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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Bread Making


Hi all,

A bread thread!

Did you know that a  yeast has about 20 billion cells per gram. That's hundreds of billions of yeast cells in each yeast packet, and then they start multiplying when activated...

What kind of bread do you like to make? What's your process?

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bread making

I use all sorts of flours, various techniques. I really love making the stuff, as well as eating it, experimenting with different types, etc. BUT, I have to exercise major restraint (& find folks to eat it with (or instead of) me), as eating bread every day wrecks my health, no matter how "healthy" the grain. And yes, it is quite possible to make bakery quality bread at home.

 
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Is Baking Bread at Home Worth the Work?

I used to make bread living in places where "good" bread was not available. It was worth the effort.
Here, there is plenty of bread available on the shelf that I not only enjoy eating, a lot, I couldn't make anything as good.
Do you enjoy the process that much? Is it the result/the bread that you love? The savings?
And one more question: there are so many grains and flours readily available now that you couldn't get outside the city 30 years ago. Have you tried anything exotic or are you satisfied with the three you name?

 
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Worth it

I started making bread for two reasons. The store loaves were getting very expensive, and I felt it was almost a duty of a cook to know how to make a good loaf.

I find the cost savings to be significant, especially if you buy big bags of flour.

At first, the process was confusing, complicated, and felt like it took all day. After baking bread weekly for years now, I find it to be easy, relaxing, and simple. Mix up the dough and clean up is about 15 minutes. Then it sits. Resting, shaping, and proofing only takes a few minutes of hands-on time, as does the baking.

So, it's "do a bit of work" then go do other things, then do a bit, do other things, then bake and eat.

The tough part for me was really learning the steps. I read a lot and watched many a YouTube baker - and everyone seemed to have their own "best way" to do things.

The result is what makes it worth it. A great baguette, italian loaf, sandwich loaf, of rolls… hot from the oven and crackling on the counter as it cools.

Which reminds me… Lise made chicken soup and it would be nice to have some bread to go with it tonight...

 
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Bread Flour vs Regular Flour

I started out using bread flour for bread, but after reading a book on french baking I switched back to regular flour. The authors indicated it was closer to what was being used to make baguettes. Our bread flour is a bit more hearty, I suppose.

I also mix flours - wheat, rye, whole wheat, etc. depending on what I have around.

 

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