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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:43 AM
Original message
Any other bread bakers out there?
I've been baking bread for about 5 years (i have never used a bread machine...are they worthwhile?) Mostly I bkae various types of loaves with beer bread being among my favorite (the variance you can get in flavor with different types of beer is amazing!).

While I mostly work with existing recipes for breads I do vary ingredients and amounts to taste.

My favorite book on the subject is the "bread bible" as I call it or:

Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

If you bake bread and don't have this book you must own it!
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helnwhls Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. bread machines are best for aromatherapy
I had one with a timer so I could come home to the smell of fresh bread. The bread is okay. My ex loved it, because it was a gadget. Maybe a different macine would give better results. My was a sunbeam from the early 90s.

My favorite bread recipe is from Pompeii. My teacher had us translate the recipe from latin. It is a simple ring of bread with sesame seeds on top.

What is your favorite bread to make?
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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. My current favorite is Honey-Lemon Whole Wheat
2 cups bread flour
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups hot water (135 degrees)
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour

vegetable oil (for coating after shaping)

2 large baking bans (9x5) greased

combine bread flour, yeast and salt, pour in hot water, add honey, shortening and lemon peel. stir to blend, add 1 cup whole wheat flour, mix one minute. Batter should be thick and rubbery. Stir in remainging 1 to 2 cups of wheat flour depending on moistness of dough. The dough should be alastic, soft and not overly sticky.

knead dough for ten minutes.

let it rest 20 minutes

knead for about a minute, shape into two balls and press into a flat oval about the length of the baking pan, fold in half and pinch seam to seal, tuck under the ends and put in pan seam down. brush the surface with vegetable oil. cover the pans loosely with wax paper and then with plastic wrap. the dough should rise above the level of the pans.

Place in fridge 2 to 24 hours.

remove from fridge and let stand for 20 minutes while oven pre-heats to 400

bake approx 30 minutes (loaves shoudl be brwon and sound hollow when bottom is tapped. when done remove from pan immediately and cool on wire racks. VERY YUMMY!
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helnwhls Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. that does sound good
I will try that for the holidays.

Thanks!
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. I let my bread machine take care of kneading and rising, but never bake
in it. Can't stand the crust texture of machine baked bread. For specialty breads, kneading yourself will give better texture, but the machine is very useful for making standard sandwich loaves, pizza dough and such. Unless you are quite finicky about artisan quality bread, the kneading job it does will be just fine.

I just took some dough out of my machine, shaped it and set it in a warm place to rise again. If I didn't have the machine, I wouldn't bake near as much bread.
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vajraroshana Donating Member (762 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. me too
though I occasionally will let it bake the bread and then cut the crust off and put it in the food processor to make really excellent bread crumbs.

Speaking of food processors; they're quite good at mixing and kneading the dough very quickly.

I'm not really sure why I bought a breadmachine; I've been making bread about 20 years.
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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm an avid bread baker
I have a bread machine, but never use it - I don't like the crust on machine baked bread. I used it for a while to knead and rise the bread, but I really missed the kneading process - it's relaxing to me. I make whole grain breads. My favorite bread book is The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. I first started baking bread when I read the original Laurel's Kitchen a zillion years ago. My favorite bread came out of an experiment a few of Christmases ago. One of my husband's coworkers gave us a basket of dried fruits and nuts for Christmas. I was baking my standard whole wheat bread and decided to add some dried cherries and chopped pecans to the dough. It was WONDERFUL! It is now a holiday tradition. I bake loaves for friends and family, and some for us to have on Christmas morning.
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. Does anyone make Pannettone
I'm not a bread baker but would like to try to make a few loaves for the Christmas Holidays. Do you have a tried and true recipe?
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. I Just Made Some Italian Bread
Interestingly enough.

I don't use a bread machine, but I do use a KitchenAid 6-qt mixer for the kneeding.

It was yummy, btw.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
8. I used to bake twice a week, religiously...
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 05:58 PM by mike_c
...but now I live in a town with several good bakeries, including one that my best efforts cannot even approach, so I can buy excellent fresh bread most days for less than it would cost me to bake my own, and get better bread too.

on edit: I do miss that glorious yeasty smell of the baking loaves!
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mourningdove92 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. I just baked two loaves of whole wheat.
It was the first time for this particular recipe, which called for 3 risings. Great flavor and texture, tough crust....probably my fault.

A couple of years ago my SO bought me a breadmaker. I know she meant well, and I think her feeling may be a little hurt because, there it sits, never used. I happen to ENJOY doing all that kneading and stuff.
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fwiff Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
10. I've been experimenting...
so far everything I've made is good, but not really great. (A lot better than supermarket bread, though)
I use a kitchenaid mixer with the bread hooks.

My biggest problem is planning ahead, cuz by the time I feel like making it, there's not enough time in the day to allow for risings.

I have the book called 'The Bread Bible' by Rose Levy Beranbaum (sp?)
I am going to check out Clayton's book, now that you've mentioned it.


Beer bread- tell me more!

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Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. My husband bakes naturally leavened breads
Right now he does it once a week and has a sort of "community supported baking" gig happening. The bread is just awesome- we are looking at a retail space in our town to open an artisan bakery. I mostly weigh ingredients and do the dishes, but am also helping with the shaping. We make about 50 loaves a week right now. Here he is with the oven we built-



I am glad there is a baking group! It is scary leaving a full time job with benefits to start your own bakery. Hopefully we'll get good support here!
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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Wow, very cool and good luck with your new venture
I'd really like to get started on these types of breads myself (I'd particularly liek to try out some sour-dough recipes).
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Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks Caution
It is way cool. We started selling bread at our Farmers Market last season and the response was buck nutty. Would sell 100-150 loaves in 2 hours. Matt attended the San Francisco Baking Institute for a 2 week artisan bread class, it was all naturally leavened (or sourdough). Highly recommended!
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. very cool!
Wow, that oven is awesome!!! Love your hubby's tatoos too :)
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Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Thanks!
I feel like I am plugging everything, but he learned how to build the oven at this WAY COOL school called the Northhouse Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. I learned how to build a workbench. They have so many cool classes- everything from making a canoe to building a casket to timber framing to scandinavian knitting. It was such an awesome experience- highly, highly recommended to return your faith in humanity!

And the tattoos are fun also. I am working on sleeve #2... someday I will finish it, it's been over a year in progress.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
15. I baked my first loaf of bread ever a few weeks ago
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but it came out pretty good! I'm going to try again soon :)
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vajraroshana Donating Member (762 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
18. Hint for crusts
I've found that if the crust is too hard that you can let the loaf cool for about half an hour and then put the loaf into a plastic bag, preferably ziplock type, and by the next day the crust will be much softer.
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