How do I make bread?

The whole reason for the selfsufficientish website was to offer a place where anyone can ask, HOW DO I...? So who knows why it has taken us so long to have a HOW DO I? section, but here it is. So if you want to know how to do anything selfsufficientish then here is the place to ask.
bagnally
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How do I make bread?

Post: # 152569Post bagnally
Mon May 04, 2009 11:18 am

We are growing our own sweetcorn from seed. Can we use this to eventually make our own Bread? I know this sounds silly but I would like to know how to harvest our own wheat in order to make our own flour for bread. Can anyone give some advice and/or give me a link to a website with directions on How To? It probably isin't sweet corn at all is it? :?

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152604Post Ellendra
Mon May 04, 2009 5:15 pm

http://www.backwoodshome.com has some good articles on that subject. As for the corn, if you let it grow to the dry stage you can grind it to corn meal, sweetcorn will yield a sweeter cornmeal than dent or flint corn will.

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152635Post dave45
Mon May 04, 2009 11:08 pm

Whatever your source of flour, may I just recommend a breadmaker machine ? I know most people buy them and never use them, but I have had one for 3.5 years and I use it every few days. Marvellous invention! And low enough power to run off the solar/wind/battery installation (if my inverter hadn't packed in!). In my experience choice of flour completely determines the result.

kneading your own dough is good fun and probably good therapy, but for consistently good results, go with the machine !

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152636Post JulieSherris
Mon May 04, 2009 11:23 pm

I have to say that I have now totally retired my breadmaker - even the kneading stage just doesn't 'do' it right... the bread always feels too heavy to me & we don't like the consistency of the bread.....

I now use fresh yeast everytime & it takes me about 10 mins to knock up a quick dough - then I leave it it in the kitchen overnight, knock it back quick in the morning..... shape & leave again & it gets shoved in the stanley when it's risen enough.
I think I spent too long thinking there was magical mystical art to breadmaking & now I am fairly casual & blase about it, I have to say, I haven't had many bad loaves in the last few months :cheers:
And long may it continue!!
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152656Post Odsox
Tue May 05, 2009 8:31 am

JulieSherris wrote:I have to say that I have now totally retired my breadmaker - even the kneading stage just doesn't 'do' it right... the bread always feels too heavy to me & we don't like the consistency of the bread.....
I am in total aggreement Julie, I also got fed up with the stupid shape of the loaves and the big hole that was normally ripped out where the paddle went.
As I can no longer knead by hand I bought a 2nd hand Kenwood Chef on Ebay about 4 years ago which does the job perfectly.
I make every scrap of bread we eat here from the basic loaf to rolls, muffins and crumpets and never use strong flour. I always use Lidl's ordinary plain flour and get perfect results every time ... just 3lb of their flour, 2 eggs, 2tsp salt & 2tsp Doves farm yeast, mixed with 650ml of warm water.
Tony

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152657Post Rosendula
Tue May 05, 2009 9:02 am

Yep, me too with Julie. I gave mine away on Freecycle. That said, some people love their breadmaker and wouldn't make bread if it wasn't for the machine.

I make mine in a similar way to Julie, but instead of using fresh yeast I use a bit of dough from the last batch. On the night I leave the mixture quite runny and wet, then in the morning I add a tiny bit more flour (to bring it back to a wet dough 'cos the yeast makes it even water-ier), put a small bit in a tub with a pinch of sugar - that goes in the fridge ready for the next batch in a couple of days. Then I add more flour to make it more like bread dough before leaving it to rise in the dishes I'm cooking them in. When they've doubled-ish, I bake 'em. I've now taken to baking them in casserole dishes with the lids on which keeps the crust nice and soft.

If you're thinking of getting a bread maker, do try Freecycle first because, as Dave said, a lot of people buy them and then never use them. Also, if you find you don't like it, you won't have wasted any money and you can just re-Freecycle it.
Rosey xx

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152659Post JulieSherris
Tue May 05, 2009 9:06 am

Yep, I'll agree again there Tony - I never use strong flour either - our local supervalue doesn't stock it anyway, so I just use 'household' flour - I have no idea if it was plain, s/r, cream, etc - but it does everything I want it to & I've also since found out that yes, I can make pastry too!!

Silly isn't it, for years I struggled to make yorkshire puds that didn't look like & weigh like furniture castors... I tried to make pastry that didn't need a chisel to get through... and now I really don't care & also don't try too much, I've finally cracked it!!

A bit like my plant care - the more I 'care' the worse results I get - if I sling things around, then I get great results!

Maybe I should do the same with my make up.... haha!

And I've probably posted this before, but a truly failsafe yorkshire pud method for idiots like me who can't get it right....
Equal amounts of flour, milk & eggs.... I use a small cup to measure - approx 250mls....
Add a touch of salt & baking powder, any herbs you want to pop in....
Use SOLID fat - NOT oil..... goose fat is wonderful.... in the tins & make sure it's hot, hot, hot....
Voila - perfect!!

Oh, & I also brush my bread with a little milk straight away when I take it out the oven - it gives the crust a nice shine & softens it - mmmm.... I am off to pop ours in the oven for lunch - umm... breakfast... brunch!! :cheers:
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152669Post StripyPixieSocks
Tue May 05, 2009 10:10 am

Strong flour has the extra gluten in which allows your bread to become more elastic, rise better and hold it's shape a little better than every day 'flour'.

When I've used just flour the result has always been a more cake like bread which goes hard and stale before your very eyes.

I used a bread machine to knead the bread then leave it to rise in the machine then take it out, shape it and leave it to rise for another hour then into a hot oven with a 2 ice cubes thrown onto the oven floor for good measure.

Perfect, fluffy bread every time :)

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152677Post Odsox
Tue May 05, 2009 11:30 am

StripyPixieSocks wrote:Strong flour has the extra gluten in which allows your bread to become more elastic, rise better and hold it's shape a little better than every day 'flour'.

When I've used just flour the result has always been a more cake like bread which goes hard and stale before your very eyes.
Maybe so, but if you choose your "ordinary" flour with care you will find that the difference is negligible. You have probably been trying very soft flour intended for cake making, try really cheap supermarket own label flour.
Some ordinary plain flours make bread almost as good as strong flour at a fraction of the cost ... certainly here in Ireland where strong flour cost over €2.00 a bag, compared to 40c or so for ordinary
As to having it go stale quickly, the easy answer is to add fat, oil or egg to the dough, or do what we do ... slice the whole loaf and freeze it, then you can get out as many slices as you need and it only takes a few minutes to defrost at room temperature.
Tony

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152681Post JulieSherris
Tue May 05, 2009 11:42 am

I always use olive oil in my bread - never butter..... and then veggie oil for the rising bowl...

I brush the loaf when it's half cooked with plain water - plenty of it too... and it keeps for 2 days..... usually it doesn't last past that - it doesn't get stale, it gets eaten! :mrgreen:
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152687Post StripyPixieSocks
Tue May 05, 2009 11:56 am

Always used Olive Oil never anything else... was taught to make bread both at Uni, in my first kitchens and when I worked as a Chef in a Catholic Nuns Conference centre so I've made plenty :)

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152702Post Odsox
Tue May 05, 2009 4:20 pm

StripyPixieSocks wrote:I've made plenty :)
Yes me too .... and this got me wondering just HOW many loaves I have made.
I started making all our bread when we got married back in 69 and I make 3 loaves on average each week.
So I've probably made a staggering 6000 loaves plus a goodly amount of other bread items too.
Wish I'd been paid for baking :lol:
Tony

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 152714Post dave45
Tue May 05, 2009 6:27 pm

I can see I am outnumbered by real kneaders here.. I guess I am lazy. I chuck the ingredients in and press the buttons last thing at night (even when pi$$ed), and as if by magic a perfect loaf appears for breakfast.

One thing has always puzzled me - where exactly does "fresh yeast" come from and how does it get that consistency?

and by the by - in countries like Bulgaria yeast IS fresh yeast. Dried yeast is unheard of.

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 156227Post bagnally
Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 am

:salute:

Thank you everyone for these great tips. I'll confess I'm not the cook in the house but my husband is so he will be more than grateful for this info. He's thinking of getting a bread maker but I'm sure he'll be convinced not to now.

Any suggestions though as to how I grow my own 'flour'?

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160153Post craftyballerina
Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:26 pm

I inherited a very old Welbilt bread machine. I don't like cleaning it, I don't like the size and shape of the loaf, and I don't like having to rip a huge whole in the bread to get the paddle out. I tried using the machine for a while thinking that I would like it as time went on, but I didn't. Thought about purchasing nicer one, but the one everyone seems to recommend is the expensive Zojirushi. Someone recommended using my Kitchenaid mixer with dough hook - as a novice breadmaker it works/stirs/kneads perfectly for me and I love it! I make more bread with the mixer than I did with the breadmaker.

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