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Senior Cook
Feb 4, 2003
Tried a couole more ideas I had on bread baking, and this time, for a change, I guessed exactly right! Being lazy, I wanted bread-making to be quick and easy. Now it is. And I got the lightest, softest, airiest, most tender loaf that I've made. Precisely what I've been trying for all these months. If anyone's interested, here's the whole bit: With a picture, of course.

Turn oven on to lowest setting for 3 to 5 minutes, then off.

In the Kitchen Aid Mixing bowl:

1 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
4 tbs[ honey
3 tbsp softened butter
1 lge egg lightly beaten (reserve 1-2 tbsp for glaze)
1 cup Half & half milk very warm (120F)

Mix with whisk 1 minute, then add
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast

Continue mixing until smooth thick creamy batter, then change to dough hook and add up to
1 3/4 cups Bread flour

slowly, stopping when a soft dough that is not quite sticky is formed. Continue kneading with dough hook (speed 2 or 3) for about 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and rotate it in a large oiled bowl. Open the oven door for a moment to let out the hot air, then put the bowl in the oven. (The residual heat in the metal of the oven will warm the air to a comfortable temperature for the yeast) Let doough rise until a finger poked deeply into it leave a hole that doesn't start to close.

Rem,move and form into loaf on a baking sheet, or flatten into a rectange, roll up, and place in a loaf pan. (Glaze with egg, add seeds, and slash, if desired) Back into the oven to rise until a finger dent doessn't spring back.

Turn oven on to 335 F for 30 minutes. (Very soft, tender crust. For harder, thicker crust, spray with water once or twice during baking, and increase temp - 350 to 400 - and bake for a little shorter time.)


This loaf is aboout 8 inches in diameter, 4 inches high, and weighs 1.6 lbs.
well, lazy works for me! i'm going to give it a try oldcoot--i like my crust crunchy so i'll follow your instructions for that and let you know how it goes.
Mix with whisk 1 minute, then add 1 pkg Active Dry Yeast

Do you mean mix all of the aforementioned ingredients i.e., bread flour, salt, honey, etc. for 1 minute and THEN add yeast? Or do you mean mix the half and half with a whisk for 1 minute then add yeast?

See, I told you I don't bake! :oops:
"Elf, I mean what I said: dump everything except the yeast (and the rest of the flour) into the mixing bowl, let it mix for a minute, then add the yeast and let it mix some more. Then slowly add the flour until the dough forms.
Oldcoot....That is a beautiful looking loaf :D Is it on the sweet side? And a lovely yellow color. I'll have to try your recipe.

Oh I ment to tell you, I tried the cake yeast and when all was done I did not get that yeastie aroma we are looking for, maybe you will have better luck. I just had to see for myself. In fact I was very disappointed in the whole loaf, could have been the recipe :?
Chris, it appears to me the whole "secret" of bread making lies in the manner in which the yeast is handled.

Making certain it is thoroughly wetted, and then intimately mixed and distributed through the dough is, I think, important.

Then I find I get much better results when the temperature during the rising (proofing) process is about 100 F or even a tad warmer.

But even then, it is important to control how far the rising process goes. For a very light, tender bread, maximum rising is the key. For the rustic or artisan loaves, or some of the ethnic loaves where a haeavier texture is proper, less rising irequired. The "double in gulllk" noted in most recipes gives that heavier texture.

This all is, of course, merely my experience - and I am far, far from expert in bread making (or anything else, for that matter).

NNow that I have finally attained my goal of a light, home made white bread, I'l go on to ther things and cease boring all of you with my bread making. (Except that a project will be what I consider to be an authentic "Farm-style" cornbread - there's been a lot of talk about cornbread on here lately, and I'm going to take a shot at it.)
kudos to you--the method worked quite well. i still don't get too many of those big holes, but this loaf was MUCH airier than the others. It was also quicker than most other methods i've tried. I used bread flour for the first time since you called for it--was wondering what kind of an impact that made...
Have you tried it without the egg yet? i might try that next and see what kind of a difference it makes.
i tried the same recipe/method again tonight, but left out the egg, substituted water for the milk, and baked it at 400 deg. Oh, and i brushed it with walnut oil 3 times before, during, and after it baked.
It turned out very good as well.
Just a semi-scientific report :)
'Way to go, Carnivore! Delighted that someone else on this board is baking bread. I was beginning to feelnnely.

From my "experiments", it seems that so long as you get the yeast, water, and flour right, all else is up for grabs. You can put anything in it you want..

I'm finding using my 3 day sourdough improves the flavor of the bread tremendously. And the longer rising time makes for great texture..

Keep at it and keep us posted.
oldcoot said:
'Way to go, Carnivore! Delighted that someone else on this board is baking bread. I was beginning to feelnnely.

Hey Oldcoot, I have a loaf of my onion-dill bread in the oven right now, for tomarrow's birthday lunch at the office along with a big pot of beef stew.

I just don't have the time to experiment so I stick to the recipe books. I do like seeing your post and pictures.

Now if only I can figure out how to post pictures on this site, and get my Digital Camera to download. :x
Oldcoot - Only got to see your latest photo now - really looks great!! Milk and egg definitely makes lighter textured breads.
For real yeasty taste I always revert back to sourdough without yeast. Having just started a new plant, I am ready for the cooler months (here) when we'll be using our wood-fired bread/pizza oven outside. There is nothing that beats the whole ritual of making a woodfire, kneading, shaping and baking in the outdoors. Must admit that our summers are far too warm for all this, so the oven has to do.
We also often make "pot breads" in cast-iron Dutch ovens which are placed on burning embers during the bbq - quite a tricky procedure, but one which is worth all the effort.
Wish we can all get together for a weekend-long bread-baking fest!!
Stay well, all. Maws.

I saw those kettles on a site yesterday - shipped from Africa. The whole site was very interesting - lots of cast iron things - but I would have to order enough to fill a shipping crate which I think is larger than I would want. I'll have to check into it some more. It also said the tops of these kettles were designed to hold hot embers on top too just for bread baking! I know we talked about this a long time ago - when you first started coming to this site.

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