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Baking Bread Basics?

Last post 07-10-2011 4:41 PM by sissy. 17 replies.
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  • 07-09-2011 4:35 PM

    Baking Bread Basics?

    Karen K. I hope you see this one.

     

    THANK YOU in advance to all who read this and respond. God bless you.

    I am a complete novice to baking my own bread. I am interested in making savoury breads and an occassional sweet bread. I do not have much experience with baking in general, let alone bread. I have tried to make things in the past and ended up with burn bottoms or edges or uncooked dough in middle. It's turned me off and I have a mild fear of baking now - afraid I'm going to fail and waste. I know it sounds silly to be afraid of baking but too many burn buttoms have a semi confident cook to turn into a bashful baker...

    Okay so I've got issues, we all do, but one issue is I won't keep white flour in my house. It's now become an OCD thing and I refuse to get near it... I want to use other, healthier, flours for bread making that will hold up and not turn into a disaster. I know not all flours are made equally. Basic white or whole wheat (whole wheat flavor for fresh bread hasn't done much for me) are not prefered. I have unused barley flour here which I bought a month or so ago and haven't used. Before I bought that, I hadn't bought flour in YEARS. I lost count how long. I have no idea which flours are exceptable for bread making... oat? quoina? barley? nut and seed flours? etc.?

    I don't own a bread machine... or even baking soda or a rolling pin for that matter. Everything will have to be done by hand and in the oven but these hands are hiding due to inexperience... so I thought I'd ask you bread makers for advice on beginning bread making. Any tips, special advice, words of warning, where to start, best product/ingredient to use and buy, etc. would be nice. I would hate to go to all this work to have yet another downstreak of epic failure.I am very interested in starting with herb rolls or loaf bread, savoury zucchini and sweet banana breads.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 07-09-2011 5:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    Zucchini and banana bread are not true breads - they are quick breads, and much closer to cakes than bread.  They are easy to mix and bake, and do not require kneading or rising.  Buy some pyrex or glass bread pans - that makes it easier to see if the bottom is done, and they really do heat more evenly than metal pan I've ever used, and a little shortening, butter or Pam, dusted lightly with flour, keeps the batter from sticking, without worrying about the coating coming off, as often happens with Teflon baking pans.  If you want to make yeast bread, start simple (rolls or plain white bread) and work up from there.  I like the bread recipes in the Better Homes and Gardens cook books.

    Banana Nut Bread

    1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

    1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    2/3 cup sugar

    1/3 cup shortening or butter (I use butter, I think it tastes better)

    2 eggs

    2 tablespoons milk

    1 cup mashed ripe bananas

    1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional - walnuts are the best)

    Stir together dry ingredients and set aside

    Cream sugar and shortening (this is much easier with an electric mixer, if you have one).  Add eggs one at a time, mixing until smooth after each.  Add flour mixture alternately with banana mixture, beating till smooth after each addition (add about 1/4 of each mixture each time - it's okay to have banana lumps, and actually tastes better if you leave a few chunks here and there).  Fold in nuts.

    Turn batter into lightly greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-65 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean (be careful with this - if you hit a lump of banana, try another spot).  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, cool.  Makes one.

     

    Zucchini Nut Loaf

    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspooon ground nutmeg

    1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini (don't use the seeded center, there will be too much moisture in the bread)

    1/4 cup cooking oil

    1/4 cup finely shredded lemon peel (optional - I skip this a lot, I don't like lemon that much)

    1/2 cup chopped walnuts

     

    Stir together dry ingredients and set aside

    In a mixing bowl beat together sugar, zucchini and egg.  Add oil and lemon peel; mix well.  Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture..  Fold in nuts.

    Turn batter into lightly greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, cool.  Makes one.

  • 07-09-2011 5:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    Karenteacher: Thank you for the educated and supportive feedback. I really appreciate the tips and recipe shares too. I'm sorry if we started out on the wrong foot a few weeks ago and hope we can move past it (I have). I appreciate your contribution here. I am sure many others will benefit from your expertise! PS. What other flour could I use than white all purpose or whole wheat for these 2 recipes?
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 07-09-2011 7:05 PM In reply to

    • Karen K
    • Top 75 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 02-24-2009
    • New York Mills, MN
    • Posts 1,327

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    BargainBinge:
    I won't keep white flour in my house

    ok Bargain,  I use white flour in many of my recipes.  Using white flour with wheat and rye gives the breads lighter consistency than just wheat or rye ...  so I'm not the person to ask about more "natural" recipes and experiences for wheats and ryes and other heavier grains.  And making breads takes time, patience and a lot of practice!  Even after all these years of baking I still have those - "wow! did I just do that??"

    Here is a link to Donna @ Millers Grain House who is also on this forum  http://community.stretcher.com/members/Millers-Grain-House.aspx  and I think her website is fantastic. She has a ton of youtube video to watch as well.   She mills and bakes with wheats and other heavier grains and I think she would have much better insight on how to get you started.  Remember ... it takes time, patience and lots of practice!

    http://www.millersgrainhouse.com/

    The quick bread recipes that karenteacher left are really good and easy to make.  I have a zucchini bread recipe that calls for whole wheat but it also calls for white flour and oatmeal.  As you begin to experiment with wheat and other heavier types of flour, you will begin to learn its variables and how to make it work for the recipes you are trying.  You just gotta try to do it, there's no other answer.  Don't let your flubs of the past overly influence and shut you down from making your perfect breads of the future.  Learning from each flub is the only way you are going to make "the" perfect loaf of bread.

    Karen K

    http://www.sugarcreekwoodworking.com
    http://www.asimplepinebox.com
  • 07-09-2011 8:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    I got a double bath of Karen help today! It's like Super Karen Duo to the rescue.

     

    Thank you for the advice and words of encouragement. All my flubs in the past have been with baking deserts like cookies and burning the bottom. Bread though, no experience at all... even premade pizza dough that you roll yourself and still uncooked in the middle. The advice, and links, really will help. Big hugs!

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 07-09-2011 8:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    karen K hand over your onion rolls if not no chocolet for you tonight...

    b.b You can use white all purpose flour or regluar flour for flat breads like they use to call flat breads back in the piooneer times

    Pan cakes

    1 c. white flour

    1 c. or less with milk

    1/2 baking soda

    1/2 capful of apple cider vinager

    Mix all together if not to runny then put a spoon full in a medium hot oiled fry pan wait a min. or 2 if it bobbles on top flip it over then wait a min. o2 then flop in on a pan there you have fry pan pancake throw jam on it or whip cream or real butter home made syrup then breakfast.

    chrissanne
  • 07-09-2011 8:55 PM In reply to

    • Karen K
    • Top 75 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 02-24-2009
    • New York Mills, MN
    • Posts 1,327

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    sissy:
    karen K hand over your onion rolls if not no chocolet for you tonight...

    hey sissy, you can't hold me hostage for that!  I already posted the onion bread recipe here http://community.stretcher.com/forums/t/24962.aspx  and chocolate is not a favorite food.  so there!  Stick out tongue

    Karen K

    http://www.sugarcreekwoodworking.com
    http://www.asimplepinebox.com
  • 07-09-2011 8:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    Sissy, hand over your German potato salad and Karen might share more of those popular onion buns! Smirk.

    Re: white flour, as stated in the post above I have a fear of it in the house. I can barely look at the bags of it as well... I'm not just saying that either. I refuse to buy it so any recipe that calls for it I will need a solid substitution since I won't buy or use it. I know I probably sound coo coo but we all have our issues with food and white flour is one of them with me so no white/all purpose flour over here.

    Thanks for your share! There are always ways to work around recipes with substitutions! And like Karen K said I will learn with experience and trial/error about which flours will work and which ones wont.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 07-09-2011 8:57 PM In reply to

    • Karen K
    • Top 75 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 02-24-2009
    • New York Mills, MN
    • Posts 1,327

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    BargainBinge:
    even premade pizza dough that you roll yourself and still uncooked in the middle

    Could it be your oven that is causing problems?

    Karen K

    http://www.sugarcreekwoodworking.com
    http://www.asimplepinebox.com
  • 07-09-2011 9:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Baking Bread Basics?

    Karen K:

    BargainBinge:
    even premade pizza dough that you roll yourself and still uncooked in the middle

    Could it be your oven that is causing problems?

     

    That's what it sounds like to me too.  Do you have problems with other foods heating unevenly?  Is your oven gas or electric?  If your oven is heating unevenly, it would be most apparent with baked goods.  The easiest way to check would be to get an oven thermometer and place it in different parts of the oven while cooking foods and see what it registers.  A meat thermometer with a moveable probe would also help, to see if foods are heating evenly.

     

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