long-time reader first-time bread-maker

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(actually i made CINNAMON BUNS from the MOOMINS COOKBOOK a few years back, they were ok)

assume i have never made bread before, what is a good type of loaf place to start with -- needn't be basic!! what will i have most fun with and learn most from first time out??!!

(since basic is anyway sometimes not the easiest thing! cf delia on boiling an egg)

this is what i currently have to hand:
plain flour
wholemeal flour
cornflour
ground almonds

quick yeast (bought this week)
dried active yeast (in an unopened tin 4 yrs past sell-by)
some turkish packet yeast (aka MAYA, with a picture of croissants on the cover)

normal sugar
icing sugar
dark brown sugar

eggs
butter
milk

baking powder
bicarb
salt, pepper etc
herbs and spices, many and varied

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 14:32 (two weeks ago) link

on the advice of pals elsewhere i went with VEGAN SODA BREAD, using water and lemon juice instead of buttermilk

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:15 (two weeks ago) link

for best-practice euphony the thread shd really say "baker" not "bread-maker" but i can and do make cakes fairly often so

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:16 (two weeks ago) link

I've only ever used ground almonds as a substitute for breadcrumbs when I was baking chicken. What are you using them for? I want to make some whiskey bread but haven't found a good recipe yet.

do you have pics?

Yerac, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:40 (two weeks ago) link

still in the over, i will post when it comes out

the almonds are left over from a time when i was trying to reproduce my gran's gorgeous near-liquid pain de genes via experimental methods and no recipe (my aunt refuses to pass it on for some reason) (falling out with my gran possibly) -- i put them in this list in case anyone had any ideas given the unplanned ingredients i had to hand!

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:46 (two weeks ago) link

in the oven i mean, ten mins to go

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:46 (two weeks ago) link

being dumm i fvcked up the base and had to slice it off the grill it was baked on (not this one)

(it had oozed thru the bars like T2 and got stuck to itself -- i guess i shd have just used a flat baking tray lol)

taste is ok tho, hint of rosemary, needs a little more salt

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:31 (two weeks ago) link

look at that fat babby.

Yerac, Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:35 (two weeks ago) link

would you use that recipe again? if so post here.

Yerac, Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:35 (two weeks ago) link

sure why not, it's super-simple (no buttermilk bcz i had none, used lemon juice as the acid, see below)

things i have to get better at before my next attempt:

1: handling the raw dough (viz moving it from the shaping surface to the baking surface without totally messing up the shape)
2: using a non-dumm baking surface lol
3: not getting flour everywhere (i will never learn this)

but basically i am pleased with it, it is very eatable! i shd try and make some soup to go with it before i eat it all

RECIPE for SODA BREAD (water not buttermilk)

4 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp salt -- i think use more next time!!
1 1/2 cups water
2tsp lemon juice
I tbsp chopped rosemary (fresh)

Sieve the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre. Pour in all of the water & vinegar. Using one hand stir in a full circular movement from the centre to the outside of the bowl in ever-increasing circles. Add rosemary. The dough should be softish, not too wet & sticky.

When it all comes together turn out onto a well-floured surface. Tidy it up and flip over gently. Pat the dough into a round about 4cm (1 1/2 in) deep.

Cut a deep cross on the loaf and prick in the four corners (lol it’s a round it has no corners). Bake in the (pre-heated) oven for 15 minutes at 250 oC, then turn down to 200 oC for 30 minutes until cooked. Tap the bottom of the bread: when it is cooked it will sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:52 (two weeks ago) link

although i enjoy cooking my bread baking has always been a bit of a failure starting with a loaf of quasar-like density one sice of which would both render you immobile and nourish you for days.

i will be following developments with a keen interest.

Fizzles, Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

i am thinking about making this but somehow adding whiskey as the flavor.

Yerac, Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:53 (two weeks ago) link

instead of the water maybe

mark s, Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:30 (two weeks ago) link

Using mark’s ingredients and yerac’s inspiration I found a recipe for Bourbon cornbread. Although regular cornbread would be a great thing to make as well.

Also my go to bread not bread thing is farinata. It’s a savory thick pancake made with chickpea (gram, besam) flour, olive oil salt and water.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/14/chickpea-flour-recipes-yotam-ottolenghi

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Sunday, 22 March 2020 00:03 (two weeks ago) link

Conveniently, yeast seems hard to come by at the moment where I am, and in fact hard to come by on Amazon.

The sourdough starter recipes I've seen recommend starting with rye flour, which I do not have on hand.

I do have a single packet of rapid rise yeast.

The question is, can I use this to grow more?

I can find something that says "no" but I cannot find something that says "yes".

fajita seas, Sunday, 22 March 2020 00:59 (two weeks ago) link

no but you can make sourdough starter from all-purpose flour. it's a different kind of yeast that you would buy. i happened to buy a big package of SAF instant yeast at the middle eastern food store in january, places like that would likely have it.

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 01:30 (two weeks ago) link

lol did you read this? i'm curious https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Yeast

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 01:33 (two weeks ago) link

oh it's for brewer's yeast...i'm at a loss

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 01:33 (two weeks ago) link

Also my go to bread not bread thing is farinata. It’s a savory thick pancake made with chickpea (gram, besam) flour, olive oil salt and water.

That sounds good. Does it get/need a sauce? reminds me of the panisses i made a few times when i had chickpea flour on hand that needed using. they were really good, and pretty simple. not strictly bread though, sorry if derailing

xxpost

medicate for all (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 22 March 2020 11:51 (two weeks ago) link

this is a safe space for bread nerds and noobs alike, no worry too pernickety, no question too dumb :)

mark s, Sunday, 22 March 2020 12:09 (two weeks ago) link

It’s a lot like panise. It goes with lots of things, some veggies or a salad on top is good. However I just normally have it with olive oil salt and black pepper. It was a staple of pizza shops when I lived in Turin and that’s all they ate it with there.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Sunday, 22 March 2020 12:35 (two weeks ago) link

you can make a starter with any kind of flour but it’s true that rye is a bit more supercharged. start with equal parts flour and warm water, maybe 50g of each, stir up (with your hands), leave in a warm place, the next day ditch half of it and add a bit more flour and warm water in equal parts and keep going like this. after about 5 days you’ll have something that bubbles and rises. you might want to use water that you’ve allowed to sit for an hour, so that it doesn’t have as much chlorine in it.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 March 2020 12:53 (two weeks ago) link

i got rye flour to make the last starter i failed at. i got too excited that it was actually working, didn't stir it enough, and it got some mold on it. i will start another one today.

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:11 (two weeks ago) link

the starter recipe i used said to also add pineapple juice. would something like that help the AP flour starter? tracer?

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:13 (two weeks ago) link

i wouldn’t.

if it gets mold on it you can carefully scoop the mold off and what’s underneath ought to be fine. personally i take my starter out of its container at least once every couple of weeks and wash the container well so that mold doesn’t get a foothold.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:24 (two weeks ago) link

xp

Hi relatively new sourdough baker here (gave up drinking, started baking!)

aiui the pineapple juice technique may well be good for AP flour. The book I'm learning from (Super Sourdough by the nice Scottish doctor guy from Bake-Off*) says that he's found it can make the difference with cheap white flour - that the acid kills off the bugs you don't want growing in there. iirc it can be any fruit juice or something similarly acid. And switch to water after first feed.

*I've never actually watched bake-off but he comes over well in this book. Good hand-holding, and goes into the why of things, which I like.

woof, Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:30 (two weeks ago) link

interesting! why not?

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 March 2020 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

never heard of this before, but interesting read
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10856/pineapple-juice-solution-part-1

medicate for all (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 22 March 2020 19:49 (two weeks ago) link

I've noticed a concerted uptick in people interested in sourdough all of a sudden, my wife has been giving out starter & advice. Although acquiring the equipment can be an initial hurdle.

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:26 (two weeks ago) link

what equipment? i use couple of bowls..

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:54 (two weeks ago) link

i was trundling along quite happily without it, because i was a bit indifferent to any that i'd had. then i found a local bakery that did *amazing* sourdough. the best. so i reluctantly paid *money* for it each week. then it shut down at christmas, and i haven't been able to find any that matches it since – hedone bakery in chiswick closest, but i ain't going anywhere near there these days because i'm isolating on the other side of london. i'm watching people's sourdough experiments to see whether i should do it, but it seems like x5 more pita than just a regular loaf, which i also can't do. i may try and get better at this over the coming period. xpost.

Fizzles, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:56 (two weeks ago) link

Scottish doctor guy from Bake-Off*) says that he's found it can make the difference with cheap white flour - that the acid kills off the bugs you don't want growing in there. iirc it can be any fruit juice or something similarly acid. And switch to water after first feed.

This makes a lot of sense all of the sake brewing methods I know start by making or using acid to protect the yeast from undesirable bacteria. Citric acid or lactic acid are used so it makes sense that something acidic like pineapple juice would work well. Plus all the sugar probably helps get the yeast going.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:02 (two weeks ago) link

ah i forgot - a scale. you do want a scale that can measure grams.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:09 (two weeks ago) link

Scale, Dutch oven, banneton baskets, proofing situation? That's just what my partner uses, probably only the scale is necessary.

She just made some loaves and I can see it on the counter from where I'm working.

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:27 (two weeks ago) link

I don't know how to invite people to slack. Does this work. Post your breads to this since it's much easier to post images. https://join.slack.com/t/poxyfule/shared_invite/zt-csm19k0n-P_w0mauC3_sXUXus~TI0mw deems started a cooking channel but I think you have to expand to see it and join. Called.: What do you cook like.

Yerac, Sunday, 22 March 2020 23:36 (two weeks ago) link

you successfully invited people to slack

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Sunday, 22 March 2020 23:41 (two weeks ago) link

I am partying in the streets.

Yerac, Sunday, 22 March 2020 23:45 (two weeks ago) link

Jordan yes okay i have that stuff too :)

but it’s absolutely not a requirement!

- you can proof a boule in a colander lined with a floured tea towel.

- dutch ovens are great but you can bake freestanding loaves. that way you can bake more loaves at a time. only difference is you need a tray of boiling water at bottom of the oven for the first 25 minutes to create steam.

but yes a scale is a hard requirement for sure.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 23 March 2020 07:18 (two weeks ago) link

Metal dough-scraper has been my favourite non-essential.

Had a large delivery of flour today, so all set to bake through the dark times.

Going to move away from sourdough and try a basic soda bread tomorrow.

woof, Monday, 23 March 2020 18:03 (two weeks ago) link

yes a dough scraper can be quite handy. I have used a cake knife in a pinch.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 23 March 2020 18:11 (two weeks ago) link

First time breadmaker trying Jim Lahey's No-Knead bread. I expected many things to go wrong. I did not expect that when I took the preheated pot out of the oven and lifted the lid off, a blob of smelly melted plastic bowl would be at the bottom :(

Paperbag raita (ledge), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 12:12 (two weeks ago) link

oh god no :(

forensic plumber (harbl), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 13:50 (two weeks ago) link

yes don't eat that

mark s, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:07 (two weeks ago) link

Bread turned out fine(*) in a normal saucepan, not sure if the le creuset can be saved :(

(*) considering I couldn't find the white bread flour and was making the dough with wholemeal till my wife came down and said that was a terrible idea, found the white flour, and made me double the recipe for two 50/50 loaves. like i said, first time breadmaker.

Paperbag raita (ledge), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:08 (two weeks ago) link

Also we have (hopefully) learned to store ovenware with the lids on upside down.

Paperbag raita (ledge), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

the ceramic coating is not porous so you may be able to save it. eeeeeek

forensic plumber (harbl), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:18 (two weeks ago) link

Any focaccia recipes to recommend? Something to do with 00 flour other than pizza dough?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 16:36 (two weeks ago) link

Soon I will be a first-in-a-long-time bread baker. Is that no-knead a good way to go or should I try something else. I may or may not have a KitchenAid mixer. It was acting a bit weird last I used it oh three or four years ago.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 16:37 (two weeks ago) link

we are anxiously making our own sourdough starter. the first attempt died on day 4-ish, so this round we're being really by-the-book and worrying more than is probably necessary.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 16:40 (two weeks ago) link

ok i have a question abt fan ovens then: do i change the numbers when the fan is on (i always put the fan on bcz why wouldn't i)

mark s, Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:48 (one week ago) link

don’t put on the fan - the fan will extract all the nice moisture that helps the bread push upwards in that first 20 minutes

in fact, slightly next-level is to put a pan of boiling water in bottom of your oven for that first 20 minutes to maximise steam situation. take out out when you reduce the heat.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:52 (one week ago) link

blimey these are the tippiest tips :)

mark s, Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:54 (one week ago) link

I've struggled with proofing, but 2 methods I've tried lately -
Oven off (or just 2-3 minutes of warm-up to take the chill off), then a pan of boiling water sitting in the bottom with your dough on a shelf above it. (this made black flakes fall from the top of my oven, so that was shameful and I stopped trying it after the first go).
Boil water, and put the water in a normal saucepan with lid upside-down on top. Put your bowl/banneton of dough on the lid. Cover the dough. Refresh water if it needs more time/heat. This seems to work for me.

woof, Saturday, 28 March 2020 19:41 (one week ago) link

those sound like good tricks. above the fridge is usually a warm spot too. or you could go the other way and prove overnight in the fridge, in a plastic bag, works v well for me.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 28 March 2020 20:08 (one week ago) link

Yeasted breads prove quicker and at a lower temp though - i am less familz with them. from what i understand the yeast is more powerful so the fermentation goes quicker. hence the whole “punching it back” thing - ya gotta tame it!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 28 March 2020 22:46 (one week ago) link

ok this is a level of lore way over my head

mark s, Saturday, 28 March 2020 22:56 (one week ago) link

If you want to make panettone you have to let it rise then punch it back 4 times in 24 hrs.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Saturday, 28 March 2020 22:57 (one week ago) link

what if i dont though

mark s, Saturday, 28 March 2020 23:01 (one week ago) link

then the yeasty beast is too unleashed

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 29 March 2020 09:29 (one week ago) link

Tartine country white from sourdough starter.

http://imgur.com/gallery/e0YFyXv

Why, I would make a fantastic Nero! (PBKR), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 12:40 (one week ago) link

Beautiful!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 13:49 (one week ago) link

(update on loaf 2: it stales p quickly but was good fired for breakfast on day three and toast with soup for supper)

(loaf 3: saturday if i am spared)

mark s, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 14:00 (one week ago) link

We made a gargantuan boule of no-knead sourdough following the King Arthur recipe and it’s GREBT

El Tomboto, Friday, 3 April 2020 04:21 (one week ago) link

I’d post pictures but it’s half eaten already. Can’t wait to make some open faced cheese sandwiches with it. 24 hour first rise and dutch oven is definitely the way to go. And kosher salt is better than sea salt imo.

El Tomboto, Friday, 3 April 2020 04:24 (one week ago) link

Save y’all the googlin

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/no-knead-sourdough-bread-recipe

Makes a big one. We’re halving the recipe next time.

El Tomboto, Friday, 3 April 2020 04:29 (one week ago) link

I think I've had good flavour and low strength - ie tends to go a bit pancakey - when i've tried a long proof. Probably needed more stretch & fold. Definitely game for trying again.

busy and a little low on starter so I tried my first yeasted bread, a nice simple white loaf. Just a completely different game - the dough behaves itself quickly, and the fucker swells fast.

woof, Friday, 3 April 2020 16:17 (one week ago) link

I'm starting this BA focaccia today: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/easy-no-knead-focaccia

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 3 April 2020 16:32 (one week ago) link

the first three recipes i googled for making a wholemeal loaf mention a loaf tin but obviously i can do it without a tin

(can't i)

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 09:56 (six days ago) link

hmmmmm it may be quite.... low and flat. the nice thing about a tin is that no matter what happens it’ll have a nice shape. you could use a round cake tin maybe?

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 10:19 (six days ago) link

i do have cake tins yes, but no way of working out what the volume equivalent is

(i realised* my wholemeal flour is in fact strong)
*(by reading the outside of the packaging)

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 10:41 (six days ago) link

opinions vary on the loaf-tins, acc.to the platform i quiz abt it

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 11:02 (six days ago) link

Well you can definitely try a free-standing loaf. You might try reducing the water a few percent to get a stronger, stiffer loaf that won’t go flat in the oven. (Though it might be fine anyway)

Definitely don’t succumb to the temptation of adding flour in the last stages of shaping your loaf, either because you have sticky hands, or because you want it stiffer, or what have you. Any flour you add after your various stages of rising etc will be UNFERMENTED and won’t taste good and will interfere with the action of the rest of the dough. Nothing wrong with a little dusting flour on your work surface or your hands when you’re shaping your loaf at the end, but don’t try to genuinely incorporate more flour at that stage.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 11:06 (six days ago) link

so is part of the science here that a wholemeal loaf actually needs the heat to closer to the middle, via reduced distance (width is less) and also via conduction?

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 11:16 (six days ago) link

closer i.e. than a free-standing would-be spherical loaf (like the second one i made = a plain four loaf)

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 11:17 (six days ago) link

hmm I don’t know. I don’t think it matters. You want a really hot oven when you put it in, and reduce a bit after 20 minutes, regardless of what kind of loaf you’re making.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 12:06 (six days ago) link

Freestanding, but shape it as a batard rather than a boule?

woof, Saturday, 4 April 2020 12:13 (six days ago) link

ALAB series

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 12:25 (six days ago) link

i will never not cross the streams

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 12:28 (six days ago) link

ok it is somehow the afternoon I am going to bake something instead of watching bakewithjack videos.

woof, Saturday, 4 April 2020 13:16 (six days ago) link

using woof's pan of boiling water method, my pos blob of wholemeal dough is rising like a mfer: punching down begins in two mins

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:03 (six days ago) link

i am making 2 x wholemeal baguettes from a recipe which used US cups = the worst of all measures

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:04 (six days ago) link

agreed

be gentle with the punching my friend

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:05 (six days ago) link

ok so here's what i don't really get: what does punching do when if i'm shortly required to re-knead that the second knead doesn't do

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:15 (six days ago) link

Nothing, probably - you’re right

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:56 (six days ago) link

ok these guys have browned nicely on top and sound hollow to the tap from above

BUT one of them had to be pried off the baking tray and both bases are worryingly soft (i have flipped them over and given them a last little blast)

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 17:29 (six days ago) link

caught a little on top thx to final blast but the base is now as i hope so

https://files.slack.com/files-pri/TV20059EW-F0113ULDAQJ/2020-04-04_18.33.35-2.jpg

mark s, Saturday, 4 April 2020 17:54 (six days ago) link

woof i think i need an account in that 'workspace' to see that. i don't know who the administrator is.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 20:39 (six days ago) link

Yes you do

El Tomboto, Saturday, 4 April 2020 20:40 (six days ago) link

Aha!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 4 April 2020 20:41 (six days ago) link

I've been charged with folding the sourdough today, as part of my working from home responsibilities.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 9 April 2020 14:41 (yesterday) link

Did that yesterday.

El Tomboto, Thursday, 9 April 2020 14:50 (yesterday) link

my nice downstairs neighbours sourced me some strong flour :)

what is a good recipe for starter if you have no yoghurt (i have no yoghurt)

mark s, Thursday, 9 April 2020 14:51 (yesterday) link

No need for yoghurt at all - just water and flour.
I followed this one blindly at the start of the year, never having baked before:
https://www.theboywhobakes.co.uk/recipes/2019/5/30/how-to-make-a-sourdough-starter

woof, Thursday, 9 April 2020 15:05 (yesterday) link

the boy who bakes is us

(can include girls)

mark s, Thursday, 9 April 2020 15:15 (yesterday) link

that looks like it would work. i have found it a bit easier to get going with rye. (you can still make white and whole wheat loaves with a rye starter.)

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 9 April 2020 21:40 (yesterday) link

The dough is very fluffy! We're going to do half for bread and half for pizza.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 9 April 2020 21:43 (yesterday) link

second edition of the no knead sourdough (we made half the recipe this time since the last one turned out so gigantic (and flour is hard to find)) is going in the oven shortly

El Tomboto, Thursday, 9 April 2020 21:56 (yesterday) link

I should have kept a some of Gilberto* last time he came to stay.

*Gilberto is a sourdough starter I look after when my Brazilian friends go on holiday. He is descended from the starter at French restaurant that sadly closed last year.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 9 April 2020 22:25 (yesterday) link

this made me wonder how old the oldest starter is and of course it's a thing and there are rival claimants and it's possibly 122 years (if this isn't fake)

mark s, Thursday, 9 April 2020 22:32 (yesterday) link


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