Eyes Wide Open wrote:
A couple of years ago I read about the Artisanal Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method in Mother Earth News. I'd never baked yeast bread of any sort before, just quick bread. I gave it a try a few times. The results were not what I would call UTTER failures, but I wasn't exactly proud of them either. I tried a few times but now I just use the recipe/method for pizza crust, which I like.
I've been thinking of taking a crack at yeast bread again, and trying to see where I should make adjustments. My thoughts:
1) Maybe it's the 5 Minutes method that just isn't as good as the traditional way. What do you think?
2) I use steel milled whole wheat flour right now. It's lighter than stone ground (I know it's not as nutritious but that's my compromise). I haven't tried to use bread flour - isn't it white though? I prefer the taste and nutrition of whole wheat.
3) I've never had a bread machine. Worth it to try to find one and get the feel for it before "graduating" to hand made bread?
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
The following method takes a little more time, but requires no machines and makes, in my experience, a very good bread:
marina phillips wrote:
I've had only dismal brick-like failures with these kinds of recipes...and I think it's because I just can't use store bought white flour.
I recently read in "the Bread Builders" (book) that freshly ground flour (no matter the method of grinding) has weak gluten. I've also heard that the bran content of whole grain flour is "sharp" and tends to puncture gas bubbles? That doesn't happen in my sour dough jar....We grind our own flour right before we use it, I have a feeling that's why my sourdough breads have never been that great. The muffins, waffles and pancakes are awesome though!
That same book also has a recipe for "desem" bread, a sourdough that is specifically made with fresh ground flour. It requires a long slow cold ferment and then a quick warm proof. I need to get my starter super active before trying it...I'm in that process now.
Eyes Wide Open wrote:
I did a loaf using just (white) bread flour and the traditional kneading/rising process (with my Carla Emery book open before me). Whoo! That is a whole different experience - much better. I really do prefer the taste of wheat but the difference in the quality of the bread (kneaded vs no-knead) was incredible.
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
The method I linked to above can do 50% whole wheat without much difficulty, and I've done up to 80%.
Chad Robertson's book, Tartine Bread, mentions "integrale" (100% whole wheat) as working great or being mediocre, depending on what season the wheat was harvested.
Paul Cereghino wrote:Don't have a recepie to recommend. When making a whole wheat bread, even with boughten yeast, I have often added just enough flour to get a spongey mass, then let it bubble for an hour or so. It seems to soften up the whole flour, and soaks the water into the flour better, thereby reducing the amount of flour necessary overall, creating a moister more flexible dough that rises better.
What's the hurry?
I've just too many things to do ... I love good bread and have tried many times over the years to make a great everyday loaf, without any joy .... that was until I bought a Panasonic bread machine, now I have great bread all the time, and it just atkes acouple of miniuits to throw the ingred in the machine ... suits my lifestyle, and I get bread that everyone comments on!
In my experience sourdough saves a very small amount of money when it works, and when it doesn't (often) you spend a day or two making bread for the animals. I usually buy cubes of live yeast for 0.2 euros each, divide each one into 8 pieces and store it in the freezer. One or two cubes will do 8 loaves, so the cost is barely significant.
In fact the book calls for mixing your batch on the weekend and making several loafs of bread throughout the week from that same batch.
I've used the 5 minutes a day recipe on several occasions. It's fairly simple and produces a good loaf with white flour. I've never tried it with whole wheat flour, though.
You can't leave the dough sitting out! You put it in the refrigerator covered and it can actually still be used for about two weeks. Toward the end of that, though, it starts to get standing liquid around it and smells like beer. I just drain the water off and use it up really quick when it starts to do that, I haven't noticed any big change in the bread other than it sometimes needing a little longer for it to bake completely when it sits for a while.
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