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Old 02-18-2007, 07:12 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hollywood, CA
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Bread Help

Hello everyone, I am new to this site and so far am pretty impressed.

I have always been very much into cooking, my Dad always told me my first step was towards the fridge, not sure if that's a good thing though.

Anyway, just now I made my first batch of bread ever.

I used this recipe:

1 Pack Active Dry Yeast w/ 2 tsp of sugar in 2 tbsp of 115f water.

"Scald" 1.5 cups of milk. (I'm embarrassed to say I have no idea what that means as far as cooking techniques go so i just warmed it up on the stove.)

Add 7 tablespoons of lard (I used butter because I didn't have any lard) to the milk and let it melt. (I also only used 4 tablespoons because 7 just seemed like way too much.)

mix together 3 beaten eggs, 7 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and the milk / butter.

Let it cool some then mix together the yeast mixture and milk mixture. Then add 4.5 cups flour.

I don't have any bread machine or mixer so I mixed it all and beat it by hand. Then I covered it with a towel and let it rise for 1.5 hours.

Then I made an assortment of breads out of this. I made 2 croissants, 1 small little cracker type thing (had a small pinch left over at the end.), 1 braided loaf with cinnamon and sugar on top, 1 loaf with cinnamon, sugar and chocolate syrup inside, and one plain ball loaf with 1 tablespoon of butter inside (This one is still in the oven).

So far none of them have come out well at all.

I baked the braided loaf at 435f for 18min. The croissants and cracker at 350f for 20m then turned it up to 400f for another 10m.

The chocolate bread at 400f for 20 - 25 m and am doing the butter loaf at 400f for 30m right now.

The problem is that they all seem far to cooked on the outside and very undercooked on the inside (Story of my life when cooking something new).

I should also note that I only have a toaster oven.

Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?


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Old 02-18-2007, 08:56 AM   #2
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Did you let them rise a second time? That will help and you may need to turn down the heat on the toaster oven by 10-25 degrees. I have baked bread in a toaster oven and that is what I ended up doing. Also, it would help to know about how big your loaves are. When I bake 2-1/2 to 3 pound loaves; they usually take 20 to 30 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

Polly aka Shunka....the Def Leppard crazy in AZ!!
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:58 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Spain
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Hello Stevem,

Welcome to DC. First off, I wouldn't fiddle at all with the recipe if I'd never made bread before. How warm was your milk? You don't say. I'm also a bit confused by your term "beat". Normally with bread recipes, you knead the mixture rather than beat it. Plus, how did you decide on your oven temperatures and baking times? Were they given in the recipe? And are you sure that your oven temperatures are accurate?

Have a read of the following thread for a bread recipe that seems easy to do and which has had rave reviews from everyone who's tried it:

NY Times bread recipe--what FUN
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:18 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 905
First I agree that just following the recipe as given and making the bread they designed the recipe for is the best thing. Baking is very much a chemistry and you need to follow the directions.
I have never seen a recipe for one bread that would make what you tried.
Secondly, did you let your braided loaf rise the second time? It has to be formed and rise and then baked. And the time for that style of loaf would be in the neighborhood of an hour.
Learn to bake a loaf of bread and then try a different one--not 5 from one batch of dough, in most cases.
An exception to this would be, for example, a batch of dough that you could make a plain loaf (even braided) and a cinnamon loaf (roll out the dough, spread with cinnamon and sugar, roll up, and bake). '
There is a lot of learning to doing bread dough correctly.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:42 AM   #5
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stevem, Welcome. There are many threads on BREAD. NYT Bread Plus many more.
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:50 PM   #6
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Dear StevenM,
I would also check the accuracy of your oven's temperature especially if your breads are not cooked on the inside-for this you need an accurate oven thermometer. Good luck!

The only difference between a "cook" and a "Chef" is who cleans up the kitchen.
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