[Sca-cooks] partly on-topic, partly off: bread

Ian Kusz sprucebranch at gmail.com
Mon Jan 25 07:46:07 PST 2010

Okay.  In an advanced state of hubris (is hubris a state?), I'm going to ask
questions on a topic that is a lifetime's study, expecting simple, short
answers to what is, no doubt, a highly complex issue.

I'm full of fun, and soup.

On the making of bread.  Someone's going to buy me a used bread machine,
something called a "Welbilt."  So, naturally, I have some questions about
bread making, and I'll be mostly referring to the machine, but some of my
questions are general questions about bread, which, I suppose, is arguably
period in topic.

First, my sister said that when she'd used a bread machine, the outer inch
or inch and a half was unusable, as it was stale.  I read the florilegium,
and one section recommended "misting" the bread, and another buttering the
surface of the bread.  Do either of these help, and during what stage do you
do them? Is there some other way to avoid this?

I've been told that if you open the oven during baking, it can make your
bread collapse.  Is this true?

I've heard (from you lot, I think) that some flours are not high enough in
something (gluten?) to rise.  I presume I can add these flours to "regular"
flour (say, what, 1/4?) and make something out of it.

Okay, here's the point.  I"m trying to find a way to eat healthy on a
budget, and I've tried "craft" breads, and always felt more satisfied, full,
and, I dunno, just better after eating them.  I'm hoping the machine will
allow me to make something healthy.

My dad, from Poland, always said that, in this country, our bread wasn't
really bread, it was cake (being not very nutritious, and too fluffy).  And
I've heard things about pyramid bread, and alternative grains, and looked up
some of the nutrition information on other grains, and, WOW.  so, I'm hoping
this'll allow me to make something good.

The ones I'm interested in are:  oat flour (for cholesterol management),
teff, spelt, and any others someone else recommends.  Store-bought bread
always disagrees with me, slightly.  I'm not sure why.  Of course it has a
number of things I've found my body doesn't like, including sodium
silico-aluminate (which is also used in some salt as an anti-clumping
agent), corn syrup, and possibly wheat gluten, though I'm not sure if that's
one of my problems, or not.

Any recommendations of grains to try?  I'm hoping for bread that's heavy,
nutritious, but not inedibly brick-like.  Ideally, if you get hit with it,
it should cause a concussion, but not fracture your skull.

Here's hoping.  BTW, I've never cooked with yeast bread, before.  Just
self-rising (baking soda).  I am checking the Florilegium, but it's a fairly
big section.

Ian of Oertha

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