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Thread: Learning to make bread

  1. #1

    Default Learning to make bread

    DSC00353.resized.jpgDSC00354.resized.jpgDSC00355.resized.jpgMade a loaf from home made dough last year and it was alright but a lot of work. Now I am making bread using Miejer brand frozen dough and baking it in my outdoor gas grill. I heat the grill to 330 degrees or so and put the risen loaf in. The temp flucuates by 20 or 39 degrees and after a half hour I have it smoothed out at around 350 degrees. I baked for an hour. Top is golden brown and pretty firm. But my proble is the bottom. It should thump when you thump it but instead it is less than thumpable. Its a weak thump and I am afraid if I thump it harder I may break the surface. I cooled it sitting right side up (should it be upside down?). When it sit a while the bottom is caved in just a bit and after it sits a few hours it settles down on itself a bit. It taste great and it extremely light and fluffy...I think to much. How can I firm it up? Are my temps and times about right? Matby its just the brand and quality of dough I bought.
    Last edited by sofasurfer; 09-12-2015 at 08:53 PM.


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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Firm it up? Let's say lots of practice... I am a fan of Sally Lund So I add an Egg or two. But its all about the quality and freshness of Yeast. I would check out a book on Bread Making, for a better answer.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I've never tried to bake bread in a grill. What happens if you use the same dough in the oven? Bread should be baked around 375F unless the package directions say otherwise. I would guess the problem is with the temp.

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    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    Couple of things, Rick is right about the temperture, bread needs to bake in a hot oven. If it's collapsing it's a sign the oven wasn't hot enough and the dough structure hasn't set. To check whether bread is cooked you only need to tap it with a knuckle, if it sounds hollow the loaf is cooked, if the noise is dull it needs a few more minutes in the oven.
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    Never heard of being able to thump the bottom of the bread when cooked in a pan. You thump the top and if it's crusted and sounds hollow and (the time is nearly up) you are probably all set. The bottom will be softer, just like your store bought bread is softer on the sides and bottom than the top. If you are doing stone baked round loaves on the other hand, the bottom should thump like the top, but I don't worry about it. If the top is done and it peels off the stone, I'm good with that.

    I always remove from the pan and cool on a rack, top side up. Lets the bottom dry out a bit. Leaving it to cool in the pan and the trapped moisture still escaping from the dough will make the bottom of the loaf mushy.

    I've never tried cooking bread in a gas grill either.
    I make mine using Carla Emery's recipe (The Encyclopedia of Country Living)
    All of the bread recipes I have from my mom's old 4H book, to Carla's, to the online recipe I use for sourdough bread all have the oven at 400°. I cook for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes at that temp depending on if french loaf or pan loaf.

    I've thought about trying the smoker. I can get that up to 400° but I don't think it will sustain that for a half hour without eating up a hellacious amount of charcoal.
    Bread in a cast iron pot would probably do better on a grill as the metal evens out and retains the heat better. I probably wouldn't put a lid on it. Never tried it though.

    Finally found an old KitchenAid mixer with a bread hook at a yard sale a couple weeks ago (it was an estate sale actually.)
    I make 4 loaves every other weekend. Cuts the time down and the mess.
    Last edited by LowKey; 09-13-2015 at 08:25 AM.
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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Baking requires sustained heat for breads - so although I missed it in the first post, a grill or smoker is not a good way to bake bread. Why? Every time you take the lid off you loose the hot air that would do the job. I have cooked pizza on a grill with good results, as I am reheating the finished pie.

    I would stick to traditional methods of using an oven if you need to do this outside I would suggest a Dutch oven, (Which I have seen early pottery versions of) Cast Iron - when cooking breads on coals, not fire. Bee Hive ovens, Cob ovens, and other traditional ovens to radiate heat in a sustained manner.


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    I would also encourage you to make your own dough and learn how to proof it.

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    Last edited by Wise Old Owl; 09-13-2015 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Fixed PIC
    “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I had to remove your picture. It stated right on it that it was copyrighted.

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    My smoker loads the coals in the bottom. If I close the top vents and keep the lower open, the heat refills the top chamber immediately. My trouble with this one is keeping the fire low enough to do a low-and-slow smoke. Lately just using it to do ribs. Speaking of which, I should get them ready to go. 5 hours plus a rest is jut about dinner time, now.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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    You really do need the sustained temperature for good bread...you could probably cook flatbread, like naan or something on the grill, maybe even little buns, certainly calzones...they all work for stovetop cooking, though you need to be creative in some cases. But for a proper loaf, you need a proper oven, or a dutch oven.

    Incidentally, if you're just learning how to bake bread, if i may suggest, there is a cookbook called Food That Really Schmecks. it's full of simple old school Mennonite recipes, including one for Neil's Harbour white bread, which is dead simple and pretty forgiving, it's been my go to basic bread recipe since I was 10. if you can find that give it a try. I personally like to make two buns o' bread in the loaf pan rather than one solid loaf, but that's just me.

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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Bringing this thread to the top again

    notice the 1/2 inch sticks to get this fire going... but keep in mind he should have waited till the flames burned down. Oh and he swares his nose itched... he didn't pick it


    “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Yea he should have had a better base of coals then it would have cooked and browned better and been less smokey.
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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    I agree....
    “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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    I have a recipe for Shepards Bread that calls for cracked wheat flour as part of the dough mix. I bake it in a 12 qt cast iron Dutch oven(lid off). Makes a huge heavy loaf but very tasty!
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Bringing this thread to the top again

    notice the 1/2 inch sticks to get this fire going... but keep in mind he should have waited till the flames burned down. Oh and he swares his nose itched... he didn't pick it


    Reminds me of out Boy Scout days........coals are best.... for sure.
    Note throwing dead frogs into the coals while baking "stick bread"......will result in a beating.....
    Just saying.
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    Were you the beater or the beatee?
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    No I was just in attendance.....
    Seems the beatee had heard about frog legs as a foraged food.....but had more enthusiasm, than knowledge and good sense.....Soooo

    If it would have been the survivor island....he would have been voted off....
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