I probably fit into category c. I do a pretty fair job most of the time. I've had some failures, but it's because I either accidentally killed the yeast or worked in too much flour.
I had an elderly neighbor teach me how to make a good bread dough. If you want, I'll post her recipe and tips when I get a chance. She is VERY meticulous and when she was younger people bought her bread and dinner rolls because they are so good. The main thing she stressed to me is that you should work in the minimum amount of flour. When you start to knead the dough, it should be sticky and nearly run off the counter when you turn it out to knead, and that did happen to me once because I wasn't quick enough to catch it. Then knead in only enough flour so that the dough is workable.
It's all about the yeast and the feel of the dough.I've been baking bread for fifty years, and there is always something new to learn so I'll be a reader for sure, and maybe can offer a hint or two along the way.
Me, Me, Me, Me!!!!!(waving my hands wildly in the air)
I have made some door stops that have defied rain, wind and termites and are still breaking toes when I run into them...
I believe that puts me in the b category!!!!! I would love to learn to make really good textured and good tasting yeast bread that can be molded into any shape...loaves, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls...even RUNZAS!!!!!
[quote="1_Lucky_Texan"]subscribing for a really good Kolache dough recipe.
Oh, AMEN. I would love a good one. Not too sweet, not too crumbly, not too thick - tender, moist and just a smidge of sweetness. I know everybody has their idea of perfect kolache texture, but to me, my grandma's were the best and I have yet to even come close.
So where do we want to start?
We can start with the really, really basic stuff (which I needed desperately when I started in), like how to test your yeast, proof your yeast, and basic kneading.
along with our favorite basic white bread dough and any tips for kneading, resting, smoothing, baking, etc. If this goes well, we can always do subsequent threads devoted to things like pizza crust, ciabattas, sweet doughs, dinner rolls, etc.
While Joan is rounding up her recipe, I'll dart in with my $0.02 worth on yeast. I buy it in 1-pound packages and keep it frozen. A tablespoon is approximately equivalent to a package of yeast. (I know there's a more precise measurement out there, but I use a tablespoon=package and rarely have any problems.
It's better for the water to be too cool than too hot. (My first bread-baking adventure got off on the wrong foot because the water was too hot.) If you've had to warm a baby's bottle, you know that "just-right" temperature? I shoot for the same - maybe a tad cooler.
If the recipe calls for sugar, I will take a teaspoon of the recipe's sugar and mix in with the yeast. It helps it proof (bubble up) faster. Some recipes will give instructions for getting a slower rise, but for basic sweet rolls and even my pizza crust, that seems to work fine.
If anyone has different ideas or approaches for that all-important yeast step, please share them!
I fall into category C--although from my breadmaker doing the mix and kneading cycle. I take it from there and do the rising/punch down and form loaf part.
I have a ridiculously small kitchen and just don't feel like I have the room to get into full scale bread making. Even as I write that I think it sounds kinda dumb:lol: My mom and grandma were great bread bakers and until I was about 16 we had fresh baked bread and yeast rolls every day. I was never interested in learning how and regret it now. That leads me to find small local bakeries and dropping what I think are big bucks on fresh bread.
My on sale $15 bread maker finally kicked the bucket so I either have to get a new one or get over my nervousness about making bread from scratch w/out the machine assist. All tips and advice are welcome.
I do like all the "new" yeasts, the rapid rise and such, but for my use I still prefer the old fashioned cake yeast. It's hard to find, and you have to watch the expiration date because it isn't a big seller and sometimes sits too long on the cooler shelf. I buy the large cake and freeze it, in smaller portions. It lasts a long time that way and when you thaw it, it's just like fresh and new. I think it proofs better too, you can see activity much sooner than with dry yeast.
And, oh yeah, I often use the breadmaker for the kneading and the first rise. Sometimes you still have to knead it a little after the machine has done it's work. When my kids were small, and we were mostly broke all the time, I used to make 6 or twelve loaves at a time, and sometimes sold some to neighbors.
dmac, do you have a heavy-duty stand mixer? I know it's heresy among some, but I use my professional 6-qt. KitchenAid to do the "heavy lifting" when it comes to kneading the dough. I have a few recipes I like to knead by hand because there's a particular texture I'm trying to achieve, but it's a time saver to have a bread machine or mixer do the hard work for you.
I know what you mean about kitchen space, but - like you - my grandmother made a lot of her bread and rolls from scratch and she had less counterspace than I have ever endured, except maybe in my very first little apartment.
I guess they just did what they had to do, and cleaned up the mess when they were done, eh?
meezers, I'm a neophyte here. I've never bought a yeast cake. I've seen the term, but I don't know that I've ever encountered the critters.
Terry--I haven't invested in one yet and I'm not quite sure why:lol: Guess I think those are for "serious" cooks and don't quite think of myself like that. Guess I am though--I do make cakes from scratch and would definitely make bread too. This may be my bonus check spend this year. Plus if I go the qvc route I can do it in payments. Great suggestion!
I've only used dry yeast packets or the fast rise jar for bread makers.
I do have a book called Electric Bread w/ a bunch of bread maker recipes and bought another book about bread making called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The gist of it is make premixed, high moisture dough (without kneading) and store in the fridge so you can take some each day and form a loaf and have fresh bread daily or as needed. I'll be happy to post any info from the book if anyone is interested or recipes/tips.
I think you'd find a stand mixer (don't go the Artisan line if you plan to use it to knead bread dough - refurbs are a nice way to get a professional one without the new price tag) is a good investment if you bake much.
In our last home, counterspace was at a premium, so the bread maker was a no-go. But I made room for my Kitchen Aid - which is a good thing considering it weighs a good 20 pounds or more and I wouldn't want to try to move it from cabinet to counter and back on a regular basis :-)
Edens_Gardener, are you sure about that 50+ year thing? I do happen to know your age, you know :-) Right at 50 years, I'd buy. More than that? Maybe, but you'd have to convince me.
If you have the time to haunt garage,rummage,estate sales, you can often find a breadmaker. Not so much stand mixers though. I got my breadmaker at a warehouse sale for $20. Had to drive through a blizzard to get it though. I was lucky the store was open!!!
I think I might be a "b". I use a bread machine but mix from scratch. Sometimes the bread turns out great, sometimes not. Still haven't got the hang of it. Must keep trying. The dogs love my mistakes. Will follow this thread with interrest although Santo and Ernie will be hitting the reset key when they can!
Wow - it looks like this is going to be a lot of fun! The heat is just beginning to break here, and I celebrated by making homemade pizza last night for the first time since last winter.
I'll wait for Joan to post her bread recipe and tips (I'm here to learn, too!) and anyone else who wants to join in.
But here's the challenge for those of you who are starting at ground zero. You can read and read and read...but eventually you're going to have to get your fingers good and gooey because it's the only way to learn. And please post your successes and ooopsies. Bread baking is most definitely a trial and error process and we're going to hang with you while you get the hang of mixing, kneading and baking.
And uhhh...pictures. I think it would be good if we all posted as many pictures as possible when we're describing a particular technique and/or we want to show off our results (good and bad!) So whip out those aprons, flour, yeast and have your camera handy!
Good ideas on the mixer and bread maker. Mine was a smallish Magic Chef. I lost the instruction manual way back and someone on eBay actually sent me a photo copy of theirs for free (still have it actually):lol:
me me me I'm here too. I've made a lot of bread in my 50+ years. I've made my own yeast a few times too. Anyone up to making their own yeast? I'll post instructions if anyone wants to give it a go. It's not difficult. And I've made rolls that I threw out the patio door into the garden for the birds - who passed on them also. LOL
Here it is. I've passed this on to many novice bread makers, and they seem to all have had good luck with it.
Martha's Bun Recipe
1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. margarine (stick, not tub) Melt in the hot milk
2 extra large eggs, very well beaten
2 pkg. yeast,, (2 level Tbsp.)
1/2 cup lukewarm water to soak the yeast in. Add a rounded tsp. of sugar over the yeast, it feeds it. Stir and let sit 5 minutes.
5 cups sifted bread flour (use no more than that)
2 cups milk, scalded
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks margarine - Melt in the hot milk
4 extra large eggs, very well beaten
4 Tbsp. yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm water to soak the yeast in. Add a rounded tsp. sugar over the yeast. Stir and let sit 5 minutes.
10 cups sifted bread flour (no more than that)
3 cups milk, scalded
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 sticks margarine - Melt in hot milk
6 tsp. salt
6 extra large eggs, very well beaten
4 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water to soak yeast in. Add a tsp sugar over the yeast. Stir and let sit 5 minutes.
14 cups sifted bread flour (use no more than that)
4 cups milk, scalded
3 sticks margarine
2 cups sugar
8 tsp. salt
8 extra large eggs, very well beaten
6 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup lukewarm water to soak the yeast in. Add a tsp. sugar over the yeast. Stir and let sit 5 minutes.
18 cups sifted bread flour (Use no more than that)
Scald the milk, add the margarine.
When the margarine has melted, add the sugar and salt.
Cool to lukewarm and then add the eggs, Mix.
Add the yeast that has been dissolved in the lukewarm water with the tsp, sugar.
After you have stirred in the yeast, let it set for 5 minutes.
Then add (3 cups flour - small recipe) (4 cups flour - med. recipe) (5 cups flour - large recipe) (6 cups flour - extra large recipe) and stir until there are no more lumps.
Let the stuff rise to the top of the kettle or saucepan, stir down.
Sprinkle a cup of the flour on the surface where you will do the kneading.
Remember never to use all the flour the recipe calls for.
For the small recipe, use 4 or 4 1/2 cups.
Knead the dough with the palms of your hands and work toward the center.
When kneaded enough the dough should be smooth - not floury - and have many little blisters. Also, the dough should spring back when you punch it lightly with your finger.
Grease the bowl lightly before putting it in to rise. Then turn it over and give it a few punches.
Ideal room temperature is 85 degrees (Joan's note: My house is never this hot and I think the dough just doesn't rise as quickly)
Cover with a dish towel
Let rise until dough doubles in size.
Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8 minutes or until lightly brown on top.
One of the secrets of making good yeast bread is to use as little flour as possible and still be able to handle the dough. The dough should be quite moist. Adding flour beyond this point will make the dough heavy and tough.
It's nice to have a good supply of buns in the freezer. When you want to use them, put some in a pie tin and warm them in a regular oven. This makes them very nearly like the freshly baked product. Warming them in the microwave makes them wet and icky.
after a few? mishaps I know do this: always: i use tap water letting it run u=over my wrist until it feels hot. add 1/2t sugar, whether the recipe calls for it or not, add the yeast. stirring to disolve the yeast and let sit for 5 min. if it bubbles the yeast is fine. If not NG. - If I want to be sure, sure, i add a little flour at this point and let sit another 5 min. Called proofing.
I'hv noticed that some flours do better than others in dif. climates. Up North always used 'king arthur" flour for bread and rolls. Heckers for cakes - I bake Viennese type things.
here in Fl. I can;t get Heckers so I use Pillsbury. Not the same but it works better than most. Also Wal-Mart Value works very nice here. Still use KA for Bread.
I've been picking up King Arthur flour at Walmart as it is cheaper than at the other supermarkets. It is a superior flour.
I do that with proofing too, add a sprinkle of sugar to feed it and let it sit. You can't rely on the expiration date on the top or sides of the dry yeast jars or packets. I take a black marker and write a date a month before the exp. date on top so I can be sure it's usable. Then I proof it to make sure.
I mark the date on most pantry products, ie.,, Bisquick, cake mixes, and other things that have barely legible expiration dates on them. I can't see them without my glasses and if I wear my glasses for cooking I soon can't see out of them either.
I keep yeast in my freezer and have used it for years after the exp date and had no problems. I do proof it first always too ...ever since I made a big batch of Oliebollen (dutch apple fritters) and it didn't rise. PANIC! This batch made abt 300 and the dough wld fill my 13 qt bowl after it had risen. I visited with a senior across the back yard who was a great baker and discussed it with her. We decided it wouldn't hurt to try adding more yeast. I dissolved the right amt of yeast in some warm water, proofed it, and stirred it in. Worked like a charm! I was concerned it wld taste doughy with that much yeast but it didn't. Maybe dead yeast doesn't taste yeasty? lol But since then, I always proof yeast.
I used to make herbed fococcia, whole wheat, and pizza dough from scratch prior to developing a yeast intolerance. Hand mixer and no bread machine. Miss those days. Faccocia was onion, thyme, and Rosemary. Pizza dough was grilled outside.
Favorite cookbooks are The Bread Bible and King Author Whole Grain Baking. Now I used them for the quick breads recipes.
Joan, on your recipe, do you use margarine, or can unsalted butter be substituted? (I have used margarine and shortening when a recipe specifically calls for it, but when possible, I tend to substitute butter.)
I don't do it regularly but it is fun to do it once in awhile. Because you use one cup of liquid, I adjusted recipes to decrease the liquids called for.
1 c. cooked mashed potatoes
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1 c. warm water (105-115 deg.)
Pour mixture into 1 qt. glass jar (Mason), cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place (80-85 deg.) for two days or until it ferments and bubbles up.
One cup of this mixture is equivalent to one package of active dry yeast or one cake of compressed yeast.
Every time you use a cupful, replenish the starter by stirring in 3/4 c. flour and 3/4 c. potato water, water, or milk.
Allow to ferment for a day or so and return, covered, to the refrigerator.
It is best to use the starter once a week.
If you do not, stir it down after three or four weeks, discard half of it, and replenish the balance wtih flour and one of the liquids.
That's like a sour dough starter, Laura, or what my DS calls a "herman". My DGS used to love the bread she made with this. My problem is finding a consistently warm location to get it fementing. Also known as Amish friendship bread starter.
Terry--my eyes lit up when I saw your first post about Runzas. I went to school out in Omaha--I don't think anyone outside of the area had ever heard of them.
I started making them a few years ago, using Cooking Light's recipe for bierocks. Their dough recipe is just perfect (we make the dough in our bread maker). It's just the right amount of soft, sweet and rich, and is so easy to make. We have adjusted the seasoning in the meat a bit, though. These are now one my my husband's favorite simple meals, and they freeze well!
[quote="mom2goldens"]Terry--my eyes lit up when I saw your first post about Runzas. I went to school out in Omaha--I don't think anyone outside of the area had ever heard of them.
I started making them a few years ago, using Cooking Light's recipe for bierocks. Their dough recipe is just perfect (we make the dough in our bread maker). It's just the right amount of soft, sweet and rich, and is so easy to make. We have adjusted the seasoning in the meat a bit, though. These are now one my my husband's favorite simple meals, and they freeze well![/quote]
Is it this one? http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/bierocks-10000000577171/
Not a clue...as soon as we get our newbies comfortable with the fundamentals of bread making (and through their first attempt), we can explore the more advanced subjects...I'm sure many people would like to know, too!
I'm in...just found this forum, where's has 'Cooking' been hiding all these years I've been on Dave's?
I'm especially interested in perfecting my pizza dough making, it's marginal at best right now. And thanks for the introduction to runza's (or bierocks). Saw the thread on the recipes forum but didn't look closely at it. We camp and picnic alot so those would be great.
Terry, maybe a date range instead of one particular day, with the long weekend coming up that could be a good time (or not) Sep 1st through the 4th or 5th maybe. And what would you like to start with?
Mary, that's a good idea...I'm thinking let's all shoot for at least one initial loaf in September. October 16 is world bread day, so maybe that would be a good "deadline" for everyone to check in with their initial results. (Obviously, second attempts are encouraged!)
And I'm thinking let's all start with a basic loaf of bread - I'm going to try Joan's recipe, but feel free to scout out another basic recipe to start with. Maybe we can move on to pizza crusts in October, and dinner rolls or sweet breads in time for the holidays?
I'll be getting my stuff together then:) I think I'm gonna have to go for some sort of wheat/honey type as that is my favorite. I have a pretty decent pizza dough recipe but I've always used the dough cycle on my breadmaker. Think I'll be spending my bonus check on a mixer:lol:
[quote="FlowrLady"]Terry, how did it turn out??[/quote]
It reminded me of my Parker House roll recipe - a very soft, light texture. I made half into a small loaf of bread, and the other half into rolls. Brushed the tops with milk as soon as they came out of the oven, which ensured the crust was soft, too.
The dough stays VERY wet, so shaping it was a challenge. But the family liked it :-)
Terry, sounds like you didn't add quite enough flour. It shouldn't be wet at the shaping point. When you lay it out to work in more flour, then yes, it is wet. But when you get done kneading it, it shouldn't be wet, but only slightly sticky and should bounce back when you poke your finger in it. That means you have enough air kneaded in, but you should be able to handle the dough without it being wet, but not overly floured up, which will make it tough, course and dense.
It's funny how weather and humidity have a bearing on baking. Seems like most flour measurements tend to be semi-inexact only because of the humidity where you live. I really respect people who bake for a living or who have consistant results no matter the weather:lol: My grandma baked fresh bread daily and it always came out perfect no matter if it was a cold rainy day or warm and sunny:lol:
Guess I better hit the grocery store next week and stock up on fresh yeast and stuff. I'm gonna try this recipe in the book I got (you make a big batch of wetish dough, fridge it and break of pieces (grapefruit sized) daily or as needed for free form loaves. Mix one big batch and bake as needed.
Quite similar to cinnamon rolls, but made in a braid. Yes, I LOVE that baking sheet also. I bought it at an auction sale many moons ago and one guy tried to offer me money for it after the sale and I wasn't taking it. I got it quite cheap b/c
he thought I was after something else in the box and he could get it after I paid for the box. ha ha, didn't work that time!
I have successfully made my first two loaves of bread...they taste wonderful and aren't too bad looking...I think I may be hooked on this bread making thing...I'm shopping around for a mixer that can handle the dough. The weather is FINALLY cooling off here in Texas so I don't mind having the oven on! I plan on trying another batch this weekend!
I swear by my Kitchen Aid. I have the 325 and wish I could have afforded the 350 but could not at the time. I would not go under 300 if you want to do bread dough a lot. Get the biggest you can afford, I say. :)
Our library has a wonderful selection of breadbaking books...Peter Reinhart, Bernard Clayton...the Bread Bible...and so many more. This is going to be fun and educational journey...My taste-tester nephew is even getting in on the fun...he baked his first loaf yesterday...in his words "This is AWESOME!!"
Thanks to all of you for your recipes, suggestions, hints and encouragement...you may have created a monster!!!!
I use the five minute bread recipe for most regular bread and pizza crust. I can't remember the last time I made yeast bread that wasn't whole wheat, I just add one teaspoon vital wheat gluten per cup of flour.
For sweet breads, I use a regular recipe and not the five minute recipe.
I love King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. If you have people who are funny about the texture, it's much smoother than regular whole wheat. I mix it with their regular whole wheat when I want the extra texture of whole wheat flour.
The only people here are DH and me and we're not too funny on the texture, like it a bit coarse actually. I do buy King Arthur and have seen the white ww. I'll do my next batch all ww, then try the white ww 50/50, see what we like. Is the vital wheat gluten hard to find?
Here is an good whole wheat recipe that stays soft, the lecithin is available from barryfarm.com but if you don't have it or wish to purchase it I would just substitute an extra tablespoon or two of oil or softened butter, or an egg yolk.
Celene, this may help to answer your question about the citric acid also.
Whole Wheat Bread
Serving Size: 2 4x8 loaves or 1 large round loaf
-= Ingredients =-
1 1/3 cup warm water
4 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons oil or softened butter
3 tablespoons honey
a ; sprinkle of ground ginger
a ; pinch of citric acid
2 2/3 teaspoons granulated lecithin
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten/gluten flour ; (75% protein)
4 cups whole wheat flour ; (I use Prairie Gold hard white wheat; any whole wheat bread flour)
2 2/3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
-= Instructions =-
Put the ingredients in bread machine in the order listed above, and run the dough cycle. When dough cycle is complete, gently deflate dough, shape into 2 loaves, and place in a greased loaf pan. Grease the top of the loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size. Bake in a pre-heated 350-375*F oven for 30 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil after 20-25 minutes if loaf is browning too quickly.) When bread is done, remove from pan, place on a cooling rack, and cover until cool. Seal in a bag or container after cooled
Good to know about the citric, I buy it in 50 lb. bags, so I won't need to get anything extra :)
I wonder how this recipe would do without the sweetener? I don't care for sweet regular bread, if it's like cinnamon raisin bread, that's different, but bread to make a sandwich with, not so much. I know that sugar has to contribute to keeping the bread soft, and to keeping it moist, since sugar is a humectant. I don't mind a firm textured bread, I may give that a go without the sugars and see what the lecithin and the citric do for it. I am making some leftover broccoli and cauliflower into cauliflower/broccoli/ale cheese soup, I think this loaf would be good to try with that! Thank you!
The enzymes in yeast convert some of the carbohydrates in flour to sugars, so I don't think sugar is required for bread. I suspect that you'll get a quicker burst of activity with sugar, though. Since I most often do the five minute, no-knead bread, the quicker activity doesn't matter. I find that the extra rising time contributes to flavor. So does autolysing, of which I'm a big proponent. I make bread while I'm doing other stuff, so another half an hour of resting time in the mixing bowl doesn't matter.
2 cups milk
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages dry yeast
½ cup warm water
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups flour
Cook milk and cornmeal until thick. Add butter, sugar, and salt. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 20 minutes; then add eggs and flour. Combine with cornmeal mixture and add enough additional flour (3 to 3 ½ cups) until a soft bun mix. Knead on floured board. Set covered in a warm place. Let rise until full size. Punch down and let rise again. Form into buns. Rise and bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.
I can get close to 3 dozen out of that batch, I don't make them huge. It also will make either 3 large loaves or 5 to 6 of the small loaves. Taste really scrumptious with butter (no margarine, please..LOL) and honey. Yum.
I neglected to mention that I got this recipe many years ago out of a farm publication called "Sperry-New Holland News". It was a little color ad magazine with stories about new New Holland farm equipment. Had 1 page of recipes sent in by farm women. This is sooo yummy.
Yummmmmy! I printed the recipe and thank you very much for posting it.
I usually keep a tub of honey butter in the fridge. Softened unsalted butter mixed w/honey to taste and then put in fridge. DH loves to have that handy. Can't wait to see what he thinks of these rolls!
And I need to find my recipe for what I call "seed bread". Might be a good one for the bake sale too. Won't take the garlic-parmesan ones to the bake sale...those need to be consumed as soon as possible after baking.
And if any of you have ever been the The Machine Shed restaurant, they have the most YUMMY, huge cinnamon rolls. They also have a cookbook that has that recipe in it. I bought it expressly for that recipe. Yum. Here are some frosted ones for the last bake sale, plated individually.
Anna, I think I'm about ready for you to adopt me. I figured out a long time ago that bread is my favorite food. Went to a new restaurant yesterday. They served strawberry butter with teh rolls and they were dee-lish!!