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Old 03-23-2012, 02:33 AM   #1
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Home made bread vs. commercial bread

I recently saw a couple shows about commercial bread companies and how they make bread. It seems to be less work than homemade.
The thing I am curious about is they mix the dough and then put it into their pans to rise. After it rises they cook it. They don't punch it down for another rise.
Is this how the bread bought in the store is so light and airy?

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:52 AM   #2
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It's a combination of things. For one, they commonly use bread improvers. There are a variety of formulas, and some of them you may not want to read about where they come from. They are available from baking supply houses. They also frequently proof in temperature controlled environments at the ideal temperature of about 78F. They use bread flour and/or add gluten, never all-purpose flour. They may also add potato flour. They knead in a precise way for a precise time.

Here's a very succinct description of bread improvers:
Bread Improvers

Whether or not the standard store loaf is other than a tasteless foam is a matter of opinion.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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I dont punch my bread dough either and I also just pour the dough into the baking bowl to rise, or else I pour it onto some baking paper to rise and just bake it on the baking paper. Yes, this makes the bread more light and airy.

Other tips:
Pour water into the oven to make steam in the oven while the bread is rising and baking.
Put enough liquid in bread dough, so it is just wet enough to flow into the baking bowl, but not so wet that bottom of it is soggy or gluey after baking.
Bake for as long as possible, without burning the bread, to make sure the liquid in the bread does not make the bottom of the bread soggy or gluey.

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Old 03-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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I used to go through all that rigmarole with the rising and punching and shaping and baking, but now I just throw everything into the bread machine according to the directions and when it dings, I eat it!
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
I used to go through all that rigmarole with the rising and punching and shaping and baking, but now I just throw everything into the bread machine according to the directions and when it dings, I eat it!
I hope you switch it off first.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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The bread improver is just one of the reason their bread will stay fresh longer and your home made bread will stay fresh for only two days at the most. Putting a pan of water at the very bottom of your oven will give you the moisture that is necessary for good bread making. Commercial ovens often have a controlled sprayer in their ovens. There are so many variables to making bread. I prefer artisan bread. No muss or fuss.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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I'll have to try that not punching down my bread too. Even if it doesn't work as good I'd like to know what the punch down adds.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #8
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The ingredients for making bread are reasonably inexpensive. So it is worth experimenting some. And it should be intresting. Go fo it. Just make sure you give your dough a really good kneading for the first time.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
I hope you switch it off first.
Nah, the bread machine only dings once then quits. It's the damn oven timer that keeps beeping and beeping and beeping until you go into the kitchen and manually turn the beeper off.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Making bread is one of those things that people seem to think is mysterious, labor-intensive, and complex. It isn't. I've been making virtually all of my own bread for 10 years, and it's unbelievably simple.

I used to go through the whole kneading, rising, punching down nonsense. Then, about 5 years ago, I found this video on YouTube. What a revelation. I make bread twice a week using this technique. It takes about 5 minutes of actual labor. The rest of it is simply allowing time for rising and the flavors to develop in the dough.

Here you go:


Like Mark Bittman says in the video, you can make bread as good as any commercial bakery in the country using this simple technique.
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