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Bread Adventures - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

Jan. 24th, 2010 09:29 pm Bread Adventures

To help with complying with my low-iodine diet, I've been making my own bread. Or at least trying to with a reasonable amount of success.

Last weekend, I tried following a recipe I'd found on The Food Networks website for "Brother's Bread" (from a monastery somewhere). The result was pretty good, but a bit dense. It also got formed into four small loves -- or at least the second batch did. On the first batch, it wasn't balling right on the Kitchen Aid mixer dough hook (which continues to happen), and in the process of trying to do some manual adjustments, I discovered the dough was VERY salty -- the recipe called for one tablespoon of salt, instead of one teaspoon.

So yesterday, I tried a white bread recipe I found on the wiki cookbook. This one came out with a bit better texture, but was a bit bland. robot_grrl suggested I increase the honey and salt. Since the procedure I used (the recipe was written for no tools) seemed backwards from most other techniques I've seen -- It put the flour in the mixer and added the water slowly -- so I reversed it tonight. This was, I'm guessing, a failure. Not all of the flour ended up incorporating into the dough, so the result was horribly sticky. Even after adding a fair amount of flour during the final kneading. In fact it was so sticky, that it stuck very hard to the jelly roll pan I used to proof and bake it. I ended up cutting off the bottom in order to get it off.

I think I have enough bread to last me through the week (even with the increase in bread consumption brought on by having fresh bread in the house). But if I do more baking next weekend, I'll probably stick with the current recipe, but go back to putting the flour in the mixer first and adding the water later.

I'll also have to remember to not bake wearing black.

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Date:January 25th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
My regular recipe is (in the 6qt Kitchen Aid)

2 C Water
2T Sugar
1T Salt (use the Morton's sea salt, there is no iodine)
1-2 T dry yeast

6C or so of flour (add 5 cups and then add the 6th cup scantily while the dough mixes until it isn't sticky anymore. Depending on the humidity, you might have to add up to 8 cups or more). When a good ball forms, knead in the Kitchen Aid for 5-8 minutes until the dough looks smooth and elastic. Remove dough, place in a BIG oiled bowl, turn it over so the dough ball is well oiled and put it in a warm spot covered with plastic wrap or a damp dishtowel... (we use the oven with just the light on).

Let it rise, covered, for about an hour, hour and 1/2, until doubled.
Punch it down, form into 2 loafs, put in 2 greased bread pans. Let rise in bread pans another 30-45 minutes, bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. When bread comes out of oven, give it a light spray with cooking spray (or rub it with butter). Let it cool before cutting if you can :)

This lasts a family of 4 for 3 days unless the boys get it fresh out of the oven, in which case it might not last the day. This makes 2 big loafs.

By the way, this is my normal recipe without the kitchen aid, too, but I knead it for 10 - 15 minutes by hand.

Also, to incorporate the flour, I put the water, salt, sugar, etc in the bowl, add about 4 cups of flour, then add the rest about 1/2 a cup at a time with the mixer set on low to 2 clicks. The ball is formed well when it's not sticking to the sides of the bowl anymore.

I can't think of anything else. I can make this recipe in my sleep, along with various multi-grain variations. (Use 1/2 whole wheat flour, or rye flour, or add 2 cups of oatmeal to the water, make it hot instead of skin temp and let the oatmeal cook while the water cools... uh... add flax seed and corn flour along with 1/2 C wheat gluten, add nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, more sugar... use all whole wheat flour and gluten, mix in rice flour... whatever, but the base is always the same. 2C Water, 1T Salt, 2T sugar, 1 T yeast and flour :) We have at least a dozen different kinds of flour in the cabinet, and, until the Kitchen Aid died, made bread at least twice a week.