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cowfields

The Bread Thread.

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We have a baking thread, and a really really old sourdough thread, but since the baking one is mixed in with cakes I wondered if we could have a new thread to focus on yeasty bread exploits. I've really gotten into it ever since trying out sourdough. I got given a starter which I have fed* and nurtured, and even started new starters. I've got a wheat starter and a rye starter on the go.

 

I was given https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bread-Matters-Why-Make-Your/dp/0007298498 for Christmas and after initially thinking my parents had just gotten me another recipes book, it's actually been a really good read for the science of baking bread, and how different flours work. It's given me much more knowledge on how I might just adapt or vary loaves, and feel like it's becoming a lot more intuitive, but I'm far from an expert still.


So yeah, I'm really into it. I've just bought a cloche which is yet to arrive, best results have been in a dutch oven which is a bit awkward to lower a shaped loaf into, so I'm hoping the cloche (plate-and-dome thing) will work. It's also coming with some red malt and diastatic malt, the former should add colour and flavour, the latter potentially adds rise, which might be good for when I'm adding rye. IDK, I'm still experimenting - and I love that aspect of it. 

 

Sourdough is actually quite easy, and while a lot of time passes to get a good final loaf, it doesn't take much time on my part, it's just a bit of planning. So i've been making a couple of loaves almost weekly now.  I'm about to start trying different kinds of bread, rolls, stotties or whatever else, but now I feel like the overnight sponge is the way to go for most things now, the book has really hit hard the importance of time. 

 

Anyone else making regular bread?

 

image.thumb.png.80ae08f9c9d7e24fa3835887152dd777.png

 

 

* Apparently it's "Bad" to call it 'feeding' your sourdough, as it's not like some demanding pet that needs feeding unless it'll die, so apparently refreshing is a better way to think of it, I have to admit, I've felt the guilt of forgetting to feed it, but it's really not that high maintenance at all, it's apparently really difficult to kill a starter entirely, and even if you do, I've already had a go at making one from scratch - leaving flour and water out is about the simplest recipe you can do.

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55 minutes ago, Gaz said:

I've got nothing to add except that loaf looks fantastic.

 

It does look amazing - there is a Danish word (tandsmoer) which translates as teeth butter, its where you spread the butter so thickly on bread it leaves teeth marks when you take a bite.

 

That bread looks well suited to this admirable pursuit.

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Thanks both!

 

I had some fails, but the loaf above was something like the 3rd or so loaf that went really well, where I felt like things were getting consistent. I am really enjoying breadmaking because it is not some weird dark art where you use intuition and just 'know' or BS like that, when things have gone badly I've known exactly why, and all the parts are coming together to get consistent loafs.  I'm making dough tonight! Got a sponge fermenting away in the cupboard. 

 

One big thing was being confident to make such a wet dough, and resist the temptation to add flour as you go, and baking in a dutch oven so it steams at first. It's hard to work with, but this kneading technique is super fun, which I affectionally rename to slap and tickle:
 

 

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Have you tried panettone? 

I know it's supposedly a cake but there's  quite a lot of similarities in the process I think.

 

 

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I used to make bread fairly often, I made garlic baguettes where I 'd coat a bulb of garlic in olive oil, wrap it I foil and roast it I the oven before mixing it in the dough just after the final proofing and shaping. 

 

Chelsea buns or hot cross buns are a fairly easy dough if you want to try something cakey.

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9 hours ago, RaoulSilva said:

I used to make bread fairly often, I made garlic baguettes where I 'd coat a bulb of garlic in olive oil, wrap it I foil and roast it I the oven before mixing it in the dough just after the final proofing and shaping. 

 

Oh that's a good idea. Perhaps less greasy than normal garlic bread? I was thinking of doing rosemary bread so I may incorporate that technique too. 

 

 

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Listening to Bertinet talk about kneading dough is the single most erotic thing.

 

I have Dough and Crust, and ever since I've been trying to conquer my fear of working with wet dough. I always give in and add more flour. I've not tried the slap and fold method though, I'll have to give that a go tonight when I make pizza dough.

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11 hours ago, cowfields said:

 

Oh that's a good idea. Perhaps less greasy than normal garlic bread? I was thinking of doing rosemary bread so I may incorporate that technique too. 

 

 

Do you have a rosemary plant? I've got a huge one in my garden I can give you a cutting from.

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21 hours ago, Mrs Horribleman said:

I got a kitchen aid mixer.

 

Any recommendations for nice focaccia or other nice bread recipes for beginners?

This is for a basic sandwich loaf. 

 

250g Strong White Flour

250g Strong Wholemeal Flour

300-350ml water

1 sachet yeast

25g melted butter/olive oil

1 and a half teaspoons table salt

1 tablespoon sugar/honey/molasses

2 tablespoons milk powder

 

The butter/oil is optional but the loaf keeps better if it's included. You can go with all wholemeal flour if you want but in my experience the loaf is too heavy if you do. The half and half mix is just nicer. 

There is a lot of sugar in that recipe so if you want you can easily dial that back a bit but it will take slightly longer to rise.

 

Anywho, the method.

 

Put all the dry ingredients in the bowl then combine them using the dough hook. Add 300ml of the water and the butter/oil.

 

As long as the water isn't above 55°C then you won't kill the yeast but it doesn't need to be warm at all. Using warm water just makes it rise faster. Cold water works fine and is probably better as a longer rise gives a better flavour. 

 

Knead using the dough hook for 10-15 minutes adding the remaining water bit by bit if you think the dough looks dry. It won't be a wet dough just slightly sticky. Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size. 

Knock it back either by hand or using the dough hook on the mixer. Transfer it into a 2lb loaf tin dusted with flour/semolina/polenta (press the loaf well down into the tin) and let it rise again until doubled in size. The second rise won't take as long. 

 

Bake at 220°C for 25-30 minutes. I like to let it go for about 25 then take it out of the loaf tin and put it on something like a cooling rack before placing the loaf back in the oven for another 5 minutes baking to help get a better crust. 

 

Transfer the baked loaf to a cooling rack. Some people like to rub a little butter on the top of it to give it a better appearance. I'm lazy so I don't. 

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On 24/03/2018 at 13:06, Mrs Horribleman said:

I got a kitchen aid mixer.

 

Any recommendations for nice focaccia or other nice bread recipes for beginners?

 

http://www.breadmatters.com/sourdough-country-bread

 

If you feel like getting a sourdough started, here's another recipe.

 

I know you said beginners but the only 'difficulty' for sourdough is just planning. As Bear says, a longer rise is better, but so it follows that even more time given by making a 'sponge' will make bread even better. The idea is that you start a yeast culture going with some flour, and water, and leave it to ferment. I'll screw it up if I try and explain how this helps, but you're getting a more developed flavour, and probably something about gluten development too. 

 

Anyway check it out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sponge_and_dough

 

Like I said, all this adds is time, it's still pretty just mixing things up but it's worth giving it a go.

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Does this make sense to people here who bake their own bread? Or is it all a bit "this ONE wierd trick / sourdough nerds hate him" etc?

 

 

I bought a big dutch oven a while back and intended to get into baking sourdough, but put it off because it seemed like a faff (the autolyse, getting a banneton, etc). This process seems pretty hands off by comparison, aside from the initial mixing and kneading and then the baking. Obviously the physical form of what results is quite different though. The urgency has been heightened by my favourite local bakery, after telling me for months that they were getting their kitchen sorted and would be up and running again soon, confirming that they're only going to sell in bulk from now on. I'm a big fan of sourdough - tastier than normal bread and doesn't seem to give me as much of the same bloated feeling.

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Just make Sourdough. 

 

There's nothing wrong with the video...mostly anyway.

 

He's right - a long fridge ferment does seem to get just as many, but finer bubbles. I often see instagram bread posts (because I follow #sourdough  like a loser) that seem to show off huge air bubbles like some kind of sour badge of honour. But all I can think is how my marmite will just fall through those onto the plate. It also fits around my work / life because I can do one stage one evening, and then leave dough in Bannetons in the fridge until the next. And cold bread is easier to score with nice patterns. 

 

He's also right in that water and time will just naturally develop gluten. So I don't think kneading is the be all and end all - you can just do a bit to ensure everything is mixed. Stretching and folding can actually help a lot, which is difficult. I get my other half to do that when she's working from home.

 

Here's the part in the video I disagree with though:

 

It's not a twice daily thing to feed a sourdough starter. That's bullshit. Some people - and I was like this - feel like it's a another family pet. Except unlike a cat if you forget to feed the starter it will surely wither and die.

 

It's really hard to kill a starter, and I don't feed mine as such. I make bread maybe fortnightly. I leave the starter in the fridge. When it's time to make bread, the night before I make a sponge with some starter. This is left overnight or longer, and it reactivates the starter, gets it all working again. When I make the dough, some of that goes back in the starter jar so it's replenished. So that idea is silly. Starters are easy to maintain, and dry yeast goes stale, it's also hard to keep buying fresh yeast. 

 

I think Sourdough isn't hard, it's not _really_ a faff once you're used to it. It's just a few steps over time. But each step is short. My full cycle is something like this:

 

1. PM - Create sponge as above. like 2 mins. It's just mixing, no kneading.

2. AM - Make a dough in the morning. It's basically mixing flour water salt and starter. Give it about a 5 mins knead. This whole process takes about 20 mins*

[ if you are at home, stretch and fold periodically, or get your girlfriend to do it, but plenty of times I've not bothered ]

3. PM - Split and shape dough into two bannetons. This is about 5 mins.

4. Either - Put bannetons in the fridge. Bake when I have the time to Or Leave bannetons out for a faster ferment, maybe put in fridge, if I think I'm gonna bake same day.

 

Baking is about 30-40 mins per loaf. I slice and freeze one so that keeps us going for the two weeks. I try not to wolf down warm bread in one go. 

 

So the prep is about 30 mins of my actual 'doing' time, but this is spread over 48 hours. I don't see it as hard work. It's harder than buying bread obviously but fuck is the bread good. 

 

* So - you mentioned Autolyse. If you have time, after mixing dough but _before_ kneading you'll have an easier time if you let it sit for 30 mins. But, since I often do this before leaving for work, I don't always have the time. I might mix the dough, have a shower, and that gives it some more time. As with the stretch and folding, the best loaves are when I follow every step. But I don't always, and you're still going to end up with something that tastes amazing.

 

I mean look at this shit...DREAMCAST BREAD

 

image.thumb.png.f5c67a7364ea0ddd1ebd4cb2e87d972f.png

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In other news I made hotdog buns this weekend. 

 

I added a little sourdough starter for the lols, but because I needed the bread the same day, I also used dried yeast. I do that occasionally. Unlike the simple sourdough ingredients these guys had butter and milk in. 

 

They were great actually. Edges were crusty but not too crusty, just a little crunch but soft enough in the middle. We bought bratwurst from the excellent Sausage guy in Walthamstow Village. I didn't get a picture of those.

 

image.png.cc31dfe2b78705fb0dbc2dc7a2997d3d.png

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Oh also @Liamness you don't need a banneton either. 

 

They help, but I started by just shaping in a normal pyrex bowl. I've also done it in a loaf tin. There's something special about getting those floury banneton rings, but it's all just cosmetic. But if you have a dutch oven you've got one of the most important pieces of kit I think. 

 

I'm baking in one of these:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lodge-litre-Pre-Seasoned-Double-Handles/dp/B000LEXR0K/ref=asc_df_B000LEXR0K/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=231885836073&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=890829938271828953&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9046004&hvtargid=pla-343926127884&psc=1&th=1&psc=1?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=2

 

I love it because the 'lid' will sit flat so that you can easily put the dough on that and use the thing upside down. 

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13 hours ago, Liamness said:

Does this make sense to people here who bake their own bread? Or is it all a bit "this ONE wierd trick / sourdough nerds hate him" etc?

 

 

I bought a big dutch oven a while back and intended to get into baking sourdough, but put it off because it seemed like a faff (the autolyse, getting a banneton, etc). This process seems pretty hands off by comparison, aside from the initial mixing and kneading and then the baking. Obviously the physical form of what results is quite different though. The urgency has been heightened by my favourite local bakery, after telling me for months that they were getting their kitchen sorted and would be up and running again soon, confirming that they're only going to sell in bulk from now on. I'm a big fan of sourdough - tastier than normal bread and doesn't seem to give me as much of the same bloated feeling.


This sounds great, surely it would just be as easy to create a sourdough starter rather than starting this process with dry yeast and then do the same thing.

I am going to mix up a batch of dough and just throw it in the fridge though, that bread looks like it would be absolutely fantastic drenched in olive oil and za'tar

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Due to the wonderful condition of ulcerative colitis I’ve been advised to follow the fodmap diet for a while, until things calm down.  When I’m not reacting I can eat as I want, thank god, cause fodmap says no garlic & no onions and then even what’s the point… they’re the base for so much of what I make.

 

Anyway this is the bread thread and wheat based bread is out, and the gluten free stuff I’ve tried is awful.  I was going to make some Irish wheaten bread this weekend, but that’s basically self harm at this point.  So has anyone got good recipes for cornbread, oat bread, wheat free bread that isn’t awful.


Acceptable list:

Quote

Wheat free breads

Gluten free breads

Bread:

• Corn bread

• Oat bread

• Rice bread

• Spelt sourdough bread

• Potato flour bread

 

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It's not hard to make a rye sourdough. 

 

Rye bread is pretty much mix it and bake it. You need to let it rise but since there's no gluten you can't knead it. It's just a wet slop. 

 

It's dense and has a lot of flavour. And it still tastes good toasted with butter and marmite. 

 

I thought spelt had gluten? 

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