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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Good Bread Recipes - anyone have a favorite?

   
Author Topic: Good Bread Recipes - anyone have a favorite?
Javert Hugo
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I am going to potluck on Sunday and signed up to bring bread of some sort. I was going to make my mom's dinner rolls, but now I'm wondering if there is something different I could do. I'll have the morning to bake, so nothing that takes longer than, say four hours.

I live in a humid climate, but it's edging into fall so the humidity isn't as bad. Plan on weather in 70s and 80s.

Any ideas?

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Farmgirl
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Hmmm..

You could try Brotchen rolls, but that might be pushing the 4-hour timetable to prepare.

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pooka
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Oh, well at sea level the yeast doesn't raise as well. I'm not so sure about the effect of humidity. Do you have gluten/dough enhancer?
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sweetbaboo
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French Bread

5 c bread flour (I use AP as well and it works fine)
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c warm water

Combine all ingredients in a mixer. Mix until smooth and elastic (5-7 mins usually). Transfer dough to a bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover with plastic (also covered in cooking spray) to rise until double (1 hour). Punch dough down, Cut dough in half. Roll one half of dough into a large rectangle (as if making cinnamon rolls) and roll up along long end. Tuck ends under. Repeat with other half so that you have 2 loaves. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and place loaves on it. Slash tops of loaves a few times with a sharp knife with diagonal cuts). Cover loosely and let rise for 20 mins. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

This is good with honey butter or a stick of butter mixed with a packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix (dry) OR olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then again plain is good too, especially warm.

I haven't had any trouble making this either in humidity or at sea level.

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Christine
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I make bread almost every week. After trying a dozen recipes, I settled on this honey whole-wheat bread. It works particularly well in slightly humid weather and with a kitchen aid/dough hook. It takes me 3 hours from start to finish, but only about 20 minutes of actual hands on time.

2.5 cups whole wheat flour
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup water
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup honey

1. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, honey, and shortening over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches about 120 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, you're looking for the point when the shortening starts to melt.

2. Meanwhile, mix salt, yeast, wheat flour, and 1 cup of the all purpose flour in a mixing bowl (I use my kitchen aid).

3. Add the liquid when it's ready and also the egg. Mix for 3 minutes.

4. Add the rest of the flour and either use a kitchen aid dough hook to kneed it or kneed it on a lightly floured surface. You're looking for it to be well combined. Don't overwork the dough. It may be a little sticky, depending upon the humidity (I get subtly different results in different weather, although it always tastes good.)

5. Grease a bowl, put the dough in, turn it over so it's got shortening on both sides, then cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour.

6. Punch it down and divide into two even loaves. (If one loaf is too big, it may not cook right in the middle -- I've done that before.) Put them each in a greased loaf pan, cover with a towel, and let it rise for about another hour.

7. Put them in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Javert Hugo
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I must also add that I do not have a kitchen aid or an electic mixer.

I have a beater - like for cookies - but any kneading or serious mixing needs to be done by hand. Are the recipes above still possible?

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sweetbaboo
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Yep, use a spoon initially and then switch to the hands for kneading.
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Christine
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Yes. Just use the beater by hand for 3 minutes in step 3 and kneed by hand in step 4. Not as convenient but no biggie. May increase cooking time a bit, but should still be well under 3.5 hours.
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Javert Hugo
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That sounds wonderful. [Smile]

Hmm...I wonder if there is some sort of twisty, braid-y recipes? I don't know - I cook/bake so rarely these days that I like to do something different every time. For the recipes above, what if instead of making loves I made a long strip of dough and braided it? Or do I need a different recipe for that?

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maui babe
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For many years I made all of our family's bread, including rolls and such. I use less of a recipe and more of a formula. I measure only three ingredient-the yeast, the salt and the liquid. For every one cup of liquid (usually hot water, but sometimes I substitute milk or potato water) I add 1 TBSP yeast and 1 & 1/2 tsp salt. Then I add some sweetener (sugar, honey, brown sugar, different amounts depending on the taste and texture I'm going for), some fat (butter, margarine, vegetable or olive oil. 1 TBSP or so per cup of water for bread, as much as 1/4-1/2 cup for very rich rolls), flour (wheat, white, rye, oat, barley etc) this is the most variable ingredient and depends greatly on the humidity and weather, but a rule of thumb is about 3 cups flour per cup of liquid. Depending on the occasion, I sometimes add other ingredients, such as, eggs (always for rolls, almost never for bread)raisins, nuts, citrus zest, cinnamon...

I always start by mixing my liquid, yeast and salt with about one half of the flour I think I'm going to need. I usually start with heavier flours, then finish off with white flour, if I'm using it. I'll add the sweetener, fat and spices/flavorings, but not the eggs, nuts or raisins. I mix well, then let it proof for 10-20 minutes, to make sure I didn't kill my yeast.

Then add eggs (for rolls), still using a mixer. Once the eggs are mixed well, I knead in the rest of the flour. Be careful if you're doing this by hand, it's easy to get too much flour worked in. You want a soft dough that's not sticky, but not too firm. I don't really know how else to decribe it, but once you've made a few batches of bread, you'll get a feel for it.

After all the flour is worked in, knead for a total of about 10 minutes or so. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled (maybe 30-40 minutes, but it's quite variable depending on temperature, then punch it down, knead for a minute or so and form into loaves, rolls, braids, teddy bears or whatever. Let rise again until doubled, then bake.

Any yeast dough can be formed and baked in whatever shape you like. Just be sure to adjust your oven temperatures and cooking times accordingly.

For loaves of bread, including braids, etc, bake at about 400F for 35-40 minutes. For rolls, about 12-15 minutes.

Some other pointers

The more fat and sweetener in the dough, the darker the crust will be and the more likely it will burn.

Eggs in the dough make the crust darker as well. For a nice glaze, brush beaten egg over the rolls/loaves after you form them, before they rise.

Using oil instead of butter or margarine also gives a crispier crust. Olive oil is especially good for pizza dough.

That's all I can think of now. Enjoy. Homemade bread is the best!

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maui babe
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About humidity - it is your friend when baking yeast breads... You'll use a bit more flour, but I've had much better success with bread in Hawaii than I ever had in the intermountain desert.
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krynn
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my top three would be:

Gorilla Bread (except this is a dessert)
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_25959,00.html

Banana-Nut Bread

Cranberry Bread

i dont know how to make links, tho i wish i did right about now.

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ludosti
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krynn-If you click on the little "UBB Code is enabled" link to the left of the quick reply box, you'll get a list of codes supported by the forum and how to use them. [Smile]

(and mmmm that gorilla bread looks good! I've seen similar recipes for pull aparts, but without the yummy cream cheese center. I think I'm going to have to try it.)

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rivka
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I have a new favorite bread recipe. Carrot-Ginger Bread

I used oil instead of butter, soy milk instead of milk, and 2-4 oz. jars of carrots (for the 2-pound loaf). And I'm out of gluten, so I just used a little extra bread flour.

AMAZINGLY good warm.

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ketchupqueen
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Okay, that looks yummy. Now I want fresh bread but I don't want to bake it. [Grumble]
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rivka
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No bread machine?

I'd invite you to come over, but even if you left now, it'd be gone before you got here. [Wink]

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ketchupqueen
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No, no bread machine. I do at least have a KitchenAid to do the kneading for me, but I still hardly ever make it.

And Jeff won't be home for another half hour (he started late hours today) and then he won't want to go anywhere anyway. But thanks for the thought, even if you wouldn't save any for me. [Razz]

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rivka
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Fight the ravening hordes? When Mommy was feeling too fuzzy-cold-brained to make supper (other than the bread and the various things they can nuke)?

Do I look that stupid? [Wink]

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