. But it's still the same variations on one theme. Well it happened. Over the weekend, wile enjoying french toast made with home made bread, I came to the conclusion, " I need a change". After five months of eating the same bread?  OK, so I'm not a picky eater.  :D This coming weekend I'll be trying a few different recipes. Still all white bread. Because it's the everyday bread I enjoy the most. I'll be using my RAT technique. Because it works. And it's also very easy on the body. If you remember my opening post I talked about having damage to my right wrist. Kneading three batches of dough can get rough fast. So making it easier on myself, and in this case, others as well is a good thing. Did a google search "white bread recipe". Got 2,190,000 results. Looks like i have a few to choose from.  :D Figure if I get a recipe out of one of the books I have I wont be able to share it with you. Recipe = art. Sharing art = art theft. I'm an artist and I'm not going down that hole. So I'll choose a few and share their links. I know flavor and taste are subjective. But what I can do is let you know if the recipe is well portioned and makes a good loaf.  Looking forward to sharing my choices and experience this weekend!
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 24, 2018, 07:50:15 pm
For today's experiment I've chosen two recipes off line.

The first is a simple bread. A French plain white loaf.
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/julia-childs-white-bread-9032 (http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/julia-childs-white-bread-9032)

I chose the second for a reason. To help bring and understanding of how to and or why there is a thing in bread called powdered milk. You can get whole milk, nonfat milk. buttermilk and even  coconut milk powders. Do you kneed to go out and buy one of these rather expensive powders? Nope. Not if you know how to substitute. First these powders are there to actually substitute for people who don't want to buy or have no real need to have the actual product. I hate buttermilk. It would go to waste in my box before I'd use it all. However I wanted to try a recipe that called for buttermilk. My solution? Buy the powder. It will last a very long time. I don't have to worry about using it all in a week. In this recipe they call for "Baker's special dry milk." How special.  :D All kidding aside. It's dried nonfat milk. All the hype behind it is the same benefits you would get if using actual nonfat or whole milk. So here's how you would substitute if you already have milk. The recipe calls for 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup 'special dry mix'. Now you could go "investigative shopping". That's where you go to a store's baking isle, pick up a package of nonfat dry milk mix, see how much it takes to make one cup of milk, put that package back down, and go home an informed shopper. That would be on any recipe but this one you can find on line. Their special powder is a bit more condensed. Looking at their stuff it only takes 1/4 of a cup of dry to make one cup of milk. So following this recipe I would need two cups of milk and no water. I'm going to use whole milk as well. This should be an awesome very rich tasting bread.

This is the perfect recipe to try my RAT technique on. By using nothing but whole milk I'm setting my self up for a world of hurt. Fats slow down the hydration rate of flour. This greatly effects the amount of time it takes to create gluten. Autolyse relies on hydration rate of flour to create gluten. My Reworked Autolyse Technique ( RAT ) does as well. The original Autolyse technique claimed using fats would counter act and fail this technique. My RAT technique proved him wrong. Now no one in the world would love my RAT technique to work in this all fat bread recipe more than me. Looking forward to this fight!

Second recipe,
https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/walter-sands-basic-white-bread-recipe (https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/walter-sands-basic-white-bread-recipe)

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 25, 2018, 01:18:23 am
Naturally I would make the second recipe first. Fight! OK I just got done with the RAT technique. Bread is on it's proofing rise. When it doubles in bulk I'll push it down, divide and pan it. Did the RAT technique work? Yes! But because of the lack of hydration and the amount of fat I had to let it rest one more five minute time. As stated in my technique this is a possibility. I will only know if it's a complete success when the bread is out of the oven and I cut it up. No gaps or large holes means this is a complete success.

If you look at the recipe they call for two tablespoons of sugar. I only used one. Not a fan of sweet bread but do miss it if there's no sugar in the dough. it also calls for all purpose flour. I used the higher in gluten bread flour. You can make great bread with a good all purpose flour. The real difference is in the bite. I happen to like my bread chewy with a small bubble crumb. For me, my personal preference is bread flour.

Here is where I went purposely wrong with this recipe. Milk is only 87% water. So in reality I should have used two cups of milk and two ounces or 1/4 cup of water. This would have brought the liquid content up to what's actually in the recipe. Here's how that works. In two cups of milk there is only 14 ounces of water. The rest is fat and other wonderful things. So by adding the 1/4 cup of water I would have added the proper 16 ounces or two cups.  By doing what I did I made it the worst case scenario. If this comes together and works you bet I'll be one happy bread making rat!  I'll make the next batch, if I happen to like how this bread tastes, with the proper amount of water.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 25, 2018, 04:01:54 am
SUCCESS! The world is MINE!  :D Update. Not quite a success. Read more about that in following post.

The all milk bread has cooled down enough for me to slice. First impression. Because there was less than six cups of flour used this made two very small loaves. It has the same tight small bubble crumb that I always shoot for. It does have a slight swirl pattern within it's structure. This is an indication that the bread was not fully mixed. The lack of hydration could be the cause of this. The swirl does not effect the quality of this bread. Because of it's high fat content the bread is very moist. From here on it's my opinions. For me the bread would work better as a dessert bread. Cinnamon rolls, sweet nut breads. That sort of thing. It would also make for a great breakfast or snack bread. It's completely lacking the earthy flavors I enjoy in home made bread. But this is just day one. Tomorrow the flavor will intensify. If I had to choose right now if I'd make this bread again I'd say no. As far as the overall structure it's a winner. But to me favor is king. My RAT technique has proven itself against a worst case scenario. I'm happy and quite proud of myself. I really hope you are able to try it. See just how easy it is to make home made bread.

The French style plane bread is in the oven now. If you look at the recipe it calls for a tablespoon of yeast. Two packs of active dry yeast would be perfect. The recipe calls for softened unsalted butter. But it's not mentioned or needed in the making of this bread. No idea why it's there.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 26, 2018, 01:04:01 pm
There is a possibility. Not quite the success I was hoping for. Rather know than guess.

Yes the bread turned out. But not as good as it should have. The overall crumb ( the relational size of gas bubbles that make up the structure of the bread ) was very uneven. It goes from good to sponge cake.  I'm going to have to ask someone in the know about why I'd get this. Find out if it is caused by the overly high amount of fats. Or poor gluten formation. This is the first time I've ever tried a bread with this much fat in it. So I have no personal experience with how it should turn out. Still an uneven crumb is never a good thing.

If I get an answer I'll post it here. If not I'll  research till I find one.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 26, 2018, 08:50:43 pm
I am one happy baker!!!!!!

Posted a picture of the structure of the bread  on the FL forum. Got two answers. Letting me know the bread looks normal for the amount of fat it contains!

OK I still have to try the bread with a bigga starter. This is a very dry starter that takes a bit to rehydrate back into a bread dough.  Because it takes up most of the flour with only a small portion of the liquids. This will be a challenge to get this technique to work as well. Not quite the challenge as the fatty fat fat bread.  :D

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on March 31, 2018, 07:06:18 pm
I've got a lot of bread to make today!

First I'll be making a few loaves of good sandwich bread to leave at my moms tomorrow. Then I'll be trying an experiment with that extra fatty milk bread I made last weekend. I'm going to make it into dessert bread. I'll divide each recipe in half. Then make each half into a different dessert bread. Planning for sweet raisin, cinnamon almond, chocolate mocha and orange amaretto. If I can think of something else I'll try it too.

Once I get home tomorrow I'll make bread for myself for the week. May go through some of the books I have. Find a new one to try.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on April 02, 2018, 01:04:40 am
I made six loaves of bread for today. Unfortunately I wasn't able to try any of the flavored ones. Left all four flavors at my mom's for Easter. I can honestly say I completely understand why people make 'coffee cakes' instead of flavored breads. Yes there are plenty of flavored breads. But I didn't use any recipe. Just made the faty milk bread recipe and added things. Like more than half a bag of Hershey's chocolate chips to a single loaf of bread. Plus vanilla and three tablespoons of instant coffee. Or five table spoons of Tang orange drink plus four teaspoons of almond extract. Everything i did was a mess in the making. The chocolate bread took an extra twenty minutes for it's internal temp to reach 190'. Probably due to the amount of fat and grease in the loaf. Told my mom she might have to cut the bread up and recook it like you would biscotti. She'll try them through the week and let me know what she thinks of them. She is my worst critic. She wont hold back if any one of the flavor loafs are bad tasting.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on April 05, 2018, 03:33:36 pm
Got news on all four loaves of dessert breads. They liked them all. But didn't know what the 'yellow' bread was. Said it tasted like nuts. That was my orange almond bread. So Tang doesn't taste like Tang after it's baked. They all tasted good.  I'm happy with them. But they were a real pain to make. Trying to add things like extracts to an already established dough means your adding more moisture. Even a single teaspoon will make the dough sticky. I should point out that I divided the dough in half. Then added ingredients to each half. So a teaspoon of water is a huge amount when working with a single loaf of bread. If I was to do this again I would take the measurements for the needed extracts out of the total amount of liquids added to the dough. Better to start out with a stiff dough than to make one sticky and have to deal with that. Yes, bread is a science. But not rocket science. Remember. People have been making this stuff for thousands of years.

I tried a different bread recipe earlier in the week. Was off one day. The bread called for two cups of butter milk. I still have some of the powdered stuff so I did it that way. Bread turned out great. However I've learned that my RAT method has to be modified if your making bread with a moderately high fat content. I had to let it rest five times to get 'window pain'. For those who don't know what that is. It's when you can stretch a small portion of the dough thin enough to see light through it. So if your going to try the RAT method it's best to let the dough tell you when it's ready. Moderate to high fat content does slow down the formation of gluten.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on April 10, 2018, 03:04:39 am
I made bread but didn't don anything new or exciting to post about.

I actually had store bought bread last week. Every year when baseball season opens our company puts on a catered lunch. Love me some grilled hamburgers. Got my bun, my burger, some lettuce and tomato and dived in. I could see I had bread. It was on both sides of this sandwich. But I couldn't taste it.  I think that's the biggest appeal for me. Home made bread has a strong flavor. That flavor really adds something to something as simple as a sandwich. An earthy robust flavor. Enhances the over all flavor. Even works with peanut butter and jelly. Or just plain ol butter. Six solid months now of home made brad and I'm no way tired of it. And like that sandwich I had at work. Miss it when it's not there.

Just for fun I wanted to find out if home made bread has less starch than store bought. Didn't find that yet. But did run into a poop wagon of poop. Read one site that said natural sourdough yeast is better than store bought. And I said What??????? a load of poop. And they want to sell you this load of poop. Now there are thousands of strains of yeast in the world. And the only way you will get the same yeast someone else has cultured is if you live in that same area of the country. Even if you start a sourdough with a different yeast. They will die off and the natural yeast in your neck of the woods will take over. So is natural yeast better than store bought? Nope. Bread made with your neck of the woods natural yeast will last longer before it goes stale. And it will have a different flavor. But it's not any better for you than store bought yeast. But enough of that load of poop. There's an even more frightening load of poop out there. "There IS PLASTER OF PARISE in store bought bread!!!!!!!!" Yep. There is also plaster of paris in vitamins, There's plaster of paris in beens, almonds and sardines as well. And the horror gets even worst. There is plaster of paris in your bones. Yet no one as ever complained about using an eatable item to make walls out of. I know I've already warned you all about 'organic and natural' products. The more you know the more people you can laugh at.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on April 15, 2018, 11:44:25 pm
Two more batches of bread this weekend. Still loving every minute of it. Made a batch of oatmeal cookies earlier last week. They're gone. Been taking them to work to snack on. Way better for me than that grease ladened stuff sold out of vending machines. Be making a batch of those today. Along with my first try at a fruit bread. Unlike a coffee cake you use yeast and let the dough rise just like a normal loaf of bread would.

The only thing I did different with the RAT technique today was to let the dough rest one more five minute time. Just to see if there was any difference in the final product. Nothing changed in the loaf. But I did have to let the dough rise a bit longer in the pans. Possibly due to letting it rest one more time derring kneading. There's only so much starch available for the yeast to munch. The lower the supply the longer it takes for the loaves to rise.

I started both batches of bread with a poolish. The first was a normal 6 hour poolish. The second I addd more flour to it after two hours and only let it ferment for a total of four. Both times I only used a teaspoon and a half of yeast. Instead of the full two and a quarter teaspoons you would get out of a package. I used less yeast because they would multiply derring the ferment time in the poolish. As most of you know I buy my yeast by the pound now. Even using less per loaf I really doubt this first pound will last me a year. Love me some home made bread!
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on April 24, 2018, 02:20:19 am
Well it looks like it finally might happen. And it literally took a backside full of mediation. I wasn't able to make bread this weekend. Ended up in the ER with a strained back. Between the shots and meds I slept from Friday to late Sunday night. So for the first time sense last November I had to buy a loaf of bread. It's still in the walmart bag. If I can somehow manage to get a few loaves off I feed this bread to the birds. But right now there's no way I'll be able to lean forward and knead bread dough. What I can talk about is that apple bread I made. To assemble the bread the recipe said to roll the dough out to an 18 by 18 square. Sprinkle all the apples, brown sugar and all. Then fold this up and cut it into one inch chunks. Did just that. So imagine trying to keep brown sugar and eggs together. This got sloppy real quick. The recipe said to scoop this stuff up and place it in the well lined bread pans. First i'd like to say the bread was great. The reason I could taste the bread is because all the apples went to the bottom and all the brown sugar and eggs seeped out to the bottom and sides. So it was a bit like eating bread with a bit of apple pie. I plan on making the bread part by itself because it was really good bread. But I don't think I'll be making this apple thing again.

The bread recipe is really close to my go to recipe. The main difference is it has a higher hydration and cooks at a higher tempt. These two things alone give this bread a different flavor. Bread is unique because cooking times and temperature actually change the flavor of the bread. It's going to be fun to see how this bread turns out without all the apples and stuff in it. Hopefully this weekend. Will have to see how this old body is coming along.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Varg the wanderer on April 24, 2018, 06:16:34 am
Have you thought about getting a mixer with a dough hook? It might save your back and your wrist a lot of pain, and with the amount of bread you make it could be worth it financially, too. They aren't too $$ if you get them used, and the kitchenaid variety last forever.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on April 25, 2018, 01:25:51 am
You know Varg, I'm going to blame it on the meds. I have a KitchenAid Pro sitting right in the front of me. So that's what I'm doing tonight. The kneading is done. The dough is doing its first rise. I'm looking forward to not opening this bag of store bought bread.  Even if I have to stay up later to get it done.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on May 02, 2018, 03:16:27 am
Well it's been an interesting two weeks. And again a hectic weekend. Between my back, my mom going back to the hospital and trying to get some projects and music done I didn't make bread over the weekend again. However I did learn something wonderful using my stand up mixer. My RAT technique works using a mixer!!!! The biggest complaint people have about mixers is they, even the one I have, over heat when kneading bread. Being able to turn it off and let it rest for five minutes. Then run it for a few minutes and start the process over again. The stand up mixer isn't on long enough to get hot. This is totally awesome news!  And like icing on the cake the bread came out just as good as those done by hand.

Right now I'm working more hours and getting home later. So I may end up eating that loaf of Wonder bread. But to be truthful I'm way to happy about how my RAT technique is working out to be bummed about it. And who knows. I haven't had store bought bread in so long I might actually like the flavor.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on May 07, 2018, 01:02:19 am
Didn't each much of that loaf of wonder bread. Instead of taking bread with my all meat lunch I took slices of pizza. That might become a habit. : )
Got bread going. Plan on making six loaves. Nothing special, my go to recipe. I miss the bread already and it's only been 3 or four days. Don't get me wrong. Store bought bread is good. Just not as good. I still have to try to make fake grilled cheese sandwiches with home made bread. That's where you toast the bead in a toaster first. Butter the outsides. Put your cheese in and microwave till the cheese starts to spread out the sides. It's good with regular bread. Has to be really good with home made.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: Varg the wanderer on May 11, 2018, 07:15:27 am
That's where you toast the bead in a toaster first. Butter the outsides. Put your cheese in and microwave till the cheese starts to spread out the sides.

Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on May 14, 2018, 02:43:00 pm
You should give it a try Varg. It's awesome.

Tried a new bread recipe over the weekend. This one had a few differences that had me interested in trying it. First was the amount of flour. For two loaves of bread I've been using 31.5 oz. of flour. this recipe called for only 23 oz. With a higher percentage of water. The dough was light and not as sticky as I thought it would be. But did stick and wasn't that easy to handle. The recipe also called for rapid rise yeast. Mostly known as bread machine yeast. There is a difference between this and regular yeast. It's the same strain of yeast. Just processed differently. You end up with more living yeast per oz. So you use less. The recipe also called for starting it with a poolish. The difference being the size of the poolish. (If you don't know what a poolish is see note below.) Usually a poolish is around one cup, or ruffly 14% of the total recipe. This one called for ruffly 53%. Making the flavor very strong in the end product. And it tastes wonderful. After following the direction and baking this was a bit of a failure. The bread fell in the oven. I'm thinking the amount of rapid rise yeast was two high. The yeast simply ran out of food. The bread is still good. Still has an even crumb and great texture. And a really good flavor. I'm thinking of combining parts of this recipe with my go to one and see what i end up with. I also make a batch of my go to. Just so I'd have enough bread for the week.

a poolish is when you take equal parts of flour and water. Add a small amount of yeast. Mix and let ferment for up to 24 hours. Covered in your kitchen. The bread you end up with is like home made bread on steroids. The intensity of the flavor depends on the amount of time you allow it to ferment. Most bakeries don't have the time or space to do this. So your home made bread is better tasting than most pro bakeries in business today.
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on May 29, 2018, 01:48:11 am
Well as you may have guessed I didn't make bread last weekend. Started on a few projects that took most of my time. Hoping to get three guitars built this summer. On hold till I get a new jig saw. But that's another subject. Right now I have two loaves in the oven and dough rising on the kitchen table. Even after all these months this is something I look forward to doing. Still haven't got to the 'same ol taste' boredom. Yes my bread is boring. I like white bread. I might try some specialty white bread. Like French or Italian. But it will be white bread. I'll never be an artisan baker. Just good at making everyday bread. And that's fine with me. 
Title: Re: Home made bread. From traditional to no knead refrigerator.
Post by: cause the rat on February 23, 2020, 04:58:19 pm
Still making bread! Stopped for a bit because of time restraints. But not something you can easily walk away from. Because it's fun and tastes great! And it's a food hobby that needs little more than what you may already have. My latest obsession is Ciabatta (chi a batta ) bread. Supper easy to make and great to eat with food. Even better with a light coating of olive oil a bit of salt and a good amount of melted mozzarella cheese.

Is there a real difference between bread and all purpose flour? After a few hundred loaves of bread I can tell you the honest answer. Yes. Bread flour will make a better loaf of bread. But that's structure only. All purpose flour and bread flour have no differences in taste. Historically the flour used in Europe didn't have the percentage of gluten we have in bread flour today. You don't need bread flour to make bread.