Home Bread-Bakers v096.n062.12

Re: Old-fashioned, "Manual" bread-making

"Bill Hatcher" <bhatcher@gc.net>
Sun, 1 Dec 1996 09:20:47 -0500
> From: bc151@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ken Fisler)
> Subject: Re: Old-fashioned, "Manual" bread-making
> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 11:26:16 -0500 (EST)
> Elaine asked if there's people here on this list who don't use
> bread machines.  Yes, there is at least one such person.  Though
> I've been making bread only for a few years, I've never used a
> bread machine.  However, after hearing some friends talk about
> them, I have to admit that I am considering getting one.  At the
> moment, there's too many other things I would sooner do with the
> money they cost.  If someone were to give me one, I would try it
> out.  But baking bread the old-fashioned way isn't at all a burden
> for me, so I'll probably keep doing it this way for a long while
> yet.
> Any other non-machine bread bakers here?
> Ken

Ken -

I bake both ways.  I would not be without my bread machine, but still very much 
enjoy baking without it.

This subject frequently receives attention on the list, and we have members who 
~only~ use machines, those who ~only~ bake without them, and those like me who 
go both ways.  As they say, different strokes for different folks.

For me, I have found that having fresh bread waiting for me when I get up in 
the morning, having used the machine on timed bake, would be hard to give up.  
One of our favorite machine recipes is for an Italian Bread which I have posted 
to the list before, and I make that several times per week. OTOH, there is a 
French Sourdough recipe for conventional baking that I developed myself that is 
really good, and I make it quite often too, but I don't want to get up at 2 AM 
so we can have it warm for breakfast! ::))

For those wanting a machine, now is a good time to buy.  They may not be top of 
the line, but there are numerous perfectly acceptable machines available now in 
the US$70 - $100 price range.

The following is the sourdough french bread recipe; any variety of sourdough 
starter can be used.

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

                      Bill's Sourdough French Bread

Recipe By     : Bill Hatcher <bhatcher@gc.net>
Serving Size  : 12   Preparation Time :4:30
Categories    : Breads                           Sourdough
                To/From Breadlist                To/From Eat-L

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   6      c             all-purpose flour -- more if needed
   4 1/2  tsp           yeast
   1      tbsp          sugar
   1      tbsp          salt
   1      c             water -- very warm (120F)
   2      c             sourdough starter -- room temperature
   1      tbsp          oil
                        yellow cornmeal
   1                    egg white

Feed your starter at least 12 hours before making bread.

Combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add
water, oil and starter and beat 3 minutes with an electric mixer.

Work in additional flour by hand until dough can be handled.  Amount will vary,
depending on consistency of starter used.  Decant dough to a lightly floured
board and knead until smooth, satiny and elastic, about 10 mintues,working in
additional flour in small amounts as needed to keep dough from sticking to board
or hands.

Place in a large, oiled bowl, turning once to coat dough ball; cooking spray
works well for this.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place
until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into either 2 or 4 pieces, depending on size of
loaves desired.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each piece out into a rectangle and roll up from long side, pinching seam
closed and tapering ends.  Place loaves, seam side down,  either in baguette
pans or on a baking sheet which has been oiled and sprinkled with cornmeal. 
Gash top 1/4 inch deep either along the length or diagonally every 2 or 3
inches.  Beat egg white with 1 tbsp water until frothy and brush loaves with it.
 Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 375F 20 mintues,  then brush again with egg white and bake an additional
20 minutes; check before time is up so you don't over bake.

Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

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Bill Hatcher
Southampton County, Virginia, USA