Anyone baking their own bread?

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#46
We did the bread maker thing back when those were the rage. Use to buy quality component in Puyallup...Dottie's I think? Experimented with various recipe's and found a few we like. Over time, my wife just didn't like the fuss and muss of making and cleaning. Also, it seemed we could never make some of the types we liked most well in the bread maker. These days, the only breads my wife makes are rolls and a really great pizza dough....we love making homemade pizza's...usually don't in the warmer months...time to start again :cool:.
 
#47
Well second batch of bread complete. This batch is an 80 / 20 mix of whole wheat and white.

I found the 100 percent whole wheat was a bit heavy.

Once again, thanks for the inspiration folks.

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IveofIone

Active Member
#49
It's been awhile since we talked bread and I thought I might submit an update. I have been baking a lot this winter and am getting some really fine results. So I'll share my recipe for No Knead sourdough in a Dutch Oven. The oven is a Lodge 6 qt model with a flat bottom. The recipe is simplicity itself-it is how the various steps are taken that makes the difference. Start with 13.5 ounces of a good flour. King Arthur bread flour is outstanding and Bob's Red Mill seems to be equally as good. To the flour add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. That is not a misprint-1/4 tsp is all you need. Whisk well and mix in 10 ounces of water-preferably without chlorine. This should result in a dry course mixture that seems like it needs more water. Mix until all the flour is absorbed by the water but don't add more water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put aside for 12-18 hours.

Once it has set overnight it will appear bubbly and smell like a really good beer. Turn it out on a floured board and shape into a roughly shaped rectangle, cover it and let it set for at least 5 minutes. Then fold it in 3 sections lengthwise and then fold the 3 layers in half. At this point I use parchment paper in a bowl and drop the dough in and cover it with a towel. After rising for an hour and a half or more I put the DO in the oven at 450 degrees. When the oven has heated for 30 minutes I lift the paper with the dough out of it's bowl and drop the whole thing in the DO. There will be some wrinkles in the paper but heat and steam will take care of those as it bakes. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the lid and let the top brown for a few more minutes. Pay attention at this point and don't let the bread get too dark on top. Turn the loaf out on a rack until cool and add butter. You're done.

I have only recently discovered saf instant yeast. It is available on Amazon for under $8.oo/pound. I had read rave reviews about this stuff and now I can add to them. It is better than any yeast I have ever used. I bought a pound and put half of it in a sealed jar in the fridge and froze the other half. At one half teaspoon per loaf it should last indefinitely.

Some observations: The 13.5 ounces of flour is based on 3 cups of 4.5 ounces each. Different companies assign different weights to their all purpose flour from 4 ounces to 4.8 ounces. For all my baking I weigh out 4.5 ounces per cup and stick with it to set a baseline. A measured cup instead of a weighed cup can be as much as 5.5 ounces and really screw up the program. Areas of high humidity result in heavier flour and the container the flour is stored in should be airtight. Good ingredients make good bread. A months old bag of Gold Meadow is going to make crappy bread, a fresh bag of King Arthur will deliver some great flavor. Same with yeast-if it is old the loaf will be short and dense with little oven spring.

Another thing I have noticed watching the many videos on No Knead bread is the copious use of flour to manipulate the dough once it is turned out. I handle my dough with wet hands instead of applying flour to my hands to keep the dough from sticking. I tried the flour technique originally but didn't like the results. Using water makes a more moist loaf with a crackling crust.

Finally, many folks like to eat warm bread. Nothing wrong with that but in my experience bread doesn't develop it's complete flavor until it has reached room temperature. Sometimes it smells so good I just can't wait. You shouldn't have to be reminded but in case there is a noob reading this-NEVER put bread in the refrigerator. It freezes beautifully but refrigeration makes it hard and dry.

Give this a try. Some butter, cheese and a good red wine will make just an outstanding snack. A few tries and you will get a rhythm and feel for it. For around a buck a loaf it will shame the stuff the supermarket sells.
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#50
This thread is 7 years old now but 'tis the season to trot it out again. With the shorter days and longer evenings I am spending more time in the kitchen and baking about twice each week. I reread the entire thread to see if anything much has changed in 7 years but not much has. My no-knead recipe has stabilized at 15 ounces of flour and 10 ounces of water. It makes what appears to be a very dry shaggy dough but 18-24 hours later it is perfectly hydrated. The DO is no longer in use and I now bake everything in the Norpro baking pans. I'll be 80 on my next birthday and lifting that 450 degree Dutch oven in and out of my regular oven is no longer fun. My Norpro pans in a 430 degree oven produce perfect repeatable results in 28 minutes. Your oven may vary.

It takes about 10 minutes to weigh out and mix 2 loaves and that is pretty much the extent of any labor. After about 18 hours I turn it out on a lightly floured board and let it rest for 15-20 minutes after which I shape it into a rough rectangle and drop it it the pans. Cover the pans with plastic wrap with some olive oil or PAM and let rise for an hour or so. About 30 minutes before time to bake turn on the oven and let it get to temp. Bake, cool, eat.

This bread makes about the best croutons you have ever tasted. If you have some that is getting stale slice it about 1/2'' thick then cut off all the crust and make 1/2'' square cubes out of it. In a bowl drizzle it with EV olive oil and garlic salt, maybe a little oregano, mix to coat. Bake on a large tray at 350 until the cubes brown up nicely. The results are good enough to be eaten as snacks even without the salad.
 

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