Kitchen Secrets: My Best Tip For Bread - The Kitchen Garden: Fresh Herbs and Flavorings Blog at - 228122

The Kitchen Garden: Fresh Herbs and Flavorings

Kitchen Secrets: My Best Tip for Bread 
Mar. 20, 2011 7:48 am 
Updated: Apr. 2, 2011 6:25 am
The dog wags his tail, not for you, but for your bread.
Portuguese Proverb

What are your secrets for making bread? How do you prep your yeast?  What do you use bread for?  How do you like to eat it?

I love bread.  The feel of the dough, the smell of it baking, the texture... everything about it.

And... today is my birthday, so I'm going to make a loaf, instead of a cake.

All the best
Marvel's Farmhouse Bread
Photo Detail
Marvel's Farmhouse Bread
Photo Detail
Marvel's Farmhouse Bread
Photo Detail
Mar. 20, 2011 7:49 am
? sthrnfriedmom Jan. 14, 2011 4:59 am I often have leftovers that I package up for my 70 year old father who lives alone. I always put them in the tupperware while they are warm and not hot and let them cool before placing a piece of bread on top and sealing. You let it cool so it doesn't get as much condensation and the bread is so that it absorbs just enough of the moisture to keep it fresh for almost 2 weeks. I never know how much time it is going to spend in his fridge so this is a great trick for us! Just make sure they know the piece of bread is NOT part of the meal... funny.... but not something you want to eat..
Mar. 20, 2011 7:49 am
? sthrnfriedmom Jan. 14, 2011 4:59 am I often have leftovers that I package up for my 70 year old father who lives alone. I always put them in the tupperware while they are warm and not hot and let them cool before placing a piece of bread on top and sealing. You let it cool so it doesn't get as much condensation and the bread is so that it absorbs just enough of the moisture to keep it fresh for almost 2 weeks. I never know how much time it is going to spend in his fridge so this is a great trick for us! Just make sure they know the piece of bread is NOT part of the meal... funny.... but not something you want to eat..
Mar. 20, 2011 7:49 am
covergirl Jan. 14, 2011 8:58 am Meatballs tough? Use wet bread, just wet the bread with either milk or water and break up into small pieces, crust and all, into your uncooked meat mixture. English muffins work too. Get em good and wet though. A tip I learned from my emigree Italian grandmother.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:50 am
Suzy Homemaker Jan. 14, 2011 10:21 am A friend was kind of nice to bring a large ziplock of cookies over and inside was a slice of bread. I can't believe how much longer those cookies stayed moist and fresh! It's now an official "trick" in our house.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:50 am
? Skoo Jan. 14, 2011 11:37 am To lower fat in muffins or quick breads use applesauce or yogurt for part of the oil
Mar. 20, 2011 7:50 am
carolleb Jan. 14, 2011 4:36 pm To use up heels of bread or old bread going stale, make toast, then butter, then pulse in food processor and voila! buttered crumbs. Freeze until needed.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:51 am
Kitluca5 Jan. 15, 2011 10:35 am I just want to thank everyone for their helpful tips! I save the leftover hot dog/hamburger buns for garlic bread. You can freeze these until you are ready to use. Let the frozen buns thaw for an hour or so ~ spread with butter and sprinkle garlic powder on top. Broil to toast the buns and you have delicious garlic bread!
Mar. 20, 2011 7:51 am
Mary @ 48 Jan. 15, 2011 12:23 pm My Grandma Mary taught me to put cold water into bowls that have sticky floury stuff stuck from mixing bread and other dough. The cold water dissolves the dough and makes washing go faster.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:51 am
mauigirl Jan. 16, 2011 4:34 pm To use up stale or leftover savory or garlic breads, I make an egg wash (like french toast egg wash) with eggs, milk, ranch or caesar dressing and a little parmesan. I then dip the slices and pan fry for a savory french toast to go with dinner. This can also be done when making sandwiches with leftover or stale bread.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:51 am
Viki Jan. 16, 2011 6:46 pm WHAT A GREAT BLOG! 2 from me: 1. Actually, this is my Mom's: Whenever she's slicing strawberries, she saves the caps in a freezer bag. When the bag is full, she cooks them down and squeezes them for the juice, which she uses to make jelly. 2. Living in State College, PA, we host lots of guests for Penn State football weekends and invariably have leftover chips, pretzels, crackers, cheezeits, tortilla chips, you name it . . .When they get stale and/or if there's only a handful of crumblies in the bottom of the bag, I throw them in a bag in the freezer. When the bag gets full, I pour all of them into the food processor. Presto: Flavored breadcrumbs! I keep the bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer too.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:51 am
Stacy Jan. 16, 2011 7:37 pm I use those leftover bread pieces to make my own breadcrumbs. Toast in my toaster oven and go about my day. Come back later and the bread is completely dry, ready to be made into breadcrumbs. Adding my own flavors. Also ~ to keep brown sugar from getting hard I keep mine inside a large ziplock bag in the fridge.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:52 am
BellesAZ Jan. 17, 2011 9:24 am To keep brown sugar moist, put in a slice of fresh bread to your container.. replace when it's dried out. Your sugar stays fresh!
Mar. 20, 2011 7:52 am
Indiana Mommy Jan. 17, 2011 1:46 pm great tips! Today my tips deal with BANANAS: mine is to put your bananas in the fridge when they are at your desired ripeness, the skins get dark but the inside banana stays great for a much longer period of time!. Also when making banana nut bread I let the bananas sit out on the counter to get really brown before using them in the recipe, the browner they are the sweeter they make the bread! Also if they get brown but I don't have the time to make the bread, I will mash them and put them into quart sized freezer bags and freeze flat until ready to use-then thaw.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:52 am
laughingmagpie Jan. 18, 2011 10:43 am Half my family likes mayo on sandwiches and half don`t.. I cut sandwiches with mayo diagonally and those without straight... No body has to peek or ends up with the wrong sandwich...
Mar. 20, 2011 7:52 am
Sherry Roach Jan. 20, 2011 7:09 am To put moisture back into sliced bread, put the bread slices into the microwave with a plastic measuring cup filled with water, heat on high for 10 seconds. Also, heating the water in an empty microwave will help loosen up any food particles for easy cleaning.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:52 am
Kitten Jan. 21, 2011 6:04 pm When you buy rolls or donuts or cinnamon rolls or any sweet like that, usually with us the last one or two usually end up more hockey puck then donut. Just put it in a large plastic bag and throw in the freezer. Keep doing this until you have a bag full. then break them up in small pieces and use them as the bread for your bread pudding. I have used dried maple bars, apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, croissants for bread pudding and it was awesome. Just be sure to let them sit of awhile so soften and absorb the liquid.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:53 am
HotGrandma Jan. 24, 2011 6:21 am More uses for cookie cutters. Use a favorite shape to cut bread, lunch meat & cheese for sandwiches. Use one to lightly press (do not cut through) into bread before toasting & it will leave the design. Mix a drop or two of food coloring into softened butter to paint the toast (ex- red for hearts, blue & red for trucks). Always delight the kiddies.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:53 am
J Pyeweed Jan. 24, 2011 8:37 pm The key to a light Irish soda bread is to have a "wet" dough and work quickly. The initial rise from the baking soda starts once it hits the buttermilk. Too much mixing and jostling will flatten the bread.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:53 am
Anne C. Jan. 25, 2011 10:09 am My trick that I don't know if it was mentioned: When your brown sugar hardens, put it in a ziplock bag with a slice of bread. Softens it every time!
Mar. 20, 2011 7:53 am
Ambika Jan. 25, 2011 10:57 am This is a great blog. I have a tip. When you feel that your milk is going bad, just boil it and add a teaspoon of lemon juice to it. This will split the milk. You can use a fine cloth to separate the solids from the liquid. The solid can be pressed for a couple of hours to make yummy unseasoned cheese. The liquid can be added while kneading dough to make bread to make it softer.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:53 am
Amanda W. Jan. 25, 2011 11:44 am - If you're trying to get a yeast bread to rise, and it's just not warm enough in the kitchen, you can speed it up with a microwave. Put a clean, damp tea towel over the top of the bowl and put it in the microwave on 50% power for up to 5 minutes. I live in a cool place, and I also will put the bowl of dough right above the dishwasher, then run a load of dishes and "heat dry" them. There's some heat and steam that comes through that makes my dough rise better! - When you're peeling potatoes or another vegetable, you can put a large strainer in the bottom of the sink to catch all the peelings. It makes cleaning up a lot easier. - A pizza stone is great for making your own pizzas or heating up frozen pizzas. It is also great for baking bread on, it makes the crust really crispy. I leave mine in the bottom rack of the oven, and it regulates the temperature of the oven better - the stone gets hot, and then releases the heat while the oven is cycling cooler. - An oldie but goodie: if you make bacon, save the grease afterwards in a (clean) glass jar or tin can. You can then use the grease anywhere you would use oil for frying. It makes really good scrambled eggs! Also, lard isn't as bad for us as the health experts have led us to believe, it's not hydrogenated. - Cast iron pans are great for cooking. They last forever and are non-stick with proper care, won't give you teflon poisoning, and can go in the oven too. - If you're making a pot of hard boiled eggs, a tablespoon of vinegar in the water will prevent any cracked eggs from oozing out. There will be a little bit of egg like a scar where it was cracked, but you can still use it for deviled eggs! - If you want to make whipped egg whites but don't want to separate all those eggs, you can use a carton of liquid egg whites. They're sold next to the cartons of eggs in the grocery store. Just make sure that you get real egg whites, without any spices or added egg yolk. "All Whites" is the brand I use. There's usually a measurement exchange on the side of the carton, but mine is 2 Tablespoons egg whites = 1 egg white. - Label all your spices when you get them. I put the date and the name of the spice on top of the lid with a little painter's tape. This makes it easy to see what the spice is from above, and when it is really old. (Most ground spices & herbs are good for about a year, whole spices for 2.) Old spices can taste off and won't have the same punch that fresh ones have.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:54 am
What's for dinner, mom? Jan. 26, 2011 8:48 am Use inexpensive (dollar store) shower caps to cover your bread as it rises. They fit 9 x 5 pans perfectly. Turn inside out to dry and re use. They was easily as well, hang to dry before storing.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:54 am
Tracy Jan. 30, 2011 9:19 am To create a warm space for raising bread in the winter, I use a large plastic tote with a heating pad in the bottom, cover with a towel to catch any flour then a cooling rack to keep the bowl's bottom from getting too warm. The lid of the tote fits over the heating pad cord, the control hangs on the outside.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:54 am
superbrat Feb. 1, 2011 2:51 pm Cut waffles, pancakes, cube bread with a pizza cutter. It beats hacking at it with a fork!
Mar. 20, 2011 7:54 am
Ronalee Feb. 3, 2011 9:19 am Stale bread cut into larger cubes makes great restaurant-quality croûtons.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:54 am
? cookman Feb. 3, 2011 10:29 am Yeast breads need a draftless place to rise. I see all sorts of suggestions. My tip is to turn on oven for a few seconds to start heat. Turn off and test temp. Should be around 90 degrees , not over. When satisfied as to temp put dough in oven covered with a cloth. You will have ideal condition and no draft.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:55 am
? Fyne ? Feb. 4, 2011 8:05 am My tip is a way to cut bread/cheese slices evenly. When cutting look down on your knife blade between the bread/cheese and your hand on the knife handle. Make sure you are seeing only the top of the blade and not the sides of the blade while sawing back and forth. Sorry if that is not clear. It is kinda hard to explain but very easy to demonstrate :-)
Mar. 20, 2011 7:55 am
Mar. 15, 2011 9:30 am I use the time in a bread recipe as a guideline, but I usually start checking my bread about 10 minutes before that amount of time is up. I use an instant-read thermometer and, when the loaves reach 190 degrees F, I take them out and immediately remove them from the pans and onto cooling racks. If I want a softer crust, I'll brush them with melted butter. For French bread, you want to use an actual French bread recipe so you get the proper texture. Almost any yeast bread dough can be baked in an artisan-style loaf like French bread, but the texture will be different depending on the recipe you use. Misting the inside of the oven gives you a crunchy/chewy crust like on the French bread you can buy at bakeries and grocery stores, because it mimics the humid ovens they use at professional bakeries.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:55 am
? Alex Mar. 15, 2011 9:32 am Interesting, I've never heard of taking bread's temperature! The only way I've learned how to tell they're done, other than using the time as a guideline, is to touch/knock the top of it.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:55 am
Mar. 15, 2011 9:33 am I bake it until it is lightly golden brown. Sometimes it is the time on the recipe, and sometimes a little bit longer. I just follow the method mainly on the recipe. If it says to make long baguettes I would and if it says to put in a loaf pan I do that. I use different shape pans, but it is more using a pan vs. not in the recipe. I don't mist the oven. Sounds like a neat idea. Commercial bakeries have misters built into the ovens. I just found the recipe kind of dictates the crust. I really liked the crust on a French Country bread I made from on here. You can check my box for it. It had a very good crust, that was different from the soft crust on Amish bread from on here.
Mar. 20, 2011 7:55 am
? Justus&Dane's Mom Mar. 15, 2011 9:43 am I'm not experienced, but have been trying :) I am finding all my breads have to cook longer than the recipes say - so I start with the time on the recipe and have been trying to do the "thump on top hollow sound" test :) I made a loaf yesterday and one today, both turned out. My recipe says to let cool in pan for 15 min before taking out - so, I've been doing that instead of cutting into it right away. Another steam trick is to put a broiling pan on the bottom of your oven a preheat - right before placing bread in oven, pour 1/2 cup hot water on broiler pan to make steam. I tried a few times, didnt notice a huge difference, so I dont bother :)
Mar. 20, 2011 4:19 pm
When I put my bread in the oven I place a shallow dish filled with ice cubes on the bottom shelf when I am naking French, Italian or any other type bread that I want crusty. The ice melts and creates a fine steam that lasts longer than misting.
Mar. 20, 2011 6:49 pm
I love the feel of fresh smooth dough under the heels of my hands. Prepping the yeast just right, mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon, kneading and raising, and kneading, and baking...I spend entire days baking a variety of breads. My tip is this: Breadmaking, like yoga, brings peace and joy to the heart!
Mar. 21, 2011 6:14 am
From LadySparkle: But, I thought I'd mention that, any bread that is just not quite fresh enough to want to eat, can be made into Panko and kept in the freezer. There's a recipe here on AR for it.
Mar. 21, 2011 6:16 am
Panko recipe:
Mar. 21, 2011 7:20 pm
Answered by: foodiemonster Mar. 21, 2011 5:26 pm Is any of these your problem?: The Crust Is Too Thick * Too much flour * Insufficient rising period * Oven temperature is too low The Bread Is Heavy & Dense * Too much flour added * Insufficient rising period * Certain flours (whole wheat, rye, and others) create a heavier loaf than all-purpose unbleached flour The Bread Is Wet Inside & Has A Coarse Grain * Insufficient rising period The Bread Is Dry & Has A Coarse Grain * Too much flour added * Dough not kneaded long enough * Rising period too long * Oven temperature too low
Mar. 21, 2011 7:21 pm
lk2cook Mar. 21, 2011 6:12 pm Do you mean they are hard when you first make them or the next day? Homemade bread does not have preservatives, so they do tend to dry out faster then commerically made bread. I have the best luck freezing rolls after they cool and they are just as good as fresh when you thaw them. Try making bread recipes with milk and eggs in order to get a lighter, more airy texture if that is what you are having trouble with.
Mar. 21, 2011 7:22 pm
Comments: foodiemonster Mar. 21, 2011 5:28 pm Do you pack/press the flour in the measuring cup when you measure? you shouldn't and you should make sure not to add more than the amount. Also check your oven temperature. I hope this helps.
Mar. 21, 2011 7:23 pm
Comments: Baking Nana Mar. 21, 2011 5:26 pm
Here is a step by step - detailed recipe using the Kitchen Aid mixer. If you are doing this by hand the steps are the same - the time might be longer.
Mar. 22, 2011 5:28 am
A good sourdough starter takes time to develop, if you make one try using grapes. If there's a friendly local bakery, they might give or sell you some.
Mar. 22, 2011 8:39 pm
A made a bread with a "poolish" recently. I believe the name of the recipe was french country bread. I am not sure right now, but it is on my profile. It was a fantastic recipe. I made the poolish (yeast/water/flour) mixture as in the recipe and refridgerated over-night. The texture was great on the bread. I used proofing basket to get neat designs on them also. This site has some excellent bread recipes to get started. I usually make 2 loaves of recipes and freeze one. For ease I usually slice it and freeze it in freezer zip-lock style bags. Then, I can toast or microwave the amount of pieces I need.
Mar. 22, 2011 9:02 pm
My family would make something called "Dough Gods" to this day it is my #1 comfort food- when I can get it! Basically it is a regular white bread dough. Take a piece of it after it is done rising and pull and stretch to make a flat oval disk. We make them about 5"x3". Fry in 3" of oil until golden brown, flip to get both sides. There will be nice ravines (which don't get brown). Spread with butter (which will collect beautifully in spots) and eat with your favorite soup (I like it with a thinner version of potato soup) or simply put butter and jam (homemade!), or peanut butter etc. Sorry I don't have a more exact recipe but it is truly awesome! You can check out a picture in my profile!
Mar. 22, 2011 9:04 pm
Here are links to the photos of Dough Gods
Mar. 23, 2011 6:18 am
My grandmother would make us a breakfast of stale/day old bread that she cubed and mixed with beaten eggs. She would cook it in a large buttered skillet until just a little crispy. We then had the choice of a little salt and pepper (my fave) or dipping in maple syrup. My kids love this now too but they dip in ketchup!
Mar. 23, 2011 7:56 am
When baking quick breads, make sure your oven temperature is right. If it's too hot, your bread will be brown and crispy on the outside and raw inside.
Mar. 23, 2011 7:57 am
Most quick bread recipes can easily be converted into muffins. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.
Mar. 23, 2011 9:04 am
What's for dinner mom reminded me of a comfort food my mom made by steming some dry bread cubes,beasting a couple of eggs with a dash of salt, which was then poured over softened bread . Mixture was fried in butter until browned on one side, then flipped and browned on the other. This was served with homemade grape jelly. So good!!
Mar. 23, 2011 9:05 am
Our name for the above concoction was Bread Omelet.
Mar. 23, 2011 3:57 pm
Answered by: LadySparkle Mar. 23, 2011 3:54 pm This is a good recipe. I use butter instead of margarine and honey instead of white sugar. Bread flour will help as it has added gluten. I make all our bread by hand. I don't keep bread flour around because I can only keep so much flour and I like to use white whole wheat, rye, corn meal, etc. So I use an unbleached mill flour (Cagles Mill is available in our area but King Arthur is also a good brand). I add vital wheat gluten to my bread when I add the flour. I use reconstituted powdered buttermilk, but the buttermilk sub of milk and lemon juice or vinegar works just as well. The acid from the buttermilk and the baking soda (1/2 tsp) will give your bread an extra boost with the gas it emits. I've never heard of kneading by hand too much, however you can knead too much by machine. Kneading builds and strengthens the gluten which holds the gases that the yeast make which makes your bread light and airy. Three rises can help. When you form this bread, be sure to roll it tight or it will leave holes. But, it's a nice moist bread that we really enjoy. Makes especially good toast. Keep at it. There is NOTHING like homemade bread. :)
Mar. 23, 2011 3:59 pm
Answered by: Keri Mar. 23, 2011 3:20 pm It's possible you're adding too much flour and/or not kneading it long enough. Also, if you're not using bread flour, you might try that...even if a recipe calls for all purpose flour. When you're mixing up the dough, only add enough flour to make the dough slightly tacky, but not sticky. You don't want a dry dough. I usually use my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead my bread dough and I let it go for about 10 minutes on speed 2 (my manual says not to go above speed 2 when kneading bread dough). Another thing you might try is letting the dough rise a total of three times - rise the dough ball until double, punch down and rise again, punch down and form your loaves and let it rise one more time before baking.
Mar. 23, 2011 4:26 pm
I always turn my oven light on when I start my bread dough, then when it is ready to rise I cover it with a towel and pop it in the oven on the top rack, then I heat 5 cups of water to boiling, place a large glass baking dish into the oven on the bottom rack pour the boiling water into the glass dish and let the bread rise. It always rises quickly and turns out a wonderfully fluffy dough, I do this for each rising and never have any problems with my bread dough.
Mar. 23, 2011 4:37 pm
I'll see what temperature that makes in my oven... a neat idea! Thanks
Mar. 23, 2011 8:13 pm
Awesome blog! I don't have time to read everyones great comments yet, but I skimmed through. @ Skoo those Dough God pics made me hungry and now I want to try them! I live in Alaska and my kitchen usually has a cold draft blowing through so I love to use my bread machine to mix and let the dough rest and rise. It makes a perfect proof box! You can also preheat your oven and shut it off and let the dough rise in there or even heat up a bowl of water in the microwave, remove the bowl and put in the dough. Bread is always one of the harder things to master when it comes to baking. I bake bread for sandwich every week and I am still changing things around whether it's the recipe itself or the way I am cooking it. I also invested into some pizza stones about a month ago and I am LOVING my pizza and artisan breads more and more! Can't wait till I have a bit of time to read everyones tips myself!
Mar. 24, 2011 3:34 am
One thing I started doing recently from a recipe I made on here was to flour a towel to cover the bread that is rising. If it rises above the pan it doesn't stick to the towel. And, it stops the bread from getting a crust if my home is too warm, while it is rising.
Mar. 24, 2011 8:05 am
TEXASTRACE Mar. 24, 2011 7:58 am I turn my oven on a very high temp while I'm making the dough, then turn it off. I cover the dough and set it at the back of the stove (not on the burner obviously). I find this is a good way to get bread to rise.
Mar. 24, 2011 8:20 am
For rising bread dough, I turn the oven on (temp doesn't matter) and listen for the burners to light (gas oven). I leave the burners lit for about 30 seconds, then turn the oven off and turn the oven LIGHT on. I put my bread dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and put it in the now-warm oven. Turning the burners on for a few seconds pre-heats it and turning the light on makes it a nice, warm little womb for rising bread dough. I do have a problem, though, with the idea of quickly rising bread dough. Bread develops flavor while it's rising. A slow, steady rise provides more flavor than a quick rise. Sourdough bread dough actually takes several hours to rise, if you use only your sourdough starter and no extra yeast, but that long rise time is when the magic happens and you end up with that wonderful sour flavor. patient. Let your bread dough take its time rising and you'll be very pleased with the results.
Mar. 24, 2011 1:16 pm
Thanks, Keri! I was just going to paste your comment from the Buzz and see you already have! Much appreciated :)
Mar. 25, 2011 1:12 pm
To make your bread stay fresh longer and have a great texture, use boiled, mashed potato (1/2 - 1 cup) along with the water or milk, yeast, sugar and a cup or so of flour. Let this sit for 15 minutes or so - till it starts to get bubbly. Then continue on with your recipe. You can use this in most any recipe for basic bread and most other breads. I've found (after making thousands of loaves of bread) that eggs added to the batter seem to lead to bread that dries out faster. Love this blog - lots of great tips!
Mar. 25, 2011 1:53 pm
Love fresh homemade bread. DH's comment on fresh bread- Too bad it doesn't taste as good as it smells. I swear his mother raised him wrong.
Mar. 25, 2011 8:22 pm
Freeze stale/leftover rolls or bread. When fresh breadcrumbs are needed, simply grate from frozen and there you have them. For an awesome crunchy topping for cauliflower cheese - mix grated cheddar with fresh breadcrumbs, about 50/50 or to suit own taste. Make cauliflower cheese in the normal way and cover with cheese/breadcrumb mix. Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown and crunchy. Cauliflower Cheese will become a firm family favourite!
Mar. 26, 2011 10:10 am
I bet that loaf pan has a story all its own!
Mar. 26, 2011 11:55 am
Yes, and I don't know the half of it... it's older than I am and came from England. I think Farmhouse might have been a brand of flour or a bakery?
Mar. 26, 2011 3:53 pm
thank you for all this priceless info! I am going to try one of the recipes for Sunday dinner tomorrow. Bless everyone!
Mar. 27, 2011 4:13 am
lk2cook Mar. 26, 2011 2:39 pm If the first rise is fine but not the second, then the yeast is working OK. How long are you letting the second rise sit? Yeast products rise more slowly when the house temp is cooler. I go don't go but time but watch for it to complete the second rise. What bread recipe are you using that has lard in it?
Mar. 27, 2011 4:17 am
Rohnda Mar. 26, 2011 3:11 pm I'm also continuing to master bread but if you are working with wheat flour you would need to add vital wheat gluten to it to get a better rise. Check the measurements but I think it's something like one tablespoon of gluten per 1 cup of wheat flour. But I'm not positive. Good luck!
Mar. 27, 2011 4:18 am
Marcella Mar. 26, 2011 5:23 pm Let me go through my bread-making process and see if you can spot something. I mix the yeast with warm water and the sugar, or honey, etc. called for in the recipe; water is 110-115 degrees (and I use a thermometer to make sure of temp); wait for yeast to proof, abt. 5 mins.; mix in oil & salt; mix in about 1 cup flour to start and gradually add rest of flour to make dough I can handle; turn out on counter and knead, mixing in however much flour is needed to make dough smooth and not sticky; put in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, place in oven with just the oven light on for 1 hr. to 1 hr 15 mins., until doubled in size; turn out and gently knead briefly, a few seconds; shape into loaf and put in oiled loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap; put back in oven with oven light on for 1 hr., or until dough is risen approx 1 inch above the rim of pan; heat oven to 350 and bake for whatever recipe calls for, usually 30 mins. for regular white bread. Flour, yeast are always fresh; I do not trust how long they say yeast is good for and if I haven't used mine up in a few months, I toss it and buy new. I have never used lard, only oil. I see your problem seems to arise at the second rising. Are you sitting it in the same temp as the first rising? Well, good luck and hope someone on here can help you solve the dilemma!
Mar. 27, 2011 4:21 am
lk2cook Mar. 26, 2011 5:45 pm Your earlier remark sounds like you are letting it rise THREE times???? I don't think that is necessary or recommended for most recipes. Try only 2 rises next time......".....The first and second are fine. It's after that when ...."
Mar. 27, 2011 4:24 am
BigShotsMom Mar. 26, 2011 6:37 pm I do 3 rises for most breads. It makes them fluffier. It sounds like he isn't getting any oven spring either. Try this recipe, it always works for me.
Mar. 27, 2011 4:26 am
cupcake fan Mar. 26, 2011 8:58 pm dont know if I can help... but try lard AND use a "hotbox" technique, which is nothing but a really warm box that stays at the same temp for the rise time. I cheat like mad and take my portable electric heater and turn that on in a BIG box for 10 minutes and leave it on. KEEP WATCH, it might set the box on fire! not the way to cook bread! lol sorry, anyway it sounds like the room temp (not the same after taken out of oven, the bread just gives up) is also a prob. I leave the heater on a low setting until the bread is the way I like it. About 30 minutes BEFORE you want to bake off the dough, turn on regular oven. That way dough goes right from hotbox to hot oven and will bake. like me, you gotta attempt many times before you get it right. Now everyone is asking for the bread on my baking days. always use bread flour as it has the extra gluten. you already know about the baking powderand yeast situations. just keep praticing! and feed the birds outside with the mistakes.
Mar. 27, 2011 4:29 am
zeebee Mar. 26, 2011 9:49 pm hang in there, steve. if the kneading and initial rises are going fine, you are doing something right! :) i don't have as much experience with bread as others do around the buzz, and you can try re-posting your question at another time to get more answers, btw. my theory is the gluten is being damaged when you shape. i suggest making sure you only let the dough rise until ALMOST double in bulk, in the bowl. if it rises too much the gluten strands are over-stretched and weakened and will not hold up well. the second rising period should go faster than the first, since the yeast have multiplied. there are tricks for shaping, too, does your book include this info? the protein in flour does vary, too. try bread flour or adding vital wheat gluten. professional bakers at King Arthur Flour can also help, i have used the live chat and here is their link:
Mar. 27, 2011 4:48 am
lk2cook Mar. 26, 2011 2:43 pm There are a few tricks to working with phyllo. ALWAYS leave the part you are not using covered with a damp dish towel. If it dries out it will crumble and break. Lay out all of the items you need BEFORE puttin out the phyllo (melted butter, pastry brush, filling, etc.) Work quickly so it doesn't dry out. Try using 2-3 sheets instead of one if you have issues with tearing. This way the finished product also won't be as greasy. Products made from phyllo are best when fresh since the layers do get soggy if it sits around too long after baking.
Mar. 28, 2011 5:12 am
Zephyr's Lovey Mar. 27, 2011 11:52 am Are you working with a specific recipe? Generally, with gluten free flours you must also add Xantham Gum and/or Guar Gum, etc. but that would be specified in the recipe.
Mar. 29, 2011 4:03 pm
Answered by: AnnTyz Mar. 29, 2011 12:36 pm to avoid "flour bugs" place all purchased grain products in the freezer overnight the day you purchase them. You can take them out of the freezer after 24 hours. Any eggs that may be in it will die so you will not get them.
Mar. 30, 2011 8:09 pm
Doughgirl8 Mar. 30, 2011 4:43 pm Just use a bowl scraper or your hands to pull the dough off the hook every now and then. I usually let the dough go for a good 12 to 15 minutes on low speed. To test for gluten development, flour or grease your fingers and pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough: you should be able to stretch it into a thin, translucent "windowpane." If it tears, go a little longer [it's very hard to overmix dough in a home kitchen]. Good luck!
Mar. 31, 2011 6:27 pm
[re: yeast] redneck gramma Mar. 31, 2011 6:24 pm we have them here as solid feeling bricks, but they are vacuum packed. Active yeast needs to be proofed, but I prefer using it as I know the yeast is alive when I add it to bread. The other yeast is added to dry ing. Don't be intimidated by proofing, use 1 cup warm water, 110 degrees, a tsp of sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Wait for it to grow.
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Marvel's Kitchen

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Marvel is my mother's name and her kitchen is where I started learning to cook. It should also be Gramma's kitchen, Auntie Jean's, Auntie Phil's, etc. Still learning from friends, family and you all. Many thanks and all the best!
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