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Bubba 04-05-2005 10:01 PM

First bread
 
Not much of a baker...used several bread machines with good luck but
this weekend I'm going to do my first "real" bread. Have chosen one of
Beard's recipes for a French "style" freeformed bread. I don't have
baking tiles but I do have a cast iron skillet about the size of New
Jersey. How would this fare in place of the baking tiles? Also, I've
made handmade pasta....how will the "texture" of the dough (when being
kneaded) compare?

Thanks in advance.
Bubba

--
You wanna measure, or you wanna cook?


Mike Avery 05-05-2005 12:42 AM

Bubba wrote:

Not much of a baker...used several bread machines with good luck but
this weekend I'm going to do my first "real" bread. Have chosen one
of Beard's recipes for a French "style" freeformed bread. I don't
have baking tiles but I do have a cast iron skillet about the size of
New Jersey. How would this fare in place of the baking tiles? Also,
I've made handmade pasta....how will the "texture" of the dough (when
being kneaded) compare?


I'll (more or less modestly) suggest you try the recipes on my web
site. I have a pretty painless introduction to baking that uses several
of James Beard's recipes. Around here you'll find a fair amount of
disagreement about James Beard as a baker and teacher of bakers. I
still like him and respect him.

Anyway, try the introduction at
http://www.sourdoughhome.com/bakingintro.html It's helped quite a few
people, and I've gotten a number of "thank you" notes for the pages.

Mike




Mike Avery 05-05-2005 12:45 AM

Bubba wrote:

Not much of a baker...used several bread machines with good luck but
this weekend I'm going to do my first "real" bread. Have chosen one
of Beard's recipes for a French "style" freeformed bread. I don't
have baking tiles but I do have a cast iron skillet about the size of
New Jersey. How would this fare in place of the baking tiles? Also,
I've made handmade pasta....how will the "texture" of the dough (when
being kneaded) compare?


Sorry... I didn't answer your questions last time.

I'd just not worry about the tiles the first few times. When the time
comes, I'd suggest unglazed quarry tiles or a professional baking stone,
such as the Fibrament. Don't go with the pizza stones. In my
experience they are fragile and over-priced for what you get. Your
mileage may vary.

As to texture of dough, it should be a LOT softer than pasta dough.
Look for a smooth dough, somewhat sticky that would still rather stick
to itself than you, and somewhat moist. If your dough isn't sticky,
it's too dry. As Beatrice Ojakangas says, dough would rather be a bit
too wet than a bit too dry.

Good luck,
Mike


[email protected] 05-05-2005 06:03 PM

I think a cast iron skillet will transfer too much heat to the dough.

Try it and see what happens. The worst is that you will have an
overbaked bottom crust.


Eric Jorgensen 05-05-2005 06:15 PM

On 5 May 2005 10:03:57 -0700
wrote:

I think a cast iron skillet will transfer too much heat to the dough.



Corn bread baked in a cast iron skillet is not uncommon. Not the same
thing as regular bread, but it seems to work ok.


Try it and see what happens. The worst is that you will have an
overbaked bottom crust.



Well, the results will be similar to baking on any other metal. One of
the advantages of a tile or stone is the way the porous surface can absorb
some of the steam.


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