A Dough Whisk?

The first time I saw a picture of a dough whisk I thought they had to be kidding. Who would want one, and then what would you ever do with it if you were foolish enough to spend money on one?

Then I started using a big spoon to mix the flour and liquid ingredients together before kneading them with the bread hook. It didn’t take me long to realize that a big spoon was not the way to mix the wet and dry bread ingredients enough so they could be kneaded. The spoon collected a big glob of dough on it, with dry flour in the middle, and it was hard work. I began to wonder if a dough whisk might not be such a crazy idea.

So I bought one. It was under $10 on Amazon.com, the one I bought is no longer available, but this one is virtually the same thing. Mixing bread dough to get it ready to knead is still hard work with a bread whisk, but it’s a lot easier than with a spoon.

This picture shows my brand new never used bread whisk in front of the beginnings of 2700 grams of white bread dough to make three 900 gram loaves. My old stand mixer can handle about 1800 grams of dough, so this batch will be kneaded by hand.

This post is on White bread Variation 3 from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice again, scaled up some from the earlier post White Bread Variation 3. This time using skim milk rather than whole milk yogurt.

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St Patrick’s Day Green Bread

One of my daughter’s kids was here helping me make some bread and said “Let’s make it green!” By that time we were already at the kneading stage so it was too late. Also, it was anadama bread with molasses in it so the bread is fairly dark and the green dye would have had some real competition. Then I realized that St. Patrick’s Day was almost here and that was the perfect excuse for bright green bread. I took a recipe for white bread, scaled it up to get two two pound loaves, and added in 4 grams of Kelly Green Wilton® Icing Color. The photo shows how it came out nice and green.

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White Bread, Variation 3

Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice has three variations for white sandwich bread. This is the third variation, made with a sponge that is allowed to ferment before the remainder of the ingredients for the dough are added. Variation 1 was made in a previous post. Each of the three variations may be made with a variety of liquids and fats, making for many more than three possible ways to make the same basic recipe.

In general, each post here deals with one batch of bread. This post deals with two separate batches. In the second batch I corrected some problems from the the first batch.



The left picture above is Variation 3. There was very little oven spring and as a result the slices were too short for my toaster. They didn’t stick out far enough when the toast popped up to pick up without touching the hot metal. So I scaled the batch size up by about 10% to 2000 grams. Looking at the right hand picture of the Variation 3a loaves you can see that I over did it, these slices are too big to fit all the way into the toaster.

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White Bread, Variation 1

Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice has White Bread in three variations. This is White Bread, Variation 1. Between Variation 1 and Variation 2 the ingredients are slightly different. Variation 3 introduces a sponge that is allowed to ferment before the final dough is mixed.

Variation 1 uses water as the liquid and has powdered milk as an ingredient. Here is the recipe to make two one pound loaves, the size specified in Reinhart’s book.

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White Bread with Poolish

This bread is based loosely on the Master Dough with Starter from The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani, ISBN 978-1607746058. The original called for some Malt and some Oil, but I left them out. I left the malt out because I didn’t have any. I left the oil out by mistake — next time. I had not tried a recipe with a starter, so this was a new experience for me.

I made the poolish version of the starter. It was easy to make and I made a lot more than I needed. It would have been hard to make less and still measure the yeast accurately. I mixed it up in a water glass, then covered it with plastic wrap and let it double in volume before putting it in the refrigerator over night to mature.


The left photo is the poolish after it had doubled and spent the night in the refrigeator. The right one shows the poolish out of the glass and on a plastic plate. The Pizza Bible had a hint about handling the poolish, which is really sticky. Dip your fingers in ice-water before you handle it and it won’t stick to you. I was pleased that the hint worked very well and I didn’t need to scrape all the poolish off my fingers after measuring it.

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White Bread, Green Dye, and the Dough Hook

In previous posts I have dyed bread purple and made a loaf with red streaks. I have been looking into mixers for bread dough and would like to try a spiral hook as they are apparently more efficient than the typical C shaped hook on my old Kitchen Aid stand mixer. The red streaked loaf was an attempt to add color to mixed dough by kneading it. I wanted pink and got red streaks. For the purple loaf I mixed the dye into the liquid ingredients, which worked quite well.

This is my dough hook, a typical “C” (also known as a “J”) type hook. The disk at the top is to stop the dough from climbing up the hook and getting into the moving parts of the mixer. It works the dough against the sides of the bowl. The volume and consistency of the dough have a serious effect on efficiency of the hook. I would like to try a spiral hook, but have yet to find one compatible with my mixer. The spiral hook pushes the dough down rather than to the side and is said to do a better job developing gluten.

How well does the Dough Hook mix dough?

It was obvious to me that the red dye did not mix all that readily with a few minutes of hand kneading. What will happen when a concentrated dye is added after the initial mixing of the wet and dry ingredients? Would it mix the dye in, or would it just bang the dough around the bowl and leave streaks of dyed and undyed bread in the final loaf?

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White Bread

This White Bread recipe is more complex than any of the recipes that have been appeared so far in flourtobread.com. It has egg, a fat (olive oil), dry milk, and mashed potato flakes in it. All of these are new to the ingredient list of things included in the bread. In addition, the dry and wet ingredients are measure and mixed separately before adding wet to dry for final mixing and kneading.

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