Adventures in Bread Making

Posted on April 2, 2009. Filed under: Daily life, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , |

As part of both my experiment in housewifery and lowering our food budget, I have started making all of our breads myself.  I have a great no-knead recipe for French bread cooked in the Dutch oven (strange, I know, but it works), and since my mom gave me her old bread machine I’ve been taking the easy way and making dough in it – which has really expanded my repertoire!  (I don’t like the big cube of bread that comes out of the bread machine, it’s terrible for sandwiches!  Plus it has a better flavor if you take it out at the end of the dough cycle and give it extra time for the second rise.)  I have a solid recipe for whitewheat sandwich bread.  I’ve been working on my own Hawaiian sweet bread recipe, but I can’t seem to get it quite right.  I’ve tried adding a little extra honey to sweeten it – I use honey instead of sugar -and sweet potato flakes instead of regular potato flakes, and cutting the lemon extract in half, but to no avail.  It still doesn’t taste like the King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls from the store!  (Here’s a link to the recipe.)  And now I’ve made it so many times in a row hubby asked me to please make something else.  Poor guy.

The recipe I switched to is for a wonderful garlic-herb loaf.  I made it as a regular loaf the first time, but after tasting it hubby and I decided it would make a most excellent focaccia.  So I’ve baked two loaves now rolled out flat on a sheet pan, and they are perfect in terms of texture, taste, moisture, everything except the top!  Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice crusty top, great for a rustic bread.  But I like my focaccia with a soft top.  I’ve tried cooking it on higher heat for a shorter time, and brushing it lightly with olive oil, but it still comes out with a crusty top.

So for all you bakers out there, any suggestions would be welcome!  How do I make my sweet bread taste like the one from the store?  How do I make my focaccia have that soft, yummy top?  Neither loaf is bad the way it is, but neither one is quite what it’s supposed to be.

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8 Responses to “Adventures in Bread Making”

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On the Focaccia, you might try simply covering the pan with AL foil for the first half of the cook time to keep off the direct heat, then expose it to get a little browning done. You might need to play with the timing a bit, but you probably have several more batches before the hubby complains again. 🙂

Doh! Don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I’ll try it on the next batch. Thanks!

I got bread machine for my husband and when my mom found out she wanted it, so I gave it to her. He has been mad ever since. LOL. She made him a loaf a bread last week. We did make pizza crust last week!

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