The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Domestically Challenged

MtnHermit's picture
MtnHermit

Domestically Challenged

Hello experienced bread bakers! I've never baked a loaf of bread in my life, so help me get started.

I live Off-the-Grid at 8,500 feet and like to eat good rye bread. My local supermarket, a subset of Kroger, stopped selling the Goldminer brand of rye in favor of decent, but not great, house ryes.

I'm thinking of purchasing a bread machine to mix and knead the ingredients then bake the bread in my gas oven, the internal 1KW cal rod would be devastating for my batteries. I would start with this rye bread mix: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000FDDETG/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance
Then experiment as I learn what bread making is all about.

Here's a starter bread maker I'm considering: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00067REBU/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&v=glance

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Oh by the way, did I mention I'm Domestically Challenged.

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

If you're living off the grid, why use up electricity on a mixer?  You can make truly great breads without a mixer, and personally, I prefer working the dough by hand (I have a stand mixer but I never use it when making bread).  The trick is learning proper kneeding technique (other techniques, like autolyzing, also help), but fortunately there are some great videos out there (sourdoughhome has an excellent one) that illustrates the process quite nicely.

phxdog's picture
phxdog

MntHermit,

Welcome to the Forum. The people here are AMAZING. If they don't have an answer for you, then there isn't one. I am amazed at the knowlege base here.

Living 'off the grid' you sound like a someone that would enjoy bread at it's basic best. I've recently started to work all my doughs by hand. I own an OLD Hobart stand mixer that doesn't even blink at a batch of 6-8 loaves of sourdough at a time, but I still really enjoy working them by hand now.

As Fancypantalon mentioned there are some great videos and threads with lots of techniques to make your limited electrical life much more compatable with great bread. Here's a grood thread on no-kead bread: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2527/no-knead-bread

I think if you do a search on this forum with "Rye" & "no-knead" you will come up with some ideas that will help you convert your Goldminer-type Rye recipe or any of your bread baking to techniques that are more 'off the grid' friendly.

As far as bread machines . . . I don't want to offend any of the great people on the forum who use them, but for me it's like dancing with my sister; it's doesn't really float my boat.