You shoulda been here

IveofIone

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I have been baking bread for more years than I can remember but today I made my best batch ever. It came out perfect with a soft chewy crumb, crisp crust that cracked when you ate it and better than usual flavor. I tried a slightly different recipe but made notes so I think I can duplicate it.

After it cooled I hacked off about a 2'' thick heel, slathered it with warm butter, added 5 pieces of sharp cheddar cheese and chased it with a glass of Cab. To make sure my first impression was correct I did it again and sure enough-I got it right the first time!
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
Bravo! I also like baking; love being the one making the home smell so good. I use a recipe my Mom got off of a bag of Betty Crocker flour from my childhood. I try things like adding whole wheat flour, molasses... it tastes OK but I'm not really any good.

Would you be willing to share your notes?
 

IveofIone

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Sure. I use a digital scale to weigh my ingredients so once I get it right it stays the same. And I knead with a Kitchen Aid Professional mixer now that I have bursitis. And my oven has a proof cycle so I put the dough in there until it more than doubles. Finally, I bake in Norpro 4 1/4 by 10'' black pans. No guarantees if you use aluminum or silicone.

Flour is always King Arthur bread flour in the blue bag and fresh. Don't waste your electricity on old flour.
30 oz flour
19 oz of water
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp salt
1 tsp saf-instant yeast or equivalent


Whisk the dry ingredients together in the mixer bowel and with the dough hook in place turn on to the 2nd speed, add the water and let this run for 9 minutes then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and proof in the oven until doubled. At that point I remove the dough, divide it in half and place it in the bread pans. Spray some olive oil or canola on plastic wrap and cover each pan and return to the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the pans and turn the oven to 400 degrees. After the oven beeps that it is up to heat give it at least another 10 minutes before placing the bread inside. Carefully remove the plastic wrap to avoid tearing the surface. Bake for 30 minutes or until the inside temp reaches 196 degrees.

The bread will fall right out of a properly seasoned pan, don't wash your pans between bakings. That's all there is to it, it takes longer to type this out than actually make the bread. The bread can be frozen once cooled in 1 gallon zip lock bags. Thaw it at room temperature and never put it in the fridge.
 
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Kilchis

Active Member
WFF Supporter
What a timely thread. I've decided to try my hand at bread this winter and requested a King Arthur catalog Tuesday. Thanks for your notes!
 

rotato

Active Member
Nice work on the bread

do you guys play with campsite ovens?
im looking for designs or ready made .
maybe I should play with the Dutch oven more
i envision a solo stove combined with a pizza stone and a chamber
 

Rogue Fanatic

Active Member
maybe I should play with the Dutch oven more

I have found that my cast iron Dutch oven is hard to cook with. By that I mean I have a hard time being able to reproduce good results using it when camping. If it's a little windy, cold, wet or some combination of those I usually produce something barely edible and I spend a lot of time trying to get bread and biscuits right. I have a Lodge 12" with the feet and lipped lid so I can put coals under and and on top but it's not precise enough for me to get good bread. Or, more likely, I am not precise enough.
 

Rogue Fanatic

Active Member
And a follow up, in typical NW conditions (below 60 degrees, moist and/ or breezy), I use 15 or so coals just getting the thermal mass of the Dutch oven to something above 100 degrees. Once that happens, I need another fresh 15 coals to go above and below to do the actual cooking/ baking. Sometimes it's a lot easier to bring the cheap butane stove.
 

Kilchis

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Today, at the tender age of 72, I made my first foray into baking bread. I did my best to follow @IveofIone's instructions to the letter, but read a few other blogs in order to fill in some of the details. I think I screwed up one step - I moved the bowl with the dough directly from the mixer into the warm oven to proof. After the dough doubled in size I dumped it out onto a floured counter....sort of. It was reluctant to come away from sides of the bowl and I ended up with a 1/8” layer of dough vulcanized to the bowl. Should I have greased/oiled the mixing bowl before starting the process, or was I supposed to transfer the dough to a different prepped bowl for the rise?

I did depart from Ive's instructions at one point. Oiling the plastic wrap was a debacle so instead I brushed the tops of the loaves with a tiny amount of melted butter to prevent the cling wrap from clinging.

When all was said and done, two of us demolished nearly half of a 5 x 10 loaf 10 minutes out of the oven, just lathering it with butter. The final product was well flavored with a nice crumb. GOOOOOD stuff Ive! Thanks for the lesson!

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7D964CBC-CFF9-4940-906C-782610FA52F2.jpeg
 
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FinLuver

Active Member
Today, at the tender age of 72, I made my first foray into baking bread. I did my best to follow @IveofIone's instructions to the letter, but read a few other blogs in order to fill in some of the details. I think I screwed up one step - I moved the bowl with the dough directly from the mixer into the warm oven to proof. After the dough doubled in size I dumped it out onto a floured counter....sort of. It was reluctant to come away from sides of the bowl and I ended up with a 1/8” layer of dough vulcanized to the bowl. Should I have greased/oiled the mixing bowl before starting the process, or was I supposed to transfer the dough to a different prepped bowl for the rise?

I did depart from Ive's instructions at one point. Oiling the plastic wrap was a debacle so instead I brushed the tops of the loaves with a tiny amount of melted butter to prevent the cling wrap from clinging.

When all was said and done, two of us demolished nearly half of a 5 x 10 loaf 10 minutes out of the oven, just lathering it with butter. The final product was well flavored with a nice crumb. GOOOOOD stuff Ive! Thanks for the lesson!

View attachment 226572 View attachment 226573
That’ll make a sammich!!
 

jacknoir

Active Member
Great thread. I've been feeling the need to engage with this contemplative art myself lately.
IveofIone do you ever use a whole wheat flour or other grains?
 

IveofIone

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Kilchis, I like to use the Kitchen Aid bowl to proof the bread but after kneading I remove the dough and spray the inside with either olive or canola oil. Then the dough will fall right out when ready.

I can't imagine how covering the bread with plastic wrap could go wrong. The first time I ever tried it I didn't spritz the wrap with oil and I ripped the top of the loaves off when removing the wrap. Since then I pull the wrap out leaving it flat on the counter and spray it lightly. I haven't damaged a loaf since.

Now that you have had success you can start to fine tune the process and build on your experience. To enhance flavor proof the dough in the refrigerator overnight then bring it to room temp the next day. It will take a few hours to reach room temp then degas it, place it in the pans with the wrap covering and finish proofing at room temp. The cold ferment seems to add a depth of flavor and aroma to the bread that is missing otherwise.

I'm sure it was good after 10 minutes but the bread actually has to cool to achieve full flavor. Once my bread hits the cooling rack I get the cheese out of the fridge and set a timer for 45 minutes.By then the bread has cooled, the cheese has warmed and the wine is poured. At that point I cut about a 2'' slab off of the end and cover it with butter and cheese. The house smells great and the bread is just heavenly, I usually have another slice just to sample the crumb and confirm my first impression of the loaf. :D

I am not a big fan of whole wheat and don't buy it because it will probably go bad before I use it up. But I might try it soon if I can get some above average flour then keep it in the freezer until ready to use.
 

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