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Old 03-26-2005, 04:12 PM   #1
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Bread machine vs natural.

I use my bread machine to make my dough only. (On the dough cycle. I do not use it to bake any of my breads!)
Now, my quandry. Am I using regular baking recipies or rather bread machine recipes?
I am making baggettes of French and Italian varrieties and they are not bad. But I am not happy at all because sometimes the crusts are too thick and firm. Some are tasty breads, but too heavy. I would like to get to a nice light crust with a nice light bread inside. What is going wrong?
To make it more light I use olive oil, or butter or and egg. And to make the crust more softer, I put a pan of ice cubes in first to make steam.
I would also like to make some good Cuban bread too however I just can't get close to it.

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Old 03-26-2005, 06:49 PM   #2
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Hi, Pete:

Try this recipe from an Italian cooking site:

Italian Bread

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
7 cups all-purpose flour

1 Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water and let proof.
2 Stir in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
3 Beat in the salt and then add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead until as soft and smooth as a bambino's behind. Turn in a greased bowl, cover, and let double in size. (I put it in the oven with the light on - perfect rising temperature.)
4 Once doubled, punch down and divide into three. Place back in the bowl, cover, and let rise.
5 Once doubled again, punch down and form into three fat "footballs." Grease heavy cookie sheets and sprinkle with corn meal. Place the bread on the sheets, cover with a towel, and let rise.
6 Once risen, mist with water and place in a preheated 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) oven. Mist loaves with water and turn occasionally while they bake. Bread is done when golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Makes three (3) loafs.
"I'm that fond o' my fiddle, I could sit in the inside o't, an' look oot."-- Peter Milne, famous Scot fiddler
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Old 08-30-2005, 09:58 PM   #3
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I must admit, it is tooooooo hot down here for baking! I am not even turning on a burner if I can help it. So as a result I will have to wait for cooler temps to do more and to test your suggested recipe.

Thanks very much and will look forward to trying it in the fall sometime.

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