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Old 10-25-2007, 09:45 AM   #1
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Default Bread.

I'm getting fed up at the increase in food cost recently.

I recently used to pay around 40c for a cheap loaf of bread. It's now gone up to over a $.
I've dabbled at bread making and have a machine but have always had the same mediocre results.
I can now by strong bread flour in bulk at 60c a kilo for 10 kg sacks.
I found a free source of bakers yeast.
So I put that at a price of around 20C a loaf compared to a $
The speciality loafs I like are more like $4 a pop!

I made my first last night and just chucked it together.
I really don't know how much of this yeast to use or anything so I'll need to work on it.

I used a teaspoon of yeast dissolved in half a cup of warm water (left for 20 minutes), around 300 gram of bread flour, a splash of milk a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sugar.

I added water to wet and get a good dough. After kneading for a few minutes I let it sit and rise for 30 minutes then knocked it down. 30 minutes later I put in a 300°F oven untill it looked done and sounded hallow to the tap.

The result is very good.



What to try differently.
I'm going to read this site: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/
I'll probably leave he dough longer to raise before cooking.

I'm going to try and speak to the baker who gave me the yeast for tips.

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Old 10-25-2007, 01:41 PM   #2
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Try to find a copy of Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice

This book is awesome, and I'm more than pleased with the results. If you like baguettes, you won't believe how easy it is to make some of the best tasting ones you'll ever had with the pain a l'ancienne recipe.

I make all my own bread, not only because it's better, but it's also just healthier with no added junk (at least in the damn U.S. where everything has added sugar). One thing that I usually do is use the bread machine on a dough setting to do all the mixing and kneading, but then shape loaves/rolls myself. Lessens the mess you make, and most bread machines are decent at kneading.

Another thing the book stresses is the art of the pre-ferment. This is making a small combination of water, flour, and yeast the night before or so, then adding this back to the whole recipe the next day. Allowing it to ferment longer means better flavour.

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Old 10-25-2007, 02:43 PM   #3
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Looks like you need to keep it in the oven a bit longer.

I like to make Pizza bread. I make a batch of pizza dough then form it into a big doughnut shape. I then cook it on a pizza stone to get a nice crispy crust.

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Old 10-25-2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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Orfy, if you're interested, here's a good recipe for a no-knead bread. I was visiting my parents last weekend, and my mom mentioned she saw it in the paper and made it. I was a bit skeptical since every bread I've ever made has required kneading, but it was really good. It's crusty, a little sour, with a nice open crumb.

I have a different book than PseudoChef mentioned, and it also stresses pre-ferments. It's not that much more effort, you just have to plan ahead for the 12-18 extra hours it takes.

Keep trying, and good luck!

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Old 10-25-2007, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpucci
Looks like you need to keep it in the oven a bit longer.

I like to make Pizza bread. I make a batch of pizza dough then form it into a big doughnut shape. I then cook it on a pizza stone to get a nice crispy crust.
Or a little hotter. I cook 90% of my breads at 550F on a stone.

Save yourself $38 and buy a thick, unglazed quarry tile from a hardware store and set it in your oven.

Pizza stone = $40
Tile from Home Depot = $2
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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Love this book. Plus he has another newer book.

Bread alone is a good read as well as good recipes from his bakery.

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Old 10-25-2007, 03:56 PM   #7
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I'm going to make this now.
Ingredients:

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3-1/4 cups flour
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 sprig rosemary
Directions:
Mix yeast and water together in a large mixing bowl; let sit for 10 minutes. Add sugar and salt; mix together. Add flour. Mix together until dough begins to move away from the bowl. Remove dough and knead on countertop for 5-7 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove dough from bowl. Knead for 3-4 minutes. Place on a medium cookie sheet and spread the dough to the sides. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly brush olive oil over top of bread. Liberally sprinkle coarse sea salt and fresh blacked pepper on top. Scatter rosemary leaves over top. Place in oven and baked 25 minutes or until top is a light gold color.

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Old 10-25-2007, 06:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef
Try to find a copy of Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice
I went to Amazon and picked up this book on your recommendation. I grabbed a pizza stone for $20 as well, before I saw your post about the unglazed tile.

Of course, the pizza stone was part of the current 4-for-3 deal that Amazon is running, so I ended up buying a bunch of other crap, too.

So what I'm trying to say is, your post cost me $75
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:59 PM   #9
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I've just been to the tile store and picked up a freebie.

I have loads of rosemary in the garden.

My hands now smell of olive oil, rosemary and pepper.

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Old 10-26-2007, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef
Save yourself $38 and buy a thick, unglazed quarry tile from a hardware store and set it in your oven.

Pizza stone = $40
Tile from Home Depot = $2
You know, last year I looked at every store in town (Lowes, Home Depot, OSH, Ace, etc.) and couldn't find any large quarry tiles that were suitable for baking. I ended up with a $20 pizza stone from Amazon. No regrets, it's quite nice and included a steel rack that makes moving the hot stone easier.

I did find some nice 4" x 4" quarry tiles and used them to line the floor of my oven. It really helps to maintain a nice even temperature, simply by providing some thermal mass. Not bad for about a $5.00 investment.
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