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Old 12-02-2010, 06:26 PM
Location: the west side of "paradise"
3,612 posts, read 5,715,317 times
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Originally Posted by Bmateo View Post
This is not meant to be a tasteless joke (please!), but maybe you could donate them to a cancer facility, or some support group for people undergoing Chemo? (My wife can grow hair like nobody I've even known, and she gets it cut once a year and donates to lochs of love...)
Great idea, Bmateo.
My mom wore bandanas, but it's warm down here.
I cant's see org. saying "no".
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:10 PM
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My tips, hoping they help:

1. watch how warm the water is. You might consider using a kitchen thermometer, it can be used in several preps in the kitchen and is quite useful for baking.

2. feed the yeast well. Along with any sponge, I always add some (1 or 2 tsps either honey, maple syrup, sugar, etc.) kind of sweetener, it helps tremendously.

3. consider a wet sponge. For some reason I have had way more success with wet sponges than dry ones.

4. don't over/under-knead the dough. You will either toughen it or not produce enough gluten, which is what makes the dough elastic and the bread delicious.

5. right before you put the bread in the oven, score it with a knife to help it rise.

6. wait till the bread is cold before you cut it. Cutting it right out of the oven will flatten it.

And - I don't know if this is the kind of bread you are looking for - if you prefer crusty bread it will need steam. Spray water liberally right before putting it in the oven and keep a bowl of water in the oven while it bakes.
If you prefer softer, usually egg-based ones, skip the steam and don't forget to brush it with milk or an eggwash so that it is nice and shiny.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:41 PM
Location: New York, New York
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put some water in a pot and bring to a hard boil. then but the pot in an oven (oven off) and put the dough in there to proof.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:42 PM
Location: New York, New York
4,861 posts, read 5,169,288 times
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the environment at which your dough is proofing is not right... and give it the time it needs
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:31 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,312 posts, read 3,760,015 times
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Well, I did attempt #4 last night. I used the dryer idea, since I forgot about the idea to not proof the yeast 'til it was too late. I decided to just let it go as long as it needed to rise significantly. Turns out it took 6 hours, and even then it didn't rise to the top of the pan. I fed the yeast with sugar, per the recipe. I think next time I'll try a different recipe. Grrr. Not giving up! Just getting frustrated (and overrun with small slices of bread in the freezer!)
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:27 AM
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,273,920 times
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OK, take a deep breath here. First of all, I have a gas oven with a pilot light. I let my bread raise in the oven. If you do not have this, try the top of the refridgerator or the slow cooker on warm. Now make sure your flour and eggs are room temp. Heat your water to the recommended temp. add sugar and stir it then sprinkle the yeast in. Let that sit while you heat the water- if called for-, again to required temp. Put the eggs-if called for- and dry ingredients into bowl and add water. By this time the yeast should be dissolved, and look foamy. If it doesn't you know the yeast isn't active and will not rise. If it does look foamy, you know it is good. Add the yeast mixture to the other ingredients and mix gently and knead as directed. Set in warm place to rise. If the recipe calls for rising again punch down, place in greased pans and return to warm place. When it is about 1 inch below the edge of the pan place in preheated oven and bake for time the recipe calls for. Temperature control throughout the process is important.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:37 PM
Location: Conservative Las Vegas
14,379 posts, read 15,475,133 times
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OMG, all these if's, and's and but's, I've all but lost my determination, reading all these posts, to experiment again with yeast bread. Maybe I'll just stick to quick breads.

After some disasters many years ago, I got the bug last week to try it once again. My first loaf, Anadama Bread, was a surprise, it turned out pretty well, and, encouraged, I tried making two loaves of Oatmeal Bread last night, and those two loaves will be unidentifiable from the pretty rocks in my courtyard!

I think with the last experiment, I heated my electric oven too high, turned the stove off, then set the dough in there to rise. Perhaps too hot? Says warm place, but how warm? Big question!

Same with the yeast, I think I put the yeast into the boiled milk (yes, I let it cool down some but perhaps not to lukewarm) and killed it.

I peeked at the dough, hour after hour, very little rise, and the stove turned cold during that time. Then turned the stove on again, for that warmth, put them back in, waited another hour or two, no furthur rise, and gave up and baked them as is. OMG! Perhaps I should have sliced the tops with a knife first?

Perhaps altitude also is a factor as Las Vegas sits at 2165 feet.

I've been eying a recipe for Sourdough Bread, making the sourdough from scratch (you need to start this process 2-3 days beforehand according to the book) but I need to get my second wind before I tackle something like this. Thanks for all the tips!

Last edited by tijlover; 12-10-2010 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:34 PM
Location: Pawnee Nation
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keeping it warm enough, particularly in winter, is always a challenge. Best bread I've ever made was in a cabin in the mountains and we had a wood stove.....that stove kept everyone there in t shirts and shorts....while it was 10 below outside. But a room in the 75-85 degree range is pretty good. If you don't like your living space that warm, put it in a closet with a space heater. Another thing I noticed is no one mentioned humidity. If you live in the desert, the air is sucking moisture out of the dough constantly and that will give you a tough rind to the bread, not just a crust. keep it covered with a damp towel or in a room with a humidifier. If you can sweat in the room, it should be good. But keep the humidity up. In the mountains we kept a pot of water on the wood stove all the time that kept the humidity high in the room. When you put it in the oven to bake, you might even put a cake pan of water on the bottom rack to keep the moisture in the air in the oven.

Oh yeah, about sourdough? If you are going to do that you need a lot more than 2-3 day. I would begin creating a starter at least a month before I actually needed it......this is particularly important if you are planning on using wild yeast as opposed to store yeast......believe it or not, you will have to force it if you want it to sour in less time than that.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:44 AM
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,273,920 times
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Sorry you are having so much trouble with this. When you are starting out, it is a good idea to use a candy thermometor to check the temperature of your liquids. It also helps to keep the temperature constant while the bread is raising. The temperature and humidity has a lot to do with how long it takes to rise. The times given in a recipe are only a guide. As Goodpasture said, humidity also has a lot to do with it, also keep it covered with a damp towel while it is raising. Once the bread is baked and completely cool, wrap in a dry towel or plastic wrap. I would try using the crock pot or the top of the refridgerator to let it rise before you give up as the oven may be getting too hot. I know all of this sounds picky, but it is worth it.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:32 PM
Location: Conservative Las Vegas
14,379 posts, read 15,475,133 times
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Living in Las Vegas here where our humidity level can drop as low as 3% (yes!) and with normal levels of 10%, I overlooked this factor.

Now the Anadama bread (yeast) I tried previously, actually turned out quite well, and it did rise an inch above the pan before I baked it, and it turned out rather well, which gives me some hope and encouragement to try other experiments.

Next time, I will try the various suggested ways of warming it in the winter or I'll just wait until it warms up here in the Spring when it gets back into the 80's.

Last edited by tijlover; 12-11-2010 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: edit
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