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Old 03-25-2008, 12:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hutchins View Post
A scale is the most important tool in your bakery...After I left comerical kitchens I bought a balance scale just like the one we used in the bakery and my bread all ways turnes out fine
Your response is simply a vote for measuring ingredients by weight (which I agree with).
You do not, however, answer Adillo303's question.
Do you have anything to contribute re the use of the baker's percentage?
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:45 AM   #12
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It's very strange how we all work so differently to come up with a specific quality. I loosely use volume measurements as a starter when I'm baking. Then, I add more water, salt, sugar (or honey), flour, oil (or butter), etc. as needed. I go for a specific feel of the dough, its elasticity, stickiness, how loose or firm it feels, etc. My breads have won numerous local contests (mostly at church cookoffs) and are sought after at various food functions. For me, it's all about the dough texture and flavor, before it's cooked.

My first experience making bread was with my mother in law, and my wife. They taught me how to feel the dough, what it should look and feel like, both when using ap flour, or bread flour, and when using whole wheat flour. I went from there and modified, and tested, and experimented. Now I know what I'm looking for in the raw dough, and it works for me.

I still don't think there is a best way for the home cook, just various ways that work, based upon what you learn while you are doing the task.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
It's very strange how we all work so differently to come up with a specific quality. I loosely use volume measurements as a starter when I'm baking. Then, I add more water, salt, sugar (or honey), flour, oil (or butter), etc. as needed. I go for a specific feel of the dough, its elasticity, stickiness, how loose or firm it feels, etc. My breads have won numerous local contests (mostly at church cookoffs) and are sought after at various food functions. For me, it's all about the dough texture and flavor, before it's cooked.

My first experience making bread was with my mother in law, and my wife. They taught me how to feel the dough, what it should look and feel like, both when using ap flour, or bread flour, and when using whole wheat flour. I went from there and modified, and tested, and experimented. Now I know what I'm looking for in the raw dough, and it works for me.

I still don't think there is a best way for the home cook, just various ways that work, based upon what you learn while you are doing the task.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
How does your response answer the question posed by Adillo303?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
Just a question - For my Rye bread, I use a Rye sour that I have been cultivating. Does that go in on the wet or dry side of the equasion?
AC
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:42 AM   #14
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Thank You subfuscpersona now I may be getting someplace. First let me rank my skill level - Rank amatuer. I have been baking bread and other things off an on for quite a few years. This fall, I decided to more ernestly persue mu cooking hobby. I made a loaf or two of wholw wheat bread and it was OK. Everyone kept wanting Rye bread. Off I go to research the Internet. I found that one does not just whip up a loaf of Rye. Most of the interesting recipies called for a sour starter. They also called for one to several days to get the starter going. The quickest one used some yeast, onions, caroway seeds, rye flour and water. I tried it. It made more starter than I needed. Now, I was out of guidance. Nothing told me what to do with the left over starter. Much of what I researched talked about sourdough starter. Not much, at least of what I found, talked about rye sour. So I improvised. To whatever The night before I bke, I take my starter out, stir it up, transfer it to a glass bowl, and add a little milk and sugar. It goes crazy and warms up. Oops forgot to say, I maintain it in the fridge and stir it every few days.

After I bake the Rye there is some starter left over, Much of what I read said to put back in the same amount that you took out. So, I put in the three cups fo Rye flour that came out, I add enough water to get a consistency something like loose peanut butter and then let it sit on the counter a while. It goes crazy again. I them move it ti successfully cooler places to calm it down and then back to the fridge in a plastic bin. Some of this may be right, none of this may be right, I don't know for sure, I am learning. As I said, rank amatuer.

On to the bread. I use 3 cups sopur starter, about a cup and a half of Rye bread from the previous batch moistened and munched up. Caroway seed salt and unbleached bread flout (King Arthur) It calls for about four to 4 1/2 cups. I add flour slowly at the end till it just comes away from the side of the kitchen aid and sticks to the dough hook. Turn it out, knead, rise and then make loaves and stone bake. I have a waiting line for the Rye bread, so I may be in the right ballpark. I don't kave a lot of problems except for height. Since I am not using loaf pans the bread is not high and making sandwiches is a chalange.

Anyway, i hope that I have provided enough details, as I can tell from reading your post, you have knowledge that I crave. I read the section on the King Arthur website about bakers percentage and am actively reading all the links that I got here. I am after consistence, and efficency. I want ot do it right.

Thank You again. I don't yet know if folks on this site appologize for long posts, so sorry if this is too long. - AC Alos sorry for any included gramatical and spelling errors.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:21 AM   #15
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Heck of a start here - I just read Goodweed's post. Yup, I heartilly agree that cooking at home is way different than doing it for a living. I do, however want to know about the commercial techniques so that I can use or adapt them to what I do at home. For example the pan of water on the bottom ov the oven to make steam. Baking on stone for better heat.

My daughter always tells me - "If you make something that you really love, enjoy it. It may never taste thge same again."
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by subfuscpersona View Post
How does your response answer the question posed by Adillo303?
It doesn't so much answer the question as it points out that there are several ways to abtain the same end, that is, to make great bread. I haven't been trained in a bakery, or at a pastry school. Rather, I was taught by other home cooks, and modified the techniques to suit my way of cooking. I am an experimenter by nature, and someone who likes to know why things work the way they do. By knowing what the differing componants of bread do to the final product, it gives me great flexibility and allows me to make everything from soft white bread to a hearty rye bread, to a pumpernickle, etc., without having to rely on a recipe. I cook, bake, bbq, whatever, intuitively based on knowing how differing food substances react to heat, moisture, cold, and chemical and physical properties. It works for me.

For a proffesional kitchen, and to insure a consistant product, the questions asked by Adillo303 are vallid, and to the point. I don't have experience with measuring by percentage, or even by weight. Rather, I know how much grain goes into a loaf of bread by volume, the charectrisitic properties of various grains, sweeteners, and oils, and am able to craft breads as I desire based upon a strong knowledge base of those principles.

My way works for me. Another method, measuring by volume, is often easier for the home cook because of the training, tools, and documentation available to the home cook. In a proffesional kitchen, I agree that percentage ratios would be a great way to gauge recipes. But I would find it laborious and tedious to have to determine the amount of water in a batch of starter, especially when I'm using just a portion of that starter in a bread recipe. It seems daunting to me. So, I pointed out that there are other methods for obtaining quality results. I was merely giving alternative options, not answering the question directly.

I give information that I know, and try not to give false information based on guesses about things I do not know. I definately wasn't saying that my way is better than another way, just pointing out that there are options.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:54 PM   #17
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learning about weights,%, etc

I read every day a web site called The Fresh Loaf. They are very helpful there with lots of info about all things related to bread baking. Lots of people with varying levels of experience and all wanting to grow together and learn from each other.I have learned much there. Try it.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
Everyone kept wanting Rye bread...I have a waiting line for the Rye bread, so I may be in the right ballpark.
Consumers never lie - if your family/friends line up for your rye bread, you know you're doing something right.

You're to be congratulated on your success with a bread that combines two somewhat difficult approaches to bread baking - working with sourdough and baking bread with a significant amount of rye flour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
I don't kave a lot of problems except for height. Since I am not using loaf pans the bread is not high...I am after consistence, and efficency. I want to do it right
If consistency is one of your goals, I do think measuring ingredients by weight will help you. Also, keep a diary of your baking - include notes on the process as well as the ingredients. If you have a digital camera, take some snapshots.

I don't think that mastering the bakers percentage is particularly relevant at this point. If you continue to pursue any kind of baking you may, however, eventually find it helpful.

Rye bread does tend to be heavy. Rye flour doesn't contain the same gluten-producing proteins as does wheat flour and it can be tricky to get a good rise from a dough that contains a fair percentage of rye flour. I bake bread using a wide variety of whole grain flours and have always found rye to be the hardest to work with.

The best advice I can give you a this point is to check out this breadbaking forum Welcome to the Fresh Loaf | The Fresh Loaf (previously mentioned by granniero). This forum has home bakers from beginning to expert. It has many discussions about making rye bread, creating sourdough starters and making rye bread with sourdough starters. I have found it extremely helpful when I had issues with my bread baking.

Personally, I don't make bread with a lot of rye flour and I don't bake sourdough bread very regularly (though I do maintain a sourdough starter). Given my paltry experience, I would rather you get advice from bakers with a lot more experience in these areas than I can offer.

Whatever you chose to do, don't stop baking. You're clearly on the right track. Best of luck... SF
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:29 AM   #19
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I have visited "The Fresh Loaf". After reading Goodweed's post, I realize that is where I am and many on this site are. As much as anything else in life I thirst for knowledge. How that knowledge is used makes us individuals. By reading the Artisan site and the King Arthur site, and some on The Fresh Loaf, I ahve more understanding of the principals of bread.

Funny substance, bread. Very few ingredients, much goes on in the baking process. Trade offs are possible and they have varing effects.

I am happy with my Rye bread. I just wish that I could get it to stand up higher. Seems to spread out a lot in the final rising. Could put it in a loaf pan, but I like the freeform stone baked idea.

I am planning on a Fibrament stone for my bottom shelf, two if I can swing it. I like the idea of a stome above and below that gets as close to a stone oven as I can hope for.

I also found www. sourdoughhome. com (Still not enough posts to post a URL). While I am not a sourdough baker, ther is a lot of good information on baking techniques there. The site covers a lot more than sourdough.

I have very little time this weekend, moving computers for a customer Friday and Saturday. Maybe Sunday I can try another loaf or 10 grain. I have been struggling to get it right. I just read last night that a thurd rising helps a lot. The last loaf had a lot of promise, so much so that my Labradors stole it, while it was cooling, split it amongst themselves and ate it all.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hutchins View Post
A scale is the most important tool in your bakery. I had to learn how to bake over night as my baker droped dead and none was to be found. As baking is a very dying art form
and not many men or women want to work the crazy hours a baker works. After I left comerical kitchens I bought a balance scale just like the one we used in the bakery and my bread all ways turnes out fine

I only work 2 days a week, but sometimes i work a full week, for awhile i worked 5 days for 2 months.
I LOVE BAKERS HOURS! even better than bankers hours!
Something about getting up at 3 am and playing with dough by 5 am in the dark is just so fun!!!
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