The bread thread!

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Yeast was sold in cakes mostly back in the old days, right? I think I have still seen it sold that way -- it's like a boullion cube of yeast, or somesuch. Find recipes that call for "active dry" or better yet "instant dry" (if you can find it, also known as "rapid rise" or "bread machine" even though you don't have to use it in a bread machine) yeast.

Casuistry (Chris P), Monday, 1 August 2005 05:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh, if I remember tomorrow I'll try to look up the conversion for a cake of yeast to a regular type of yeast.

Casuistry (Chris P), Monday, 1 August 2005 05:38 (seventeen years ago) link

One cake of yeast = one package (2.5 tsp) of active dry yeast.

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:23 (seventeen years ago) link

i've just picked up breadmaking but it's frustrating. so far i've made "cuban bread" and "feather bread" but they're coming out denser than i'd like. is this me or the recipe? it's fun anyway, i'll keep trying.

caitlin oh no (caitxa1), Monday, 8 August 2005 01:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Add less flour, or get fresher yeast. But probably add less flour.

Casuistry (Chris P), Monday, 8 August 2005 01:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Knead like there's no tomorrow.

Remy (x Jeremy), Monday, 8 August 2005 02:25 (seventeen years ago) link

two months pass...

Modified from James Beard's freeform white loaf -

2 cups white flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp yeast

Stir together, cover with plastic wrap, let ferment overnight (or at least 4 hours) in a cool place. (BTW - Chris, thanks so much for pointing out the sponge thing for better flavor!)

After fermenting, knock the sponge down and let it warm up for an hour, then mix in 1/2 cup water, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp coarse salt. Knead in another 1/2 cup of flour (I kneaded this for a good long time, probably 15 minutes). Let rise covered in an oiled bowl until doubled. Punch down and let rise again in the covered bowl. Punch down, shape into a round or oblong on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Cover and let rise until doubled. Slash top, brush with cold water. Have oven preheated to 425 F. Put the loaf in, then immediately turn the temp down to 375 F. After 20 minutes, brush with cold water again, then finish baking for 40-50 minutes, until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when knocked on.

Jaq (Jaq), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 00:35 (seventeen years ago) link

This loaf has a texture that would be excellent with rosemary baked in and coarse salt sprinkled on top, btw.

Jaq (Jaq), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 00:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Again with the lovely scoring! Next time only put half a tsp of yeast in with the sponge and add the rest with the rest of the ingredients. IF YOU DARE, that is. If you are letting it cool overnight then you want it in a fairly cold place, like 45F, to retard growth and cause the production of what we shall call "yummy enzymes".

I haven't made bread (other than pizza dough) for over a month BUT Wednesday-Friday will be a breadmaking orgy as I prepare for a weekend visiting a friend in central Oregon. I am looking forward to it.

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 00:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Would you share your pizza dough secrets? I've never tried to make it.

Now that it's cooled down (70's most days after 100's into Sept.), it's perfect baking weather. Does it matter what kind of yeast you use for the sponge/later addition? I've got both the rapid rise bread machine stuff and a huge bag of regular Red Star.

Jaq (Jaq), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 00:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't necessarily have pizza dough secrets -- I use the Bread Bible thin crust recipe (which I've posted here before) but I just tried the Cooks Illustrated recipe which is more normal pizza dough. Both are great. Apparently some people prefer to use active dry yeast for pizza dough, but since almost everyone says the two types are, taste-wise, indistinguishable, I'm chalking that up to tradition.

If you're looking to use up the active dry stuff, use it for the sponge; since you kinda have to activate it in warm water, it doesn't work so well for adding in later. But I generally use the instant/rapid-rise stuff.

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 01:25 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
I got a french bread pan for christmas and made my first attempt at baguettes today. Used the "french-style" recipe from James Beard Beard on Bread with tasty results:

Jaq (Jaq), Saturday, 28 January 2006 22:15 (seventeen years ago) link

They look great. I haven't made baguettes in ages. If you see a copy of The Village Baker, grab it, and then try its various baguette recipes.

My first sourdough starter failed, but I will try again.

Casuistry (Chris P), Sunday, 29 January 2006 00:47 (sixteen years ago) link

five months pass...

ringtones free, Monday, 3 July 2006 10:33 (sixteen years ago) link


funny ringtones, Monday, 3 July 2006 12:43 (sixteen years ago) link

After a long hiatus, I am made some rye bread today. And little rye rolls with raisins. Ah, it's nice.

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 4 July 2006 01:42 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Revive as I have entered the world of bread making and I need some sagely advice.

So far I've done about 5 or so plain white loaves and various buns with fairly pleasing results but I can't seem to get that lovely almost cakey texture my dad manages to get (and my ulterior motive is that I want to go head to head against him at the village show he's entering next year).

My questions are thus -
When I'm getting the dough out of the bowl for kneading - what should the consistency be, sticky, very slightly sticky or dry? I'm finding that if its sticky I probably ended up throwing in the same amount of flour again into it via the floured surface so I guess thats not right. The totally dry doughs have tended to get a pretty heavy end result. Mind you I've only just started putting vegetable oil or something similar into the mix to try and get a lighter bread.

I've heard that any extra goodies you throw in from herbs to chopped onion etc. should be put in after the first rise. Is this right?

Another piece of advice I've got is to add the salt as late in the kneading process as you can (sprinkling it onto the dough and working it in) so it doesn't interfere with the yeast. Does that make sense?

Is there any way to rescue a dough that doesn't rise much?

Lynskey, Saturday, 13 October 2007 12:48 (fifteen years ago) link

The way the dough should be depends on the type of bread - wetter doughs make coarser chewier breads with bigger holes generally (focaccia, etc). The loaf I usually make has a good glug of olive oil in it, and is slightly sticky after the first rise. It takes a few sprinkles of flour, maybe 1/4 cup max.

You might try adding a little milk or whey as part of your liquid - the extra protein gives a nice texture and lightens the loaf.

I always throw the salt in when I mix it up initially, but I also start with a biga so the yeast has had a chance to work overnight. To make a biga, mix 1 cup of lukewarm water with a cup of flour and a packet (1.5 tsp/7.5 ml) dry yeast. Cover and let it sit in a cool place (even the fridge) overnight. It will get frothy and yeasty smelling. Use it to make up the dough with the remainder of the liquid and flour and other ingredients and toss in 1 tsp (5 ml) of instant bread machine yeast too.

Jaq, Saturday, 13 October 2007 16:14 (fifteen years ago) link

I've found that if you mix in the salt too late in the process, it doesn't mix in properly.

Your typical dough should be "tacky", maybe like a post-in note. At first you're likely to make it too dry so that it's "workable" but you'll eventually figure out how to deal with a tackier bread.

If your dough isn't rising much, either you're not giving it enough time, or it's very cold where you're trying to let it rise, or it's old yeast. I wonder, if you end up with a dough that won't rise much, if you bake it anyways, and your bread is too dense to be worth eating, if it would still make decent breadcrumbs.

Casuistry, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

or, bread pudding

Really stodgy heavy dense loaves can really soak up the egg custard mix.

Jaq, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Totally cracked it thanks to reading through this thread. Veg oil in the dough and water in the oven have worked wonders with the texture. Tried 3 different things and came up trumps every time. Some rolls with Malthouse flour (a mix of white and rye flour with malt flakes) that are wonderfully doughy in texture, a loaf using Spelt flour that looks and smells lovely but I've not tried it yet, and finally a platted white bread thing that made an awesome prawn sandwich. My mother in law was visiting and showed me how to do the platting bit.

Lynskey, Saturday, 13 October 2007 18:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Really stodgy heavy dense loaves can really soak up the egg custard mix.

This is a virtue with french toast too.

Madchen, Monday, 15 October 2007 16:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Nice braiding.

Casuistry, Monday, 15 October 2007 20:44 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

One year later and I am back on a bread baking spree. Two days ago, a standard sandwich loaf (flour/water/yeast/salt, tiny glug of olive oil). It got too late to bake, so I punched it down and left it in the fridge overnight, gave it a second rise the next day, and a final rise in the pan. It ended up with a nice texture but a sort of weird crust. Today I'm trying James Beard's pain de mie recipe, though I don't have the special lidded pan. I will weigh it down with cast iron, probably.

I have a bunch of eggs right now, so next will probably be some challah, though I also really want to try making brioche at some point.

Jaq, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 20:45 (fourteen years ago) link

weird. I'm battering out the soda bread at a rate of knots at the mo, was just thinking of reviving this thread

I'm thinking also of getting a sourdough starter on the go, but I'm just not sure I have the time

Matt, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 21:23 (fourteen years ago) link

I've been thinking about sourdough too, or maybe a whack at catching some wild free-floating local yeast. There is something very bready about fall....

Jaq, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 21:43 (fourteen years ago) link

I decided to just bake the pain de mie dough as a regular loaf - good thing too, I think it would have blown the lid off if I tried to bake that much dough in my standard loaf pan. As it was, it bloomed so much the crust grew up into the broiler element:
The dough has 1/4 lb of butter cut into the flour/salt before mixing with the yeast/water. Really tasty and a great texture - easy to slice really thinly too.

Jaq, Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:29 (fourteen years ago) link


Tracer Hand, Friday, 17 October 2008 01:53 (fourteen years ago) link

What a Gehry-esque crust. I like it. The crumb seems really tight, though -- is it dense?

Casuistry, Friday, 17 October 2008 05:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Yes but staying moist and a really good keeper so far. It's a dry-ish, heavy dough, exhausting to work (unless you were really angry about something when you started kneading).

6 c. flour, 5 tsp kosher flake salt, 1/4 lb butter, 1 tbsp active dry yeast, 1 3/4 - 2 c warm water, 2 tsp sugar. Proof the yeast in 1/2 c water with sugar. Sift flour and salt together. Cut in the butter but don't overwork. Add 1/4 cup water to the yeast mixture, then mix in the flour mixture (with one hand only! The instructions are very specific. WHY???) Add the remaining water and mix to a dry sticky dough, turn out and knead HARD, let rise in well-buttered bowl, punch down, let rest a few minutes, knead hard again, let rise, punch down, let rest, knead hard for a few minutes and form into a loaf. Let rise in the pan and bake at 400 F for 40-50 min. If you actually have the proper pain de mie (or Pullman loaf) pan, there are additional gyrations of timing and temperature and pan flipping and finishing out of the pan on the oven rack.

Jaq, Friday, 17 October 2008 20:12 (fourteen years ago) link

I need a reliable yeast roll recipe, plz. From folks who've actually made it. Thx!
Too, I need a link to Is That Pie?

Ai Lien, Sunday, 19 October 2008 22:46 (fourteen years ago) link

My family-handed-down-for-generations recipe is called Presbyterian Rolls. This makes about 70 rolls, and the recipe can be halved. I always make up the full amount and freeze after making out into rolls the ones I don't want immediately:

1 c. lard or Crisco
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. boiling water

Stir together until shortening is melted.

1 c. cold water, add after shortening is melted.
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cakes yeast (2 pkgs active dry yeast, or I use about a tablespoon) dissolved in 1/4 c. lukewarm water
8 c. flour (or more as needed)

Note: you can also use rapid rise (bread machine) yeast - you don't have to mix it in water separately, and can use a scant tablespoon.

Mix the second set of wet ingredients together well with the melted shortening/water/sugar/salt mixture. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is workable. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Let rise in a buttered bowl until doubled in size. Punch down and make into rolls (roll out about 1/2" thick, cut into 2" circles and fold in half on cookie sheet is my family's preferred method). Bake in a 350 deg F oven for 20-30 minutes.

You can make the dough a day or two ahead of time and keep wrapped in the refrigerator. Take them out 2 hours before you want to bake them.

Is That....Pie? is here:

Jaq, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:23 (fourteen years ago) link

jaq dude, can i put that on "how to nom"?

Tracer Hand, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't mind Tracer, as long as it's attributed and you link it back to the post on Is That....Pie? once I have the photo essay up after Thanksgiving. I keep getting Page Not Founds when I go to Browse on HTN, or when I try the direct link that I have in the blogroll on the ITP? site.

Jaq, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:32 (fourteen years ago) link


i'll definitely source you!

Tracer Hand, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:34 (fourteen years ago) link

which link gives you a page not found?

Tracer Hand, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:35 (fourteen years ago) link

If I click on "Browse" from the main page of How to Nom, or if I use the link to the /recipe as in the post above.

Jaq, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Can you only browse if you are a member? If so, I'll take the link off of the Is That....Pie? blogroll.

Jaq, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:37 (fourteen years ago) link

no, you should be able to browse as a non-registered user, i'll try to fix that.

is that... pie looks pretty great!

Tracer Hand, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:43 (fourteen years ago) link

I was able to browse a few days ago when I linked it up, but I don't know when it broke. Just now noticed I can't browse, so maybe something changed?

Jaq, Monday, 20 October 2008 03:54 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah, lots has changed! mainly under the hood. i must have dropped a wrench in there somewhere, cause none of the recipes were showing up for unregistered users but now they are!

Tracer Hand, Monday, 20 October 2008 04:18 (fourteen years ago) link

if i get a blogroll thingie goin i will link to PIE(?) for sure

Tracer Hand, Monday, 20 October 2008 04:19 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

I'm currrently experimenting with various things in terms of breadmaking. I got a breadmaker machine from LIDL a couple of weeks ago and have been making loaves since then, did a couple of bread mixes taht I bought from LIDl to progressive degrees of success as ingredients were more accurately measured.
Have now progressed to trying to make loaves to a basic recipe adapted from one taht came with the breadmaker. So I successfully made one loaf substituting apple&mango juice not from concentrate for the water and molasses for sugar and using malthouse flour. Came out pretty well, didn't seem to have a great deal of flavour the night it was made but did the day after and is pretty tasty today. Not sure how long a loaf will last sans preseratives.
Then yesterday i tried something else. I shredded several vegetables garlic, ginger, a bit of chili pepper, red pepper, carrots, aubergine, courgette, cabbage, a bit of butternut squash basically what I make a stir fry out of. Bunged into this veg shredder I bought last year, came out as about a bowlful when shredded. Then put that in with some mixed liquids which came to about 200 ml, a spoonful of molasses and 25 g of yeast. Worked just about but bread is a bit denser like a ginger cake or a fruit/nut loaf so wondering if that is the inevitable result.
Bread is interesting, edible but I'm not 100% sure how recognisable the flavour is and there is an after-flavour presumably from the ginger/garlic/chilli.
So it worked to some extent but may need some honing. Not sure if it might have been better if I remembered to add salt. Or if soy sauce would make a possible substitute which was another idea.

Was told last night that salt is there to feed yeast or at least to some extent and I know I need to look further into reactions like that. Salt and sugar both there at least partially to feed yeast. Sugar helps make the crust the way it works out. Not sure if any of that would be done by other ingredients if you're adding fruit or veg or whatever. Need to read further and not really sure where to look.

Stevolende, Monday, 11 November 2013 14:36 (nine years ago) link

ooh - interesting. I thought salt retarded yeast, but maybe I misread that somewhere...

Vic Arpeggio, Private Investigator (stevie), Monday, 11 November 2013 15:08 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

I'm making Jim Lahey's duper famous no-knead recipe right now; it took about 5 minutes to stir and now it's sitting on the counter for 12 or 18 more hours. I'll resume it in the morning

queen bey backers (Stevie D(eux)), Saturday, 28 December 2013 00:58 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

I can't remember where in orbit was talking about yeast not working. Reading this book about fermentation - residual chlorine in treated water can kill it, so maybe that's what's going on? Leave tap water sitting out for a day or two, stirring occasionally or pouring from container to container to aerated.

Jaq, Sunday, 11 January 2015 16:43 (eight years ago) link

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