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Basic Bread Questions
March 18, 2012
11:04 am
NotStuckinMiamiAnymore
Miami, Florida
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Thank you Ross. Here is what I have been working with in my Baker's Percentages.

Flour 100%

Water 65%

Salt 2%

Yeast 2% (Some have recommended 4% yeast – which seems like a lot to me)

I reserve the last cup or so of flour called for and use that to knead with.

Some of the online research that I have done says that the flour sold in the south is different than what is sold in the north. Do you know if that is southern brands or the flour itself? Because I buy the Pillsbury flour in the 10# bags since I use so much, same brand as when I lived in Oregon. I tried Martha White but didn't like what it did to my soups.

If there was any logic in this world, it would be men who ride side-saddle, not women.
March 18, 2012
1:55 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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You could check with the home office for the flour company. Sometimes you can buy bread flour from a neighborhood bakery. Here in Maryland all of the house brand all purpose unbleached seems to be the same. Check the protein content on the bag.

Give yourself a business name and buy from a wholesaler.

March 18, 2012
2:40 pm
Joell
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happy-flowerHello--I buy 25 lb bags of bread flour for less than $10.00 at Sam Club. I have been using it for a few years now and always had good results, they carry a couple of different flours in large amount as well.

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March 18, 2012
4:29 pm
mamawolf
Colorado Springs
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I have used flour from Costco for many, many years and pay approximately the same price as Sam's. With the exception of the cracking problem a while ago, have had no problems with it.  I use it for everything. chef

Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like you do when no one is watching.
September 5, 2012
4:17 pm
54R4H
Sand Mountain, AL
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Any suggestions for proper storage of a fresh loaf?  When they come out of the oven they are soooo light and soft and perfect and wonderful, but it's just my husband and I at home and it takes us almost a week to finish a whole loaf.  After 2 days it is hard and crumbly.  :(

I usually keep it in a ziploc freezer bag on the counter, in the past keeping it in the refrigerator also made it quite hard.  But, I am willing to try any suggestions for keeping our fresh loaves fresher.

September 5, 2012
5:02 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I make smaller loaves and freeze them as soon as they are completely cool. Other wise you can cut the loaf in half and freeze half. Bread should go stale in two or three days . that is why bakeries sell "day old" bread at a discount.

September 5, 2012
5:04 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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The very best french toast is made with stale bread.

September 5, 2012
5:06 pm
54R4H
Sand Mountain, AL
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Excellent, at least it wasn't the bread's fault it was getting hard and crumbly  :)  I will freeze some of it.  And, I will be sure to make french toast with the stale slices!  Thank you.

September 6, 2012
2:37 am
bonita
north east IL
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and bruschetta, too make some bruschetta for the crunchy stale bread

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September 6, 2012
4:17 am
NotStuckinMiamiAnymore
Miami, Florida
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and homemade bread crumbs, strata, croutons, bread pudding, onion soup, stuffing….! Oh! the many possibilities! I love (stale) bread!!!!!!!!!!

If there was any logic in this world, it would be men who ride side-saddle, not women.
September 6, 2012
7:41 am
justdeborah2002
ottawa ON
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I make Suzanne's recipe for white Grandmother Bread, usually every five days.  It's just myself at home, so I don't go through it that fast.  

How I store it though, is in one of those produce bags that the grocery store provides….you know, the very thin plastic bags with the handles that can be used to tie them shut.  I find it stays soft and chewy, not at all hard.  But you do have to wait until it is COMPLETELY cool before tucking it into one of those bags.

On the evening of day 4 of the bread, I usually cut the remainder up into cubes, and pop them into a ziploc type bag that I have on the go in the freezer.  Then when I have enough, I can make croutons, or bread pudding, or bread crumbs, or panzanella.  

If for some reason I forget to cut it up on day 4, I wake up in the morning on day 5 and there are little mold spots all over the bread.  Perfect to moldy, in one night.  Weird how it happens every time.

And day 5 I do it all over again, making a new loaf.

 

HTH

queen of make it fit
September 6, 2012
8:02 am
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I often make my bread into potato size rolls and we eat it that way if we don't need regular slices. Instead of dividing the dough into two portions if you divide it into six and form little round loaves and freeze five you can always have very fresh bread. http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k482/nansssor/2012_0116cardoldcameranew0015.jpg

September 6, 2012
8:15 am
Miss Judy
West Central MO
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@ Ross…this is off topic but…a cousin posted a pic of one single bun in the oven on face book…to tell us that she is pregnant!laugh 

Your pic reminded me of that..and since I am older and my thoughts are now flying in and out of the mature brain…I had to post.

I make my bread in the small little individual loaves that a lot of people use for gifting at Christmas time.

September 6, 2012
9:29 am
stacylee
Indiana
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Hey guys! My sister just got diagnosed with a bunch of food allergies, gluten being one of them (dairy, mustard, eggs etc.!!!). I was just wondering, I know they can make noodles and some crackers out of rice and nut flour, have any of you ever tried to make bread this way? I would love to cheer her up with some really GOOD bread instead of the junk from the grocery she has been trying.wave

September 6, 2012
4:59 pm
Miss Judy
West Central MO
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Well, my daughter is still searching for a "really good" gluten free bread. She has lots of recipes but bread just isn't bread without gluten. The best way she has found is to buy a gluten free flour mix and go from there. I must say some of the things she makes are pretty good though. She feels so much better on gluten free that she won't ever go back to her old way of eating.

September 6, 2012
5:27 pm
mamajhk
South Central Kansas
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Elizabeth Hasselback (not sure of the spelling), one of the co-hosts on The View is on a gluten free diet.  I think I remember seeing/hearing that she had a gluten free cookbook out.  

I know that I am seeing a lot more gluten free things on the market shelves now days.

September 7, 2012
6:01 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I made a batch of bread today it was 30 ounces of flour and twenty ounces of water and of course salt, yeast and a little fat. I divided it to make six liitle round loaves

November 22, 2012
12:16 am
GasMasher
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October 23, 2012
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I know this thread is old but I need some guidance. I started making all of my families bread about a month ago. I am using the grandmother bread recipe and everyone gathers around when I pull it out of the oven.

My bread comes out very crumbly (like it is stale). I know I am adding too much flour and have gradually cut it back to match the recipe. The problem is that it is too sticky to knead if I don't add the extra flour. I feel like I have to choose between dough that is almost too sticky to knead or a rough and crumbly loaf.

November 22, 2012
10:03 am
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I am NOT the pro that many people here are, but I'm going to take a stab at this, and if someone here has better suggestions, PLEASE, do speak up!!!

If this happens to me, I just walk away from it for a bit and let it rest.  Not so long it tries to rise much (though it might a little and that's ok)  Maybe a half hour, possibly 45 minutes max.  Also, even though it's frustrating that it's so sticky, keep kneading it.  I have one pretty sticky sweat dough recipe that I only knead IN the bowl.  (it's one of those big earthenware bowls, so it's doable for me)  You may have a 'magic moment' when it all just starts to come together. 

Located in N.E. Ohio
November 22, 2012
2:51 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I always make the initial mixing with almost of the flour and all of the liquid and mix with a heavy wooden spoon until the flour is well moistened. Then allow about 30 minutes resting during which time the flour absorbs the liquid and the gluten starts to develop. I always leave the dough in the bowl.

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