The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi I'm new here, from Chicago

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mikescooling's picture
mikescooling

Hi I'm new here, from Chicago

Hi I'm Mike, I started making my own bread to save money.  I get the 50 lbs sack of bread flour and big bag of yeast from Costco.  It seems to last a long time.  My super simple bread seems to be a big hit among friends.  I bake it in a small cast iron dutch oven with a lid.  I'm just starting to play around with what happens if I let the kitchenAid mixer run longer than 5 minutes.

I use 3.5 cups of bread flour

1.5 TBSP of yeast

1.25 cups of 110F water

Mix for 5 min--> cover with EVOO and let rise for 30min, --> Add garlic salt and knock down, put in cast iron dutch oven for 20 min---then into a 400F oven for 40min.

Anyway I'm saying Hi, if you have any tips for a new bread cook, let me have them?

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

1.5 tbsp of yeast sounds like a lot!

mikescooling's picture
mikescooling

I'm using 5 Star yeast from Costco.  The 2.5lb bag gets a little old by the end and i use a little more.  One more thing that I should say, I brew beer in 25 gallon pots and mix up big yeast starters for the beer, then when the beer is finished I have the yeast cake (that I can wash).  I've never tried using that yeast in making bread, but I have a lot of it and it's fresh.   

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

so not familiar with Costco Yeast. Just did a google search and, if I have this correct, it's called Red Star yeast and its quick action dried yeast. I've also had to convert 3.5 cups to grams. Another google search later tells me it's just under .5 kg or 525g which is a small loaf. When I baked bread with quick action dried yeast I would use 1 - 1.5 teaspoons! for that amount. Where's the sugar for the yeast? How much do you use?

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

Just over .5kg

Problem with converting cups to grams is different sites quotes different amounts. First site gave me 444g and 2nd 525g. It gets confusing. Just under or just over .5kg

mikescooling's picture
mikescooling

Red star yeast, my bad.  I don't use any sugar, the yeast eats the flower.   

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

Never heard of bakers yeast not needing sugar. As far as i'm aware bakers yeast feeds off added sugar and wild yeast feeds off the flour.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Mike,

You will do fine without the sugar, as you already know.  The yeast should equal about 1% of the flour weight.  Weighing  your ingredients would be my first suggestion for you.

Welcome to the site,

Jeff

 

mikescooling's picture
mikescooling

Yerffej that sounds like a good idea. I'll start weighing in ingredients.  I always was told that is what real bakers do.  The Big bag of yeast seems to outlast the 50 lb sack of flour.  The sack of flour last 90-120 days (baking once or twice a week), I'm actually due to buy another bag of flour now, but still have lots of yeast; so I didn't think it could hurt to use a little more?  I wonder if I'm using so much yeast I should get two sacks of flour to each 2.5lb package of yeast.  Being a brewer I like yeast, but I'll try backing off a little.  I never thought about it.  I was miss spelling flour, Oops

I've got the little 300Watt kitchenaid mixer (the power-head tips up) how much dough can I mix in it without burning it up?  If I use more than 4 cups of flour, it gets a little hot/warm.

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Mike,

Better bread is, in general, made by using less yeast over a longer period of time.  Yeast at 1% of flour weight is the maximum that I would use.  This amount of yeast is typical for many bread recipes.

The durability of your KA mixer is likely not that great.  KA publishes the maximum amount of dough that can be mixed for their various mixers.  I would find out what that is for your mixer and do not exceed that amount.

Jeff

BigelowBaker's picture
BigelowBaker

Congrats on starting your bread journey! Have you ever taken the time to figure out how much each loaf costs for you? My guess would be under 50 cents/loaf, so you're definitely doing well saving money! 

My favorite bread book is Bread Bakers Apprentice. If you're interested in the science/craft of dough, the introductory chapters are invaluable. The recipes are also very approachable and well described. You can find a link to it on the "Books" section of this site. 

What I've found is the best way to grow your bread repertoire is to think about what your favorite breads are and try to make them -- the stomach is a great motivator! If I had to recommend something to try, it'd be cinnamon rolls -- very easy, definite crowd pleasers, and a lovely treat. :) 

mikescooling's picture
mikescooling

I don't have the math skills to convert 50lbs of flour to $ per loaf.  But I think your correct, it cheap.  And it fresh, And it always ready for me to spin up another loaf.  It's a heck of a lot cheaper to bring a loaf of bread to someone house when I go for dinner, than say a bottle of wine.  The real savings are total lower cost meals.  And if I have a long day at work or school I can throw some bread in my back-pack, save the money of eating out.  I've also used the bread crumbs and for fish frys, they seem to work better than store bought.

 I just moved to a new apartment and have two scales, but I can't find them.  I'm half tempted to buy a new one that reads in grams so I don't have to convert.  

Thanks for the warm welcome