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Tag Archives: bread

Normally, I make sourdough bread because Chuck 2.0 is doing quite well.  I haven’t posted about my normal sourdough sandwich loaf, because I’m still changing things around.  It’ll probably be a post in the near future.

But recently, I made an oatmeal sandwich bread instead because I had used the majority of Chuck to make biscuits and English muffins and then didn’t leave enough time to feed him again before I would need him for bread.  And I was out of bread.  And I no longer have a habit of buying bread.  What do?  See what you have in the pantry and make that type of bread instead.  In this case, oatmeal.

I used King Arthur Flour’s recipe for oatmeal bread and in terms of taste and smell, it went quite well.  Bread tastes great.  I like the extra nuttiness oatmeal gives and it holds up well against my ridiculous sandwiches (the main reason why I need bread).  Bread also smells very good.  Maybe…a little too buttery smelling…but overall, I love the smell of baking and fresh baked bread.

HOWEVER.  This was my first time using whole-grain bread improver.  I used it because it’s something I’ve been wanting to try in my sourdough loaf, since Chuck is a whole grain starter, but I hadn’t had the chance.  Since I was making another whole grain bread here, I figured I’d just try it out here.  Um…it works.  Really well.

In case you’re wondering, the whole-grain bread improver adds a bit more gluten into the dough so the dough can hold it’s structure better during proofing.  It’s not necessary, but it helps keep the bread lighter and less dense.  The whole grains get in the way of the gluten network forming as well as it does in a white bread, which is part of the reason why whole grain breads sometimes are very dense.

Anyway, I tried it out and then did my usual for same day proof and bake.  Um…I didn’t account for the fact that I had used the bread improver.  And I also didn’t account for how hot it was in my kitchen.  And so…I ended up with monster bread.  It was totally over proofed.  Oops.  Will have to try again.

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This.  This is what I made.  An empty, dirtied piece of parchment paper.

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Or really, I made a loaf of cinnamon star bread (some time Januaryish)…because I wanted to bake with cinnamon, didn’t want to take the time to roll and cut cinnamon rolls, and needed something dessert-y to offer as refreshment.  And apparently it was really good because I didn’t even have time to take a picture.  It was gone in a flurry of hands and the parents of the kids who devoured the bread were left lamenting that they didn’t even get to try it (and that it smelled so good).

I saw the cinnamon star bread pop up on King Arthur Flour’s site back in December and made a mental note to try it.  I didn’t bake one right then because I didn’t have any potato flour or instant mashed potatoes on hand.  I was going to try it without but I was reading KAF’s comments and user comments and became convinced that the potato flour was necessary for a softer, moister loaf.  Also, I like to try and make things as instructed the first time around.  Can’t judge a recipe when you go and make a bunch of changes to it at the outset.

So I made it as directed, by weight, but I noticed a discrepancy at with the listing for the potato flour.  I didn’t have any, as all I could find last minute was potato starch.  Potato starch and potato flour are not the same thing and generally are not interchangeable.  I had picked up a bag of instant mashed potatoes instead to use in place of potato flour.  It’s probably better anyway because I can always find a use for instant mashed potatoes.

Now then, I assume that KAF lists different volumes for potato flour and instant mashed potatoes because instant mashed potatoes is less dense than the flour.  But I couldn’t find anything that confirmed that.  So I ended up going by the serving size volume/weight conversion as listed in the nutrition info, which was lighter than what KAF listed, about 35g instead of the 48g.

I used my own cinnamon sugar mix as I like using brown sugar for that molasses-y background and also because I am VERY. FOND. of cinnamon, 3tbsp per 66g brown sugar.  You’ll have to mix it a bit more than if you were going to make your cinnamon sugar mixture with white sugar.  It’s never been a big deal for me though.

Oh, did I mention that I kneaded the dough by hand this time?  I didn’t use the KitchenAid at all!

After resting the dough, I divided it into four portions.  I really wish I had used a scale.  I got lazy and had already put the scale away so I just eyeballed it.  Which means that two of my 10″ rounds were by no means 10″ in diameter.  I used those as the inside layers and the two bigger ones, that were 10″, as the outside layers.  I figured this would give me the best chance to seal the points of the star without things falling apart.

Anyway, it baked up very nicely.  It smelled wonderful in the oven, as things made with cinnamon often do.  There were a few kids who were constantly sniffing the air when the bread was in the oven.  I would show you a picture of the first one, but alas, I do not have one.  As the bread was eaten before I had a chance.

I have since made the bread several more times (generally with the KitchenAid and a scale, and sometimes cutting the cinnamon down to 2 tbsp per 66g), so here are pictures of the subsequent loaves.  The darker one is one in which I actually remembered to egg wash before putting it in the oven.  I tend to forget.

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