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any bread bakers?

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Old 08-04-2006, 11:36 AM   #1
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Default any bread bakers?

I've baked bread for the last 25 years, after finding something in a commercial loaf that resembled an eyeball

Ok, now that everyone is really interested in doing this from scratch Do you bake your own? I've baked with both white and whole wheat, because some things just don't have the right texture with 100% whole wheat. However, I just found "White Whole Wheat" flour from King Arthur Flour. It's real whole wheat flour, but comes from a different strain of wheat that is naturally lighter and more tender. From what I understand, it's not always a 1:1 substitute for white since it can still have a rougher texture which may cause some recipes to flop, but you can experiment and find a good mix is that's the case. I made up some banana muffins with it (100% WWW) and they were very tender! My son and I are going to make pizza this weekend and I'm going to try it as a full substitute and see how it does. We always make our pizza from scratch, and use toppings such as goat cheese, fresh herbs, and wild mushrooms

I'm also interested in making pita bread and will give that a go next week. Has anyone made their own pita?
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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Oooh, Suzanne - that looks like good stuff, and they sell it near me.

I've been sending copies of posts from this forum to my mom. She just was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the last year, and she's changed her diet incredibly, including basically no bread. But she was just lamenting that she misses it every once in a while. She is going to be pumped!

Yay!

-Sara
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:15 PM   #3
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I've made naan, which is similar to a pita, but it wasn't whole wheat. I grilled it and it turned out fabulously.

I'm curious - what do you use to knead your dough? Bread maker? Kitchen Aid (my choice)? Or raw muscle ?
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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It can be hard to give up bread entirely and most of us don't have to. Did your mother's doctor recommend she give up bread? Or was it just refined flours that she's trying to avoid?

I don't eat it often, but when I do I make sure it's the best it can be. I eat it just a few times a month, if that much. I don't intentionally avoid it, it's just how my diet naturally is. When I bake, I always send most of it home with my skinny son, and freeze bits for myself. Yes, I'm one of those mothers who secretly tries to fatten up her kids I bake for family holidays and special occasions. There is a certain pleasure in baking that is hard to duplicate other ways, even if I do give it away.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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I don't use a bread maker, Meg, that's blasphemous Though I do use my mixer sometimes. I have a big stainless steel restaurant work table and I love to knead the dough myself. Yes, it does use some muscle

Mmmm, grilled bread
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC
It can be hard to give up bread entirely and most of us don't have to. Did your mother's doctor recommend she give up bread? Or was it just refined flours that she's trying to avoid?
She has cut out refined flours, sugars, the bad oils, anything from the nightshade family, and I can't remember what else. I guess all those things can fuel the arthritis inflammation. She's eating tons of fruit, skinless fowl, lots of soy, etc. Probably a fairly whole/super foods diet now, actually.

But she misses the chewiness of the bread or cookies once in a while. I'm trying to help her with any options I find. She ordered a bunch of Dr. Kracker stuff yesterday after I sent her that link.

-Sara
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:26 PM   #7
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I bake almost all our own bread plus pizza crust, muffins, etc. Eight people eat alot of bread. I have found all the King Arthur products to be excellent. I use the white whole wheat flour sometimes but my kids will eat the regular whole wheat flour in pizza, muffins and even chocolate chip cookies. It is really very good.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:31 PM   #8
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I bake bread 2 or so times a week. I especially love the ability it gives me to make different kinds of herbed and spiced breads (curry bread or taco bread, anyone?) I also love the fact that I can control the size of the loaf. When I started reducing the amount of bread I ate each week, I found that I just couldn't get through a loaf before it wasn't fresh enough for me. (I admit to being a bit of a fresh bread snob!) And, of course, small loaf= small slice= small sandwich= small calories.

To answer Meg's question (not that you asked me directly, but I'm pushy this way )- I both hand kneed and use a bread machine. I like hand kneeding because I really feel like I'm making something. There's just something primal about it. But, I semi-recently bought a bread machine that I absolutely adore, so I've been using that a lot more lately. (It makes little loaves of bread and takes about 45 min from flour to table- It's called "Just for Dinner", if anyone's interested, I bought it from Amazon.) I do feel a bit like I'm cheating, but I adore being able to start bread after work and have it ready for dinner.

I love the control I get from making my own bread- I know exactly what's in it, and the price is rediculously cheap compared to store loaves.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:40 PM   #9
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Control is a big issue for me too, Jen. I've had a lot of baaaad experiences with food and I really like to know what I'm putting in my mouth. It also allows me to use the best ingredients instead of cheap quality foods. I'm a food snob in training

Sara, has the change in diet helped your mother much? I wasn't aware that foods in the nightshade family affected arthritis, that's good to keep in mind. Best of luck to her
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:50 PM   #10
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BLC (Before Lifestyle Change) I used to bake, a lot. I stopped baking because I have serious food control issues. But I am coming to a point where I think I can do moderation again, and would love to bake bread again!

I used to use a breadmaker, but left it in Oz, and then switched to raw muscle! I wanted to get a Kenwood or Kitchenaid, but then decided to join a gym and lose weight instead

As a bit of an aside, when I was a kid an allergy specialist physician decided I was allergic to wheat. This was back in the day when you couldn't buy wheat free bread (except rye, which he thought was also a problem) so my mum and I made loads of different breads with various subsitutions. You wouldn't believe the different housebricks we turned out. Oh and the moulds produced on some of the wheat free breads are amazing!!!!!
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:36 PM   #11
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I've made bread a couple times, by hand. It was interesting. I'd be very interested in making pita bread.

Sara, there are breads there that aren't refined. I buy 100% whole wheat bread that has no added sweeteners and I love it. I also buy 100% whole wheat pita bread once in a while. It takes a while to find good quality bread but when you do, it is worth it.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:48 PM   #12
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I bake bread each week, too - I love to bake and cook so it's something I enjoy doing. I have a recipe from my grandfather for a wheat bread that we often make.....the Cook's Illustrated recipe for whole grain bread is good, too. I'm with the others who've mentioned control over the end product - I'm getting that way with lots of foods these days, I'd rather make it myself and know exactly what's in it (as well as enjoy the fact that it's not full of things I can't pronounce - just simple, natural ingredients).

I've made pita before - it's actually pretty easy! The recipe I used was from "Baking with Julia" (awesome book! ), and it was a lot of fun. I can post the recipe if anyone wants it. My son helped and loved seeing the breads puff in the oven. We also make tortillas from scratch sometimes, too -not so often now as they're hard to stop eating when they're so fresh. But boy, they're yummy!!
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:19 PM   #13
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I've made ww pita, lots of different breads, and experimented with grains other than wheat. Since I would still eat an entire challah or French bread warm from the oven, I no longer bake them!

WW pita is fairly easy. I've kneaded it by hand or using my KitchenAid mixer, but that kind of takes the fun out of it!

I use a "flour" mostly made from ground oatmeal, amaranth, and a small portion of whole wheat for pitas and pizza crusts.

Mel
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #14
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I used to bake bread a lot and have used my Kitchenaid, the bread machine and by hand. I love to do it by hand, but will often use one of the machines when I'm in a hurry. My DH is the "devour the whole loaf" person in our house, and he can afford the calories. I do like the fact that it's preservative free and there's so many things you can add. I usually use King Arthur or Bob's Red Mill flour, esp now since it's available in my grocery (used to have to go to Anchorage to get it - 50 miles one way). Bread baking is more of a winter activity for me though.

I have made pita too, but it's been years - hmmm, may have to try it again. I have a ton of recipes from having requested one once through our local electrical coop newsletter....
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:55 PM   #15
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I used to own a bakery and their all types of breads made with all types of flours. I do everything by hand because your hands can feel the dough and know when you have enough liquid. Not all flours are the same. You should weight your flours and not measure. I have a small electronic scale. Even white flour can vary as much as 1/2 cup depending on its age. Fresh flour has more moisture and produces a better product. As it ages, the moisture dries out and it becomes dustier. When you weigh you can guanantee that the liquid to dry are exact. I mix wheat, white, and rye alot. It doesn't matter. Sometimes I use honey or molassis as part of the liquid. If you have good leavening and good flour. Don't use cake flour because it doesn't have enough gluten in the flour. You can buy gluten and add it to flours also. All that I have been talking about are yeast breads. Breads such as banana nut are usually quick breads and made with baking power or baking soda. Baking powder by the way is just baking soda with cream of tarter in it. Does this help. P.S. Home made bread by hand should feel like a babies bottom, soft and smooth. If it starts to blister, you have too much flour.
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