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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?

 

I'm pretty good at baking. Always happy to help.

 

Just give me a shout thebees anytime you'd like your buns kneaded.

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

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

Think that's a biscuit

Chuck out the yeast and get a sourdough starter on the go. Mine is a few years old now, fed reguarly and it makes fantastic loaves, baguettes, rolls, pizzas (oh man, the Pizzas! By far the best pizza dough imo). There are loads of good sourdough recipes out there, I started with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/may/10/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall-recipes-sourdough - which yields good results and have taken it from there using tips and tricks from other sources. It does take a lot longer to make a loaf (sometimes I'll proof it slowly in the fridge for 2 - 3 days) but it's definitely worth it. There are a number of no-knead recipes that work great, especially if cooked in a covered dutch oven or cast iron casserole dish.

 

Some tips I've picked up along the way that apply to all types of yeasted bread are:

 

Add a desert spoon of honey to the mix, the yeast loves it and adds to the flavour

 

Use the autolyse method - this is simply letting the mix sit for between 25 mins and 40 mins before adding the salt. Yeast does not like salt at all so this allows gluten to form before adding the salt and kneading oxygen into the mix. This makes for a tastier, well risen loaf.

 

Slap it about. once the dough is formed and mid-kneading, rub some oil on your hands and pinch a bit of one side of the dough between your fingers and whack it down on the work surface really hard (like your playing that whack-a-mole game) so the motion stretches the dough out in front of you, fold it over, do a quarter turn and do again 10 times. I keep doing this every 10 minutes for an hour. This is probably the best tip I've been given, totally transformed my loaves.

 

The tip about using milk is also a good one, scalded milk works really well for flavour.

 

 

 

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If you like fresh bread then a breadmaker is very useful. They're incredibly simple, basically a loaf-tin with a removable rotating paddle, that sits in a heated chamber. By varying the rotation of the paddle it can mix and then knead the dough while also controlling the temperature for each stage.

 

Some bread-mix and a handful of chopped olives makes a really nice savoury loaf.

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If you like fresh bread then a breadmaker is very useful. They're incredibly simple, basically a loaf-tin with a removable rotating paddle, that sits in a heated chamber. By varying the rotation of the paddle it can mix and then knead the dough while also controlling the temperature for each stage.

 

Some bread-mix and a handful of chopped olives makes a really nice savoury loaf.

A machine! Pah! Where's the zen in that?

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Back to making bread. I could not be bothered walking to the shop the other day so decided to make baps for our burgers - one looked like Everest, another like Ben Nevis (only much much smaller) that's not how they were when I put them in the oven. How do you get even rolls/baps/buns? This is a problem I also get with scones. 

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Are you still using soda flour in your bread?  Unless you are making soda bread, I wouldn't do that. Use just strong bread flour, yeast, water, fat of your choice and (especially if you are using dried yeast) a little sugar or honey to boost the yeast along. Knead for a good 15 minutes, let rise for an hour or so in the warm, knock back, cut to size and shape, allow to rise again until double in size then put in the oven. I have the oven at 210 C. Check after 20 minutes.

If they go in the same size, they ought to come out the same size, I find the main fault is sometimes a bit of a collapse from the height the bread reaches after the second proving.

Sourdough is great, but my advice would be to get basic, yeast leavened bread to turn out well consistently before experimenting. If you can get it (Noa Bakehouse?) fresh yeast works a lot better than dried.

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STOP THE PRESS!!! I have made the most amazing Granary loaf today :) Mrs Beetons recipe, total winner. 

I also made a red velvet cake today which became a black velvet cake because I did not have any red food colouring in. Yes I have the most ridiculous song going around my head. Anyway, songs aside, my cake rose but cracked like magma then sank as soon as it cooled - what happened there? I love red velvet cakes but I'm too much of a judgemental asshole to buy a cake mix, so now I have to fanny around until I get it to work. Sucks to be me.

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