I don't know where to start

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by brunoproma, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. brunoproma

    brunoproma

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    I am picking up bread as a hobby because my wife and I want to have fresh bread at home. I can barely fry an egg. What is a recipe that's easy for a first timer and what are some tips that can help the science experiment on my counter turn into bread?
     
  2. bettyr

    bettyr

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    I think I would start out with something easy like Alton Brown's "Knead Not" bread.It is important to learn how a good bread dough is supposed to feel and this is the cheapest way to learn that.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/knead-not-sourdough-recipe/index.html

    I like using a bread machine to knead my dough... I have been making bread for my family all my married life. I use a bread machine to make my dough because I'm lazy and I like being able to dump my ingredients into the bread machine and letting it do the work. I still shape my loaves and bake them myself. The bread machine can't bake a loaf as well as an oven.

    Here is another easy recipe, this is a very wet dough and if you have to knead it by hand then you will probably have to add a little extra flour but don't add much...the dough will be very sticky at first and it will stick to your fingers but if you  work it long and hard enough to get a good gluten development it will come together and quit sticking to your fingers. It is always better to err on the wetter side, get your dough too dry and you will have a nice door stop.

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=120918
     
  3. brunoproma

    brunoproma

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    Thank you very much. I got my science experiment in the oven. I will definitely try these recipes tomorrow.
     
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The fastest, easiest ways to get decent bread at home are "no knead" and "bread machine." There are plenty of no-knead recipes on the web, a couple on this site, and a few no-knead bakers here as well. There are bread machine bakers here as well. I'm not either, but that's not meant to discourage you from their approaches.

    If your plan is to eventually step up to "artisanal" baking, the best way to learn to be a good bread baker is to do as much as possible by hand, and to use your eyeballs and touch as much as possible -- as opposed to working by the clock or relying too heavily on a machine. I suggest starting with a white, soft-crust sandwich loaf -- a pain de mie -- and baking it in a loaf pan. The Bread Maker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart is probably the best, adult beginner's book on the shelves. Now THAT was meant to encourage.

    BDL
     
  5. sherbel

    sherbel

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    I bake all of our bread using a recipe that I developed over many years. It's basic white bread, easy peasy, but for me the lifesaver is my trusty old KitchenAid stand mixer. No way would I be doing this without it. I've never used a bread machine, and the 'no knead' breads sound cool, but one loaf at a time isn't for me. I make four large loaves at a time, a batch of bread lasts us a couple of weeks. (I freeze it, of course.)
     
  6. cuppy312

    cuppy312

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    Ahh, what I too would do without my Kitchen Aid!..I do not know. Always have a fresh loaf in my apt. and yes, one in the freezer. My favorite bread blog is listed below, very yummy and delicious recipes all around. Constantly playing up variations for the seasonal time of year as well. Just the other day I made a pumpkin babka with a dark chocolate swirl. As for the proofing of my dough, I always let it rest (covered in plastic wrap) atop a simmering pot of water on a sheetpan and/or stainless steel bowl. Flipping it every 5 or so minutes and kneading until doubled in size. It's usually ready within 25 minutes depending on the recipe.

    Time for leftovers!

    www.prebake.blogspot.com
     
  7. cuppy312

    cuppy312

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  8. luvpie

    luvpie

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    sherbel, care to share please?
     
  9. sherbel

    sherbel

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    Sure! The next time that I bake, I'll note things down as I go along....and then post it here.
     
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I've owned and used a few KAs over the years; own and use one now, too. 

    My opinions and advice still stand about what's easiest, what's most convenient, and what's the best way to learn.  Perhaps I was unclear, but I'm not a big fan of no-knead; and don't like bread machines at all. 

    KAs and other stand mixers can be something of a trap for the novice baker; and it's a good idea to get over the thought that you NEED [pun intentional and without apology] one to bake well.  It takes about 8 minutes to put together a fully kneaded dough in a KA, and about twice that without any tools beyond your piddies, a bowl and a flowered board.  Furthermore, it's easier to get hydration right by hand than in a KA.

    I've owned and used a KA to mix and knead for decades; and own and use one now.  However, if you're going to use a KA, I suggest that you finish the knead by hand rather than relying on looks or the clock.  In baking, touch is everything.  Don't forget to use the "window pane test" to calibrate your touch.

    The last KA I bought (600 Pro, "Meringue White," last January) was almost entirely a matter of owning an already large collection of KA attachments.  If I were starting from scratch, I'd spend the extra bucks for an Electrolux Assistent.    

    While mixing and some sort of method for gluten development (such as kneading) are important; I find formation is a lot trickier and more often a source of grief for beginners. 

    Sher-Bel:  How do you get four loaves out of a KA batch?  Or do you make two batches per session?  We don't like to eat four loaves of the same type of bread in a row, so I usually only bake two loaves per session.  When I do make four (rare) or more (Christmas), it's two or more different breads.

    Yes to the Fresh Loaf.

    I prefer the "retarded rise" for the extra flavor, as opposed to using a lot of heat to push the proofing along, or even "regular."  Different strokes...

    For the same reason, most of my breads make use some sort of preferment or another. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  11. luvpie

    luvpie

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    bettyR, I love your quotes at the bottom of each page