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Bread Bakers Unite

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
I have decided to start baking my own bread here at home as opposed to buying it. Here are some ?s for those of you who are adept breadbakers.....
1. how cost efficient is it to bake your own?
2. where can i find cool healthy recipes?
post #2 of 89
I know that for some of the stuff that I make it's DEFINITELY cheaper. I shudder to think of paying $11 for olive-rosemary bread!!

As for healthy recipes, I usually just Google for something and then replace the not-so-healthy ingredients with something else.

Anyone got good gluten-free recipes or techniques???
post #3 of 89
It would be so cool if we could start a thread like the "got probiotics" and "NT" threads, all about bread. Recipies, troubleshooting and advice. I have attempted several times to make a good whole grain bread, but it always turns out too heavy (I think I put too much flour in the mix) or too dense and crumbly.

I think it's as cost efficient as you make it. You can put in alot of expensive ingredients or use just flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar.

Is it possible to get a nice light textured loaf of 100% whole wheat bread, or does a light loaf mean unbleached white flour? If I have to add unbleached white flour, what is the magic ratio? I'm looking for the loaf that has a nice chewy crust and a soft crumb inside.
post #4 of 89
I'm in. Dd kneads ( :LOL get it?) a snack right now, but I'll be back.
I would love to start an all bread thread seeing as how I'm kind of a newbie to the whole bread makig=ng.
But I know it costs a lot less to make your own than buy it.
I don't know about an $11 loaf! Are you kidding me???
post #5 of 89
Originally Posted by isosmom
I'm in. Dd kneads ( :LOL get it?) a snack right now, but I'll be back.
I would love to start an all bread thread seeing as how I'm kind of a newbie to the whole bread makig=ng.
But I know it costs a lot less to make your own than buy it.
I don't know about an $11 loaf! Are you kidding me???
You're a sick soul with that pun!

As for an $11 loaf of bread... I'm thinking of a specific breadmaker in the NYC (and burbs) area that consider their product "artisan bread". I haven't actually checked the price of an olive-rosemary loaf... but when I worked in NYC a few years ago I remember checking the price for a simple loaf and it was $7.
post #6 of 89
I just wanted to bump this back to the front page. I would live to start making homemade bread on a regular basis. I have made it once or twice, but I am just a little intimidated still. I would love to hear some tips from the pros on how they got started making bread on a regular basis. I especially love sourdough, but my kids are not too keen on it.
post #7 of 89
I bake my own bread alot. Not regular sanwich bread but more like bread for dinner yk? I made it by hand for awhile but just never got a satifactory result so I got a bread maker THat sucker makes EVERYTHING, bread, pixxa and noodle dough, jams and jellies

As for by hand I found that using bread flour gave me the best result (not to healthy though ) in the bread machine almost any type of flour gives me a nice textured bread.

Sourdough's a tough one, if you like, I can dig up the reciepe my BM has. It's kida tough though
post #8 of 89
I am going to search for other bread making threads and link them here. I am about to go watch a movie with dh, but here is the first one I found:

post #9 of 89
I have a bread question... what do you use so the bread doesn't stick to the pan and do you take the bread out of the pan to let it cool?
post #10 of 89
I am not sure why you think bread flour is less healthful, bellee. It's just a slightly higher-gluten flour. If you want to, you can buy whole-grain bread flour that also has a higher gluten content. You can also get organic white bread flour with the germ in it, I like that because it tastes really great. Bulk bins at Whole Foods--it does make the bread cost a bit more though.

One trick I use to keep the bread from sticking to the pan is a long thin strip of parchment paper. I also spray or brush the pan with oil. I am still using glass pans, which stick more than metal ones. I do take the bread out of the loaf pan after it has cooled partway, because then I don't get condensation on the loaf. If you make a hearth loaf on a sheet or pizza stone, you can use cornmeal to make the loaf release. That's pretty traditional. I think I have also used cornmeal in my loaf pans, but not recently.

I started baking bread again because of how expensive challah is in my neighborhood. It is a lot cheaper to make your own challah--if you are at home anyway. Then I got caught up in the process. You will see my username all over the recent bread threads.

My biggest tip is to buy or borrow a book about bread baking. I have the Laurel's Kitchen book, which is all whole grain. I also have Bread Alone by Daniel Leader, and I recently borrowed on long-term loan The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I cannot say enough good about the last book. I also have a copy of the famous Ed Wood book on sourdough, but I had one bad experience (with a starter recipe from Bread Alone) and got all intimidated. I also figured out a lot of clever techniques to make commercial yeast bread taste like sourdough and got all into that! (Long cold fermentation--ooh baby.)
post #11 of 89
Originally Posted by captain optimism
I am not sure why you think bread flour is less healthful, bellee. It's just a slightly higher-gluten flour. If you want to, you can buy whole-grain bread flour that also has a higher gluten content.
I've recently switched from white to ww flour for everything I bake, and I was assuming you could read my mind :LOL
post #12 of 89
I have had a lot of luck with the bread recipes in the cookbook that came with my kitchenaid mixer. I just adjust or adapt slightly frequently. I have also used bread recipes from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen, and it has a some interesting information about bread and dough in general. The bread I make most often is an adaptation of a basic wheat French bread. I make it into peasant loaves instead of bagettes. If I bake in loaf pans, I let it cool in the pan enough so I don't get burnt, then put on drying rack. I put olive oil on my pans, pizza stone, etc, to keep from sticking to the pan. We eat at least 2 loaves a week.
post #13 of 89
I had a 'Good Eats with Wheat' thread...it's way huge though...but there are all kinds of bread recipes in it.

I think it would be a nice thing to have a 'bread bakers' thread. I have used grains other than and in addition to wheat, like Spelt and Oat, Rye and even beans, lentils and such for making an 'overnight soak' multi grain bread and it always rises great and is 'soft'.

I think when you use whole grain flours, the key to getting it to 'rise' well (and taste good) is a soak to moisten all the particles, using a good yeast or sourdough starter, and then a quick, light knead, and then shaping the loaves and covering with a slighty damp lightweight cloth in a warm place but for only 30 min.

Here is an interesting experiment for any bread bakers. If you eat potatoes and boil them (for whatever), save the water you boiled them in to use in your bread baking. OMG it makes the most awesome tasting, fluffy bread!
post #14 of 89
I am also a breadmaker, I love to make bread I really have no tips from what the others have said but once you make a really good loaf of bread *that* is when things start happening. For the longest time everytime I tried to make bread something went wrong....didn't rise, too doughy, burnt, too dense, whatever.

I think you need to work with someone who is good at making bread so you can see and most importantly touch what good dough and bread is like...once you can know it by touch that is all you need to be a great breadmaker IMO. You eventually will just "know" when it's all coming along right.

I really don't know if its cost effective to make your own or not, but its sooo much better for you and better tasting right? It really just depends on your ingrediants (organic, etc) and how much you want to spend like someone else mentioned.

I still would like to make a sourdough, that is one bread I have never tried to make and it intimidates me for some reason.

post #15 of 89
Here is the link to the Good Eats with Wheat thread that Xenabyte was referring to. Lots of great info!

Good Eats With Wheat
post #16 of 89
I've heard this before and have yet to try it. I'm wondering how long is the potato water good for? Could I keep it in the fridge for a couple days ya think?

I have replaced the water in my raisin bread with apple juice. Mmm, Mmm THAT was tasty
post #17 of 89
Onthemove, as the PP stated, yes, you can use cornmeal. I pour a little olive oil in my glass loaf pan or on my baking sheet if I'm making French bread and use my clean hands to rub it around. Then you sprinkle on the cornmeal and add your dough. I've also used wheat germ and rolled oats.

I'd love a bread thread, too. I'm getting ready to see if I can get a sourdough starter and a herman starter (sweet sourdough) going.

post #18 of 89
I have been using a neutral-tasting coconut oil to grease my pans and the bread comes out so well that I don't bother washing the pans. Much better than oil, for me.

I made a nice batch of anadama bread - with cornmeal and molasses.

I look forward to trying the potato water trick. What is it that makes the difference - the starch?
post #19 of 89
I'm in! Here's all I know in response to some of the posts:

All I use in my bread is flour, yeast, water, oil and sometimes a sprinkling of seeds or oats, so yes its cheaper than buying GOOD bread. I just got a bunch of flax seed and will start adding that for healthier bread. If I got my flour bulk from the buying club like I do everything else it would be quite cheap, but I'm picky about bread flour. King Aurthur makes the best bread flour (high gluton).

Soak your whole grains for a long time so your bread is not so heavy. Like with cornbread, you let the cornmeal sit in the buttermilk overnight if you have the time. I've been making a whole wheat sponge, letting it sit in the fridge, and adding bread flour 3 days later during kneading. It ends up being about 50% whole wheat with a very soft and yummy crumb. I brush with water and put boiling water at the bottom of the oven for better crust, but I haven't perfected that yet. I'm also interested in making a good sourdough.

I found some good basic info in LLL "Whole Foods for the Whole Family," and my husband ( the real bread baker here) loves the book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice." I've made the cornbread in that book, but for some reason get intimidated by other recipies in there... but there's some yummy bread in there!!

I don't know how to keep the bread from sticking to the pans so I don't use them. The loaves are prettier round anyway, IMO.

post #20 of 89
keep the ideas, recipes coming ladies.....I'm a bread newbie!
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