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Diving in - where to start

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    Diving in - where to start

    After seeing all the bread posts here I've decided to tackle bread baking. I planned on starting with the "How To Make Sourdough Bread" thread, but wanted to check in with the Pit family to see if there are different recommendations?

    Edit: Yeast has been hoarded like toilet paper and hand-sanitizer in our area.
    Last edited by hoovarmin; April 23, 2020, 05:18 PM. Reason: added info about unavailability of yeast in NE FL

    #2
    You might consider the Jim Leahy no-knead bread to get started. If you Google it, you will find it easily. It's a great place to get your feet wet without much investment in either time or ingredients.

    Comment


    • hoovarmin
      hoovarmin commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Dewesq55. I watched the videos on making the starter and making the first boule. Simple, but I got lost on how to properly sustain the starter. I've always been curious - were you born in 55, or do you have a 55 Bel-Air, or some other, third thing?

    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree.

    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      hoovarmin h That's my birth year. LOL.

    #3
    I got the Tartine Bread book on Amazon, at the time Amazon let me "borrow" it for free. Not really sure how that system works it's still on my kindle and they haven't asked for it back. It was a good primer my only complaint is it's a little hoity-toity and I definitely had to go to other places like http://www.thefreshloaf.com/ to fill gaps in technique and knowledge. Lots of great youtube videos on shaping the loaves, which is what was undermining my loaves for a long time and it was hard for me to get without a full visual demonstration.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tartine-Bread...7680379&sr=8-1

    Comment


    • hoovarmin
      hoovarmin commented
      Editing a comment
      jhapka - that move at the end where you pull the dough across the counter with a circular twist is what I wish I could have someone teach me in person.

    • jhapka
      jhapka commented
      Editing a comment
      hoovarmin absolutely, it took a lot of flat loaves before I got that motion down. It's easier to do with lower hydration dough. There's no shame in reducing hydration percentage, it makes the dough easier to shape and a well-formed yet lower hydration dough will bake up better than a high hydration dough with no structure.

    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      hoovarmin - Use your bench scraper and put it at about a 75 or 80° angle and push the dough ball. Turn 90° and do it again. Do it at least once around the dough.

    #4
    Ha - flour salt water yeast arrived today.....

    and I may have fired up a sourdough starter for the hell of it.

    Comment


      #5
      +1 on the no knead bread, it's probably the easiest way to get a good loaf with out messing around getting a starter going. Kenji just did a video on it the other day

      Comment


      • mnavarre
        mnavarre commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, yes, the lack of yeast does put a damper on things. Maybe check restaurant supply stores? Even if you have to buy a 500g brick dry yeast will last the better part of forever as long as you refrigerate it. And, honestly, sourdough isn't *that* much harder than no knead once you have a starter going.

      • Dewesq55
        Dewesq55 commented
        Editing a comment
        hoovarmin - It takes a week or 2 to get a strong mature starter going, though.

      • hoovarmin
        hoovarmin commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a great video. My wife just found 2 packets of yeast in the back of the pantry so I'm giving this a go later and also getting started on a sourdough starter for down the road.

      #6
      I'm actually doing this one Friday. I have not baked this, but looks good and easy. If you decide to get into it and knead bread I hope you have a stand mixer or bread machine. I have a mixer. I can't imagine kneading bread by hand.

      https://www.kingarthurflour.com/reci...t-bread-recipe

      Comment


      • hoovarmin
        hoovarmin commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd love to try that - I do have a mixer with a dough hook. But alas, yeast was hoarded like toilet paper in our neck of the woods.

      #7
      I'd start by watching the Ken Forkish videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0ow...AZl6z69kpmUzBI

      Definitely refer to the "How To Make Sourdough Bread" thread ... keeping in mind that it does contain a bit of conflicting information.

      Settle on one "method" (Forkish, Tartine, Jacob Burton, etc.) and until you become proficient with it, don't bother to try others. Personally, I recommend Forkish. He keeps it simple, consistent, and as a bonus there's no kneading per se ... just stretching and pulling the dough.

      Personally, I'd skip the "no-knead" bread. You'll get a loaf using it but It's unlikely to be as good as one made using one of the more traditional methods.

      Steer clear of high-hydration doughs at first. They're just too challenging to work with when you're just starting out.

      Finally, ask questions ... particularly in the "How To Make Sourdough Bread" thread (which is still closely monitored by a bunch of us old fart bread makers here in the Pit).

      ... and don't forget to have fun with it.
      Last edited by MBMorgan; April 23, 2020, 05:51 PM.

      Comment


      • hoovarmin
        hoovarmin commented
        Editing a comment
        MBMorgan you speak wise words. Many thanks, Kemosabe

      • Dewesq55
        Dewesq55 commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't know that I completely agree. The no knead loaf is excellent, IMHO.

      • hoovarmin
        hoovarmin commented
        Editing a comment
        MBMorgan those were great videos. Just ordered the book.

      #8
      You could also use a food processor to knead bread, but if you do that, you need to make sure the dough passes the windowpane test, (a good idea anyway). Watch the linked video starting at 1:30 through 2:50. It's for making bagels, but the principal is the same.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tzulvifb_GA
      Last edited by RonB; April 23, 2020, 06:05 PM.

      Comment


      • hoovarmin
        hoovarmin commented
        Editing a comment
        The windowpane test has always eluded me as I have tried to make pizza dough. You have reminded me of an old nemesis. But tomorrow is a new day

      #9
      I put this someplace else today. It shows available from multiple sellers.

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001CXUHW..._lgJOEbE04B200

      Comment


        #10
        I highly recommend The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Some of the best and easiest bread out there.

        Comment


          #11
          For me - The Bread Bakers Apprentice is the bible.
          I am not an expert, by any stretch, but because of this book I can make some damn good bread.

          ​​​​​​https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bakers-.../dp/1580082688

          Comment


            #12
            Not an easy bread to make but if you can not find yeast a great bread to make is Salt Risen Bread.

            Growing up in South Western NY this was my favorite bread (and still is when I can get it).

            We always referred to it as "Stinky Cheese Feet Bread" It has a very pungent smell about it but to me it is the best bread for toasting.

            Its a bread that was made back in the Pioneer days when yeast could not easily be obtained.

            Below are a few YouTube videos about Salt Risen Bread if you are interested.



            Comment


            • hoovarmin
              hoovarmin commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for that. Since it's referred to as stinky cheese feet bread I feel it imperative that we try it out!

            #13
            My wife found a packet of yeast and I started the Kenji recipe Friday afternoon. It went into the fridge yesterday and I'll bake it Tuesday. Thanks for the cool video. I ordered the Forkish book and some supplies I see him using in the videos. Looking forward to my bread baking apprenticeship with you guys.

            Comment


            • Skip
              Skip commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck with your new adventure. Bread baking is challenging but really fun. You've already gotten lots of great advice. My only addition is King Arthur's website is a very good source for technique and recipes.

            #14
            All of the above are wrong. WRONG I SAY!

            Start by making a simple bread, not by reading. Do not start with a sourdough unless you have a starter that's ready to go.

            Hit up the King Arthur site and make one of these:

            https://www.kingarthurflour.com/reci...er-bake-recipe

            https://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog...-oatmeal-bread

            That's it. You can read for days, but if you want to make bread, make some bread.
            Last edited by rickgregory; April 26, 2020, 01:03 PM.

            Comment


            • rickgregory
              rickgregory commented
              Editing a comment
              PS: The books listed are good. I've read a few. But I strongly feel that you don't really get the appeal of baking by reading, but by doing. I made a sandwich loaf yesterday (a double batch of the bread linked above). In the morning, I didn't have bread. At dinner time, I did. There's something really satisfying about that.
              Last edited by rickgregory; April 26, 2020, 01:06 PM.

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