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Thread: Simple Bread

  1. #1
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    Default Simple Bread

    My nearest Breadsmith is probably in Winnipeg and the border crossing these days is slow, so I'm working on baking my own bread. I've been having good results so far, but most recipes I've used have required multiple steps and even days.

    I'd really like to develop a collection of simple bread recipes to work from once or twice a week, treating home baked bread as a staple rather than a novelty. I'm thinking water/flour(s)/yeast/salt/honey in the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook, let it rise in a bread pan, then stick it in the oven.

    I know about the no-knead approach, and I'm planning to get the Tartine Bread book. Beyond those, what simple bread recipes are you guys using?
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    I'll check with the Mrs. She has been experimenting with bread over the summer and had some good results. The only takeaway that I have from this is that precision in measurement of your ingredients is key.
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    I use Jamie Oliver's basic recipe:

    3x sachets yeast
    1kg flour
    tbsp salt
    honey
    1 (UK) pint (20oz) tepid water

    Dissolve the yeast and honey in half the water.
    Pour into a big bowl with the flour and salt.
    Knead. Add the rest of the water as needed.
    Cover and let rise.
    Bash the hell out of it and let rise again.
    Bake/freeze.

    If doing pizza- don't let it rise the 2nd time- just bash the air out and roll into crust shape.

    Easy peasy.

    I usually do at least 2 batches at once and freeze a bunch. You lose a bit of the airiness upon baking when you freeze it, but I think it's still better than most store-bought bread. Doesn't matter as much for pizza, so it's nice to have that option on a random weeknight you don't wanna cook.
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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    I've baked about 75 loaves over the last year and consider it a staple. Nothing but spontaneously-leavened starter, salt, flour. Some malted barley flour helps the nuttiness and gets things fermenting, available in what some manufacturers call Unbleached All Purpose Flour. The Tartine book was overwhelming for me, frankly. No way to control temps to that precise a degree, or fermentation times, but you get a very good grounding in basics.

    It is amazing how different every loaf is.
    "Old and standing in the way of progress"

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    I have used King Arthur's white bread 101 recipe for a couple of years and it always turns out great for an easy to make white loaf.

    3 cups all purpose flour
    2 teaspoons instant yeast
    1 1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    4 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
    1/4 cup potato flour
    1 1/8 cups lukewarm water

    Melt the butter and combine all the ingredients in the mixer/processor. I use my kitchen aid with dough hook on medium speed for 15 minutes. Then I work it with my hands until it feels right and put it in a plastic proof bucket with a lid for about an hour (maybe more depending on temp). Then shape into a loaf and put in greased loaf pan and cover with plastic until it rises a couple inches above the pan edge. About another hour. I find it helps to do all of the rising on the counter right above a running dishwasher.

    Bake at 350 deg. for 35-40 minutes and tent with foil towards the end if it is getting too brown on top. Immediately remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. You can brush it with butter after cooling 15 minutes if you want a softer crust.

    The yeast I'm using is the instant stuff you buy in a 16 oz. package. I keep it in the freezer in an air tight container.

    1308785121424.jpg

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Jim Lahey "My Bread". Worth the read. This is about as little effort as you can and still have crusty goodness.

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    I've tried a few of these with good success Bread cetera

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    20oz flour. I use half white, half whole wheat
    12 oz water
    1 teaspoon yeast
    2 tsp salt
    1 tbl honey
    1 tbl olive oil

    bake it in a dutch oven at 450 for 30 minutes, take the lid off and bake another 10 or 15 more.

    With this recipe you can add different dry ingredients once it starts to come together. If you add wet ingredients, add a little more flour. The basic premise is 5 parts flour to 3 parts water, adjust for more as needed.
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    I've heard good things about this no-knead recipe which was featured a while back in the NYT, but I haven't got around to trying it out myself.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/di...mrex.html?_r=0

     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Once you get the hang of one of the no-knead concept you can improvise variations and assimilate recipes with other ingredients into the mix without too much fuss. I find making bread is more a matter of feel more than a strict adherence to any particular recipe. Basically, bread is just flour, salt, yeast, and water. It's the little things (temperature of the water, temperature and humidity of the air, etc.) that are what really make or break a good loaf. That being said, The Bread Baker's Apprentice covers a good range. Even an oldie like the Tassajara Bread Book gives you a nice, friendly walk-through on baking good bread.
     

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    Default

    One thing that has really been beneficial for our bread is a pan of water in the oven. The higher humidity seems to make for a nicer crust on the outside. Don't skimp and put the water in when you start to heat the oven.
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    One more question: Most recipes indicate that the dough needs to rise twice, i.e. let it rise, bash it down, then let it rise again. Why? What will happen if I just let it rise once and stick it in the oven?
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Punching down the dough and letting it have a second rise makes for a finer crumb and helps eliminate big pockets caused by gas bubbles.
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bkat View Post
    Punching down the dough and letting it have a second rise makes for a finer crumb and helps eliminate big pockets caused by gas bubbles.
    Thanks, very interesting. I looked around a little bit and discovered there are single-rise breads as well as conventional double-rise. I'm going to give on of the single-rise recipes a go.
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Let us know how the single-rise goes. About once a week, I make a container of no-knead dough and keep it in the fridge. (I have the recipe memorized!) When I come home from work I'll grab a glob, form it into a boule, cover it with a bowl, let it come to room temp, bake, and we have fresh bread for dinner. (My wife tells all her friends how her husband makes fresh bread all the time and they are duly impressed even though there's virtually no labor involved.)
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Mrs. Haole found this link and passed it along. Looks like a good wiki on doing grilled pizza crust. We will probably beta test one of these days soon, because it is always grilling season here.
    Grilled Pizzas Step-by-Step | Ciao from Debbie
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Quote Originally Posted by randonneur View Post
    I've heard good things about this no-knead recipe which was featured a while back in the NYT, but I haven't got around to trying it out myself.
    I made a batch on Tuesday night and used the NYT recipe with the addition of Test Kitchen's idea of transporting the dough on parchment paper. Turned out great, although the crust was overly tough. It would have been great with soup, but not so much as a sandwich bread to be sliced thin.
     

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Right on. Bittman suffers no fools and I can confirm that even a lowland ape like me can make crusty goodness using that method.
    The real problem is not eating an entire loaf in one sitting.

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    If you store the bread in a plastic bag the crust should get softer.

    There's an old thread about bread somewhere...the Dutch oven/Tartine way works well.
    "Old and standing in the way of progress"

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    Default Re: Simple Bread

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    I made a batch on Tuesday night
    Thanks for the report. Now I'm definitely going to have to try this out...
     

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