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Bread baking

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  • Bread baking

    There are as many recipes for bread as there is batches of bread. Personally, I never use a recipe, but I use what I call a glug method. To start with, how much bread do I want (1 pan or more), what am I making out of the bread dough. Do I want a white, wheat or sweet bread? To start, I warm about 1 and 1/2 cups of water in my bowl, with about 2 Tb. of sugar, test the temp with a finger. Yes I washed my hands first. Yeast needs warmth to grow, not hot. I sprinkle yeast from the jar, about 2 teaspoons on the warm water if you want to measure. After about 2-5 minutes, I stir in bread flour. If I am making a loaf or buns, I add about 1/2 cup of oatmeal (for flavor and texture) to the water, before the flour. If you have a dab of oatmeal left from breakfast, you could use it also. If you want some whole grains, add some now before you mix in all the flour. Before I mix in a lot of flour I add about 1 teaspoon of salt (iodized). I add flour, until I have a nice soft consistency, that cleans off the bowl when stirred. I don't knead it, like I learned as child. I found that makes bread dry, to much flour. I put the bowl of bread in a warm place... .usually in the microwave over a shallow bowl of very warm water to rise. I make it up after it rises to double or triple in height in the bowl. You can stir it down if the time isn't convenient or you are in the middle of something, it can rise again. If I am making up buns, or a loaf I use butter to roll them in my hands. I prefer my pizza stone to bake buns on. The flavor is much improved, I also use it for the French bread. It makes a crusty flavor. I usually put Italian herbs on the top, corn meal for crusty rolls. Sometimes a dab of oatmeal.
    If I am making cinnamon rolls, I roll the dough out on plastic sheet, on this I have sprinkled oatmeal heavily down the center, and pecan meal along the edges of the oatmeal. The reason for this, is nutrition, we don't need to use flour, and it tastes even better. This makes about a 9x 12 pan of cinnamon rolls. IF I am making caramel rolls, I use real cream about 1 and 1/4 cups and about a cup of brown sugar...this is learned amount. If You use too much cream, the caramel is softer, if not enough, the caramel is harder, it's a practiced thing. But it makes the best caramel. I know this isn't an exact recipe, but I am 64 and I have been cooking a lot since I was about 9, we all did. We used recipes as a guideline. If we didn't have what the recipe called for, something else was substituted. I have several cookbooks, and I haven't opened one in years. I have a set of measureing cups, and I haven't used them in years either. When I am making something, I make it by first determining amount of product do I want to end up with, or what pan am I cooking or baking in. Am I making something for 2 people or am I making something for 10. I probably raised more questions than I answered, that was not my intention. It's about making do learning how to improvise, and using the flavors and grains your family prefers.
    IF, you only have a tsp. of yeast, mix it with some flour, a dab of sugar, and enough water, to make a thin pancake like batter, and let it sit overnight in a large bowl. By morning the batter will have trebled and you will have enough yeast, then thicken the batter into dough. This would taste more like sourdough bread, but also a crusty loaf. Small dabs of Butter on top browns nicely and also adds a flavor. I never us margarine. It does not have the same oil content as butter. I only use coconut oil or butter in cooking. We seldom use any other oil so it's the only real fat in our diets. I also use this same bread dough for pizza crust. To make it a sweeter dough, add a couple more teaspoons of sugar, or an egg. Lots of choices and they all turn out great. Dough needs warmth to grow, I have used yeast that was over year old and it turned out fine. If you are using home milk, it should be brought to just under a boil and cooled for the liquid in your bread. That's all folks.

  • #2
    What a nice post! Even though I am an experienced bread baker as well, it was nice to read about your bread baking techniques. Sounds like you are very successful in baking homemade breads. I like the tips you included, too. It's still fun to learn from others.
    sigpic
    -Lynn

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lynn View Post
      What a nice post! Even though I am an experienced bread baker as well, it was nice to read about your bread baking techniques. Sounds like you are very successful in baking homemade breads. I like the tips you included, too. It's still fun to learn from others.
      Lynn, I'm sad that Juniper's yummy bread isn't on the Whole 30 diet!

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      • #4
        When I was a young man I used to bake all of my bread. I never did figure out how to keep sourdough starter without it going bad on me... probably because I was always traveling for weeks at a time and couldn't take it with me.

        I don't seem to have time for baking bread nowadays...
        Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

        3 trees

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        • #5
          Starter dough

          Starter sour dough was used on wagon trails for many weeks... . It has to be refurbished every day or two though. You take some out, and add a bit of new flour and water to make a new batter, which preserves the yeast and gives it new food to grow on. Then you use the old starter for what ever you are baking. It's something that one needs to use regularly to keep it new basically. I don't use it because for 2 people I wouldn't use it often enough to give it new food. For a family it would be useful if they bake all their own bread. My father made sourdough pancakes for us. It can be used for load bread, or buns, etc. Every batch of bread is a new thing, and now I need to shape mine to bake.

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          • #6
            Thanks for this post Juniper!! So interesting. I've never baked bread before, maybe I'll try someday

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            • #7
              Excellent Juniper! Thank you so much. You cook like I want to. Bread is one thing I am trying to master making from scratch like that. I do ok with pizza dough tho it could be Chewier but any loaf is too dense. I do ok with homemade biscuits but need to refer to a recipe for those.

              This should be a sticky post!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Juniper View Post
                Starter sour dough was used on wagon trails for many weeks... . It has to be refurbished every day or two though. You take some out, and add a bit of new flour and water to make a new batter, which preserves the yeast and gives it new food to grow on. Then you use the old starter for what ever you are baking. It's something that one needs to use regularly to keep it new basically. I don't use it because for 2 people I wouldn't use it often enough to give it new food. For a family it would be useful if they bake all their own bread. My father made sourdough pancakes for us. It can be used for load bread, or buns, etc. Every batch of bread is a new thing, and now I need to shape mine to bake.
                I guess where I went wrong many years ago when I was zealous about having sourdough starter on hand was I only used it and fed it every week to 10 days... and I would deploy away from home for weeks at a time... It just didn't work out. I'll have to think about trying it again after my kids are grown up and gone and I have extra time on my hands.

                Do you know how to give sourdough that San Francisco style zing?
                Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

                3 trees

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                • #9
                  Bread is a wonderful kitchen aroma......

                  Do you know how to give sourdough that San Francisco style zing?[/QUOTE]

                  Sorry, never been to San Francisco. But I think you are referring to the wine like taste. That means an older yeast. If you make dough, and can not work it up, put it in the fridge (covered) in a container large enough to rise a bit. If you take it out the next day to use some or all of it, it will too have a more mature yeasty taste. If you are referring to spices, like red pepper or horseradish, someone from that area must have a more studied knowledge of bread. Moisture and elevation can also affect bread. Moisture is more crusty. Dense bread is to much of something, sugar, egg, or not letting the bread rise enough before baking.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pixelpusher View Post
                    . I do ok with pizza dough tho it could be Chewier but any loaf is too dense.

                    This should be a sticky post!
                    I have been making my own pizza dough for a little while now. I mix the dough by hand. I find it relaxing.
                    I also branched out into making flour tortillas from scratch as well.
                    And if by grace, then it is no longer by works: if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
                    Romans 11:6

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                    • #11
                      And if by grace, then it is no longer by works: if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
                      Romans 11:6

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                      • #12
                        At one time I had sour dough starter until DH threw it out. He said it smelled sour, I told that is the way it was suppose to smell. Haven't made any starter in a long time, but do make regular homemade rolls both dinner & cinnamon rolls plus homemade bread. I use my grandmothers recipe & has of now it's my favorite. On a side note when I baked loaves if sour dough a friend of mine would pay me $10 a week for two loaves. Love the smell of bread baking.
                        Neither will their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord's wrath. In the fire of His jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for He will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth. Zephaniah 1:18

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