The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gidday from Sydney, Australia

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Gidday from Sydney, Australia

Hi everyone,
I just made the lesson 1 basic white bread loaf.
Vert happy with the result. I Noticed a distinct change to the glossy and silky dough during needing, rising and punch down went fine, shaping needs some work, I made 2 medium sized loafs, nice crust and fluffy inside, slight yeasty smell, but not over powering.
Can't wait to make the next one. I am keen to try semolina as an ingredient too. I am having trouble getting flour with a protein strength any higher than 12%.
Does anyone have any advise on machine versus hand. I am looking at an ebay Kenwood Chef (new Kitchen Art and the like in Australia are AUD$750.00 plus). I made the lesson 1 loaf by hand.
Thanks and I hope to be talking with you all soon
Regards Chris

KazaKhan's picture
KazaKhan

Laucke Wallaby flour is popular and available at Coles.
I replaced my Kenwood Chef with this, much better ;-)

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Thanks, I'll look out for that flour, and that is some serious piece of equipment.

I think I'll take baby steps first, but maybe one day I'll get one. Chris

Ford's picture
Ford

In most cases you can mix and knead with your own arms and hands.  Only with some very slack doughs, are mixers really necessary, and accomplished bakers can handle those without resorting to machines.  (I'm not one of those.)

Ford

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Thanks Ford, I actually enjoyed the process of kneeding, and did not find it tiring at all, I am sure you can guage the development of the batter better if you hand kneed. Cheers Chris.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I don't have an electric mixer and have no intention of getting one. Have never come across a SD recipe that couldn't be hand-mixed relatively easily, and as for kneading...I rarely do it. Like many here, I usually stretch and fold instead. Of course, electric mixers are convenient and have their purposes, so horses for courses. Just pointing out you don't need one if you're making bread, pizza etc in small quantities for family, friends etc.

Cheers
Ross

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Hi Ross, Thanks for the post, I actually decided not to buy the mixer, as for a couple of loafs a week, I quite like the hand kneeding. You mention stretch and fold, what is this technique?

Regards Chris

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hi Chris

Many of us use the stretch and fold technique, which is gentler on the dough and is especially appropriate for higher hydration sourdoughs. Have a look at the SD recipes here and you'll see how S&Fs work in context of the bulk proof fermentation phase (eg: Shiao-Ping's and DMSnyder's recipes). Or, here's a great one to start off with: Norwich Rye

There are numerous videos on youtube demoing the S&F technique. Here's one by one of the gurus, Peter Reinhart:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1timJlCT3PM

Don't foget to check back in with a pic of your next bake!

Cheers
Ross

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Chris and welcome,

We are just up the road in the Hunter Valley at Cessnock. I can only agree with KazaKhan about Laucke Wallaby bakers flour. It has a higher protein level which leads to a better gluten developement. Which means a better loaf.

 This flour works well for hand kneading and I often use my old bread baker machine  "kneading" mode using this flour. I've yet to tell any difference between the two methods but I think the machine does do a better job than me on the dough. I then use my bread tins or baguette trays for proofing and final shape etc etc. My next update for this will be a mix master with a dough kneading hook as I do not bake in my bread machine any more.

As Kaza stated Wallaby is readly available in Coles and woolworths and is in a 5Kg bag. I have bought a plastic clear container with sealing lid to store in the pantry.

This flour is NOT a bread machine premix like a lot of 2 kg's packets of bread flour. Use the wallaby flour with  reciepes found on this site or bread books etc. Also you will need to buy yeast as it does not come pre packed with yeast satchets as other 2kg bread mixes. I use Lowmans Instant dried yeast. A teaspoon is all that is need for a standard loaf and  I store it in the freezer for continued freshness. The container is a red cylinder and carries 280 grms of yeast. Again the best way to purchase providing you keep it in the fridge or freezer. It wont freeze in a mass lump so no thoring is required. All of these items are found in the flour section of the supermarkets. The purchase price per kilo for the flour is far more economical than smaller packets as well. We use it for scones, cakes gravy thickening and anything you can do with pain white flour.

If you wish to turn it into a hi fibre loaf of bread you can find recipes from here or use polenta, rolled oats or grains from a health food shop.

Search it out as I have never looked back with flavour or texture since using this flour. Google "Laucke Flour" and have a look at their flour range on offer with recipies. A small digital set of kitchen scales goes great for bread  making rather than a teaspoon and cup measures. I have used semolina flour with it as well and it makes a wonderful soft creamy loaf of bread.

Lets us know how you go...........Cheers...........Pete

 

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Hi Pete,

I did see this flour in Franklins and bought some. As we speak I am making the basic loaf (lesson 1) again using the Laucke Wallaby flour, interesting to see the differences. I have a good container to store it in also. As for yeast I use Tandaco (instant), but I will try the Lowmans. I am using a 7g sachet for the lesson 1 basic loaf. I will look on Laucke website for more recipes. If I wanted to graduate to wholemeal flour, what would be a simple ratio of white:wholemeal? Or would I use all wholemeal? I don't know what the supermarkets have in the wholemeal range either. Again the Laucke website might have mroe offerings. When you made your semolina loaf was this a mixture of plain and semolina, or all semolina, as I made a 100% semolina the other day, and I must say actually preferred the basic white taste. Toasted the semolina was OK, but untoasted is tasted average.

Thanks for your post, Cheers, Chris

 

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Chris,

I personally don't have a ratio for a wholemeal loaf. I would suggest you go into search mode on this web site and see what happens. Laucke flours do have wholemeal and grain mixes but are pre mixed for bread machines. I have used their heavy german grain mix with their Wallaby and added a little less salt than normal. The mix was 50/50 and was nice. Search your health food shops for different flours and plain grains to mix into your flour. Some home bakers like to use sunflower or  pumpkin seed with rolled oats. Welcome to the world of variations of breads.

As stated previously I add either polenta(corn meal) about 2 tablespoons to 500grms of flour or the same with old fashioned rolled oats to increase the fibre. As for semolina I generally use 100 grms of semolina plus 400 grms of wallaby.  Sometimes a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt adds  another dimension to the taste of bread. You need to cut back on your water volume but not much to allow for the moist yogurt. Play that one by ear and sight. If your into home cooked pizza the dough recipe on the back of the wallaby packet is the best I have come across for ease of preperation. However I like to make it about 12 to 15 hours before. I let it rise for about 2 hours and I then place into the fridge for the rest and bring it out and allow it to get to room temperature. The flavour just develops and matures a hell of a lot more..................Cheers..........Pete   

PS Nothing wrong with Tandaco yeast. It is what I used when I started.

possum-liz's picture
possum-liz

I too wanted a mixer but found I was mixing more dough by hand than a mixer could cope with! Like Ross I don't knead much, relying on resting the dough and stretch and folds for gluten development. If you get really keen, check out your local wholesale bakery/restaurant supply for flour and yeast. Welcome to the growing band of Aussie Bakers!

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Thanks, I did decide against the mixer in the end.

Cheers Chris

Ford's picture
Ford

One thing that many people overlook is that kneading by hand is good therapy, not just physical therapy, but mainly mental therapy.

1/ The baker becomes involved with the dough and reflects on how the dough and he/she are joined in a purposeful relationship: making something that can be enjoyed by the friends and family.

2/ The baker can just be at ease with the building of the loaf and not think about the problems that may be bothering him/her.

3/ The baker can take out his/her frustrations and beat the hell out of the dough instead of taking out his/her frustrations on the real source and thus avoid being fired from his job or being the defendant in a battery charge.

Number three worked for me and the result was I made a better loaf of bread and my boss never knew why!

Ford

Chris downunder's picture
Chris downunder

Hi Ford,

Good story, couldn't agree more about hand kneeding.

Cheers, Chris