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Dravin

Bread

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Okay, I am, after a brief hiatus, about to have my first success *crosses fingers* with using a sourdough starter to bake bread. Which, along with some zucchini bread I'm going to be making later, leaves me with bread making on the mind.

So, anyone have any favored bread recipes? I have to confess I tend to make my bread by feel because bread is pretty forgiving unless you're seeking some very specific characteristics. Even then baker's percentages aren't difficult to use, actually I find them much handier than a traditional recipe.

For those unfamiliar with baker's percentage everything is given as a percentage relative to the amount of flour.

So for example a recipe that looks like this

100% flour (this could be broken down into something like 20% Whole Wheat and 80% White)

65% water

2% salt

1% yeast

Would mean if you had 100 grams of flour you'd add 2 grams of salt. 65 grams of water, and 1 gram of yeast. And yes, it adds up to more than 100%, but it's a much simpler way of doing a recipe than volumetrically and easier to scale. Though I could see how for a recipe with a lot of ingredients in small amounts it could get annoying.

Anyway, I tend to do a lean simple loaf, flour, water, and salt (and yeast/starter of course). But after a while I'll get tired of just doing a simple loaf of my white/wheat sourdough (or non-sourdough) blend and while I know it's simple enough to add herbs I figured I'd see if anyone wanted to talk bread? So feel free to offer your own recipes or bread ideas be they yeast or quick breads.

Back in the day I made a lot of jalapeno monterey Jack bread that was pretty tasty, I may need to 'rediscover' the recipe before to long.

Edited by Dravin

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I'm a zucchini bread snob. The recipe I use was my great-grandmother's, and it's been in my family for at least four generations. It's the best zucchini bread I've ever eaten, and anyone I've ever shared it with says the same. It's the only recipe in my arsenal that I don't share with anyone. I'm happy to make it for people, but I won't give out the recipe.

That said, I was really intrigued when I saw this recipe two years ago: Savory Zucchini Bread with Cilantro, Scallions, and Cheddar. I made it once, and it was good, but not amazing. It's fun to try once, though.

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I may have to try that, I have a relative with some zucchini plants and produces like crazy. That and I still have two bags of grated zucchini in the freezer from last year.

Edit: I just followed the link from your link to this: Food Blogga: Bake (Don't Buy) Zucchini Bread For Your Doctor - I have to confess this one tempts me more.

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Edit: I just followed the link from your link to this: Food Blogga: Bake (Don't Buy) Zucchini Bread For Your Doctor - I have to confess this one tempts me more.

This sounds like a pretty good recipe, and will probably be fairly moist, which is often a problem with zucchini bread. I'd tone down the pineapple, though. I've added pineapple to mine on occasion, and it adds to the moisture and sweetness, but a whole cup is a LOT to add, especially for only two loaves.

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I get lost with percentages.

My recipe is simple and in cups and tablespoons. You can make one loaf or 10 just by multiplying the numbers. The flour is by feel.

1 Cup warm water

1 TB dry yeast

1 TB sugar

1 TB oil (I prefer vegetable oil, but shortening can be used. I've even used olive oil.)

1/2 TB salt (or what looks like half)

I layer these ingredients in a large bowl, in order. And sprinkle the salt around the edges so it doesn't stop the yeast from growing. Then I start adding flour. For one loaf I start with 2 Cups of flour and keep adding until my hand mixer is working too hard. Then I let the dough rest while I clean off the beaters and wipe down the mixer. Then I add a bit more flour and start kneading in the bowl with my hands. When the sides and my hands come clean (or nearly so) I turned it all out onto a floured or oiled surface (It depends on humidity levels. Here in Utah flour in the winder and oil in summer.) Continue kneading until the dough is soft and elastic. Cover and let raise until double. Punch down and shape into loaves. Let raise in loaf pans until double and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. (bread is done when it sounds hollow when you knock on it.)

I've used this recipe to make 10 loaves. I've used it to make rolls for dinner and added an 1 egg per cup of water. I've also added powdered milk to the water. Its just a good basic recipe which tolerates a lot of playing around. :D

My boys all make bread. So does hubby. This recipe is so easy to remember and forgiving that rarely does it not turn out. They sort of have contests to see whose bread is best and its all the same recipe. LOL

EDIT: I have an amazing Banana Bread recipe. Its not the typical recipe. It uses sour cream as well as Bananas. Its so yummy and moist. Its a recipe that's been in my family for years. I will share it with anyone interested. :) Its another one that seems a bit different when my sister makes it, or my brother, or me. LOL

Edited by applepansy

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The King Arthur website has great recipes and tips on bread baking. If you're making a foray into sourdough you have to try their sourdough pizza recipe. It's kind of an all-day project what with the waiting periods involved, but it is really, really good.

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This sounds like a pretty good recipe, and will probably be fairly moist, which is often a problem with zucchini bread. I'd tone down the pineapple, though. I've added pineapple to mine on occasion, and it adds to the moisture and sweetness, but a whole cup is a LOT to add, especially for only two loaves.

My general rule is to make it once by directions and then toy. I find when I toy first I find myself in the position of trying to figure out if my toying is the reason it didn't turn out, or if it turned out despite my toying. :-/

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EDIT: I have an amazing Banana Bread recipe. Its not the typical recipe. It uses sour cream as well as Bananas. Its so yummy and moist. Its a recipe that's been in my family for years. I will share it with anyone interested. :) Its another one that seems a bit different when my sister makes it, or my brother, or me. LOL

I'm interested, I've actually got a hand of bananas in the freezer.

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My general rule is to make it once by directions and then toy. I find when I toy first I find myself in the position of trying to figure out if my toying is the reason it didn't turn out, or if it turned out despite my toying. :-/

Same here, especially with baking (I'll fiddle around more with cooking). I'm just speaking from experience on the pineapple.

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The King Arthur website has great recipes and tips on bread baking. If you're making a foray into sourdough you have to try their sourdough pizza recipe. It's kind of an all-day project what with the waiting periods involved, but it is really, really good.

Thank you!! I've read one or two other sourdough pizza crust recipes, but this one is the most straightforward and easiest to understand. I usually only keep about a 1/2 cup starter in the fridge, though, so next time I use it, I'll have to pull a larger starter.

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Oooh neat, they have the recipes in grams. Looks like a straight conversion from ounces though, no attempt to tweak the total amount for nicer figures. Still useful all the same, I love my metric weight measurements.

Edited by Dravin

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I'm not a good cook but a friend of mine gave me her breadmaker because she was moving out of the country... I love that breadmaker! Really easy breezy to make bread.

But, so far, this recipe is the best I have ever made - which is kinda wierd because all of the breadmaker recipes tell you to be careful in adding yeast so that it doesn't touch the water, whereas this recipe says mix your yeast in with the water and wait a while for it to do whatever yeast do in water...

Here goes: Best Bread Machine Bread Recipe - Allrecipes.com

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But, so far, this recipe is the best I have ever made - which is kinda wierd because all of the breadmaker recipes tell you to be careful in adding yeast so that it doesn't touch the water, whereas this recipe says mix your yeast in with the water and wait a while for it to do whatever yeast do in water...

That's weird, because most non-bread machine recipes have you proof the yeast IN water to start with.

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But, so far, this recipe is the best I have ever made - which is kinda wierd because all of the breadmaker recipes tell you to be careful in adding yeast so that it doesn't touch the water, whereas this recipe says mix your yeast in with the water and wait a while for it to do whatever yeast do in water...

If you're dealing with active dried yeast it's called proofing, it gives them a chance to wake up first and thus they get to making CO2 relatively sooner once given a food source. Some recipes (thinking of hand made) go so far as to have you add sugar or flour (aka yeast food) to the water and yeast mixture to get them all fired up and reproducing so that when they are added to the bread they are raring to go.

Edited by Dravin

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Okay, I am, after a brief hiatus, about to have my first success *crosses fingers* with using a sourdough starter to bake bread.

Success!

Posted Image

Finally, previous attempts had all turned out with an extremely tight crumb and extremely dense. Now to start working with wetter dough to open the crumb up some. Or just live with the tighter crumb I suppose.

The crumb for those interested:

Posted Image

Links to larger resolution images available upon request.

Edited by Dravin

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