How embarrassing!

Discussion in 'The Rural Life' started by Hobie, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    A cook I am not!

    Yesterday I made a big pot of turkey soup, and thought, why not make some "Fred Bread" to go with it? Disclaimer: I have never baked bread of any sort in my life.

    Long story short, my Fred Bread was Lead Bread! It tastes okay, but you could use these rolls as ships' ballast. A couple of questions and theories, here, and hopefully you bakers can give me some pointers for next time.

    1. I made a half-recipe. This works okay, except I used 2 eggs because I couldn't divide "3 eggs" in half.

    2. The rolls did not rise at all during the 10-20 minute resting period.

    3. I think I may have not put in enough yeast. I was using those Fleichmann's packets that come in groups of three. I looked at the size and calculated how much I needed to equal 2 Tbsp. In retrospect, I think the total volume measurement printed applied to all 3 packets together, and I thought it applied to just one. I put in one packet... I think I should have put in all three. Please don't ask why I didn't just pour into a measuring spoon... I have no idea! :oops:

    4. My half recipe filled a cookie sheet. The recipe says a full recipe makes a cookie sheet full. :confused:

    5. How large are the dough balls you make? How close together are they placed? Mine were about 2.5" diameter, which I flattened slightly. But they took mearly 20 minutes to cook, instead of the listed 10. Of course, this may have been an effect of the amazing density.

    Looks like I will have to leave the bread-baking to my sister! *sigh!*
     
  2. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Awww! I'm sorry you had such a hard time with the Fred Bread! It sounds like the problem was primarily not enough yeast. 1 packet = 1 tablespoon..... Your bread would have risen just fine though, but it would have taken quite a bit longer than 10 or 20 minutes. With the eggs it would have been fine, but the texture would be a little bit...ummmm....eggier?

    We tend to make our rolls a bit on the bigger side. The baking time should probably be adjusted in the recipe a bit, mine always take longer too. :oops:

    I love to bake bread, but it did take me a long time to learn and to teach Baby Beek how to do it. Bread is touchy, everything about the environment and each individual ingredient has this weird changeable quality that you don't have with other foods. Don't give up though, it really is worth the doing to bake your own bread. ;)
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Hobie, my first 2 batches of soap by the hot process method went in the garbage. The third one I kept to use, but wouldn't let others see it. The fourth one finally turned out right.

    Don't give up. My wife cuts the recipe in half and uses 2 eggs. It makes about 25 medium size rolls. It's great. Just use all 3 packages of yeast next try and it will do fine. Or buy the jar and measure it. It's much cheaper by the jar.

    PS. Fred bread is worth it, so try it again soon.
     
  4. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement and advice! I will definitely try again.

    Has anyone ever modified the recipe to make it more cornbread-like? That might be interesting.

    I did have to laugh at myself, because my Mom once made what we kids dubbed "lead bread" because her yeast was too old. It's obviously hereditary!
     
  5. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    I've tried making Fred Bread with half whole wheat/ half white flour, and with half white flour and a mixture of corn meal (very finely ground) and whole wheat flour. Both versions come out fine and the corn meal added a good flavor to the dough.

    Don't give up breadmaking because of one failed attempt! I've been baking our bread now for almost 20 years and I will still get the occasional "lead bread"..... just ask the kids what happens when we run out of bread on a rainy day!
     
  6. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    We made Fred bread over the weekend and I don't know, but you guys must have the world's largest cookie sheet, as we had a hard time getting everything on 3 sheets. I'm still not convinced that I put enough flour in, but the fiance' said that the consistence was good for bread. Tastied great and we got 4 huge, well-risen rolls and a good handful of short squatty rolls (fiance' thought that we should let them rise in the oven, but the oven temp. doesn't go low enough for stuff to rise before it gets toasted and can't rise). All in all, we will try it again, might try loaf pans or let it rise in the warmth (not the oven) overnight, as that is how I do the sweet rolls. Great recipe, thank you much for sharing.
     
  7. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    the dough will feel VERY sticky, it's easiest to handle it with wet hands or oiled hands when shaping the rolls. The size of the rolls and the number of "cookie sheets" it will fill are HUGE variables. We make big fat rolls and put them snug together on a very big baking sheet pan, then they will rise up tall and fluffy ;) I also like to let them rise a little bit longer than the recipe calls for but not so much that they will blast over the sides of the pan in the oven. It definitely can take a little bit of time tinkering with them to get than hang of ....but after that they are awesome. I haven't tried that dough for loaves because it's so soft I thought it would fall apart.
     
  8. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I may try again today. Thanks for the warning about them expanding off the edge of the cookie sheet! Cleaning the oven is one thing I hate to do.

    Rising in "warmth" may be an issue, since my house is kept only slightly above sub-Arctic (according to my husband!). I guess I will try setting the pans on the radiators. That is one thing I love hot water radiators for! Softening butter, liquifying honey, warming dinner plates, warming mittens, etc! Gotta have the ones that are flat on top, though.
     
  9. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    those radiators can be really nice! I've heard of people who process their soaps on them too. That sounds like a good warm place to proof your bread ....wonder why I never thought of that when we had them :???:
     
  10. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Well, yesterday's batch was MUCH better! The rolls took over an hour to rise, even on the radiator, which ought to tell you something about my, er, "frugality."

    I baked them on one of those air-bake cookie sheets, with the double layer bottom so cookies don't burn. That may have been a mistake. The rolls cooked through, but there was a layer of sticky uncooked dough on the very bottom. Odd. I would expect the middle to cook last, so the only reason I can think of is the air pan.

    No more lead bread! :yahoo:
     
  11. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Good on you Hobie!! I knew you could do it :D