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Old 01-20-2009, 06:10 PM
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Default First Bread

For christmas I recived a book on baking bread. It is called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". The idea is that you make all this dough and keep it in the 'fridge. Then you take out a bit each day and bake it until it is gone. And in the end, you spend an average of five minutes a day dealing with it.

It isn't the exact book I was hoping for, but it has gotten me started baking bread. It was a breeze making the dough, but the baking wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. I think because I spent the whole day baking stuff, and had no time to sit and enjoy it. We made pizza first, then pita bread, then the loaves, and then a chicken in the dutch oven. Next time I plan to bake less and relax more.

I made four loaves total. Two whole wheat and two with white, wheat, and a little rye flour. They turned out good. A bit dense and heavy, but tasty. I also think that I should have baked them longer. They were pale instead of brown.

dusty
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2009, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: First Bread

Dusty
Excellent start! I am not familiar with that book but, I would guess it is not particularly suited to WFO baking...meaning the doughs will be drier than what they could be...a WFO begs to have wetter breads to be baked on very hot hearths...increase the water in the dough a bit at a time and bake them a bit hotter than you might think and I believe you will like the results even more...also enjoying the bread is for the next day after you have consumed waaayy too much pizza and wine and beer
Best
Dutch
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: First Bread

I like your slashes in the fan shape. Your oven spring looks pretty good too. I get better color when my temps are hotter- but you have to watch the bottoms! How hot was the oven when you put in the bread?

I must confess I don't usually do pizza first when I do bread- but I do plan on using the retained heat afterward for all kinds of things. My favorites are beer can chicken and dutch oven stew. Oh, and beans. I love beans...

I can't wait for it to warm up a little bit so I can get to baking outside again. It's just too cold to mess with right now. Keep baking. It gets better as you get more practice.

I am really liking my Whole Grain Breads book from Peter Reinhart. Hamelman's Bread is also good. I'm trying to do more whole grain baking, though, so I tend to use the first one more.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: First Bread

Quote:
Originally Posted by egalecki View Post
I am really liking my Whole Grain Breads book from Peter Reinhart. Hamelman's Bread is also good. I'm trying to do more whole grain baking, though, so I tend to use the first one more.
That "epoxy" method for mixing the preferments and soakers in Reinhart is really an interesting technique...the formulas are also pretty great(I think)...whole grain is definitely tougher...all that dang BRAN...
Best
Dutch
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:46 PM
Jed Jed is offline
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Default Re: First Bread

Dusty,

Good looking bread!

You did create a full schedule for your self... but, I understand it is tough to have all that heat stored in the oven and just ignore it! All the cooking is fun, and some of the best food on the planet.

Keep up the good work!

JED
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: First Bread

Great start Dusty, onward and upward

....I like a dense bread, makes great toast!
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: First Bread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchoven View Post
That "epoxy" method for mixing the preferments and soakers in Reinhart is really an interesting technique...the formulas are also pretty great(I think)...whole grain is definitely tougher...all that dang BRAN...
Best
Dutch
With the exception of the truly nasty rye I made using his recipe (I really don't think it was the recipe- I think something must have gone wrong on my end) all the formulas so far work quite well. My husband is particularly fond of the oat bran broom bread. He likes a softer, more "sandwich style" bread for his lunch and this is perfect.

I still end up with my preferments and soakers stuck together- I'm reluctant to add too much flour, so they stick a bit. I haven't had any trouble with them not mixing well, though. I find that the soaker technique is a really good way to not turn out bricks. I also think that using the light whole wheat from KA or the Prairie Gold (I think that's the whole wheat one) from Wheat Montana helps- the bran particles are much smaller and don't cut the gluten nearly as much. When I opened my first bag I was sure I'd gotten the wrong stuff- it was so much finer in texture. One can still make a pretty good brick with it, though. I know this from personal experience...
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: First Bread

I'm sitting here munching on toasted whole wheat sourdough and enjoying your bread. Way to go Dusty. That looks great!

I like the slash patterns a lot, and hope that next time you can slow down and smell the roses (or the bread). Sometimes I do it slowly and enjoy the process, and sometimes it feels like I'm just a baker and the family needs bread. :-)

Color and crust texture and depth seems to come from a combination of things, including oven temperature and bake time, along with you dough. The range of variables makes it fun!
James
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: First Bread

I'm sitting here munching on toasted whole wheat sourdough and enjoying your bread. Way to go Dusty. That looks great!

I like the slash patterns a lot, and hope that next time you can slow down and smell the roses (or the bread). Sometimes I do it slowly and enjoy the process, and sometimes it feels like I'm just a baker and the family needs bread. :-)

Color and crust texture and depth seems to come from a combination of things, including oven temperature and bake time, along with you dough. The range of variables makes it fun!
James
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: First Bread

Dusty -
The bread looks fantastic!
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