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Recipes 5 and 6: Soft Roll Dough and Parker House Rolls

Well, it’s been a while since my last post. Life and a bit of laziness got in the way. But, I’m back to tell you all about the latest recipes from The Book I have completed – soft roll dough (Recipe 4) and Parker House rolls (Recipe 5). I decided they were best blogged about at the same time since the soft roll dough is the basis of the Parker House rolls. Soft dough roll is, from what I can ascertain, the basis of dinner rolls. It’s the first recipe that contains more than the basic water, flour, salt, and yeast. It also contains butter, milk, and egg. It’s springy,…

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Recipe 4. Durum Rosemary Bread

Finally, something different – an unfamiliar flour and herbs to mix up the bread making. I wasn’t sure what durum was so I did several internet searches until I had a better understanding – plus I had to search pretty hard to find exactly what I was looking for to order. Durum flour was tricky to find. What is durum flour? The word “durum” is from the Latin durus which means hard, hardship, harsh, stern. It’s the hardest of all wheats and is typically used in making pasta (durum semolina) and in some breads like this one. There’s a lot more to know about wheat variants and how wheat is…

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Recipe 3. Whole Wheat Lean Bread

Admittedly I wasn’t as excited about this week’s recipe – not sure why. Essentially this recipe is the same as the first lean bread recipe, but you add in whole wheat flour to the bread flour. It’s still the same basics with water, yeast, and salt. I decided though that I would use it more as an opportunity to practice shaping. I still have a lot to learn about that. Everything went well but again, I made some minor mistakes. I left the dough sitting for over an hour and I was supposed to fold it after 30 minutes and then again after another 30 minutes with some additional time…

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Recipe 2. Bagels

Bagels. Who doesn’t love a good bagel? Chewy. Toasted. Slathered in cream cheese. I was pleased to find out that bagels were the second recipe in the book. I never thought in a million years I’d ever make bagels. I’d seen tutorials online and in books and thought it looked too involved… especially that water bath. For those of you who don’t know, bagels are a type of yeast bread that not only requires a rise and proofing, but also a “retarding” of the rise (slowing it down really) in the fridge for a time before dropping them into a pot of boiling water. It was that part that scared…

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Recipe 1 – Lean Bread

I was excited and fearful all at once. It was time to get this project started and produce some lean bread, the first recipe in the textbook herein called The Book. Lean bread is basically crusty French bread. It contains only four ingredients – flour, water, yeast, and salt. The Book lists large batch recipes. This one called for five pounds of flour. My mixer could never handle that. Plus, do I really need eight loaves of bread? The entire book is this way so I have an added challenge of having to shrink down all of the recipes. I decided to make two loaves. I must have spent an…

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Let’s Do This!

I haven’t always been someone who bakes. I can’t even remember when I started getting interested in baking – maybe it was in my 20s. I don’t even recall making cakes or cookies when I was younger though I know my mom used to make bundt cakes – the kind you got from a box.…

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