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May the Lord be with us
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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are working out the details of our long term chow plan, post-SHTF. Bread has to be one of the staples.

We have been working on baking bread from scratch using yeast. So far, I have not been able to replicate a really good soft (inside) bread without an overly crusty exterior!

What are your secrets to a loaf of bread out of a Rockwell picture, made by GrandMa?

Many sincere thanks in advance....:)
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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When I grind hard red wheat I end up with a fairly coarse bread with a tough crust. I like it that way, but I understand personal tastes. Home made bread made from hard white wheat makes a less coarse bread. Leaving out the wheat bran also make bread softer in texture.
Wife made bread with dry potatoe flakes added to the flour, this turned out very soft. Guess you will have to experiment.
 

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May the Lord be with us
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Discussion Starter #4
One thing you have to get a grasp on is .........low glutten and high glutten........
Thank you (and thank you, hick industries... we will have to try both the potato and the white flour... so far I've used the hard red because of its superior nutrition).

Please explain the gluten thing...
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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The secret is not to make loaves. That takes a good oven and mine is rather lousy. So all I make is buns, sticks, braided or kind of flat round breads. They cook through easily without burning because they are rather thin. Don't use a too hot oven either. After getting the breads out, sprinkle with some water and let to cool off under a kitchen towel. That softens the crust.
 

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Really?
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Thank you (and thank you, hick industries... we will have to try both the potato and the white flour... so far I've used the hard red because of its superior nutrition).

Please explain the gluten thing...
It's easy......everything is a tradeoff.........now, do you want good nutrition or a light loaf? A good, light loaf is high gluten, a high nutrition is low gluten.....
 

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In my experience, making bread be store-like requires several things. First is the fine-ness of the flour you grind.

With a hand-grinder my bread tasted really good but didn't have a very good texture. It would continually fall apart on me. I was then given an electronic grinder, and that made it as fine as store bought flower. That gave my bread a good consistency, but it wouldn't rise well and wasn't as fluffy as store-bought bread. Also, I always added a bit of all purpose flour too.

I fixed this by adding some wheat gluten.
http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/vitalwheatglutencan.aspx

A quarter cup to a loaf and I have perfectly rising, still delicious fresh bread. Although I suppose I should point out I use a bread maker. I haven't tried it by hand yet.

If you don't want to spend 11$ plus shipping (although it was worth it, for me) maybe you could just try and add some protein powder to your bread? That's pretty much all gluten is. I don't know how much protein powder costs though.
 

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i spread butter on the crust just out of the oven. it keeps it super soft just like my granny. i also totally coat buns, keeps them soft and you dont need to add more butter when its time to eat.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I've learned that by sifting out the bran, the loaf is softer and less course. You can always add the bran into muffins, pancakes or whatever else you make. There are dough conditioners that you can buy also. I buy them in #10 cans from Walton Feed. They help a lot too. You can also get vital wheat gluten and add it to your flour. This increases the protein level of the flour which makes for a softer and chewier texture. It's all a matter of tinkering and experimenting. I'm still in the early experimenting part. I can make decent rustic breads, but I'm not even close to the softer store bought breads. Though I prefer a course, crusty and tough loaf, myself.
 

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experiment with your water to flour ratio in your recipie.. i usually use less flour than most recipies calls for.. extra moisture means a softer inside.. also the kneading process is very inportant as kneading is key to forming the gluten structure that will "hold" the bread as it rises.. before you bake your loaf, a couple of slashes across the top will help as well..

if crust is your problem, cut it off and feed the chooks..
 

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I, too, have been researching the topic; look for websites on 'artisan breads', and look for bread baking techniques as well. One involves baking on a stone - you could substitute unglazed quarry tile - and misting the bread [not the dough itself, but rather the interior of the oven or putting a pan of water in there with it]. It's supposed to create the good crust we're all looking for.
 

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homesteader
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Okay, I just did a couple blog posts on this very subject. There is no secret or mystery to baking good bread. It all comes down to the quality of wheat you have and how you grind it. I have a Diamant grinder. IMO, it is the best grinder on the market and I bought mine for several reasons not relevant to this particular discussion so I'm gonna skip em. Now, hard wheats have the better quality and higher gluten content then soft wheats do. Commercial all purpose flour is simply a combination of the hard and soft wheat. If you'll see in the pictures, I throw off the hulls after my first very course grind. That leaves me the wheat hearts(wheat germ) and very little of the high fiber outer hulls left. Im the baked picture you see 2 loaves of bread. One is baked with fresh ground wheat, one is flour that has been "aged" on the counter for a couple of weeks( chemical reaction imporves the reaction of the gluten with the yeast). The cut bread is both those loaves. In order for your bread to be light and fluffy with a tender yet crusty crust, you must have a decently high gluten level in your flour. I do not add anything to my flour, no chemicals, enhancers, etc and i get wonderful, light, fluffy bread every time.
 

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Christian Survivalist
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My take on bread

I'm a firm believer that you store what you eat and eat what you store. So, for the last two years, I make bread every week. Here is what I have learned.

White Bread:

3 cups of white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 Tablespoons of Dough Enhancer (optional on white bread)
1 1/2 teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon of Dry Milk Powder

Mix that, then add this ...

1 2/3 cup of luke warm water
1/3 cup of honey


The reason why you add dough enhancer is because is makes it really really soft, and the crust too. Also tastes better. But his is an optional step with white bread.

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Wheat Bread

3 Cups of flour (hard red or white wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 Tablespoons of Dough Enhancer
1 1/2 teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon of Dry Milk Powder
2 Tablespoons of Wheat Gluten

Mix that, then add this ...

1 2/3 cup of luke warm water
1/3 cup of honey
2 Tablespoons of Shortning

With whole wheat, its not easy to make the bread slices soft. So the dough enhancer, the wheat gluten and the added shortning all negate that problem. Change your Yeast amount depending on your results.
 

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"Somebody Get a Rope"
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My bread recipe is a compromise of the above; 1 1/2 cups of fresh ground hard red wheat flour, and 1 1/2 cups of commercial unbleached bread flour.

I received a solar oven for Christmas and it really turns out a soft loaf.

elgin
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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Everything said holds true, but also it's about where the wheat is from. I guess you get good "homegrown" wheat over there. Figure since it's warmer and all. Don't know which areas you use for growing wheat. Around here, even if you skip all the steps and actually just buy "good" flour, the bread will never come out really fluffy. It's because growing wheat here is far from ideal. If you buy a fluffy loaf here, it's made from imported wheat.
 
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