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Thread: Baking Bread for newbies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA

    Baking Bread for newbies

    Ok, I knew this would happen. Another bread baking thread. So help me out here.

    I want to make one small loaf at a time bread with a chewy middle, a crunchy crust, and I am not fond of whole wheat and in fact try not to eat the stuff. Do they make an oat flour for bread?

    I have a toaster oven, a big Kitchen Aid mixer with dough fork, a bad neck that may go totally south with kneading, and zippo cooking mojo. But I am willing to try. Anyone wanna tutor me?

    Please? My mouth yearns for fresh out of the oven bread and plenty of butter.

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Carol, your best bet is some variant of the artisan bread in five minutes a day trick.. I tend to nerd out a bit more but the basic concept is real simple and doesn't require any kneading.

    There's at least one whole book on it, but that'll get you started. It requires a bit of preplanning to start but for a single person is real nice cause you can just pull a loaf out every couple of days with little work. I don't actually have any of those books because by the time they came out I had a shelf full of others but the basic theory is the same as a lot of the breads I make and works well.

    I'd skip the oats to start with under the simpler is better theory. Once you've got a few loaves in you there are a couple of options to add them. If get some rolled oats, not quick, rolled. You can either add them how or put them in the blender and pulse it a few times. If you add them to the dough up front it'll have them most impact on the texture. The other option is to incorporate them when your ready to use the loaf. To do the later stretch the dough out into a square and sprinkle the parts on one side then fold the other side on top. Stretch and did a few more times.

    Your biggest problem is the cooking setup. The trick to a good crust is high persistent heat. Your best bet is if you have a propane grill you can get some quarry tiles (baked clay tiles) from the HD/Lowes and put a double layer of that on the grate and let it heat up on medium high for 30-40m until the whole thing is good and hot then slide the loaf in. Charcoal would in theory work as well but might use a bunch of charcoal! You can try putting some quarry tiles in the toaster oven as well to help hold heat. Dunno how well that will work though.. If you can get the racks setup so that you have another layer over the bread that might help (of it has two racks). You'll likely need to rotate the load a couple of times to keep it from burning on one side. Bread is done when the interior hits 190-200F so a quick read thermometer is handy when you're learning. Later you can get a feel for it by thumping the loaf, but the temperature is more reliable

    Resist the urge to cut into it immediately out of the oven (definition of torture?) but let it cool for 20m on a rack. Otherwise the inside will end up gummy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    No kneading involved makes really nice bread.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    I'm not sure a toaster over will work well, but worth a try. An a bread machine on the "dough only" setting. I've used one for years since my hands don't work to well. I'd also recommend mini loaf pans. I use these when making banana bread....easy to give away little loaves and there is less waste with the smaller ones.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Not sure how to do it with what you mentioned, but I have had one of these for several years and love it. No work had a bad bread out it yet. A little expensive, but well worth every penny, super easy to clean. Love the smell of fresh bread. I have a standard sweet bread I make, pretty much have the recipe to memory and can make a loaf in about two hours. You can make one or two pound loafs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    I have no patience for making bread, but I'm a big fan of dutch oven bread. My daughter gave me the recipe so I call it Rebecca Bread, but I think it's widely known as no-knead-bread. Best I can tell, Jim Lahey popularized the technique:

    Here's my version:
    Rebecca Bread

    3 cups flour,
    1 & 3/4 tsp. salt,
    1/2 tsp. yeast,
    1 & 3/4 cups water +/-.

    Stir dry ingredients together (add any additional ingredients like olives, cheese and herbs to the dry ingredients and stir again before adding water).

    Add water and stir, mix should be a sticky mess. Add a little more water if necessary.

    Cover w/ Saran wrap and let sit in a warm spot for a couple of hours or as long as 12 to 18 hours.

    When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 450. After it reaches temperature, put the empty Dutch oven with the cover on into the hot oven to pre-heat. Time it for thirty minutes.

    While the Dutch oven is heating, take dough out of bowl and put on heavily floured surface, pat it into a ball shape and cover w/ plastic.

    After 30 minutes, put the dough into the Dutch oven and cover. Watch your fingers….that thing is HOT!! Put it back into the hot oven and cook for 30 minutes covered then take lid off and cook for an additional 10-15 more minutes until the crust is brown. All done

    Try adding various ingredients like herbs, cheese or olives for variety
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    Last edited by Ted Calver; 02-01-2015 at 04:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    One thing to add to mine is the serious eats link is mostly for reference to figure out the why's and what went wrongs. I wave my hands vigorously at them for indulging in an excess of accuracy. There are certainly some uses for a gran scale in the kitchen, bread isn't one.

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