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Here's a quick break-making tip that I learned today....if you make a batch of bread that you aren't going to serve for a meal immediately, you can take the loaf/loaves out of the oven a little early - when they are cooked, but haven't quite reached that nice, golden brown color. Then, at dinner time, turn the oven on hot (450ish) and pop the loaf bake in for a few minutes. It'll turn the nice golden color, and be just like service fresh, hot bread out of the oven.

It's like those loaves at the store that they sell "ready to bake".

I learned this when I was baking this morning, but took a little longer than I planned, and we had to leave before the bread was quite done, so I took it out early. When I tried the "finish browning it at dinner" trick, the entire loaf got scarfed down immediately when I took it out of the oven! They got "fresh out of the oven" bread, but I didn't have to worry about timing the bread just right. (which is another thing that I've learned....any "timing" given in bread recipes is very LOOSE. Watching the rising and moving on to the next step when it has risen enough has been much more useful than setting the timer.

Anyway, I've been making myself make bread every weekend for practice, so I'll be able to do it, when necessary. It's a good thing, too, since my first several weekend attemps were pretty bad. I'm looking forward to spring to try some dutch over and other outdoor techniques!

If anyone else wants to share any tips or bits of bread-making wisdom, I'd love to hear them!
 

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That sounds lovely: did you also know you can before it's risen the last time, ie just when you've shaped the loaf, chuck it in the freezer? The night before you want it, leave it on the bench. It will thaw and rise by morning.

Another trick is to leave it to rise in the fridge (I kid you not) overnight.

Also: I knead in the Kenwood with a kneading tool - whack it on for 10 minutes and walk away - you can leave the bread wetter, less flour ends up in it and the bread is more like the bought stuff.

And finally: when you make kibbled breads, or bread with say corn in it, boil up the kibble first.

There, I think that's my contribution! If anyone has a recipe for Vogels Bread, please, please post it. I love the stuff.
 

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Oh: and 1/2 tsp of ascorbic acid (vitamin c) oxidises dead yeast, and reduces the yeast flavour. And if you haven't got it, you can use anything with vitamin c in it.
 
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