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.
ina
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160205Post ina
Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:44 am

bagnally wrote::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'?
From all I've heard from others who've tried it - forget it. Unless you have a few hectares, and can do the thing properly, it's just not worth it. And you can't make normal bread from corn, anyway - could make enough for a few tortillas, maybe - but I doubt whether the varieties of corn that would make proper tortilla meal grow in the UK.
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Mal
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160242Post Mal
Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:36 am

I was talking to my dad about bread making the other day - I love making it (I use Richard Bertinet's method), but just don't have the time with the little'uns at the moment, he has a fancy free standing mixer thingy and was recommending I try it in a processor, as he says it helps the consistency.

Anyhow, I'll pass on his recipe verbatim:

Liquid
500ml warm water, which is used for thawing out his frozen fresh yeast (hmm, don't know how much yeast. Will find out and edit)
100ml boiling water, in which he mixes some malt extract (again, don't know quantities)
50ml olive oil

Flour
200g Oat flour
200g wholemeal flour
200g some crazy egyptian flour (or spelt flour, if your supermarket doesn't stock that)
500g good bread flour

He then bundles all that in to the mixer thing and takes it from there. I know it's a crazy recipe, but he's also semi retired which I think probably helps. Anyway, swears it makes the best bread you'll ever taste.
"If you want to catch a loon, you have to think like a loon"

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160245Post JulieSherris
Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:04 am

Mal wrote:500ml warm water, which is used for thawing out his frozen fresh yeast (hmm, don't know how much yeast. Will find out and edit)
OK.... the overall recipe sounds a little too 'faffy' for my liking - too many different flours..... BUT... frozen fresh yeast??

Can you DO that? I quite often buy a block of yeast from our local bakery factory & there's no way I can use the whole block by myself, so I give about half away.... often defeating the object of making 'cheap' bread!

If I could freeze it in it's quantities, this would help..... does it work the same... would I have to use a little more?

I'd be really interested in how your dad does this, Mal.....??
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160255Post Mal
Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:40 am

Oh, I do the same - when I get it, I cut it up in to 10g 'wraps', separately done up in clingfilm (it's okay to feel like a drug dealer at this point), and then freeze them all. When you want to use one, you get it out the freezer and either thaw it overnight - which I never remember to do - or pop it in some warm water for a bit.

Seems to work fine, although as I said I don't know if my dad increases the quantities - the time I tried it I had a bit of a bread collapse but I think this is because I kept forgetting to do anything with it and it had too long a second rise.

I agree about his recipe being a bit faffy. Like I say, he's semi-retired so I think it gives him something to do, gets him out from under mum's feet!
"If you want to catch a loon, you have to think like a loon"

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160258Post JulieSherris
Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:06 pm

Wow...... <------ said very sloowleeey & full of wonder....

I never knew you could freeze fresh yeast - oh what a bloody dumbo I am!!

OK, I won't get carried away, but the next batch of yeast I buy, I shall cut off what I can use before the due date & then freeze the rest - I use 25g portions - oh, my recipe says 20g, but whatever.... :mrgreen: So I shall cut it into 30g portions & try this out!!
Nothing wrong with a bit of experimenting :wink:

I did use the dried stuff last week.... it just doesn't 'do' it for us - although the bread is lush straight out of the oven, the following day, it seems too 'cakey' in texture - quite off putting.

Thanks Mal!!
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160443Post JillStephens7
Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:16 pm

THANKS to everyone for all the tips . Yeast freezing, keeping a bit of dough to start the next batch and cooking in casserole dishes are all things I'll try.

Talk about daft but I bought an extra loaf tin recently and looking at the label today, realised that for years I have been using a couple of tins I thought were 1 lb tins (no idea where I got this idea from) but are actually 2 lb tins looking at my new one!! No wonder it doesn't rise to the top!! What an eejit :oops: .

Thanks again and best wishes to all :hugish: , Jill

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160502Post Pixie
Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:15 am

If your looking to grind the grain for the learning expierence, feeling of pride it is possible but hard. I haven't tried it yet but plan to grow grain to grind in the next few years.

If you want to grind grain or corn it is best to keep it in its whole state and grind it just before use because fresh grounds have not been processed like what you buy in stores.

If you have a large plot of wheat I suggest you look into it more but if you just have a small plot (6 X 25 feet) pick the heads of the wheat off the stems.

Then you thresh the grain to remove the straw and the chaff. There are several ways to do this including putting it in a garbage can and shaking it, using a fan to blow off the lighter chaff or using a flail, haven't heard any recomendations for what is best.

Then you store it (if you have enough room in the freezer this is the best place for it. You should only grind it when you are ready to use it.

You should probably buy a grinder, there are electric models out there and hand cranked if you want the exercise. After it is ground then you can use it.

With corn you can dry it and then grind when your ready to use.

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160514Post ina
Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:35 am

Pixie wrote: You should probably buy a grinder, there are electric models out there and hand cranked if you want the exercise.
A warning - decent grinders are expensive! And cheap ones may give you a result that's not as good as the flour you can buy... I have a hand mill, good steel (stone is better, but even more expensive), and it takes forever just to grind a small quantity... Never could get myself to do more than 250g in one go. Repetitive strain syndrome is not what you'd like to exchange for nicer bread.

If you really want to go into it, maybe you can share a good mill with friends. We generally used to mill our grain just before baking in Germany - lots of health food shops had mills in the shop, so you could grind the wheat when you bought it, and a lot of people had their own at home, too - it really does make one heck of a difference in taste (and I suppose in nutrition, too).
Ina
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160898Post JillStephens7
Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:49 pm

I notice that a pizza dough recipe I have says it's fine to freeze it in a poly bag after knocking out the air. Once defrosted, you just do a quick second kneading and shape before baking.

I was just wondering whether anyone knows if this would work for bread dough and whether it makes a difference whether you're using a method that requires a second rise?

It would be nice to have some part made rolls in the freezer for times when we're incapacitated (someone dropped a box of books on me from a height at work on monday & we're missing home made bread - I know this is unlikely to happen again but it's best to be prepared)! :lol:

Best wishes to all, Jill

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160914Post ina
Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:23 am

You can buy half baked ones - I've never tried freezing them myself, but why not? Or freeze fully baked bread?

And - ouch, about the books... Hope you are recovering OK!
Ina
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160939Post Odsox
Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:42 am

Yes you can freeze commercial part baked rolls for a year or so, I know that from when our nearest supermarket was 50 miles away and we bought in bulk.
Not sure about part baked home made rolls though as you would have to be certain that the centre was fully cooked otherwise you would have a big hole in the middle where the yeast kept working.
I had that happen to an undercooked brioche once.
Fully cooked rolls are wonderfully fresh if you stick them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes from frozen.
Tony

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160969Post Cheezy
Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:04 pm

This book will change how you make bread: Richard Bertinet "Dough"

the book review is Here

You need to get over the different technique and very initial sticky dough. Be prepared to have very sticky hands!.

Oh his pizza receipe is not great, but what do you expect of french master bakers!. I find it not crisp enough. I prefer to use Tipo00 plus semolina.

Edit:

This is a modification of JOliver Italian book. It really works and only require a minimium of 15 minites proving.

Makes two THIN (1/4 inch,2mm) 12 to 14 inch pizza's
250g Pasta flour (I use Doves) or if you can get it Tipo 00
30g semolina
1/4 tsp salt
2g Fresh (if you can ) yeast
170g tepid water (ie 170ml , but weighing is more accurate.) more may be required depending on flour used.

Mix all ingredients (rub yeast into flour first) and kneed until you have a smooth soft pliable dough ball. This could be as long as 10 minutes,BUT this is critical as you need to get the glutin elastic enough so that you can roll them thin.
Leave the ball at room temp for at least 15 mins, under a bowl or in clingfilm. You could leave it in the fridge overnight and it will develop a better flavour, make sure you get it back to room temp.

On a well floured surface half the ball and flatten one ball and roll out to around 1/4 inch 2mm thickness. You should be able pick up this and strech it slightly without causing holes.

Using more semolina on a flat baking sheet or wooden peel (I made one out of 6mm plywood)put the base on and move the sheet to ensure the base is not sticking, put your fillings on (less is more!). I use tinned tomatoes squeezed dryish as the base. Try to avoid anything too wet as it will effect the base.

Right for a crispy base it's important to put the pizza onto a hot surface. The oven should be on maximum. Either use a pizza stone, or upturned heavy roasting tin.
I have gone through several pizza stones and they are not cheap. I tried to get some off cut granite, but they wanted £20!. So I now use 20mm refractory fire bricks placed on the wire shelf. I cook all my bread on them, they are very good and cost approx £1 each.

Open door and shove your pizza direct on to the hot surface. You may need to turn the pizza half way through to get even cooking. In my oven they take 5 minutes max!. And you will get truely great crispy thin base pizza's just like mamma makes!.
Last edited by Cheezy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 160980Post JillStephens7
Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:27 pm

Thanks cheezy, not sure Im up to throwing my dough around at the moment but will have a look when my back's working again!

Odsox, I think you are right, freezing part made is probably more of a gamble than it's worth and as to freezing a made loaf ... well I just feel silly now ... why didn't I think of that instead of overcomplicating the issue :oops: I blame the painkillers - not taken any for years and am finding them a bit of a trip! but back recovering nicely thanks Ina :hugish:

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 162545Post suevista
Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:33 am

Hi I'm a newbie to the site but not to bread making etc. Still there are some really simple ideas worth trying here - always learning.... Olive oil is so good and I use spanish plain flour. Tip why try one with some black olives cut up and added to the dough? Wont get to the freezer I'm afraid.
Another tip but one I am trying for first time is to add a bowl of water to bottom of oven. Back to the old idea of steam in bread making.
Just found out that the old Spanish bread ovens in the campo (countryside for the uninitiated :wink: )had holes in then for a purpose - they used to stuff wet rags into them to create steam.

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Re: How do I make bread?

Post: # 162571Post wulf
Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:19 pm

Cheezy wrote:This book will change how you make bread: Richard Bertinet "Dough"...
I picked it up a couple of years ago in a remainders bookshop and can concur that it changed how I made bread. I still use my bread machine but mainly use Bertinet's method now.

The twist I put on it is that rather than starting to fold the ingredients once they are mixed, I cover the bowl and leave it for 15-20 minutes. The yeast starts to work and the dough is already partly developed by the time I turn it onto a board and gently lift, stretch and fold it a few times. Turning out the dough immediately and folding it until it stops being sticky seems a wasted effort compared to adding in a extra waiting period.

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