People who actually know how to make bread are probably laughing at me. And pointing. Pointing and laughing at the bread making noob in the corner.
If you missed my video on the turkey bake entry, Mid bought me a Pro 600 for Yule this year. He saved a SIGNIFICANT amount of money by buying me a white one- which I guess is tip #1, if you’re looking for a Kitchenaide, go for a discontinued color. I didn’t want white, but for a $250 dfference I don’t care what color Alice is.
Yes, I named her Alice.
The very first thing I made was butter. Then I made meatloaf burgers (a recipe I want to post when I can get them to stop falling apart). The next was a batch of cookies apparently so potent people walking by were mutterng they wanted coffee and cookies (the oatmeal cookie recipe from Cook’s Illustrated).
Then I moved the mixer to a more stable environment since the butter freaked Mid out so much and made bread. This was an…eye opening experience.
Tip #2- Watch the bowl, not the recipe
The recipe has you split up the flour so that you only add about 90% of it at once and then add the rest of the flour. Make sure that you actually need to add it. I had to add more water because it’s so dry in here right now, the recipe actually didn’t have enough moisture for the entirity of the flour and it turned into crumbly bits.
Tip #3-Ways to get dough to rise in drafty environments
My apartment doesn’t have windows, it has holes with some glass shoved in. I broke down and bought weatherproofing sheets. When I can bring myself to buy a hair dryer, I’ll put them up. The Kitchenaide book had some tips for resting dough that actually, gasp, worked for me.
The first is to take a pan of hot water (I left mine on medium low for the entire hour and just watched to make sure it didn’t go dry) and place a cookie rack over the pan. Put a bowl on top of the rack, place the dough in that bowl, and then cover with a towel to keep drafts out. And it actually worked. I’ve never gotten dough to double in this apartment when it wasn’t the height of summer.
The second is a hybrid of the tips in Cook’s Illustrated and the Kitchenaide book. When you’re shaping your loaves, turn your oven to warm or 200 degrees. When you have shaped loaves, turn the oven off (it took me about 10 minutes) and put the pans in the oven with the heat off. The oven keeps the draft off the dough. Who knew? Not this noob.
Tip #4-How you actually shape loaves
I probably should have googled this one. But that Kitchenaide book is a bread saver, really. Roll your dough out thin, and then from the short end, roll a tight tube. Pinch the short ends of the tube closed and tuck under the tube. Place the tube with the pinched ends down in the pan- and you suddenly have a decent roll of dough. Everything I had been reading said to shape a loaf so I was doing what amounts to freeform sculpture. Not anymore!
I do hope this was helpful. I do hope that I wasn’t the only one out there who had no idea how to do this…
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