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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Bread Thread

Hi All :!:

I want to learn to make bread. Preferably whole grain.

I do not own a stand mixer or a bread machine.

I am a very good home cook but I have no experience with baking.

Talk to me like a 3 year old.

Recipes - yes

I need more information. What tools do I need? I will not purchase a stand mixer any time soon so keep it rustic. Be specific.

I have not engaged in baking because it requires precision.

I need very detailed instructions. I promise to follow instructions.

The more information the better.

:shock: I can not believe that I want to make my own bread. Take my temperature please. I must be ill! :>
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

gumbo2176
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Re: Bread Thread

I've tried to send this twice but both times my computer went stupid and shut down. Hope this goes through this time.

This is a recipe I use and it is from a La. based cookbook called "Talk About Good" published by the Junior League of Lafayette and had tons of traditional La. Cajun and Creole recipes.

Herb/Parmesan Bread:

2 cups warm water
2 pkgs. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tbsp. Oregano---or any other herb you like. I prefer Rosemary and will usually bake 2 loaves, 1 oregano and 1 rosemary
4 1/4 cups flour------I prefer bread flour, but the recipe doesn't designate which, whether AP or bread flour

Sprinkle yeast over the water in a large bowl and let it stand for a few minutes, then stir. Add sugar, salt, butter, 1/2 cup cheese, oregano, 3 cups flour and beat this until it gets smooth. Then beat in the rest of the flour until a ball is formed.

Cover the bowl with waxed paper and a towel and let the dough rise for 45 minutes in a warm place. Grease a bread pan (I use one of those 5 x 9 metal pans), but the recipe calls for a 1 1/2 to 2 qt. casserole dish. Set your oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the dough and beat it down and knead it for a couple minutes then place the dough in you baking pan/dish, sprinkle 1 tbsp. cheese across the top and bake for 55 minutes.

I always make sure to have 2 of these loaves when I throw my big Thanksgiving party every year and they are a hit with my guests.

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Gary350
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Re: Bread Thread

Here is a bread making video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnA3i1MyB-k

Buy a 5 lb bag of flour with a Bread recipe on the back.

Be sure to use Bread Flour, NOT self rising, NOT all purpose.

Bread is so easy to make there are 2 basic recipes, for all breads.

Italian bread and French bread are both, 2 cups Flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, enough water to make a stiff dough.

Soft Breads, 2 cups Flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 egg, enough milk to make a stiff dough.

Quantities are not very critical, 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup butter, enough liquid to make a stiff dough about 1 cup of water or liquid.

Kneeding the bread means mixing it by hand this is the most important part. Stir in a bowl until it is too stiff to mix. Sprinkle flour on counter top so bread dough does not stick to counter top. Dump bread from bowl to counter top. Mix by hand smash dough flat then fold in half over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, fold it over and smash, for 5 minutes until dough becomes too stiff to kneed. Let dough rest 5 minutes then kneed again for 5 minutes.

Put dough in a bread loaf pan for loaf bread or cook on a pizza pan or cookie sheet for round loaves. Cover dough with a light coating of butter or oil then let it double in size in a warm place. Bake in oven 350 degrees F or 25 to 30 minutes.

pepperhead212
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Re: Bread Thread

Elizabeth,

Glad to hear you want to get into baking! Homemade bread is some of the best tasting things you can make, and where you can save a LOT of money, as store-bought breads are one of the biggest rip-offs on the market! This is what made me start baking - back in '75. And I haven't bought a loaf of bread since '76, unless I would buy one going over to Mom's for her, and I'd tell her that I'd have to put a bag over my head! lol Back then I could make a 1 lb loaf of white bread for 3 cents, and they were selling for over a dollar, and I could make a 1 lb loaf of organic WW or rye for 17 cents, and they were selling for over 2 dollars. About the same rip-offs now, and the flavor is always better from home!

Bread making is an inexact science, but it is a science. There are thousands of recipes for bread using the basics - flour, water, salt, and yeast - and it's amazing how different they can be! The flour can be changed, but mainly it's the times and temperatures that change them - times for kneading, rising, and baking, and the temps in the same things. And not all bread uses bread flour, as you don't always want the increased gluten - a good thing in yeast breads, as it is the elastic that keeps the air in the bread when it rises. But quick breads you want to use AP flour, and sometimes even adding a little cornstarch will help them rise better, as you don't want as much gluten in those. And one of my favorites to make a white bread for a dinner, or a pullman loaf, is artisan bread flour - a flour with a little more gluten, but not quite as much as regular bread flour, but the flavor is fantastic. The flour is actually a little less "white", when you compare it to AP or bread flour, and this is due to the milling techniques, which leave more of the flavorings in it. Unfortunately, it's not available everywhere, unless you buy a 50 lb bag of it, like I did! lol

One problem with not having a mixer to do the kneading is that while kneading on the countertop we tend to add more flour than some breads need (no pun intended), to keep them from sticking to the counter or our hands. When you add enough to make a firm dough, the bread won't be as soft, with an open "crumb" as it is referred to, as you get in a ciabatta, or other breads you want for absorbing soups, gravies, and the like. When making these kinds of breads in a mixer, you add enough flour, to make the dough come away from the bowl about 3/4 of the way, sticking at the bottom - which would be a mess on a countertop! This is also the texture of pizza dough - they would not be able to spin and toss the firm dough you will get kneading on the countertop. You can still make a firm dough, and use it for pizza, but it will be different.

One place you can save a lot of money in bread making is the yeast! Those 3 packs of yeast are rip-offs, though when starting out, that's what most of us use. Once you get hooked, get the 1 lb bags, and keep it in a jar in the fridge or freezer. And to get the best flavor in bread, you'll eventually want to try starting the dough the day before, with a smaller amount of yeast, in about 1/3 of the dough - what is termed a pre-ferment, and has many different names. And if you like rye breads, this is the best way to start them, as it gives a great flavor to them, and it is hard to "overferment" the rye breads, given their strong flavor, while with white breads you have to be careful with this. One of my favorite rye recipes starts the rye up to 3 days early!

Eventually, you may want to try baking with starters, rather than yeast, but you want to try simpler things in the beginning. With starters, the time and temps play a big role, while yeast is more forgiving. It is hard to get a rye bread too sour, but easy with white, or half and half breads, and also easy to get a bland loaf, with little sour.

Adding oil or other fats to breads will help it store longer, but will make the crust softer, and not as crunchy as one with no fat. And adding sugar, molasses, or honey will help the bread rise, feeding the yeast, but it changes the flavor, compared to just using flour. Eggs are more for specialty breads, or sweeter breads, and milk or buttermilk chnage not only the flavor, but the texture as well, making a softer dough. and it also weakens the gluten bonds, so the bread doesn't rise as high. But this is minor, and you can pretty much eliminate this problem by using dry milk in breads - 1/3 c/ of water. The heat used in drying milk does away with most the chemical that does this when fresh milk is used.

I could keep on telling you things about bread, but it's getting late; suffice it to say, you can get hooked on homemade! And, if you are a cookbook junkie, like myself, you might get a bunch of bread books, giving you more ideas than you know what to do with! lol

If there is anything in particular you want, feel free to ask!
Dave

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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Bread Thread

Thank you for your replies, recipes and tips. I can use them all.

My biggest problem is portion control. When George is able to eat things like bread, pasta, rice and starchy veggies it will be only occasionally and in small portions. In the past I have purchased frozen bread dough. So - I know I can divide and freeze dough in the needed portion size. My question is at what point can I divide it and freeze and what do I need to do before baking.

Thanks again - you are all O:) !
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

gumbo2176
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Location: New Orleans

Re: Bread Thread

ElizabethB wrote:Thank you for your replies, recipes and tips. I can use them all.

My biggest problem is portion control. When George is able to eat things like bread, pasta, rice and starchy veggies it will be only occasionally and in small portions. In the past I have purchased frozen bread dough. So - I know I can divide and freeze dough in the needed portion size. My question is at what point can I divide it and freeze and what do I need to do before baking.

Thanks again - you are all O:) !
I just revisited this thread and I'm sure you can halve or even quarter most recipes and bake the bread fresh. If the portions are too small for a loaf, them make buns, but you'd have to cut the cooking time with lesser amounts of dough is my thought.

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ElizabethB
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Bread Thread

Thank you all!

:-()
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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