The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greetings from Lithuania!

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dmhv's picture
dmhv

Greetings from Lithuania!

Heya, yet another neophyte here :)

Heard a comrade talking about enjoying his bread maker, once again (yeah, done it before, but previously I've stopped at that) googled for "what bread maker to buy", and.. I bumped into this wonderful site, and more explicitly into the discussion where it was heavily suggested to try making bread on your own beforehand. The reasoning was very sound, so I spent the rest of the day studying the handbook and the lessons, and here I am reporting the outcome of Lesson 1 :)

I've never baked anything before (29, male, if anyone wonders), so it was truly a new experience. The first challenge I faced was finding the ingredients, which boiled down to translating from English (which is not my native language) into Lithuanian (which isn't, either) :) All in all, I grabbed some floor intended for bread making (I expected it to be white, as you will see I wasn't quite right), some instant yeast and kitchen scales (sticking to the proportions is a nice thing to do). The first thing I did was figuring out the recipe called for 468 grams of floor, so I measured out those unneeded 32 grams, threw the rest into the bowl and mixed with the suggested amounts of yeast, salt and water, thinking "am I good or am I good". After about 10 seconds, I started to understand that I screwed up, and voila - of course I have forgotten about the pack of floor I've got weighing 1kg, not 0.5kg :) So yeah.. run to the shop, grab more yeast. Finally, that's what I got after kneading (I tried to mimic the video presented in Lesson 1, and it was quite fun - the only drawback being, I was somewhat afraid I'd shatter the table):

Left it to rest for a while, and went to try and find an over thermometer (as my electric oven doesn't have one). Shortly put, I couldn't find it in the surrounding shops. After some more searching, I stumbled upon this and this, together with a numerous amounts of something like that. Which calls for a question: all that fancy stuff with probes, will it even work in a regular oven? I mean, you don't put the rest of it inside, do you? Anyways, after resting, my dough looked like this (at first I was like "hell, must've been too much yeast", but when I took it out the volume wasn't really all that frightening):

Beat it up again, left it for one more rest, then did what I could to shape the loaves (I tried to create some tension at the top, but I suppose this first attempt was not very successful) and scored it with a razor. The last part was actually the easiest, I'm pretty sure I kept a good angle and made the cuts in the right directions, but judging from the result I think I should go a bit deeper. Anyways, this is what I took out of my oven:

Surprisingly to me, it was actually quite tasty :) Yet now I really understand why do people bake bread on stones.. it totally sticked to the baking paper. I couldn't get it off either before letting the loaves cool down or after it. Googled for some tips, people say I should oil the paper and spread some dough on it beforehand - what do you say? And the final picture is that of the structure of the loaf, sadly the quality is quite bad, but by the time I figured it out there was nothing left to make pictures of :)

All in all, it was lots of fun, and my family is already crying for Ciabatta with cornflower seeds, so yeah.. I'll postpone my thoughts on buying a bread maker, and will keep making bread myself :)

 

P.S. I'll include the links to the pictures with higher resolution in case anyone's comments could use more detailed evidence :)

http://i.imgur.com/NXdm9.jpg?1 http://i.imgur.com/LA2oo.jpg?1 http://i.imgur.com/jBac3.jpg?1 http://i.imgur.com/weHsU.jpg?1

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Your first attempt is great, particularly when faced with all of the obstacles that you had.  Language, availability and so on.  There is no need to buy a bread machine as you can do much better by hand without the limitations of the machine.  Welcome to the site.  Is your first language Russian or Polish?

Jeff

dmhv's picture
dmhv

Russian.

Now the thing I need the most is an oven thermometer. Any tips regarding those I mentioned?

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Either of your first two thermometer choices will work just fine.  You do not need a thermometer with a probe.  You might also want an instant read thermometer like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Classic-Instant-Read-Pocket-Thermometer/dp/B00004XSC4/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1358645827&sr=1-3

This can be used to check the internal temperature of the fully baked loaf which should be about  93.3°C or 200°F.  This is not essential but often nice to have.

Jeff

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you made a bullseye.  Nice baking.

I bought my first Lithuanian beer today called Werewolf - it has 10% alchohol.  Was going to put it in bread but decided to save it for a full moon instead.