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First Time Bread Baker


aznsailorboi
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Too many replies so what I say may have been said already. To clarify I am not an expert in the field, just offering my 2 cents.

Invest in a heavy breadstone. I bought mine from a restaurant supply house and it measures almost an inch thick. I also have a bread peel which I use to put the bread in the oven with. I always place a half sheet pan under my breadstone so I can pour a cup of boiling water after I put the dough in the oven. This creates lots of steam and contributes to a good oven spring (along with appropriate slashes in the top of the dough). Be very careful though as it produces a tremendous amount of steam and you could easily get a nasty steam burn (ouch) I like to use fresh yeast as opposed to the dry stuff but it's just a preference. I always use a sponge and like to let it ferment in my wine cellar that is kept at 57f . This adds a lot of flavor.

A scale is priceless. I weigh everything and if it's a good recipe I rarely ever have to adjust. I also prefer KA flour but in a pinch can use any unbleached AP or bread flour, depending on the recipe. Also make sure your oven is the right temperature (confirm with oven thermometer) and use an instant read to ensure the bread is fully cooked.

A pic of my last sourdough loaf that has been posted before is below. My advice is keep at it regardless of how "bad" the loaves may look. In time you will know what the dough is supposed to feel like and also learn the subtle idiosyncrasies that make bread making so much fun. It will take time and an investment in the right tools. The trouble is once you perfect your technique you'll never like anyone elses bread :biggrin:

loaf.gif

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Just wanted to add my 2 pence (cents, whatever) to this thread as well. I have made bread on and off for 3 or 4 years (I'm sure you'll know what I mean when I say I go through phases). I am in the midst of a phase at the moment, brought on by Dan Lepard's excellent <A href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1840009667/sr=1-1/qid=1139439983/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1064826-1763309?%5Fencoding=UTF8">'The Handmade Loaf'</a>. I can only repeat what others have said earlier - his method of brief kneading and resting is a revelation, and makes it much easier to start off a loaf whilst doing something else in the kitchen, e.g. looking after dinner. This makes it much more likely that I will bake on any given day, and also gives excellent results with fairly wet doughs.</br>

I have also had great results with his Barm Bread and White Levain from that book - particularly proud of the crumb in the latter gallery_18129_2524_6556.jpg. [edited to add image]</br>

For those first time bakers, I would say start with a book you trust and make a simple white loaf or milk loaf. You can use a cake tin instead of a loaf tin, you can bake it free-form on a tray, you can buy a quarry tile from the hardware store and use it instead of a baking stone. Personally, I have good results from preheating a thick heavy-duty baking sheet in the oven, and sliding free-form loaves onto it, and spraying the oven with water two or three times in the first 15 minutes. Don't be afraid to stick your dough in the fridge and/or punch it down and leave it to rise again when you don't have time to deal with it.</br>

Above all, have fun - one of the great things about bread is that it feels, smells, looks and tastes good. Oh, and give sourdough a try - making a starter isn't that hard.

Edited by lou_31 (log)
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Bridie,

I think you should trust the book for now. I have several church cookbooks with recipes just like this and they produce reliably comforting buns of the type your minister would like. I bake these for extended family and they love them.

Now, after you try these, go for something with a tad less yeast and longer rising times.

Good luck and happy baking.

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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The recipe was written for the non-psychotic home bread baker :) You should feel free to use standard dry measure. If you have a scale great, if not whats important is how the dough feels not specific quantities of flour, water etc. That's why i recommend this process. Get smart fingers first THEN go nutz :-)

As to bakeware, I tend to like lighter colored pans. I find that dark pans tend to brown breads too quickly. There really isn't a reason to buy fancy, expensive pans. I in my "laboratory" I use pans I buy in the supermarket.

Nuthin' says luvin'...

www.kyleskitchen.net

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awesome thanks for the many responses to this thread. I've done my readings too, and this weekend would be bake weekend.....ok maybe just one day but still eheheheh. I have all my ingredients and materials, I'm gonna go to home depot and see if they have resonably sized quarry tiles available. I have a baking stone, its for pizza though but I think I can still use it for bread baking purposes, but its not big enough. I will need a loaf pan as well so i'll visit my baking supply store later. can't wait to do this...I might get tempted enough I'd start later hehehe.

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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In addition to this :biggrin:

gallery_16410_2294_32444.jpg

I also have in my electric oven (otherwise known as "my damned toy oven") a baking stone from The Baker's Catalogue/King Arthur's Flour. I put it in my oven four years ago and have never taken it out. It's wonderful.

Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Methods is a fabulous resource as well.

Last year at Alan Scott's bread oven conference, Monica Spiller, a chemist and bread baker, demonstrated her whole wheat barm bread that was a real revelation to us all, a beautifully light, sweet, airy bread, wholly whole wheat. I've got the formula for it somewhere, have never tried it because the instructions were at some point somewhat confusing, even after I emailed for clarification. I'll try to find it and put it up here to see if anybody can help me out with it and maybe we could all give it a shot.

[edited to add link]

Edited by devlin (log)
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In addition to this  :biggrin:

gallery_16410_2294_32444.jpg

I also have in my electric oven (otherwise known as "my damned toy oven") a baking stone from The Baker's Catalogue/King Arthur's Flour. I put it in my oven four years ago and have never taken it out. It's wonderful.

Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Methods is a fabulous resource as well.

Last year at Alan Scott's bread oven conference, Monica Spiller, a chemist and bread baker, demonstrated her whole wheat barm bread that was a real revelation to us all, a beautifully light, sweet, airy bread, wholly whole wheat. I've got the formula for it somewhere, have never tried it because the instructions were at some point somewhat confusing, even after I emailed for clarification. I'll try to find it and put it up here to see if anybody can help me out with it and maybe we could all give it a shot.

[edited to add link]

cools I'm excited to see that recipe....errr formula whatever u wanna call it. hehe i cant wait to go home....uhhhh im at work right now...I'm actually thinking of bringing my ingredients here and start the dough. but my only problem will be the temp...its a little warm here i work in the pharmacy and we keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer( i dunno the logic behind this, i guess to make u sick quicker then u go call in sick the next day, hehehe :laugh: ) so right now its at 80 degrees, im afraid I'd proof my dough too quick. We even have an industrial electric mixer (2) but we dont use it for food its for mixing creams and such which i love to do, coz its almost like cooking or baking.

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Bridie,

I think you should trust the book for now.  I have several church cookbooks with recipes just like this and they produce reliably comforting buns  of the type your minister would like.  I bake these for extended family and they love them. 

Now, after you try these, go for something with a tad less yeast and longer rising times. 

Good luck and happy baking.

Thank-you, I went with the recipe as printed in the book before I saw your post. It wasn't great, but I think that was because I didn't knead it for long enough. I am going to move on to a loaf with a longer rising time, and take the advice someone posted upthread about baking a single recipe repeatedly until you get the feel of it.

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oh and another thing. any suggestions on bakeware? like what should I look for when I'm purchasing them, color(diff shades of silver), material, reflective property, etc.

Ohmygosh you are so lucky you aren't in NYC--if you went to Bridge Kitchenware and asked that question they'd throw you out on your arse. Just think this...you get what you pay for and heavier is better, but don't buy into gimmicks like 'air insulated' bakeware or other stuff like that. Look again at King Arthur Flour's website, they sell excellent pans by Chicago Metallic (which, unfortunately won't or perhaps by now aren't, made in the Chicago area any more).

And Lou, at this point (post 47million) we're not adding our two pence...more like two quid!

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hi guys im back on this thread........wow been gone for a while and was putting off my bread baking experience. anyways, i'm at work right now, and I just realized the other day that i have access to a digital, pharmaceutical grade scale, which i totally forgot. and i have a few new laboratory materials that i can definitely use for the exact measurement of things such as graduated cylinders and the like which im taking home by the way hehehe since we have ALOT. but yeah i just got done making the Poolish pre-ferment an hour and a half ago, so it should be ready to be refrigerated in 2 more hours.

i also used dry active yeast, which i think is perfectly alive. i see the poolish bubbling so, i think it is alive. i did the necessary adjustments for substitution. the 100% for wild yeast 40-50%for dry active and 33%for instant. so i used 50% just to make sure i get maximum participation of the yeast :hmmm: so far so good. id be doing my measurements for the main bread ingredients after lunch, i'd just bring some more bowls in to work when i go home for lunch here in a few to put in my pre measured flour, yeast and salt, since i cant take home the scale( i wish they had two then id take it home as well hehhehe). oh btw im attempting the ciabatta bread according to BBA recipe. I most likely wont be able to bake the bread till tomorrow night, but if i can tonight i will. Peter Reinhart suggested keeping the Poolish in the fridge overnight for the flavor to develop.

i got much of the stuff down to an exact science. the only thing i dont understand is during the kneading part after the first 30 minute proofing. the book states the liberal use of flour on hands and dusting on the bread, how do i know how much flour to use for dusting and all of the above? do i set aside some flour from the total amount of flour used in the recipe? or this is just extra flour to be added to the pre measured items. PLEASEEEE RESPOND SOOON!!!! I'd be waiting for y'alls response. THANKS

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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hi guys im back on this thread........wow been gone for a while and was putting off my bread baking experience. anyways, i'm at work right now, and I just realized the other day that i have access to a digital, pharmaceutical grade scale, which i totally forgot. and i have a few new laboratory materials that i can definitely use for the exact measurement of things such as graduated cylinders and the like which im taking home by the way hehehe since we have ALOT. but yeah i just got done making the Poolish pre-ferment an hour and a half ago, so it should be ready to be refrigerated in 2 more hours.

i also used dry active yeast, which i think is perfectly alive. i see the poolish bubbling so, i think it is alive. i did the necessary adjustments for substitution. the 100% for wild yeast 40-50%for dry active and 33%for instant. so i used 50% just to make sure i get maximum participation of the yeast  :hmmm: so far so good. id be doing my measurements for the main bread ingredients after lunch, i'd just bring some more bowls in to work when i go home for lunch here in a few to put in my pre measured flour, yeast and salt, since i cant take home the scale( i wish they had two then id take it home as well hehhehe). oh btw im attempting the ciabatta bread according to BBA recipe. I most likely wont be able to bake the bread till tomorrow night, but if i can tonight i will. Peter Reinhart suggested keeping the Poolish in the fridge overnight for the flavor to develop.

i got much of the stuff down to an exact science. the only thing i dont understand is during the kneading part after the first 30 minute proofing. the book states the liberal use of flour on hands and dusting on the bread, how do i know how much flour to use for dusting and all of the above? do i set aside some flour from the total amount of flour used in the recipe? or this is just extra flour to be added to the pre measured items. PLEASEEEE RESPOND SOOON!!!! I'd be waiting for y'alls response. THANKS

If the dough sticks to your hands and won't come off you have used too little :).

The use of flour (and a bench scraper) will help, I just use a little extra flour at a time until I can manage the dough. Sorry I can't give you an exact amount I just throw some on the counter, it really depends on the dough.

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Don't set aside flour from the recipe. Just use enough extra so you can handle it, but not too much because ciabatta dough is supposed to be wet. I find that wetting my hands makes handling it easier. A little flour on the work bench so it doesn't stick, but wet hands to fold it. I hope I'm not adding to any confusion.

Ilene

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I had to transfer my poolish into a bigger bowl before I set it in the fridge. I think the gluten strands are forming well, I was expecting a thick pancake batter but when I tipped the bowl over to the bigger bowl, it all went down like a semi solid glob, the sides of the bowl is almost clean too, so I'm assuming thats a good sign.

another question, I was reading a thread here before and they mentioned VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN FLOUR, so I saw it in the grocery store, and I picked it up too. what is this for? what recipe do I use it?

and I just got done measuring my ingredients, let me give my measured amounts:

Poolish

11.25 oz=319.218 grams unbleached bread flour

00.05 oz=1.418 grams dry active yeast *this is the 50%

12 fl oz =354.6 mls water

( I used warm water no steam, but fairly warm, i figured i need the warm temp to activate the dry active yeast, but i guess if i used instant yeast i would've used room temp water. oh btw the original recipe asked for 00.03 oz of instant yeast, that would be 33% and 00.09 oz if using wild yeast for 100%)

this is for the bread as per ciabatta instructions:

13.50 oz= 383.061 grams unbleached bread flour

00.26 oz= 7.309 grams dry active yeast

00.44 oz= 12.485 grams salt*

3-6 fl oz= 88.65mls-177.30mls of water, milk*, buttermilk* or oil*

(I used iodized salt, the book said it didn't matter which one to use. but I used this kind because I was thinking about how well the grains of sea salt would dissolve in the dough, versus using fine salt which gets dissolved as soon as the flour gets hydrated. the types of liquid to use for added hydration like milk, buttermilk and oil, the author said to add more flour if using these, coz it will make the dough softer than if it was pure lean(only with water). I think I will start with 1.5 oz water and 1.5 oz oil just to balance it out....anybody can shout out their opinion about this, as I have no clue if im doing the right thing or its a disaster in the making.) :sad:

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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I'd use just water for the first try, just to see how a lean bread turns out, then I'd make variations to compare. But that's just me. It sounds like you're doing just fine. Don't stress out over this. I made bread last week and was not all that happy with the result (my kitchen was freezing and I wound up proofing the dough in the clothes dryer; don't ask.. I should start a thread on this experience.) But believe me, it was better than store bought. I bet you'll be surprised at how good it turns out. Keep us posted. :smile:

P.S. How much poolish do you add to the bread ingredients?

Ilene

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the ciabatta recipe calls for 22.75 ounces of poolish, and I weighed the amt yield from the poolish recipe stated in the beginning pages, and its close enough, maybe about 15-20 grams over 22.75oz but I would still weigh the poolish when I mix both parts just to make sure....

you guys are probably wondering why im sounding like a rocket scientist when I was explaining my method. its coz I want to make sure that I'm not just relying on luck, and want to prove to myself that its an exact science, well almost since the adlib of dusting of flour etc. and +/- of liquid as per moisture in the air. but if i have a control of temp and atmospheric moisture then i would, actually i can but i dont think they want me to use the laminar flow hoods to knead bread. hahahahaha but y'all know what i mean. anyways im off to the baking supply store, and im off from work now ( all i did today was fuss about my bread bwahahahahah :laugh: and all my subordinates think im crazy.....while they watched dvd all day ) but anyways, i need to get some semolina flour, i think im actually going to bake it tonight. im crossing my fingers. well see y'all tonight here i will be back later.

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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another question, I was reading a thread here before and they mentioned VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN FLOUR, so I saw it in the grocery store, and I picked it up too. what is this for? what recipe do I use it?

From baking911:

Vital Wheat Gluten is used in certain types of breadmaking. It gives the yeast in the recipe a boost because it contains a high amount of gluten forming proteins. I use it in my heavier breads that rise slowly, such as rye, whole grains, or ones loaded with sugar, dried fruit and nuts. Your loaves should rise higher and have better volume. FYI: Some bakers use it all the time when using a Bread Machine especially when using whole grain or all-purpose flour.

Vital wheat gluten contains about 75-80% protein, compared to about 14% in bread flour. I used it once in 100% whole wheat bread and it was effective in that the bread rose a little more than it would have without it. But it's not something I've used regularly (in fact, it's been stored in the freezer since I bought it.)

Here are some recipes using vital wheat gluten from Bob's Red Mill.

Ilene

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I can't remember precisely who noted that although using vital wheat gluten can be very effective when you're using a weak flour (such as all-purpose, for instance, when bread flour would be better), using too much of it, or using it when it's not exactly necessary, can produce a sort of rubbery bread. And I'd second that. Maybe Nancy Silverton.

Also, just as a sort of personal note about the "science" of bread making. Hmmm. Yes, but no. Bread baking is both science and art. There are too many variables going on in bread making to ever (I was going to say "elevate" bread making to science but that's giving science too much credit it seems to me) make the whole process that consistent and that consistently precise. And though I'm supposing if you're more in the science mode of thinking that would be fun, I'm also thinking that giving yourself over to the art of it might be sort of liberating as well.

I've been making bread only for a short time, but in a very big way, and am building a business around artisanal hearth breads (the whole wood-fired oven breads),... about 5 years now,... and am still a rank novice. I keep reading. I practice. I make a lot of bread that I give away. I focussed on one dough in particular for three years to perfect it (in addition to trying other things as well), and am only recently pretty sure I've got what I want in just that one dough. I've got a couple of others pretty much finished to my liking, but I'm still not quite there yet.

Last night I reread a section of Hamelman's book on how to handle a sourdough culture, and was relieved all over again to see he admitted that so much of bread making remains such a mystery to him.

If you keep at it the way you're going, you'll make better bread before you even know it, and you'll realize (as we all finally do, I think) that "science" can take you only so far. It's doing. And doing and doing and thinking and studying and observing and practicing that will get you to the good stuff. I think you're so much on the right track, and I'm delighting in your own delight. It's a passion, isn't it....

[edited for typo]

Edited by devlin (log)
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Thanks for your input Devlin. I do agree with your perspective on bread making as an equal balance of science and art. The last couple of times I tried bread making, I did the artisan’s approach, but it didn’t work too well for me, so now I want to try the scientist’s approach which is what I’m currently working on, I know eventually it will meet in the middle, as I need the proof that the breads need an exact amount of ingredients in proportion with all the other factors involved, at the same time I need the artisan’s skill to knead, shape and bake the bread. But so far I’m doing good with what I started yesterday. :cool:

The poolish is doing good in the fridge, and its gonna be ready to be processed as bread tonight. I will take photos of it once I’m done, then tomorrow I’m headed to Oil & Vinegar to get a nice vial of Greek olive oil, and a vial of authentic aged balsamic vinegar. I like Greek olive oil better than Italian olive oil, anybody agrees or disagrees? I want to hear your inputs on this one as well. The Greek manufactured olive oils seems fresher tasting than Italian made ones. The Gk ones have a more fruity overtone to it, perfect for bread dipping, as you can taste the freshness of both the bread and oil., the Itl ones are very unpredictable, I assume because of its popularity in its apparent reputation as being the “best” the stocks in the stores aren’t rotated as much, and some would taste rancid, and most of the time that’s my only complaint with IOO. But still it ruins the experience of bread dipping!!!!!! :angry:

Ooh another question before I finish my post, when I was reading the procedures for ciabatta, there’s really not a lot of kneading involved, the only kneading part that I saw was when the poolish and the dry ingredients were being incorporated, and then the two stretch and fold methods, one after the degassing stage and the second one is before shaping. Am I getting this right? And can some one post a picture of what a ciabatta bread looks like after its been baked, the book didn’t have a picture…and the Italian restaurants don’t usually bring them whole. :hmmm:

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Ooh another question before I finish my post, when I was reading the procedures for ciabatta, there’s really not a lot of kneading involved, the only kneading part that I saw was when the poolish and the dry ingredients were being incorporated, and then the two stretch and fold methods, one after the degassing stage and the second one is before shaping. Am I getting this right? And can some one post a picture of what a ciabatta bread looks like after its been baked, the book didn’t have a picture…and the Italian restaurants don’t usually bring them whole. :hmmm:

Take a look at Kyle's Kitchen's web site. Kyle is an occasional poster on eGullet. The link I gave is for his ciabatta demonstration. Click on each small image starting with the biga. It's really good demonstration.

Ilene

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those were nice loaves, and i can totally see the "glistening effect" on the cross section of the dough being transluscent, as described in BBA as a basis for a well baked bread, so the letter fold is the traditional form of ciabatta? but BBA stated it was a slipper shape....whats a slipper shape? :unsure:

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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those were nice loaves, and i can totally see the "glistening effect" on the cross section of the dough being transluscent, as described  in BBA as a basis for a well baked bread, so the letter fold is the traditional form of ciabatta? but BBA stated it was a slipper shape....whats a slipper shape? :unsure:

Ciabatta literally means “slipper” in Italian, and the name refers to

the shape of the bread—a flattened oval, kind of like a comfortable old bedroom slipper you just can’t bear to throw out. However, ciabatta has come to mean, at least in this country, any airy, dimpled loaf dusted with flour, of just about any shape. We like to remain true to the original spirit of the loaf, and shape it into a

rough oval.

Definition from here:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/stuff/conte...te-ciabatta.pdf

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ok guys!!!! here's the report, pictures will follow later this afternoon when i get home!

I CAN BAKE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cool: this bread was heaven to my eyes when it came out of my oven, boy all I can say was WOW :wub: ...haha thats all that came out of my mouth, so proven the fact that I can bake bread, I will continue to perfect it, although I didnt go step by step as how the BBA instructed me to do so, but the bread turned very nice!!! nice golden brown color, I love the flour streaks( for a minute I thought I've been doing this for years), it made my condo smell like a boulangerie :raz: I had to do it one at a time, as I didnt get a chance to get quarry tiles, so I had to make do with my 12 inch pizza stone,hehe it works :smile: and I also used my wooden chopping board as the peel.

I feel very fulfilled after baking those bread last night, oh and I was so tempted to split the bread, to see the inside cross section, but I didnt....well I didnt coz I fell asleep :hmmm:

I brought the bread to work today as well, and it was a hit. everyone here now dont think im a bogus anymore, hahahaha *basta*ds* lol

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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ok guys!!!! here's the report, pictures will follow later this afternoon when i get home!

I CAN BAKE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :cool: this bread was heaven to my eyes when it came out of my oven, boy all I can say was WOW :wub: ...haha thats all that came out of my mouth, so proven the fact that I can bake bread, I will continue to perfect it, although I didnt go step by step as how the BBA instructed me to do so, but the bread turned very nice!!! nice golden brown color, I love the flour streaks( for a minute I thought I've been doing this for years), it made my condo smell like a boulangerie :raz: I had to do it one at a time, as I didnt get a chance to get quarry tiles, so I had to make do with my 12 inch pizza stone,hehe it works :smile: and I also used my wooden chopping board as the peel.

I feel very fulfilled after baking those bread last night, oh and I was so tempted to split the bread, to see the inside cross section, but I didnt....well I didnt coz I fell asleep :hmmm: 

I brought the bread to work today as well, and it was a hit. everyone here now dont think im a bogus anymore, hahahaha *basta*ds* lol

Congratulations!!!

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ok guys!!!! here's the report, pictures will follow later this afternoon when i get home!

I CAN BAKE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :cool: this bread was heaven to my eyes when it came out of my oven, boy all I can say was WOW :wub: ...haha thats all that came out of my mouth, so proven the fact that I can bake bread, I will continue to perfect it, although I didnt go step by step as how the BBA instructed me to do so, but the bread turned very nice!!! nice golden brown color, I love the flour streaks( for a minute I thought I've been doing this for years), it made my condo smell like a boulangerie :raz: I had to do it one at a time, as I didnt get a chance to get quarry tiles, so I had to make do with my 12 inch pizza stone,hehe it works :smile: and I also used my wooden chopping board as the peel.

I feel very fulfilled after baking those bread last night, oh and I was so tempted to split the bread, to see the inside cross section, but I didnt....well I didnt coz I fell asleep :hmmm: 

I brought the bread to work today as well, and it was a hit. everyone here now dont think im a bogus anymore, hahahaha *basta*ds* lol

Congratulations!!!

I second that! Can't wait to see the pictures!

Ilene

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      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 )
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