>As an introduction, I've been lurking for a couple digests, I'm
>developing a gourmet repertoire by attrition, and I started baking
>breads and biscuits about 6 months ago. I have to do it the old
>fashioned way. Most of the traffic here seems to be machine based.
>Am I wasting time and bandwidth here?- I don't think so, you folks
>seem to have a lot of expertice with bread!
I'm delurking to announce that I also don't own a bread machine.
I have nothing against them, but I find my current method
satisfactory. I don't exactly make bread "by hand," though -- I
use a heavy-duty Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough, and a
microwave oven to raise it. That's right -- a microwave. I never
used to be able to make decent bread. It always came out as heavy
as a doorstop. Recently, I found a great book in the library
called "Bread in Half the Time" by Linda Eckhardt and Diana Butts.
It explained how to make bread using a food processor to knead the
dough and a microwave set on very low power to raise the dough. I
tried it, and IT WORKS. For the first time in my life I'm
consistently producing light, edible loaves. One rising takes
about 15 minutes, sometimes longer if it's a whole-grain bread.
>From start to finish takes two hours at the most. (Incidentally,
the book also has a section of bread machine recipes -- mostly
ones that involve making dough in the machine, then finishing by
traditional methods.) I highly recommend this book. After I
returned the library copy, I went out and bought my own. (Insert
standard "just a satisfied customer" disclaimer here.)
I'm also curious to know if machine recipes can be re-converted
for traditional baking. I think it should be possible. The
proportions look right, so it's just a matter of getting the time
and temperature right. And for that you can use other recipes as
a guide. Try 375 F for about 40 minutes for a start.
Harper *%*%*%* email@example.com
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