Author Topic: Any bread bakers here?  (Read 6582 times)

zxcvbob

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Any bread bakers here?
« on: April 23, 2020, 10:39:45 PM »
The recent shortage on baker's yeast makes me want to try baking some bread, and even tho' I have dried yeast in the freezer I want to try culturing the natural yeast from raisins just to see if I can.  (if I can't, I'll bake a loaf with dried yeast and hold back a piece of dough as a starter for the next batch)

A few years ago I had a wonderful sourdough culture that I started myself just using rye flour and filtered water.  And I let it die in the fridge over summer because it was too hot to bake and I went too long without feeding it. :'(   I have tried replicating that starter but I have had no luck.  But raisin-water yeast is not sourdough.  I'm not sure what my point is; I've been cooped up too long  :P
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French G.

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 12:25:54 AM »
I'm not an expert, but I like to try. So far in quarantine we are 3 and 1. Made a skillet flatbread, challah bread, and a rustic dutch oven bread. Slow rise on the dutch oven one, it only uses a 1/4 pack of yeast. One Challah fail before success, recipe used instant yeast and we had some old stuff.
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Ben

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 08:57:39 AM »
For some years now, I've been making an artisan bread, recipe given to me by Adively. I tweak it slightly in a few different ways.

6 cups flour
2-3tsp salt
1tsp yeast
2 cups water

Mix it all together (dough hook works best if you have one).
Cover bowl with saran wrap and let sit for 12 or so hours (overnight makes it easy).
Remove from bowl onto floured surface and lightly knead a couple of times into a ball.
Place inside lightly floured towel and let sit and  rerise for ~2 hours.
Put a dutch oven (5qt for this amount) in the oven and preheat to 425.
Put dough into the dutch oven and bake for about 45 minutes with the lid on, then another 10 minutes with the lid off (to develop a crust)
Baking times vary by oven. I use a thermometer. Bread is done at 200. I usually take the lid off at 190.
Remove from oven and let cool for as long as you can stand not cutting into it, because the smell is amazing. I like to cut off an end piece relatively early and slather it with Kerrygold butter.


This recipe is literally like 10 minutes of work from start to finish, including clean up. Up until this recipe, I had limited success baking good bread. I don't beleive I've ever gotten a bad loaf with this recipe. I often tweak it in different ways. Sometimes, if I have sourdough starter going, I will use that instead of yeast or even added to yeast. I will also sometimes mix in various quantities of rye flour or wheat flour for different consistency and flavor.

I also, for myself, cut the recipe to 4 cups of flour for a smaller loaf. I put it in a 3qt dutch oven I found on Amazon that is shaped to create a smaller diameter, higher loaf making it better for sandwiches and stuff. It's not available anymore, but when I get a chance I'll post a pic that hopefully shows the dimensions.

On yeast, I always buy a big package that Costco sells and stick a bunch of it in the freezer, and I end up buying yeast maybe once a year.

Also, funny tangent. I was speaking to a former coworker yesterday and she said at their virtual staff meeting this week, all anything the hippie yuppies (most of the staff) could talk about was their sourdough experiments, because suddenly 19th century skills are cool with that crowd, and not something wacko preppers do. There was apparently only limited success in what most would consider a pretty foolproof process.  :laugh:
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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 09:51:34 AM »
I have lots of yeast in the freezer, the raisin water thing is an experiment :D  And so I can tell Patty's friends how to make their own yeast (because they want me to give them my dried yeast and bread flour)  I do have enough bread flour to share a little of that.

I was planning to use 100 grams whole wheat flour, 200 grams bread flour, 200 grams fizzy raisin water, 5 grams of salt.  And maybe 5 grams of ground malted barley (diastatic.)  Those proportions should yield a fairly wet dough, but I have no idea how large a loaf it will make.  (I wonder if I should double everything?)  So I might make buns with it the first time, and scale it up or down to make a loaf next time.  When I was baking sourdough bread, I had good luck using an old Corningware casserole dish for a pan.  I baked it with the lid on until almost done, then removed the lid at the end to brown the top.  But I don't remember any of the amounts or times  ;/

I will definely try your recipe too.  Thanks.  (and maybe I can glean some measurements from yours to scale mine)

When I make pizza dough, I don't knead it at all.  I use strong flour and a kinda wet shaggy dough.  I stir it up and put it in the fridge for a day or two.  Then I shape it while it's still cold when I'm ready to use it (it's not as sticky that way.)
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Brad Johnson

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 10:01:58 AM »
At one point I was making all my own bread. I partially cheated by using a bread machine, but ingredients came from separate bags, not box mixes.

Basic White
4 C flour (bread flour works best but All-Purpose works almost as well)
1-1/3 C water
2 T cooking oil
1 T sugar
2 t salt
2 t dry yeast

Variations are endless. Make onion bread by adding one packet of onion soup mix and deleting the salt. Make Parmesan-pepper bread by adding half a cup Kraft grated parm along with a healthy grind of fresh black pepper and heavy pinch of oregano. Make onion thyme by adding a quarter cup of reconstituted dried onions along with a heavy pinch of thyme. Pretty much anything you can think of is fair game.

Cover, let set until it doubles. Punch down and parcel into cooking vessels, cover and let rise until it doubles again, then bake at 350 until golden brown.

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charby

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 10:03:39 AM »
I wonder if fresh grapes would be a better option for yeast over raisins?
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Ben

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2020, 10:08:25 AM »

When I make pizza dough, I don't knead it at all. 

I should redefine how I use "knead" above. I don't really knead the dough, mostly lightly fold it over a couple of times to get a light coat of flour on it, then lightly form it up into a sorta ball/mound.  I don't press the dough down at all.
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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2020, 10:17:01 AM »
I wonder if fresh grapes would be a better option for yeast over raisins?

Perhaps.  Whole dates are supposed to work well too.  I don't see or smell any active fermentation yet, but some of the raisins are starting to float; that's a good sign.
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MillCreek

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 10:34:40 AM »
With the lack of yeast, I have been reading some interesting recipes using self-rising flour and Greek yogurt as a substitute for yeast.  I have not yet tried this, though.
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Ben

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2020, 10:37:10 AM »
This is the size of 3qt dutch oven I use, good for one or two people. It is smaller diameter and higher than the Lodge 3qt. It's 8.5" diameter and 4.5" high. Same height as the Lodge 5qt. The four cups make a loaf that rises to just the top of this pot. Not just the center, but the sides as well.



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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2020, 10:56:25 AM »
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charby

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2020, 11:06:33 AM »
Perhaps.  Whole dates are supposed to work well too.  I don't see or smell any active fermentation yet, but some of the raisins are starting to float; that's a good sign.

If it was late June/early July, I be deep in a lot of yeast covered black currant berries.
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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2020, 11:24:42 AM »
If it was late June/early July, I be deep in a lot of yeast covered black currant berries.

Any fresh picked fruit should be covered with yeast.  :)  I'm not so sure about supermarket fresh grapes, so dried is probably a better bet there.
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makattak

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2020, 11:35:06 AM »
Any fresh picked fruit should be covered with yeast.  :)  I'm not so sure about supermarket fresh grapes, so dried is probably a better bet there.

And now I have another use for the massive number of plums we're going to have this year.
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charby

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2020, 11:44:52 AM »
Any fresh picked fruit should be covered with yeast.  :)  I'm not so sure about supermarket fresh grapes, so dried is probably a better bet there.

Black currants seem to be extra yeasty.
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BobR

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2020, 12:13:20 PM »
These guys might say it is easy to make your own yeast but trust me, it is very finicky when it comes to temp and feeding.

https://www.offthegridnews.com/off-grid-foods/prepper-baking-101-making-your-own-yeast/

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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2020, 01:40:44 PM »
Perhaps I should test my recipe using active dry yeast before I ty making it with wild yeast :D  I have to wait a week for the raisin yeast to build up anyway.  (why didn't I think of that earlier) :facepalm:
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Brad Johnson

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2020, 03:53:11 PM »
Anyone tried making starter with whole wheat flour? Best I can remember, my grandmother (Mom's side) made her starter with whole wheat flour. No idea how she tended it after that, though.

Brad
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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2020, 04:01:02 PM »
Anyone tried making starter with whole wheat flour? Best I can remember, my grandmother (Mom's side) made her starter with whole wheat flour. No idea how she tended it after that, though.

Brad

Yes.  Rye flour works better (it seems to have more bugs in it) but whole wheat will work.  Unbleached all-purpose should work too.  Malted barley would be interesting to try.  You are cultivating the yeast and bacteria that naturally occurs on the surface of the grain.  I have used raw malted barley to make a lactic acid starter for souring beer.

IIRC, you mix equal parts (by weight) flour and bottled water, and stir it up to make a batter.  Then leave it in a warm place, with a cloth cover to keep flies out.  After it gets going, you have to feed it with additional flour and water (can be tapwater now), and you probably have to throw some away to keep it managable.  After about 2 feedings, you can put it in the fridge to slow it down -- just don't forget about it for 3 months  :'(
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Fly320s

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2020, 08:10:02 AM »
Anyone tried making starter with whole wheat flour? Best I can remember, my grandmother (Mom's side) made her starter with whole wheat flour. No idea how she tended it after that, though.

Brad

According to a youtube bread guru, any flour will work as a starter.  I have sourdough starter on my counter right now that I accidentally started with cornmeal instead of flour.  It is working, but I have been feeding it with AP flour.

The guru:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJEHsvW2J6M&t=742s

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zxcvbob

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2020, 01:04:33 AM »
According to a youtube bread guru, any flour will work as a starter.  I have sourdough starter on my counter right now that I accidentally started with cornmeal instead of flour.  It is working, but I have been feeding it with AP flour.

The guru:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJEHsvW2J6M&t=742s

That was a great video; thanks.  But I didn't see where he said anything about making a starter from scratch.  (I really liked the idea of frying the excess starter instead of throwing it out)  He talked aout feeding your starter, and all purpose flour is fine for that.  It will probably work for making your initial starter, but using someting less processed at the beginning will increase your chances of success.  :)
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K Frame

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2020, 08:30:44 AM »
Years ago I tried a sourdough starter using boiled potatoes. Worked fine.

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Fly320s

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2020, 02:31:26 PM »
That was a great video; thanks.  But I didn't see where he said anything about making a starter from scratch.  (I really liked the idea of frying the excess starter instead of throwing it out)  He talked aout feeding your starter, and all purpose flour is fine for that.  It will probably work for making your initial starter, but using someting less processed at the beginning will increase your chances of success.  :)

Might have been one of his other videos that talked about making the starter.  He has a bunch.
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Silver Bullet

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2020, 11:00:19 PM »
30 years ago i bought a bread maker and liked it so much I bought my parents/siblings one also.  It was fun, you just dumped in the ingredients, pushed the button, and the machine did all the work:  kneading and baking as required.

I actually had some problems with the machine making great bread every time, sometimes it was flat, didn't rise properly.

But it came with 60 recipes and I had my parents/siblings send me their results, so I was able to assign a 1 to 10 rating on each recipe.  From that, we were able to discern the better recipes based on consensus.

Boatloads of fun, but in the end I lost interest because the machine didn't work quite good enough.  Probably better by now, but now I avoid carbs.  They had their chance.

K Frame

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Re: Any bread bakers here?
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2020, 09:19:19 PM »
I also bought a bread machine about 25-30 years ago.

Friends of mine told me I'd use it 3 or 4 times and then it would gather dust.

They were partially right... I used it, on average, 3 or 4 times a month for nearly 10 years until it finally burned up.

I never replaced it, but I often think about getting another machine because a couple of the recipes I had were absolutely fantastic.
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