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How to fit bread baking in daily life

SallyBR1's picture

of all things in cooking, I think bread baking is the one I love the most. However, I tend to do it maybe twice per month. Ok, if you count pizza and focaccia maybe a little more often

I also think that the more you bake bread, the better you get at it - and my improvement has been slow, very slow

I would like to have some system going - some method to allow me to make bread AND enjoy it regularly - however, all recipes that seem worth working on call for an overnight rise in the fridge (no problem with that), but then next day there is at least a 2 hour wait to bake the bread, 45 minutes or more baking, an hour or so to allow it to cool.

Well, by the time the bread is done, it's too late to eat it - in my experience, home made bread does not taste as good next day

ideas? suggestions? or am I doomed to be a weekend bread baker only?

 


 


"I marinate my kitchen on a regular basis"

(pamilyn, April 2007)

Gretchen's picture

(post #64352, reply #1 of 103)

Artisanal breads probably, but just plain ole home baked loaf bread is pretty good also. Give that a try on a Saturday.


We have a friend in Nashville who got together with a couple of friends every Saturday morning to bake their weekly bread. Nice idea, I thought.


Gretchen


Edited 5/30/2007 10:05 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
MadMom's picture

(post #64352, reply #2 of 103)

When I lived in Panama, where good bread was difficult to find in the stores (the only redeeming factor about the local bread was that you could spread cold butter on it), I would bake every Saturday, sometimes 4 loaves, sometimes 6 or 8, depending on my mood.  Would eat some, then freeze the rest.  It tasted fine out of the freezer, but perhaps that was just relative to the PanCanal stuff?



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Marie Louise's picture

(post #64352, reply #3 of 103)

Make small rolls out of your artisan rolls, perhaps?

I do freeze leftover baguettes, they taste decent if we eat them again that week.

MadMom's picture

(post #64352, reply #4 of 103)

Mean's polenta rolls are quite good, and can be made in little more than the time it takes to preheat the oven.  Sure beats the "brown and serve" crap we get at the store.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

SallyBR1's picture

(post #64352, reply #23 of 103)

I printed out that recipe - anything with polenta sounds too good to pass

:-)

 


 


"I marinate my kitchen on a regular basis"

(pamilyn, April 2007)

DeannaS's picture

(post #64352, reply #25 of 103)

You know, also, if you're mostly interested in the hand-mixing aspects - go for rolls and pita bread and stuff like that. The rise time is usually much shorter, and there's no "wait while it cools" time at all. And, you can just bake off what you need for any particular meal/day.

(We've succumbed to the bread machine. Our goal is not to buy bread all year, and the bread machine is just too easy.)

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

Sondra's picture

(post #64352, reply #5 of 103)

I've been working with one of Peter Reinhart's artisan baguette recipes from Crust & Crumb, which is not quick by definition, but it doesn't require a biga either, and though it does take an overnight fridge rise, it doesn't necessarily have to sit out for 2 hrs before baking - only if it hasn't risen by 50-75% overnight.  


Essentially, you mix ap flour, bread flour, etc., let rise for half hour, turn, let rise another 90 minutes, shape into baguettes or rolls & place in plastic bag (I use french baguette pans with holes), allow to rise overnight in fridge, bake off (if rise 50-75%)(around 30 minutes or so).  Usually, I take the bread out of the fridge while oven is warming. The taste of the bread is excellent.  I prep after dinner, have in fridge by 9pm'ish, and bake off around 8 or 9 am next morning.  Don't know how it behaves if left longer in fridge, have to experiment to see.

TracyK's picture

(post #64352, reply #6 of 103)

Hey Sally -- Try the milk bread I posted several months ago... it definitely stays good longer than a day. You could make it on the weekend and eat it throughout the week.


Heck, I ate the last pieces from the freezer (toasted, obviously!) two months later, and it was still delicious.


Baking stuff in the morning doesn't work so well for folks who work a full-time 9-5 type job.



CT poster in bad standing since 2000.


Edited 5/30/2007 11:37 am ET by TracyK

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #64352, reply #8 of 103)

If it's artisinal bread you're after, the infamous no-knead bread might be your best bet. You can make the dough the night before, and bake it off in time for dinner the next day.





"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
George Orwell, 1984

SallyBR1's picture

(post #64352, reply #20 of 103)

That still calls for a 15 minute rest after folding and 2 hours rise before baking

I make this bread often, but always during the weekend - and only when I added potato water to the dough the bread was good next day.

 


 


"I marinate my kitchen on a regular basis"

(pamilyn, April 2007)

helena1's picture

(post #64352, reply #7 of 103)

My pastry class teacher told us to partially bake the bread (say 20 minutes if the recipe calls for 30-35), then freeze it, and bake it off at your convenience, to end up with fresh bread. I have to admit I never tried it, but I have the exact same dilemma you have that is keeping me from baking bread more regularly. I just do it on days I don't work now.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #64352, reply #10 of 103)

I think you've got the right answer!

sawinsor's picture

(post #64352, reply #9 of 103)

I have a simple French bread recipe I learned at my first cooking class here in Eugene. It's made in the Cuisinart - I've now got it down pat.....I start it when I first get up and the first proofing is usually done by the time I finish my coffee and paper.

shaloop's picture

(post #64352, reply #19 of 103)

"I have a simple French bread recipe I learned at my first cooking class here in Eugene. It's made in the Cuisinart - I've now got it down pat.....I start it when I first get up and the first proofing is usually done by the time I finish my coffee and paper."


Would you mind sharing the recipe?  This sounds just right for me.


 

SallyBR1's picture

(post #64352, reply #22 of 103)

I would be interested in your recipe too

 


 


"I marinate my kitchen on a regular basis"

(pamilyn, April 2007)

DeannaS's picture

(post #64352, reply #24 of 103)

Maggie Glezer's Zweiback Wedding Bread is a good option. You can do all the mixing by hand, and then it can rise in the fridge for up to 3 days. I think it makes 2-3 loaves, if I remember correctly. I haven't tried it, but I think if you were using a loaf pan you could shape it in the morning before work, pop it back in the fridge, pull it out as soon as you got home and bake it off in time for dinner - a couple of times from the same batch of kneading and such.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

sawinsor's picture

(post #64352, reply #26 of 103)

Here it is - hope you enjoy it.
Stephanie

French Bread 2 loaves
6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
Place yeast & sugar in warm water - about 10 min.
Put rest in processor - add yeast/water and process about 40 seconds.
Rise til dbl in greased bowl (about 1 hr)
Shape, rise in greased loaf pan (about 1 hour)
400 degrees, 25 minutes.

shaloop's picture

(post #64352, reply #27 of 103)

Thanks.  I'll try it.  This is basically my basic bread, however, I've never done it in a food processor so I'll try it this way.  Thanks again.

bonnieruth's picture

(post #64352, reply #95 of 103)

I have made this twice now and found it delicious.  However, I am puzzled by the instruction to mix the dough for 2 loaves in the food processor.  I have a standard size Cuisinart, but it wasn't large enough for that much dough.  The dough spilled over and shorted out my outlet, which was no big deal, but I had to add more water and wasn't sure how much I had lost, and it still seemed very dry and way too much for the food processor, so I ended up adding more water and yeast and kneading it by hand.  With all that, it still came out with a lovely crisp crust and light, soft interior.  The 2nd time I made it I made just one loaf, and that was fine.  It is amazing to get such a good bread in such a short time.  I substituted one cup of semolina flour for one cup of the white, as I am totally in love with semolina at the moment.

sawinsor's picture

(post #64352, reply #101 of 103)

Sorry,I should have specified - I have a 14 cup FP.......but I prefer to make only one loaf and make it more often (because you're right - it's easy, fast, and delicious)

Memsahib's picture

(post #64352, reply #96 of 103)

Have two questions:


Have you ever halved the recipe?


Would like to make a baguette-shapped loaf.  Do you think it would work to bake the loaf on a rimmed baking sheet rather than in a loaf pan?


To one who shares food it is sugar


To one who eats alone it is a toad


Punjabi Proverb

To one who shares food it is sugar

To one who eats alone it is a toad

Punjabi Proverb

Jean's picture

(post #64352, reply #97 of 103)

I'm looking for an excuse to buy this. :)


Bread Pan - Italian




Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
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A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Memsahib's picture

(post #64352, reply #98 of 103)

Me too.  I've also thought about the Sassafras piece that has been suggested.  Almost $50 on Amazon so I've hesitated.


To one who shares food it is sugar


To one who eats alone it is a toad


Punjabi Proverb

To one who shares food it is sugar

To one who eats alone it is a toad

Punjabi Proverb

Debby's picture

(post #64352, reply #99 of 103)

Is this the one from Chicago Metallic?   I love mine--have the 'three rungs' one for smaller baquettes, as well.


Debby

Jean's picture

(post #64352, reply #100 of 103)

I'm not sure who makes it. KAFlour sells them. Not sure that I really neeeeeeeed it though.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
sawinsor's picture

(post #64352, reply #102 of 103)

I normally halve the recipe.......and the chef I learned this from was surprised I used a loaf pan as she always does it as a French baguette. So your pan desire would work just great.

Memsahib's picture

(post #64352, reply #103 of 103)

Great!  Thank you!

To one who shares food it is sugar


To one who eats alone it is a toad


Punjabi Proverb

To one who shares food it is sugar

To one who eats alone it is a toad

Punjabi Proverb

butterscotch's picture

(post #64352, reply #11 of 103)

I don't think there's any way to preserve the crisp crust you get from just-out-of-the-oven bread for more than 24 hours.  It just goes away, especially when you wrap bread in foil, put it in plastic bags, etc.


There are only two solutions I can think of for just-baked bread on demand and both have their own drawbacks:


 1) Get a bread machine with a timer that allows you to decide exactly when the baking process will start, even if it's while you're asleep at night or out at work. The downside is that you have to put up with loaves that look alike and whatever imperfections your bread machine might cause in the recipe. I know many people don't like to use their bread machines for baking because the finished product is not what they have in mind, in terms of size, shape, look and feel of the crust, etc.  They just use the machines to simplify the mixing and kneading process. BUT they are the only device I know of that can bake safely for you when you're not around or need to be doing other things.


2) Freeze unbaked loaves that are shaped and can go into the oven as soon as they reach room temperature. Somewhere in your cookbook library must be some baking books with advice on how to freeze bread dough and bake with it.  Of course, this won't eliminate the two hours necessary for baking and cooling. But it is easier when all you have to do is remove it from the freezer and pop it in the oven and don't have to spend the additional hour-and-a-half needed to mix, knead, and clean up the kitchen.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #64352, reply #13 of 103)

You can re-crisp it by putting it into a hot oven for 10 minutes or so.

Gretchen's picture

(post #64352, reply #14 of 103)

I have never had any problem with freezing loaf bread after fully baking it. I don't think I could have removed it 15 minutes early (as in Helena's suggestion) because it would collapse, it would just not be done, would be not browned on the bottom and sides.

Gretchen

Gretchen