?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Bread is home - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Bread is home [Aug. 5th, 2011|04:43 pm]
Zoethe
Just baked my first loaf of bread in the newly finished kitchen.



Bread was a habit prior to the kitchen remodel, but I fell out of the habit when the kitchen was torn up and there was no counter space. Now, I'm back to it.

It's astounding to me how quickly and easily my mind assigned the short leg of the "L" shaped counter my baking space. It just felt right, and that space hasn't seen much use up until now. And I wanted to hand-knead rather than use the Kitchen Aid. It's not a lot of work when you start with a poolish the night before and leave plenty of time for the dough to autolyse before kneading. In point of fact, my planned half hour autolyse ended up being almost an hour and a half. After than length of time? Kneading only took about 5 minutes.

Bread is not as hard as people think. It's time-consuming, yes. But the amount of time involved is limited at each stage, and much of the rising can be done slowly in the fridge.

I've been at this long enough that I can made a basic bread without a recipe, but I don't do it without a scales. I'm not an expert, though, and there are lots of good bread books out there. The book I've used to learn is Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer. I have a lot more learning to do, and I want to expand the kinds of bread I can bake.

But for now, it's time to slice the bread.

Crossposting from Dreamwidth now. Sigh. If LJ won't let you comment, you can comment here: http://zoethe.dreamwidth.org/781828.html?mode=reply:
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: ba1126
2011-08-05 08:55 pm (UTC)
My hubby loves to bake. In fact, the big joke is when he says "I think I'll make plain white bread". He can never do it! His latest was date and oatmeal bread. Yummy, yummy!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-05 09:02 pm (UTC)
Bread is wonderful stuff. Date and oatmeal sounds yummy!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: anonymousalex
2011-08-05 09:21 pm (UTC)
I'm drooling just from the picture! Congratulations on reclaiming your bread-space.

-Alex
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-05 09:32 pm (UTC)
It's very yummy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theferrett
2011-08-05 09:45 pm (UTC)
It actually had a faint cinnamon overtone. Go figure.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-08-05 10:06 pm (UTC)
that looks delicious. i've so got to get back into bread baking. i used to all the time. then we moved into an apartment with zero counter space, and i got out of it. :( we've been here three years now and have that nice, new beautiful kitchen. i need to get off my ass. lol
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-08-05 10:08 pm (UTC)
this reminds me of the time my great grandmother and i forgot to put the yeast into the dough .... :snort: ... we made bricks. it was SO FUNNY.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 12:20 am (UTC)
The nice thing about the book I mentioned is that she points out that experimenting with bread is great because a failure is only a few pennies. That made me get braver.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-08-06 12:25 am (UTC)
that's an excellent point! :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-06 02:00 pm (UTC)
Yes! I experimented more with the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method because then the ingredients were inexpensive AND the time and effort lost were also pretty minimal.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 12:17 am (UTC)
It's easy to fall out of the habit. My sourdough died, so I have to restart one soon.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-08-06 12:19 am (UTC)
last time i bought yeast, i let it get old.

:schedules another trip to krogermart:
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:22 am (UTC)
Refrigerated, it lasts pretty long.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-08-06 01:23 am (UTC)
i'll keep that in mind. thank you for all of this.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:36 am (UTC)
I'm glad to help!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: oceansedge
2011-08-05 10:11 pm (UTC)
Bread is something I've only really started to feel competent with in the last year.... and it's been a revelation to me (in large part because I couldn't do a decent bread without my bread machine to save my life prior to that)

What changed? A lot of little things... a GOOD thermometer helped, changing flours, my kitchen aid for kneading (my arthritis does tend to slow down my kneading some) and a bit of good advice here and there.

My go to recipe I acquired from Chef Michael Smith, as a no knead, no fuss, simple, rustic, basic bread it cannot be beat as a daily loaf. I'd tried my hand at a few rustic style breads prior to that and it just didn't work. Simplicity and time really were the magic. I love that it doesn't take much to change it up from a sandwich bread to an artisanal french loaf to a multigrain. From there my foccacia - again dead simple but it's never failed me... is a delight. I'm starting to gain a lot more confidence and I'm slowly attempting more complex recipes (I *LOVE* my Julia Child bread book)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 12:26 am (UTC)
I want to get more breads under my belt. This loaf is almost automatic with me, but I want to expand my repertoire. I want the Julia book!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: oceansedge
2011-08-06 03:12 pm (UTC)
I have three baking cook books I adore...
The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book is my 'intermediate' level course on both breads and cakes and pastry and a really good general baking book.

The Cake Bible is an amazing, advanced course in cakes and pastry, but very well written easy to follow. Written by a chemistry professor she is very good at NOT leaving out any steps, she is precise.

Baking with Julia is a stunning book of advanced bread making. You'll note that not a single recipe calls for yeast .. in every case you begin with starter, a walnut sized piece of dough from a previous baking. Yes it is more complicated, yes you worry about how live the culture in your starter is, yes I've had some failures (definitely my failures not the recipes). But it really is ramping up your bread making to the next level. And then when I'm annoyed and frustrated and think I'll never get it, I go back to my flour water salt yeast leave overnight recipe... and I feel better and try again *smiles*
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-07 01:46 am (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendations!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-06 02:08 am (UTC)
Is your go to recipe or foccacia recipe posted online anywhere? I've been using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day basic dough and have had pretty good luck with that but I like trying new recipes.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: oceansedge
2011-08-06 02:59 pm (UTC)
The Foccacia bread recipe

My go to no knead, no fuss, no hassle recipe

Ultimately they're both really simple breads, but most rustic loaves are.... flour salt water yeast (or starter). The one really good clue I can give you is a little magic trick I got from Chef Michael when he did these breads on his TV show. The plain white 'City Bread' loaf .... rather than doing the second rise in a bread pan, form it into a 'loafish' shape, and then let it rise on a silicon baking mat, or parchment or something. Then here's the trick - take a heavy heavy cast iron enameled dutch oven (a le cruesett or similar) and put the empty pot with lid in the oven while it heats up to the 400°F then when the bread is ready to go in, oil the pot (careful don't burn yourself!), gently transfer the bread to the pot (its soft and sticky so you will lose some volume but not too much), sprinkle the top with a nice bit of flour, bake for the first 25 minutes with the lid on, then take the lid off to finish the last 20 minutes.

This is as close a thing to a brick bake oven finish on bread as I've ever seen without a brick bake oven. I might try doing it with a clay roaster too if I ever get one...don't know if it would work, but it could.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: oceansedge
2011-08-06 03:20 pm (UTC)
hehe... just read the link you posted... I see you know the dutch oven trick *grins* - it really is fabulous :)

(what is good about the no knead recipe, is that it doesn't demand work space/countertops - so even in the middle of renovating the kitchen we still had fresh bread every day - I do about 4 loaves a week depending on how many people are here at the time)

Edited at 2011-08-06 03:22 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: creentmerveille
2011-08-05 11:31 pm (UTC)
That looks SO delicious! Glad you have your breadspace reclaimed. :D
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 12:37 am (UTC)
It's new breadspace! I have enough countertop now!!! EEEEEE!!!!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2011-08-05 11:33 pm (UTC)
If I recall correctly, you have a most excellent source for butter to go on that bread.
I enjoy using Beard on Bread by James Beard. Mostly for quick breads, but once fall comes, I may try yeast breads again. Your breads always look so lovely.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 12:38 am (UTC)
Amish butter! Mmmmmm!!!

I've heard good things about Beard on Bread.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theferrett
2011-08-06 05:03 am (UTC)
It just sounds so unappetizing.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: oceansedge
2011-08-06 03:15 pm (UTC)
brown butter! must have brown butter on fresh bread!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dragondances
2011-08-06 12:14 am (UTC)
I kind of want to learn how to make bread, but almost everyone I know who does just uses a bread machine. Which is tasty, but seems to defeat the purpose.

Also, when I first skimmed my flist I thought that was an egg, which made perfect sense in my brain because of your usericon. At least until I actually looked at it and realised it was in an oven and therefore gigantic... and then I read the first sentence and things *finally* clicked. :P
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:21 am (UTC)
I used a bread machine for a while, but I like doing it by hand.

And LOL--it is a bit egg-like!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-06 01:59 pm (UTC)
I started with using a bread machine and loved it. And one of my friends started to play with the dough produced by the bread machine and then formed rolls and other shapes before baking it up in the regular oven. So she then used the bread machine just to do the kneading and first rise for her.

And then mellybrelly posted step-by-step instructions on making bread from scratch and made it look so much easier so I tried and got beautiful results:
http://fitfool.livejournal.com/206587.html

But it took a lot of work (especially since I couldn't tell if I was done kneading or not and kept kneading and kneading and kneading). So then no more bread baking for a few years. But I came back to it eventually and have been playing a lot with an easier, no-knead method that works pretty well:
http://fitfool.livejournal.com/261756.html

I'm all for giving breadmaking a shot! :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-07 01:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link--gorgeous breads!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: blessed_oak
2011-08-06 01:15 am (UTC)
I think I need a better thermometer - I've had bad luck with yeast. My mom can just feel it, but I sure can't!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:35 am (UTC)
It's better to go cooler than warmer, and figure on a longer rise time. The "warm, draftless rise" is not the best way to rise bread.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-06 01:52 am (UTC)
oooh...your bread looks like it has a nice crust to it too! I aspire to some day be able to bake bread from scratch without too much thinking about it :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:56 am (UTC)
I aspire to one day bake bread that looks like the bread in your picture!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-06 02:11 am (UTC)
I got really lucky with that batch of dough. They don't always come out so pretty. But I'm happy enough as long as it tastes good! I've posted about making that bread though if you ever want to try it out: http://fitfool.livejournal.com/261756.html
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:08 pm (UTC)
Ooo, thanks! I will read it over carefully. I have that book but haven't used it yet. Should rememdy that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-06 02:01 pm (UTC)
I keep meaning to check it out of the library again to try the other recipes. I've mostly been experimenting with the basic dough recipe.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-06 01:08 pm (UTC)
It's definitely tasty stuff!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)