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Baking board

(36 Posts)
Elegran Tue 03-Jan-12 17:06:48

No not a bread board. I was knocking back dough and cutting it to form two loaves and idling wondering (as you do) what other people use to knead their dough on. I have the removable top from an old fridge, bought in the days before universal built-in kitchens when you got a little Formica worktop to go on top of your free-standing appliances. The main work surface stays clean, I can cut on it without damaging a long run of laminate, and when not in use it stands behind the door.

Carol Tue 03-Jan-12 17:18:05

I don't really knead my dough - let the Kitchenaid do it, then I just shape it up on the wooden work surface and let it prove before I bake it. So easy, it's a crime, but gorgeous tasty bread. I've got two sour dough loaves in the oven now and a pan of carrot and coriander soup waiting to be blitzed. Cheap meal!

Elegran Tue 03-Jan-12 17:39:45

I let the breadmaker do the real kneading and first proving, but cut and shape it on the board before proving it again in tins.A batch makes one big loaf (far too much to eat before it goes dry) or two smaller, or four very small baked in the oblong tinfoil dishes that fish pies and shepherds pies come in. Three of these go in the freezer and the fourth is just right for one day's eating.

I prefer bread baked in a real oven to baked in the breadmaker, but it does make a difference to not have to knead it, and there does not seem to be as much flour on the kitchen floor.

Homemade bread is cheap - 30p for a loaf the same size as one I used to pay over £1 for.

I hear the timer, must go and take the loaves out of the oven.

gracesmum Tue 03-Jan-12 17:45:16

The smell of homebaked bread is wonderful - but also so hard to resist.

Elegran Tue 03-Jan-12 17:46:56

Keep telling yourself it is not the bread that is fattening, it is the stuff you pile onto it. New-baked bread does not need much to make a meal (or a snack)

absentgrana Tue 03-Jan-12 17:58:22

Marble slab – that's my answer, not an insult. smile I also use it for rolling out pastry.

Elegran Tue 03-Jan-12 18:01:51

You don't find it too cold for bread dough? I also have a marble pastry slab, but I don't use it for the bread.

Carol Tue 03-Jan-12 18:14:59

Pastry chilled for half an hour after making it will roll out fine on most surfaces. I used to have a marble rolling pin and marple slad, but my pastry never turned out any better, so I gave them away. When I think of all the gadgets and kitchenalia I have had over the years!!

absentgrana Tue 03-Jan-12 18:18:50

Elegran Not the way I bash it (dough, not board) around, working off all my frustrations and annoyances. It's just easier to clean than a kitchen worktop. I also use a bread machine sometimes when I am especially rushed off my feet, as I don't have to pay any attention to it until it beeps.

nanarosie Tue 03-Jan-12 21:52:56

Some advice would be appeciated, can't make my own bread as wrists and hands too painful to do kneading, is a bread maker worth the outlay and are they very large as have a very 'compact' kitchen.

Carol Tue 03-Jan-12 22:00:01

Have you got a mixer with a dough hook nanarosie? That can do most of the work and then you just shape your dough for proving - you don't have to bash it around if you have something mechanical to do it for you, doesn't matter what it is.

Carol Tue 03-Jan-12 22:07:13

What about something like this nanarosie. It's no-knead bread. I think I'll give it a try myself as it does look delicious.

Elegran Tue 03-Jan-12 22:13:33

absentgran I wish my breadmaker had a louder beep. If I am not going to be in the kitchen when it finishes, I have to remember to set a timer for the appropriate time, otherwise I miss it.

Nanarosie I certainly reckon a breadmaker is worth the money - no heavy kneading to do at all - but if you do not have the space it is difficult. It might be able to stand somewhere not actually in the kitchen, as it does not make a mess. You could fill the pan in the kitchen then put it into the machine elsewhere, and when it was finished lift out the pan and take it into the kitchen to take out the bread (or the dough if you are going to bake it in the ordinary oven)

As Carol says, a mixer with a dough hook is an alternative. I used to do that years ago.

Carol Tue 03-Jan-12 22:13:33

I'm on a roll now! It's a whole other world out there - here's another website for no-knead bread - they do all seem to be American but the recipes are easy to follow.

Carol Tue 03-Jan-12 22:16:51

Found UK no-knead ones now I've started looking properly. I'll stop now!

nanarosie Tue 03-Jan-12 22:38:51

Carol steady on now or i'll need a lie down! thanks for your trouble I had not realised bread could be made without kneading so will try that out. Many thanks for all suggestions shall have a big think and a measure up to see what room I have available. Have a dreadful feeling the new years res regarding losing weight could be in severe danger.

Faye Wed 04-Jan-12 02:48:40

After reading these recipes Carol I think I will give the bread maker a miss and try these instead, thanks for posting them. Years ago I had a Kenwood Chef and it had a dough hook, I really liked it and used the dough hook all the time, maybe I should get another mixer too.

Mamie Wed 04-Jan-12 06:42:05

We are lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to bread making in this old farmhouse. We have a wood-fired bread oven and we bought stainless steel tables to make the bread on. DH uses the slow-rising "Poolish" method and doesn't over-knead it.
I have to say I have never tasted a loaf that I like from a bread machine - it always seems very soft to me.
Linda Collister has our favourite recipes.

Carol Wed 04-Jan-12 08:25:08

Do you have a good recipe for a crusty loaf Mamie? I haven't heard of the 'Poolish' method - would be interested in learning about it.

Mamie Wed 04-Jan-12 12:50:20

We have found that "slashing" the tops helps the crust and also a blast of steam from a water spray a couple of times at the beginning of the cooking. The Poolish method - to make standard 2lb loaf or dozen rolls, weigh out 400g flour, mix in bare tbsp salt and one sachet of dried active yeast, mix together, add cold water (temp of flour, water and ambient air temp should add up to about 50 degrees). Mix until smooth even batter, cover with cling film and leave as long as you like, normally overnight here. It will rise up the bowl and then sag back. Add 2 tbsp oil and then remaining 350g of flour. Knead until smooth and springy. Leave to rise at room temp, about 90 mins until double in size. Tip out onto floured surface, don't knock back, gently work into shape (we fit into a greased 2lb tin), cover lightly with cling film and allow to rise (about 1 hr) until loaf is about 1" above the top of the tin. Pre heat oven to 230 deg C, spray water in before you put it in, slash lengthways, gently, but break surface of dough. Cook 1 min, spray again, repeat twice in next 3 mins. Then 230 for 15 mins and then 180 for another 15 mins. In the bread oven it takes a wheelbarrow full of wood added slowly over 4 hours to get up to temp!

Carol Wed 04-Jan-12 13:04:36

Thanks Mamie. I do slash the bread and also put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven to get a crust, but haven't tried using the starter mix that I use when I make sour dough, or the repeated spraying. Will do this next time and report back.

glassortwo Wed 04-Jan-12 13:07:12

They say putting a tray of water in the oven also helps the crust.

yogagran Wed 04-Jan-12 23:08:32

nanarosie Lakeland do a compact breadmaker

but as elegran said - you don't have to keep the machine in the kitchen, mine lives in the utility room and I just take the pan into the kitchen to fill up with the ingredients.

Tosh Thu 05-Jan-12 00:18:33

I perfected a recipe ( after 3 days of practice) when I was at College suitable to use in school with a tight time restraint. I only give my bread one rising. I made a lot of bread with pupils when I was teaching Home Ec and parents used to comment on how good it was.
I mix it in my large mixer with dough hook, do a bit of hand kneading just on my wooden worktop and shape it. Cover with oiled clingfilm until double in size and bake. I can make bread from start to finish in an hour. I like to make 'mini loaves'
I bought a breadmaker and hated it...the bread was nowhere near as good as 'mine' I eventually put it on 'Freecycle'.
Love the sound of a bread oven !!

Mamie Thu 05-Jan-12 06:56:50

Yes the great thing about the bread oven is all the other stuff you can do - so you start with the pizza / bread, then a roast, then a tart, then overnight rice pudding (called tergoule round here and a local speciality) and then, theoretically, meringues, though I have never got that far!