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Old 01-24-2014, 04:07 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, OR
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Default Will Work For Bread...

and dance and bounce and bark and twirl and anything for some of your bread, man.

I've recently gotten into backing bread, mostly some of the artisan type bread that just has the 4 basic ingredients (water, salt, yeast and flour) and left in the refrigerator for days as it builds flavor. I've also tried a few of the enriched bread recipes that make a more cake like bread than bread type bread. It's been fun and tasty. What I have found interesting is that our dogs have all learned the signs that I'm about to taste test or eat some of my bread and will come rushing into the kitchen and start trying to get my attention that they want to help test. Even Dyna, who is usually... "ho hum. You got a treat? Well, maybe I want some and maybe I don't. Definitely not if you are going to make me work very hard for it." when it comes to food and treats. She is usually the first one in there (even before Echo, the oldie who is a real food hound) and doing the tricks she knows before I have time make the first cut. Even the two youngsters are learning new tricks in order to get some of my bread. Who knew that this would work better than the Buffalo strips or their usual cookies they get. LOL! Even the stuff I've made that didn't come out quite as intended (yes, you can mess up using only the 4 basic ingredients LOL!) they will pull out all stops on the tricks to have a share of my bread.

I have learned quit a bit about bread in the last month. Usually it was throw the ingredients into the bread machine (in the order shown in the list) and let the machine make the bread. It was ok but it just didn't have the yeasty bread flavor I was after. I found that the trick is letting it rest at least over night (longer is better) to allow the yeast to do it's thing and the flour to do it's thing and building up flavor. It's not like making sourdough (I'm not a big fan of sourdough), you don't let it ferment until it's sour, but it's letting the flavor build in the dough. Then it's cooked at 450 (you start as high as the oven will go so you don't drop the heat below 450 when the door is opened to put the dough in) and you pour a cup of hot water into a ban that has been pre-heating under the cooking rack to create the 5 minutes of so of steam that creates the crust that you find on the bakery style artisan breads. It's actually surprised me that it comes out looking just like the breads in the books and on the internet that I've seen. It tastes pretty good although I don't have a basis to compare it against since I've not really bought a lot of this bread at the bakeries around Portland. But so far, it's always been two paws up (per Bouvier) for all I've cooked.

Mike
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