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i wish i'd learned this stuff in chemistry - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
i wish i'd learned this stuff in chemistry
I just pulled a loaf of potato bread out of the machine. It is one of the ugliest loaves I've ever baked, but I take no responsibility for the lumpiness. It raised that way. (Next time I'll fix it, maybe.)

It's also the tastiest loaf I've made since pulling the machine out again. Part of it may be due to the fact that I've been using all-purpose flour, and this time I used some all-purpose flour and some bread flour. (Bread flour is higher in gluten, and has a little malted barley flour, to help the yeast work, and some vitamin C or potassium bromate added to help the elasticity of the gluten.) I'm going to have to try some of the recipes I've made this month to see how they differ.

So far, I've made regular white bread, Portugese sweet bread, garlic bread (twice), and maple wheat bread. I bought a little book of bread machine recipes the other night, that has plain breads, sweet breads, savory breads, sourdoughs... all sorts of things. The local Market Basket has a surprisingly good variety of flours -- not like a good bulk grains department, but still, several kinds of King Arthur Flour, which I love. (There are some really good recipes on their website, too.)

I saw some really thick books on baking bread at the bookstore. I could really get sucked into trying different flours and recipes and so forth. The way the balance of ingredients affects the end result is absolutely fascinating... but I just don't have the time or space. I'm enjoying my poor little efforts, though. (But I really need to stop putting it in to bake at midnight...)

Tags: ,
i feel: sleepy sleepy

11 trips or shoot the rapids
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: January 20th, 2007 11:21 am (UTC) (base camp)
I give Beth Hensperger's books a big thumbs up. She's got a machine-based one in addition to a whole pile of others.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 20th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I'll have to look for her stuff. This is the one that I got. The Amazon reviews are mixed between those who got spectaular results and those who got miserable failures. I kinda think that those whose bread failed miserably may well have made substitutions or loaded their machine incorrectly.
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: January 21st, 2007 02:39 am (UTC) (base camp)
Or possibly have craptastic machines? The first one my mom had really sucked. I mostly like to use bread machines as dough machines and do the actual baking in the oven, because I really enjoy the hand-shaping.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 21st, 2007 02:53 am (UTC) (base camp)
The kneading is my favorite part, so if I'm going to turn the oven on, I might as well do all of it by hand.

Of course, the major reason why I haven't made any bread by hand is that I can't find any of my loaf pans. I'm sure they're in a safe place. Maybe one of these days I'll pick up some silicone loaf pans and muffin "tins".
(Deleted comment)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 20th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Silly rabbit. I did mention in the post that the local Market Basket grocery store has several kinds of King Arthur flour.
girlygothic From: girlygothic Date: January 20th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Re: chemistry...

Food science is fascinating, isn't it? It's one of the reasons I like Alton Brown/Good Eats. He doesn't do as much of the silly demonstrations as he used to. But he still does explain the science behind stuff when applicable.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 20th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC) (base camp)
He's become less of a foodie Bill Nye or Beakman's World and more himself. I like him because while he's enthusiastic, he's not cloying or perky like so many Food Network stars. That, and you gotta love someone who has a) flames painted on his Kitchenaid stand mixer and b) rigs a peppermill to be operated by a power drill.
girlygothic From: girlygothic Date: January 20th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Yeah, he kinda reminds me of what the guys from Mythbusters would do if they had a cooking show. (Note I said kinda. I'm sure they'd find all sorts of much more messed up stuff to do in and to a kitchen.)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 20th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Adam and Jamie are NOT allowed in my kitchen.
misoranomegami From: misoranomegami Date: January 20th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC) (base camp)
*nods* Actually when I took chemistry in college the last class before the final the teacher asked for recommendations for things he could do with the next class to make it more fun and another student and I spent 5 minutes telling about all the things Alton Brown did on Good Eats that would be appropriate for class. It was a rather pathetic level of chemistry though. The teacher excused me from the first week of class and I learned not a single thing the entire semester that I didn't already know from high school. A free A though so that's nice.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 20th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I learning NOTHING in HS chemistry. I was too distracted by the teacher's glass eye and the acid burns in his Kmart sports coats. (I don't expect a chemistry teacher to spend a lot of money on jackets that are going to get messed up. But for the love of Carson Kressley, don't BRAG about the fact that they're branded by Kmart!)
11 trips or shoot the rapids