Breads Etc.
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Daley Bread
Stromboli
Budweiser Chicken
Cinnamon Rolls

Our Daley Bread Recipe

Stromboli

Cinnamon Rolls

WHAT THEY NEVER TELL YOU IN A RECIPE BOOK

YEAST  I usually use rapid/instant rise yeast in the dry form. It is half the rising time of plain yeast. 

You can kill yeast if you mix it with liquid that is too hot.  Put your finger in the liquid and if it stings it's too hot !!

I avoid putting salt and yeast together until the last step. Many recipes tell you to combine them but I have learned that salt will kill the yeast.

Once yeast is active you can't kill it by lowering the temperature.  Many times I make the dough and put it in the refrigerator until later in the day or even over night.  Believe it or not you can freeze the dough if you want. When you take it out of the refrigerator, knead the dough.  Let it rise for roughly double the normal time at room temperature.

I FORGOT  Quite a few times I forgot about the dough rising or had to go to run an errand and the dough was unattended for several hours.  This isn't a problem, just  knead and reform the bread.  The next rising will be 5 to 10 minutes faster than normal.

GREASE  I use Pam.  Corn meal works super and it adds a quality to the crust.  It is a bit messier.

STEAMING    Be sure to put bread on a drying rack.  If you put it on a flat surface it will get soggy on the bottom.  I used to use the spare rack in the oven until we bought a couple drying racks. 

TOWELS  Covering the bread is important, but do it with a DRY cotton towel.  Wet or damp towels will stick to the dough and make quite a mess.

CRUST  I usually glaze white breads with egg whites and a dash of water.  Sweet breads usually call for the whole egg and sometimes milk.  The glaze will make the bread look shiny. If you want a soft crust coat the bread by rubbing butter on the crust when the bread comes out of the oven.

PREHEAT  Always preheat the oven.  If you don't you may burn the bottom of the bread. 

OVENS  Actual temperature often varies from your oven dial.  Get an oven thermometer and be sure your oven is correct.  Most breads can be baked at 375 degrees and depending on the size of the loaf, about 30 minutes will do it. 

CLOCHE This is a great item for the kitchen.  In French it means bell.  It is in fact a clay baking unit that has a bottom and "bell" top.  It bakes bread with an even temperature and keeps moisture in the bread too.  It really changes the flavor of the bread and it sure makes the bread better the next day.  The crust is thinner but still has a crisp texture.  Prior to cooking, soak the top in water to add moisture to bread.

MIXERS or FOOD PROCESSORS-  All appliances can be a great aids in making the dough.  I found at the beginning of my baking experience a necessity to do it by hand to get the feel of the dough and to know when it was to moist or to dry.  The biggest problem is in judging how much flour to use.  To much and you get a heavy bread.  Error on the side of being to moist.

SHAPES  It can be real fun to experiment with the design of the loaf.  The thinner designs mean less baking time and are not as tasty even if they do look nice.  I made a bread "bread dish" by greasing the outside of a metal bowl and used it as a form.  Then I draped the dough over the bowl and baked it until golden brown.  Next I let the bread dry for 3 days and painted it with spar varnish.  Boy did it look good.  I did make braided bread into wreaths, dried and varnished them.  The finished product was well received.  The "basic bread" recipe works best for these decorative loaves since there are no dairy products used.

SEAMS  Roll the edge thin that you plan to be the ending of a roll.  It will make the seam easier to finish.  A dash of water over the seam will help make it adhere to the dough beneath.  If you roll out the dough to make a French loaf, roll it up and close the seam.  Then roll it gently so the inside seams also close.

PANS    Over the past years I have accumulated some fine cook ware.  However, it is not the most important issue.  Many times I use aluminum foil shaped like French bread.  I put this on a cookie sheet and cook 2 loaves next to each other.  Be sure to grease the foil so it doesn't stick to the bread.

KNIVES  An electric knife is a mighty handy tool to have for slicing large quantities of bread.  If you don't have one, a good serrated knife will work too.  

Freezing bread and re-heating  

I often make breads, stromboli etc. And wrap the finished item in aluminum foil and freeze it.  Then anticipating I will want the item for dinner the next day, take it out of the freezer that evening and put it in the refrigerator.  Then the next day re-bake it in the oven at 325.  Take the aluminum foil off the top after 15 minutes and then take the item another 5 minutes.  A total of 20 minutes.  This will take a lot off the shelf life so eat it then or make toast the next day.

I follow the same procedure the next day on the stromboli.  I prefer a pasta sauce to use as a dip when eating.

We seldom want the whole loaf in one day so I slice it and freeze it in plastic bags.  Then take out a couple slices.  They can be warmed much quicker than a whole loaf.  Although the micro wave destroys the quality of bread, we still heat a slice at a time for 15 seconds.  You can also use one of the counter top ovens but they tend to dry out the item.