The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yummy bread!

MandyMakesBread's picture
MandyMakesBread

Yummy bread!


 


So I've been baking for a few weeks now and I am enjoying myself tremendously.  I've made bread for home and for friends now and I just love it.  


I've learned some tricks from reading on here that were very helpful. The most helpful to me was the 10 tips on here for making french bread.  How to get the crust brown has been a problem, but no more!  Now I crank the heat up higher and add some water to the bottom of the oven and my results are brown and crusty bread!   


I have a bowl of poolish sitting out right now in preparation for making some french bread with dinner tonight.  :-)


 


Mandy

Alfie's picture
Alfie

You are doing a lot of things right.  Congratulations!

MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

I'm just not a fan of the black crusted breads and your bread looks wonderful.


what type/recipe is it ? and how did you m anage to get the nice gold color to the crust

MandyMakesBread's picture
MandyMakesBread

Hi,


recipe for round loaf is Speedy No-Knead Bread - 3 cups flour, 1 pack yeast, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups warm water, small amt of olive oil for folding.  


Combine all and stir just until blended.  Dough will be very wet.  Cover bowl w/plastic and place in warm spot until doubled.  Mine takes about 1.5 hours.  Put small amt of EVOO onto work surface and turn out bread.  wipe your hands in the oil so nothing stick and just stretch and fold the dough a couple times.  Grab your cooking vessel w/lid and place in oven to preheat at 450degrees for 30 mins.  Let your dough rise another half hour right there on the counter while the pot and oven get real hot.  After 30 mins, pull out pot (carefully) and pick up the dough and put it in the pot.  It will sizzle immediately.  Put the lid on and put in oven for 30 mins.  Take lid off and cook another 15 mins.  That's what makes what you see in the pic.  


As for the french bread - 1 pack yeast, 4 cups flour, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 cup warm water.  Knead 5 mins, let rest while cleaning bowl with hot water.  Knead a couple more mins, place in bowl.  Let rise in warm place covered until doubled (mine 2 hours).  Turn out dough and knead a couple mins.  Cut dough into 2 loaves.  Shape each loaf.  Place onto greased baking sheet and score.  Let rise again until much bigger.  About another 1 to 1 1/2.  Then put in already hot oven.  400 degrees.  As soon as you put it in put about 1/2 cup onto oven floor.  Yes just dump it in fast and close the door.  This creates the steam you need for that pretty crust.  I do this again after 10 mins.  Total cooktime for me is 35 mins. 


My shaping is still horrible but I love the cooked loaves.  I too am not a fan of the very dark brown and almost black loaves.  


Thanks.  

Cooking202's picture
Cooking202

and it has inspired me to give french bread another try.  I don't understand why such a simple bread can give me such a hard time.  Thanks so much for the lovely pictures and the recipes.


Carol

MandyMakesBread's picture
MandyMakesBread

There are several things that can really hurt you when baking (i've learned).


1. Yeast - make sure it's fresh, the poolish also helps and is in this site's 10 Tips to french bread. 


2. Flour - make sure you are using decent flour.  I don't use expensive flour, I use Gold Medal AP unbleached or KA bread flour (when on sale).


3. Kneading - this part is tricky and I just learned by watching youtube videos.  One important part of this french bread (i think) is just to let the dough rest while washing the bowl and again when forming the loaves. 


4. Color - in order to get that color on the french bread (the round loaf does it in the container as it releases the water in the dough) is steam.  You gotta create steam inside there.  I tried this by patting water on the dough with my hand = didn't work, I also tried using a spray bottle = didn't work either, so I've done this method now twice and it's come out like a charm each time now. 


The no-knead bread is the easiest to do since you don't knead. 


Good luck and keep trying.  Just like another person said, read the tips on here, watch videos and things and just keep trying.  When I started baking about a month and a half ago I started trying a sourdough starter.  Every single attempt at that has been a complete failure.  LOL.  So I realized I needed to do more simple things until I gain the respect of it to attempt sourdough again.  I'll try it again later.   

JoeV's picture
JoeV

Beautiful, tasty looking bread.

breadmantalking's picture
breadmantalking

So glad you are enjoying the bread baking and also learning some of the secrets. This is truly a great bread baking website. I read the posts and sample the recipes almost on a daily basis. You might also want to have a look at www.breadmantaling.blogspot.com which is a hands-on bread baking site with lots of good recipes. New ones posted about one or two a week.


Happy holidays,


David

MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

David .. I just tried and that site doesn't exist ?? do you have a new address for it ? I'm always ready for new blogs about breads


Micki

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost
MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

that's kinda what I thought. I found it and thanks .. nice site

breadmantalking's picture
breadmantalking

glad you enjoyed the blog. Please pass the address along to anyone you think might be interested.


All the best,


 


David at: www.breadmantalking.blogspot.com

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

It's such incredibly simple ingredients, which takes a LOT of practice to make into a great loaf of bread.  Knowing what it should look and feel like helps a lot, and the tips and tricks can be quite hard to find if you don't know where to look.  I have been baking bread for many years, and there were times I felt like I was banging my head against the wall and would never get it.  I bake a lot of sourdough baguettes, french loaves, and rolls, plus I bake sandwich type breads with whole wheat for my husband and son.  For many years I would hit and miss on recipes, but usually my breads would turn out pretty good.  This website has been a really good resource for learning, and I actually have spent a LOT of time reading through it picking up tips where I can. 


I am so impressed by some of these new bakers who are baking these incredible loaves of artisan bread.  I think they must have spent a lot of time reading through the handbook and lessons on this site, and the posts by the incredibly knowledgeable posters on the forums. 


I am enjoying the time I have now that I am a little older, and a new found patience that I never had in the past.  Don't despair Carol, you will figure it out if you just keep trying.

breadmantalking's picture
breadmantalking

for the recipes I look forward to trying them out.


Happy Holidays


David

MandyMakesBread's picture
MandyMakesBread

Read through the 10 tips of french bread on here, it's really helpful.