Saturday, October 23, 2010

I am determined to get good at yeast bread

As a result of that determination, I have been making a lot of bread.  See...
Potato Buns
Cinnamon Rolls
Sweet White Bread
French Bread
Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Biscuit Dough

I have learned a lot.  First of all, I really like the taste of home made bread.  Secondly, when I am good about thinking ahead, I'd rather bake the bread than buy it.  And thirdly, bread making is an art form!

I recommend reading about the process of sponging.  That article is pretty in depth.  There are plenty more.  Sponging the dough basically allows the process of fermentation to occur before the bread rises.  It adds a distinct and stronger flavor than just letting the bread rise by itself.  It also leaves you with only the need to rise the finished dough one time.  If you've ever had Amish Friendship bread, this helps make sense of the process a little bit.  A long time to ferment changes the taste.  Think in terms of beer.  A better fermentation, a better brew (or so I've heard, though nobody has been kind enough to spike my drink yet, so I may never actually know.)

This process is good for breads like sourdough, and French bread.  It is also helpful in a bread that takes a long time to rise because of a stiffer grain, like whole wheat flour.

My favorite new bread recipes:
French Bread (she has another of the same recipe, without sponging.  Do the sponged one!)
Honey Whole Wheat Bread (again with the sponging)
Perfect Cinnamon Rolls
Potato Buns
Sweet White Bread

I made the buns, following the recommendation to leave overnight.  This was the most time consuming of the recipes I tried.  Totally worth it!  They came out perfect both in looks (aren't they pretty?) and texture and taste.  I made some into hot dog buns, some into sandwich rolls, and some into dinner rolls.  They kept for four days and were really good every time.  I don't know how much longer they would have kept, because we ate them all!

I'll follow with a post on the Sweet White Bread and the Biscuits.  I can give pictures and step by step instructions.  These are both recipes that I've altered and tweaked so much over the years, I couldn't tell you where they came from or what the original looked like.  For me, they turn out perfect just about every time.

Do you like to bake bread?
Are you good at it?
What is your favorite yeast bread recipe?
Have you heard of sponging or tried it before?
Wanna see any of these in a step by step pictorial?

Go to,, and to find most of my favorite recipes.  

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