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What is bread supposed to taste like?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This came up about a cake a few days ago, but here it is again.

Yesterday I made some kaiser rolls (Bo Friberg recipe). I gave one to a friend of mine. He didn't like it. He said it was tough and bland. He took a bite out of it straight... no butter, or whatever.

I found the rolls to be soft and with a nice hint of flavor from the poolish/biga/pre-dough. Crispy on the outside, but a thin crisp because of the steam.

I asked him what type of bread he likes. Answer: hot dog buns and Wonder bread.

Sooo...

What are kaiser rolls supposed to taste like? Look like? Size? I have no frame of reference because I've only made them myself with this one recipe. I've not had any made by anyone else and I don't want to buy a manufactured one to compare (manufacturing not being real bread-baking anyway).
post #2 of 12
Sounds like what you made was spot on. Considering your friend's taste in 'bread', I would consider his not liking it a compliment :D
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #3 of 12
You answered your own question quite well.
post #4 of 12
hot dog rolls and wonder type bread are very sweet and have milk or similar (whey, milk solids, butter - well, we should be so lucky, probably some random fat - etc) amd crispy rolls don't. But most commercial rolls are actually more like the hot dog rolls in how they're made than the real kaiser rolls should be, so your friend is probably used to that - soft crust, sweet crumb.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #5 of 12

re: Wonder Bread et als

It's kind of sad how many people have no idea what bread is supposed to taste like.

Unlike Free Rider's friend, however, most people I give home-made bread to react the same way they do when they taste heirloom veggies for the first time. "Why," they want to know, "can't I buy this stuff in the store?"

Well, with bread at least, they can. But they have to understand, too, that they're not going to buy a loaf of real bread for 98 cents.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
My grandmother used to bake bread and I remembered hers, which is why I thought mine was fine. I began to doubt myself because of what my friend said. Perhaps my grandmother baked bad bread, who knows.

If it's to my taste, I'm fine with it, but I was surprised at his reaction. I'm glad it wasn't me getting it totally wrong. Thanks for the support.
post #7 of 12
I agree on both counts

when people are only used to one type of thing and they taste something which is really good it can taste foreign to their tastes especially if the stuff they are used to doesnt necessarily use great ingrediants.
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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post #8 of 12
The fault may well lie with your friend. You can't please everyone. Still, it's a good idea to listen to criticism and try and address it head on. Listening is one of the most difficult cooking skills to master.

There are three good, common reasons your friend may have reacted the way he did. The yeast might have been slightly off in some way, your water may have a slight taste, or the salt balance might have been wrong. But, if you got good, normal rises, it probably wasn't the yeast. Yeast problems usually show themselves in throughout the process, as well as in the taste of the product. Similarly, water is something you'd probably have recognized long ago. Nevertheless, if your water is unusually soft, you might consider using bottled water for baking.

Anyway, that leaves salt. Nowadays as the popularity of kosher salt grows, it's very common for good cooks to substitute kosher salt for table salt without thinking much about it, for for recipes to call for kosher salt, etc. But most people don't recognize that all salts are not equally salty:
1 volume of table salt = 1-1/2 Morton kosher salt = 2 Diamond kosher
Is it possible you used a salt other than the one the recipe specified? Judging from your friend's reaction ("flat") your bread may have been slightly under salted. Most likely though, he's a victim of his own restricted experience.

BDL
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I used Red Star active dry... the one that got good ratings from Cook's Illustrated. I buy it by the pound.

I use King Arthur Bread Flour

I use locally-produced honey, desert wildflower type, medium in color.

I use kosher salt, but I can't remember the brand name. It's most likely Morton.

I use Crystal Geyser spring water that comes in bottles. Our tap water is not particularly potable, imho.

Btw, we went to a fancy restaurant that makes its own bread. He made the same comments about their bread. I asked the owner about their bread-making process and its just like I would do at home, not a manufacture.

Thanks for the help though.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hain's. Could that be a name of a salt?

Yes! This is the salt I use: Buy All Natural Iodized Sea Salt by HAIN at WellnessGrocer.com

Hain Iodized Sea Salt. I guess it's probably not kosher.
post #11 of 12
Agreed. Your bread sounds good, but your friend just isn't used to not overly processed bread. To each their own, but personally I don't know how he can eat the bread he likes. I had never tried wonder bread until a year or so ago (my mom was a health nut and we only had whole grain bread growing up), and I thought it was inedible.
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
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"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
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post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've never experience Wonder bread myself. Also, being a vegetarian, I don't exactly have experience in hot dog buns either.

My father is coming to visit this weekend (last saw him five years ago) and he likes his food so salty I find it inedible. He also thinks that McDonalds is the best thing since, I suppose, Wonder sliced bread. I've made some butternut raviolis (making the pasta from scratch and all) and I'm going to pick a salad from my garden, but I'm terrified as to what he's going to say about my food.
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