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Can I get a bread thread?

PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay so I just finished kneading a fresh loaf of dark rye bread and I'm waiting for it to rise. Pretty stoked.

This leads me to ponder other bread recipes, though. And googling for recipes is kind of hit and miss, especially with bread, as so much of them say "pour all of the ingredients into your bread machine and hit start". I don't have a bread machine. Because they're for sissypants losers and I'd rather not waste the space with something whose job I can easily perform myself.

So I need non-bread machine recipes for loaves other than dark rye, and ideally ones that you've personally had/made and know to be awesomesauce. No weaksauce breads necessary.

Pheezer on
IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH

Posts

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My girlfriend makes this particular recipe all the time. It is from a book called "Joy of Cooking" (Rombauer/Becker). She fiddles with it all the time. It makes a heavy and coarse loaf of bread that's on the sweet side. It also makes for some awesome delicious rolls, if you use smaller chunks. This bread + cheese and/or butter = Nummy!

    ALL WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD COCKAIGNE

    Recipe makes 2 4 1/2 in by 8 1/2 in loaves

    Sprinkle:
    1 package active dry yeast (you can use less if you let it rise longer)
    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    over:
    1/4 cup 105-115 degree water

    Measure and combine:
    6 cups whole-grain flour (substitute any flour that you want! My girlfriend regularly tries whole-grain/all-purpose mixes to adjust the "bounce" of the bread)
    1/2 cup dry milk solids

    Combine:
    2 cups warm water or milk (we often use milk, but water is fine)
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 to 3 tablespoon melted bacon fat (substitute Butter or Margarine or Oil for different "flavors")
    4 to 6 tablespoons of dark molasses or honey.

    Combine the yeast and water mixtures. Beat in the flour. Knead briefly, adding flour if necessary.

    Allow the dough to rise once in the bowl and once in the baking pans (poke it with a finger... if it bounces back to its original shape, then it's done rising. Depending on environment, this can take 30 minutes to hours).

    Bake in a 350 degree oven about 45 minutes. Test for doneness (release the loaf from the pan and tap it. If it's "hollow", then it's done. This is a baker's skill and may vary from person to person).

    Steam ID: Hahnsoo, Steam Name currently: Hahnsopolis | PSN: Hahnsoo | Monster Hunter Tri: Hahnsoo, E8HJCA
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Watch the bread-making episode of Good Eats (titled "Dr. Strangeloaf") - I use that recipe and do variations and experiments off it, plus there's lots of good advice for making any bread. He uses a stand-mixer to knead in that episode, but I've just been kneading by hand - it's not very hard and it doesn't take very long at all.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/very-basic-bread-recipe/index.html

    Buy a 1 lb package of Instant Yeast - so much more convenient than active dry.

    For variations to the recipe, I've been replacing between 2 and 4 ounces of the white bread flour with whole wheat flour - comes out somewhere between a white loaf and a whole wheat loaf. The bran in whole wheat flour inhibits the gluten formation a bit, so you'll want to knead for a bit longer. Another thing I like to do is add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil - it softens the final texture a bit (i think), makes for a more sandwich-friendly bread.

    You can do free-form or use a loaf pan. I use just a cheap Pyrex loaf pan because I like to make squarish sandwiches. I usually let the dough sit in the pan overnight (cover it with something airtight so it doesn't dry out) but this isn't essential. I get the best volume by slashing the top in one cut parallel to the length of the loaf pan, with either my bread knife or my very sharp chef's knife.

    Homemade bread is the best. It blows storebought out of the water for sandwiches, toast, french toast, and just straight up munching.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2009
    I just use this fleischman's yeast stuff, it's cheap at Costco for like a million pounds of it. I think it's active dry yeast. I don't know. It works.

    Should have realized that there'd be a good eats episode on the subject, though.

    That recipe from Hahnsoo1 looks pretty awesome too.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I don't have a recipe to recommend, but my local little grocery store's bakery makes brioche loafs and rolls daily and they are delicious. You should look into that. :)

    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

    Currently painting: Space Wolves [flickr]
  • Unearthly StewUnearthly Stew Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    A recommendation for anyone who kneads bread on their own: when you're first adding all the ingredients, do it in a 1 or 2 gallon ziplock bag. Depending on the recipe, the dough should pull away from the bag when it's ready to be kneaded, which helps cut down on the mess considerably.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2009
    A recommendation for anyone who kneads bread on their own: when you're first adding all the ingredients, do it in a 1 or 2 gallon ziplock bag. Depending on the recipe, the dough should pull away from the bag when it's ready to be kneaded, which helps cut down on the mess considerably.

    Oh that is genius. This will be attempted next weekend.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Wait, so you mix the ingredients in the bag to make the dough, then wait for it to pull away from the bag, then take it out and knead? Do you seal the bag or leave it open?

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2009
    DragonPup wrote: »
    I don't have a recipe to recommend, but my local little grocery store's bakery makes brioche loafs and rolls daily and they are delicious. You should look into that. :)

    Most of the fresh baked rolls and things you see are just a white bread recipe that's been layered with a good amount of egg yolk to get it a tasty crust. It's really not all that healthy and kind of gets boring.

    I prefer recipes that make use of at least a few grains. Like the one I made today used molasses to reduce the sugar content, and had rye flour that was significantly less processed than your typical white flour. Plus, tasty caraway seeds. Luckily I've seen a few such suggestions already. Keep 'em coming guys.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • Unearthly StewUnearthly Stew Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Wait, so you mix the ingredients in the bag to make the dough, then wait for it to pull away from the bag, then take it out and knead? Do you seal the bag or leave it open?

    You add some ingredients, seal and mix a little bit. You'll have to do a little kneading while in the bag. Getting all of the ingredients to mix evenly can be a little annoying, but worth it imo.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I've been starting to get into bread, working on the illustrious french bread. It's not easy because you can't cheat -- the flavor has to come entirely from the flour, not honey, not sugar, not some other filler you chuck in.

    So in my studies and tests, I've determined two things -- Use "highly active" yeast, in packets, and stick your dough in the fridge at least overnight. You use the highly active because the plain yeast is usually partially dead, and you use packets because the dry stuff will die off or become less active rather quickly. My boss used to bake a couple loaves every weekend, but couldn't get through a jar w/o it starting to die. Fresh yeast is key.

    And you let it sit overnight after the initial kneading to stunt those active yeast, encouraging them to reproduce slowly and let the flour absorb the gas. It also gives the flour's sugars more chance to break down and do their thing, which leads to tastier bread.

    A pro baker will have actual yeast starter (a stinky tub of "water" that attracts wild yeast) which will automatically make their bread start off pretty delicious, but since it's a pretty serious undertaking, the best way to get a good set of living yeast in a bread dough is to let it sit in the fridge 1-3 days, and then mix it in with a fresh form of the recipe. You're making a pate fermente :D Then take that new, big batch, and stick half of it back in the fridge, for a new pate fermente for the next 1-3 days. You can continuously make fresh bread that way while maximizing flavor.

    The final trick I've learned was to get your oven up to 500, put a [metal] pan filled with water in the oven, and, when you put the dough in to bake, squirt the sides of the oven with a squirt bottle (like a "garden sprayer") to get it nice & humid. Make sure not to get any water on the heating elements or on the glass door of your oven -- mist or condensate is OK. Then reduce the heat to 450 after you close the door (the water will naturally reduce the temp down to about 450, which is why you set it to 500 to start).

    I learned most of my tricks and techniques from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which is both a good cookbook and a good book to just read to learn more about bread. If you don't understand how a bread works, you can't make the best possible loaf ;D

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • emericanaemericana Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I don't have a recipe, but my grandma used to make a ridiculously good Mediterranean olive loaf, so I recommend finding something like that.

  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    This is best bread I've ever made. No kneading, only water yeast salt and flour, fantastic sourdough flavor without the hassle of starters. The downside is the 18 hour rise time, but I've baked up a batch with anywhere from 8 to 32 hours of rising and it was still fantastic.

    Recipe:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html
    Article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html

    Update with shorter rise. I dont' think it's as good.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/08mini.html


    Try it at least once. I hardly ever make anything else now.

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • Joe ChemoJoe Chemo Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Beer bread!!!!

    It's so simple, but amazingly tasty. Take care in which beer you choose. Darker the better, imo. I used 1554 from New Belgium, to great effect.

    I can't find the exact recipe I used, but the basic recipes are all pretty similar.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2009
    I've made beer bread a few times now. Stouts actually work best, I find.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    PirateJon wrote: »
    This is best bread I've ever made. No kneading, only water yeast salt and flour, fantastic sourdough flavor without the hassle of starters. The downside is the 18 hour rise time, but I've baked up a batch with anywhere from 8 to 32 hours of rising and it was still fantastic.

    Recipe:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html
    Article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html

    Update with shorter rise. I dont' think it's as good.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/08mini.html


    Try it at least once. I hardly ever make anything else now.

    Yeah, I've been making the no-knead bread for about a year now and it's very tasty. Personally I just use the original with the tiny sub of a cup of wheat flour, I haven't really tried spicing it up, but whenever the recipe first came out it went around the internet like wildfire, so there are a lot of other takes on it from various folks -- I've seen it on Cooks' Illustrated, and the original apparently has the Alton Brown seal of approval as the Good Eats episode on dutch oven cooking has essentially the basic recipe in there (OT, but the clafoutis recipe in that ep is easy and so damn tasty as well).

    I think the dutch oven or a similarly heavy-duty lidded pan is pretty crucial to how well the recipe will go though (as that helps provide the steamy environment).... And it may be a bit shaky the first few times you're transferring from the towel to the dutch oven if you don't have a thoroughly flour-permeated towel. (Probably obvious to people here, but assign a towel to be your floury towel and DO NOT WASH IT if you can possibly help it. Once you've used it a few times, the flour gets ingrained in there well and the transfer becomes a pretty easy flop in).

    It was amusing to have Massachusetts as part of our country, but now, of course, like so much of the coastal nation, it no longer qualifies as America.
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    When putting the bread dough into the dutch oven, Cooks Illustrated suggests forming the dough on a big ol' parchment paper sling, then plopping the whole thing (paper and all) into the dutch oven. Easy in, easy out. I use a parchment sling when using a loaf pan as well; much more reliable than spraying the pan and hoping nothing sticks.

  • DrakmathusDrakmathus Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    This is a mans bread.

    good for toast and open face sandwiches, nothing else (aside from use as a blunt instrument).


    Volkornbrot

    3 cups 5 or 7 grain cereal
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup molasses
    3 cups hot water

    Combine dry ingredients. Stir molasses and hot water into dry ingredients. Let stand overnight. Turn mixture into small loaf pan.
    Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 275 for 3 hours.
    Cool in pan. Wrap and keep in refrigerator. Keeps 2 weeks.
    Does not freeze well.

  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    There's a book called The Bread Baker's Apprentice that a friend recommended to me when I started making bread. You need a kitchen scale to really use the book but all of the recipes that I've made from it have been awesome and amazing.

    The book might go into more detail than you're looking for, but it explains all the proportions of making bread, all the different ways to shape the dough, the reasoning behind the different levels of rising, etc etc. Then it has a ton of recipes ranging from sourdough and making your own starter to bagels to baguettes to foccacia to more types of bread than I had ever heard of in my life.

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