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Calling all makers of bread! As opposed to bread makers, which might be a bit difficult...

(59 Posts)
thestylethatdecadesforgot Fri 04-Jan-13 13:20:48

Hi all!

I really want to get good at bread making and wondered if all you great bakers out there would like to add your tips and recipes on this thread?

I have gone in fits and starts with bread, so I never get good and I give up, it's a vicious circle! We eat a lot of bread as a family and its so expensive. I want to make brown, or half rye, or half wholemeal and half white bread. Anything that's not plain white. But the result is always a very dense loaf which doesn't seem to ever cook through! Although when I knock the bottom it sounds good and hollow. So confusing! I've tried quick baking, longer baking, lots of kneading, no knead (with overnight rising) and nothing is coming out right.

I'd love to have a sourdough starter but I don't think there's any point until I can make a reliable normal loaf. What's so sad is that everyone I ask says, oh, bread is so easy, anyone can do it! Well I can't! I bake other things ok!

Would love any help and tips or good recipes you've found to be reliable and hopefully it'll help anyone else trying to get better too.

Also, I wonder if you find it easier to buy bulk flour etc. and if you do, can you buy organic in bulk or not? I have been buying (and wasting!) Doves Farm but obviously only in supermarket amounts.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Sun 06-Jan-13 21:41:22

s malt add a hops type taste? I like the sound of it. Could you add it to any old loaf?

White no knead is proving. Will see how it goes. Out of bread flour now so will buy more tomorrow and start working through everyone's suggestions.

I bought a lovely organic malted grain loaf in sainsburys and its very light , I might ask them what flour they use to make it! I'd like to be able to replicate that.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Sun 06-Jan-13 21:42:18

Does not 's'. Sorry, I've noticed loads of typos in my posts, I miss them on my phone.

Moominsarehippos Sun 06-Jan-13 21:44:23

Not very malty. Its a subtle taste but the cardamums are quite fragrant. Very nice though and good for browning bananas as it is also sweeeeet!

thestylethatdecadesforgot Mon 07-Jan-13 19:13:32

Right, I made my all white loaf today. It looked great but same problem internally. This is a very basic question I know but could someone tell me whether its best to let a loaf cool completely before cutting into it please? It as ready at lunch time so we just tucked straight in and the same yesterday. So I wondered if it was just steaming still and whether if I'd let it cool right down it wouldn't have been so sticky.

MousyMouse Mon 07-Jan-13 19:53:51

yes def easier to cut and 'dryer' when cooled completely.
we usually bake in the evening and only cut it in the morning.
I wrap it tightly in a kitchen towel (washed only with soda crystals just for this
urpose) and leave to cool on the counter.

Moominsarehippos Tue 08-Jan-13 17:10:04

I bake evenings too and cool upside down in the oven (door open) either overnight or wrap in a tea towel and leave on a wooden board (so that it doesnt get a soggy condensation bottom). I too have towels and napkins that I only use for breadmaking. Wash them, then rinse like mad to get rid of any soap smell and use them (wash ifrequently as they won't need it).

thestylethatdecadesforgot Wed 09-Jan-13 20:04:27

Sorry everyone, DD2 has started with a nasty cough and has added a streaming nose to her symptoms today so she's been sorry for herself day and night for a few days and I'm tired out! She's teething too! So bread making has been at the back of my mind and not the front. Anyway, thank you, I'll try leaving loaves to cool. It's timing for me, the no knead would have to be started early am to be ready to cook by say 10pm and I need to be in bed early these days till DD2 is sleeping through again. Must try a normal loaf but I've been knocked in confidence again this time with the funny spongy turn outs.

Moominsarehippos Thu 10-Jan-13 08:57:03

Hope she's feeling better.
With the Dan Lepard no knead recipe, the timings (so about 1hr for first rise and 20-30 mins second) are the same.

kiwigirl42 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:03:46

I love reading about your breadmaking. I've got 2 new recipes I'm going to make this week. One is out of an Australian Womans Weekly book called 'Cook' for an alternative form of sourdough - basically you mix the yeast with some flour and sugar and leave to ferment for 3 days before making the bread. It sounds a bit like biga like they use in The Bread Makers Apprentice (a fantastic book).
I'm also going to make Dan Lepards Panettone. I made 2 day slow rise Pantettone prior to Xmas but they were a bit heavy. Dan uses 00 flour which should give a much softer crumb (I usually use it half and half with normal flour for waffles and it makes them lovely and soft inside)

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