The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

corrected version form Kansas City

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Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

corrected version form Kansas City

Hi,


Not knowing much about it, we did what every one does in the twenty first century, go on line and learn how. We tried a few recipes, then adopted the one that was the most fun. Flour, water, yeast, and salt (oops i forgot the salt again tonight).


There's even a jar on top the cabinet, full of goo we named Hodgson, it's a little over a week old. We even put it's offspring in the fridge last night, when we noticed it makes our bread taste like raspberries, my wife thinks it taste like grapes. We call the offspring Hodgson jr. Hodgson is the brand of yeast used.


It's not really sourdough, but good for practice until spring when fungi can start blowing in the wind. It started out as a poolish, then we just kept it alive. Right now it's diet is a tspn of rye, one of whole wheat, oat bran, and one of corn meal, with a cup of water and a cup of all purpose flour.


Mostly we use a five quart cast iron chicken fryer, or a seven quart dutchoven to bake it in. Using charcoal on top and under it. Once in a while we use this bread maker we found in a junk store, for seven bucks. We don't put charcoal on it, but we do put a lamp on it. You'd think they'd warm those things up during the rising period. It's bread doesn't come out as nice as the cast iron pans though.

You guys seem like a good bunch, so if you don't mind, i'll hang out for a spell. I'm housebroken (er... mostly), and have a few manners. Maybe someday i'll send a picture of my bread.

see ya

jeffrey

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Jeffrey,

Welcome to the Fresh Loaf. The folks who frequent the site tend to be a friendly, generous bunch, so make yourself at home.

I haven't tried doing the Dutch Oven and coals approach, but have had some tasty food from people who do. There have been a couple of posters here who have built their own wood-fired mud and/or brick ovens outdoors and are happily experimenting with baking their bread that way. I've been content to stick with a conventional oven in the kitchen.

Where in the KC area do you live? I live in Overland Park.

PMcCool

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

So, i found a neighbor, sort of.  We live up North, near the I-29 I-35 split.

The duthoven isn't so bad, but it cooks slow, and you need to throw on some extra coals, to get a dark crust.  The chicken fryer cooks a loaf before the coals burn down, but if it's more than two pounds, the top of the loaf is to close to the lid and it gets a bit too dark.  Perhaps if i brought the coals closer to the bottom, and took some off the top.  The dutch oven would be great inside an oven.  Someday, i'll stick a five pound loaf in it.

A passive day dream, is to build a series of clay ovens.  Just as soon as we can find some affordable clay.  The first will be electric, then the wood fired ones.  Sometimes we run out of sticks.  It just seems like a good idea to get heat all around, thus the clay.

 Oh, you have some nice pictures posted,  we wondered, what is BBA, bread baking adventure?

 jeffrey

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

is definitely appropriate, but BBA in this context refers to the book Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. It is one of several excellent books on bread baking that are currently available. As you look around the site, you'll probably notice repeated references to Reinhart's books, as well as those by Dan Lepard, Maggie Glezer, Rose Levy Berenbaum and others. I wouldn't begin to try to tell you which one is "best", since they all bring different (and valuable) viewpoints and approaches to breadmaking.

I'm glad you like the pictures. Making the transition from film to digital is offering lots of teachable moments for me. Not unlike making bread, really.

PMcCool

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

Thank you once again, i need to get a good book, right now though learning the hard way is still fun.  So far even the mistakes are good to eat.  except when you make bread that's too sticky in the bread machine.  It sticks to the side, and burns there.  We're beginning to realize why my sister gave her bread machine away.

Do you know of a restaurant that serves great artisan bread around here? 

jeffrey

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Jeffrey,

I need to get out more, apparently. None of the restaurants that I've been to in the past couple of years offer artisanal breads, much less great ones. The two that come closest would be Panera and The Atlanta Bread Company, which is pretty much a Panera clone. They make some decent breads, considering that they are both big chain stores, but I'm not sure that I would call either of them artisan bakers.

There's a new French bakery (I'll have to find the name) that opened up in O.P. last year. It's located a block south of 119th Street on Glenwood. They are turning out some pretty good bread. The husband is French and trained there. The wife, who is American, tells me that their deck oven is the second largest one installed by the French manufacturer in the U.S. Their shop includes a small cafe offering sandwiches and pastries.

There is also a commercial bakery in the area, the Farm to Market Bakery, whose breads I'm starting to see in local supermakets. It's a small, family-run business. I have purchased some of their bread at farmers markets and enjoyed it. If you happen to see some of their stuff, you might want to give it a try.

If I weren't baking my own bread, I'd probably be more aware of who is baking what. As it is, I'm just not too thrilled to pay someone else $3-$6 a loaf for something that I could make at home for less money and more fun.

PMcCool

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

Thank you again, I'll have to look for the place on Glennwood.

 

Your right though, it's so much more exciting, to open up a fresh loaf, you made yourself, than to buy it already made.

 

jeffrey

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Jeffrey,

While out running some errands during lunch today, I swung by the bakery. It's name is: Artisan Francais, A French Bakery.

It's located in a little shopping center on the west side of Glenwood, just south of 119th Street, next door to Johnny's Tavern. You can get your grain and yeast in either a liquid or solid form. Just choose the door that suits you best!

PMcCool

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

yep, Artisan Francais is really good, thanks for the tip

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Jeffrey,

 

I'm glad that you enjoyed it.  I hope the rest of your birthday was as good or even better.

 

PMcCool

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

On my birthday, Wednesday, i get to pick where to eat, sort of.  If it works out, we'll go there.  I never had any fancy bread, before i made it.  Well, it's not that fancy yet.

Wendy, said she got some sourdough bread at Price Choppers once, i don't remember it, so it must not have been to impressive.