thebees

Bread making hints

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I have been making bread & am looking for any handy hints. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe 2lb flour, 1 pint water, couple of packets of yeast, sugar, salt - mix, knead, prove til doubled, knock back, add flavour, leave for 10 then bake. I used a mixture of soda flour, strong plain and wholemeal for flavour I added some honey and mustard seeds. It was quite nice but not spectacular like I wanted it to be, any suggestions?

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Marmite, even if you don't like it in its raw state it does add a good flavour to bread.

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Chuck some olive oil in there, not loads, but a bit.

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Definitely needs some milk either substituted for some water or milk powder, fat in form of butter, margarine or olive oil and keep the yeast, sugar and salt separate. I know they get mixed together but putting them on top each other seems to inhibit the yeast. I'd omit the soda flour and use strong flour instead.

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It is very important to sift the flour. It needs to be fluffed up and incorporate air. Great baker chum of mine taught me.

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If you can get it, I find fresh yeast works a lot better than the instant stuff. Just seems to have a lot more oomph. Also, I like to have the dough slightly on the wet side, as kneading on a floured surface incorporates more flour and you need to end up with a smooth elastic dough and not one the consistency of pastry dough.

 

I've never added milk or milk powder, I only use strong white bread flour, water, yeast (in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar until it foams) , salt and a little olive oil.

 

If you like an open textured bread, as I do, then try leaving the shaped loaf overnight in the fridge for the second proving, then warming it up for half an hour to complete the proving process.

 

Knead by hand for a good 10 minutes. My rule is knead it until I think it's ready, then knead it a bit more! Your arms knead to ache!

Edited by guzzi
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I use strong brown and wholemeal 50/50 for flavour. Extra Extra Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Caster sugar. Sea salt.

 

Works for me.

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Getting the ratio's of ingredients balanced is important, don't be slap-dash. Make sure the yeast you're using is still 'live', especially if it's been in the back of your cupboard for any length of time (just found my stash and it's three months out of date!). It should produce lots of bubbles and froth when activated. When it comes to kneading, rub a knob of butter/lard or a splash of olive oil over your hands and onto the bread-board, rather than using flour, even if the dough is very sticky, resist the urge to lash it over the dough and board. Yeah, forget the soda. A longer, slower second proving overnight in the fridge is preferred, if you have the time.

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Never had you down as a bit of a baker, Quilp.

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My lovely Ma had me at it from an early age. I had to stand on a chair to see over the worktop. She baked her own for many years, on a Sunday and a Wednesday. There were seven of us in the sixties and seventies so it probably worked out cheaper.

 

Lard would be her first choice, and a big handful of bran. I seem to remember a teaspoon of Worcester sauce went in too. And 50/50 brown/white, like the corporal suggested.

 

It staled quicker than today's bread but that went into the bread-pudding with cloves and white pepper with Sunday dinner.

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Chuck some olive oil in there, not loads, but a bit.

 

That is sound advice

 

Why use soda flour?

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10 mins is not enough raising time

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Try a breadmaker if you can't be bothered to do all the kneading and mixing.

 

The best one I can recommend is a Panasonic breadmaker.

 

I can set it up the night before and wake up to freshly baked bread in the morning.

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Round 456, thanks for the advice. Today I have added less soda flour, olive oil and will leave it over night after adding the onions and shaping - hmmm honey oniony yummy tooth breaker :)

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