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· Honourable Citizen?
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I was a baker one summer 20 years ago and I made 40 - 100 loaves every day by hand. No big Hobart mixer, no helpers, just me and 3 commercial ovens.

Sorry folks, but bread machines make inferior bread. They can be handy for having some quick fresh bread ready without any effort first thing in the morning with the timer or for making something like pizza dough, but for any bread you want that actually has the qualities of good bread, forget it.

Even the worst bread when fresh out of the oven with some butter melting on it is going to be somewhat mouth-watering, but my test for good bread is the taste and texture once it's cooled down and without anything on it. Truly good bread will have a delicious flavour without a spread of butter and for quite some time after being baked. The crust will be baked crusty and the crumb will be chewy and substantial. A bread machine simply can't do this.

Longer risings are the key to developing flavour and texture in the dough. Multi-day risings, especially the levain style that has become common from the "artisan" style bakeries that have proliferated in last decade or so really enhance the flavour of the grain. Even single day bread, using a sponge method will help this. Again, a bread machine can't accomplish this.

My favourite bakeries in the Vancouver area are Terra Breads and Ecco il Pane. Both have grown into quite large businesses, so I'm expecting the quality to dive sometime soon, but so far they've maintained it. They still hand-form all loaves and an actual baker loads and watches the ovens. All Terra Breads are levain sourdough, except for their French white.

I've heard good things about Artisan Bakery in North Van. I know a young woman who works there and she is passionate about her job. I've also heard that Patisserie Lebeau makes some good bread, but I haven't been for a visit yet.

One of my favourite breads that I make is a Kalamata Olive loaf. I also like Walnut breads. The dough takes on a purple hue from the walnuts.

I start the dough on a Tuesday for Saturday baking. This gives the dough several days to slowly rise, with barely any yeast and develop flavour.

My oven just can't maintain the temps required to do a really good loaf, I usually like to bake around 450 F to get a good crust. I put a pan of water in the bottom during the initial oven spring and spray the oven with water during the first few minutes to create steam that makes the traditional crusty crust. Commercial bakeries have bread ovens with integrated steam jets.

Since I like a crusty loaf, I don't use bread pans, all my loaves are usually round or batard (torpedo) shape. I have some baguette pans now which is fun. I get a lot of pot luck dinner invites. :)
 

· Honourable Citizen?
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705 Posts
What a piece of arrogant crap.


Your opinion and a dollar are worth about a dollar. Your test for good bread is egotistical and arrogant. You rank right up there with people who judge wines and cheese, and mock those who like a $5 bottle of red with marble cheese.


Good for your longer rising, multi-day, artisan blah blah blah. How many people actually care about any of that? Do you ever stand in a grocery store and lambast people for picking up a loaf of Wonder? "Hey you! With the Wonder Bread. You suck, 'cuz that bread doesn't have the enhanced flavour of the grain!"

Ya, I started this thread to talk about a favourite recipe, and you gotta come charging in with your 'Holier Than Thou" attitude when it comes to bread. Thanks dude for contributing positively.
You're funny GT, - the biggest knee-jerk poster on ehMac freaks out at someone for politely expressing his opinion. Can you ever make a post without name-calling and flying off the handle, "dude"?

Pot meet kettle.

Someone already expressed their opinion of bread machines and another person asked what is wrong with them. I just answered that. I'm sorry but if you think you can make good bread with a bread machine you would be wrong. You can make a bread-like substance that will melt butter or make some simple dough for something where the bread component is secondary, like pizza dough, but that's all. But if you like bread machine bread don't let my arrogant opinions stand in your way - fill up! Have some cheap-o wine and cheez whiz with it too. ;)

How many people actually care about any of that?
Hmmm ... maybe those who care about what they eat ... those who maybe don't eat Wonder bread.
 
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