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bread for dummies?

Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I made my very first loaf of bread yesterday with high-gluten bread flour, dry active baker's yeast, salt, and tap water; 10 minutes of kneading, 2 hours of rising. It was pretty good! But I want to get into some of the longer fermenting recipes like sourdoughs and "no-knead bread", maybe catching my own wild microorganisms or at least growing the commercial yeast in the refridgerator so I don't have to keep buying it. I have read that a longer fermenting process with wild microorganisms, as well as the use of certain ingredients like whole grains, bran, legumes, sprouted grains, ginger, hops, potatoes, pineapple juice, wood ash, etc. can make the bread more nutritious and tasty, but I don't know where to start. Could you point me towards some good, solid advice?
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
Here you go.... this site has it all, with video too!

http://www.breadtopia.com/sourdough-no-knead-method/

Scroll down to see all the links in the left-hand bar.

Enjoy
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
Thanks, Jami. I'll check it out tomorrow.

You'd think that Bill Mollison's Ferment and Human Nutrition would have a lot to say about bread, but it really doesn't. It's a great book, everyone who farms or gardens should try these recipes, but it's written rather tersely and is not beginner-friendly.
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3875
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  80
I really like Ferment and Human Nutrition, but I think of it more as an anthropological document than a how-to.
I love the 'recipe' that involves stuffing a seal with loads of entire puffins and interring it in the permafrost. I have none of those, so I stick to bread!
I recommend checking out Sally Fallon's stuff, she really knows her fermentation
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
we make all our own breads, mill the flours too. and catch our own wild yeasts for sourdough. i would start by not adding wood ash to your bread.

and then go to thefreshloaf.com for info on making high quality breads.

sprouting the grains before milling makes them even more nutritious.


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
Thanks again. I'm going to try the no-knead bread with baker's yeast and then try this simple recipe for the starter (http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/recipe-sourdough.html)
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
I can't resist, the title of the thread caught my eye.

Bread for dummies:

Go to store, find bakery section (ask if you need to) look for something that says "Wonder" on it... purchase.


Hey, if you are making your own bread, even in a bread machine, you are already past the "dummy" stage. The secret to making good bread... is making bread, getting to know what bread looks and feels like when it is ready for the next stage. good bread only needs flour, water, salt, and yeast. The standard French breads have been 100parts flour to 60pts water, 2pts salt and 2pts yeast. Can't use a timer though, each step is only done when the dough is right. I have made lots of mistakes... but none of the mistakes were as bad as store bread... at least taste wise. Some of them have been pretty chewy though I've also scraped some very black parts off too.
Willy Kerlang


Joined: Apr 29, 2011
Posts: 106
If anyone is interested in a good bread book, I have to recommend the Tassajara Bread Book by Ed Brown. It was first published in the early 70s and it contains many great recipes. Of course with the internet now, there is no shortage of recipes and videos out there. But Ed is a Zen priest in the San Francisco Zen Center, and his philosophy of bread making is much like Fukuoka's philosophy of gardening: the ultimate purpose of making bread is to make better human beings.
Casey Homecroft


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Ohio, Zone 6a
If I want some fresh bread, but don't feel like cleaning off my counter to knead it (I have a teeeeeeny kitchen, and I'm generally quite lazy) my go-to recipe is a Grant Loaf. (Named after Doris Grant who came up with it in WWII.)

If you look up the recipe, it'll usually be for 3 loaves, but here's what I do to make one at a time:

-The key is to keep everything warm while you're making it, so I'll include exactly how I do it.-

Grant Loaf

4 cups (or 1 lb) whole wheat flour (or any combination of types of flour, added meal, seeds, etc that adds up to 4 c / 1 lb)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey, maple syrup, etc. Something sweet for the yeast to chew on when it wakes up)
1 2/3 cup warm water
[optional] 1 tablespoon oil (any kind)

1) Turn on the oven to about 350.
(Note: don't preheat it, just turn it on so it starts to warm up.)

2) Measure out 2/3 c of warm water in glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water, and set it aside.

3) Measure out the flour into a big heatproof bowl.
(this is where I love using a scale in the kitchen... because I hate measuring out flour the "correct" way. You know, spooning it into a measuring cup one cup at a time and leveling it off with a knife. It takes too long and always gets all over the place. Enter the scale. 4 cups of flour = 1 lb. So, just start dumping the flour straight from the bag into a bowl on top of the scale until it hits 1 1b. Also, I usually add in flax seeds, flax seed meal, oatmeal, or anything else I have around that I feel like throwing in at this point. You could also do part whole wheat, part regular flour. Just make sure it all adds up to 4 c or 1 lb)

4) Mix the salt into the flour, and put the whole bowl into the now warm-ish oven.

5) Go back to the yeast that's hanging out in the glass measuring cup, and stir in the 1 Tbl of brown sugar or other sweetener.
(If you're using the optional oil, stir it in too. Sometimes I put it in, sometimes I don't.)

6) Set the timer for 10 minutes to let the yeast rev up. Grease your loaf pan really well (or line it with parchment paper) and toss it in the oven. Now, at this point turn off the oven.

7) Go about your business for rest of the 10 minutes.

8) When the timer goes off, take everything out of the oven, and leave the door cracked open if it feels too hot in there.
(You're going to let the bread rise in there, so you don't want it so hot that it kills the yeast. Just nice and warm. Think like a yeast and if it feels like a place you'd like to hang out and multiply, then it's probably the right temperature.)

9)Pour the yeast mixture into the flour, then add another 1 cup of warm water. Mix it all up with a big spoon, and really work it together for a minute or two.
(I suppose you could also use a mixer with a dough hook attachment, but I never feel like pulling my mixer out.)

10) Dump the dough into the warmed-up loaf pan, and set it in the warm oven. Spread a wet kitchen towel in the oven on the lower rack, it will help create a moist environment so the top of the loaf doesn't dry out and impede the rising action.
(or put the towel underneath the loaf pan if you've only got one rack, or heck, just toss it in there somewhere).

11) Set the timer for 20 minutes to let the bread rise.

12) Go off and forget about it for 20 minutes, have a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, etc.

13)When the timer goes off, carefully take the loaf out of the oven and set it aside. Now, preheat the oven to 400.
(It takes mine about 10 min to get there. Meanwhile, the loaf is still rising a bit while it's waiting on the counter. You want to let the bread rise for about 30 minutes total, or until it is just a bit higher than the loaf pan)

14) When the oven is up to temp, the bread is ready to go in. You can be fancy and slash it across the top with a sharp knife just before it goes in and/or dust it with some wheat germ, oats, what-have-you, or just stick it in.
(Be careful that you don't jostle it too much or it will deflate and be sad.)

15) Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.

16) When it's done, take it out and dump it out of the pan to cool on a wire rack.

17) Try not to burn your fingers and mouth when you can't stand waiting for it to cool to eat a slice with butter and jam.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Casey Homecroft wrote:
[i](this is where I love using a scale in the kitchen... because I hate measuring out flour the "correct" way. You know, spooning it into a measuring cup one cup at a time and leveling it off with a knife. It takes too long and always gets all over the place.


most bakers consider the scale the "correct way" to measure flour. It is the only accurate and repeatable way. Most small commercial bakers use a multiple of full bags of known weight. A cup of flour from two different places may weigh as much 50% different. I can remember emptying 44kg bags into the mixer in my teens... at shoulder height.
Casey Homecroft


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Ohio, Zone 6a
Len Ovens wrote:
most bakers consider the scale the "correct way" to measure flour.


I agree with you on that one! And it actually saves time, too. I love my scale!
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I used this recipe http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=1 two days ago. The bottom of the loaf was scorched since I couldn't find a thicker pot, but the rest was good. My sourdough starter (water, flour, and part of a growing wheat plant to hopefully introduce wild yeast) has not started yet. I'm going to also try using a crock pot instead of an oven.
Patrick Mann


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 223
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
As far as I'm concerned, this is the gold standard for artisan bread:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471168572/qid=1118632994/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2

http://thirteenvegetables.wordpress.com
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I have been following this recipe for making sourdough starter with whole wheat flour and pineapple juice. http://www.breadtopia.com/make-your-own-sourdough-starter/

I am on the fourth day. It ought to be bubbling by now, but the only change I've detected is that the batter tastes very sour.
Patrick Mann


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 223
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Sour is good. Keep adding flour and water every day, keeping it at a very thick pancake batter consistency. You'll see bubbling soon enough.
Peony Jay


Joined: Mar 24, 2012
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
Easy, schmeasy No Knead recipe. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-12-01/Easy-No-Knead-Dutch-Oven-Crusty-Bread.aspx?page=2


My Marxist Feminist Dialectic Brings All The Boys To The Yard!
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I finally decided to throw out my starter and get some from Friends of Carl. Also, I made a loaf the other day in my crock pot and it came out great, with a nice thin crust.
wayne stephen
steward

Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Posts: 1735
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
    
  92
Willy K beat me to it. The Tassajara Bread Book has a great recipe for Wheat Bread that is leavened with its own naturally occuring yeast. Must be organically grown , slow - takes a day or more and the flavor reminds me of pumpernickel. Also , I use the sponge method taught in this book. Instead of measuring flour and water and mixing at once , you proof the yeast into water and add enough flour to make a thick batter. This you beat like a batter instead of kneading. As it is beaten it develops the gluten fibers , and then you let this rise first. When you add the rest of the flour it is real easy to add just enough and then it does not require as much kneading.


Permaculture is CPR for the planet !


Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Gray Simpson wrote:I finally decided to throw out my starter and get some from Friends of Carl. Also, I made a loaf the other day in my crock pot and it came out great, with a nice thin crust.


That starter will turn into what you would have gotten if you did your own. The local bacteria/fungus (yeast is a fungus) tends to win out over the imported. Glad it is working for you! Home made, wild yeast bread is the best.
Kylie Harper


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 28
Location: Zone 6, Kentucky, high water table
I wanted to share a couple of bread recipes. You'll be amazed at how simple & fast they are!!

Beer Bread
1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp salt (optional)
2-3 tsp baking powder
12 oz bottle room temperature beer

Combine all the dry ingredients and then stir in the beer. Pour into a greased bread pan (or use parchment paper) and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Fiddle with the bread flour : spelt flour ratio for a fluffier (more spelt flour) or denser (less spelt flour) bread. No kneading! No rising! It's awesome.

Apple Biscuits
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
Applesauce or an apple
Water (optional)

Forgive me for not having a measurement for the applesauce. I no longer look at the recipe card - I just keep adding applesauce until it gets to the right consistency. You can use store-bought applesauce, but since this is permies, blend an apple with a bit of water and use that! Anyway, mix the dry ingredients and then stir in the applesauce until the dough sticks together. You can opt to add water if you don't have enough applesauce, or to adjust the taste. Makes 10-12 biscuits - roll them into a golf-ball sized ball and drop onto a greased/parchment-papered pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, give or take. A great biscuit to grab on the run, they are slightly sweet but just your basic bread.
Patrick Mann


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 223
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2012/04/whats_with_the_no-knead_bread.php
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Kylie Harper wrote:I wanted to share a couple of bread recipes. You'll be amazed at how simple & fast they are!!

Beer Bread


depending on who you talk to, beer came from bread making or bread came from beer making. The bakers seem to be the ones who think bread came from beer BTW.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Patrick Mann wrote:http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2012/04/whats_with_the_no-knead_bread.php


Yup. Good article. The only (very slight) disagreement I have, is the idea that no-knead can only be made one loaf at a time or that it must use a container. I make seven loaves at a time and use the oven as a container... but I block the vent (electric oven, can't do that on a gas) and cook on fire brick splits. Works for me.

I agree kneading is not bad and that it can help bread to be done in a shorter time. No-knead is just another bread. For me it happens to fit my schedule a bit easier than spending 5 hours in one go (for wild yeast, bakers yeast could be quicker, but I like the taste of the wild). I spend some time mixing one day and a few hours forming and baking the next.
Rivenfae Wolf


Joined: May 20, 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Missouri
I had found a wonderful recipe on youtube for a no-knead sourdough bread here it is:

3 C of flour
2 C of warm water
1 C of starter
1t of salt


Put your starter in a bowl, feed your starter. Then sprinkle the salt over it, then add your flour; then slowly add water till it forms a semi stiff dough. Cover and let rise 8 hours to overnight, in the morning.
Preheat your oven (if using a standard one, fire up your wood one otherwise) to 500 degrees and place inside a large covered baking vessel. I use an 8qt cast iron dutch oven for this purpose, that is only used for it. "Pour" the dough out onto a surface and fold the four corners in. Place your dough into the baking vessel (careful it's hot), cover and leave in oven for 20 minutes. Then uncover it and bake another 20 minutes.

I love this recipe and have recently started adding other ingredients to it and seeing what I can get out of it. My favorite so far has been oatmeal, flax seed, and sunflower oil.

I also suggest "The Tassajara Bread Book" (ISBN# 0-87773-025-3)

I also suggest "Adventures in Sourdough Cooking & Baking" By Charles D. Wilford (ISBN# 0-912936-00-2)

I have not gone through the first one as much, but I have read through a great many of the second's recipes. They all seem fairly easy to make if you follow the directions.

One more book I would suggest is "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" I don't recall the author, but for a book about making bread from yeast and wanting to do it by hand it's wonderful to "work your way through". One of these days I might get to replace my copy of it, Happy baking!


Been there, Seen that, and have the post cards to prove it.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

http://rivenfae-wolfwoods.blogspot.com/
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Rivenfae Wolf wrote:I had found a wonderful recipe on youtube for a no-knead sourdough bread here it is:

3 C of flour
2 C of warm water
1 C of starter
1t of salt

Wow, thats a lot of starter for no-knead (more than 30% the flour). But then the rise time is less and it works. Probably has a nice sour taste though. I use that much starter for 7 loaves. But I leave the mess for at least 12 hours and try for around 15 hours or so. The only thing missing in your recipe is the starter hydration. I use 50% each flour and water, but a more traditional starter is drier.... less water. Because the amount of starter is as big a part of things as it is, the hydration matters.


One more book I would suggest is "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" I don't recall the author, but for a book about making bread from yeast and wanting to do it by hand it's wonderful to "work your way through". One of these days I might get to replace my copy of it, Happy baking!


Peter Reinhart. Take a look through you tube for any videos of him. He could make anyone excited about baking bread. (also search the TED videos)
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
My starter is working well. The first loaf I made was pretty good but the second tasted awful, until I realized I forgot the salt! My next project will be to make 100% whole wheat sourdough bread. I might try cooking it all day at a low temperature and see if it comes out slightly sweet due to the Maillard reaction, like pumpernickel is supposed to.
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
My crockpot "pumpernickel" was a failure. I let the dough ferment for 24 hours total because I only had a couple tablespoons of starter. That made it too sour to eat an entire slice, plus I always seem to make the dough too wet and it sticks to the pan. Anyway, I'm learning a lot about bread!
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Gray Simpson wrote:My crockpot "pumpernickel" was a failure. I let the dough ferment for 24 hours total because I only had a couple tablespoons of starter. That made it too sour to eat an entire slice, plus I always seem to make the dough too wet and it sticks to the pan. Anyway, I'm learning a lot about bread!


My understanding of the traditional "pumpernickel" is that it needs no leavening. Most modern recipes do but are not cooked (or fermented) for such a long time either. The traditional stuff used very coarse rye meal (rye chops) and was cooked overnight in a covered pan. The dark colour was caused by the long slow cook, not molasses as many modern recipes do. I don't think there is supposed to be a ferment time, but possibly a long "bench" or bowl (not sure what to call it) time. This would let the starches break down into more simple sugars... The long low temp cooking might just do the same thing.
Carrie Stought


Joined: Jun 01, 2012
Posts: 1
I have tried several times to make wheat bread but it always come out hard and dry. Any suggestions?
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1286
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Carrie Stought wrote:I have tried several times to make wheat bread but it always come out hard and dry. Any suggestions?


While I don't think any of us are ace bakers (I'm not), it would help to know your method to be able to answer. Just off the top of my head though, the hydration in bread can vary widely from about 60% to 85% for dough that is "hand formed" (there is some even higher) and higher for breads that are scooped into the bread pan like thick batter. (I don't know how well the gluten develops in these breads though)

Hydration is the the amount of water as compared to flour. So if you have a pound of flour and 3/4 pound of water (12oz) that would be 75%.

different kinds of flour absorb different amounts of water too. For example rye flour absorbs more water than wheat flour.

All bread gets dry after a few days.

wayne stephen
steward

Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Posts: 1735
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
    
  92
Carrie - As I stated above , the sponge method from the Tassajara Bread Book works great . I don't use a recipe for ww bread and it always comes out moist and well risen. No swiss cheese holes. Start out with water , yeast , and a little honey . Add enough flour to form a stiff batter , beat this until you see gluten forming . About 100 times.The batter should be thick enough to just start forming peaks . Let this rise . Then add just enough flour for the dough to pull away from the sides. You add a bit more flour as you knead but just enough to keep it from sticking to everything . This will get you enough hydration in the dough. Then let it rise in the bowl and again in the bread pan .Before you put in oven , brush on beaten egg whites . This will make an excellent crust and seal in moisture. Also , make sure you give a nice long rising time as this softens the dough. I have had much more success with this method over the years and have learned to judge the dough by look and feel.
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I'm glad that this thread has been so active. Thanks for contributing.

Since I'm getting pretty good at making bread, I decided to try yogurt:

http://www.permies.com/t/15540/cooking-food-preservation-food-choices/making-yogurt

If you make your own yogurt, I'd love to hear your advice!
Robert Ray
volunteer

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1327
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
Here is my recipe:
4 cups flour- one held back for flouring the counter and adding if dough is too wet.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp yeast 1/2 tsp sugar/honey
rosemary, sundried tomatoes, pesto, garlic/garlic scapes whatever you choose for flavoring
1 cup boiling water

I put olive oil, herbs, sea salt into my bowl and pour the boiling water over it and give it a swish. boiling water seems to release the flavor of my herbs
I proof my yeast in a ramekin so I use a splash of warm water, honey and yeast and set it aside as the boiling water mixture cools a bit.
I let the water herb mixture sit for a few minutes and then add my flour and work it a bit, it's too hot for the yeast but the addition of the flour cools it down to a temperature that I can add the proofed yeast to.
Once I add the yeast that usually makes it a bit too wet so I heavily flour my counter and the dough picks up what it needs.
I need it for five minutes and cover it and let it rise an hour. The boiling water prewarmed the flour so it actually rises pretty quick. once doulbled I knead it for 1 minute and form it into my focaccia or boule.
Bake it for 45 min at 325 and then I check it to see if it's done or needs a bit more time.


"There is enough in the world for everyones needs, but not enough for everyones greed"
(Buckman)
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 211
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
    
    1
I got baking book called 'Dough' by Richard Bertinet for Christmas and I've had a lot of fun using his recipes and methods. He uses a different kneading method which takes 1/2 the time of normal kneading - this guy talks about it in his video.


"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I still tweak the recipe every time, but this is what I've had success with.

First thing in the morning, mix 2 or 3 cups of bread flour with 1 or 1.5 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl. Whole wheat flour will become more sour than white flour. Stir in 1/4 cup of starter and enough water to form a dough that is thinner than silly putty but thicker than pancake batter. Cover the bowl with a wet rag and let the dough sit until two or three hours before dinner. By then it should double in size. Coat a bread pan with butter and then coat the butter with wheat bran (the bran gets everywhere, but it prevents the bread from sticking to the pan). Use a spatula to press the bubbles out of the dough, then scrape into the pan. Let the dough double in size again. Bake at 350F (my bread pans are coated with Teflon, which starts decomposing into poisonous gasses at high temperatures). I should keep track of the baking time, but I don't. I just keep checking it until it sounds hollow and the crust is almost burnt. Cool, slice, and enjoy. I also make rolls by kneading in more flour after the first rise so that the balls of dough hold their shape on a baking sheet.

I pull my starter out of the fridge the night before and add flour and water to get a generous 1/4 cup. It's in a glass jar with holes poked in the lid. I use the 1/4 cup and put the last tablespoon or so back in the fridge.
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
I just made my first, and possibly last, batch of cinnamon rolls using this recipe: http://www.dogislandfarm.com/2010/08/sourdough-cinnamon-rolls.html

I omitted the baking soda (I figured it would be finished reacting by the end of the first rise anyway) and used a little more brown sugar for the filling. Very tasty! The fat, sugar, spice, and sour were in perfect balance. I'm glad I didn't use Paula Deen's recipe, which calls for about 5 times as much butter! Her's also calls for an egg in the dough, but I'd be worried about Salmonella.
Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
After reading these posts, I no longer wonder about the title....the breads and methods described seem ten times more complicated than just making simple bread dough and baking it. Bread rising for 2 hours? With a good yeast and a good dough, it shouldn't take longer than a 15-30 min. at room temps...unless that room is frigid, wherein you should move it to somewhere warmer. Easy fix.

Measuring flour into another measuring cup and using a knife to level it? A scale? C'mon! Where have you all been learning this stuff, culinary school?

The best bread in the world is just scooped out of the bag, salt measured in the palm of the hand and ingredients just thrown together....THAT'S bread for dummies. Over-complicating a simple thing is a recipe for disaster and frustration, IMO. Basic recipes, hand mixed in the bowl...heck, we don't even bother to take it out of the bowl to knead it any longer, which eliminates the whole mess on the counter issue. We've also dispensed with making loaves....they dry out quicker and make for lots of mess and crumbles when cut.

My advice is to find an old housewife who has been making her own bread for years upon years and just sit and watch....I learned by watching my own mother and my children learned by watching us both do the same. If you can't find anyone like that, find her recipes...they are out there and I guarantee not a one will advise you to raise your bread for hours, measure it with the use of a knife or scale() or be so meticulous about any of the measurements.

It's bread...very basic, very simple, been around since the beginning of time, easy to make.
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3875
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  80
Jay, I agree that the thread title is a bit misleading as most of the posts talk about sourdoughs, which aren't for dummies
They can take a long time to ferment and rise, so a couple of hours is pretty fast IME.
I'm a very casual measurer, but precision suits some people and when making more complex things like enriched breads, not measuring accurately can really change the product.
Not necessarily a problem, but I come from a commercial cooking background where consistency is key.
 
 
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