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Some people call it "Artisan" Bread!


HomekeepingGran

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I have waffled a bit about posting this because I don't usually think of homemade bread as a craft in the sense that crochet or embroidery are crafts, but the current exuberant terminology has renamed plain old homemade bread into "Artisan Loaves", LOL. So just for fun I took a couple of "glamour shots" of yesterday's bread and I present to you — ta da — Artisan Bread! One of the most (ahem) delicious crafts there is! It was steaming hot and still wafting about its heady aroma when I took this picture. So pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea and let's take a break together!

 

Butter and jelly, anyone?

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That loaf is beautiful!! I love to make bread and do it alot although I have the luxury of a bread machine. I usually use its dough cycle and then form the bread myself due to arthritis in my hands that makes the kneeding process painful. I will go to PAnera or another shop that sells "artisan" breads and check them out then try them myself at home!! I love the way the house smells when I make it not to mention I LOVE to eat it!!LOL!

 

Yours is beautiful!

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i love fresh homemade bread. I have a bread machine.. but it sucks at baking. so i use it for the dough cycle.. hen bake it in the oven.. ohhh so yummy.. nice and warm. with butter and sprinkled with Season salt

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Alright — herb butter! Yum! Uh, is it OK if I embroider instead of crochet, since that is what I have going right now?

 

I don't like the way bread machines bake, either, annmcc. I do, however, love my refurbished Kitchen Aid mixer I got for a birthday gift a few years ago. It does the kneading for me although I sometimes just WANT to get my hands into the dough, you know?

 

Since this thread is turning into a party, what else can everyone bring? I'm setting the table right now. :D

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Thanks Carla! I haven't made bread in a long time. I usually make it for the holidays so now I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. By then I shoudl be able to stand at the counter long enough to kneed and bake. I have a wonderful DH that cooks most of the time and usually he cooks the holiday meals but I make the bread.

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:hi Carla.. I read your post this morning and your loaf of bread looks delicious and so tempting!!:devil so I had to bake me a loaf!! My daughter Karla just got home from Kuwait (Monday) and when she got up a few hours ago I already had looked up a recipe and had the ingredients ready!! Right now I am baking the bread and we will enjoy it with a cup of coffee (not tea drinkers here)..:mug I do not have a bread machine; I just bake them the ole fashion way!! Thanks for the post!!:day
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:hi Carla.. I read your post this morning and your loaf of bread looks delicious and so tempting!!:devil so I had to bake me a loaf!! My daughter Karla just got home from Kuwait (Monday) and when she got up a few hours ago I already had looked up a recipe and had the ingredients ready!! Right now I am baking the bread and we will enjoy it with a cup of coffee (not tea drinkers here)..:mug I do not have a bread machine; I just bake them the ole fashion way!! Thanks for the post!!:day

 

I love being an Enabler. Even for bread. :clap

 

I'll bring the butter!! :lol The bread looks yummy!! :)

 

Butter, yes!!!

 

I have some of my mom's homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam :D...since we're having a party...

love bread done "the old-fashioned way"...grew up on it even! :c9

 

Ooooooo, that sounds good. I love me a spur of the moment party, don't ya'll? Coffee, tea, milk... mmmmmm. Let's eat!

 

 

I forgot to say it's 100% whole wheat — one of my favorites!

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WOWOWOW~ 100% Whole Wheat!!!???!!!!

 

You got quite the "rise" out of it! I am thoroughly impressed!!!! I cannot use 100% Whole Wheat - I always have to proportion the wheat to the white to get a rise - do tell us your secret!!!

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Alright — herb butter! Yum! Uh, is it OK if I embroider instead of crochet, since that is what I have going right now?

 

I don't like the way bread machines bake, either, annmcc. I do, however, love my refurbished Kitchen Aid mixer I got for a birthday gift a few years ago. It does the kneading for me although I sometimes just WANT to get my hands into the dough, you know?

 

Since this thread is turning into a party, what else can everyone bring? I'm setting the table right now. :D

 

:)I have a Kitchen Aid mixer also, but have never tried it for kneading bread.... I can't knead manually anymore... but would love to try my mixer.... how long did you do your dough and how do you do it?.... Haven't used my bread machine for ages....Homemade bread sounds soooo good right now..yum! GBU!:manyheart

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I have waffled a bit about posting this because I don't usually think of homemade bread as a craft in the sense that crochet or embroidery are crafts, but the current exuberant terminology has renamed plain old homemade bread into "Artisan Loaves", LOL. So just for fun I took a couple of "glamour shots" of yesterday's bread and I present to you — ta da — Artisan Bread! One of the most (ahem) delicious crafts there is! It was steaming hot and still wafting about its heady aroma when I took this picture. So pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea and let's take a break together!

 

Butter and jelly, anyone?

 

:yesYour bread looks absolutely wonderful.... my mouth is watering....Yummy, yummy! GBU!:manyheart

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Secret, shuttlebuggy? Hmmmmm... let me tell you that my poor, longsuffering family put up with me for years, making hard, dry, flat loaves. No wonder my husband is not crazy about homemade bread! I kept making the same mistake over and over: adding too much flour. I first realized this when our next-door neighbor, Al, brought over some perfectly beautiful whole wheat loaves as a neighborly gift for us. "Al, give me your recipe!" Fortunately this time I didn't just get the hard numbers but asked him some questions and we got to talking about adding flour. He said, "I never thought about adding more flour than the recipe calls for!" — while Carla (that's persistently hardheaded me) had been adding in extra, lots of it, during the kneading.

 

My bread improved immediately.

 

I think the Kitchen Aid also helps because the dough should still be a little sticky when you stop adding flour. The KA handles that stickiness for me. In fact, I now try to underadd flour just a little bit, say maybe ½-1 cup. If a recipe calls for 7 cups of flour, that is the outer limit of flour you need to have in that dough. My 7 cup recipe usually gets from 6 to 6½ cups of flour at a given baking.

 

I prefer to rise twice in the bowl and once in the pans. You can also "retard the dough" by mixing in the evening, popping it into the fridge and baking the next day. This gives time for the flavors to develop. It just takes a while for the dough to come to room temp and rise in the pans but you can get great flavor with this method.

 

Then, I bought Peter Reinhardt's nice book on bread baking. Frankly, I prefer my recipes to his but his tips are invaluable. One huge thing I learned from him is that professional bakers have steam jets in their ovens to help the dough rise once it goes in. We home bakers don't have that advantage but we can simulate it. I own one of those nice baking stones and it goes into the oven on the bottom rack with an empty, heavy shallow pan directly on top of it. Peter R. says to preheat your oven for about 30 minutes to get the oven walls uniformly heated. The stone and pan are in there the whole time. When my breads go onto the center rack of the oven I pour boiling water into that screaming hot pan sitting on the stone, put a piece of foil to lie over the bread, keeping it from overbrowning, and close the door. Set the timer for 10 minutes, then take out the pan of hot water — carefully! Reset the timer for the rest of the baking time. If you leave the water in the oven you don't get the nice crust.

 

One more thing. When you take the first loaf out of the pan, if it is not nicely golden on the bottom (beige is the wrong color) slip it back into the loaf pan and give them both 5 more minutes. You can do this several times until those loaves are perfect.

 

That's it. I had no intention of starting bread baking class but... you asked.

 

Oh, and one MORE thing, LOL. If you really can't get a good rise from your whole wheat flour, pop into your local health food store and buy a bag of gluten flour. Add about ¼ cup to every recipe early on when you are just starting to stir it up. Gluten is the stringy structure you see in the dough as you stir and it traps the gasses from the yeast to make the rise. It is totally natural to wheat and the bag of gluten you buy has actually been removed from the wheat in a simple process you could do in your own kitchen if you wanted to waste a bunch of flour and water. The bread in the picture happens to not have extra gluten but I do sometimes use it. It is a humongous help on rye loaves and other grains which don't have as much gluten as wheat does. White bread does not need extra gluten at all. Since the germ has been removed the flour is lighter to begin with and the gluten already present is plenty sufficient to get a good rise.

 

Goodness. I wrote a book. I LOVE bread and have made it my personal quest to learn more about it over the years. Wouldn't it be fun to work for a real artisan bakery? You could learn so much!

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Dawn, I forgot to answer your question. I use the mixing wires until there is a bit more than 3 cups of flour in the dough, then change to the kneading hook. My KA manual says to use a setting no higher than Speed 2. You gradually add flour until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the hook. Don't keep adding flour; it needs to be a little sticky. I probably let the machine knead for about 5 minutes after the last addition of flour.

 

I enjoy hand kneading but I have to admit that my KA does a better job of it than I do.

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