• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

bread for dummies?

 
Posts: 587
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Leila Rich wrote:Jay, I agree that the thread title is a bit misleading as most of the posts talk about sourdoughs, which aren't for dummies
They can take a long time to ferment and rise, so a couple of hours is pretty fast IME.
I'm a very casual measurer, but precision suits some people and when making more complex things like enriched breads, not measuring accurately can really change the product.
Not necessarily a problem, but I come from a commercial cooking background where consistency is key.



The first post describes bread made with yeast and raising it for 2 hours...that doesn't sound like a sourdough recipe and they also expressed a wish to do sourdough bread "some day", so I guess that is misleading. Now if they had mentioned it was a sourdough starter bread, I could maybe understand that. And I could see if one were making bread large scale and for selling where precision would be a benefit but no one mentioned that in the posts either so one assumes they are making bread for home consumption only.

I guess that's what you get for assuming folks are just standing in their kitchens making a loaf of bread and are trying to be precise or raise bread for a couple of hours...when I read that one I was very puzzled at the whole difficulty levels of making a simple loaf of bread.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1475
Location: Vancouver Island
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Green wrote:After reading these posts, I no longer wonder about the title....the breads and methods described seem ten times more complicated than just making simple bread dough and baking it. Bread rising for 2 hours??? With a good yeast and a good dough, it shouldn't take longer than a 15-30 min. at room temps...unless that room is frigid, wherein you should move it to somewhere warmer. Easy fix.



Maybe maybe not. rising it longer or shorter doesn't make it easier or harder... just longer or shorter. It does change the taste though. It does depend on the kind of yeast. The trick(well not much of a trick really) is to know when it is ready. That just comes from experience.


Measuring flour into another measuring cup and using a knife to level it? A scale? C'mon! Where have you all been learning this stuff, culinary school?



It depends what you want. For repeatability, a scale is the only way. But it is fine to make a different bread every time... maybe even a good thing.


The best bread in the world is just scooped out of the bag, salt measured in the palm of the hand and ingredients just thrown together....THAT'S bread for dummies. Over-complicating a simple thing is a recipe for disaster and frustration, IMO. Basic recipes, hand mixed in the bowl...heck, we don't even bother to take it out of the bowl to knead it any longer, which eliminates the whole mess on the counter issue. We've also dispensed with making loaves....they dry out quicker and make for lots of mess and crumbles when cut.



Best is opinion, but it does sound good. I don't think any of these recipes are that complex. However, often when one tries to describe something really simple so that someone who has never done it before can understand.... the directions can be really intimidating. It is the directions not the making that is hard I think.

I am not sure that you can make bread without making "loaves", even buns are considered loaves by some people. I am not sure it is easy or hard proofing it in a breadform (or pan), basket or just thrown on the bench. They all seem about the same. Buns/rolls take a while, I (personally) find making loaves easier and faster.


My advice is to find an old housewife who has been making her own bread for years upon years and just sit and watch....I learned by watching my own mother and my children learned by watching us both do the same. If you can't find anyone like that, find her recipes...they are out there and I guarantee not a one will advise you to raise your bread for hours, measure it with the use of a knife or scale(???) or be so meticulous about any of the measurements.



Great advice! This beats all the directions and methods hands down. We live in a society that is now 4 or five generations beyond the weekly (or whatever) bread making days. There are many people who can't find someone who bakes. Who can't watch someone and have them say "this is what kneaded bread should look like and feel like", "this is ready to cook", "see this is baked". But sometimes all it takes is getting to know your neigbour... Stop being an island. With all this off grid talk sometimes we forget we need community (face to face as well as on line).


It's bread...very basic, very simple, been around since the beginning of time, easy to make.



Yup, and even mistakes are eatable. The way to learn is do.
 
Jay Green
Posts: 587
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

For repeatability, a scale is the only way.



I don't know...when you make bread every other week for years upon years for your family's consumption, I think I would call that repeatability. When it comes out great every time without the use of a scale, I call it successful~ repeated time after time after time.

Yep, loaves are easy but they are no longer practical in our lives, particularly if you are making large batches and freezing some for later use. We make a flatter roll baked on a flat baking sheet, formed into a consistent shape and thickness. These are perfect for slicing and toasting, the making of sandwiches, the crust around the individual bun preserves the moisture and they store well in freezer bags, whereas a large loaf does not. It's more time consuming(only slightly) than making a loaf but it has more practical application to our eating style and life and eliminates the need for slicing evenly from a loaf later.

Time not spent in the raising for two hours can be applied to forming the flattened rolls if you want to portion out time.

I agree...the way to learn is just do it. And keep doing it until you don't even have to think about doing it, you just do it. No fancy equipment or recipes, just make some bread. When you do it for your basic food a person finally settles down to a basic recipe that is consistently successful as a working bread. Experimenting with different types of bread and recipes are fun and I like to do that also when time allows...but it rarely does, so basic bread that is flavorful, soft, moist and holds up to storage is the one I found that has the most practical application to a simple life. Bread for dummies...or for the very practical, down to earth folks who just need bread to complete their daily meals.
 
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jay Green, what do you make instead of loaves?

The recipe I posted before the cinnamon roll one is very simple and the only thing I measure accurately is the salt. The amount of rising time doesn't change how complicated it is to make. Some people say sourdough is hard to make, but I've had great success with my starter (from Friends of Carl). All I have to do is remember to take it out of the fridge and feed it the night before.

Edit: I didn't see the second page of posts. So is your flattened roll really thin like a pizza? What's the consistency of the dough? White or whole wheat? Do you add any fat to preserve it longer? Do you store it in a plastic bag or no? Are you tired of my questions yet?
 
Jay Green
Posts: 587
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We just form dough into rolls, lay it~ spaced~ on a flat baking sheet and give it a little smash or roll it with the pin. It makes nice, sandwich sized flat bread(about the size of a hamburger bun) that stacks nicely in a freezer bag or storage bag. They last longer than traditional loaves and they provide good crust with each bite, which I like. We generally use whole wheat we grind here and mix with a little white APF to provide a little more lightness to the texture.

The bread freezes well and is consistently moist and has a wonderful flavor and texture~for a working household we find it makes our life easier to make large batches each time and preserve some in the freezer so that we won't be making bread every week, which is necessary for our large family.

Not pizza dough...just a simple bread recipe that can be used as wheat or white...we usually mix the two a little. The wheat I grind has wonderful gluten, so the white isn't needed but I like it because it gives the bread that extra femininity that I enjoy. A certain softness that the whole wheat loses after a couple of days, IME. Nothing special about this recipe...flour, oil, water, salt, sugar, yeast just like most breads. We use to add ground flax but just got away from that lately, not sure why.
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
Posts: 1475
Location: Vancouver Island
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Green wrote:

For repeatability, a scale is the only way.



I don't know...when you make bread every other week for years upon years for your family's consumption, I think I would call that repeatability. When it comes out great every time without the use of a scale, I call it successful~ repeated time after time after time.



Yes, I am sure you do not use a timer either. That was my point, If you want to make bread while knowing nothing... you have to do the bread machine thing... everything exact. The amounts, the temperature those amounts are at even before mixing, everything.

If you know bread, you can put stuff together, then knead in flour till it feels right, raise it till it looks/feels right, shape it, may be raise it again, bake it till "it's done". No measuring beyond eyeballing it, no timers... and it turns out pretty much the same time after time... because experience allows you to compensate all the way along.

The person with no mentor sometimes needs to use exactness to learn what bread should be like at each part of it's journey. I started with a bread machine for about a year or so... till I got tired of the form factor and only making one at a time. I went from there to a sourdough, pretty much like the one you describe in one of your other posts. It worked well, but was wasteful of my time and took over 5 hours... being a slower yeast in the starter.

Then I went to no knead. It takes more time on paper, but most of the time I am doing other(c) things. Mix one evening, say 5 to 10 min, (this takes a bit longer than standard no knead because I do 7 loaves at a time) Then leave it over night. Next morning turn on the oven, form the loaves, let them rise (45 or so), bake (another 45 min or so), cool... still takes an hour

I use flour (often a mix) water and salt. (the starter is 50/50 flour and water)

It's not for every one, but I have been making the same stuff for a few years now and I know the times change depending on time of year, I know what it should look/feel like... but I had to learn that by trial and error, because I did not have someone to learn from.... my wife comes from a culture that never uses the oven, so she doesn't know either.



Time not spent in the raising for two hours can be applied to forming the flattened rolls if you want to portion out time.



6 of one, half dozen the other. Time raising is time spent doing something else. Flattened rolls do have their own appeal though.

Those new to baking should have figured out there are a lot of ways to get good bread. Finding someone who loves to bake and helping them if they will let you... is the best way to learn.
 
Gray Simpson
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made some Essene bread yesterday, and boy was it sweet! Sickly sweet, actually, not to mention gummy in texture. At least it's a little healthier since the wheat is sprouted.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my favorite bread recipes are from the artisan bread recipe book...Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois ISBN 13 978=312-36291-1

I make it and put it in a 5 quart lidded bucket in the frig, take out what I want and add any additions to the recipe that I want to toss in, let it rise and bake it..very easy..no kneading really
 
Gray Simpson
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made some sprouted-wheat crepes yesterday. They were much more palatable than the Essene bread. Just 1/4 cup of wheat berries (sprouted until the roots are a half inch and ground in a food processor), 3 eggs, a little milk, and a pinch of salt. Cooked in butter with my new/old cast iron pan.
 
Don't mess with me you fool! I'm cooking with gas! Here, read this tiny ad:
Taylor&Zach’s Bootcamp Journey
https://permies.com/t/115886/permaculture-projects/Taylor-Zach-Bootcamp-Journey
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!