Over the course of the semester, I have learned so much about making bread and working with yeast! Whats even better, is that I got to eat a lot of delicious bread while doing it! If it wasn’t for ECMP 355, I never would have been able to complete a project like this. Being able to pass off something you actually enjoy as homework – now that’s something I could get on board with!
I started out with some basics: white bread, buns, etc. I found that recipes differ very much from each other and it is important which recipe you chose. Then I moved into recipes that required a bit more difficulty. Then, nearing the end of the semester, when I circled back to the beginning of my journey and remade some of the basics, I was way more successful. I think this for 2 reasons. Number one, the recipes I used definitely had an impact on how my baking turned out. Number two, I took more time and also had more practice when doing things such as shaping my buns. I also got more comfortable with manipulating recipes and making changes based on what I desired.
This learning project has benefited me greatly. I am the kind of person who thinks most things that are bought in the grocery store can be made at home. I like having the freedom to do this because I know exactly what is going into it and in turn, what is going into my body. In the past, I have made things like homemade granola, granola bars, pizza pops, etc. This has allowed me to expand what I can do at home. I also learned that real, homemade bread does not last nearly as long on the counter as store bought bread does!
This newly acquired skill is something I am going to use throughout the rest of my life. I am happy I had the opportunity to expand my learning in this area. I didn’t even realize what a valuable tool the internet could be for learning a new skill. I learned it only takes a few minutes to Google what you are looking for, a few minutes to read it, however, it may take me a little longer than that to master it.
Thanks ECMP 355 for the opportunity!
Thanks for reading; it’s been a slice!
In the future I hope to get a stand mixer than will knead the bread for me. Sigh. Maybe after I job…
Photo Credit: Joyful Abode via Compfight cc
This week for my learning project, I made homemade cinnamon buns. I chose this recipe because it was a no knead recipe, which I was really excited to try. After reading the comments, I also read up about tips for making these cinnamon buns – I found these tips very helpful! First of all, I mixed oil, milk and sugar in my large stockpot and then let it cool for an hour. After an hour, I added flour and yeast and put the lid on to let the yeast work for an hour.
This is what my dough looked like after rising for one hour – very moist dough. I added another half a cup of flour and some other ingredients, stirred, and the dough was ready to go! I loved how easy the making of the dough was! Certainly the easiest this far! I rolled out the dough in a large rectangle, and covered in the one cup of melted butter.
After putting the butter on, I mixed the white sugar and a lot of cinnamon and incorporated it with the butter.
I grabbed the edge of the long side and rolled the dough into a log. Now this was a real struggle. There was way to much butter and so they dough was too heavy for me to be able to pull up and wrap. Next time, I would cut the amount of butter in half. Not that we don’t all love butter, but this is what was left on my counter after I got the cinnamon rolls cut and into my pan.
The recipe made 15 rolls, I made one pan and a small pan with just a few.
The cinnamon buns were so simple! I forgot to take a picture before I iced them, so this is all I have for the finished product. They turned out very light, fluffy and delicious. I have a new favourite cinnamon roll recipe!
Thanks for reading! Its been a slice!
For my learning project this week, I decided to expand my learning of bread and made cinnamon raisin bread! I used this recipe and of course, made a few of my own modifications. The first thing I did was do some research on the internet about what kind of raisins would work best in my bread. I found this website, which indicated that raisins were my best option for baking. Since it also had golden raisins listed below, I decided by just saying ‘raisins,’ they meant sultana raisins. So after stocking up on raisins, I also found a tip that said if you soak your raisins, they will be juicier, so I did this the night before and then stored them in a Tupperware container.
Once thing I did differently from the recipe, was add the raisins into my liquid batter before I added any flour. The recipe called for the raisins to put in after rolling out the dough, but I thought they would distribute more evenly if I mixed them in ahead of time. I also wanted to add the cinnamon at this stage, but I forgot, so I swirled it in after rolling out the dough. I brushed the top of the loaf with egg wash – the recipe called for oil, but I thought that would be really greasy.
As usual, I cooked my bread on the lowest rack. This bread however, after a bit, I started smelling something burnt. I took the bread out 13 minutes before the cooking time was up and the half of the bottom that was at the back of the oven had started to get a little dark. I didn’t even notice this when eating the bread, so no big deal.
The bread turned out delicious.
Thanks for reading; it’s been a slice!
So after my redo on dinner buns went so well, I wanted to re try my hand at making plain white bread in hopes that I could improve it as well! First of all, I chose a recipe that was for a simple butter crust bread. I mean, ‘butter crust’ bread – what could be better?! After choosing this as my recipe, I decided I needed to research a bit about making the perfect loaf of white bread. I found some helpful tips for baking on Epicure’s website. I also found a tip that said to cook on the lowest rack of your oven. So I set off on the challenge of beating myself for the first time.
After mixing, proofing, shaping, and proofing my dough I put it in the oven to bake. I liked the recipes tips for covering with tin foil halfway through so the top does not brown to much – this was a great tip and something I certainly needed. After baking, I brushed the tops of the loaves with butter.
The bread came out of the oven looking much more ‘loafy’ than the first ones I created. I’m not sure if this has to do with the recipe I used, or if I’ve gotten better with working with yeast. One thing I did learn, after brushing the tops with butter and letting them cool, the tops deflated in spots. After reading a bit, this is due to over-rising. So I am now aware that I need to watch my bread as it rises to stop it when it is ready, instead of just leaving it and walking away.
Thanks for reading, its been a slice!
Welcome to round two!!! When I first attempted to make homemade dinner rolls the end result was OK, but not what I had expected.
As you can see, my rolls varied in size and they were not rolled into uniform balls. When they were baked, they were a dense bread and got slightly dry even after the first day. I decided for my learning this week, I needed to try again.
I started by searching for a recipe. Recipe searching is not an easy process for me; on average, it takes me about 3 hours to find a recipe to make. So after all my searching I came right back to the recipe that I used to make the crescent rolls. If your interested, you can check out the past blog post here. I used the same recipe, but I found it on a different site. You can find the recipe I used here. However, I didn’t want to make the crescent shape again. Since I have gained a bit of confidence in my bread making, I decided to make the same recipe, but into a round bun shape instead. So I reviewed this youtube video, to assist me in the shaping. I used a few pieces of dough to practice my technique and I discovered I needed to keep my hand closed up tighter in order to get the balls into the right shape. After working away at this for a bit, I got the product I was looking for!
I got round, uniform balls of dough. The recipe suggested a baking time of 13-17 minutes for the crescent rolls. I started out with the rolls being in the oven for 15 and then rotated my pan and cooked for another 3 minutes, for a total time of 18 minutes.
The rolls ended up as light and fluffy as I could have ever wanted. I am very happy with my rolls the second time around! I couldn’t be happier with the improvement I have made!
Thanks for reading; It’s been a slice!
This weekend, for my learning project, I decided to attempt breadsticks. I chose this recipe for Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks. The dough was easy enough, kind of followed the guidelines of a pizza dough. After the dough had risen, I punched it down and cut it into two halves. I rolled each half into a rectangle and sliced the short side with a pizza cutter. I rubbed roasted garlic on each one and smothered them in butter. After cutting them, I decided to twist them a bit. This recipe did not have the breadsticks rising again, so I popped them into the oven.
The breadsticks turned out alright. I wish they had flavour kneaded into the bread just to give them a bit more flavour. Also, these were quite dense and had a lot of crunch on the bottom. I was honestly a little disappointed by these breadsticks and I will try a different recipe and some different methods next time.
Thanks for reading – it’s been a slice!
After having my rolls turn out so well, I decided to keep on trucking on and try my luck with french bread. Garlic/Cheese bread is a favorite in my house, so I thought it would be awesome if I could learn to make the bread! I found a recipe after looking through pintrest. I chose this recipe because I liked that it made two loaves. I found some of the ingredients to be weird…I have read a lot of recipes since I started this project and no bread recipes have ever had vinegar in them, but I just decided to go with it! I had no problem following the recipe and making the dough. I am getting some serious muscles from kneading all this bread – even though I have a stand mixer at my parents house, hopefully my mom will bring it for me this week! After letting the dough rise (it pretty much tripled in size) I punched it down and divided it into two portions. I had no clue how to shape french bread, so I used this website to give some instructions. I also decided to supplement with a youtube video. I also learned a helpful tip from this video, that you know your dough it ready to work with if you stick your finger in it and it doesn’t spring back up – I tested it out on this recipe and it worked excellent. Both yielded different techniques and so I used one on each loaf since my recipe produced two. I found no real difference in either method, nor did I prefer one more than the other. After allowing my bread to rise for another hour, I basted an egg over top of it and put some slices into the top. I found that it was incredibly hard to slice the bread and realized I was supposed to do it after shaping, before allowing the second rise. Isn’t hindsight great! I baked the loaves for 20 minutes then I rotated the pan and allowed another three minutes for the one that was at the front of the oven to brown.
I was very happy with the way these turned out. They are huge – I wasn’t expecting this big, so I cut them in half before freezing. Will definitely make this recipe again.
Thanks for reading! Its been a slice!