Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baking Bread

Any tips on baking homemade bread? I'm terrible. I thought it was my yeast, as I've thought in the past...throw it out, get new yeast...nope! It's the baker.
Hard, dense loaves. They do still taste good, with butter, lots of butter.


  1. Didn't you get any pointers from that lady in St. Stephen??? Remember her class with all the pig lard in her dough. PIG LARD!!! thats the answer.

    I use the machine.

  2. Have you heard of that new artisan bread book? Something about baking it in 5 minutes. Google it. I've heard it's amazing! (And easy!) I've been meaning to try it ... Hopefully when the Christmas season winds down ...

  3. artisan bread is almost impossible to mess up. Email me if you can't find the linky loo to the recipe etc. I can type it up and email it to you pronto. ;)

  4. not knowing your recipe, a few things come to mind - it still could be your yeast if you are not keeping it refrigerated. also you could be over kneading. and the dough should still be fairly sticky so you could be adding too much flour.

  5. The key is a Kitchen Aide Mixer. That is it. The price is so worth it, because it makes everything you make from bread to cookies sooooooo wonderful! Here is my recipe for bread, if it helps any:

  6. I agree with Amy! I loe my kitchen aid...

  7. OK, but, but....I don't have $180....

  8. I'm still working on my technique, but I'll second a couple suggestions already given: cut back on your flour a bit, possibly up to 1/4 cup, (it does tend to get packed into the bags or containers) and cut back on your mixing/kneading (the dough should still be sticky).

    I just received the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for Christmas and am anxious to try it out! While I do have a Kitchen-Aid mixer and it's become an essential part of my kitchen, I haven't used it in bread-making.

  9. Yep, the KitchenAid mixer is the way to go.

    You could be over kneading. You have to take into account the weather. The more humidity (read SNOW) in the air, the more flour you will need. The dough should be soft and pliable before it starts to rise.

    I have a GREAT roll recipe. Maybe you should take a COOKING FIELD TRIP day and come visit me!

  10. Jamie,
    I only make bread, I don't buy it. I also only make whole wheat bread because I don't buy flour, I grind my own wheat. You do have to make sure you knead it long enough, at least 10 min. With whole wheat you have to be sure to not add to much flour, the dough should be sticky. If to sticky to finish kneading, put some oil on your counter. With white bread the dough shouldn't be as sticky. I have tried my Kitchen Aid a few times when I wasn't in the mood for the mess on the counter, and I regretted it every time. My bread turns out so much better when I make it the "old fashioned" way and knead it by hand. I have done the Artisan bread too, also when I have been "lazy" about the dough process, and it is very good bread, but it doesn't keep as well, so you bake up what you can eat in a day. If you'd like to try a few of my recipes let me know....
    (what chpt. are we on for book club)

  11. Hi Jamie~
    I make bread all winter long. Took me awhile to find the recipe that works for all of us...Suzie knows what she is talking about. Our grandmothers sifted their flour and they knew what they were doing too right?...sticky dough means soft bread and the heavier your grains, the less it will rise. (meaning, once you get really good at this and start grinding your own wheat...chuckle) Oh, and lard? Um, yes, that is a pretty good answer. (Don't even tell me you have a can of the melted down plastic they like to package and sell as Crisco in your pantry. blech.) Really, though, find something with oil, not butter or lard...those are heavier than oil.
    Have fun ;) Hope to see you soon!

  12. The bread machine I got for Christmas works great! Hmm...a gift thot just entered my mind... :)

  13. lots of great ideas here.
    you could also try purchasing bread flour.
    i add it to my recipes, as i am always fooling around with the flour ratios...wheat, white, etc. but yes, definitely refrigerate your yeast.
    give it enough time to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen.
    and don't EVER use pig lard!
    christine didn't really mean that.
    but since she's pregnant we will forgive her.


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