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any avid hand breadmakers out there?

(42 Posts)
mothersmilk Thu 05-Feb-09 16:07:56

have started making my own bread as i refuse to pay the barmy prices for a half decent loaf any other bread makers out there im baking on demand at the mo a 2lb loaf seems to last roughly 2 days e.g make it mon have to make another wed morning. would you recomend baking in bulk for the week and freezing? is it as nice once defrosted i never much liked shop bought bread once it had been frozen.
tia

lucysmam Thu 05-Feb-09 16:30:26

I make 2 at a time but don't freeze them because they get eaten so quickly. I have frozen them in the past though & they've always been ok imo

Better than shop bought at any rate

zanz1bar Thu 05-Feb-09 22:25:37

oh can i join.

Its week three in the Big Bread house since i made my first handmade loaf and i am hooked.
2 loaves a day, the more i make the more the family eat.

It all started with a youtube link my sister sent me (can't do links yet)
No-Knead method New York Times.
Google it and be amazed.

I challenge anyone to tell me there is an easier way to make the perfect loaf, even going to the bakers is more effort AND it will put all those wierd shaped breadmachine loafs to shame.

But that was only the begining.

Then i found breadtopia.com for easy no-knead recipes.

There is no stopping me now.

Now i have the best book on no-knead bread 'Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day'

I'm running out of butter and honey.
And family and friends demand MORE.

Its the long slow rise it makes the best tasting bread in the world.

It really has only been three weeks and now i am checking out websites about poolish, biga, and sourdough.
My first sourdough starter is bubbling away.

Until i discovered the no-knead method the bread i made, when i could be bothered, came out as a heavy dense brick. Not now.

Some of these breadmakers cost a fortune and you really dont need them. This NO-KNEAD method is the easiest way to get the best tasting bread with zero effort.

Try it and be amazed.grin

zanz1bar Thu 05-Feb-09 22:27:27

sorry i sound like i'm trying to get you to join a cult. Hmmm maybe i could get a job on QVC.

SuperBunny Fri 06-Feb-09 01:57:56

I often make my own bread too and am a recent convert to the No Knead Bread

It goes against everything I had been taught was important about bread-making but it is fabulous. I am making some now.

mothersmilk Fri 06-Feb-09 08:53:33

zanz1bar i like your maddness will defo look up this no knead method though i dont think i could do your two loaves a day as i put dh on a diet and its already hard enough to stop the family eating it as soon as its cooked but it certainly sounds good thanks

bluebread Fri 06-Feb-09 18:03:12

Please can I join the No Knead cult? grin
I often make bread by hand but hate the kneading bit. Can anyone translate the cup measurements into metric? I use sachets of fast-action dried yeast - how much of that do you reckon?

SuperBunny Fri 06-Feb-09 18:27:32

1 cup is about 1 pint/ 450 mls, if that helps.

SuperBunny Fri 06-Feb-09 18:28:15

Sorry, 1 cup is HALF a pint. 2 c = 1 pt

minxpinx Sat 07-Feb-09 20:28:10

Can I join?
I have been trying to make bread for the last few weeks and it seems to always end up really heavy. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. Does anyone know if using a convection oven has any bearing on the process? (I've just made a cake that didn't rise either!).
The no-knead method sounds great - but will I end up with just more heavy loaves? sad

SuperBunny Sun 08-Feb-09 19:06:02

A convection oven shouldn't make a difference although you might need to lower the temperature by 10 degrees or so.

Are you kneading the dough really well?

Are you using wholemeal flour?

Is the dough wet enough?

hidetheribbons Sun 08-Feb-09 20:35:23

I use the Doris Grant recipe here www.deliaonline.com/cookery-school/how-to/how-to-make-wholemeal-bread,19,AR.html.
I hardly ever buy bread now, this is so easy.
It works just as well for white flour and turns out really light. IT keeps well too - for up to 3 days (if it doesn't get eatn first!)
I make 2 loaves at a time, saving money on fuel too. One gets eaten straightaway and the other goes in the freezer. It freezes well as long as I freese it as soon as it's gone cold.
You don't have to warm the flour as Delia says. It rises within about 45 minutes at room temperature.
You do have to grease the tin quite well - even if you use a non-stick tin - as it tends to be sticky due to the relatively high water content (which also helps it keep well.
To save even more time I mix the yeast, sugar and salt together in 2 oz quantities and store in a jar and use 3 tsps of tbe mixture for each loaf.
Try it - you will be impressed! Don't expect it to last long though.

BikeRunSki Sun 08-Feb-09 22:28:17

I have been making bread on and off since Christmas. I make 2x 2lb loves at once, because that is what loaf tins I have! I also use that Delia recipe.

I have frozen the bread and it is fine defrosted.

I cheat and knead it with a dough hook on an ancient Kenwood chef inherited from DH's grandma.

BikeRunSki Sun 08-Feb-09 22:28:49

PS Silicon baking tins rock!

minxpinx Mon 09-Feb-09 13:16:23

Thanks for replying - I was using a kenwood + dough hook to do the kneading for about 5 minutes. I was using wholemeal flour. Maybe it didn't rise that well because my house isn't very warm at the moment.

Are you no knead people using the artisan recipe or the one cooked in a pot? I'd like to try it out as it is supposed to be fail safe! hmm

georgiemum Mon 09-Feb-09 13:22:53

The Grant Loaf recipe is great! I generally make 2 loaves at a time and keep them in a cool corner of the kitchen in a bread bag (we got it in Italy on hols but I think Lakeland sells them). Bloomers take all day but are definately worth the effort.

Bagels are a lot easier to make than you'd think.

georgiemum Mon 09-Feb-09 13:22:53

The Grant Loaf recipe is great! I generally make 2 loaves at a time and keep them in a cool corner of the kitchen in a bread bag (we got it in Italy on hols but I think Lakeland sells them). Bloomers take all day but are definately worth the effort.

Bagels are a lot easier to make than you'd think.

SuperBunny Mon 09-Feb-09 14:34:12

I do the no knead one in a pot.

For normal wholemeal bread I usually use 50/50 wholemeal/ white flour otherwise it gets too heavy.

I knead in a particular way with wholemeal too - always in the same direction, fold into the middle, turn 180 degrees and knead again, in the same direction.

Also, I have to add MUCH more water than the recipe says Have you tried using other liquids? That can make a difference.

SuperBunny Mon 09-Feb-09 14:35:13

Georgie - can you link to the recipe please?

And for bagels - I made them a long time ago but would love to do it again.

minxpinx Mon 09-Feb-09 14:46:29

No I haven't tried using other liquids. The 50/50 sounds like a good idea, I think that 100% wholemeal is just too lumpy. I am just a beginner and am getting bit overwhelmed by it all!

georgiemum Mon 09-Feb-09 14:47:37

It'll have to be tomorrow - I am frantic over here!!! Also looking for a new job (boo).

SuperBunny Mon 09-Feb-09 15:09:32

Thanks Georgie, no rush.

Minx, it takes time to work out exactly what works and what doesn't. I used to make wholemeal loaves that were like bricks, til I worked out how to make them edible.

georgiemum Mon 09-Feb-09 15:13:26

I know I keep going on about it but...

Lakeland Magic Pixie Dust...!!!

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/claybrooke-mill-dough-improver/F/keyword/dough+improver/prod uct/11682

I should be on commission. Prevents your wholemeal loaves being heavy enough to club a baby seal to death...

minxpinx Mon 09-Feb-09 15:27:46

Love the mental picture of clubbing small animals with my loaf! Could sell them as weapons....hmmm

georgiemum Tue 10-Feb-09 12:12:51

Other uses for a wholemeal loaf:
Doorstops
Bricks for edging lawns
Pop one in your loo systern to save water
Breaking and entering
Murder (you can eat the evidence)

I have far too much time on my hands...

Anyhoo... Bagel recipe:
3 cups white flour (my cups are aboiut 250)
oinch of salt
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon malt extract diolved in about 2 cups warm water

Make your dough in the usual way. Add the water slowly (my recipe book says 1 cup of water but this is noooo way correct)

Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in zies.

Turn out onto a floured surface and punch down. Kneas for 1 min then diide into 10 pieces

Make each piece into a little ball, then cover with the clingfilm and leave for 5 mins

Gently flatten each ball then poke your thumb through them onto the board. Make the hole bigger by poking your thumb through (I swivvel them around on the board to get a round hole!). Place on a floured tray, cover and leave for 10-20 mins until they begin to rise.

Preheat over to 220/425

Put 5 pints of water in a pan and add 1 tablespoon of malt extract. Bring to boil then down to simmer.

Poach each bagel for about 30 seconds (they will sink then float). Do 2 or 3 at a time.

Topping (optional)
Egg white and 2 teaspoons of cold water. Mix then paint the top of the bagels before baking them. Sprinkle over any seeds you like (poppy, linseeds and sesame seeds are great).

Pop them onto a prepared baking tray and bake for about 20-25 mins.

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