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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Cinnamon Swirl Bread – pt 1

The marble rye bread I made in a spiral pattern left me wanting to try the spiral pattern again. A few days ago I got some books from the library and they showed cinnamon swirl bread, so I decided to make some. The photo above shows the result from my first try. It tastes great and looks great. The problem is that the bread is not bonded across the swirl, if you don’t pick the slice up carefully it unwinds.

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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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Marble Rye Bread

After making light rye bread it seemed logical to me to try to make marble rye. Since I have three identical 8 X 4 loaf pans I attempted three different ways to mix the colors. The results are shown in the photo above. On the left is the bulls eye, the dark round runs down the middle of the loaf with the light in a ring around it. In the middle is an attempt a a marble pattern. The right shows a spiral pattern.

I was surprised to find that the only real difference between light and dark rye is the addition of coffee, carob, or cocoa to add the dark color. Since I don’t care for coffee and carob seemed a little on the exotic side, I decided to use cocoa since I like chocolate. The recipes for the light and dark rye bread are below. The dark differs from the light in two items. First is the addition of 25 grams of cocoa to the ingredients. Second, there are 5 grams more water to compensate for the added cocoa.

  Light Rye Bread Recipe

  • Molasses 20 grams
  • Olive Oil 28 grams
  • Water, room temp. 303 grams
  • Rye Flour 165 grams
  • Bread Flour 372 grams
  • Salt 10 grams
  • Instant Yeast 6 grams

  Dark Rye Bread Recipe

  • Molasses 20 grams
  • Olive Oil 28 grams
  • Water, room temp. 308 grams
  • Rye Flour 165 grams
  • Bread Flour 372 grams
  • Salt 10 grams
  • Instant Yeast 6 grams
  • Cocoa Powder 25 grams

These recipes are simply half of the recipe in the previous post Light Rye Bread – part 2. The dry and the wet ingredients Continue reading

Hot Dog Rolls

We may be living in Florida, but we came from New England. There’s only one acceptable roll for your hot dog and you can’t find one in Florida. The solution is to make them yourself.

Here one is, ready to eat. It’s split in the top, not the sides, and the sides are toasted in butter. This one happens to have some nicely burned kielbasa in it, but it’s a real hot dog roll. Continue reading

Light Rye Bread – part 2

The Light Rye from part 1 came out well in the bread machine. Based on that loaf I decided to scale up the formula to make two loaves and bake them in the kitchen oven. Here is the scaled up formula:

  • Molasses 41 grams
  • Olive Oil 55 grams
  • Water, room temp. 606 grams
  • Rye Flour 330 grams
  • Bread Flour 743 grams
  • Salt 20 grams
  • Instant Yeast 10.5 grams

The break in the list separates the liquids from the dry ingredients. They are listed that way since for this batch I measured them separately. There are no caraway seeds listed, but the scaled amount for this size batch would be 9 grams. I left them out for two reasons. First, my wife said she thought they were too strong. Second, I had put caraway seeds in some oatmeal bread at one point, and it tasted just like the seeded rye bread from the store. I decided that I would make it without seeds to see what rye bread was like. It was good and I didn’t miss the seeds. Continue reading

Light Rye Bread – part 1

I was pressed for time, but wanted to try making Light Rye Bread. The answer was the bread machine. I had a place to start that made a bit more than I thought my bread machine could handle. I scaled it back so that it would make a loaf that was about 1 1/2 pounds. With a 2 pound bread machine I figured it would be a safe size. (When the recipe makes too much and the pan overflows it’s a big mess.)

Using the bread machine also meant that I needed less than 20 minutes to get the machine started. Then after 3 hours I could get the finished loaf out of the machine. Continue reading

First Try Making Bagels




It may take some imagination to recognize that these are Bagels. But they tasted great and were chewy like a bagel should be, so I am counting them a success.

I had read that you needed to make a big hole in the middle. After having made a batch I now am a true believer in the big hole. The pictures above show one bagel. On the left is the way that I formed it. Its got a pretty big hole, although it has already shrunk a little as the dough relaxed when I put it down. On the right it’s proofed and the hole has shrunk. Then I boiled it and put it in the oven to bake. The result is a tiny hole in the finished Bagel, shown in the center.

A second lesson from these is that even when bread may not turn out a total success technically it can still be really good eating. These Bagels, although not very pretty, were much better than I expected them to be. I’m looking forward to making prettier Bagels as I gain experience. Continue reading

OatMeal Bread in 3 New Pans

Now that I have three identical pans I can make three loaves that match in one batch. These are oatmeal from the same formula that I have used in earlier oatmeal posts.

The ingredients were enough to almost overflow the mixer, although the bowl is not close to full. The disk on the top of the dough hook got a workout and kept the dough from climbing out of the pan. The left photo shows how the bowl seemed full, and the right photo shows how there is a lot of room left in the pan even though the dough is threatening to overflow.

The ingredients add up to a bit over 2 Kg. (4.4 lbs.) which is the same as for two loaves in the larger 9 by 5 pans: Continue reading