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#27 May 23 2014 at 5:35 PM Rating: Good
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I just do what my grandmother told me to do. But it never comes out quite like hers (go figure).

2 packages of yeast + 1 cup of hot water, mix it up. Then add 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Then add 2 more cups of warm water. Then add flour, lots of flour... like... 12 cups. Rise in a greased bowl to 2x the size, beat down, rise again, beat down.

When she first told me 12 cups of flour I thought it'd be a huge amount of bread, but it really comes out to like... two good sized loaves.
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#28 May 23 2014 at 6:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Yup. That's a pretty standard set of white bread ingredients. Are you having problems with the rise, or the taste? I'd recommend using warm water (room temperature really), not hot. Can try using warm butter or shortening instead of oil. Also, try mixing 2/3rds of the water, salt, sugar, oil and flour together first, and then mixing in the last 1/3rd of the water plus yeast in. Hot water will kill your yeast. Salt will kill your yeast. So having the first ingredients the yeast makes contact with be salt and hot water is probably not the best approach. Adding the yeast into the mostly mixed dough, with the salt being a very small portion will ensure that your yeast nomnoms on the flour and causes a good rise.

Also realize that the salt and sugar are (mostly) just about taste. They serve almost no other purpose in the bread making. Technically, the sugar can help "jump start" the yeast (similarly, salt content can slow down yeast growth), but my experience is that it'll do just fine with warm water and flour. Biggest deal is getting the ratio of water and flour just right. Even minor differences can be huge. In this case, since you're not baking the result, it's not as much of an issue, though. You just need some rise, but you aren't worried about whether you get enough (or too much and a collapsed top Smiley: mad ). But if your texture seems "off", it could be because you're not getting the correct rise out of your dough.

Yeah. I've been playing at bread making lately. Can you tell?


Oh! Are you using bread flour or all purpose? That will make a difference.
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#29 May 23 2014 at 6:57 PM Rating: Good
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I use all purpose. It's what she does.

It rises, and all that. Tastes similar, just not the same. Probably has to do with the how much (or little) I kneed it relative to her, or maybe the cooking. It's close, just not the same. I've only made if a few times. Where as I've ate hers more than I could count.

Edit:
I remember the last time I made it, she tried some and told me my oil wasn't hot enough when I was frying it.

Edited, May 23rd 2014 10:20pm by TirithRR
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#30 May 23 2014 at 7:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Well, get to work on perfecting it. Chop chop!
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#31 May 27 2014 at 10:35 AM Rating: Decent
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Biggest deal is getting the ratio of water and flour just right. Even minor differences can be huge.

This is true, but it's important to note you should measure the ratio by weight. "1 cup of flour" means virtually nothing if you're trying to establish consistent hydration for bread. Standard for bread is about 70% hydrated dough at the ingredient stage, so 250g of water to 375g of flour or whatever. I bake mostly sourdoughs, and prefer closer to 100% hydrated dough to mix with starter and then proof overnight. Makes a complex, interesting loaf of bread, it's also a huge wet pain in the *** to work with. Anyway, if you're trying to work out a recipe, definitely weigh the flour. It's inconsistent and never really sifts to the same weight per volume twice.
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#32 May 27 2014 at 2:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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I like making buns with 100% hydration starter. I do it on my stone inside metal cookie cutters. Really nice open texture, sort of like a sourdough english muffins.

I usually opt for a lower hydration mix when making the actual bread as you said, it's a giant pain in the ***.

What's your technique for the high hydration loaf?
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#33 May 27 2014 at 3:11 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm. My doughs have all been very dry, easy to handle. Just a rough calculation (didn't weigh, so going by estimate on the flour) puts me somewhere between 50-65%. Next time I'll have to try less flour, and break out the scale.

I remember as a kid walking into the kitchen when my grandmother was making fried bread, and the dough in the bowl rising looked and felt a lot less dense than mine. I made some yesterday and it tasted OK, but when I was making it, as I was tearing chunks off to fry it was pretty stiff, seem to remember a few times helping her that it was a lot easier to pull and stretch out flat, but still wasn't really sticky.

Edited, May 27th 2014 5:13pm by TirithRR
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#34 May 27 2014 at 4:39 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
Hmm. My doughs have all been very dry, easy to handle. Just a rough calculation (didn't weigh, so going by estimate on the flour) puts me somewhere between 50-65%. Next time I'll have to try less flour, and break out the scale.

I remember as a kid walking into the kitchen when my grandmother was making fried bread, and the dough in the bowl rising looked and felt a lot less dense than mine. I made some yesterday and it tasted OK, but when I was making it, as I was tearing chunks off to fry it was pretty stiff, seem to remember a few times helping her that it was a lot easier to pull and stretch out flat, but still wasn't really sticky.


Yeah. Having a feel for the dough is more or less an art form and why a lot of recipes will say something like "X cups of flour". They assume the person using the recipe will know the correct feel for the dough when kneading, and adjust the water/flour mixture as they go along. It's intended to be a starting point, not an absolute measure. As Smash says, using weight for your starting point is much more accurate (and more or less necessary if you're using any sort of bread machine btw), but it's still a good idea to learn the feel of the dough you're making.
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#35 May 28 2014 at 6:53 AM Rating: Good
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Wow, I'm impressed at all the bread bakers.

Yeast is scary. I happily pay the local baker five bucks for my loaf of fresh baked bread.
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#36 May 28 2014 at 3:19 PM Rating: Good
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As for the fry bread recipe, instead of using oil in the bread mix, use lard.

Fry bread actually has a kind of tragic history.

Still delicious. I've had it once and I've been jonesin' to have it again. Actually the only thing I am looking forward to when I travel back out to Brrrr Montana.

Edited, May 28th 2014 5:20pm by Catwho
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#37 May 29 2014 at 1:06 PM Rating: Good
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I changed the flour:water ratio, to about 65-70% by weight instead of volume (give or take a little extra for kneading). The dough turned out much better. But instead of frying it I decided to throw it in a pan and bake a loaf. It felt a lot closer to the consistency of the dough I remember. I used a LOT less flour. Only around 3 cups worth for half the recipe I mentioned earlier, which would have used almost 6 cups.

I'll see how the loaf comes out. Last loaf I made with the old ratio was pretty dense.
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#38 May 29 2014 at 1:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Wow. Your flour must be really packed in or something (kinda precisely why weight is better). Good to see you're getting better results.
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#39 May 29 2014 at 2:15 PM Rating: Good
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Well, my grandmother said "Start with 6 cups, then add more as needed, sometimes up to 12 cups"...

I think she was just making a wild guess at the "up to" and I misunderstood it, so I forced more in than should be there. Cause 6 cups came out a lot closer to what I just made.

Now I just need a real oven. Time to stop dawdling and finish my kitchen rework so I can get my new oven and dishwasher in. This little toaster oven works, but doesn't do a very even bake on a bread pan that just about fills the whole thing.
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#40 May 30 2014 at 7:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Well, my grandmother said "Start with 6 cups, then add more as needed, sometimes up to 12 cups"...
Reminds me of something my grandfather would say. He'd say, "I'm goin' upstairs to **** your grandmother." He was an honest man, and he wasn't going to ******** a four-year-old.
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#41 Jun 09 2014 at 8:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Porkobello kabob plate. Seemed like a good lunch choice at the time...
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