So my test of trying to make bread based on what I knew. I kind of thought I knew quite a bit. Yet having made so many different loaves of bread as of late. I have the confidence to know that I made a decent bread in which will have many uses and not too often seen.
New app that helps
I have been using a new app that is still in beta testing but has produced quite a few rolls in order to help out with blog posts. The nice thing about this app it helps with having to deal with ideas and being able to keep them all together.
I will post the roll as its called for Cherry Bread post here. I can tell you that the app is a work in progress for me as I learn about it. I have been in contact with the developers about any issues. Now back to the post.
So using the knowledge about what I know of making a loaf of bread, I first got the yeast going. Most of the time the packets of yeast you get from the grocery store will tell you to just add warm water. Not me! I like to use a pinch or two of salt and sugar. This feeds the yeast and makes it much more vibrant. The same can be done with brewing beer if you are pitching yeast away from a smack pack yeast.
Once the yeast is going and starting to feed and grow. I put about a cup of dried cherries into a bowl with a cup of leftover red wine, with a cup of water as well. I did not want the bread to be overpowered with a red wine taste. This also helps with rehydrating the cherries, but also will give the bread a nice flavor from the wine and the cherries.
I proceeded to put in 3 cups of flour into a bowl. I checked my yeast and saw that is was still hungry! I checked my cherries and they were starting to get plump again. I will use the wine/water mixture to provide the necessary liquid I need for the bread. The wine will also help with the yeast to grow and help the bread rise. This will provide enough air in the bread to make it less dense. Yet that is the trick. I will explain and it will become self-evident why I mention this later on.
Time to incorporate…
So now I have my 3 cups of flour in the bowl and the yeast dropped into the bowl with the flour. I start to mix them both, till the flour gets wet from the yeast. I then proceed to add a half cup of flour at a time until the mixture gets incorporated. Second add the cherries without the steeping water. To get them started to mix throughout the dough. Each time I add either a half cup of flour at a time. I do not measure how much water from steeping the cherries. I look for a moist type of dough. This is where trial and error comes into play.
So after adding the cherries and about a cup of flour of mixing the dough. I ensure that the dough is growing and getting mixed correctly. Normally you can add your spices and other ingredients once you have most of the flour in. This helps with mixing through the whole dough.
You have successefully added all 5 1/2 cups of flour. You can add the other 1/2 cup in case your dough is a bit wet still. You are looking for a desired texture of sticky but not overly wet.
As you can see in the bowl above. There is oil. I prefer to use olive oil, since it smoke point is higher and actually gives the bread more of a fried texture when coming out of the pan and actually helps release the bread once it is done cooking. While the taste may not be ideal, trying a few different types and brands will help in finding the right one for you.
The whole idea of using the oil is to coat the dough, and your hands so that you are not covered in dough gloves. The dough can be sticky unless you have the option of a mixer. I do not, but prefer using the old school ways of mixing the dough. This also helps it from sticking to the bowl as it rises and the bread eventually soaks some of the oil.
What to do while it rises…
So now you are probably thinking that I made the dough and don’t know how it will turn out. Well, you are not alone in that thought. I do it all the time when making bread. I have found out that by just trying different things out, that you will get the idea of it and also will be able to make a better loaf later on.
From what I can suggest with this bread is to have it with a nice sweet and savory breakfast. You can even see about making french toast with it! Would make for a nice cream cheese toast with syrup or something similar. The idea is that you are making a bread using some of the ingredients you have on hand. I am sure that everyone will attest to that you can make bread out of anything. The way to make good bread is to actually make a few loaves. You will make some flat loaves, but taste good. Even the nice looking loaves can taste like crap! I’ve done that too many times.
Even after rising for over an hour on a hot day, the bread came out alright. I had it rise in the bowl for an hour. Then took it out and split it in two, since I only have 2 loaf pans. Then let it rise again for another hour maybe a bit longer. From the picture above, you can see that, while the bread did rise higher than the loaf pan, it still didn’t rise well enough. Once the baking process started, it seemed as though the bread fell. A nice trick is to not punch down the loaf in the pan and gently add it to the preheated oven. This will help with keeping the dough airy and make for a good loaf.
So after adding all the ingredients and just going against most words of wisdom. I have created a nice loaf of bread that with the recipe that I have sort of made up, based on past experiences. Into a flavorful recipe that I am sure can be changed, improved, and added to, that will create a very nice loaf of bread. Do not feel upset or unconfident if it doesn’t go well. You have just created something without any added chemicals. Except for the processed flour. Overall your bread making journey is going well. I will be having another post concerning my pretzels that my kids love. Stay tuned to that another post on that later.
If you wish to see another food posting, here is another post about making a nice dish. Spanish Rice.