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Old 12-18-2008, 06:15 AM
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Default Simple Bread - advice

I have never cooked bread in my WFO, tried a few times with a bread making machine but that's it.

I have read some of the threads and it sounds a little complicated, can anyone recommend a really simple bread to start with which I can try and then build from there.

I want to make better use of the oven and bread seems a logical step.

Any suggestions warmly received.

One other thing Happy Christmas to everyone, it would be interesting to count the number of WFO used on Christmas Day/Boxing Day across the world!
Ryh
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

I for one will get something together for you!
Best wishes to you and yours!
Dutch
P.S. Check out the FornoBravo store and get the Hearth Bread E-book...can download it free as an Adobe file...lots of great info
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Last edited by Dutchoven; 12-18-2008 at 07:00 AM. Reason: forgot
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

I have been doing this Pagnotta recipe. I am very new to WFO cooking and this recipe has turned out very good for me. Although the amount of Biga they recommend seems too small based on other recipes I have seen. Does anyone have any input on the Biga Quantity in the recipe?
Bread Recipe
italian bread (pagnotta)
Biga Recipe
biga

Last edited by ERASMO; 12-18-2008 at 07:25 AM. Reason: mispelling
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

First, don't sweat it! Get a recipe and start. Learn as you cook. I've done a pile of bread over the past 2 months, and each batch gets a little better. This is the recipe I've settled in with.

100% - Flour (King Arthur Bread Flour)
64% - Water
.62% - IDY
1% - Salt
1% - Oil (evoo)
1% - Brown Sugar

Flour – 1120 grams
Water – 726 grams
IDY – 7 grams (1 pack IDY)
Salt – 11 grams
Oil – 6 gram
Sugar – 11 grams (Brown)

Mix ingredients until incorporated
Let rise
- quick rise 2-4 hour bulk rise covered on counter; or:

- slow rise 16-24 hour bulk rise in fridge (Check after 4 or so hours, you may need to punch down once)
- then let rise on counter 1-2 hours after refrigeration

Punch down & bulk rise for 1-2 hours again
Shape loafs & let rise for 1-2 hours
Spritz top of loafs with water (you can also steam the oven prior to putting the loaves in and again as you put them in)
Loafs are done when internal temp of the loaf is 205* or approximately 20-30 minutes.

I use a digital scale and a probe thermometer to tell when done. I normally put the loaves in the oven when the floor is 550* or less.

Good Luck.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

Good advice 70chevelle. Practice, enjoy, eat; repeat. :-) You might want to get a copy of one of the good bread cookbooks -- either the Bread Baker's Apprentice or Bread by Hamelman, and spend a little time ready the theory and technique pages.

Bread baking is a great hobby.

James
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERASMO View Post
I have been doing this Pagnotta recipe. I am very new to WFO cooking and this recipe has turned out very good for me. Although the amount of Biga they recommend seems too small based on other recipes I have seen. Does anyone have any input on the Biga Quantity in the recipe?
Bread Recipe
italian bread (pagnotta)
Biga Recipe
biga
1/4 cup to 7 cups flour seems very small...most of our formulas use the biga as about 50% of the flour weight...I think you could increase the percentage of biga in your dough...will give you more sublime flavor and a longer shelf life
Best
Dutch
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

The simplest bread I know of is the NO-knead recipe. You can look it up on the New york times web site or search this forum for the particulars. I do it this way.

600 grams flour
4 grams salt
4 grams IDY
Stir together

add 440 grams water and stir until mixed - about 1 minute

Cover and let it sit on the counter for 8 to 16 hrs

Transfer to a greased bowl and smak it a few times ( maybe 4 shoves)

let it rest for 2 hours

preheat the oven and the cooking container to 450 degrees. You must have a container with a lid for this to work. If you are cooking in the WFO any temperature below 600 will do. I use the inards from a old crock pot for this .You can find them at any thrift store for about $3. Do not grease or flour the cooking pot in any fashion.

Slide the dough into the cooking pot. PUt the lid on and cook for about 1/2 hrs. Remove the lid and cook for about 15 more minutes to brown the top.

Remove from the oven and turn it out onto a cooling rack.


Easy and almost fool proof. Watch the video on the NYT site, it will help.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

You can improve on the no-knead recipe (imo) by changing to "low-knead". I usually base my bread on variations from this basic recipe for 2 loaves:
1 kg white flour
670 ml water
20g sea salt
8 g instant dry yeast

Mix the dry ingredients together well
Add the water and stir until just mixed in. Add a little more water if needed to pick up leftover crumbs of flour that won't mix in easily.

Leave to stand for 10-30 minutes

Stretch the dough out and fold over itself a few times - basically very light kneading, but only a few strokes. Repeat this step twice more, leaving the dough for 1 hour in between.

After the last stretch and fold, pat the dough down to degas it slightly, then shape into loaves. There are lots of good resources here on how to shape loaves.

Leave each loaf to rise for around 1 hour. The benefit of using a fairly small amount of yeast as in this recipe is that you get a longer window of opportunity to get your loaves in the oven - they won't puff up as quickly and deflate again before you can bake them.

Cook until 80-90C in the center.

Once you have got this down pat, you can start experimenting with using even less yeast and a longer fermentation to develop the flavour, different flours and grains, natural leavening, etc.
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyH View Post
I have read some of the threads and it sounds a little complicated, can anyone recommend a really simple bread to start with which I can try and then build from there. I want to make better use of the oven and bread seems a logical step. Any suggestions warmly received. --Ryh

Buy the book "The Breadmaker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart. Read the introductory chapters. Then go directly to the recipe for pain l'ancienne.

You will find it dead easy to make, even your first loaf. And it is a thoroughly tasty loaf of bread. Your life will never be the same.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Simple Bread - advice

Thanks everyone, great advice as usual.
I will try some bread over the xmas break and let you know how I get on.
thanks
Ryan
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