Looking for a daily, routine, solid, simple bread recipe/process.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by rpmcmurphy, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    Haven't gotten the hang of the whole baking thing, especially bread making...but 2011 new years resolution is to not but anymore bread.

    I've gone through the 'Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day', the No-knead bread, etc. but I just...don't like them. Crust gets too hard, inside too dense, or visa/versa.

    I want to be able to readily make bread on a daily, every other day, basis. Preferably, a simple wheat loaf I can use for sandwiches, etc...but, I have a few requirements. yeah yeah yeah, feel the bread, knead it by hand, become one with the bread, massage the bread. No.

    I have a big-ol kitchen-aid pro, and want to just get into a 'routine' with regularly making my own bread. I have an oven, a (cheap) pizza stone, a dutch oven...and I have about....20 minutes a day, Maybe. Something that I can freeze as well.

    Thanks!

    -Rob
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You'll get bored only making one kind of bread, but I keep coming back to pain de campagne.

    BDL
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You'll inevitably get bored with baking one loaf over and over without a at least a few others in your regular rotation.  The one I come back to most often is pain de camagne.

    BDL
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I hope you weren't serious about having only 20 minutes/day to devote to bread making.

    If so, sorry, but, it just ain't gonna happen.
     
  5. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    I mean, Ive done it before, in '5 minutes a day' with the some of the other recipes, and no-mixer and the bread turns out OK so maybe I'll just have to settle, or just continue buying bread.

    This time around, it's not about cooking the best bread, the bread is secondary. These days everything I eat is pre-prepped and yeah, somewhat boring.

    a little background, I'm running a lot these days (75+ miles a week or so) so when I get home from work + run, I'm eating something that was prepped/cooked on sunday or something that can be made in less than 20 minutes.
     
  6. kcz

    kcz

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    I think if you're going to do this, with your time constraints, you're going to have to invest in a bread machine with a delay timer.  You can put the ingredients in when you have a few minutes, and either take the dough out and bake it when you have another few minutes, or let the machine bake it.  Twenty minutes just isn't enough time to assemble and mix ingredients, knead, let rise, punch down, shape, bake, and clean up.
     
  7. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    I'll just stick to the recipes in 'Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day' me-thinks and figure out what I was doing wrong as lots of friends use those recipes daily with success. I suppose only making 1 or 2 recipes from there isn't really giving it a good chance.
     
  8. siduri

    siduri

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    Having very little time except on the weekends and being fed up with the crap bread that is now practically everywhere here (yes, in rome, of all places, where once all the bread was wonderful) i got into making the no knead bread with variations.  I had decided to do a very little kneading in the bowl (no messing up of counters and boards) - only 5 or 6 turns, and i generally mix it in the morning, and then bake it at night - doing a five or six turn knead, then raising on parchment paper (using a variation on the method on cooks illustrated).  It's a good bread, not too hard at all.  The crust, yes, is crispy, but shouldn't be hard.  Toasts wonderfully, and if we aren't having much bread it will be good kept in a paper bag for 5 days. 

    If you like a more "american sandwich bread" type, you might not bake it in the cast iron pot, just in a bread pan.  If you add some potato flakes - a couple of tbsp - it will be softer.  (Yeah, should use potato water, but as i said, i have little time.)  (You might also use a bit of milk if you want it really soft)

    I spend all of 5 minutes (often less) mixing it, then it sits for 12 hours while i'm at work, then when i come home, i knead, put the pot in the oven and turn it on, let the bread rise while we eat dinner, and then bake it after.  In terms of actual working time, it takes another minute to knead, and then you have to just be in the house while the bread raises the second time and the ovenb heats.  It's really possible to make bread every day like this, painlessly. 

    Lucky for me, now that my husband is retired, he's been doing it, and experimenting with various flours and stuff - whole wheat, kamut, rye, oatmeal (that also makes for softer bread), wheat germ, etc.  `It;s the same breead but the ingrediets vary and it's not boring.  But you know, bread was supposed to be the same every day- each region or town had their own bread, and always made it the same way, once upon a time.  Bread is good, even if it's the same, as long as it's good!
     
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    +1 on the bread maker suggestion. My in laws got one and for years have been making pretty much the same bread every single day, they haven't bought bread in years. All ingredients go in at the end of the day. The timer starts the process early in the morning so that when they get up they have a loaf of hot bread waiting for them. The recipe is something they've personalized over the years, but they'll keep experimenting with different seeds, honey, etc etc...

    The downsides are the crust, the shape of the loaf and the big hole in the middle of your bread, where the rotating spatula goes (unless you take the time to remove the spatula between kneading and baking).  All those can easily be remedied by baking the bread in your oven rather than the bread machine (which you then only use for kneading etc...).

    But with the bread machine you can have your daily fresh homemade bread in 5mn. The days when you're not as busy, you use the bread machine for the kneading, but you shape your own loaf, and bake it in your oven.
     
     
  10. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    SO.  I whipped up a few batches of different recipes from the no-nead 5 minutes a day book.

    I tested one out tonight just to be able to tell you guys what I didn't like about it. (as I couldn't actually remember!)

    I did the main master recipe and did it as a baguette. The crust came out perfect, the shape came out perfect, the only issue I had with it was the inside was a bit chewy, not underdone, but, not...as 'fluffy/light' as I'd like.  If I just fixed 'that' --- this would be perfect for my needs. 

    SO -- how do I fix that? longer cooking time? higher temp? less wet dough? more steam in oven? less steam in oven?

    I'm baking at 450 (although oven temp when I opened up the door said 415..so I'm guessing 'that' may be the/a problem) for ~25 minutes, I pour a cup of hot water into the broiling pan but that almost evaporates before it hits the pan!

    Baking on a pizza stone. Pre-heated the oven for about an hour or so today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. siduri

    siduri

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    RPM, the texture (chewy) that you get is the one I particularly like, but i remember sometimes leaving the bread "too" long (too long to make it come out chewy) on the second rise and it was lighter.  If you leave it till it really leaves a dent when you press it with your finger, it should come out lighter.

    Others will certainly know what to do about the water factor which i'm sure has some effect, and i am guessing it should be slightly drier, but i don't know the science, just the intuition.  I don't think cooking too cool would cause the chewiness, but if anything it would make it less chewy.  But i don't have that much experience. 

    The bread that's pictured next to my name is my "daily bread" altered almost no-knead loaf, by the way. 
     
  12. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    Siduri - do you have a recipe for that?

    I'm still messing with the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes recipes...(or rather, I made 2 big batches, and I'm messing with temp, time, second rise time, etc. to find a good mixture)

    -Rob
     
  13. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    If it's overly dense and chewy, you may not be getting enough oven spring. Put an old pan or the bottom of a broiler tray in the bottom of your oven, and when you put the bread in to bake dump about half a cup of ice into the pan and immediately shut the oven door. That fills the oven with sufficient steam to permit the bread to spring up --- once the crust forms, it won't spring, but moisture in the air will prevent the crust. That goes away after 10 minutes or so, which is all you need.

    If you want to do bread very quickly, I would suggest that you learn the sponge method. Basically you mix up a wet batter in the bottom of your KitchenAid bowl, pour the remainder of the dry ingredients over the top in a covering layer, and then cover the whole thing with plastic wrap. Wait 1 hour and shove the whole thing in the fridge overnight. When you're ready the next day, you mix on low speed with the hook until it's all moist (about 1 minute at #2), cover and wait 20 minutes (to autolyze), then knead on speed #4 for about 7 minutes. Turn it out into an oiled container, cover, and let rise about an hour. After that it depends: sometimes you fold it and let it rise again. Then you shape it, cover with something like a plastic box, and let raise for an hour. Then you bake, which takes about 45 minutes, give or take. This process obviously takes several hours, but you don't have to be around for most of it --- you just pop in, do something quickly, and then leave it again. There are faster breads, but in the end the only way to really cut it down is to have someone or something do the work for you. I mean, 20 minutes --- you can't even bake it in that time!
     
  14. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    So i do that as well, with about 2 cups of hot water poured into the broiler tray. I'll try ice as the hot water seems to dissapear immediately.
     
     
  15. siduri

    siduri

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    Sure, Rob,

    4 cups flour

    1/4 tsp active instant dry yeast

    3 tsp salt

    1 1/2 cups water (or part water, part beer)

    Mix dry ingredients.  add water and mix with spatula,. adding more if necessary in order to wet all the flour (i sort of press the dough into the flour with the spatula - can use your hand, but if you're on your way out to work, it's less messy to use the spatula)

    There should be no dry flour or dry crumbs at the bottom of the bowl. It shouldn't be really sticky at all, but a little sticky is fine.  You don;t want it too dry, like so you could knead it wihtout adding any flour

    cover the whole bowl with an inverted plastic shopping bag, or use plastic wrap and leave in regular cool room for 12 to 18 hrs (I;ve not managed to do it in the evening due to change of plans, and have even baked it 24 hours later and it was fine).

    Flour your hand and knead with your fist in the bowl, pulling it up from sides, and pressing down in the middle, flouring lightly as necessary - five to ten turns is fine, you should feel the surface tension, If you add flour, pull from side to detach and sprinkle a little on that open side. 

    Get a smallish frying pan and put a square of parchment paper on it, so it overhangs all around.  Turn the ball of dough upside down so the bottom is the top and rest on the paper in the pan.  Stick it all inside a big plastic shopping bag, loosely, so it doesn;t toucfh the dough. 

    Let it rise, 1 - 2 hours.  Meanwhile turn on oven to about 400 and put an enamel (or not) cast iron pot inside it, cover and all, (remove all plastic parts).  you can also use any other kind of heavy pot, like a heavy aluminum-based stainless one, or a heavy aluminum pot etc.  I suspect even a flower pot, and something to cover it.  No plastic parts though. 

    The pot will heat up and the cover will create steam inside and make the crust crispy. 

    After 1 - 2 hrs  (do 2 if you want it softer and fluffier inside) (it;s ready when pressing with a wet finger into the dough it leaves an imprint, but if it collapses all around the hole, it needs to be rekneaded and re-risen, because it;s stayed too long or the room is too hot) open the oven and open the pot.  take the parchment paper like a sling and lift the dough with it.  Put it in the hot pot and immediately close the cover.  (Leave the paper under it, it will help remove the dough later).

    Bake about 30 min, then open the cover and leave it off to finish the browning, about another ten min.  You should hear the bread hollow if you tap it, and a skewer inserted in the middle should come out dry and clean.  Otherwise bake some more. 

    As soon as it's done, take the pot out, remove the bread lifting again with the sling (or tip it out) and cool on a rack.  It's amazing warm, but wait ten min if you can and make sure to cut without pressing on it, just sawing, or you;ll squash the warm dough inside. 

    You can subsititute other flours for part or all of the white flour.  I sometimes add some potato flakes, a spoon or two, and the dough is softer, same for dry oatmeal. Sometimes i use so9me kamut flour, some wheat germ, sometimes a mixture of whole wheat, rye, oat, whatever you feel like. 

    Once cool i keep it in a paper bag and it lasts a week. 

    let me know how it goes.  This is my variation on the cooks illustrated's "almost no-knead bread"
     
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Hey Randy,

    Your problem is almost certainly loaf formation.   

    Happy Chanukka to you and Ratched,

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  17. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    then knead on speed #4 for about 7 minutes.

    One proviso to be aware of: Kitchen Aid's instructions are to never knead dough at a higher setting than #2. If you do, and burn out the motor, the warranty won't apply.
     
  18. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    thanks guys, Siduri, I'll give that recipe a try.

    Just put in 2 more loafs of the Artisan in 5 minutes.....one peasant one regular.. It just seems the insides are almost 'not done'.  

    [​IMG]

    Baked them for almost 45 minutes at 450.
     
  19. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    So you're saying you bake 'em 45 minutes at 450, they look like in the picture when they come out, and they're not quite done inside? They don't look overly dark, so just put them in for 50 minutes. If you're getting too much darkening, try reducing the heat to 400 after 20-25 minutes' baking and going on from there. You can do it by temperature with one of those probes on a cable, but I forget what the target temperature is. (If you do it, be sure to shove the probe in the end of the loaf, or inside a slash, about 20-25 minutes into baking, too.)
     
  20. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Internal temperature of bread should be 190-210F.

    However, 45 minutes at 450F producing undercooked bread? I suggest there is definately something wrong with the oven.

    I have no direct experience with the no-knead breads. But hundreds of people are using those recipes and procedures successfully. So I don't think that's the problem. Looking at external sources, the obvious one is an oven that isn't heating properly.

    In your early post, Rob, you said it was only registering 415F when you took the bread out. I suggest, therefore, that you get a couple of oven thermometers and do some tests at various heat settings, to determine how your stove really is operating.

    Another thing to feed into your back pocket. Even when operating correctly, when working at those higher temps in particular, leave plenty of time for the oven to preheat. Forty minutes is none too long, for instance, with a 400F target. If you're using a stone (which you should be), preheating time goes up even more.

    Typically, I turn on my oven when I put the dough up for it's final proof, which gives it roughly an hour to preheat.