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Daily Bread - What Method Are You Using to Put Bread on the Table?

Do you use the "old fashioned" or the "no knead" method?

Does anyone still use a bread machine?

How often do you bake bread?

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  1. "old fashion"
    no bread machine, only by hand
    about once a week

    3 Replies
    1. re: Novelli

      I just took a bread making class using the "old fashion" way since I wanted to be a "purist" in this. Well, I was underwhelmed....the bread was a beautiful loaf, but just was not what I remember granny making. Was so disappointed.

      Does your bread turn out to your liking? Hope so. I guess I will just go back to the "no knead" way...at least it tasted somewhat better.

      1. re: cstout

        Well, doing it week after week, I've gotten to the point where I am happy with the results.

        It's not something you get off the bat after taking a class or 2. The class should have, at least, taught you the basics and how the ingredients work together (and individually).

        From there, with that knowledge, you have the stepping stones to be able to built a dough recipe of your own, manipulating the ingredients, to get a product you are happy with...learning, by feel, each time you make it.

        1. re: Novelli

          This bread was a "batter" bread....but I will leave it at that, at least I learned the basics & now can find a reciipe I like. Glad you are enjoying your weekly bread adventure.

    2. my husband makes bread "the old fashioned way" with the help of our Kitchen Aid, about twice a week.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sunflwrsdh

        Keep that husband....so sweet of him to help out.

        1. re: cstout

          I am a real newbie when it comes to bread baking. However, the price of a decent loaf can be 4.00$ in my area so I decided to start making the humble Irish soda bread. Crazy easy, tasty and makes great toast.

          1. re: crispy1

            Irish Soda bread sounds great....why don't you branch out & try a couple of other recipes....don't let my one experience scare you. In fact, I love the no knead bread...very easy & you can keep the dough in the fridge & pull a glob off when you feel like baking. I think after about 10 or so days it is best to start a new batch of dough though. I learned that method from Peter Reinhart...lots of videos & articles out there plus his books are good too. There are lots of others out there too...just go for it.

            Don't buy too many pots & pans & special bowls until you decide where you are going with it all. I bought an olive oil sprayer (18 dollars) that broke after a short while, a double elongated baguette / french pan that dough sticks in there no matter what I do (my fault???), a heavy canvass piece of material to scrunch up to put the baguettes in (sticks too)...& on & on. Bottom line, simple ingredients, simple tools & you can create all kinds of bread.

      2. I make bread weekly with the bread machine dough cycle then bake it in the over. Every now and then in the Kitchenaid, maybe once every few months. Mostly, though, I "make it" part of the shopping list because we go through it so fast. ;)

        11 Replies
        1. re: SAHCook

          Do you mostly make white bread or what?

          1. re: cstout

            I do focaccia mostly (white), I've been trying ciabatta but have gotten mixed results, I do whole wheat loaves and rolls sometimes.

            I'd love a good sandwich bread recipe that I can mix in the bread machine. (I just know I would bake it regularly if all I have to do is dump the ingredients in and push a button ... shaping, rising and baking aren't as big a deal to me.) We eat a lot of bread, and I'd rather not run to the store whenever we run out. I just don't have a good recipe and not a lot of time right now for experimenting.

            1. re: SAHCook

              If you want a partially whole wheat recipe, I posted Carris' whole wheat bread machine recipe in this thread. It's a good generic sandwich bread. I take it out before the second rising and shape and rise in loaf pan.


              1. re: chowser

                Thanks! And I have all the ingredients and no sandwich bread so I'll make it today!

                What is the Haitian bread like?

                1. re: SAHCook

                  It's very light, slightly sweet w/ a little hint of nutmeg. It's great breakfast bread.

                2. re: chowser

                  I made the whole wheat and Haitian bread recipes and love them! Thanks!

                3. re: SAHCook

                  i have a pretty darn good ciabatta recipe if you're interested... i use the dough hook on my KitchenAid to do the heavy work :)

                  1. re: Emme

                    Ciabatta recipe would be great! I make ciabatta sometimes, but am not totally happy with my recipe and would love to see yours. Thanks.

                    1. re: visciole

                      500 g Bread Flour (sometimes I sub in Semolina for about 1/2-2/3 of flour)
                      475 g Water
                      2 tsp. Yeast, Instant
                      15 g Salt

                      Mix it all with a paddle attachment. Switch to dough hook and beat/knead until it starts pulling away from the bowl and climbing the hook. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, and let rise til doubled (generally 2 - 2 1/2 hours). Punch down, and dump onto a well-floured surface, and add flour if necessary. Cut into 4 pieces, and let proof for another 45 - 60 minutes. Preheat oven (and stone - my tiles are always in the oven) to 450 F. Stretch bread into 10-12 inch rectangles and bake for 15-20 minutes. I like to rotate halfway through. You can also start at a higher temp and drop it to 450 a few minutes in, but I personally like what I get with a 450 even temp. Good luck!

              2. Both, old fashion more often

                Sometimes; to make the dough but only for breads w/ sugar/milk/eggs that need less rise time

                Weekly, in the winter (or more often), on occasion in the summer because I don't want to crank up the oven that hot. I do make rolls more often in the summer.

                1. I usually make no-knead bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day because it makes a really nice loaf and it's so easy and quick. But I occasionally make bread the old fashioned way when I want something different.

                  I bake about three or four times a week.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ecclescake

                    I bake once a week, did it all by hand for a long time but recently got a Bosch mixer.

                    For my lunch sandwich I use a white bread recipe from the Bread Bakers Apprentice. Make the dough into twelve rolls and freeze them. Take one out before I leave for work and it is nice and thawed by the time I return home for lunch..

                    For dinner bread i make a standard lean French dough. Make that into six rolls and freeze, reheat at 350 for 15 minutes. They are the right size to split one with my wife. Sometimes I double the amount of this dough and use half to make one large Boule that gets used for cheese toast or a strata.

                    1. re: kengk

                      I use the Kitchen-Aid, partly for the ease of kneading, and mostly because it contains the mess to the bowl, which makes clean-up so much easier. I bake about once a week, I do mostly a rustic white loaf and a basic multi-grain, both adapted from recipes in books from the library. I find the biggest difference in the taste/texture of the bread I make has come from setting a sponge the night before and letting it bubble away (on the counter in winter, in the fridge in summer) the night before I'm going to bake. The sponge makes a particular difference in heavier breads, like the multi-grain. While I don't use the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method (it was using up too much refrigerator space), I did find the book was very useful in getting started with a regular baking routine. I recommend taking a look at it.

                      1. re: kengk

                        Please clarify for me, are you actually baking the bread first & then thawing out when you want to use it or do you mean you just form the dough into whatever shape & then thaw out & bake afterward? So sorry I got confused here.

                        1. re: kengk

                          kengk,,,forgot to compliment you on the beautiful bread....would make a great big wonderful muffaletta sandwich, well maybe 2 sandwiches out of that...

                          1. re: cstout

                            I bake, cool, and then freeze. I probably bake it five minutes less than I would if I were not going to reheat. Call me crazy but I think the French bread actually tastes better after thawing and reheating.

                            I like to take that size Boule and cut it into thirds, reserving the middle slice for something else, to make the muffaletta. We had this one for our New Years eve dinner.

                      2. If I plan, I do Artisan Bread in 5. Well, I don't measure anymore, so I should say that I make a wet dough with a medium amount of yeast, don't knead it, and split it into two gallon sized Ziplocs in the fridge. I find that if the dough is at least two or three days old, I don't need to let it warm up or rise before I bake it. I preheat the oven and bake it in a covered dutch oven (heavy cast iron pot with a lid), and it rises as it bakes.

                        If I don't plan, I make a slightly drier dough to facilitate rising, but, since my mixer groans and heats up when kneading dough, I obtain my gluten development by mixing fast using the creaming attachment before I've added all the flour, when the consistency of the dough is like pancake batter. Then I add the rest of the flour, shape the dough into a ball, and put in a covered dutch oven in a cold oven. The dough rises as the oven preheats and for 10 or 20 minutes after it's fully preheated. Then I take off the lid and let it brown. I tried this once with a regular saucepan, and it was a miserable failure- it burned on the bottom and didn't rise. I think the heavy, dense cast iron transfers the heat slowly enough to make it work.

                        Either way, it's almost always a simple flour/water/yeast/salt dough 'round here.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jvanderh

                          jvanderh, thanks for all the tips...there are only so many things they tell you in a recipe & then it is up to us to get creative with what happens beyond the recipe...& the chow folks certainly can get creative...learning so much from everyone...thank you.

                          1. re: jvanderh

                            You don't need to let the dough warm up if it's a few days old? That's interesting. Being able to skip that step would save time sometimes. But it's a little opposite of what I'd expect. When the dough is a week old, it doesn't rise as much and can be better for a foccacia type dough.

                            I would have thought that it would decline in rising from day one.

                            But not your experience?

                            1. re: karykat

                              I shouldn't have said at least two days old . . . I should have said 2-5 days old. I usually make the dough on Sunday and bake it some time during the week. I'm not entirely sure if it would work with week old dough.

                          2. I've kept a starter for around five years now and it goes into almost every loaf I bake. I bake a sourdough, whole wheat (75%WWF) "no knead" bread weekly. This is our primary bread, partially because it takes so little time to make and keeps well. I do like to vary the slashing patterns or do brotform occasionally just to make it feel different.

                            Occasionally I'll bake Irish brown bread or more recently sourdough baguettes but those are much more of an involved project. It's hard to find good bread these days and while there are a few great bakeries around, the cost of a good loaf plus the time and effort required to drive to them makes bread baking worth it. My next project is to try to tackle baking a classic Miche. Has anyone baked one?

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Klunco

                              Now listen here Klunco....those look mighty professional....how do you get those lovely "stripes" on your bread??? Did you make your own starter or was some passed down to you? Could you please tell me where to get that sourdough whole wheat recipe? I have tried whole wheat recipes before & they were "heavy", & did not rise well, much less taste all that great. I realize whole wheat will make a heavier bread, but mine were past that.

                              Yes, a decent loaf of bread at the bakery is outrageous these days...we all must start to make our own bread, & from the looks of this thread, many folks are doing just that....

                              1. re: cstout

                                The stripes are just a result of proofing in a well floured brotform. Most professional bakeries line theirs with linen to prevent sticking, but if you just make sure your brotform is well floured the bread will come out (might stick the first couple of times but then it becomes seasoned.) Here is a link to the one I have:


                                I cultivated my own starter years ago when I first started baking, but because I was off an on it eventually died. When I got back into baking around five years ago, I bought the starter from King Arthur Flour, but you could also ask your local bakery for a piece of their starter. Eventually any starter will adapt to your home location and you can even feed it different flours and it will adjust.

                                I'll post my recipe later when I get home, but a couple of tips to prevent heaviness in WW. 75% seems to be about the max I can get before the loaf starts to feel heavy, the other 25% is bread flour, and a dash of rye flour for flavor. Also, I always add a tablespoon or two of "Vital Wheat Gluten" which helps WW breads rise better. Also, really dialing in the hydration of the loaf. If the dough is too wet, it'll spread out rather than up, too dry and it will go up but may be dry inside. Like most bakers I use a scale and measure everything in grams which helps with consistency.

                                If you haven't visited www.thefreshloaf.com I would highly recommend. There are some extremely talented bakers over there. It's a great forum.

                                1. re: Klunco

                                  Klunco...thanks for all the wonderful information...you are so right about weighing things....I have a bunch of bread books that don't use weights & I am just afraid to try any more of the recipes since so many of them did not turn out. I have had better success with weighing. Will visit www.thefreshloaf.com right now. Any other tips you have will be appreciated by us all.

                                  1. re: cstout

                                    I was just recently gifted with a jar of Yukon sourdough starter that is allegedly over 100 years old (shlepped over the Chilkoot pass yadda yadda yadda). I was dubious, to say the least. Well, about a month and at least a dozen or so loaves later, I'm a believer. This stuff is amazing. Very lively and makes a tremendously flavourful loaf. Couldn't be easier - I use a no-knead method that's basically no work at all. The first rise is 18 hours; the second is about 2 hours. I've never worked with sourdough before but it's delicious and fun to make. I've been sharing it with friends - one said it's like having a Tamagotchi in the fridge. You have to take care of it or else it will die. Huge responsibility but so worth it.

                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                      Yukon sourdough....my goodness...what in the world is a Tamagotchi? And how do you tend to your starter....do you have to take some out & then replace it with new ingredients or what?

                                      Since you brought it over that pass,,,,you should have brought the rest of us some.....not fair, but I guess we can let google tell us where to get some.
                                      Since you are using a "no knead" method...how much starter do you put in the no knead batch of dough....oh heck, just give us the recipe & tell us what to do just in case one of us wants to get some of that Yukon starter.

                                      1. re: cstout

                                        Tamagotchi - digital "pet" that you have to take care of else it dies.


                                        That said, I am jealous of that starter. I've made and killed several. Would love to get it right.

                                        1. re: cstout

                                          Ha! I guess the Tamagotchi reference sort of dates me. When my kids were younger, all the girls had these little Japanese gizmos that were electronic pets - Tamagotchis - which you had to tend and look after or else they'd die. These kids would all be worrying about how they forgot their Tamagotchi at home in their backpack and that it was going to die because they couldn't feed it...stupid, I know. BUT very like a sourdough starter. You have to use it regularly - each loaf of bread uses about 1/4 cup of starter - which you replace with equal parts water and flour to keep it fed and happy. I use the recipe and method from http://www.breadtopia.com/sourdough-n... which was recommended to me by the person who gave me the starter. It makes a phenomenal loaf of bread. I know it's possible to make your own starter or maybe you'll find someone who will share. Sometimes you can even get it online - actually I think Breadtopia sells dried sourdough starter.

                                          Good luck in your hunt. Let us know if you find some starter.

                                  2. re: cstout

                                    Sorry this took a few days. Here's the recipe I've developed.


                                    300g Whole Wheat Flour
                                    110g Bread Flour
                                    2 tsp Kosher Salt
                                    2 TBSP Vital Wheat Gluten

                                    In another bowl combine:

                                    200g starter from the fridge (I keep my starter at 100% hydration meaning that when I feed it I feed it equal parts flour and water by weight)
                                    230g water (warm if it's winter)
                                    1 Tbsp honey

                                    Add the liquid to the dry and combine with hands just until shaggy ball is formed. Do not knead this. Let this sit overnight (generally around 12 hours for me) and in the morning give it a couple of kneads and shape into a boule or batard making sure to have good surface tension. Let rise for additional 2-3 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is. Preheat oven to 500 with dutch oven inside for at least 30 minutes). If the loaf was proofed in a brotform, gently flip it over onto a piece of parchment paper. Slash the loaf, and put the parchment paper and loaf into dutch oven and turn down heat to 450. Bake 30 minutes covered, and then 17-20 uncovered until done.

                                    You'll notice this recipe uses a lot of starter. I tweaked the recipe when I started using starter instead of yeast to use a lot because I hated throwing away starter and we're not huge fans of sourdough pancakes. The starter provides additional flour/water for the recipe. You may also notice that this loaf is on the lower end of the hydration scale which helps with keeping the loaf tall. Depending on the day, humidity, heat, stars, etc. you may need to add additional water. Overtime, with practice you'll be able to judge by feel if the bread needs more water keeping in mind that more water will give you a flatter loaf. Good luck!

                                    1. re: Klunco

                                      Bread recipe & tips....thank you so much for sharing. I bought some vital wheat gluten some time ago, but have to check for expiration date...I am really determined to put a wonderful wheat loaf on the table. Wish me luck!!!! The tip about more water will yield flatter loaf will be very helpful.

                                2. I use the old fashioned method with help from a Kitchen Aid for kneading purposes to make multi-grain sandwich bread. I use the no-knead method for round loafs, my standards include a cranberry/walnut loaf and a 50/50 AP flour/white whole wheat mix. If I am home for a full day on a weekend, I bake as much as humanly possible and stock my freezer up. Commercial bread tastes like crap and a good quality loaf sets me back $4-5. Being that I can make bread just as good, it kills me to pay those prices!

                                  1. I make whole wheat bread about once a week, using the dough cycle in my bread machine (I am lazy), and then I shape, let rise, and bake in the oven.

                                    I will also make white bread, usually ciabatta, for company.

                                    1. For y'all that use the "old fashioned" method, how attentive are you to your bread? I've only ever baked bread on a weekend (and even that's rare), but I'd love to put some fresh bread on the table mid-week. It seems the first rise usually takes 2-3 hours, but will anything bad happen if I let it rise for say, 10 hours? In other words, if I make up a dough in the morning, can I let it rise all day while I'm at work?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Abby0105

                                        Keep it in the refrigerator to slow the rise. Remove when you get home and let it come to room temp, about half an hour, and then bake.

                                        1. re: Abby0105

                                          If you want to do that you can put the dough in the fridge which will make it rise more slowly. If you left it at room temperature all day it would probably rise too much.

                                        2. By hand. Kneed hard, three separate times about 5 to 20 minutes apart before final rising.

                                          How about how you cut the bread? ... specifically, anyone here ever seen someone ... older relatives, etc ... that would cut the bread with the knife while holding the loaf to their chests (so basically up in the air, off the table) and making a sort of rotating movement with the knife and the loaf at the same time?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Sonny_Funzio

                                            How to cut bread, I have been told to use a serrated knife (those kind with jagged edges) & place the loaf on a cutting board on its side...will not squish down the bread so much that way.

                                            I just learned how to make bread by hand, & I am here to tell you, kneading by hand for 8-10 minutes is an eternity, Better than going to a gym!

                                            1. re: cstout

                                              Both of my grandmothers, neither of whom were Italian, cut bread in that fashion. Whether or not it was home baked.

                                              I do a modified Lahey-Bittman No Knead technique bi-weekly. In the food processor. With a little more yeast, and some cheese additive [Penzeys]. I also do not preheat the pot for 30 minutes anymore; I use the 'fast preheat' setting my oven provides, with the pot in, and then bake. It is pretty. And it is good.

                                              1. re: nikkihwood

                                                nikkihwood, glad to hear you do not have to preheat the oven for 30 minutes...that is quite a long bit of time...I don't have a fast preheat on my oven, but will just preheat & see what happens. Thanks

                                          2. I have never been a bread baker, but a couple of weeks ago I gave the Lahey/Bittman no-knead technique a try. I love it. I start the dough on Saturday, bake it on Sunday while I make a big soup, and I'm set for the week. The bread is tender inside but has the kind of classic European crust that could break a tooth.

                                            The only problem? I actually did break a tooth last night. (A crown, actually.) So I'll have to lay off it for a few weeks .Maybe I'll use the rest of the bread for a ribollita. When I'm back in shape, I'm going to try whole wheat, rye, etc.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: chefMolnar

                                              chefMolnar...wow, that was an expensive piece of bread...just dip your bread in the soup for a while...yes the no-knead method is great....makes us all look like super stars in the kitchen....shhhhh, don't tell anyone how easy it is!!!

                                              1. re: chefMolnar

                                                My son was really conscientious when he had his braces and didn't eat anything on the list of "don't"s. But, he broke a bracket on the no knead bread. The people in the office gave him an odd look when he said he broke it on his mom's home made bread.

                                              2. i do both. if i want a nice crusty boule, i'll go with the no-knead.
                                                otherwise, challah, ciabatta, french, sourdough, cinnamon rolls, etc., the old-fashioned way. most i like to knead by hand, but the cinnamon rolls and ciabatta, i've taken to doing with my dough hook...

                                                1. Do you use the "old fashioned" or the "no knead" method?
                                                  I use both ways of making bread, old and new.

                                                  Does anyone still use a bread machine?
                                                  I use mine often, heck it's a no brainer some times.

                                                  How often do you bake bread?
                                                  at least 3 times a week.
                                                  but that's pizza dough, or dough for cinnamon rolls or sandwich breads or naan.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                    iL Divo, I gave my bread machine to the thrift store quite some time ago...darn thing was so unpredictable....sometimes a good loaf, sometimes not...used the same recipe, don't know what was going on. Looking back, maybe I was the one being unpredictable...kept searching though.

                                                    I think bread makers will always search for a "better tasting bread"....it's in their genes...we are pioneers forging ahead to new territory....come follow the flour trail, or something like that.