The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking here in NW Vermont

Henwhisperer's picture
Henwhisperer

Baking here in NW Vermont

Howdy! My name is Sharon and I live with my husband and a variety of animals here on our homestead, about 8 miles from the Canadian border. Every year at this time I get the urge to bake and always wonder why I don't do it all year. Anyway, I made hamburger buns tonight and they came out really well. The cookbook the recipe came from is Small Breads by Bernard Clayton. Yesterday I bought some homemade English muffins, but they weren't authentic. I think that is what switched on my baking bug. Started looking through Small Breads for a recipe and then decided to make the hamburger buns. Now I'm off running. Tomorrow I will make English Muffins and Bagels, too. :-)

I'm fortunate in that I gather my own eggs, use butter that I make, know that raw milk needs to be scalded first, have honey from my own hive and can use a varitey of ingredients that I have grown myself or are grown within 10 miles from here. 

Glad to find this site, the pictures are awesome and it is nice to find somebody who actually approaches bread baking from a logical point of view. If truth be told, I am a retired chef, but never did well baking. Recipes are suggestions, but baking is chemistry.

 Hope to get to know you.

Kindly,

Sharon

 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Welcome to TFL! looking forward to hearing about your bread adventures...

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

You seem to be somewhat of a homesteader, so, if by any chance you make your own fresh cheese (such as ricotta, Indian paneer or even mozzarella), then you might be interested to know that the left-over whey makes an excellent substitute for water in any bread recipe.

For more information, see the TFL post www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7921/using-whey-liquid-substitute

 

Henwhisperer's picture
Henwhisperer

Thanks for that tip, but all whey goes to making the pigs fatter (we grow them for the freezer) or the meat-chickens. Bonus is the lard from the pigs that I keep and render. Makes the most unbelievable pie crust when mixed with home made butter.

Bagel dough is being raised even as I type. My new stove has a proofing function. Works great!

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Welcome to TFL!

As a fellow Northeasterner, it's good to have you aboard. (I live in Connecticut.)

I envy you all those fresh eggs and milk. I used, as a lad, to spend summers on a dairy farm (in Vermont) and I never ate as well as I did during those summers. I'm also very encouraged to see the interest in farming coming back to our area, even here in CT.

You also have the good fortune of being not too far from the King Arthur people in Norwich. I use a lot of their flours and the quality is excellent.

Keep us posted on your baking! (And keep those hens clucking and laying)

Soundman (David)

Henwhisperer's picture
Henwhisperer

I have wanted to take my son-in-law, a very good home baker, to a class there but we never can get it together. He lives in Maine and has a full time job. Someday, someday.

Our local grocery store chain carries King Arthur's flour and that is what I buy. 

My bagels came out really good, but I think I need to store them in something different than a ziplock plastic bag. It changed the texture too much. I wanted to take a picture of the bagels to share with you all, but then never did get to it. My husband said they were the best bagels he'd had in a very long time.

I really do whisper the hens! And turkeys. 

Sharon

 

 

 

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Sharon,

I'm not a bagel baker, yet, but I would think storage issues would be similar between bagels and boules, and Ziploc bags would probably be too airtight, unless you froze your bagels in them.

Storing bread and its keeping qualities are always issues, and other folks at TFL will have ideas, but I believe that paper bags are better than Ziploc. Also, in case you are inclined in this direction, refrigerating bread does nothing good for it. With bagels, numerous small units, I think I would immediately freeze (in Ziplocs) whatever I wasn't going to consume in 3 days, and the rest I would store in paper bags. Also, note that sourdough bread (sourdough bagels? why not?) keeps better than bread baked with commercial yeast.

If I lived closer to Norwich, VT that is, I would love to go to a baking class at KA.

If you do get to take a class there, let us know what you learn!

Soundman (David)