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Anyone on here into bread making (by hand) ?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Van Nick, 10 Nov 2007.

  1. Van Nick

    Van Nick New Member

    I have been having a go at trying to make my own bread after getting totally fed up with all of the chemicals that commercial bakers seem to put into their products.

    I have tried several recipes which use Dry Active Yeast and the resulting loaves always look great but smell strongly of yeast.

    If anyone else on here is into making homemade bread by hand, I'd be grateful if they could please tell me where I'm going wrong.
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Watch out for the packet mixes which use sub standard flour with all the chemicals in anyway. Have you tried Spelt at all? This is a more natural less intensively bred form of modern wheat which retains the nutrients that modern forms don't.

    Wife suggests looking out for healthier recipes too, not using lots of sugar and yeast. Ultimately, use the recipes as starting points rather than be-all and end all. Fine tune to your specific needs.
  3. Anolther Leicesterite - good man, we will take over the world, starting with this forum led by King Roger and Queen Arch.:blush:

    You could try the ready prepared dry mixes, they vary from the Supermarket own brand through to proper organic stuff with definitly no added muck. I find them less hastle and you get guaranteed 100% success.
  4. simon l& and a half

    simon l& and a half New Member

    Streatham Hill
    This is a difficult one, because I've always used dry active yeast and it's always worked a treat. So I'm sort of guessing that you're using too much yeast - perhaps half the amount stipulated on the packet. Better for the bread to rise slowly.

    - later thought....you are mixing it, letting it rise, bashing it down, letting it rise, and then baking, aren't you?
  5. Van Nick

    Van Nick New Member

    Hi Dom,

    Yes, I have noticed the packet mixes, but avoided them for the very reason that you mentioned - too many chemicals.

    Spelt flour has a lower gluten content (good for celiacs) but I thought I'd try to crak it using basic flour before moving onto the fancy stuff.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
  6. Van Nick

    Van Nick New Member

    Hi Velvet,

    Yes, another Leicesterite, although I hardly dare admit to it with the dreadful performances that LCFC are producing at the moment.

    Leicester Spokes (www.leicesterspokes.org.uk) were cycling to Market Bosworth today and I would liked to have joined them had I not been working.

    Thanks for suggesting the packet mixes, but I have noticed that they tend to have a lot of chemicals in them.
  7. Van Nick

    Van Nick New Member

    Hi Simon,

    I think that you're about right there. Although I'm using the amount specified in the recipes, I think that some of the dried active yeasts are a bit too concentrated.

    I've tried proving the dough for a shorter period and in a cooler place as well.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
  8. frog

    frog Guest

    Haven't made any for almost 6 months. When I did I used the recipie on the back of the Hovis wholemeal flour. Didn't bother with any salt though. I used to get fresh yeast from Tesco bakeries. They have to use their stock each day so what is left is given away for free if you ask. Usually get enough for a couple of loaves. It keeps 4 or 5 days in the fridge. Don't get fresh yeast from Sainsbury's because the buggers charge you for it.
  9. Van Nick

    Van Nick New Member

  10. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    I like to knead my own dough, does that count ?
  11. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Right, here goes. I assume when you say 'by hand' you mean using your own elbow-grease, not one of those wretched breadmaker machine thingy's...

    We use a fairly bog-standard strong wholemeal and it seems to come out all right. Now and then I mix in 25% rye but that makes it more difficult to get a good rise (and I've never succeeded at sourdough recipes), so forget that for the time being, stick to wheat. Waitrose 'very strong Canadian wholemeal' seems to work a treat for us. And for the yeast, again we just use standard supermarket stuff, 'fast action dried yeast', which comes in 6g sachets joined together in pairs.
    This makes 4 x 800g loaves which is the right amount to bake at one time in a standard oven. If you don't want to eat all at once they will go in the freezer.

    2 Kg strong wholemeal flour.
    1.14 litres (2 pints) warm water - consisting of 1 pint boiling mixed with 1 pint cold.
    4 tsp salt.
    12 g dried yeast (2 sachets)
    80 ml vegetable oil.

    Mix the flour, salt and yeast, dry, in a large heavy bowl. We have a 30cm earthenware bowl which suits fine. Pour on the water and oil and start to mix vigorously in the bowl, first with a spoon, then with your hands (remove jewellery!). Start the kneading action, first in the bowl then turned out on the worktop, which consists of repeatedly folding over the dough and pummelling down, then rotate the mass 90° and repeat. The dough will be crumbly at first but will soon start to cohere into a single lump, also it will lose its initial stickiness and will stop sticking to your hands. Continue kneading for ten minutes.

    Put the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and into the airing cupboard for 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile grease and dust with flour two baking sheets.

    After 45 minutes the dough should have risen considerably. Turn out on worktop again and knead for another minute, divide into four equal lumps, knead each one a few times and form into a large 'sausage' shape, making sure there are no cracks in the loaf. Put two on each baking sheet. At this point I like to decorate each loaf with crosswise slits cut gently with a knife, but that's up to you. Cover with the teatowel again and back into the airing cupboard for about 1½ hours.

    Heat oven to 200°C. Put the loaves into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Take loaves off the sheets, should feel hollow when tapped underneath: cool on wire rack.
  12. Van Nick

    Van Nick New Member

    Hi Pete,

    Wow. Thank you so much for posting all of that up for me, I really do appreciate your help because I'd love to crack this bread making lark and it's getting a bit frustrating.

    I will certainly give your recipe a go.

    Thanks again.
  13. frog

    frog Guest

    Buggered if I can find the recipe on the PC. So, from memory.

    5 fluid oz of warm water and desolve into that 4 teaspoons of sugar. Crumble in 25g of freash yeast and set aside. Flour, I think 700g, into a bowl and add a dessert spoon of marge and rub in with your fingers. Once the yeast/water mix has about an inch of froth on top of it add it to the flour and marge. Not sure how much more water to add after that but a total, the 5 in the yeast and another 10, of 15 fl oz comes to mind. Very probably less though.

    Same as Pete from here on with the kneading but I used making the bread two or three times a week to persuade the Mrs to buy a Kenwood chef mixer, bloody marvelous bit of kit. Mrs also got me a Jamie Oliver loaf tin. It's bigger than the standard and made of some rubber stuff and don't need greasing. The loaf just falls out.

    Don't try eating freshly cooked bread I find it a bit of a disappointment. The moisture still on the centre of the loaf needs to migrate back out to the edges and this only happens when it cools. There is a world of difference between the taste and texture of a loaf which is an hour old and one which is three hours old.

    I only made one loaf at a time because none of my lot will eat anything I cook. if it ain't got 11 E numbers in it and chocolate on the top then it's classed at 'Dad's crap'. What they conveniently forget is that I've never been sick on my own cooking. On the other hand I have vivid technicolour memories of what their cooking has done to me over the years :blush:
  14. nice one mate i was a chef for ten years and am very good at all baking? i would just change the veg oil for olive oil as the taste is better i think and there is no parm oil in there as well.
  15. Pete

    Pete Guest

    When I said 'vegetable oil' I really meant sunflower oil which is what we usually buy for general cooking, we also keep olive oil for salads etc. Never tried olive oil in the bread, might take you up on your suggestion, thanks.