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Old 02-23-2003, 06:54 PM   #1
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Bread stuff...

Disappointed. I thought docpat woould have been back by now with some bread making advice.

Question: haven't tasted it yet, but pictures show Ciabatta as a simple floour-water-yeast-oil bread that has large holes in it. So what makes it such a wonderful bread? And what accounts for its repputed wonderful flavor? I'm baffled. Enlighten me, pleae!

I've been fooling around with different bread recipes and flours. Best yet, in my opinion, was made with a soft dough of AP flour, yeast, salt, half & half milk, sugar, and butter. Egg wash, sesame seed, COLD oven., 45 min. @ 350. Very good flavor and texture, and proved to keep well, too.

Most of the recipes taste pretty much the same, most seem to dry out too quickly, and tend to be a little heavy for my taste.

[I use a Kitchen Aid mixer w/dough hook for mixing. Next loaf I'm going to try the old fashioned way: bowl and spoon and hand kneading. ]

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Old 02-23-2003, 08:39 PM   #2
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oldcoot - you might try e-mailing docpat to get his attention to come back. I wish I could be of some assistance here but like I said before - bread is not my thing (to make that is). I do like ciabatta for its texture and I do tend to like the heavier breads. When I make just a plain white bread I will replace about 1/4 cup of water with olive oil. I just like the flavor and texture it adds. I've got to just jump in and start making bread!!
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Old 02-25-2003, 06:15 PM   #3
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handmade

Well, I just had some fun making bread the "old fashioned" way - a bowl, a wooden spoon, and elbow grease.

I used a simple recipe:

3c bread flour,
1 pkg. yeast,
1/2 tsp salt,
2 tbs veg. oil,
2 tbs melted margarine,
1-1/8 c whole milk (heated to about 110 F).
(Made a fairly stiff, rather dry dough - hard to knead)

Getting all the ingredients and mixing them to a dough took about ten minutes.

Then I kneaded the dough for ten minutes (timed it! - and that's work!), formed a ball and put it back in the same (clean) bowl (oiled) to rise to double. (Rinsing the bowl with hot water warmed it for the rising)
That took about 45 minutes.

(By the way, if you're not using a Dustbuster hand vacuum to clean up loose flour from the counter, you're working too hard!)

Punched it down and flattened it, then rolled it and fit it into a loaf pan. Let that rise until a little above the top of the pan, then brushed the top with milk and popped it in the cold oven. Set the temp at 400 F and the timer at 40 minutes.

Beautiful loaf, rich brown top. Excelllent texture (light & soft) and good flavor. Crisp, thin crust.

I'm pleased as ppunch. No, I won't do it by hand again, not when I have that perfectly good Kitchen Aid mixer on the counter.

This bread making is a whole bunch easier than expected. And not particularly time consuming. If you haven't tried it, I recommend you do so - it's very satisfying!

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Old 02-25-2003, 09:20 PM   #4
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That is a beautiful loaf of bread! I'll have to try it - some day :|
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Old 03-03-2003, 10:37 PM   #5
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I never made bread from scratch - well other than quick breads... - because I have a silly fear of working with yeast - is it hard? I mean is it easy to ruin because i need an almost foolproof recipe! For some reason yeast intimidates me, but I'd really like to learn to cook and bake with it...thanks for any input! :)
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Old 03-03-2003, 11:33 PM   #6
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Starr - get over your fear of that single-celled plant. It's not as fragile as you've been led to believe. In fact, yeast is pretty tough. Did you know that a type of yeast lives on the outside of grapes, and that is how early Man accidentlally made the first wine? Yeast spores of various kinds are in the air all the time. They probably got into a flour water mix that sat around and "soured", which is how Man got leavened (raised) breads - which started out as that delicious stuff: sourdough bread!

Chances are you make raised bread often. Only you use the chemical reaction of sodium bicarbonate with lactic acid (milk) to form the carbon dioxide bubbles in the dough - which you call batter, and the end result you call cake, or biscuits, or waffles. The difference is essentially in how much you mix the doough: the more you mix (work or knead) the dough, the more bread-like - the less, the more cake-like.

Go here for simple, beginner baking instructions: http://www.breadworld.com/talk/baking.asp

Also, read the back of Fleischman's Yeast packet (Rapid Rise).
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:22 PM   #7
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i went through a bread baking stage when i was about 13 or so. i used to make rosemary and garilic bread and focaccia, olive bread, plain bread and one memorable jamie oliver recipe for flat bread that had mashed chickpeas and cumin and coriander seeds in it. it was really good. now i am getting back into, but these days i dont use white flours, so ive been doing stuff with whole grains. this week ill be baking a whole wheat and rye walnut and raisin loaf.
once you get into the whole yeasted bread thing, youll find that its basically the same method for all recipes. it gets easier each time, as you become more aquainted with yeast and all that.
its a very rewarding task, you know. anyway, thats about it. if anyone needs help with bread issues, ask me. ive never used a bread maker though. and the dough hook attachment is unreal, it actually kneads the dough for you!
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