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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just begun purchasing frozen bread dough to bake bread as near to fresh as I can. (chicken to try it from scratch because I never worked with yeast) Well, I bought five loaves of Rhodes and it tastes wonderful, but I CAN'T CUT IT!! I have an awful mess when I try to cut two slices for a sandwich and forget toast! The Rhodes site and a form to ask questions, but all they told me was to get an electric knife. Well, I would do so if I could, but right now am in very dire financial straights. Is there any other way?
Thanks - and if I have to get an electric knife, I'll use the dough I have for something else and wait until I can get one, I suppose.
 

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I didn't know what Rhodes bread was, but I found their site. It looks like regular white bread to me.

Just a couple of basic suggestions:
Always slice bread with a serrated knife, in a sawing motion.
Slice bread either cold or at room temp.; not hot.
 

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I've used that frozen dough, too, and it does make a very soft loaf. Momoreg's suggestions are great ones - it's really hard to wait til it cools!

Instead of baking it in a loaf pan, why don't you try just shaping it like a 'rustic' round loaf, put it on a sheet pan with parchment paper and a sprinkle of corn meal, and when you put it in the oven, take a spray bottle of water, and 'spray' the walls of your oven - this creates steam, which gives a lovely, crunchy crust. Do the spray thing a couple of times during the first half-hour or so of the baking.
 

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Yeast ain't so scarey:) If I can figure it out, anyone can. Buying flour, salt and yeast is a lot less expensive than buying an electric knife. See if your local library has a copy of Baking With Julia. It was written by Dorie Greenspan. In it there is a white pan loaf that is easy and awesome! The contributing bake is Craig Kominiak. Give it a shot. You have a great resource right here at ChefTalk for advice and counsel. I'll bet you fall in love:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh you are all so nice! That is rare these days, so please, before I start my mini saga and lose half of you, let me say THANK YOU! (not hollering - just exuberant!)

I KNOW! Boy, did I find that out!! The first loaf I made I sat here smelling it the whole time it was baking and I hadn't eaten yet so I waited. Well, I squashed the daylights out of the poor loaf - it looked like something that belonged in the garbage! lol...but oh did it taste GOOD! I put a gob of real butter (shh...) on and some strawberry jam and was in heaven with a pile of smushed bread on my counter. Hehehe

.That sounds really good, thank you, thank you thank you! I'm going to try that with my next loaf - maybe tomorrow if I get it defrosting tonight...in other words, get my lazy butt off this computer chair and get it out of the freezer!

Boy, you weren't kidding! I was looking at some on the 'net and whoa - out of my range right now. I may just (finally) venture into trying my own. I always wanted to. I remember when I was about 17 I bought some yeast and fully intended to try it and never did. Wish I would have now and really don't know why I didn't. Chicken I guess - and I"ve done much more difficult things than that for pity's sakes.
Thank you also, for the tip on the book - I made a note here and will check into that.


I think I just did - and what do ya know, just in time for Valentines Day!! :)

Kyle - I just added my link to your free for all links..lol. I was looking at your site and saw that and well, how can a webmaster resist that, right? I have a hotlinks page but my site is still in progress, although very close to being done but I'd be happy to add a link to your's back when I get it up which I really have to make a point to do. I have to make a note or I'll forget again...
By the way Kyle, I enjoyed your site- it's really well done. I bookmarked it even to check out some more when I have - or take - some time for myself.

Once again, if you stuck with me through all this prattle, thanks so much. I have been in many cooking forums and well...how do I say it without sounding nasty.... Okay, so many were either dead or the people would turn a "newbie" off right away be being very critical and thinking they and ONLY they knew best about everything. I don't enjoy conversing with people like that. I like hearing others ways of doing things and ideas as I think we can always learn from each other...
 

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baking scratch bread is not hard - remember
everyone had to not that many years ago

you can get obsessive about it ( like many of us do) , but a basic enriched white bread dough is pretty simple

probably the biggest thing is that flour can vary a fair amount in the quantity of liquid ( water/milk) needed to get the right consistancy ,
but since you have already had experiance with premixed dough you should have a reasonable idea as to how a basic dough should feel
 

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Are you using a serrated knife to cut the bread? Try that, and use kind of a 'sawing' motion to cut it, not just pushing down on the bread.
 

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Also, if you are baking it in a loaf pan, when the loaf is cool, turn it on it's side and cut it instead of going from the top down. My mom used to use Rhoads(good product but short shelf life) in the 161 bakeries she managed. If you don't want to try working with yeast, also try their frozen cinnamon rolls. Not bad for a frozen product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I jotted down all your suggestions and will try them. I didn't remember to defrost a loaf last night, but have on in the frig now defrosting and I'm going to try making it round as suggested - hope I can do it!

And you know, I think I may just try my hand at baking bread from scratch - I do everything else, don't know why I shy away from it. Plus, if I learned to work with yeast there are so many other things one can make! As you all well know, I'm sure! :)

About the serrated knife - I did try that but I don't think it's the right kind - it's more like a steak knife that's serrated and I do know what type you mean but don't have one.

The second loaf I made myself wait until it cooled, then I turned it on it's side to cut it. That helped a little but crumbs were all over the place and I couldn't get a uniform slice to save my behind. At least I didn't crush that one, though! That really looked sad. I then refrigerated it and tried to slice it chilled but I still had quite a mess.

Well, there I go again - thanks one more time for all the suggestions! Wish me luck!

This is really a nice bunch of people in here - I'm so glad I found you all!
 

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Welcome to the bread world, Starlite. Just enjoy our forum and post away if you need help!


:D
 

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There is really nothing quite like eating a loaf you made yourself. But the eating is just the culmination of a whole bunch of sensual and tactile experiences in the bread making process. Look at it this way, if you mess up (and it's not likely) you've lost about $2 worth of ingredients and gained a lot of experience for the next time. :)

Jock
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A-men! lol...I think I could hand being out a mere 2 dollars for a learning experience! And it would be. I really have to make a point to try it instead of procrastinate. Now, I have thousands of recipes, but am going to take the lazy way out and ask if anyone has a simple, basic bread good for a first time bread (yeast!) baker???
Thanks - even if you don't, you've all just been so kind. And you've made me feel welcome and I can't say enough how much I appreciate that....it's a cruel world out there these days! Sheeze!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, I do! :) I love it, too. I've had one for years, but the first one I had wasn't that great - I mean, it was nice and all, but it went to pot and I was earning more at that time so I got myself a nice Kitchen Aid with the dough hook and all that.

I also looked through my kitchen utensils the other day because I thought I had a nice, long serrated knife, but darned if I could find it. I must not - or maybe I'm thinking of my mom's, don't know because if I did have one, I rarely used it.

Guess I've got a few things to learn!:rolleyes:
But I like learning...
 

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If it were me I would make my first loaves by hand because the experience is worth it. Some bread doughs are better suited to machine mixing but most can be done by hand.
There has to be a thousand recipes out there. Most of the ones you will find in the books you have will be OK. As good as they are, I would stay away from what are called lean breads, those with very basic ingredients (flour, water and yeast.) They require a little more attention with fermenting and timing. A plain white sandwich loaf with some enrichments like butter, sugar and/or milk is very tasty and easy to make. The enrichments account for a lot of the flavor rather than trying to coax it out of the plain flour. The addition of dairy makes for a finer crumb with a soft texture. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Jock
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is exactly what I was running into looking for something! :eek: There are tens of thousands, I bet - course, I did not sit here and count...but it seemed that way!!

Your tips helped very much because I was heading in the wrong direction thinking I was doing the right thing - I was looking at those basic ones' Quite frankly, I think I would/will enjoy the taste of the kind you told me to try first. I'm going to jot down those tips from you so I don't forget - and once again, thank you very much!
 

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It's easy to say, "Well, just pick any bread recipe". fact is, there are a lot and where to begin?
I have a recipe I have had some success with and I'll post it in the Recipe Exchange tonight or tomorrow. I'll call it Sarlite's Bread so you will know it when you see it.

Jock
 
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