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Bread
Tue 2-Mar-10
3:24 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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I love baking bread, and realised there was no one place for recipes for it. My sourdough starter is bubbling away on the kitchen table, and will need feeding in a day or two.  Then I will make some sourdough bread, probably by hand and not in the machine. I sometimes bake it in the Remoska but I am so loving having a gas oven that I will probably use that. (I base my recipe on that in the Sunset Favorite Recipes book.)

I have just started using barley flour, and love the texture it gives bread. I have also discovered that my bread machine makes good loaves with only a tiny amount of strong flour, despite what the instructions and bread machine cookbook says. (Barely used from a second-hand book shop.) A mixture of barley, spelt, rye, brown plain totalling 12 ounces and about 2 ounces of strong white worked well.

Have you tried garlic-herb bread in the bread machine? It is wonderful. Heat the oil you would normally use, about 1T, and add finely chopped garlic to taste (one or two cloves) and herbs ditto (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, about 2t total) and heat very gently, because if the garlic browns it will make it too bitter. Add it to your usual bread recipe instead of butter or oil called for. You can add some (1 or 2T) tomato puree, too.

I also like making coffee-cakes(US)/sweet yeast breads (UK), especially at Christmas.

And finally, have you seen the King Arthur Flour site? (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ )Sorry I can remember how to do a link properly! There are some excellent recipes and helpful ideas on the blog. I get very tempted at the thought of buying things when I visit the US, but try to remember they would have to be carried home. So far I have bought the rolling pin rings, which were a luxury but I was on holiday!Laugh And I was glad to have them this last Christmas.

Wed 3-Mar-10
4:43 pm
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scottiesews

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I too love baking bread.  My daughter commented that as I was talking about some thing/one I didn't like,  my kneading action became much faster & stronger!!  Very therapeutic.  I had a book from the library a few weeks back & now use a starter most times, it seems to help with rising & flavour.  I also have a breadmaker & am finding hand-made far superior, but as the book I read pointed out, the machine can only mix, whatever the manufacturer claims, it cannot replicate the action of kneading by hand.  I wouldn't get rid of the breadmaker though, it encourages the rest of the family to have a go & I won't get in the way of that!  Current favourite bread has porridge oats in it, I like it with wholemeal but DH is fussy – a committed supermarket cotton wool sort of bread man so I usually use white flour for him & DS has a slight wheat allergy so only the occasional slice of wholemeal for him.  It does however mean that I get to enjoy the whole loaf of wholemeal unless my daughter comes around, then I usually don't get any!

Wed 3-Mar-10
7:44 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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I've baked a few loaves, most of them before Christmas. The nicest loaf of all was the HFW parsnip soda loaf. Delicious fresh from the oven, cold with soup and toasted with butter the next day.

We don't have a breadmaker and I'm trying to avoid collecting more kitchen gadgets than necessary. Some of the loaves were quite good, but others were too dense. I think my kneading technique needs help.

Anyone got any tips for me to try next time I'm baking? Ta.

Wed 3-Mar-10
9:24 pm
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veronica
France

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The KA Flour site has a really good recipe for English Muffins. You can make the dough in the bread machine and they freeze well, so I make them often and stash some in the freezer for quick breakfasts. I blogged about it here.

Other than that, I am not a fan of the bread machine, I only have one because my sister-in-law gave it to me in spite of my protestations. For a while I was making the no-knead bread from the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". That works really well, and is a great option if you are short of time or you can't do kneading. Now i'm not home during the day I don't seem to be able to fit it in though.

Wed 3-Mar-10
11:53 pm
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Vagabondic
Bucks

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That muffin recipe looks great, my OH loves muffins but the local shop sells out of them by about 11a.m. each day and still has a van load of crumpets every evening - not sure why, but inevitably I am too late, thus I must give these a try. We have a breadmaker which we use loads and wouldn't be without it, it may not be as good as hand kneaded bread but is much better than shop bought ( if we use decent flour) and only takes 2 minutes to do and the toddler enjoys helping me do it. The thought of kneading bread whilst keeping toddler and bull terrier apart, or at least trying to is just too much, and whenever your hands are dirty, covered etc some idiot always decides to phone up - it is one of the unwritten rules of life.

Thu 4-Mar-10
12:35 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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LOL, Vagabondic. We now totally ignore the house phone when it rings. Friends know our mobile phone numbers. We check or messages on the house phone every few days but it is such a bully. Why should we interrupt our meals to answer any phone call, either land line or mobile?

Let them leave a message and we will get back to them.

Never knowingly underfed

Thu 4-Mar-10
8:46 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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Danny, I too can ignore my house phone--but I check messages pretty often if I haven't answered it. As for prefering a mobile, no thanks! I use land-line numbers in preference, and avoid mobiles whenever possible. Calling a mobile costs a lot more than calling a land-line, even without inclusive calls. (Note for Americans: the person making the call pays for it, not the person receiving it as in the US.) So avoiding mobiles is part of frugal living. Vagabondic, I recommend learning to let the phone ring, as long as you have an answering machine with your voice on the message, not one of the electronic ones. And I, too, still run to answer it with kitchen-y hands at times.

But, back to bread. I used to make bread by hand, but when I was pregnant, years ago, I couldn't reach the work-top to knead it so then OH took over that part of bread making. I did go back to making it myself, but got a machine about 8 years ago and mostly use that. I suspect it is not the kneading that is different, but the temperature of rising. Cold rising takes a lot longer but changes the proteins in the wheat more so they are easier to digest. Some people can eat sourdough bread, made with a traditionally long rising time, when normal, modern bread is off limits for them. For coffee cakes, I use the bread machine (set to dough) to start off the bread, and they are much lighter than when I used to do them in the mixer or totally by hand.

Shereen, the KA Flour site may well have help with kneading on the blog, which has a lot of photos. Veronica, thanks to the pointer to the English muffin recipe--I'll try it, since I keep looking for the perfect English muffin recipe. I am impressed that you manage to freeze some!

Fri 5-Mar-10
8:24 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Shereen the key for a less dense loaf is often to let it rise long enough to double in size, no matter how long it takes. If it doubles in size it stretches the gluten which makes it less dense. If you make a loaf and it is not rising very well in time to be cooked at night then put it in the fridge overnight, let it warm up a bit in the morning and pummel it to death to warm it up in the morning and let it rise again. Two risings before shaping is fine if necessary as long as it isn't too warm, then the yeast gets too active and spoils the flavour. Hope that helps Cheers

Fri 5-Mar-10
6:52 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Thanks for that Joanna. I did wonder if the cool kitchen hindered it all somehow. I think I might clear a shelf in the hotpress next time.

Ok

Fri 5-Mar-10
9:43 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Just made some bread and i have eaten haft a loaf all ready. so nice when warm but all i want to do now is have a kip

Sat 6-Mar-10
11:32 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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mutley said:Just made some bread and i have eaten haft a loaf all ready. so nice when warm but all i want to do now is have a kip


Has anyone else noticed this - give children some food, and you re-fuel their energy; give an adult food and they need time to rest and digest it ! Big_Laugh  Big_Laugh  Big_Laugh

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Sat 6-Mar-10
11:33 am
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brightspark
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Or is it just me?

Laugh

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Sat 6-Mar-10
12:37 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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No not just you, happens to me and OH too.

I'll try that again!

Sat 6-Mar-10
12:55 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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I do too it's horrible.

Sun 7-Mar-10
8:49 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Shereen said:

Thanks for that Joanna. I did wonder if the cool kitchen hindered it all somehow. I think I might clear a shelf in the hotpress next time.

Ok


A cool kitchen is fine as long as you leave it long enough, in some cases it actually improves the bread. It is just something to bear in mind and needs a rethink in timing Cool

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