The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Patti McD's picture
Patti McD

I am brand new to this site. Growing up, my mother used to bake bread once a week and it was wonderful! I want to start baking my own bread from scratch. I currently have and use a bread machine with prepackaged yeast and flour to put into the machine. But where do I go to purchase good wheat in quantity? What kind of a grinder is best? Do you use elecrtric mixers? I'm interested in trying to bake from scratch, and supplementing my baking with my bread machine. Any tips would be appreciated. I live in Montana. Thank You.

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I have had fun the last two days :)

I like not having to make mess or worry about kneading for 10 mins. Thats KAM's job :)

 

 

I made some oat bread and a lovely fruit loaf

 

A crumb shot.

 

The recipe for the fruit loaf is over at my new food blog but it is explained in simpler terms or more detailed depends on who you are. I mixed it in my mixer for 4 mins....gave my mixer a rest as the instructions said "mix bread for 2 mins then another 2 mins and it should be ready" I say they are wrong and so mix for a couple of mins and give it a rest. I wanted to have good gluten development, and it surely did that :) The crumb is so soft :)

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey



Sourdough chocolate cherry bread has become a Valentine's Day tradition around our house. This time around, I reduced the chocolate a bit to make it a bit more manageable to toast (molten chocolate all over the toaster oven is a real pain in the neck) and used some of Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail Starter that Leemid was nice enough to pass along at the Oregon Fresh Loafers' Meet-up back in September.



Awfully tasty stuff.

For the President's Day weekend, I did a bit of baking, but was most satisfied with the whole grain sourdough hearth bread that I set up Monday night and baked this morning, which went very well with some chicken soup and a salad this evening. This time around, however, I forgot about folding the dough and so, just before I went to sleep, I remembered that I'd not done a thing with the bread, beyond hydrating it. Out of necessity, I jumped out of the sheets and did the "French Fold." It turned out very well indeed, flavor-wise, at least.



OFF TOPIC NON-BREAD PHOTOS AND CONTENT FOLLOW

Not that anyone cares about that, of course, but this is a bread forum, after all. Anyway, on Monday, I had the day off while my poor academic wife had to teach class. My daughter was taken care of at her school, so I had ... gasp ... a day to myself!

From my house ... well, actually, from down the street, you can see Dimple Hill towering over the valley, a bald hill that stands just five feet shy of 1,500 feet tall. It's probably not a mile from my house as the crow files, but if you have to hoof it like most mortals, it's nearly a 4 mile hike. And it's lovely. Until today, we had 5 or 6 straight days of clear skies and brilliant sun, which soaked all the way down to my bones. On Monday, I was itching to hit the trail.

I walked through the Timberhill Open Space, into Chip Ross Park, and then took Dan's Trail to the top. It's a lovely walk through meadows, old orchards and managed forest. It's not old growth by any stretch as it's smack in the middle of the Oregon State McDonald Research Forest, but it does pass by at least one old growth stand.

The scenery is nice.


But the view from the top is a real treat. Here's a view to the east of the snow-capped Cascades and the Three Sisters. Snow pack in the Cascades is about 190% of normal, so the sisters are all decked out in wedding attire.



To the West a view of Marys Peak, which, at 4,097 feet, is the tallest mountain in the Oregon Coast Range.



And right before me, Corvallis' little corner of the southern Willamette Valley.



The rain does get to me a bit when it goes on, uninterrupted, for weeks on end. But it sure is fun discovering what a beautiful part of the country I now live in.

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I am having an affair. I cannot stop thinking aboput him and the possibilities! Oh the possibilities! 

His name is Kam
Thats right. Kam.  My Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer!
*sighs happily*

I made bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls yesterday with little to no mess.
My kitchen after making all that, would normally be coated in cement like dough and flour with bowls everywhere.
(I knead on the benches which takes ages to clean/disinfect with natural stuff before hand and clean the dough off afterwards)

I have no pictures, but I am making some oat bread today as well as looking at making some breakfast rolls.
I was naughty and ate half a cinnamon roll for breakfast - I ate two last night!(they are small anyway, but I hate eating sweet stuff for breakfast....lets just kick out pancreas into shock for the day shall we?) I just have no will power when it comes to cinnamon rolls. :)
SO while eating it and feeling guilty, it dawned on me that I should make a healthy alternative. I had a vision of oat loaf dough dotted with presoaked currants and apricots all soft and gooey, Medjool date pieces also soft and succulent, grated apple to sweeten and perhaps cinnamon or mixed spice or even cardamon. Then filled with St Dalfour Apricot Jam and rolled up. I may even add some ground nuts to it somewhere (should avoid latge nut pieces for Ellas sake)

That to me sounds like a delicious, healthy alternatative to uber sweet and decadent cinnamon rolls!

Then I also am thinking of an oat bread dough, made into plain swirl rolls with different fillings such as St Dalfour Jams, stewed fruit, date puree, a fruit and nut mixture.  I suppose I should just experiment. Make a double batch of Oat bread dough, and halve it. Make fruit rolls with Jam filling, and the rest as plain scrolls with jam, fruit puree and or fruit and nut fillings.

 

Oh the things Kam and I can do together!

 

Posts and pics to come.

TGB 

 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I rose my sourdough overnight last night, shaped it this morning, and baked it around noon. By the time I got my camera out, one loaf had been devoured and the second was reduced to this:

sourdough loaf

One thing to note: I forgot it and left it in the oven an extra 10 minutes or so. Every time I do this I am pleased with the result. Dark bread is well-baked bread!

I also tried the Lavash crackers from the BBA:

crackers

Eh... I didn't roll it thin enough, so it was more like a flat bread than a cracker. I also found the dough to be sweeter than what I'd expected. Perhaps this is the nature of lavash, I don't know. Next time I'll roll them out thinner and leave out the honey.

I also baked a buttermilk sandwich bread with some cake yeast I was given by a friend (Catlikethief). I'd never tried the stuff before. It smelled foul when I took it out of the fridge, but it definitely did the trick. I'll be interested to taste the bread in the morning to see if the flavor is at all different.

ejm's picture
ejm

cinnamon swirl(ish) bread
I saw SourdoLady's most beautiful looking Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread and decided I had to make it. Luckily, even though mine was a miserable failure at a cinnamon swirl, it still tastes good.
Floydm's picture
Floydm

Sylvia Burgos has a podcast dedicated to artisan bread, cheese, and wine. In the latest episode she chats with Peter Reinhart and yours truly.

Listen here.

And, yes, I know I got the hydration backward. "100% flour, 65% water" it should be. I was tired.

Gotta go heat my oven for today's baking.

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

Hubby and I discussed the pros and cons of a dough mixer.

The pros won and I now own a kitchen aid artisan miser! We took a 5 year warranty out on it just in case, so now, I am going to go mad this week playing with it!

YAY!

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat

 

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat Crumb

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat Crumb

 

I was inspired by zolablue's photos of her baking of this bread and the enthusiastic comments of all the others who made it. So, this was my first attempt. I say "first attempt" because, while this bread is absolutely delicious, it did not have the gorgeous big holes that zola's did and that this bread should have.

 

I used whole rye flour and Guisto's Baker's Choice. I developed the gluten well, I think. Either the whole rye required more water be added or the Guisto's flour wasn't quite strong enough, or both. Maybe I "patted" the dough a little too firmly and busted too many of the big bubbles.

 

Any other thoughts or suggestions for improving my next attempt will be appreciated.

 

And, by the way, I wouldn't want to encounter these slugs crawling out of my garden, either. They are kinda cute, though, in a way.

 

David 

 

 

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