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Author Topic: Bread  (Read 1916 times)

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« on: November 19, 2007, 11:58:57 PM »
Does anyone have any simple recipes for homemade bread? I was looking on line, and there were all these options using a bread machine, which I don't own. I also don't know much about "starters." Any beginner recipes (or links to recipes) would be very much appreciated   :)


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Re: Bread
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 07:05:05 AM »
Not sure what kind of breads you're looking for, but these are pretty simple:

Boston Brown Bread

  1 cup unsifted whole wheat flour
  1 cup unsifted rye flour
  1 cup yellow corn meal
  1 1/2 ts baking soda
  1 1/2 ts salt
  3/4 cup molasses
  2 cups buttermilk

Grease and flour a 2 quart mold. Combine flours, corn meal, soda, and salt. Stir in molasses and buttermilk.

Turn into mold and cover tightly. Place on trivet in deep pot. Add enough boiling water to come half way up sides of mold; cover. Steam 3 1/2 hours, or until done.

Remove from mold to cake rack. Serve hot with baked beans or Borscht.   Makes 1 loaf.


Cheese Bread with Bacon and Gruyere

  1 cup Parmesan cheese, large shred       
  5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces    
  1/2 cup minced onion           
  3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour       
  1 tb baking powder           
  1/4 ts cayenne pepper         
  1 ts table salt   
  1/8 ts ground black pepper
  4 oz Gruyre, in 1/2 cubes
  1 1/4 cups whole milk
  1 large egg, beaten lightly
  3/4 cup sour cream   

Heat oven to 350, rack in middle position. Spray 5 by 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan evenly in bottom of pan.

Fry bacon in nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and reserve 3 tb bacon fat in skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes; set skillet with onion aside.

In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper to combine. Using rubber spatula, mix in Gruyre, bacon and onion, breaking up clumps, until pieces are coated with flour. Whisk together milk, egg, and sour cream. With spatula, gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; spread and level surface with spatula. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan evenly over surface.

Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes; invert loaf from pan and continue to cool until warm, about 45 minutes.


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Re: Bread
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 09:32:40 AM »


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Re: Bread
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 09:34:19 AM »
Ooh, I was going to recommend the fresh loaf!  That's such a wonderful site.

My husband loves when I make the italian bread listed in the favorites there.


  • Guest
Re: Bread
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 03:54:02 PM »
Thanks everyone for the links and recipes! I don't know ANYTHING about bread making, and the few sites I found on my own were a little intimidating. Summrs, that cheese bread recipe is making my mouth water!!


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Re: Bread
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 10:52:58 AM »
Question: Are you talking about a yeast bread or non-yeast (aka 'quick')?  Non-yeasted breads are considerably simpler and usually faster to make.

If you decide on a yeast bread, then there are some other decisions that need to be made: How enriched do you want it? (That is, how much fat/shortening) and how sweet do you want it?

There are lots of techniques that use a pre-ferment (also called a starter, biga, poolish or pate fermente), but those are generally designed to increase the flavor of the bread and aren't truly necessary, especially if you're just starting out.

Almost all yeast bread recipes require some physical manipulation of the dough beyond mixing.  This is "kneading" and the purpose is to get the gluten molecules to join together into longer strings, which produces the appropriate texture.  There are as many kneading techniques as there are bakers and some are more appropriate to certain kinds of breads.  The basic technique is to dump the dough out on a floured counter and repeatedly stretch it and fold it in on itself.  How long do you do this?  Until it feels right!  (Many recipes will give you a time frame and once you've done it a few times, you learn what it feels like.)

The simplest yeasted bread is un-enriched (has no fat or shortening) and contains: flour, water, salt and yeast.  Here's a recipe that I learned from my mom.  It uses a non-traditional shape, so you don't even need a loaf pan.

Turban Bread
3 to 4 cups unbleached bread flour (you can use all-purpose, but the bread flour has a somewhat higher gluten content and the texture is better)
1 tsp salt
1c and c lukewarm water (about 100)
1pkg active dry yeast (2 tsp) If you use "instant" yeast or fresh yeast, the amount will be different, but "active dry" is what you can get in the supermarket

Warm the mixing bowl slightly; dissolve yeast in c warm water.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the salt.  Add 2c of the flour/salt mixture and 1c water to the mixing bowl and beat for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining flour/salt mixture (except for c), slowly, while mixing.

Lightly flour the countertop and turn out the dough.  Knead for 8 minutes -- the dough should be slightly tacky, but not sticky.  Sprinkle more flour as you knead if it is too sticky.

Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let sit for about 1 hour (until it doubles in size.)  If it doesn't grow pretty steadily then you've either got bad yeast, you killed it (water was too hot) or the ambient temperature was too low.  You can fix the last one, but the first two mean starting over.

Once it has risen, punch it down to deflate.  Divide the dough into two pieces and roll into two strips, about 4" x 18".  Put a line of filling (see below) down the center of each strip, then fold the sides up to form a tube -- a little water can help seal the seam.  Coil each tube into a turban shape and place on an oiled baking sheet.  Cover again with a clean cloth and let rise to double in size.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Before baking, slash (with a very sharp knife) the coils to expose some of the filling.  Bake 45-60 minutes, until the outside is a light golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Let cool on a baking rack before serving.

c sun dried tomatoes
c crumbled feta cheese
freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)

If the tomatoes are dry, then soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and drain -- if they were packed in oil, then drain them.  Slice into small pieces.  Mix with cheese and pepper.

⅓c Nicoise olives (small garlic olives), pitted and chopped
⅓c Bhoped ripe black olives
c grated parmesan
freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)

Mix together.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.


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Re: Bread
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 11:07:51 AM »
Here's an enriched sweet bread that is great around holiday time.  It comes from the "Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book," published in the 1970s.  I've made this one dozens of times.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

7 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
2c milk
c sugar
c shortening (I use butter or palm shortening -- not a big fan of Crisco because it contains soy and we have a soy allergy in the house)
2tsp salt
2 eggs
c sugar
2tsp ground cinnamon
Confectioner's Icing

In a large mixer bowl combine 3c of the flour and the yeast.  In a saucepan, heat milk, c sugar, shortening and salt until just warm (115-120), stirring constantly to melt the shortening.  Add to dry mixture in the mixer bowl; add eggs.  Beat at low speed (electric mixer) for minute, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.  Beat 3 minutes at high speed.  By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough*.  Turn out on lightly floured surface and nknead till smooth and elastic (5 to 8 minutes.)  Shape into a ball and put into a lightly greased/oiled bowl, turning the ball to grease the surface.

Cover (I use plastic wrap to retain moisture, other people use cloth -- a lot depends on how humid your kitchen is.)  Let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour.)  Punch down and turn out on lightly floured surface.  Divide in half and let rest for 10 minutes**.  Roll each half into a 15x7" rectangle.  Brush the entire surface with water.

Combine the remaining c sugar and the cinnamon.  Spread each rectangle with half the cinnamon mixture.  Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, beginning with the narrow side.  Seal the long edge and ends.  Please, sealed edge down in 2 greased 9x5x3" loaf pans.  Cover and let rise in warm place until almost double (35 to 45 minutes.)  Bake at 375 until done (top is brown, bottom sounds hollow when tapped), 35 to 40 minutes.  If the crust browns too quickly, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes.  Remove bread from pans and let cool on a wire rack.  Drizzle with confectioner's icing.

Confectioner's Icing

Combine 1c sifted powdered sugar, tsp vanilla and enough milk to make a drizzling consistency (about 1 tbsp.)  The trick here is to add the liquid very slowly and carefully, mixing fully before adding more.  It's very easy to make this too runny.  Let the bread cool before icing.

* Yeah, not very clear for a beginner.  I'd go with tacky, but not sticky.
** No, you don't have to play soothing music while the dough rests.  Letting it sit for a little while after punching down makes it easier to manipulate -- if you don't wait, it will resist forming.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.


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Re: Bread
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 11:07:57 AM »
For a beginning bread maker, I would strongly suggest getting a copy of the Joy Of Cooking and using their basic white or wheat bread recipe to start out.