Author Topic: Making bread  (Read 16380 times)

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Making bread
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2010, 09:26:05 pm »
Looks lovely :thumbsup:.

Since the demise of our bread maker, I have been making bread more "manually" and I've become rather good at it! I bake most days, sometimes from start to finish, other times with dough from the day before that I leave to rise in the fridge over night.

Here's one I prepared earlier:

Pen Pusher

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2011, 07:32:39 pm »
A little bit of thread necromancy, but...

I've been making my own bagels for awhile. Usually with whole wheat flour and they've been decent. However, whenever I ventured into 'real' bread making, it was always disappointing. Sure, any fresh, warm bread is nice, but once it cooled down, it was dry and tasteless. I played with recipes, kneading techniques, proving temperatures, etc.
I then figured, that the only solution was to use sourdough, but my previous attempt at getting a starter fell short. (I am now in process of getting one going again)...however, some digging around led me to this book:
Amazon.com: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (9781580089982): Peter Reinhart: Books

The process for all the recipes is virtually the same: low amount of yeast, quick mixing/kneading and then prove in the fridge for min 12 hours (up to 4 days).

My first bread was ciabatta style (sans the oil) baguettes. I have never been able to get decent holes in my bread and even less getting a decent taste out of it, but my, this was amazing. Better than any bakery-bought white bread, I've ever had. Ever. Flour, salt, yeast, water. Nothing else was used to enhance the taste and nothing else was needed.
Even my wife, who's not a big bread fan (She's Korean), kept asking for more.

The process requires a bit of planning, but you can mix up a dough in 40 mins (4 times folding/stretching + rests), which can be done along other chores and prep for baking day is another 30-45 mins. If I plan it so that I bake twice a week, I wont have to buy bread ever and if I can maintain the quality, I wouldn't want to!.

Anyways..for anyone looking to improve their bread, I highly recommend that book. The recipes covers  yeast based, sourdough, enriched breads (rye, sandwhich breads), and rich bread (danishes, croissant, etc).

I've made half-decent danish pastry before and are planning to attempt Reinhart's recipe this weekend (diet be damned!)

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2011, 07:12:02 am »
More Reinhart recipes:

Took the 'Lean French Bread' recipe and mixed in some whole wheat and walnut and made two Boules.

(Iphone picture, so apologies for the quality)

This calls for a lightly kneaded dough again to be proved in the fridge for minimum 12 hours (mine was 2 days). The bottom part of the dough was more sourdough starter like than I would have expected (wet, slimey, gassy), but the taste is amazing. I can believe how easy this is!.
10 minute initial mixing/kneading work, place in fridge. Then on baking day, you need to plan a little ahead.
Take dough out of fridge, shape in to breads, prove for 1.5 hours, bake. (Patiently wait for it to cool down enough), enjoy!.

I got a starter dough for a San Fransisco Sourdough bread in the fridge now and aim to bake on Sunday. (whole wheat/walnut again). Pastry will have to wait :)

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2011, 10:55:24 pm »
The French whole wheat walnut loaves were gobbled up in no time!
As I'm unlikely to have time to bake next week, I then had to bake for the whole week today and the rush produced mixed results.

The San Fransisco sourdough turned out reasonably well. I had a 50/50 whole wheat/white flour mix, but probably didn't increase the water enough, so it's a little on the dry side. It's also not as sweet as the French bread the other day, I guess both due to the sourdough nature and the increased whole wheat, so it's not as good a 'snacking bread'. However, it's still very good for sandwiches!!

I then also had a large batch of bagel dough ready. Again, with a 50/50 whole wheat ratio and it made the dough more dense and I struggled to shape them nicely. I cheat and make a ball and press a hole with my fingers. Maybe if I do it properly, they'll turn out nicer with this dough?.
 I also forgot to lower the oven temperature after putting them in, so they were already very brown when I turned the sheet around and I had to lower the temp and bake them for longer as the bottom wasn't baked properly. Oh well. They're still eatable.

(More Iphone imagery)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Making bread
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2011, 05:15:42 pm »
Jakob, they look really good. Even with the iphone picture quality, you can see that they have proper bread texture.

So do you have a starter going now? How easy is it to keep it alive? Do you have to feed it regularly?

d.

YahudaMoon

  • John Diffley
Re: Making bread
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2011, 05:41:08 pm »
I'm glad I found this thread. I'm so obsessed with making bread, this is something I only started 12 month back and very rarely buy bread from the supermarket / shops nowadays. Last night I made two 12" pizzas all for myself !

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2011, 06:45:42 pm »
Jakob, they look really good. Even with the iphone picture quality, you can see that they have proper bread texture.

So do you have a starter going now? How easy is it to keep it alive? Do you have to feed it regularly?

d.


Good question. I just plunked my in the fridge, but re-reading this:

         Sourdough Home -  Storing a Starter
      

I have apparently done it way too early.
Hmmm. Ok, I'll better get back to regular feeding again!

I was going to return to the ciabatta & french bread anyway. I also want to make a proper Danish rye bread, but that'll have to wait until my schedule clears up a bit.

sas

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Re: Making bread
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2011, 11:12:57 pm »
Once my starter was alive and kicking I just plonked it in the fridge for up to 3+ weeks until I needed it. It's surprisingly hardy.
I am nothing and should be everything

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Making bread
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2011, 11:55:51 pm »
I'm tempted to give it a go.

d.

sas

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Re: Making bread
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2011, 01:37:03 am »
Try it! Just be aware that for the first few days it'll froth whilst everything (including the stuff you don't want) tries to grow, then it appears to die for a few days, before coming back to life at which point its a sourdough starter.
I am nothing and should be everything

Re: Making bread
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2011, 01:35:34 pm »
My wife makes all of our bread, and it is far better than anything from the supermarket.

I've been trying (mostly unsucessfully) to make sourdough since Christmas.  The "starter" is fine - it lives in the fridge and gets fed every week, and I assume it is fine as it does just what the book says it will - feed it and it gets all lively, then settles down and eventually ends up with a very strong smell after a week or so! (a bit like the teenagers we've got, except they don't live inside the fridge). The problem is the dough.  I've been using the Rivercottage recipe as well as Linda Collister's.  Both give a fairly strong tasting bread, the crust is chewy as descibed and the bubbles/holes in the bread are uneven in size as they should be.  The main problem is getting the dough to support its self.  The first go resulted in a huge soughdough pizza base, the last one was baked in a cassarole dish, and was OK, but a but undercooked and solid.

Jokob and Woofage's loaves look ace!  Our best one to date is a white French flour with poppy seeds added (but not sourdough, a standard yeast one)- excellent flavour.

sas

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Re: Making bread
« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2011, 04:06:45 pm »
Have you tried reducing the amount of water? Are you leaving it to rise too long, or in too warm an area, or using insufficient salt (which is meant to retard the yeast activity)?
I am nothing and should be everything

Re: Making bread
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2011, 05:43:56 pm »
The last one deffinately had too much water - moral add the water carefully, don't blindly follow the recipe.  I don't think that over-proving is a problem, possibly not enough salt as we are carefull how much we use.

One batch which was OK was made following the Rivercottage book (Dan Lepard I think) and it was described as being softer than normal dough - which it was.  When it had risen, supported by a floured tea towel, and a couple of strategic tins it partiall deflated/collapsed as it was transfered to the oven (and the support removed).  It tasted fine, but was a bit flat so not much use for sandwiches.

Re: Making bread
« Reply #63 on: March 05, 2011, 10:33:24 am »
I wonder how much the location changes the flavour of sourdough? I'm sure I've read that it influenced it quite a lot - -for example NYC, but I'd be inclined to think it was more to do with flour used and the atmospheric temperature.


Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2011, 05:43:13 am »
I returned to the first recipe again (Ciabatta style baguettes) and the result was even better. (I've now got a better feel for the dough, but also a better idea of baking times/temps in our oven).
This is an amazingly simple bread to make and the taste is extremely good.
The batch :


The crumb:


The freshly made sandwich that is about to disappear!


Only problem is that all that bread will gone tomorrow!

Re: Making bread
« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2011, 07:23:42 am »
Wow, they look *fantastic*.

Good bread is truly one of lifes simplest yet greatest pleasures.

YahudaMoon

  • John Diffley
Re: Making bread
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2011, 01:19:30 pm »
I  wanna up my game in the bread department. Jacobs bread looks class and its what Im after

So how do I go about getting them large air pockets into my bread for a nice fluffy texture ?

Thanks.

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2011, 08:54:30 pm »
I  wanna up my game in the bread department. Jacobs bread looks class and its what Im after

So how do I go about getting them large air pockets into my bread for a nice fluffy texture ?

Thanks.

Properly developed (slow rise) dough and high water content. The water will expand and evaporate during baking, generating the pockets, but without a good enough developed dough, the structure wont support it.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Making bread
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2011, 12:19:15 pm »
I  wanna up my game in the bread department. Jacobs bread looks class and its what Im after

So how do I go about getting them large air pockets into my bread for a nice fluffy texture ?

Thanks.

Properly developed (slow rise) dough and high water content. The water will expand and evaporate during baking, generating the pockets, but without a good enough developed dough, the structure wont support it.

Do you spray the top of the dough with water before baking? I've read that this is useful to allow maximum rise by ensuring the surface is flexible. I don't do this for "normal" dough as I cover it with a wet muslin whilst proving the dough.
Pen Pusher

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2011, 06:06:49 pm »
No, I have a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven, where I throw in a cup of water after putting the dough in. This creates enough steam to create a nice crust.

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Making bread
« Reply #70 on: March 27, 2011, 01:51:15 pm »
When I used to be a baker we actually used to spray water from a hose with a spray trigger into the oven immediately after loading the trays or tins of bread.

Re: Making bread
« Reply #71 on: March 29, 2011, 08:01:17 pm »


For a long time the bread I made was well risen, but did not keep its shape(think cowpat). I was then given a 6 hour baking course (COBS Cambridge) which taught not only how to make bread, but also how to handle the dough.

This has transformed the rolls from flat, to something looking proffessional.

During the final kneading/handling it is to do with the formation of a skin on the dough, which then holds its shape, and allows other tricks as well

Re: Making bread
« Reply #72 on: March 30, 2011, 04:11:44 pm »
I have no problem getting a crust on my bread, but  it doesn't stay crusty like shop bought bread. I assume this is because there is continuous steam in the commercial ovens, or is it something else?

Jakob

Re: Making bread
« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2011, 10:39:26 pm »
I now got my wholewheat walnut bread nailed, with a 4/3 white/wholewheat flour and a handful of chopped walnuts.
Reduced oven temperature to 425 and 12/19 minutes. (12 minutes, turn the plate around and then another 19 minutes).
I think I touch the dough for less than 15 minutes, including shaping it. (I'm still a bit slow shaping the boules).
Next time, I'll attempt to make breakfast sizes rolls, which will hopefully reduce consumption a bit, as we gobbled down a whole boule yesterday.

As for keeping crust, I think it depends on how quickly you bag it. I haven't yet found the right balance, but I don't mind the soft crust too much, as it's still very tasty.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Making bread
« Reply #74 on: June 11, 2011, 01:10:45 pm »
I am experimentating with my breadmaker today. I never make bread by hand because despite my excellence with cake, muffins, scones and buns, I am bloody hopeless at bread. I had some soya milk left over so decided to use it for bread and found a recipe for coconut bread. I am a bit anxious because the recipe pamphlet is by Allinsons and the recipes are made up for a Morphy Richards, but my breadmaker is a Kenwood. The recipe says the coconut bread is for the small white loaf cycle, but looking at the weight of the ingredients, it looks more like a large cycle for my Kenwood. So I've put it in on a large white cycle and we shall see.
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