FLOUR: For white flour, look for all purpose unbleached flour. You can also find "bread flour" which is made from harder wheat and makes a springier more elastic dough. Personally I like the unbleached all purpose flour, but it is fun to play around and decide for yourself.
Whole wheat flour is, as the name implies, the entire grain. It makes a heavier, heartier bread with much more flavor. You can mix white flour and whole wheat in different ratios to make a lighter wheat bread.
For more information about flour go to: King Arthur
SALT: Salt not only effects the flavor but also the texture of the dough. Bread dough without salt will be stickier and harder to work with, and the the bread will not brown as well and will taste bland.
OIL: Oil Makes bread softer and more tender. Types of oil used in bread are: butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, and shortening. you can make bread without oil if you prefer but it will not be as tender.
WATER: Water or some other liquid (milk, buttermilk, yogurt, beer, fruit juice ). The amount of liquid has a big effect of the final product. More liquid makes a lighter more airy bread. less liquid makes a heavier more dense bread. For more information on hydration levels check out this book: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
YEAST: Yeast is what makes all the little bubbles in bread. Yeast is a living breathing thing. It eats the free sugars that are naturally in the flour and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas which makes the dough rise.
If you want to bake lots of bread look around for one or two pound bags of yeast. It is much, much cheaper to buy yeast in bulk than in those little envelopes in the grocery store. Ask a baker if he knows where you can buy bulk yeast or shop online: Saf-Yeast Instant Yeast, 16 oz.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
The illusive large, irregular holes in bread like the baguette or other rustic European style breads are the result of very wet sticky dough, handled delicately. The gas bubbles produced by the yeast are disturbed as little as possible during the handling and shaping process. After rising, a very hot oven with steam bakes the bread, causing the bubbles to blow up like little balloons quickly.
Wet dough like this can be very sticky and messy until you get the hang of working with it, its half the fun. When you see the results, your practice and patients will have been well spent, and bread baking will become a natural part of your life .
Below this paragraph is a link to a good book aimed at the home baker who is interested in making more professional looking and tasting breads. Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Make your morning gourmet coffee right in the mug so it is ready to go when you are. It has a permanent filter so you don't have to worry about buying or running out of paper filters. It makes a great gift for that student, commuter, or solo coffee drinker in your home.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I love my hand blender more than anything in the world! I use it to make smoothies or blended cocktails right in the glass. I use it to blend soups or sauces right in the pot. You can make your own homemade mayonnaise or emulsified salad dressings quick and easy. Some models have a small food possessor attachment for added versatility ( I don’t have one of those yet, but its on my Christmas list.) If you do not have a hand blender, you cannot consider yourself a civilized human being! GET ONE NOW! You will love yours too!
Check out this one for starters.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This high temperature spatula is the best! You can stir gravies, custards or any thing to prevent scorching and not worry about the plastic melting. They are safe up to 500 degrees, so you can even stick them in a deep-fryer and not worry. I work in a professional kitchen and we use them all the time. They are a great investment.
click on this add to check it out.