Saturday, 9 November 2013

Baking Day

Ready to go into the preheated oven
Yesterday was a baking day at my house. The Farmer decided at 3:00pm that he would really like some cinnamon rolls for dessert. If I am going to go through the hassle of making dough for cinnamon rolls, I am not going to do just one recipe with it. Yesterday it was bread, cinnamon rolls, and something we call pizza rolls. I will post all the recipes over the course of the next week, but today I am going to talk about just the basic dough, and making the bread.
For Christmas this year, my parents gifted me with a wonderful Bosch mixer. After being very disappointed in the so-called “professional” Kitchen-Aid mixer. I am finding that this machine has a steeper learning curve than the KA did, but I am already enjoying how flexible being able to do one large batch of dough like this, and use it for bread for the week, supper for that night, and treats. This is actually a small batch of dough, the Bosch can make up to 9 loaves at a time!
You can find the recipe below in the more typical “recipe” format. For now, I am just going to walk through a generic bread recipe step by step. I adapted this recipe from this one at Paula’s Bread.
SONY DSCStep 1: Add your warm water, yeast, oil, honey, dough enhancer (if using), vital wheat gluten (if using), and half your flour. Basically you want to add whatever your recipe calls for, minus half your flour, and your salt. Let this sit for at least 10 minutes, up to, well 8-12 hours really. The longer you leave it the more flavour will develop. After you leave it for about 3 hours would be called a bulk ferment, under 3 hours and you are really only allowing the flour to fully hydrate before you mix it. Sounds like I know what I’m doing huh? Yeah, I don’t ;) Trust me, there are people who spend their whole LIVES baking bread.
Step 2: Add your salt now, and then start adding the rest of your flour. You want your mixture to look something like the photo on the left. I apologize for the awful picture, the camera kept wanting to focus on the hook instead of the dough. If you look where the dough meets the bowl you can see that it is not leaving any residue behind. This would be the “dough clearing the sides of the bowl” and is an sign that you have enough flour. When the humidity is high, you will need more flour than when it is low. With my recipe that calls for 10 cups of flour, I typically add 9 cups, and see how it is, then add the last cup slowly. The least I have ever needed was 9 cups and the most was 10 1/2 cups.
SONY DSCStep 3: Let the dough knead for about 5 minutes. At this point you want to test if your dough is ready to go. What I do is break of a small piece and feel it. You want the dough soft, slightly tacky but not sticky, and able to stretch a bit without breaking. The dough on the left is ready to go. Notice how it has lost that “shaggy” look? One of the key selling features of the Bosch – at least to me – was that you don’t have to let your dough rise bulk rise before you put it in the pans to rise again. But, I do like to pan up my bread last which does give it a little time to rise first.
SONY DSCStep 4:  If I am adding seasonings to my bread I like to pat it out in a rectangular shape, and add the seasonings. To this loaf of bread I added oregano and basil, you can add whatever suits your fancy. Note: Another option would be to add the seasonings while you are mixing the dough, but don’t do this if you are planning on using some of the dough for something sweet. Ask me how I know…..

SONY DSCStep 5: Roll up the dough as if you were making cinnamon rolls. Tuck the ends under, and plop it into the bread pan. I like to put on mine on the stove near the vent while I am preheating the oven as I tend to get a quicker rise that way. You want to let your bread rise until you poke it and it holds a bit of an indent. Yes, you read that right. Poke your bread dough. If it makes you feel better maybe you could cut out a picture of the Pillsbury dough boy and poke that instead? Anyways….

SONY DSCStep 6: When your dough has risen, put it in the over at 375F for about 25 minutes. Honestly, I don’t time it. When it starts to smell like bread in the house you are getting close, and I start checking on it. When it looks like this, it’s done.

Basic Bread
Recipe type: Bread
This is a very flexible recipe. I have done it using all whole wheat flour, all white flour, and a mixture of both. When using whole wheat flour, I have found that I get the best results adding dough enhancer, and vital wheat gluten in the amount recommended on the package (not all are the same). If I am using over 50% white flour these are not necessary. I adapted this recipe from Paula’s Bread.
  • 3½ cups warm water
  • 3 TBS yeast
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 10 cups of flour (divided)
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS dough enhancer (optional)
  • Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)
  1. These are the instructions for making bread in a mixer:
  2. Add water, yeast, oil, honey, dough enhancer, vital wheat gluten, and 5 cups of flour into bowl.
  3. Mix on speed 1 until combined.
  4. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Turn on mixer and start adding the remaining flour a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be worked in.
  6. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, longer if needed, to develop the gluten. It will feel tacky but not sticky when finished.
  7. Separate into three balls.
  8. Form into loaves.
  9. Place in lightly oiled bread pan.
  10. Bake at 375F for approximately 25 minutes.

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