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Bread Alone, By Daniel Leader & Judith Blahnik

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granny627's picture
granny627

Bread Alone, By Daniel Leader & Judith Blahnik

Years ago I made bread and didn't worry about it.  I don't remember all these words, biga, poolish, etc.  I just did what my Grandma did.  Now in my retirement I'm trying my hand at it again.  I have this book Bread Alone, Leader & Blahnik, another Bread by the Moons.   Bread Aline is very detailed and I did get bread, but took forever and the dough was very loose.  

The Oatmeal Bread from the Moon book, Had to be pitched.  I live in a small town and don't have access to compressed yeast, maybe that's the problem..  Maybe I got the measurements of active dry yeast wrong.  I really don't want to give up.  Where do I start?

 

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

...on those particular failures. 

Yeast could be your problem, but I wouldn't worry too much cake yeast vs. active dry vs. instant/rapid rise. You live in a small town, however, so if you must worry about yeast, I'd worry about fresh yeast being dead and the dry yeasts being too old. The expiration dates on the yeast are generally accurate.

If you can provide us with recipes (I sold my copy of Bread Alone, sorry), we may be of further assistance.

Also, if you're just getting back into bread, maybe start out with a simple white bread. I think Leader has a recipe for white sandwich bread in Bread Alone.

granny627's picture
granny627

I'm not sure if I sent the reply or not, as this is the 3rd. time I put in  a reply. I can't find it  where I posted my first question.

I promise this is the last time. If it doesn't work I will just give up.

Th recipe was A Learnign Recipe: Classic Country-Style Hearth Loaf.  My yeast was ok.  I made my own 20% bran wheat per recipe in the book.  I couldn't put the bread on the brick as it collapsed when I took it out of the pan.  Bread was o.k. , crust hard.  I used a serrated knife which my husband decided was wrong and used a regular butcher knife.

Thanks Granny

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

There're so many details to keep track of when baking bread that it might make some sense for you to wipe your slate clean and start anew.  Can you take a beginner's course?  Can you find a local home baker to mentor you for a while?  Have you viewed all the videos for new bakers on this site and Youtube?  Do you learn from reading, and if so, can I suggest that you not be reading a cookbook and instead find a textbook intended to teach beginners from the ground up?  [If you use the search function on the upper left column of any TFL page to find posts by me, you'll see how often I've suggested that beginner's read Breadbaking by Dimuzio.  It's a textbook for beginners and, as such, may be just right for you.]

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I'll have to fire my editor.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I knew what you meant    :)

In case you are not already aware of it you can, as the author of the post, edit your previous post to fix that slip.  Just go to your original post and click on the "edit" link in the lower right corner of the post frame.  Custom suggests that if you make a "material" edit that you add a "On Edit MM/DD/YYYY:  brief statement of what was changed" comment to the bottom of your post to make clear what was changed.  Some do it.  Some don't.   I go both ways, and it is a judgement call you get to make yourself.

By the way:  don't fire the editor, sentence them to life time employment!

OldWoodenSpoon

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

"The Fresh Loaf Pocket Book of Bread Baking" by Floyd Mann (our gracious host here on The Fresh Loaf)  is another good place to start.  It is available from a number of sources, and in a variety of electronic formats.  There are links to it on the site, including one (usually) in the left-hand side bar of the page.  Just search for the title if you don't see a ready link.  You should also take a look at the Handbook, available right here on The Fresh Loaf through a link on the top bar of every page.

Something I noted in one of your posts above, where you said:

I couldn't put the bread on the brick as it collapsed when I took it out of the pan.

I'm not familiar with the recipe you are using so there could be something I'm not aware of going on here, but otherwise a loaf that collapses when you move it sounds a lot like it was way over proofed.  Try again, and if you don't already use it, try the "poke test" and watch the dough instead of the clock for timing your proofing. 

Bread baking takes patience, and practice.  For me at least, early practice efforts yielded a lot of bricks.  The effort to get it right is well worth it once you get there and have the satisfaction of hearing "Mmmmmmm, good" when someone (maybe even yourself!) bites into a slice.  I heartily encourage you to stay at it, and keep coming back here for advice, support and encouragement.   It is one of the things this community is best at.

OldWoodenSpoon