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Old 06-02-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Question Bread Flour

I wanted to make my own bread and many moons ago I bought various bread flours and also tried different yeasts and never ever managed to turn out a decent loaf. I also bought a bread machine thinking that would be the answer to my problem but still couldn't get an edible loaf.
I have since sold said machine and now have quite a few bags of bread flour of varying types... what to do with them I wonder?
I do so hate just throwing things away so any suggestions would be very much appreciated. (as long as it's not bread!).

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Old 06-02-2016, 01:06 PM   #2
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Sorry you had a less than positive experience with making bread. Sometimes it takes folks a while to jump the learning curve. I wish you hadn't sold your bread machine because it could have served you in a way you might not have considered.

I've been making ALL our bread products for most of my housekeeping life but since I've been visited by Arthur(itis), hand-kneading all but kills my hands. That's when I first considered getting a bread machine.

I was a dipped-and-dyed "do it all the old-fashioned way" bread maker up to that point and viewed bread machines as an unnecessary and stupid appliance only wimps would use. Ha! Ha! Joke's on me. That was 1999 and I still have, and use, my trusty bread machine. But...

The way I use the machine is the key. In all the years I have owned it, it has only been used twice to make bread as the booklet directed. Instead, I add all the necessary ingredients for my target recipe, set the machine to DOUGH cycle, which (for me) does all the heavy lifting, uh kneading, and puts the dough through the first rise.

At that point, I can play with my dough any way I please. My hands are thankful that they aren't abused and I get the bread product I want.

Two years ago, as a favor for a professor friend of ours for a trip fundraiser, I made over 100 loaves of French bread in less than three weeks. My record was 12 loaves in one day, but that was getting up early and pushing it.

As I already mentioned, I still have my first machine and bought a second one, just like it, at a thrift store a few years ago for $3.00 and, especially during the holidays, have both of them going at once.

What I'm trying to say is don't get discouraged. Rome wasn't built in a day and, given time, you'll enjoy your own freshly-baked bread.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:12 PM   #3
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You are likely killing the yeast by accident. Take the temperature of your water, add flour gradually, don't add too much salt and keep it simple.

There is a Julia Child episode on making French bread. You can google it. I watched that and found it helpful.


Eat anything you want, but make it yourself.

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Old 06-02-2016, 01:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
Sorry you had a less than positive experience with making bread. Sometimes it takes folks a while to jump the learning curve. I wish you hadn't sold your bread machine because it could have served you in a way you might not have considered.

I've been making ALL our bread products for most of my housekeeping life but since I've been visited by Arthur(itis), hand-kneading all but kills my hands. That's when I first considered getting a bread machine.

I was a dipped-and-dyed "do it all the old-fashioned way" bread maker up to that point and viewed bread machines as an unnecessary and stupid appliance only wimps would use. Ha! Ha! Joke's on me. That was 1999 and I still have, and use, my trusty bread machine. But...

The way I use the machine is the key. In all the years I have owned it, it has only been used twice to make bread as the booklet directed. Instead, I add all the necessary ingredients for my target recipe, set the machine to DOUGH cycle, which (for me) does all the heavy lifting, uh kneading, and puts the dough through the first rise.

At that point, I can play with my dough any way I please. My hands are thankful that they aren't abused and I get the bread product I want.

Two years ago, as a favor for a professor friend of ours for a trip fundraiser, I made over 100 loaves of French bread in less than three weeks. My record was 12 loaves in one day, but that was getting up early and pushing it.

As I already mentioned, I still have my first machine and bought a second one, just like it, at a thrift store a few years ago for $3.00 and, especially during the holidays, have both of them going at once.

What I'm trying to say is don't get discouraged. Rome wasn't built in a day and, given time, you'll enjoy your own freshly-baked bread.
Thanks for your reply Katie but like I said I've tried and tried AND tried!
There's only so many times one can keep hoping for better results. Think I'll stick to my knitting and sewing and not have any more aggravation from the aroma whirling around and then the disappointment!
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeni78 View Post
You are likely killing the yeast by accident. Take the temperature of your water, add flour gradually, don't add too much salt and keep it simple.

There is a Julia Child episode on making French bread. You can google it. I watched that and found it helpful.


Eat anything you want, but make it yourself.

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Yes, Jeni, you may be on to something.

When I make my bread, using the machine, I add all my ingredients to the container, making sure my yeast is in one corner, the salt in another, and the sugar, away from those two ingredients. Salt has an impact on yeast, too.

Then, I put my quantity of water/milk/whatever into a microwave-safe container and nuke it on HIGH for 20 seconds, only long enough to take the chill off. This way, the chance of killing the yeast with too warm a liquid is next to none. Pour it into the bread machine container and turn the machine on. I can truthfully say I have never had a yeast problem doing it this way.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:48 PM   #6
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Ah, yes. I do not know how to make bread with a machine as I do not have one.

Another use for bread flour is dumplings in soup! Or crust for pot pie. I made that today. Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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Old 06-02-2016, 02:05 PM   #7
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I don't bake, but I've learned how to make no-knead bread. It was actually pretty easy, and I haven't messed one up yet. There's quite a bit on line, and also instructional videos on YouTube. Here's a link to the NYT article that started it all.

No-Knead Bread Recipe - NYT Cooking
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:15 PM   #8
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The NYT recipe is good! I have made that one and liked it.


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Old 06-02-2016, 02:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
I don't bake, but I've learned how to make no-knead bread. It was actually pretty easy, and I haven't messed one up yet. There's quite a bit on line, and also instructional videos on YouTube. Here's a link to the NYT article that started it all.

No-Knead Bread Recipe - NYT Cooking
That's a great technique, although its been refined a bit since the original. I tried to make it with a towel, as he says, and it stuck horribly. Other recipes suggest using parchment paper instead, which I find works much better.

Emmaline, what was the problem with your bread, and how did you make it? We might be able to help you fix it
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:28 PM   #10
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Flour goes rancid so if its old make sure you smell it before you use it.
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