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bakeuhappy's picture
bakeuhappy

i recently started baking wheat bread and having problem.the surface of the bread does not turn out right.its either wrinkled or cracks.can anyone help?

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Ever since txfarmer posted her recipe these have been on my "to bake' list, and once my grandgirls saw the cute "bone" cutters there was no excuse. Lily and I mixed the dough on Saturday afternoon but for various reasons we wrapped it well and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. It sat on the counter while I made the requisite Sunday morning sourdough pancakes which were voted the best ever, maybe because I used my cookie scoop and the pancakes were smaller than usual. Then Lily and I started rolling and cutting, and yes, it makes a lot of biscuits! Margaret had a good book but did stop by now and again to admire our efforts. Glad to say they are dog approved by their two dogs who inhaled them and by my elderly mostly toothless Pug who takes more time to eat one. So thank you, txfarmer, and good wishes to Ruby from the Whidbey Island dogs, A.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

So, yes, this evening we had a user get upset and try to expunge himself from the site.  For now, I have shut down the account.


Sadly, there isn't a simple way for a user to erase his or her own account and all associated content or for me to do that.  They've added that feature to the next version of Drupal, the software this site runs on.  It is the oldest feature request in the system (look at the URL... it is node number 8).  For almost 10 years people have been asking for this feature. I do want to respect individual's ability to manage their own information and remove it if/when they decide to leave, but until Drupal 7 comes out and I upgrade the site (early 2011?) there isn't a reliable way to do that. My apologies.


I don't think it is appropriate to get into the specifics about what led up to this, but at a high level:



  • member A left a rather specious comment on a three year old thread that, frankly, I should just delete.

  • member B made a moderately nasty reply insulting member A.

  • member A flagged member B's comment as offensive, as did a few other folks here.

  • I removed the offending comment and asked member B to please be more courteous, even if privately I agreed with his opinion.  

  • Member B did not respond well to this and, after first asserting that it is my responsibility to verify that all posts are factual, began the self-immolation.

  • I closed member B's account and cleaned up what I could.


In the five years I've run this site, I think I've been pretty consistent about the policy here.  If I could boil it down to four words, it'd be "Don't be a jerk" (though I tend to use a stronger word than that).  There are thousands and thousands of unmoderated listservs and bulletin boards online where the loudest and the snarkiest rule.  I'm not going to let the happen here.


It is also true that I don't believe that being right or a being a better baker gives one the right to treat others disrespectfully: there are plenty of things that I am convinced I am right about that I probably disagree with many site members about. I'm sure they are equally convinced their views are correct and that I am the foolish one.  So it goes.  If we can find a civil way to exchange opinion, correct facts, and help each other see things from the other's perspective that is wonderful, but if it is going to slide into mudslinging and name calling I will ask folks to move along and discuss something else (like an NYC cop: "Alright people: shows over.").  


Similar incidents have happened a few times before and I'm sure will happen again.  I don't hold any ill will against the parties who've been asked to leave or who've chosen to leave on their own and I hope they will respect -- even if they disagree with -- my approach and what I've tried to accomplish here.  Many folks enjoy this environment and are willing to check some of their opinions at the door, but I understand that this doesn't work for everyone.  Thankfully the internet is a big place and there is room for all of us.

Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

I've posted a brief review of the Tartine Bread book here at ChewsWise.com. I've really enjoyed baking with it, and wanted to show off my results of his whole wheat loaf, which is actually 70% whole wheat. Here's a picture. (I also didn't post the entire piece because I've had problems posting on the Fresh Loaf blog). 


Tartine whole wheat

Caramel's picture
Caramel

Hello,


I'm trying to buy a new mixer for bread and laminated dough. I already have a kitchen aid for everyday use, and wanted to buy a good and strong spiral mixers with a reasonable price. I only bake for my family and friends, so looking into 8, 10 or 12 quarts size for 1-2 KG dough. Not sure what kind of brands is good out there, so I need everyone's help. I was looking to Eurodib, Anvil, Univex, globe or Centaur mixers. Does anyone familiar with those brands?


Thank you..

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

It has been an exciting few weeks since the Foodista Best Of Food Blogs Cookbook has been published. I have met many new friends via email from around the world who have won this contest. My entry was Cartellate Cookies from Puglia a family recipe made during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The recipe can be found in the book and in my blog.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/foodista-best-of-food-blogs-cookbook-is-in-bookstores/



txfarmer's picture
txfarmer


When I buy new cloths/shoes, I tend to always wear them in the begining. Same thing with baking books, I am still on the Tartine Bread Book wagon, so here's another one: olive oil brioche. I always thought brioche is all about showcasing the flavor of butter, but apparently it can be made with olive oil (no butter) and it's a traditional bread from south of France.


I broke out my best olive oil for this one - A TON OF it too, looking that the half empty bottle, i was hoping the result would be worthwile, and it was! Very frangrant, flavorful, and soft, different from the butter ones I made before, but has its own unique charm.



The mixing process was a tad scary. Oil was added after most of the gluten was developed (just like butter broiche recipes), but the dough was literally swimming in a huge puddle of oil at first, didn't seem possible for it to completely absorb the oil. Just be patient, it took quite a few minutes, but all of a suddent, the dough absorbed it all and became silky smooth. Yes, it's still wet and sticky, just like a brioche dough should be, but very smooth. Other than that, the process is straightforward: levain and poolish were added to the final dough for flavor; extra dry yeast was also added so it's a fairly quick bread to make; the dough can also be frozen for up to a week (defrose in fridge overnight before shaping) which also makes it flexible.


 


I combined this formula with another brioche formula in the same book - removed a pound of the dough aftter mixing and added toasted hazelnut, prosciutto, thyme, and pepper, utterly delicious!



I kneaded the dough very well, hence the airy soft rich crumb for both variations.



The full recipe makes a lot of dough, I halved it, still got 1500g of dough. Other than the small brioche tete, also made a big one (500g) using my brand new ceramic mold. Went a little overboard with the egg wash (3 layers!), so it's kinda dark on top, but it's not burned. Just super fragrant and flavorful.



The formula can be found in the book, or the preview link at amazon.com.



Sending this to Yeastspotting.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

German Feinbrot


When I moved to Maine in 2001, to get even - with the guy who had sold me a houseful of furniture - but refused to give me a rebate - I knew I would be in big trouble. And I was right, after two days my stomach started complaining and my brain kept sending "gag" signals, when I walked the supermarket aisles and encountered nothing but row after row of "wonderbreads".


Poking so-called rye, multigrain, oat nut or wheat breads with my finger, I found no resistance. I could squeeze them through their plastic bags and they would  spring back to their original size when I let go. Even when toasted they retained their squishyness and would not tolerate butter or jam without getting soft and soggy. 


The only place that sold some good bread in Bangor was (and still is) the "Bagel Factory". This bakery cafe was my oasis in the desert, and still, whenever I go to Bangor I take a bag of poppyseed bagels home. But great as these bagels are, they are white, a bit sweet and soft, and not dark, tangy and crusty, like the everyday rye sourdoughs I craved.


Having two warm meals a day was another thing my stomach refused to adapt to. German families usually eat bread and cold cuts either for lunch or for dinner.  German schools don't offer lunch, and Mother cooks at home. As a working mom I used to see this daily cooking as chore and a bad idea - until my daughter went to Bangor High, and had to eat at the school cafeteria (this experience made her learn how to cook, and gave birth to a career as chef!).


Finally I couldn't take my stomach's growling anymore. I started seeing bread Fata Morganas by day, and dreamt of crusty loaves by night. So I went on the quest to make "Feinbrot". The first step was, of course, a recipe. That was already a big hurdle. Nobody in Germany bakes Feinbrot at home, you can buy several varieties in every bakery and supermarket. There was none in my baking books, and none in the internet, only specialty breads, but not the simple loaf I was looking for.


And then, how to make sourdough? I didn't have the slightest idea. At a gift shop in Bangor, I found the "French Farmhouse Cookbook" and there was a recipe for Pain au Levain, with soudough. Full of enthusiasm I started my first starter, and, also, as backup and comparison, I mixed a starter from a store bought package.


My first breads, two twin loaves from the different starters and the recipe from the book, resulted in two almost identical bricks. Saving always a cup of dough to use as starter for the next bread, I kept on baking, producing more bricks on the way - my husband suggested keeping a supply next to our bed in case of a home invasion - and experimented with different amounts of rye, bread flour, temperatures and baking times, using the original recipe only as initial guideline.


After several weeks - and bricks - my homemade starter was way ahead of the store bought mix, in flavor and activity. Slowly, in trial and error, I figured out what bread flour/rye ratio I liked best, and what temperature settings and baking times gave the best results. Finally my bread had the right taste and right crumb - but the crust was either thick and and hard, or thin but too soft. Nevertheless, that was all I thought I could do - and Richard, the best of husbands, ate it all!


An open house tour with my daughter at the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, left me green with envy. Valerie was going to learn how to make baguettes - from a real French pastry chef! I went home, and, since I couldn't be one, at least I could buy one "Bread Bakers' Apprentice".


Reading the instructions I was struck by an epiphany! I had always (as stated in my recipes) just placed a cup with cold water together with the bread in the oven. And now I learned how to set up my oven for hearth baking - with stone and STEAM. Finally I was not only able to bake French bread, but my humble everyday Feinbrot was transformed, too!



Feinbrot crumb


Recipe:    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20242/karin039s-german-feinbrot


 


 


 


 


 

Terrell's picture
Terrell

Greetings, bakers!


It's been a pretty good week in Portland. After months of being out of work, I have two jobs, seem to be on track for a third and I'm pretty sure at least one of those will continue post-Christmas. I know it's just seasonal work, but I'm really feeling like this Portland experiment has just taken a decided turn for the better. To celebrate, I decided to do a sweet bread this week. Thumbing through the Point of Departure, the bread book I've been baking my way through, I came across a recipe for a Cardamom Braid. That fit the sweet bread criteria and seemed appropriate for the seasonal nature of the new job. My brother married a woman who is half Swedish and cardamom braid is mandatory at their Christmas morning celebrations. She won't open a present until the braid is sliced and ready to eat. It's always delicious so I decided to see how close this recipe would be to theirs. Turns out, it's not quite the same. Lydia's version is flatter and sweeter, probably uses a softer dough and more sugar. I also seem to remember a bright yellow color, possibly saffron, that this one doesn't have. And my crust was way browner, partly my fault from letting it bake a few minutes too long, but also inherent in the recipe. Hers is barely golden and very soft, definitely not the crispy crust I got. On the other hand, the taste of my loaf was excellent, slightly sweet with a spicy cardamom flavor. I also liked the moist, chewy texture. I'm thinking next time a lower oven temperature, a slightly softer dough and brushing with something other than milk might get me exactly what I want.


Cardamom Braid from The Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups all purpose flour (I substituted white whole wheat flour here with excellent results)

  • small amounts of milk and sugar for brushing and sprinkling


In a large bowl combine one cup of all-purpose flour, the yeast and the cardamom. In a small saucepan heat the milk, sugar, butter and salt until warm, stirring frequently to melt the butter. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the egg. Beat the mixture well for several minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough. (I used almost all of the two cups but I think I will back that off slightly next time.) Turn out onto a floured surface and knead till smooth, about 5 or 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat and let rise, covered, until double, about an hour and a half.


Braided    Risen


When double, punch down and divide in thirds. Let rest while you prepare a pan. I use two nested jelly roll pans lined with parchment paper but you can grease if you prefer. Roll each third into a 16-inch rope and place about one inch apart on prepared pan. Braid loosely, pinching the ends together and tucking them under. Cover and let rise until double, about 45 minutes.


Preheat oven to 375. (Next time, I'll try it at 325, I think.) Brush with milk and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar. (I plan to look for some decorative sugar for this step.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. (I got distracted and let it go almost 30 which was too long.) Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.


Baked


I'm looking forward to making this for Christmas morning with the great-nephews. I think it will be a hit. Any of you Scandahoovians out there want to give me tips for making this perfect?


 Sliced

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