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How to cut a round bread loaf

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    How to cut a round bread loaf

    I love making a boule. I love the rustic look, the wonderful but gentle crust and, most of all, the ease of a boule. like most folks I was once mystified about how to cut it. the first slices were for kid sammiches and the middle slices had to be the ones reserved for the long sammich. Until one day, I found Great Harvest. Now, at the time I first walked into Great Harvest, I had never made bread. I was a young woman, newly divorced and working as a nuclear power plant operator. I had my own house, had only been on my own for a few months. just me, my dog and my cat. my mom wasn't very into cooking. while the stuff I COULD cook was good, I couldn't cook much. yet. Almost since the day I moved into that house (I still miss that tiny, 2 bedroom house) I was cooking, experimenting, teaching myself.

    Near my house was a Great Harvest store. Oh, the bread they made! That is the first place I had White Chocolate Cherry bread. Well, while I worked at the plant, I could afford to buy specialty bread and certainly did not have time to bake bread. so, I bought. it wasn't until I married HeWhoMustObey and began my exile in Atlanta. there, with a new baby, bigger house and hubby to feed, I couldn't afford specialty bread, anymore. I still loved it, though. so, I taught myself to make bread. one day, along came bread machines and once I had my first one, I started baking bread (of course, bread machine bread is less about baking if you let the machine do it all. I soon found that letting the machine run until it reached 'dough' then shaping, rising and baking in the oven gave better bread. but, still, a boule.

    Thank goodness, Great Harvest had taught me how to cut a boule. it is simple once you realize how. and the slices are relatively uniform, make decent but not gigantic or tiny slices. and cuts the bread very efficiently.

    I have been baking bread ever since. all kinds and I love them! Once you have the knack, and add an instant read thermometer, bread is not hard, at all.

    Bake bread. it really makes a house a home. there is very little quite as marvelous as home made bread. it makes a kitchen more of a food producer than a pantry. and everything that is fresh is (nearly) always better.

    #2
    I bake 3 loaves of bread every week. I haven't paid for bread in years.
    There's nothing like fresh out the oven bread, assaulted with Kerrygold butter and stuffed into my facehole. NOTHING LIKE IT.

    My apologies, I just had a moment.

    Comment


    • Karon Adams
      Karon Adams commented
      Editing a comment
      No apologies needed. the description is evocative and I really could NOT agree more. when I was a real estate agent, I used to take a bread machine with me to Open Houses and bake a Cinnamon Raisin loaf during the Open House. many's the house sold with the caveat that the bread machine STAYS! As a second option, and one I quickly realized was a LOT easier, cheaper and faster, I make a cup of aluminum foil by moulding it in a muffin pan. whenever I am showing a house, I put a few teaspoons of Vanilla extract & a dusting of Cinnamon in the little aluminum cup and place it in the oven on about 250 degrees. makes the whole house smell MARVELOUS! and smell is one of the things that makes people recognize 'Home' more than anything else. excellent sales tool.

    #3
    Fresh bread baking smells soooo gooooood. I'm nto sure there's any better smell. Fresh cut grass mixed with apple smoke gently wafting on a mild summer afternoon may be a close 2nd or 3rd.

    Comment


    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      The smell of my spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove for 4 hours is a close second to my bread. However I cook my bread outdoors so my sauce is the winner at my house.

    #4
    LOL!! Karon Adams is that even legal?

    Comment


    • Strat50
      Strat50 commented
      Editing a comment
      It is here as of Tuesday! lol

    #5
    Huskee I think you got a typo in your post. You said that fresh cut grass smells good.

    Comment


      #6
      Originally posted by Ernest View Post
      Huskee I think you got a typo in your post. You said that fresh cut grass smells good.
      Ernest my man, it sure does! I live in an area where there are 4 seasons- cold, colder, mosquitos, and lawn mowing. Of the 4 you can see why it's a good thing!

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Wartface, purely in jest. If we couldn't complain about the weather, we'd have to find something else

      • The Burn
        The Burn commented
        Editing a comment
        I miss Hermosa soooo much. Second in weather quality only to San Diego, with a better beach.

      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment
        The Burn...

        I live right on Hermosa Ave and I use my electric bike to run my dog on the Strand daily. I hold his leash and we go the full 1.8 miles and back. The people watching is fantastic... If you know what I mean. Last summer we had an unannounced Jimmy Buffet concert right by the pier. That was a great surprise.
        Last edited by Breadhead; February 27, 2015, 02:32 PM.

      #7
      Karon... You've had an interesting life. Nuclear power plants, real estate sales, kids and hubby's. HeWhoMustObey... Learned his place well I guess. Eventually all men learn its just easier to say yes Dear, I think you are right.

      I started baking bread for 1 reason. I got a large BGE for a retirement gift and the owners manual said... It will bake a loaf of bread better than your kitchen oven. By then I was 60 years old and never, ever considered baking anything. That statement in the book stayed with me and one day I googled bread making just out of curiosity. I ended up on a website known as Northwestsourdough.com. They... Bless their hearts had me baking a decent loaf of sourdough bread in about 3 months. They taught me about my starter. They taught me to mix the dough by hand. They taught me how to do stretch and folds. How to do proper shaping to get lots of tension. How to dock/score the loaf properly. How to get lots of steam in my oven during the oven spring process. However... They failed to teach me the proper slicing process. You learn something new every day when you decide to bake bread. Thanks for sharing. I like the yield that slicing a boule on the angle gives you.
      Last edited by Breadhead; February 26, 2015, 05:39 PM.

      Comment


        #8
        I love the yield too. but, in the long run, the best part isn't the yield but the consistency (IMHO) because cutting on the angle, the slices come out not exactly even but the two partner slices will be as close to the same as possible. that means two good slices, whatever thicknesses you prefer, but matching slices for sammiches. and THAT is a great thing. not to mention just good slicing for spreads. butters and creams and jams. YUM!

        Comment


          #9
          Karen, I have enjoyed your posts and can relate to a lot especially your Bread Baking. I have been a bread baker since the late 70's. I have learned a lot but I have really elevated my baking since joining the "Pit" here. Someone recommended Peter Reinhart's books and they have taken me to the next level. I have ground my own flour since the early 90's and made the lightest waffles with fresh miller hard red wheat. I have also started baking in my RecTec pellet grill as I find it has much better temperature control that the inside kitchen oven.



          I have learned what "Poolish" and "Biga" are and it has really elevated my baking game.

          Thank you for sharing your cutting guide for free standing loafs. I will try it. Interesting to see that you were a Nuc at one time. Where you a Mechanical, Electrical, or Reactor operator?

          Comment


          • Marauderer
            Marauderer commented
            Editing a comment
            Huskee there is some great Pizza Pie makers on our forum and I am sure they will get you going. I have made some stunning pies in my inside kitchen oven, Weber gasser, and my Blackstone. I can finally say that my pies are excellent and for my family they really like them.

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Huskee...

            Once you learn to make pizza dough you are on your way. That dough is very similar to Foccaca and Ciabatta dough.

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Marauderer...

            I bake all of my bread in my BGE for the same reason. I get much better temp consistency. Your kitchen oven will fluctuate 20 degrees during a 30 minute bread cook. If you set it for 500 degrees it will go up to 510 degrees then shut down until it gets to 490 and then fire back up. The BGE will fluctuate about 3 degrees in a half hour cook. Plus I can look through the top vent and watch my bread brown and I don't have to bend over to get the loaf in and out.
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/food_p...s/16053492545/
            Last edited by Breadhead; February 27, 2015, 02:19 PM.

          #10
          Hi Karon,

          I really enjoy all of your posts. I find them inspiring

          Can't wait to try some of your recipes!

          --Ed

          Comment


            #11
            Peter Reinhart is an excellent teacher. I have several of his books. he is very thorough in his writings and his descriptions can make you feel as if you have your hands in the dough while reading. Very good teacher and marvelous books. He has a website where he is actively working on refining his bread, specifically focusing on flat breads and pizza crust last I heard. I'll have to look him up. I have heard from him in a couple of years. but he was doing that last time I checked. I'm to a point, now that I rarely read cookbooks for recipes but for techniques. there are millions of recipes for hundreds of millions of dishes out there but the real valuabe cookbooks are the ones that give you new insight and new techniques. that is pretty much all I buy, these days. and there is so much to learn, so many techniques, each powerful and useful in their way.

            Comment


            • Medusa
              Medusa commented
              Editing a comment
              Will be making one of his Pizza Sauce recipes today!

            • Marauderer
              Marauderer commented
              Editing a comment
              Karon Adams I have found that technique is every bit as important as ingredients. In fact I am finding techniques are so critical and can make or break a recipe. I have been going to pizzamaking.com and have got a lot of good info from them.

            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree... Bread making is almost all technique. Reinhart's sourdough recipe is almost exactly what all of the famous bread makers recipes are. They may vary in water %, salt % a a little bit. Some like a different brand of flour but they all use high protein flour. So what makes them and their bread special tasting and pretty to look at... It's technique.

              They use long fermentation technique's that most bakers don't have the patience for. They know how to get just the right tension on the dough in final shaping to get really good oven spring. They know how to get steam on their loaf during the baking process. They know when to kneed and when to use the stretch and fold technique. They are artist's with their lame.
              Last edited by Breadhead; February 27, 2015, 10:24 PM.

            #12
            Karon Adams I enjoy learning about your endeavors! My wife & I came to the same conclusion Re her working or being a stay at home mom...so like you we opted for the latter. One income isn't as fun as two but our boys are with their momma, and my wife doesn't have a boss breathing down her neck. She'll bake occasionally but I actually hate it if it's when I'm hope sleeping (I work nights) since the smell wakes me up and that's not good on a couple levels.

            Flame on!
            Last edited by Huskee; February 27, 2015, 09:21 AM.

            Comment


              #13
              Originally posted by Wartface View Post
              Eventually all men learn its just easier to say yes Dear, I think you are right.
              I've said those words before and ended up driving a minivan, selling my hockey gear, and haven't golfed in 8 years. Hmmm.

              Comment


              • Breadhead
                Breadhead commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes... It's best not spoken in female company! But... One must pick his battles carefully. You can lose your golfing privileges quickly.
                Last edited by Breadhead; February 27, 2015, 10:22 PM.

              • Karon Adams
                Karon Adams commented
                Editing a comment
                Well, HeWhoMustObey doesn't do golf. TBH, if I sent him golfing, he would consider it and expensive and boring punishment! He'd much prefer to spend the day in the back yard, brewing a batch of beer or in the garage, roasting his newest Coffee Bean acquisition.

              #14
              Karon Adams Lol! This post has taken a 'funny' turn, Karon, but it is surely wonderful to learn more about the folks who frequent this site. And the bread looks amazing here!
              Last edited by Ray; February 27, 2015, 09:37 AM. Reason: had to fix grammar

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