Sunday, July 11, 2010


I will be doing several posts in this series.   First let me" introduce myself".   I started making bread by hand when I was still single, in the mid-seventies.  It was light, delicious, and held together beautifully.  I had no idea why, I just worked with it until it was right.  I also realized that kneading bread by hand could give you quite a work out, good for the arms, especially the triceps and even for the abs.

Fast forward . . .  got married was broke as a church mouse when my husband changed careers five months later and it had to be good or we were in trouble, since I couldn't go out and buy some.  OK, I still had a little pride intact at that point and had to preserve a little dignity.  I married a really nice guy who had great cooks in his family.  He was the poor old bachelor (30) that everyone liked to take care of, so I had to live up to that.  The point being, please don't ignore this thinking, "I have a good recipe, don't need this".  It is good bread and who doesn't want to stretch their time in each day? 
  • First -- I will post the original recipe
  • Second -- will be the making of the recipe with pictures and results.
  • Third -- will be tweeking and playing with the recipes, because I am me, this is my blog and I can't help myself.   Angela said that it was OK because she did the same thing . . . wish I had gotten to know this kindred spirit earlier than a week before she moved!
  • Fourth -- I have learned a lot this week as I have used different ingredients, some of which I can't use if my grandson is going to be eating it.  I will be learning more as this process takes place and will share the good, the bad and ugly with you.  Left my pride behind me years ago and just want to make this life a growing experience for me and for anyone I can spare you the same "failures" that I may have  . . .  I am a mother and seem to take that old hen approach with any one around me.  Blame this one on my mom, she was that way.
  • So from an "Old Dog" , please don't write this series off if you feel you have nothing to learn.  I am 60 and still learn more every day.  Some of these are so quick it hurts.    Time is a priceless commodity in today's world.  This will help.
Some of the first lessons I learned :

  •  Know Your Machine --- When Angela showed me how to make this bread at her house, it was kneaded for 10 minutes.  When I did it at my house before teaching the bread class, the dough was really weird, lumpy and just wouldn't work up to a nice smooth surface like I am used to when forming loaves.  I finally realized that her machine had a dough hook like this.  It is a large industrial sized Kitchen Aid, just like I thought I wanted to replace mine with.  She said that it has a hard time kneading a four-loaf batch of dough when it is pure whole wheat flour.  So now I am wondering, like I can afford to buy anything right now . . .  

  • I have an old K-TEK machine that I bought about 25 years ago.  I made 6 loaves at a time, often twice a week.  If you notice, there are actually two hooks on this one and the white "flat arms" that stick out are stationary, so the hooks are pulling the dough against them while kneading.  Very efficient, but can murder your gluten in a heart beat if you don't pay attention. Who knew?  This wasn't the first time it has happened, just the first time in years.
  • So the moral of this long winded epistle is, read your owners manual!
Pantry Secrets Bread --  Angela's tweeks in (  ) 

  • 10 ½ cups bread flour or whole-wheat flour (or combination)  -- (we used 8 of whole wheat and 2 white all purpose flour that day)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 3 rounded Tablespoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons (liquid) soy lecithin (or 2 1/2 Tab. dough enhancer or both)
  • 4 cups HOT tap water (or 3 cups hot water and 1 cup applesauce)

***It is important that you measure all ingredients very accurately!!***

    1.   Mix dry ingredients (and dough enhancer if using).  
    2.   Add liquid lecithin directly into 3 tablespoon indentations in the flour and water.


    ***  I tried to make one with a quarter cup, didn't work, so just make Tablespoon holes   Loved this little trick!***

    3.   Mix for one minute and check for consistency.  If dough is too dry or lumps to one side, add more water.  4.   If dough is too moist, add a little flour.  
    5.   Mix for 5 minutes for white bread, 10 minutes for wheat bread.  
    6.   It will eventually clean the sides of the bowl.  Dough will be sticky.  Don’t add any more water or flour after it has finished mixing.
    7.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
    8.   Spray counter and bread pans with cooking spray.  
    9.   Cut dough into 4 equal pieces..  
    10.  Shape loaves and cover with a dish towel.  
    11.  Let rise 20-25 minutes without touching or moving the dough.  
    12.  Bake for 25 minutes.  If using a convection oven, bake 14 minutes.  
    13.  Immediately remove from baking pans and allow to cool on racks.

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