Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Was gonna start this earlier today, but TLG was here, and we were reading "Pop-Up" books, much to his delight. He certainly enjoys books, and that's a behavior we definitely encourage. He knows all his colors, most of the ABC's, and can count forwards (and backwards!) from zero to ten.

Yeah, I'm the guilty party for insisting he include zero in his counting. And he learned them backwards hanging around with me doing simulated countdowns. It was a real treat watching his Lightbulb Of Comprehension go on when he realized the numbers were the same, but they meant different things going up and coming down.

Anyway....back to the bread.....

I used my Standard Reference Recipe for this batch, proofed the yeast (a fascinating subject all it's own) while I fluffed and measure out the flour, and just to throw another variable into the mix, I dissolved the salt and sugar into the warm water before I added it to the flour. It just seemed the right thing to do to ensure complete mixing.

The major difference this time is that I baked the loaves in the glass bread "pans" we have. Probably just me, but I always associate the word "pan" with something made of metal, hence the quotes. Guess I should just call them baking dishes....

I won't bore you with the construction details of the latest "Bread Build" since you've seen them all except to say I ran the mixer one notch higher this time. It cut the laboring of the motor down, it really mixed the dough well, and when I carefully looked at the slider control, I realized this was the speed I was supposed to be using per the mixer's manufacturer. Le Sigh.....

And I did NOT "gently slash"  the tops of the loaves this time, and they did not deflate on me. I just brushed them with warm water, and popped 'em into the preheated 450* oven for 22 minutes.

And the results?

I stone-cold nailed it.

The front loaf is shiny because SLW slathered it with butter before I could grab my camera.

Out of the baking dish the loaves held their shape.


And FINALLY.......bread with some structure!

It cuts easily and stays together, it's light and airy, a little chewy in a good way, and the crust came out great, but a little thin. So the next time I'll bump the time up to 25 minutes to compensate for it being in a glass dish, which will develop the crust a bit more.

So I'm officially announcing I can bake bread! This bread. With this recipe. At this location. YMMV!

Stay tuned for cinnamon rolls. The flour company website has some "Baker's Tricks" to keep them from getting rock-hard in a day or two, and I'm itchin' for some cinnamon rolls.....


  1. Baking bread at this altitude isn't as easy as some think. Due to my diet, I no longer do it.

    A good bread recipe and process makes for good piroshkis which I make on special occasions.

    1. This is a very basic recipe; flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and water. I picked up some tricks (probably "standard techniques" for real bakers) reading a bunch of recipes. My only adjustments are a hotter oven and shorter time, and an extra 1/4 cup water, all due to the high-altitude, low-moisture environment.

      And learning how to use the mixer, and what properly mixed dough looks and feel like, and how to get the yeast going, and etc, etc, etc!

      I imagine my first cinnamon rolls will be less than expected.....

  2. My granddaughter told me that her husband LOVED his grandmother's cinnamon rolls. When I asked her for the recipe, she got a shit kicker grin and said "I don't think he knows, but she makes the frozen Rhodes Anytime Cinnamon Rolls!"

    1. HAH! That's too cool. I begged my Mom incessantly for "Chicken and Dumplings", and after about a week she caved. She spent all day and made it from scratch, and when we had it for dinner, I said "What's this?" in all innocence.

      Turns out what I had wanted was chicken fricassee, out of a can, over her "quick biscuits".

      Poor Mom. She worked all day, but busted up laughing over it. It was really good, though, and to this day I like really good Chicken and Dumplings.

  3. The bread looks great, and I'm imagining it tastes even better.

    Altitude and humidity as mentioned above.
    Are you recording the humidity when you bake? I know it has an effect, but I don't know how much effect.

    Reading opens so many doors, I'm glad to see you helping out with the joy of boooks.

    1. No, not keeping records with that much detail. I understand the altitude compensation, so that's OK, and for humidity, I'm following some tips, like brush the loaves with warm water before they go in the oven, and putting a damp towel over the dough as it raises in the oven.

  4. Replies
    1. Took a few attempts, but I think I "Got It" now.

  5. If you like a crispier top crust, put a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack while your bread bakes.
    My cinnamon roll recipe
    Sounds like you're nailing it, Jim!

    1. Brushing the tops with water helps, and I've heard of people putting a pan of water in the oven during baking, and I'll do that next time.

  6. How to keep Cinnamon Rolls from getting stale:

    Eat them.

    Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom!

    Good job on the bread.

    Sometimes adding a whipped egg will help, too.


    The King Arthur webpage has a tip. You take about 20% of the flour the recipe calls for, and mix it with some water, and heat while whisking it. It will turn into a thick roux called a "tangzhong" as the flour "gelatinizes". This holds moisture in, preventing it from evaporating, and your cinnamon rolls will stay nice and soft for several days longer than normal.

    But I think I prefer your solution.....:-)


Keep it civil, please....

Saturday Night Music

 One of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands, featuring one of my favorite guitar players. It was also written specifically for ...