Bread Making Part 1: Equipment ~ Mountain Mama

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bread Making Part 1: Equipment

Don't forget to vote (for my colorwork sweater) if you haven't yet.

I'm making sourdough bread as I type this. There is a heavenly, beery-yeasty-sour sort of smell eminating from my kitchen.

And it occured to me that I haven't really shared any of my bread making expertise with you.

A year and a half ago, I challenged myself to bake all our bread from scratch, including tortillas. I managed to go six weeks before tortillas broke me--they were awesome if they were eaten directly off the griddle, but became hardtack after about 23 seconds. I continued baking bread for another month or so, but the Businessman rebelled with a loaf of Wonder.

Besides (re)discovering that the Businessman is a simple, simple man who just wants squishy white bread that tastes like glue. I learned a lot.

My essential equipment:

Celeste, my KitchenAid Mixer-A huge thank you goes out to KH who convinced the Businessman, seven years ago, not to get me a microwave for Christmas. But hand-kneading is great if that's what you want.

Cheap clay tiles-from the hardware store. If they cost a buck each, they're pricey. I never remove them (unless I need the second rack). They do wonders for your oven temperature and simulate good old-fashioned clay ovens.

Oven thermometer-At the best of times my oven is horribly inaccurate (as most self-cleaning ovens are). The tiles effect the temp too so an oven thermometer is crucial.

Beyond that, all you need are flour and water. Oh yeah, and salt. I always forget the salt. Bread made without salt is sort of pointless. Unless you have a dungeon and are preparing prisoner's rations.

Tomorrow, we'll start by starting a starter.


  1. Regina10:42 AM

    oooo i'm stoked about this "series", hopefully you have some tips about yeast because I can never never never EVER get my dough to rise properly and I feel like I've tried every tip in the books....very frustrating as I'm the "bread girl" for holiday events!!!

  2. I love making bread, and best of all L's favorite breads are the whole wheaty twigs and sticks kind. I myself use a bread maker, but only for the dough making part, then pull it out, rest it and bake in my oven. Going to have to do the tile technique.

  3. I would have never thought to use clay tiles in my oven...and now I am seriously going to get some this weekend. And an oven thermometer. My oven sucks SO BAD, I cannot even tell you. Completely untrustworthy on every occasion so it has to be babysat. Maybe now I can get a grip on the situation! THANKS!


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