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#1 of 89 Old 01-26-2005, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
thanks
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#2 of 89 Old 01-26-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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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???

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#3 of 89 Old 01-26-2005, 07:06 PM
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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.
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#4 of 89 Old 01-26-2005, 08:32 PM
 
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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???

Mama to 3:
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#5 of 89 Old 01-26-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

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#6 of 89 Old 01-29-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 89 Old 01-29-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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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
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#8 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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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:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=240691
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#9 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 12:06 AM
 
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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?
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#10 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 12:25 AM
 
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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.)

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#11 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 12:31 AM
 
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Quote:
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
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#12 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 12:36 AM
 
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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.
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#13 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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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!
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#14 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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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.

Marilyn

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#15 of 89 Old 01-30-2005, 05:47 PM
 
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Here is the link to the Good Eats with Wheat thread that Xenabyte was referring to. Lots of great info!

Good Eats With Wheat
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#16 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 02:24 AM
 
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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
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#17 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 02:36 AM
 
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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.

Kate
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#18 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 06:48 AM
 
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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?
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#19 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 11:05 AM
 
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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.

Julie
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#20 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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keep the ideas, recipes coming ladies.....I'm a bread newbie!
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#21 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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: Sorry, you asked a question about the potato water, yes, I think the starches DEFINITELY help. Whatever it is, it's worth boiling taters for something and keeping the water for bread making.

I've never refrigerated 'potato water', It would be fine, the 'starch' will settle, but a good stir would help. I have even heard of 'sourdough starters' made from using potato water as it helps it to 'grow'. I have no clue atm why, maybe I can look it up. At the moment, it's one of those 'grandma's secrets' that I happened to have discovered when we boiled some potatoes up and I didn't want to pour all this lovely water down the drain (it has some expensive organic bouillon in it too). So here is what I did:

I measured how much water I had left (was about 6 cups). So I added 6 cups of organic, unbleached whole wheat flour and one packet of yeast. I stired this 'soupy' mix (this is your 'sponge') and poured into a large ceramic crock (the kind g'ma used to make pickles in) and covered with a damp cloth and let it sit overnight.

Next morning, I added in my sea salt (about 2 tsp), a bit of grapeseed oil (maybe a 1/2 cup) and stirred. Then I added in orgainc, unbleached all purpose flour (since it doesn't have time to soak like the whole wheat did)until it was 'stiff' (around 4 cups). Then I poured this in two batches onto a floured countertop and 'kneaded' it gently to incorporate more flour until it was a smooth, yet kinda soft bread dough.

I shaped them into 'logs' and put them (got 4 long loaves, two on each baking sheet) that had been greased with expeller (no smell) coconut oil. I always put a slightly damp (flat cotton birdseye diaper that is only for kitchen use) over the tops. I let them puff for 30 min in a warm area near my stove.

Then I baked them for 25 ish min at 400 deg F. They were so good, me, dd and the DH ate one loaf while standing around finishing the rest of our dinner!!

I brushed melted butter with a pinch of garlic salt over the tops and put a dry cloth over them once they are removed. This makes the tops get super soft (easy for the dc to munch on too).
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#22 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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Oh, some interesting notes:

If you use sugar to feed your yeasts, you should use plain ol white sugar...I know! You are thinking what????

Honey has natural antibacterial, fungal (yeast) and viral properties. So it can retard or stop yeast growth (good for inside us, not so good for your bread yeasts).

Sucanat (Rapadura type sugars) also have been found to retard yeast cultures (which suggests that baking with it in general will not contribute as much to the 'internal yeast issues' some folks have...but again, I guess it's a no no for your yeast 'sponge' starter, if you are having 'rising' issues.

So keep a small box of white or 'Florida crystals' for feeding your yeast when getting a bread starter going.

Just some interesting info I found out from a lady who does culture testing with various sugars.

HTH somebody!
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#23 of 89 Old 01-31-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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You don't really need to feed yeast sweeteners, you should be able to make a sponge with no sugar. I find that when I use sugar that the yeast doesn't eat it all up anyway, because the bread is still sweeter. The idea with an unenriched dough is to let the dough ferment long enough for the compex flour starch molecules to break apart into simpler sugar molecules. Peter Reinhart (baking teacher to whose book i am devoted) claims that commercial yeast (as opposed to the wild yeast in sourdough starter) doesn't eat sucrose, only glucose and to a lesser extent fructose and maltose.

I did know that honey could put a shoe in the works. It's a good sweetener to use in bread generally, but not raw honey and not at that yeast proofing stage. Maple syrup is a no-no according to Laurel ('s Kitchen) Robertson, it can tear the dough for some reason.

I still think the neatest thing is to get the bread to be sweet without sweeteners.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#24 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 01:34 AM
 
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So what I want to know is, how can I keep on top of my breadmaking?
I would really love to never have to buy it anymore, but we run out and then I've got no time, ykwim?
So what are you schedules, so to speak, for your breadmaking? I work early mornings, so starting in the morning most days doesn't work. I guess I should just start early on my days off. Would it work if I started at night and then let it rise in the fridge or something like that?

Mama to 3:
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#25 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 02:16 AM
 
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I make nearly all of our bread (sandwiches, toast, etc.) and my hands down favorite recipe is from LLL Whole Foods for the Whole Family.

I use honey or molasses as a sweetener and have never had a problem. (I guess I should say here, that I've been doing this for years )

The key I think is kneading it enough (I usually knead for 10-15 minutes) and not using too much flour.

Here's my recipe (if you want it)

2 cups of warm potato water (I store mine in the fridge until I need it...and then just heat it up)

1 tsp. honey or molasses

2 T yeast (not the quick stuff...just regular yeast)

Mix the above & let sit for 10 minutes or so.

Add 2T honey, 2t salt, 1/4 cup of butter or oil, and 3 cups of flour. Beat 200 strokes (by hand) or 2 min on Med speed in a heavy duty mixer w/ a dough hook.

Add one more cup of flour & beat briefly.

Add 2 eggs. And 3-4 more cups of flour.

Knead for 10-15 minutes. The dough should be "silky" It takes practice to know when it's been kneaded enough. If you're not sure....just knead for the whole 15 min.

Let rise (in a warmish place) in an oiled (or unoiled if you prefer) bowl (covered) until double (for me, that's usually 1.5 hours) Or let rise in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Punch down & form into loaves. The easiest way for me to do this is to roll it out flat w/ a rolling pin & then roll it up (like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls) & tuck the edges under. Oil the top lightly & cover. Let rise again until doubled. (45min-1hr) Or let rise overnight in the fridge.

Put it in a 350 degree oven until it's a golden (darkish) brown. Cool in pans for a minute or two & then take the bread out (so the crust doesn't get soggy) and cool on racks.

Enjoy!
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#26 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 02:26 AM
 
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talk about cheap my dad makes bread and he think it cost maybe 30 cent and half if that is for the silly bag.

His bread won blue ribbon at the state fair. I just got 6 loaves from him on Sunday. I slices it and freeze the bread just taking a loave out one at a time. My daycare kids LOVE this bread. I mean when they ask for it without any thing on it its gotta be good.

Our next project is to make hamburger/hotdog buns.
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#27 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 08:12 AM
 
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Have any of you ever made a Herman starter? I made my first today and was afraid it wouldn't work because I can't get bread flour. I put the 2 cups of starter mix in a pitcher and was sitting at my keyboard an hour later and heard this strange bubbling sound. I thought, "Oh,no! My radiator's leaking again." But when I turned around I saw this weird glob on the desk behind, "What IS that?" I thought. And then I knew. It was my starter. It had bubbled up and out of my 2 QUART pitcher into it's very own version of Mt. St. Helens! Is this normal??? I've been having to stir it down every hour or so to keep it from bubbling over. So much for it not working. BTW, I'm using plain white flour that's sold to make dumplings because that's the only kind of flour that had "plain flour" on it in English. The only other flours with English were "self-raising" and I knew I didn't want that. Please help. Did I do something wrong? The recipe called for 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 pkg yeast, and 2 cups warm water. I'm hoping it will calm down after I stick it in the fridge tonight. I'd hate to wake up to a globby mess in my fridge!
TIA,
Kate
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#28 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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What a great thread! I love baking bread. I try to make all of our bread, unless it gets too hot to use the oven in the summer, then I occasionlly buy from the bakery. The thing I love most is that it's an easy way to get ds to eat something healthy. My favorite stand-by recipe is the whole wheat bread recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. It is for 100% whole wheat loaves, and they turn out really well. They have always risen really nicely. I think that making a sponge really helps with the nice texture. I usually tweak the recipe though to add some whole grains, some pureed fruit or veggies, some tahini, eggs, whatever is on hand. A few years back, I was baking lots of sourdough breads. If anyone is interested, and it's not too cold where you live, let your starter sit outside for a day covered with a thin cheesecloth layer. If you have it outside, you will get some really nice natural yeast spores landing in there and doing their thing.

I also love that breadmaking is a family activity. Ds loves to get involved, and usually shapes little "kid-size" loaves.

I have been experimenting lately with soaking some of my whole wheat flour, so we'll see how that goes. I am also trying to get a nice sourdough culture going again, but it's still too cold out where I am to set it outside!!

About the potato water, my mom always uses it in her bread, and it turns out awesome, so something in there is definately worth saving that water for. As for sweeteners, I usually use honey or molasses, and have never had a problem with it either. I tried mixing a batch of bread for the first time with my kitchenaid mixer the other day- have always done it by hand before- and it didn't rise as nicely. Maybe some of you can give me some suggestions as to why this would be.
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#29 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marilynmama
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.

Marilyn

are you going to invite us all over to watch you make bread, marilynmama?

I tried my hand at making bread a few years ago without much luck. My breads were always to heavy and dense. I'm trying again with a bread machine that I got at a thrift store and not having much luck this time either. I really want to make 100% whole grain loaves, but am not sure what I'm doing wrong.
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#30 of 89 Old 02-01-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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Just subscribing to this thread, my store is a sale on the ww organic flour so I forsee a lot of breadmaking in the near future.
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