Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

OK...I'm going to try bread AGAIN...help!


NVNVGirl
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am the worst at baking .....especially BREAD. I even make bad bread in a bread machine, for God's sake :blush: ...unless I use a boxed mix. I can't tell you how many loaves of bread and biscuit recipes that I've ruined. And I don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong. I think sometimes it's b/c I use too warm of water for the yeast....I do test it, but I think my thermometer wasn't working the last time. What type of thermometer is the proper one to use for breads?

Anyway, I stumbled across a thread about Cook's Illustrated the other day here, and found that several people listed the American white Bread (I know...I don't eat white bread either, but my dh does)as being one of their favorites and super simple to make. I was stimulated and hopeful...but now I'm having second thoughts....

Does anyone have any tips for me on baking breads? I honestly don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong. I try to get the right yeast, and all fresh ingredients and everything turns out like a freakin BRICK. I spent hours on a biscuit recipe on Thanksgiving and they seriously could have been used for brick wall construction (this is sort of a Thanksgiving tradition now...my biscuits that I spend hours on and never make it to the table :sad: ). I REALLY want to be able to whip out homemade breads, but it seems such a waste of time, money and ingredients at this point. Along with having a hard time believing I can't do something competently, LOL.

So, I"m going to try this one last recipe and pray that I get a decent loaf of bread for a change. Any tips or suggestions are welcome. I'm going to try this again tomorrow morning after I visit this forum! TIA.....and I'll def. post how it turns out (one way or the other :wacko: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to have trouble with bread too, but i'm now at a decent stage - mostly knowing what it's going to turn out like, and it's always edible and quite enjoyable.

One big thing for me was when I started using a minimal kneading technique a la Dan Lepard... It's not that it produces a better result than a long kneaded loaf by necessity, but my results were always better. It was probably a combination of things that did it though, like the actual recipes etc.

So regardless of the recipe you follow, when you first mix it all up, leave it for a bit (maybe 10 mins) before you start kneading... dan's method is that you mix, leave for 10 min, knead for 10 seconds on an oiled bench, leave for 10 mins, and knead/leave twice more. But even if you will do a long knead, leave it first to "autolyse" which is about the gluten absorbing water, or something.

As for water temperature, my good trick here is to boil a kettle, then add 1/3 boiling water to 2/3 cold (tap temperature) water, and that's about the right lukewarm temperature to make the yeast happy.

My yeast is just active dry yeast (i can't get the instant kind easily) and if you want you can test the yeast is still alive by mixing a bit with some warm water and a little sugar and flour, wait for 10ish minutes and it should be foaming or a bit thick.... you should know if it is working.

But i don't bother proof (test) it because i keep mine in the fridge and go through it quickly enough that it seems to always be alive.

Good luck!!

P.S white bread is easier to make than wholemeal or grain bread because of the gluten, so it's good to start with even if you don't like it as much :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the kind of flour used makes a big difference when I'm making bread. Proper bread flour will help as it has more gluten. You need the gluten to make it softer I think. I've heard of some people adding gluten especially for this reason but I've never tried that. What about trying a bread that is potato based instead?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the kind of flour used makes a big difference when I'm making bread.  Proper bread flour will help as it has more gluten.  You need the gluten to make it softer I think.  ...

Not 'softer'. Yes flours are different. More gluten (higher protein flour) will make for more physical work kneading, etc, and should give a more 'risen' (taller, lighter) loaf.

Hints, tips?

Use a recipe that gives weights, not 'cups'. Its easier to follow more accurately. Really!

And rather than flouring your 'kneading' surface, wipe it and your hands with a couple of teaspoonfuls of cooking oil - extra virgin olive oil is nice. Beginners tend to mix in a lot of extra flour, resulting in a heavier, duller loaf.

"Warm" for yeast and dough means like a baby's bath. Blood heat. Test with your elbow. If you cannot feel it hot or cold, then its right. Too hot kills yeast.

Use instant-mix (easyblend) yeast - at the very least to start with. Its pre-measured and very forgiving. See if you can find one without 'improvers'.

I'd suggest you take just one trusted recipe, and practice it, with only minimal and intentional variation (like adjusting the salt to taste, or the length of bake for your particular oven) until you have conquered it, then progress to another type of bread...

And stuartlikesstrudel is quite right about starting with a 'white' loaf and following Dan Lepard's ideas of plenty of time and not much kneading.

Here's Dan's recipe for "the easiest loaf in the world" http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/200...nddrink.baking8

That said, I'd simplify even more, skipping the warming/sterilising of the bowl with boiling water, and the oven steaming, slashing and dusting until you know what you are doing!

BTW Google will do any unit conversions you need ... http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/help/featu...html#calculator

The rest of the text from the excellent Guardian baking guide is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2007.../24/bakingguide

Good sensible stuff.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I agree with what dougal said. I had similar problems when just starting out with bread baking. Dense, dry loaves, because I was always afraid that the dough was too wet and/or always ended up constantly flouring my board to keep the dough from sticking...which is bad.

To me, a scale is probably the most important thing. Instant yeast. Follow that same recipe over and over till it comes out right. Perhaps even start out with focaccia or another flat bread - they tend to be a bit easier than loaves.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am the worst at baking .....especially BREAD. I even make bad bread in a bread machine, for God's sake :blush: ...unless I use a boxed mix. I can't tell you how many loaves of bread and biscuit recipes that I've ruined. And I don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong. I think sometimes it's b/c I use too warm of water for the yeast....I do test it, but I think my thermometer wasn't working the last time. What type of thermometer is the proper one to use for breads?

Anyway, I stumbled across a thread about Cook's Illustrated the other day here, and found that several people listed the American white Bread (I know...I don't eat white bread either, but my dh does)as being one of their favorites and super simple to make. I was stimulated and hopeful...but now I'm having second thoughts....

Does anyone have any tips for me on baking breads? I honestly don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong. I try to get the right yeast, and all fresh ingredients and everything turns out like a freakin BRICK. I spent hours on a biscuit recipe on Thanksgiving and they seriously could have been used for brick wall construction (this is sort of a Thanksgiving tradition now...my biscuits that I spend hours on and never make it to the table :sad: ). I REALLY want to be able to whip out homemade breads, but it seems such a waste of time, money and ingredients at this point. Along with having a hard time believing I can't do something competently, LOL.

So, I"m going to try this one last recipe and pray that I get a decent loaf of bread for a change. Any tips or suggestions are welcome. I'm going to try this again tomorrow morning after I visit this forum!  TIA.....and I'll def. post how it turns out (one way or the other :wacko: )

That recipe is my 'go-to' for a loaf of very good, dependable bread. And 'white' is a bit deceiving. This is not Wonder Bread! It has good flavor and a great crumb. Just follow the directions exactly . I am absolutely not a baker, but have never had a failure with this bread. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to note general agreement with the info above, especially the advice about adding too much flour. It took me a couple of years of experimenting with bread baking (maybe more) to get to the stage where I trusted a wet dough and was able to handle a wet dough without the impulse to keep adding flour. As suggested by your own experience, you'll invariably end up with a brick instead of a loaf of bread.... And it's fatal for biscuits, together with handling the dough too much. If you want light biscuits, try following the recipe on a bag of White Lily flour, and handle the dough as little as possible.

A scale is really one of the most essential pieces of equipment for baking. If you don't have one, you can get a really cheap, very effective scale at Wal Mart, together with a couple of bench/dough scrapers, which will also help in handling the dough without adding too much flour.

While I understand the method behind oiling your hands, I don't find it necessary myself, and for me it's sort of a pain in the neck just because it's one more ingredient to mess with. Dough scrapers will function in the same way pretty much.

Water temp.... The more I listen to people talk about their bread-baking difficulties, the more I'm convinced "warm" probably translates to something around 95 plus degrees, were the temp of the water actually measured. Pick up an instant-read thermometer while you're getting the scale and the bench scrapers. None of these cost much, and they all help more than I can say. I prefer a water temperature of somewhere around 75 degrees (although it depends on how long I want my doughs to ferment), which of course is easier with instant yeast (or natural leavens, which is what I use). I realize now that in my first couple of years baking bread I was using water that was far too warm. Historically, recipes will note "blood warm" which works in the way Dougal notes: you should generally not feel either warm or cool when you run it over your wrist or what have you (although it'll probably feel cooler than you think it should). Again, an instant-read thermometer will help you getting a good feel for what that feels like.

Dan Lepard's a great place to start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And lest you think that you only need an instant read thermometer to test the temperature of the water, it's also a great tool to have to test the internal temperature of your bread to make sure it is fully baked.

Enriched breads (those with oils and/or sugar) should reach between 190-195 deg F. Lean breads (those without oils and/or sugar) should reach between 200-205 deg F.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway, I stumbled across a thread about Cook's Illustrated the other day here, and found that several people listed the American white Bread (I know...I don't eat white bread either, but my dh does)as being one of their favorites and super simple to make. I was stimulated and hopeful...but now I'm having second thoughts....

Does anyone have any tips for me on baking breads? I honestly don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong. I try to get the right yeast, and all fresh ingredients and everything turns out like a freakin BRICK. I spent hours on a biscuit recipe on Thanksgiving and they seriously could have been used for brick wall construction (this is sort of a Thanksgiving tradition now...my biscuits that I spend hours on and never make it to the table :sad: ). I REALLY want to be able to whip out homemade breads, but it seems such a waste of time, money and ingredients at this point. Along with having a hard time believing I can't do something competently, LOL.

NVNV, I was in the exact same boat as you! My mother and my grandmother both knead out beautiful, delicious bread and mine always ended up thrown angrily into the side of the sink with the garbage disposal. I made a New Year's resolution to try to make breads and pie crusts (ooo dont get me started on PIE CRUSTS :angry: ) and have come a long way with bread since the beginning of the year.

Do you have a standing mixer with a dough hook? That really took a lot of the fear away from making bread for me, I was always afraid to add too much flour while kneading or mess up the whole kneading process. I had so many failures with bread I was afraid of EVERYTHING.

I started out with the CI recipe too. The first time was a failure (didn't pinch it closed correctly), the second time was a little bit better but pretty dry, and the third time was great. I really agree with everyone who is saying just stick with one recipe until you get it right, especially with a CI recipe. You can do it, and don't get put off if it doesn't come out right the first time; just keep at that same recipe until you whip it, and whip it good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway, I stumbled across a thread about Cook's Illustrated the other day here, and found that several people listed the American white Bread (I know...I don't eat white bread either, but my dh does)as being one of their favorites and super simple to make. I was stimulated and hopeful...but now I'm having second thoughts....

Does anyone have any tips for me on baking breads? I honestly don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong. I try to get the right yeast, and all fresh ingredients and everything turns out like a freakin BRICK. I spent hours on a biscuit recipe on Thanksgiving and they seriously could have been used for brick wall construction (this is sort of a Thanksgiving tradition now...my biscuits that I spend hours on and never make it to the table :sad: ). I REALLY want to be able to whip out homemade breads, but it seems such a waste of time, money and ingredients at this point. Along with having a hard time believing I can't do something competently, LOL.

NVNV, I was in the exact same boat as you! My mother and my grandmother both knead out beautiful, delicious bread and mine always ended up thrown angrily into the side of the sink with the garbage disposal. I made a New Year's resolution to try to make breads and pie crusts (ooo dont get me started on PIE CRUSTS :angry: ) and have come a long way with bread since the beginning of the year.

Do you have a standing mixer with a dough hook? That really took a lot of the fear away from making bread for me, I was always afraid to add too much flour while kneading or mess up the whole kneading process. I had so many failures with bread I was afraid of EVERYTHING.

I started out with the CI recipe too. The first time was a failure (didn't pinch it closed correctly), the second time was a little bit better but pretty dry, and the third time was great. I really agree with everyone who is saying just stick with one recipe until you get it right, especially with a CI recipe. You can do it, and don't get put off if it doesn't come out right the first time; just keep at that same recipe until you whip it, and whip it good.

Oh my gosh, we could be cooking twins, LOL! My mom makes the flakiest, tastiest pie crusts and makes it look effortless....I mean, I seriously don't think she even measures anything, and the heck with "iced" water added by the Tbs. full.....she just dumps it all together. Somehow, it just doesn't work for me.

You all have given me hope! I am on my way now to get the bread started. Everything you've said is going around and around in my brain and the problems I've had seem to be the result of all the things you've identified....using too much flour, handling the dough too much and most of all, I think; is killing my yeast with too hot water. I will report back later, as I'm also making creme brulee, spritz cookies and dog biscuits, so it might be a bit :wacko: .

Again, thank you for all the links and the tips and advice; I am determined to produce a delicious loaf of bread (or at LEAST, edible!). Seana

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the kind of flour used makes a big difference when I'm making bread.  Proper bread flour will help as it has more gluten.  You need the gluten to make it softer I think.  ...

Not 'softer'. Yes flours are different. More gluten (higher protein flour) will make for more physical work kneading, etc, and should give a more 'risen' (taller, lighter) loaf.

Hints, tips?

Use a recipe that gives weights, not 'cups'. Its easier to follow more accurately. Really!

And rather than flouring your 'kneading' surface, wipe it and your hands with a couple of teaspoonfuls of cooking oil - extra virgin olive oil is nice. Beginners tend to mix in a lot of extra flour, resulting in a heavier, duller loaf.

"Warm" for yeast and dough means like a baby's bath. Blood heat. Test with your elbow. If you cannot feel it hot or cold, then its right. Too hot kills yeast.

Use instant-mix (easyblend) yeast - at the very least to start with. Its pre-measured and very forgiving. See if you can find one without 'improvers'.

I'd suggest you take just one trusted recipe, and practice it, with only minimal and intentional variation (like adjusting the salt to taste, or the length of bake for your particular oven) until you have conquered it, then progress to another type of bread...

And stuartlikesstrudel is quite right about starting with a 'white' loaf and following Dan Lepard's ideas of plenty of time and not much kneading.

Here's Dan's recipe for "the easiest loaf in the world" http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/200...nddrink.baking8

That said, I'd simplify even more, skipping the warming/sterilising of the bowl with boiling water, and the oven steaming, slashing and dusting until you know what you are doing!

BTW Google will do any unit conversions you need ... http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/help/featu...html#calculator

The rest of the text from the excellent Guardian baking guide is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2007.../24/bakingguide

Good sensible stuff.

yes i meant a softer. lighter bread at the end

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes i meant a softer. lighter bread at the end

I think the "softer, lighter" quality comes as much from technique as anything. You might get a higher loaf, more rise, with bread flour, but there are always caveats attached to a claim like that. It depends on what sort of loaf you're making, how you handle the dough, the water content, the process, the technique,... a whole boatload of qualifications. I've known plenty of bakers who use bread flour who don't get a soft, light product.

At the same time, some of the best Italian bread I enjoyed in Italy was the lightest and most delicate sort of crumb I've seen in a loaf of bread, made from about the most degraded flour on the planet, not bread flour at all.

Edited by devlin (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a bread maker - I was merely giving my own experience as a suggestion. When I, personally, changed flour it improved the bread dramatically. That's it. As only one other person responded at that time and it hadn't been mentioned I thought I'd throw it out there. I'm sure there are a billion other reasons and techniques.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there is very little that brings people who cook together more strongly than learning how to bake something as deceptively simple as bread. I cannot tell you how many awful loaves I've baked, it is a lot. However, once I wrapped my head around the fundamental variables of flour, water, salt, yeast, and temperature, thinking about baking has become almost intrinsic. Not saying I'm even a good baker (or have the knowledge of someone like dougal (Hi!!)), but the journey from definitely being a bad baker to one who can bake a darn tastey baguette has been exceptionally rewarding. Don't get down on yourself, the journey is fascinating.

With that being said, I do know some simple things that I did wrong time and time again:

* Don't be afraid of salt. Use good quality kosher salt, and if the unbaked dough tastes slightly too salty the baked loaf will probably be perfect. If the dough doesn't taste salty, the loaf will taste flat (at least to my palate)

* Don't be afraid of your oven being too hot. It's much more common to cook a loaf too cool than too hot, and some of the best loaves I've ever made had me screaming "frak! i've burned it!!!" before I tasted it

* Don't be in a rush. While there are guidelines for how long things *should* take, they are just guidelines. Again, in my opinion, rising/proofing too long tastes better than too short, and baking too long tastes better than not long enough

* Taste, taste taste. Taste your dough. Remember or write down what it tastes like. Taste the loaf after it was baked. Remember or write down what it tastes like. I can't tell you how many times I've been able to correct a loaf before it's gone in just from tasting the dough. Sourdough tastes sourer before it's baked. Most lean doughs taste saltier before they're baked. No knead bread and all the variants taste sweeter before they are baked.

* Finally, be conscious of the truly amazing bit of alchemy you are performing. Bread is a wonder, and it amazes me how simple and complex it is. Keep baking, it's its own reward :laugh:

Please delete my account from eGullet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been making a lot of bread this last year, and recently took a breadbaking course at ICE in New York for a week.

Fermenting and proofing, the two stages of bread. Both are done when you poke a finger in the dough and it stays indented. So even if a recipe says let rise an hour or until doubled in size, use this as your guideline.

I haven't made the CI version bread so I'm not sure what the ingredients are, but the basic dough of flour, water, yeast and salt will almost always benefit by the use of a baking stone and steam in the oven. Otherwise, it tends to have a dense chewy crumb. Start adding olive oil, honey etc, and the crumb starts to soften considerably. When you add the steam, you'll get something called oven spring and the crumb will start to open up.

I never knead by hand, always by KA mixer, using the paddle attachment to bring everything together, then the dough hook for about 8 - 10 minutes depending on the dough.

Think about creating some surface tension when you shape the dough.

The one thing I found above all else. I used to hate the idea of making bread. I've come to love it, and find it one of the most relaxing things to do now. It just takes practice. Good luck! :smile:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright everyone....WE did it!!! I'm going to try to post a photo (it's not very good regardless, b/c my digital isn't working and I had to use my phone camera, but you can kind of get an idea...IF I can figure out how to post a photo :biggrin: .

I want to say and I am very sincere when I say this....THANK you to EVERYONE for their input. I have NEVER had any bread turn out even close to this, and even though, while I was mixing it (I used a KitchenAid with the doughhook only) and it looked BEAUTIFUL (in my eyes), I still had several instances of "oh nooooo....this isn't going to turn out AGAIN". But it DID. And it's really Delicious! It might not be the most PERFECT looking loaf, but if you knew what the poor thing went thru, you'd be sympathetic, LOL.

The CI recipe included some warm milk, warm water, honey and melted butter. I made sure that nothing was TOO warm ( I do have 2 instant read thermometers, but I just never trust them completely to be accurate...today, when I removed them from the kitchen drawer, and they were both reading the same temp, I figured it was time to trust them :huh: .

So I mixed everything EXACTLY as it said to.....and mixed with the dough hook for 10 min.....it was just as it described, so I was happy. I took it out and turned it onto the piece of granite that hopefully you'll be able to see in my photo....I did NOT use any more flour for anything even though, when I took it out of the mixing bowl, it was still a little wet, or slightly sticky. But once I put it on the granite that I'd put down a TINY bit of oil and oiled my hands, it turned into the most beautifully malleable and silken piece of dough.

Then it was into an oiled bowl and into the oven which had been set at 200 deg and then turned off after 10 min. It was supposed to double in I think 40-50 min. I honestly considered turning off the oven (it's way over 100 deg here outside) and just letting it sit outside, but then I heard the mantra...."follow the directions EXACTLY".....so I restrained myself. It said to put it in a LARGE bowl (which to me, is probably a subject for a different thread.....what's LARGE? I put it into a Chantal souffle dish and even in that it was kind of difficult to tell whether it was actually doubled or not (I know.....it's probably a LAME point, but when you're trying to get it right for a change....). Anyway, it said 40-50 min, so I took it out at 50 min.

Then it said to press it out to an 8" square, 1" thick...which I did; and roll it into a cylinder, pinch the bottom (which sounded sort of kinky, but , OK....who doesn't like pinching bottoms :laugh: .....then I was to put it into a previously greased loaf pan.....well, I was also in the midst of making (or in the prep stages of) a banana bread also, so I had 2 bread pans out...one greased, one not. At the same time, my dh came home and as per usual, got me distracted from what I was doing...so I accidentally put the bread (and I might mention here, that while I was moving the dish over from one counter behind me to the counter I was working on, the "cylinder" seems to have elongated almost exponentially :unsure: ....I was not sure what to do since it sounded like it was an 8" thing going into a 9" pan....only it was more like a 12" thing going into a 9" pan...whatever.......got it into there, put it into the window with plastic wrap over it to rise again.....about 3 min later, I realized I'd used the pan that wasn't greased, so I extricated it from the pan it was in and got it into the one that was greased.

At this point, I was really leery of how it would turn out as far as texture since it had been handled way more than I'd wanted to, but I figured I needed to finish it off to see the results and I could always try again.

I used a pan of water underneath the rack I put the bread on to bake (I've never done that before and I don't think I've read to do that before) and I followed the advice here .....take the internal temperature to determine when it's done.....I was getting a little worried b/c the top of the bread seemed to be getting kind of dark (remember, I'm not really familiar with white bread esp. doing it myself), but I took the internal temp and it was only 180, so I put the timer back on for another 5 min....I think it was about 190 when I took it out, but I remembered something about tapping on it and it should sound hollow, which it did....I just didn't want to burn it!

I think it looks actually pretty darned good (for ME making it) and the texture is WONDERFUL, not like that white bread my dh gets at the grocery store at all! And it tastes delicious and doesn't feel at all like a doorstop! And it's not the least bit dry. My dh says he could eat the whole loaf :smile: (and he's not the kind of guy who is just trying to be nice, believe me).

I can't tell you all how much you inspire me....this is something I've really wanted to do for a long time and keep putting it off b/c I've had such bad results. It's so frustrating when you know you can cook almost anything else, but something that everyone else makes sound so simple, is beyond your capabilities! It means a lot to be able to provide something special and better quality than the run of the mill to my friends and family and just enriches our lives on one more level.

I hope I'm not going overboard here, but to me, anyone can follow a regular food recipe and make it turn out....to be able to bake well is not in the same universe. And I realize some people have strengths where other people don't, but gosh darn it....I just KNOW I can bake bread, LOL!

So, my new plan is to do this same recipe til I have it PERFECT....(next time I'll only be baking bread and not the cookies, the creme brulee, the dog biscuits etc) and then I'll have to come back for more help....my dogs are getting rye biscuits and all sorts of yummy sounding things (which they seem to love, but I wouldn't say they're the most discriminating dogs as far as FOOD goes)...my quest is to achieve wonderful whole wheat and grain breads and sourdoughs :biggrin: . I think I need a little lesson on "kneading". This one really required hardly ANY....something that takes 10 min of kneading is a little daunting at this point.

If anyone has any suggestions on my present loaf....I think it turned out pretty well(but I'm not thin skinned about constructive criticism, honestly, so don't even worry about that) ...even tho the top looks kind of darker, it's not burned or anything and doesn't crumble when I cut it....the bread isn't dry at all and it's not at all wet either....I just felt like maybe the top got too browned? I'm just talking esthetics here right now.....

I'm just so thrilled right now that it turned out edible I can't even tell you, LOL!

Oh gosh darn it...I don't see the usual thing to use for posting photos....damn....I knew there would be a fly SOMEWHERE in the ointment, haha......

Edited by NVNVGirl (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there is very little that brings people who cook together more strongly than learning how to bake something as deceptively simple as bread.  I cannot tell you how many awful loaves I've baked, it is a lot.  However, once I wrapped my head around the fundamental variables of flour, water, salt, yeast, and temperature, thinking about baking has become almost intrinsic.  Not saying I'm even a good baker (or have the knowledge of someone like dougal (Hi!!)), but the journey from definitely being a bad baker to one who can bake a darn tastey baguette has been exceptionally rewarding.  Don't get down on yourself, the journey is fascinating.

I totally agree with that statement..when something turns out well, it's so rewarding!  For some reason, when it's something baked I feel like I've accompished a world-class feat for some reason!

With that being said, I do know some simple things that I did wrong time and time again:

  * Don't be afraid of salt.  Use good quality kosher salt, and if the unbaked dough tastes slightly too salty the baked loaf will probably be perfect.  If the dough doesn't taste salty, the loaf will taste flat (at least to my palate)

You must be reading my mind...I'm almost paranoid about salt!! I'm not used to using in other than in really minute amounts (not for health reasons or anything else; I just am extremely sensitive to the salt in anything...I like it used judiciously, so I'm so afraid of using what a recipe calls for b/c in a lot of other recipes (NOT bread or baking per se) some very revered chefs call for more salt than I can tolerate.....but I DID use exactly the amount called for  here and it turned out PERFECTLY! But this is a tip I will keep close to my heart! Although, I have to be honest and say I never considered tasting the dough.....will it taste like it would at the end of the cooking process? Or can you just get an idea of how salty it is? And if you haven't added enough salt, can you rectify that and at what point?

  * Don't be afraid of your oven being too hot.  It's much more common to cook a loaf too cool than too hot, and some of the best loaves I've ever made had me screaming "frak! i've burned it!!!" before I tasted it

It's funny how things look darker in the oven than when you get them out, LOL. I kept thinking the top was way too done, but it wasn't really and my entire loaf was perfectly done...even though, while I was looking at it, I kept thinking "Oh God....it's getting too dark and it's going to be like cement on the top at least"....

  * Don't be in a rush.  While there are guidelines for how long things *should* take, they are just guidelines.  Again, in my opinion, rising/proofing too long tastes better than too short, and baking too long tastes better than not long enough

I am learning this....it's so worth the time I think. And I am seeing that times are just guidelines.....I'm sure that within 10-20 min on either side wouldn't be unheard of. We live in such a warm dry climate that I was worried that my yeast (which I had been keeping in a cabinet in the kitchen but will now keep in the fridge) might have been killed b/c of the heat. Not that it's SO hot in the house, but geeze....when you're a newbie to this, you start wondering about everything! .

  * Taste, taste taste.  Taste your dough.  Remember or write down what it tastes like.  Taste the loaf after it was baked.  Remember or write down what it tastes like.  I can't tell you how many times I've been able to correct a loaf before it's gone in just from tasting the dough.  Sourdough tastes sourer before it's baked.  Most lean doughs taste saltier before they're baked.  No knead bread and all the variants taste sweeter before they are baked.

EXCELLENT idea to keep a journal or notebook of some sort. I NEED to do that and I'm going to do it! This is my quest in 2008.....I have several months left to practice and make wonderful breads! And sourdough is my real goal.....I just want to work up to it gradually.

  * Finally, be conscious of the truly amazing bit of alchemy you are performing.  Bread is a wonder, and it amazes me how simple and complex it is.  Keep baking, it's its own reward  :laugh:

Ha! You laugh! You probably can imagine how smug I feel after pulling off such a coup as baking an edible loaf of simple bread, LOL!

Thank you for all your advice and the time you spent explaining it to me....I am using this as a reference! And I hope I haven't exhausted your teaching resources, LOL, b/c I've only just begun :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes i meant a softer. lighter bread at the end

I think the "softer, lighter" quality comes as much from technique as anything. You might get a higher loaf, more rise, with bread flour, but there are always caveats attached to a claim like that. It depends on what sort of loaf you're making, how you handle the dough, the water content, the process, the technique,... a whole boatload of qualifications. I've known plenty of bakers who use bread flour who don't get a soft, light product.

At the same time, some of the best Italian bread I enjoyed in Italy was the lightest and most delicate sort of crumb I've seen in a loaf of bread, made from about the most degraded flour on the planet, not bread flour at all.

Devlin~ I can almost see that....I used just all purpose flour (b/c I had a big plan today for cooking and I've got almost EVERY other type of flour here other than BREAD flour and just didn't feel like going and getting yet one more flour :wacko: . And my recipe called for AP flour, so I went with it. It turned out very well I think. I think with each success, I will be more confident in technique and come to understand the ramifications in amounts of liquid, etc....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a bread maker - I was merely giving my own experience as a suggestion.  When I, personally, changed flour it improved the bread dramatically.  That's it.   As only one other person responded at that time and it hadn't been mentioned I thought I'd throw it out there.  I'm sure there are a billion other reasons and techniques.

Kermie~ I'm curious..what did you change your flour FROM, TO? I'm open to any and all suggestions from people who've had success and are happy with the bread they've made.

I think I will make this recipe a couple more times just as I did this time to see if I can improve on it at all, and then maybe use the same recipe using a bread flour, maybe a King Arthur's? Just to see the difference.

My only problem is...who's going to eat all this bread, LOL? I'm home alone all week and eat hardly any myself. Hmm...maybe it's a way to get acquainted with the neighbors!

Edited by NVNVGirl (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been making a lot of bread this last year, and recently took a breadbaking course at ICE in New York for a week.

Fermenting and proofing, the two stages of bread.  Both are done when you poke a finger in the dough and it stays indented.  So even if a recipe says let rise an hour or until doubled in size, use this as your guideline.

I haven't made the CI version bread so I'm not sure what the ingredients are, but the basic dough of flour, water, yeast and salt will almost always benefit by the use of a baking stone and steam in the oven.  Otherwise, it tends to have a dense chewy crumb.  Start adding olive oil, honey etc, and the crumb starts to soften considerably.  When you add the steam, you'll get something called oven spring and the crumb will start to open up. 

I never knead by hand, always by KA mixer, using the paddle attachment to bring everything together, then the dough hook for about 8 - 10 minutes depending on the dough. 

Think about creating some surface tension when you shape the dough.   

The one thing I found above all else.  I used to hate the idea of making bread.  I've come to love it, and find it one of the most relaxing things to do now.  It just takes practice.  Good luck! :smile:

Marlene~ it's so good to see you again! I've been away from here for awhile and have missed so many of you!

I do have a baking stone, but it's too large for the oven we have at the moment....I mean, too large to be able to completely close the oven door with it in.....is there any way to be able to use it and modify the temp? Probably not, since I'm sure you need to be able to keep a stable temp during the baking process. Maybe I can find a smaller one to use?

I've heard from other people that they found bread baking to be very relaxing and I thought "WHAT :shock: ???? Are they masochists or WHAT???"......I'm starting to see that if you know that it's going to be ok and turn out, it could be a VERY enjoyable experience. I know that I'm totally gaga over the end result and so now I'm ready to focus on just baking a loaf of bread and just really enjoying the experience. If only bread had the same calories as celery :wacko: .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ claps excitedly! ]

I'm not laughing at all, I just know how satisfying it is and it is fantastic you got a great loaf. Most of what I know bout bread is either from this forum, Dan Lepard's website (friggan fantastic), or the BBA.

But, most importantly.....

...post pics!!! :laugh:

p.s., my 'journal' is actually the BBA. considering the amount of dog ears, cruft, and other un-savories staining the pages, i don't think a bit of scribbling will do it any harm.

Please delete my account from eGullet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And lest you think that you only need an instant read thermometer to test the temperature of the water, it's also a great tool to have to test the internal temperature of your bread to make sure it is fully baked.

Enriched breads (those with oils and/or sugar) should reach between 190-195 deg F. Lean breads (those without oils and/or sugar) should reach between 200-205 deg F.

Tino~ thank you; who woulda known? Not that I read bread baking books, but still....you'd think that when you find a recipe for bread they'd include that little tidbit!

I am writing this down in my journal so I don't forget it. I was worried about my instant read thermometers not being accurate, but when I took them out, they seemed to be right on as far as the room temp, and they were identical, so I figured I needed to trust them. I sort of winged it on the milk and water temp (b/c someone told me that bread would rise even if the temp was too cool; it would just take longer; but too warm would kill the yeast......so I wanted to make sure it just wasn't too warm!

But waiting til the internal temp reached 190 deg, I think really was key to my sucess this time, b/c the top was looking a little too brown for me and I almost took it out at around 180.....I'm so glad I didn't . And I've NEVER taken the internal temp of bread before in my life! Amazing how things work when you know what you're doing! Thank you so very much! Seana

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the kind of flour used makes a big difference when I'm making bread.  Proper bread flour will help as it has more gluten.  You need the gluten to make it softer I think.  ...

Not 'softer'. Yes flours are different. More gluten (higher protein flour) will make for more physical work kneading, etc, and should give a more 'risen' (taller, lighter) loaf.

Hints, tips?

Use a recipe that gives weights, not 'cups'. Its easier to follow more accurately. Really!

And rather than flouring your 'kneading' surface, wipe it and your hands with a couple of teaspoonfuls of cooking oil - extra virgin olive oil is nice. Beginners tend to mix in a lot of extra flour, resulting in a heavier, duller loaf.

"Warm" for yeast and dough means like a baby's bath. Blood heat. Test with your elbow. If you cannot feel it hot or cold, then its right. Too hot kills yeast.

Use instant-mix (easyblend) yeast - at the very least to start with. Its pre-measured and very forgiving. See if you can find one without 'improvers'.

I'd suggest you take just one trusted recipe, and practice it, with only minimal and intentional variation (like adjusting the salt to taste, or the length of bake for your particular oven) until you have conquered it, then progress to another type of bread...

And stuartlikesstrudel is quite right about starting with a 'white' loaf and following Dan Lepard's ideas of plenty of time and not much kneading.

Here's Dan's recipe for "the easiest loaf in the world" http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/200...nddrink.baking8

That said, I'd simplify even more, skipping the warming/sterilising of the bowl with boiling water, and the oven steaming, slashing and dusting until you know what you are doing!

BTW Google will do any unit conversions you need ... http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/help/featu...html#calculator

The rest of the text from the excellent Guardian baking guide is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2007.../24/bakingguide

Good sensible stuff.

You are a wealth of knowledge! I esp. want to thank you for the tip of oiling my hands and the working surface instead of flouring it...I have always HATED flouring it b/c it never seems to make anything easier or better; just messier! The oiling was FABULOUS!!!! I just used a tiny bit on the granite and my hands and at first (b/c the other GEM you told me was to not worry about the wetness per se), I was afraid the dough was just going to stick to it, but lo and behold.....it acted like the best behaved glob of dough I can even imagine! It just shaped up beautifully in a second! And the dough was not SO wet...it was just slightly stickier than I expected, but it spun up so beautifully in the mixer and it wasn't sticking to the sides of the bowl, so I figured it was ok.....and the stickiness went away once I started kneading it...amazing!

It was still slightly "langorous" when I picked it up to put it into the bread pan....sort of spilling over my hands whenever I moved it, but it didn't stick to anything. I was a little confused then, b/c the loaf had somehow elongated itself before I got it into the pan, but I stuffed it in there and shaped it a little before covering it to rise again.

The loaf I made was super simple, but I am going to check out your links here and put them in my next "to do" and compare them....this is going to be a very fun and interesting journey I think!

I really appreciate your time and valuable input! Seana

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to have trouble with bread too, but i'm now at a decent stage - mostly knowing what it's going to turn out like, and it's always edible and quite enjoyable.

One big thing for me was when I started using a minimal kneading technique a la Dan Lepard... It's not that it produces a better result than a long kneaded loaf by necessity, but my results were always better. It was probably a combination of things that did it though, like the actual recipes etc.

So regardless of the recipe you follow, when you first mix it all up, leave it for a bit (maybe 10 mins) before you start kneading... dan's method is that you mix, leave for 10 min, knead for 10 seconds on an oiled bench, leave for 10 mins, and knead/leave twice more. But even if you will do a long knead, leave it first to "autolyse" which is about the gluten absorbing water, or something.

As for water temperature, my good trick here is to boil a kettle, then add 1/3 boiling water to 2/3 cold (tap temperature) water, and that's about the right lukewarm temperature to make the yeast happy.

My yeast is just active dry yeast (i can't get the instant kind easily) and if you want you can test the yeast is still alive by mixing a bit with some warm water and a little sugar and flour, wait for 10ish minutes and it should be foaming or a bit thick.... you should know if it is working.

But i don't bother proof (test) it because i keep mine in the fridge and go through it quickly enough that it seems to always be alive.

Good luck!!

P.S white bread is easier to make than wholemeal or grain bread because of the gluten, so it's good to start with even if you don't like it as much :)

Stuart~ thank you for all these tips! I didn't do the rest/knead/rest/knead this time, but with something more involved I will keep it in mind. I keep hearing that "handle it the least amount of time that you can or it will be tough" mantra in my head and I get scared to practically touch it once it's mixed!

And thank you for reminding me to keep my yeast in the fridge...I havent' been using it very often, so I forget and then also, it's very warm here in the summer and even though I keep the house at around 78 deg, who knows how warm it really is in the cabinets? My yeast is now in the fridge, so thank you! I felt fortunate that mine actually was still ok today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By jimb0
      i had a whole post typed up, but alas, it's been lost.
       
      i searched the forums but didn't find a thread dedicated to fried breads, thus.
       
      yesterday, i fried up some toutons to go with a beet soup. toutons are the popular newfoundland version of fried bread, historically made with bits of dough left overnight and fried in the morning with salt pork fat. like in the south, they were/are often served with molasses, butter, and/or beans. on the rock you'll find any number of restaurants serving them, some of which have a whole touton menu with various toppings or spreads. a lot of restaurants deep fry them instead of pan fry them out of ease of cookery, which has become a point of contention among many newfoundlanders.
       
      i had a bowl of leftover dough in the fridge from making khachapuris a couple of days ago, so i portioned out a couple of balls, patted them flat, let them proof for twenty minutes or so, and then pan-fried them in a mix of rice bran oil and butter. 
       
      fried breads have a long history all over, often but not always as a sustenance food for cold weather climes. the navajo are known for their version of frybread from the 1800s, but it's commonly believed that first nations groups of north america also had their own forms of bannock made with local ingredients before it was re-imported from scotland.
       
      anyway i'd like to investigate fried breads more; post your own favourites and experiments here.
    • By Kasia
      A SANDWICH TO GO
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a snack which you can grab and eat "on the go". I know that it is unhealthy. We should celebrate eating and eat calmly and with deliberation. However, sometimes the day is too short for everything on our schedule and we still have to eat. Admittedly, we can sin and go for some fast food, but it is healthier and tastier to prepare something quickly in our own kitchen.

      Today, Camembert cheese and cranberries in a fresh, crunchy roll take the lead role. It sounds easy and yummy, doesn't it? Try it and get on with your day . Today I used a homemade cranberry preserve which was left over from dessert, but if you like you can buy your own.

      Ingredients:
      2 fresh rolls (your favourite ones)
      150g of camembert cheese
      1 handful of lettuce
      2 teaspoons of butter
      2 teaspoons of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
      preserve
      100g of fresh cranberries
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      100ml of apple juice

      Wash the cranberries. Put the cranberries, sugar and apple juice into a pan with a heavy bottom and boil with the lid on for 10-12 minutes, stirring from time to time. Try it and if necessary add some sugar. Leave to cool down. Cut the rolls in half and spread with the butter. Put some lettuce on one half of the roll. Slice the camembert cheese and arrange it on the lettuce. Put a fair portion of the cranberry preserve on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with the roast pine nuts or sunflower seeds and cover with the second half of the roll.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you a recipe for a slightly different sandwich. Instead of traditional vegetables, I recommend strawberry salsa, and rather than a slice of ham – a golden grilled slice of Halloumi cheese. Only one thing is missing – a fresh and fragrant bread roll.

      Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese made with sheep's milk or a mixture of sheep's, goat's and cow's milk. It is semihard and so flexible that it is excellent for frying and barbecuing, and it is great fresh too.

      Ingredients (for two people)
      2 fresh rolls of your choice
      2 big lettuce leaves
      4 slices of Halloumi cheese
      2 teaspoons of butter
      salsa:
      8 strawberries
      half a chili pepper
      2 tablespoons of minced peppermint leaves
      ¼ a red onion
      2 tablespoons of chopped almond without the skin
      1 teaspoon of honey
      2 tablespoons of lemon juice
      2 tablespoons of balsamic sauce

      Start by preparing the salsa. Wash the strawberries, remove the shanks and cube them. Dice the onion and chili pepper. Mix the strawberries with the onion, chili pepper, peppermint and almonds. Spice it up with honey and lemon juice. Leave in the fridge for half an hour. Grill the slices of Halloumi cheese until they are golden. Cut the fresh rolls in half and spread them with butter. Put a lettuce leaf on each half of roll, then a slice of the Halloumi cheese, one tablespoon of salsa, another slice of cheese and two tablespoons of salsa. Spice it up with balsamic sauce. Cover with the other half of the roll. Prepare the second sandwich in the same way. Serve at once while the cheese is still hot.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       


    • By nonkeyman
      How to Make Rye Sourdough Bread
      I don't know what it is about bread, but it is my favorite thing to make and eat. A freshly baked loaf of bread solves a world of problems. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the main bakers when I worked at the Herbfarm. We baked Epi, Baguettes, Rolls, Pretzels and so much more.
       

      Rye Sourdough Wood Oven Baked Bread
       
      My fondest memory when I worked there was our field trip to the Bread Lab(wait something this cool came out of WSU, of course!) here in Washington. They grow thousands of varieties of wheat and have some pretty cool equipment to test gluten levels, protein, genetics and so on. I nerded out so hard.
       
      What came out of that trip was this bread. Now I can't recall the exact flour we got from them, but using a basic bread and rye will do the trick. We used to get a special flour for our 100 mile menu. This was where we were limited to only serving food from 100 miles away. So finding a wheat farm that made actual hulled wheat in 100 miles was a miracle. The year before...the thing we made, was closer to hard tack.
       
      Now if you don't have a starter, I recommend starting one! It is a great investment!
       
      Rye Sourdough
      1000 g flour (60% Bread Flour, 40% Rye)
      25 g salt
       
      75 g of honey/molasses
      200 g of Rye starter 
      650 g of water, cold
      Equipment
      Baker Scale (or other gram scale)
      Bench Cutter
      Bread Razor (you could also use one of those straight razors)
       
      Start by taking the cold water, yeast and Honey and mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes
       
      I know, some of you just freaked out, cold water? Won't that kill the yeast.
       
      Nope, the yeast just needs to re hydrate. I prefer using cold water to slow the yeast down. That way the lactobacillus in the starter has  a good amount of time to start making lactic acid, and really get to flavor town!
       
      While that is sitting, I mix the flour and the salt together(How many times I have forgotten to salt the bread).
       
      Now mix the two products with a kneading hook for 3-5 minutes, only until thoroughly mixed but not yet at the window pane stage of kneading.
       
       
      Instead, place into a bowl and set a timer for one hour. Then when that hour is up, push the dough down and fold all the corners in
       
      Repeat this step 2-3 more times, pending on the outside temperature.
       
      If you happen to have those cool bowls to shape round loafs! Awesome, use them. I would break the boules into 3 balls of about 333 grams
       
      If not then just put the dough in the fridge and do the steps below the next day.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Once you have bouled the bread, can put it into the fridge and let it sit over night
       
      Again, this lets the bacteria, really get to work(misconception is the yeast adds the sour flavor, nope, think yogurt!)
       
      Now on the next day, heat up whatever form of oven you plan to use. We used a brick oven but if you just have a normal oven, that is fine. Crank it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      If you have not bouled your bread yet, go back and watch the video and break the dough down into three balls of abut 333 grams. Then place the balls on a lightly greased sheet pan. Let sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

      If you have used the fancy bowls then turn the the bread out on a lightly greased sheet pan, without the bowl and let temper for 15-30 minutes.
       
       
      If your oven is steam injected, build up a good blast of steam.
       
      If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
       
      The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
       
      Let it build up for a few minutes!
       
      Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
       
      Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
       
      Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
       
      Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
       
      Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
       
      Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
       
    • By andiesenji
      ANDIE'S ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES
      Here’s the thing about pickles: if you’ve never made them, they may seem to be an overwhelming (and possibly mysterious) project. Our listener Andie – who has offered some really valuable help to the show several times in the past – has sent this recipe which provides an opportunity to “try your hand” at pickle-making without much effort. Andie suggests that making a small batch, and storing the pickles in the refrigerator (without “processing”) can get you started painlessly. Our Producer Lisa says that the result is so delicious that you won’t be able to keep these pickles on hand - even for the 3-4 months that they’ll safely keep!
      The basics are slicing the cucumbers and other veggies, tossing them with salt and crushed ice and allowing them to stand for awhile to become extra-crisp. You then make a simple, sweet and spicy syrup, (Andie does this in the microwave), rinse your crisp veggies, put them in a jar, pour the syrup over, and keep them in the refrigerator until they’re “pickled” – turning the jar upside down each day. In about 2 weeks you’ll have pickles – now how much easier could that be? If you are inspired, I hope you’ll try these – and enjoy!
      MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART.
      FOR THE PICKLES:
      4 to 6 pickling cucumbers (cucumbers should be not much larger than 1 inch in diameter, and
      4 to 5 inches long)
      1/2 to 3/4 of one, medium size onion.
      1/2 red bell pepper.
      1/4 cup, pickling salt (coarse kosher salt)
      2 quarts, cracked ice
      water to cover
      2 tablespoons, mustard seed.
      1 heaping teaspoon, celery seed
      FOR THE SYRUP:
      1 1/2 cups, vinegar
      *NOTE: Use cider or distilled white vinegar, do not use wine vinegar.
      1 1/2 cups, sugar
      2 heaping teaspoons, pickling spice mix.
      PREPARE THE PICKLES:
      Carefully wash the cucumbers and bell pepper. Slice all vegetables very thin, using a food processor with a narrow slicing blade, or by hand, or using a V-slicer or mandoline. Toss the sliced vegetables together in a glass or crockery bowl large enough to hold twice the volume of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, add the cracked ice, toss again to blend all ingredients and add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Place a heavy plate on top of the vegetables to keep them below the top of the liquid.
      *Set aside for 4 hours.
      PREPARE THE SYRUP:
      Place the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices in a 4-quart Pyrex or other microwavable container (the large Pyrex measure works very well)
      Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. [if a microwave is not available, simmer the syrup in a narrow saucepan on the stovetop, over low heat, for the same length of time.] Allow the syrup to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the spices.
      ASSEMBLE THE PICKLES:
      Place one wide-mouth quart canning jar (or two wide-mouth pint jars) with their lids in a pot of water to cover, place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove the pot from the heat and allow jar(s) and lid(s) to remain in the hot water until needed.
      *After the 4 hours are up (crisping the vegetables as described above) pour the vegetables into a large colander and rinse well. The cucumber slices should taste only slightly salty. Return the rinsed vegetables to the bowl, add the mustard seeds and celery seeds and toss well until evenly distributed. Set aside.
      Return the syrup to the microwave, microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes [or heat the syrup on the stovetop] until an instant read thermometer shows the temperature of the syrup is 190 to 200 degrees.
      Place the vegetables into one wide-mouth quart jar, or in 2 wide-mouth pint
      jars that have been scalded as described above. Pour the syrup over the vegetables, place the lids on the jar or jars, tighten well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
      The following day, turn the jar upside down - then continue to turn every day for 2 weeks. (This is to insure that the pickles are evenly flavored)
      After 2 weeks open the jar and taste. The pickles should be ready to eat.
      Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
      ( RG2154 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...