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S/o of Quill's pie crust thread: I need bread baking tips please UPDATE: I did it! Pic attached


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I'm hoping there are some bread bakers here that can help me get started! 

1. I am reading recipes in my old Better Homes and Gardens plaid cookbook and the recipes call for a LOT of flour. So is this where buying flour in bulk at a warehouse store or Amazon comes in? I will make a few rounds of bread to get the hang of it before I buy a huge bag of flour but I'm wondering what container you store all that flour in and where do you keep it in your kitchen? Or do you just buy a regular bag of flour every time you are at the store? Lol

2. The recipes I'm reading say to mix the dough with a stand mixer but only one recipe (and not the first one) specifically says to use the dough hook attachment. Do I use the paddle attachment if the recipe doesn't specify?

3. My cookbook also has bread machine recipes, which wasn't an option I had thought of, but the recipes are literally one step compared to the oven recipes' six steps, so now I'm wondering if that's the way to go. ? I guess I just always assumed that bread machines would turn out lesser quality bread or something.

Anything else I should know before heading into the kitchen?

Please help me become a bread baker, guys! ?

Edited by MrsRobinson
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3 minutes ago, MrsRobinson said:

I'm hoping there are some bread bakers here that can help me get started! 

1. I am reading recipes in my old Better Homes and Gardens plaid cookbook and the recipes call for a LOT of flour. So is this where buying flour in bulk at a warehouse store or Amazon comes in? I will make a few rounds of bread to get the hang of it before I buy a huge bag of flour but I'm wondering what container you store all that flour in and where do you keep it in your kitchen? Or do you just buy a regular bag of flour every time you are at the store? Lol

2. The recipes I'm reading say to mix the dough with a stand mixer but only one recipe (and not the first one) specifically says to use the dough hook attachment. Do I use the paddle attachment if the recipe doesn't specify?

3. My cookbook also has bread machine recipes, which wasn't an option I had thought of, but the recipes are literally one step compared to the oven recipes' six steps, so now I'm wondering if that's the way to go. ? I guess I just always assumed that bread machines would turn out lesser quality bread or something.

Anything else I should know before heading into the kitchen?

Please help me become a bread baker, guys! ?

Flour-we use a LOT of flour in my house.  Not just bread (though I do make our own) but pancakes, muffins, waffles, I make my own bisquick to make impossibly easy pies with, etc etc.  I just buy regular old all purpose flour.  When the baking sales come up, I stock up.  In particularly, usually around Thanksgiving/Christmas and Easter time frames, that's when the flour usually goes on rock bottom sale prices.  I buy the 5lb bags, but I usually get several in one shopping trip, usually up to whatever the limit is and usually make one or two more trips.  That's about the max on my storage space in the pantry for it.  I do NOT buy giant bulk bags mostly because I just don't have a good storage solution for a single large 25lb bag of flour.  But, 5 bags of 5lb each, those fit and store very neatly in my pantry.   I have a storage container like this in my pantry where I dump the open bags.  But mine is actually double the size, it will easily hold 10lbs of flour.  

Stand mixer/dough hook-can't answer this one, I don't use the stand mixer

I use a bread machine.  I love my bread machine.  It's kind of like using a crockpot.  Dump it all in and go. In fact, back in 2013 when DH lost his job, I got a full time overnight job plus a part time afternoon job, and still, I was the primary cook.  So often, I would throw a main dish in one crockpot, a side in the second and then bread in the bread machine-dinner...done.

A lot of folks don't like the fact that bread machines tend to leave holes in the bottom of the bread.  This happens because the machine has a paddle that it uses to mix and knead the bread.  So a lot of folks will use the machine to mix and knead, but then pull the dough out and put it in a pan then just bake in the oven.  The holes don't bother me, so I don't mess with that.  Well, unless I am making a shaped recipe, like pretzals or bagels or something.

I can say that bread that I make in the bread machine is generally more dense and not as soft and spongy as a generic loaf of white bread in the store.  I don't know if handmade bread ends up with a different texture because handmade bread is too much work for me lol.  However, in terms of actual QUALITY......I don't think HANDmade bread is going to be all that much better than HOMEmade bread that uses a bread machine.  

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28 minutes ago, MrsRobinson said:

I'm hoping there are some bread bakers here that can help me get started! 

1. I am reading recipes in my old Better Homes and Gardens plaid cookbook and the recipes call for a LOT of flour. So is this where buying flour in bulk at a warehouse store or Amazon comes in? I will make a few rounds of bread to get the hang of it before I buy a huge bag of flour but I'm wondering what container you store all that flour in and where do you keep it in your kitchen? Or do you just buy a regular bag of flour every time you are at the store? Lol

We do a lot of baking at our house.  I like unbleached flour (because why have extra chemicals applied to my food when the only difference is the color of the flour), but the largest size it comes in is 25 pound bags.  We usually go through 2 a month.  As far as storage, I have a large rubbermaid container that holds about 10 pounds that fit on my pantry shelves.  I used that for years (my pantry is not in my kitchen) but it was anyone having to always go get it. Now I'm using the largest Tupperware modular mate rectangular container because it fits in my cupboards.  They were pretty expensive but not all my baking supplies are neatly stacked in my cupboard and easy to get at.  Extra supplies (aka the rest of the bag) just get the top rolled down and stuck in the pantry.  But for things that get stored longer I use 3 gallon pails  (that I got free from asking at different bakery departments) with Gamma lids (because those are supper easy to open/close and keep critters out)

2. The recipes I'm reading say to mix the dough with a stand mixer but only one recipe (and not the first one) specifically says to use the dough hook attachment. Do I use the paddle attachment if the recipe doesn't specify?

Personally I would still use the dough hook because it's more durable than the paddles and I would worry about breaking the paddle.

3. My cookbook also has bread machine recipes, which wasn't an option I had thought of, but the recipes are literally one step compared to the oven recipes' six steps, so now I'm wondering if that's the way to go. ? I guess I just always assumed that bread machines would turn out lesser quality bread or something.

I used to do the bread machine when I was first learning and it's good for starting out but long term I grew tired of it because the crust is so much thicker than bread baked in the oven.  Also my family grew where one loaf at a time was insufficient quantity.

Anything else I should know before heading into the kitchen?

Please help me become a bread baker, guys! ?

 

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25 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

 I just buy regular old all purpose flour.  When the baking sales come up, I stock up.  In particularly, usually around Thanksgiving/Christmas and Easter time frames, that's when the flour usually goes on rock bottom sale prices.  I buy the 5lb bags, but I usually get several in one shopping trip, usually up to whatever the limit is and usually make one or two more trips.  That's about the max on my storage space in the pantry for it.  I do NOT buy giant bulk bags mostly because I just don't have a good storage solution for a single large 25lb bag of flour.  But, 5 bags of 5lb each, those fit and store very neatly in my pantry.   I have a storage container like this in my pantry where I dump the open bags.  But mine is actually double the size, it will easily hold 10lbs of flour.  

This ? is something I can do! I don't know what it is about a giant bag of flour but its intimidating! 

I use a bread machine.  I love my bread machine.  It's kind of like using a crockpot.  Dump it all in and go. In fact, back in 2013 when DH lost his job, I got a full time overnight job plus a part time afternoon job, and still, I was the primary cook.  So often, I would throw a main dish in one crockpot, a side in the second and then bread in the bread machine-dinner...done.

This ? is also right up my alley! Its like leaving the house to do errands and the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are all going and dinner's in the crock pot! Love that feeling! Maybe I need to add bread machine to that list! ?

I can say that bread that I make in the bread machine is generally more dense and not as soft and spongy as a generic loaf of white bread in the store.  I don't know if handmade bread ends up with a different texture because handmade bread is too much work for me lol.  However, in terms of actual QUALITY......I don't think HANDmade bread is going to be all that much better than HOMEmade bread that uses a bread machine. 

This is great info. What bread machine do you have? 

 

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17 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:
17 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:

We do a lot of baking at our house.  I like unbleached flour (because why have extra chemicals applied to my food when the only difference is the color of the flour), but the largest size it comes in is 25 pound bags.  We usually go through 2 a month.  As far as storage, I have a large rubbermaid container that holds about 10 pounds that fit on my pantry shelves.  I used that for years (my pantry is not in my kitchen) but it was anyone having to always go get it. Now I'm using the largest Tupperware modular mate rectangular container because it fits in my cupboards.  They were pretty expensive but not all my baking supplies are neatly stacked in my cupboard and easy to get at.  Extra supplies (aka the rest of the bag) just get the top rolled down and stuck in the pantry.  But for things that get stored longer I use 3 gallon pails  (that I got free from asking at different bakery departments) with Gamma lids (because those are supper easy to open/close and keep critters out)

Personally I would still use the dough hook because it's more durable than the paddles and I would worry about breaking the paddle.

 

I think my quote is messed up so I hope this is readable...

I use unbleached flour for all the baking I do now. Muffins, cookies, cakes, and lots more. Really bread is the only thing I've never tried, which I guess is why I'm wanting to get started. The next new kitchen challenge for me. 

Good to know about the dough hook. I probably would've broken my paddle attachment. ? 

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17 minutes ago, SamanthaCarter said:

The paddle is for beating batter, the dough hook is for kneading. You might have both steps on your recipe, so switch it out. 

Hmm... this is interesting. The whole wheat recipe says in step 1 to beat mixture with electric mixer, scraping sides as needed. Then in step 2, you knead the dough by hand. Other recipes are very similar.

Great, so out of eight bread recipes in this cookbook, only one doesn't call for kneading by hand. Can you knead it in the stand mixer with the dough hook anyway, even if the recipe instructs hand kneading?

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7 minutes ago, MrsRobinson said:

Hmm... this is interesting. The whole wheat recipe says in step 1 to beat mixture with electric mixer, scraping sides as needed. Then in step 2, you knead the dough by hand. Other recipes are very similar.

Great, so out of eight bread recipes in this cookbook, only one doesn't call for kneading by hand. Can you knead it in the stand mixer with the dough hook anyway, even if the recipe instructs hand kneading?

 

Yes, you can.  Bread making is actually VERY easy--people have been making bread for thousand's of years without recipes, ovens, etc!

The reason for BH&G use of mixer is to get a head start on developing the gluten; manipulating (kneading) the dough by hand aligns all the strands of gluten the same way which makes for a nice crumb and good shape.  So, a dough hook which mimics kneading (and not mixing) should accomplish that.  

Jump in and have fun.  I personally find it EASIER to make bread than to have go buy it.....  And it so, so good!

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I buy unbleached flour in bulk and store it in the fridge in my garage.  I also buy yeast in bulk and store in my freezer, and I've never had any trouble with my bread no rising.   I never knead by hand, always in my Kitchen Aid with a dough hook.  My mixer is an Artisan, not the professional model, so I knead in 2 minute increments and let my mixer rest.  For whole wheat bread, the additional of wheat gluten will give you a lighter texture.    Oh, and I always use cold water, it just takes longer for the bread to rise.   Unless I am in hurry, I use 1 tsp yeast.  The more yeast you use, the quicker bread rises, but I prefer a slower risen bread.  

I think the number one thing to remember is bread really isn't that fussy.  If you add too much water, your final product will be a big spongier, but it will still be delicious.  Likewise, if there isn't enough water, the bread may be a bit dense, but still delicious.    Just don't use hot water, or you will kill your yeast.  

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2 minutes ago, LuvToRead said:

I buy unbleached flour in bulk and store it in the fridge in my garage.  I also buy yeast in bulk and store in my freezer, and I've never had any trouble with my bread no rising.   I never knead by hand, always in my Kitchen Aid with a dough hook.  My mixer is an Artisan, not the professional model, so I knead in 2 minute increments and let my mixer rest.  For whole wheat bread, the additional of wheat gluten will give you a lighter texture.    Oh, and I always use cold water, it just takes longer for the bread to rise.   Unless I am in hurry, I use 1 tsp yeast.  The more yeast you use, the quicker bread rises, but I prefer a slower risen bread.  

I think the number one thing to remember is bread really isn't that fussy.  If you add too much water, your final product will be a big spongier, but it will still be delicious.  Likewise, if there isn't enough water, the bread may be a bit dense, but still delicious.    Just don't use hot water, or you will kill your yeast.  

Okay, so nothing too tragic will happen here? ? 

I have the Classic model of the kitchen aid mixer so I need to let it rest so the motor doesn't overheat?

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2 minutes ago, MrsRobinson said:

Okay, so nothing too tragic will happen here? ? 

I have the Classic model of the kitchen aid mixer so I need to let it rest so the motor doesn't overheat?

Not at all!!  The worst thing would be some sub-par homemade bread, which with enough butter will still be delicious!  

I may be overly cautious, but I would let your mixer take kneading break.  Maybe 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off.  Hopefully someone else has some better advice.

 

 

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Large bags of flour here are 10kg / 22 lbs. Rubbermaid has an 18.9L container that fits perfectly.

The biggest issue we had when learning to bake bread was the initial rise. Drafty, dry house. I think I read somewhere the more you make bread, you can actually make your environment more yeast friendly, which after 20 years of bread baking seems true around here, anyway. What got us off and running was having a way to 'proof'. We were just making 1-2 loaf batches to start, so would stick the bowl in the microwave with a cup of hot water. That did the trick. Now I can just put a damp cloth over my 5-loaf batch, pop it on top of the fridge for an hour and it's ready to shape into loaves.

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This is great info. What bread machine do you have? 

The one I have right now is this Zojirushi.  Except mine is a slightly older version I bought of craigslist used.  I have only had this one a few months and it seems to be a bit more quirky than my previous one.  I had a Westbend previously that I liked better.  But when I moved I got rid of the pan because it had been well used and the posts for the paddles were starting to pull loose.  But then I found I couldn't order a replacement pan.  The Zojirushi works well enough but it seems to be more sensitive and I keep ending up with loaves with sunken tops.  Lots of folks LOVE Zojirushi brand but so far, I  had better luck with my westbend.  I had the westbend for probably 6 or 7 years, and I was using it 3 or 4 times a week on average.  

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31 minutes ago, KathyBC said:

What got us off and running was having a way to 'proof'. We were just making 1-2 loaf batches to start, so would stick the bowl in the microwave with a cup of hot water. That did the trick. Now I can just put a damp cloth over my 5-loaf batch, pop it on top of the fridge for an hour and it's ready to shape into loaves.

So that's what the fancy "proving drawer" on Great British Bake Off is all about! ? Good to know I might need to experiment with that. The temp thingy in my kitchen says the humidity is currently 39%. 

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

The one I have right now is this Zojirushi.  Except mine is a slightly older version I bought of craigslist used.  I have only had this one a few months and it seems to be a bit more quirky than my previous one.  I had a Westbend previously that I liked better.  But when I moved I got rid of the pan because it had been well used and the posts for the paddles were starting to pull loose.  But then I found I couldn't order a replacement pan.  The Zojirushi works well enough but it seems to be more sensitive and I keep ending up with loaves with sunken tops.  Lots of folks LOVE Zojirushi brand but so far, I  had better luck with my westbend.  I had the westbend for probably 6 or 7 years, and I was using it 3 or 4 times a week on average.  

Thank you for the links and info on the bread makers. I put the Westbend one and a cheaper Hamilton Beach one in my Amazon wish list so maybe if I start making bread, dh will get the hint and get me a machine as a gift. ? 

I think it might be handy for midweek but maybe I could manage to do it the old fashioned way on the weekends/ when company comes, etc.

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25 minutes ago, Danae said:

 

Something tragic could happen -- I know two people who have killed their Kitchen Aid kneading bread.  Stay right there and if the motor starts to strain or slip turn it off immediately.

 That would be tragic! Mine was a gift from a dear friend that loves to bake and got me started about 15 years ago. I think of what a generous gift that was every time I use it. ?

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When I was baking a lot, I used the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes/day recipe and it worked well.  We used it for bread, cinnamon rolls, and pizza.   I did a half whole-wheat, half all purpose King Arthur Flour recipe.

If you have a BJ's discount store, you can buy 10 pound bags of unbleached KAF.  Wal-Mart has the best price for the 5 pound bags in my area. 

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I googled artisan bread 5 min a day since a few of you have mentioned it. In browsing the website, it gives a master recipe for an artisan loaf on a pizza stone and lots of links to cookbooks, lol. ? 

Do the cookbooks include recipes for sandwich bread? The method is interesting and there are some other recipes on the site, like brioche, that look fun to try but I really do want a good routine of making homemade loaf bread. 

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3 hours ago, MrsRobinson said:

Where do you keep all those huge buckets?!

They are stacked two high and two wide discretely behind a couch in the sitting area off of the kitchen. 

In previous homes I had pantries with enough floor room to slide them in there.

I have teen boys. It’s all quantity > aesthetics right now. 

 

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1 hour ago, MrsRobinson said:

I googled artisan bread 5 min a day since a few of you have mentioned it. In browsing the website, it gives a master recipe for an artisan loaf on a pizza stone and lots of links to cookbooks, lol. ? 

Do the cookbooks include recipes for sandwich bread? The method is interesting and there are some other recipes on the site, like brioche, that look fun to try but I really do want a good routine of making homemade loaf bread. 

I read the book, but putting out $ for the pizza stone threw me off. ? I have made this one a few times, though, and it's awesome:
https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/homemade-artisan-bread-easiest-bread-recipe-ever.html

Edited by KathyBC
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23 minutes ago, KathyBC said:

I read the book, but putting out $ for the pizza stone threw me off. ? I have made this one a few times, though, and it's awesome:
https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/homemade-artisan-bread-easiest-bread-recipe-ever.html

I have a pizza stone but, yeah, definitely don't want another cookbook if I can help it, lol! 

Thanks for the link to the recipe. That one is even easier to follow than the one on the 5 min website.

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We buy flour in 25 lb bags and DH stores the open one in a 5 gal bucket. (The others are stacked in a storage area in the basement up off the floor. We also grind our own wheat flour a gallon bucket at a time.)

I keep two gallon ice cream containers on my kitchen - one wheat flour, one white flour. I use my bread machine for the mixing/ kneading, but shape & cook it separately because shaping your own is very forgiving of not measuring exactly.

We do bread, rolls, breadsticks, bread bowls, and pizza crust on a regular basis. Super easy. My ds#1 will often put a loaf in to stretch the main course a little further.

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1.  I only buy flour as fast as I will use it.  I don’t like it sitting around for super long because it will dry out.  I also find that the 10 pound bags on baking sale windows go on sale for the same or less than the 25 pound bags are at Costco and Cash and Carry.  

2. I always use the hook for yeasted bread dough and paddle for quick breads and muffins.  

3.  I have zero bread machine experience but the loaves I’ve had from them aren’t bad at all.

 

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I buy the bulk flour and store in 2 10l tubs. I do occasionally get caught when I go off bread making for a while but we use it pretty quick.

i make way better bread in the bread maker.

at least I did till the bread maker stopped working properly 

if you are using a mixer definitely use the dough hook!

if you want to mix it up apple tea rings are super easy and look amazing once you’ve done the basic bread!

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16 hours ago, MrsRobinson said:

 

First...a safety comment .... PLEASE don't leave your dishwasher and dryer going when you are not home. Both are known to start fires, particularly the dryer. A good family friend lost their garage when the dryer caught fire...it would have been the whole house but they were there and smelled the smoke and called the fire department in time to save the house. Had they not been home their house and probably the neighbors would have burned to the ground, including their pets trapped inside. PLEASE don't do this. It really really really isn't worth your pets dying, house and all your memories burning down, etc. Please. And dishwashers catch fire too, my parents' had theirs catch fire while I was over there once.

As for bread machines I have this one and love it. https://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CBK-100-LB-Bread-Maker/dp/B001C2KY7Y/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1539692639&sr=8-3&keywords=cuisinart+bread&dpID=41KA5OcKCKL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

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16 hours ago, SamanthaCarter said:

The paddle is for beating batter, the dough hook is for kneading. You might have both steps on your recipe, so switch it out. 

Yes.  Don't try to use the paddle for a bread dough. That can burn out the motor! I don't mean to be repetitive but it's so important.

I've always used my kitchenaid for kneading.  My husband used to make bread and he did the kneading by hand. But he is tall so the counter is a good height for him, and he has big hands.  

I am another one who learned to bake bread with King Arthur.  Their 200th anniversary cookbook has their hearth bread recipe and lots of ways to vary it. I love experimenting with add-ins along with a mix of white bread and whole wheat flours. 

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17 hours ago, MrsRobinson said:

I'm hoping there are some bread bakers here that can help me get started! 

1. I am reading recipes in my old Better Homes and Gardens plaid cookbook and the recipes call for a LOT of flour. So is this where buying flour in bulk at a warehouse store or Amazon comes in? I will make a few rounds of bread to get the hang of it before I buy a huge bag of flour but I'm wondering what container you store all that flour in and where do you keep it in your kitchen? Or do you just buy a regular bag of flour every time you are at the store? Lol

2. The recipes I'm reading say to mix the dough with a stand mixer but only one recipe (and not the first one) specifically says to use the dough hook attachment. Do I use the paddle attachment if the recipe doesn't specify?

3. My cookbook also has bread machine recipes, which wasn't an option I had thought of, but the recipes are literally one step compared to the oven recipes' six steps, so now I'm wondering if that's the way to go. ? I guess I just always assumed that bread machines would turn out lesser quality bread or something.

Anything else I should know before heading into the kitchen?

Please help me become a bread baker, guys! ?

1. I keep flour in a Tupperware Modular Mate, in the fridge. When I was making bread more often, I bought wheat berries and milled it right before I used it. :-) The only bread I make now is an English muffin bread, and it calls for 5 cups of bread flour; I buy King Arthur unbleached bread flour. I suppose if I made bread more often (usually only Mr. Ellie eats the bread, and he doesn't eat that much) I'd look into getting a larger container, and I'd be using it before the bugs found it. :-o

2. The paddle attachment and the dough hook work differently. I wouldn't interchange them. If the recipe doesn't specify, then use the dough hook.

3. I *love* using my Bosch to make bread; dough only has to rise once (mix it in the Bosch, put it in the bread pans or shape it or whatever, let it rise, bake). But even if you don't have a Bosch, such that your dough has to rise twice, using your stand mixer will really help make the process easier.

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1. I buy flour in bulk from Costco, but I do go through it quickly. A #50 bag of bread flour from Costco is $10.99. A #5 bag from Walmart is $5.00 or so. It’s crazy.

2.As others have said, the paddle is for batter, though I use it to start my favorite bread recipe and pizza crust. The dough is very thin and batter-like to start out. I switch out to the dough hook when I add the bulk of the flour.

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Thanks for the bread machine suggestion. I hadn't come across that one and that's a good price for a Cuisinart product. 

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I keep a few different kinds of flour around and my baking is sporadic, so I don't buy huge amounts anymore.  I buy in 5 or 10 pound bags, mostly, and keep some off the lesser-used ones in the freezer. I used to buy in 50-pound bags and have these huge buckets that we bought at Bob's Red Mill years ago.  We still have the buckets ready in case we get into bulk storage again.  :-)

This thread is inspiring me to get the rye flour out this weekend!  

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I store my 50lb flour from Costco in a plastic tote on the floor of my (too small) kitchen, along with a tote with my Jasmine rice (25lb) and Japanese/Californinan rice (25lb) inside it.  I go through the flour in about 2-3 months, the rices 1.5-2 months.  Family of six, many guests for two meals a week.

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Update! I did it! My first two loaves are done and baked all the way through, which was a top concern. The pat and pinch method in my cookbook was not very detailed and the loaves sort of had their own ideas about shape so they dont look uniform at all, lol, but oh well. 

I used tips from you guys and let it rise in the microwave with a cup of warm water. I also used the paddle for the initial mix then used the dough hook to knead in 2 minute intervals with 2 minute breaks.

Dh and the kids love it so I'm calling it a win!

I'm supposed to bring something to a bonfire this weekend so I think I'm going to try the hearth bread recipe for that!

Thanks for getting me started baking bread you guys!

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The worm gear on KitchenAid mixers will wear out after regular use on stiff dough.  When I was baking 2-3 times a week (bread on weekends + pizza dough at least 1x a week), the worm gear on our professional model lasted roughly a year.  Fortunately, replacing it is not a difficult DIY. We have done it several times now.  This is true for most KA mixers made since the early 2000s apparently.   The older ones are more durable but I’ve never been able to score an old one anywhere.  Mine was a wedding present from 2002.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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7 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

The worm gear on KitchenAid mixers will wear out after regular use on stiff dough.  When I was baking 2-3 times a week (bread on weekends + pizza dough at least 1x a week), the worm gear on our professional model lasted roughly a year.  Fortunately, replacing it is not a difficult DIY. We have done it several times now.  This is true for most KA mixers made since the early 2000s apparently.   The older ones are more durable but I’ve never been able to score an old one anywhere.  

This is good to know. Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Looks great!

I read this thread right before bed and made bread in my dream last night.

I think today is a slow cooker / homemade bread day!

 I scrapped my dinner plans last night and made an Italian soup instead so we could eat some of the bread with dinner. ?

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The loaves look fantastic.

Also, keep in mind, that bread baking is really more of an art than a science. The more you do it, the better you will become. And you will get a feel for the way the dough should look and feel. It’s really a great hobby, and it feeds your family. Just be prepared for them to become spoiled with fresh bread, and start turning their noses up at the store-bought stuff.?

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