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Dibs-h

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Following on from the bread maker post - what kind of bread do folk make at home? Is there a sliding scale from easy to hard?

Also - sourdough bread, does anyone make it and having read up a bit on sourdough starters: what's folks experiences with them?

Cheers

Dibs
 

Benchwayze

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Hi Dibs,

I use Shipton seeded flour. It makes a close run substitute for granary. My only gripe with it, is the bread doesn't retain freshness for long, and I end up toasting a lot of it. I cheat and use a Panasonic bread making 'chamine'. :mrgreen:

John (hammer)
 

Dibs-h

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I get the impression it would be better\easier using shop bought flour and using dried yeast and then moving on to try other not so shop bought flours and trying to make sourdough starters and sourdough bread.

The Mrs did ask "if it can just do dough, can it do chappati\naan dough?" A quick Google said yes - so I can see her using a panasonic breadmake if (more like when) I get one. LOL
 

Fitzroy

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Used to make sourdough every week. Once you have a reliable starter it’s all pretty easy, although rather time consuming with long proves. I had a devil of a job getting a starter up and trucking. I tried three methods and they all went wrong, lamenting in work one day a colleague offered me a part of his and then I was up and away.

Fitz.
 

Benchwayze

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Dibs-h":2pzdl2we said:
I get the impression it would be better\easier using shop bought flour and using dried yeast and then moving on to try other not so shop bought flours and trying to make sourdough starters and sourdough bread.

The Mrs did ask "if it can just do dough, can it do chappati\naan dough?" A quick Google said yes - so I can see her using a panasonic breadmake if (more like when) I get one. LOL
No disappointments with mine Dibs. Well just one; when inadvertently I used some out of date flour. Can't blame the tools for that one! :lol:

John (hammer)
 

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As a peace offering (or what happens on the rant, stays in the rant), I make bread quite a lot. I used to use a bread machine, but I find it better now using a food processor to knead the dough. It either has to be a powerful processor, or don't make too much at once, as it WILL kill your machne otherwise. Throw all your ingredients in the bowl, use either the metal blade or the plastic blade - either works fine, and whizz it for 45-90 seconds, depending upon your machine. The first time, do it in increments to sneak up on it, as over-worked dough won't rise. You will know when it is done because it forms into a ball, is stretchy and doesn't snap when you pull it.

The recipe: 4 things go into bread, water, strong flour, yeast, salt. I use 500g flour, 300g water, half teaspoon of salt and 15g (standard packet from Lidl) of yeast. That size of dough broke my original 1kw Kenwood mixer, so I now have a 2kw Bosch which does in 50 seconds what the Kenwood used to take 90 to manage.

However, because we always have more eggs than we can use, I usually add two eggs to the mix, in place of water - in other words, zero the scales, add the eggs, and top up with warm water to 300g.

For bread rolls (more of a brioche, if you want to be posh), same recipe but substitute warm milk for the water, and keep with the eggs. You can also add some butter (melt it in with the milk), but it is now officially becoming a fuss.

Having thrashed the dough (like kneading, only quicker), it is left to rise inside the food processor to rise (unless I'm making a muti-batch). No need to process it again to knock it back once risen - just manhandling it to get it out if the bowl is enough to get the air out. Shove it in a loaf tin, sprinkle sesame seeds on top (and push them in with your fingers, otherwise they won't stick), and leave to rise again. Rising both times is anywhere between 1 and 3 hours depending on how busy I am and when I can get back to the house to play with it.

The upshot is you don't have a loaf of bread that is taller than wide, with an silly hole in the bottom. Bread machine are great if you are out all day, but the actual loaf is annoying. I also make a lot of bread rolls for the freezer, using the brioche recipe above - quick zap in the microwave and you have freshly baked, warm bread roll, whenever you want it.

Edit: I didn't say bake at 200 °C for rolls, 225°C for a loaf - rather assumed, as it were.

Sorry, was supposed to be a short post. My bad.
 

Dibs-h

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In all fairness I'm just going to end up buying a Panasonic machine. Our food processor is a domestic one - no desire to break that one. End up spending my life chopping onions. :lol:

The kids eat brioche and the Mrs is interested in chapatti/naan dough - if I remotely start something manual or semi manual, I'll just end up making a rod for my own back.
 

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I mostly make bread to give to tourists (that home-made, artisanal touch as a "something extra", so bread with holes in the bottom is an issue. Your bread machine will be fine with a broche recipe, and probably won't need extra rise time etc. Just bang it all in, (water/milk at the bottom), and press the button. Forgiving thing, bread. Naan etc, I don't have experience with.

Also, making wraps/flatbread a is fun and easy, but takes more time than you might want and there isn't a machine for that. Hand making something, without power tools - that's just wrong!
 

Dibs-h

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Newbie question - does the Panasonic machine leave a hole in the bottom? Not that it is a show stopper - just curious.
 

Steve Maskery

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I think you will find that all breadmakers leave a hole in the bottom, the bread is baked around the paddle.
If you don't want a hole in your bottom, you will have to bake it in the oven.

Stop it...!
 

Dibs-h

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Cheers for that Steve - just on a learning curve (at the beginning LOL ).

Not bothered about a hole - I can live with it. :wink:
 

Steve Maskery

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At the risk of sounding like a scratched record, let me reiterate that the recipes in the instruction book, for any machine, should be regarded as a starting point. Different flours behave differently and, believe it or not, DIFFERENT TAP WATER can affect things too. I had a tried and tested recipe that always worked. I moved house. My bread was disastrous for a few times. The only difference was the water supply. So I used a bit less water and all was well again. I have no idea what was going on there, but I assure you it is true.
 

Dibs-h

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Steve Maskery":tol5v0jb said:
At the risk of sounding like a scratched record, let me reiterate that the recipes in the instruction book, bor any machine, should be regarded as a starting point. Different flours behave differently and, believe it or not, DIFFERENT TAP WATER can affect things too. I had a tried and tested recipe that always worked. I moved house. My bread was disastrous for a few times. The only difference was the water supply. So I used a bit less water and all was well again. I have no idea what was going on there, but I assure you it is true.
"Scratched record" - Not at all Steve. I've never made bread at home machine or otherwise. Definitely better to hear folks experiences and learn from them :) and greatly welcomed.
 

Simon_M

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Some of the higher end breadmakers let you either interrupt the bake to remove the paddle (this leaves a hole - but not a paddle mark) or retracts the paddle into the base. If you use a breadmaker to make dough - you can bake it in any shape you want separately and there's no hole (but also no effort to make the dough).

If you have ever sucked a Polo you already know that the "hole" has absolutely no taste and subjectively I don't think I have ever been disappointed with one. The same is true with a paddle that's left it's mark in the loaf - I don't even notice the "hole" that's there. All my bread is cooled and then sliced and put straight in the freezer in bags. Every slice is aligned and you can see the progress of the paddle through a few slices. It may be a coincidence, but it also ways seems to be aligned almost straight across the loaf so affecting only a few slices.

One issue with a paddle is that it has to come out of the breadmaker so that it can be cleaned and the spindle wiped down. I think Panasonic got this part absolutely right. The paddle is not a particularly tight fit but fits with a keyed D shape at the top of the spindle (I'm not sure if this contributes to it stopping in one orientation). If you manually rotate it in either direction it locks to the shaft so that it can't be lifted off. This feature means that at the end of the cycle and the beeper goes, you can always remove just the load of bread leaving the paddle always in the bowl.

My previous bread maker had a problem that after a few weeks the paddle always ended up in the bread and the manufacturer provided a hook for lifting it out. Panasonic don't provide this and it wouldn't be (hasn't been) required.

When slicing the bread it's good to know that the paddle isn't in the loaf! Otherwise it's like a treasured bandsaw blade when it meets a stubborn nail and soon "game over" for the blade.

It's also worth knowing that the Panasonic bowl is cast rather than formed from pressed metal and feels more substantial. The coating is also a bit special and I've not had any problems keeping it perfectly clean. I soak the bowl and paddle for a few minutes and then separate the paddle and wash the spindle and wipe over the bowl. The inside of the machine is completely clean because I add ingredients to the bowl on some digital scales and give it a quick "twist" to keep the ingredients flat. The programs I've used have never gone wrong so it doesn't boil over and so there's no mess.

Keeping the paddle in the bowl afterwards means that it's always "ready for action" and don't ask me how I know a breadmaker can make a "brick mess" if you don't have the paddle in the machine!

I did try and find a feature that the "top end" Panasonic models have but are missing from the mid range one I have, it seems to do exactly the same thing and the program lengths e.g. wholemeal is either 3 hours (good) or 5 hours (best) are the same with lots of program choice. The time it takes was only a concern before I used it. I already knew that quick cycles are a bit of a compromise so waiting and getting a perfect result is worth it. Since the finish time is programmable up to 13 hours, timing when it finishes is more important than how long it takes.

FWIW a breadmaker is an expensive purchase so you don't want to be upgrading too often. Understanding the different options e.g. between models in the Panasonic range is essential because price alone doesn't define the list of features. I wouldn't be any "more happy" with one that could remove the "hole" if the function compromised the reliability and so later caused more trouble than it's worth. Other breadmakers are available...
 

Steve Maskery

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Simon, are you saying that some breadmakers have a retractable paddle? I didn't know that. Which ones? It sounds very clever (not that I'm in the market to upgrade).
 

Lons

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The paddle on ours is removable but just for cleaning.

Chucked in a medium white loaf overnight, just strong white flour, might be basic but still delicious.

We have a clever little plastic gismo for cutting slices, folds flat when not in use, can't remember where we bought it but was cheap and makes it so easy to cut and you can adjust the thickness but no good for anyone who prefers huge wedge shaped chunks. :lol:
 

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Garno

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Lons":1tmg0jud said:
The paddle on ours is removable but just for cleaning.

Chucked in a medium white loaf overnight, just strong white flour, might be basic but still delicious.

We have a clever little plastic gismo for cutting slices, folds flat when not in use, can't remember where we bought it but was cheap and makes it so easy to cut and you can adjust the thickness but no good for anyone who prefers huge wedge shaped chunks. :lol:
I do like that slicer helper thing-ma-jig
 

Simon_M

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Steve Maskery":2svdsk4k said:
Simon, are you saying that some breadmakers have a retractable paddle?
There are some e.g. Sage by Heston [Blumenthal] - look on Amazon.

The spec says: "Thoroughly mixes ingredients, then collapses to maximise loaf slices and make the loaf easy to remove from the pan".

One 5 star reviewer said: "I would still recommend it but the 'clever' device to flatten the paddle only works 1 out of ten times. More frequently it will stick halfway down and rip a wide but shallow hole in the bottom of your perfect loaf. I can live with this as the bread is so good. I'm not going to mark it down as compared to the Morphy Richards and the Panasonic it never fails".

Another reviewer said: "Collapsible blade means there is only a small dent in the bottom rather than a whole chunk missing".

The point is that you pay quite a bit more for this feature and it so it had better work... the recipe booklet is only available on-line and all the recipes are unlike other ones - they all need skimmed milk powder. For mine (SD-2511) I just use water, yeast, salt, sugar and butter 90% of the time. This also matches up with most bread making book recipes so there's no reason not to adapt these recipes for the machine.
 
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