Cook’s Country Dakota Bread
Posted: 06 April 2013 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I love Dakota bread, so I was very happy to get this recipe in my email:  http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/Dakota-Bread/39877?Extcode=L3DN1AA00

However, it is written for people with stand mixers, and I don’t have one.

Can a super bread person explain, generally, how to translate these particular bread hook instructions to hand instructions?  I’ve made bread before, so I can guess, but I didn’t know if maybe something jumped out to someone who has done it both ways.

Also, if any experienced bread bakers could mention if they thought this recipe would work well or not, I’d sure appreciate it.  Sometimes, when you really know what you’re doing, something can jump out at you that a less experienced person wouldn’t notice.

Thanks!

—ak

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Posted: 06 April 2013 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t know if I’m a super bread person, but it looks straightforward to me to do (shudder) by hand. I’d probably be looking for this bread to pass the windowpane test, although all the stuff in the dough might lead to some tearing. Still, it should look bubblegum-ish. Initial mixing could be done by hand, literally, to avoid crushing any of the cereal if it’s fragile.

Do you have a food processor? If yours is large and powerful enough, you might be able to use that, although I wouldn’t add any of the stuff until you pull it out, since they’d probably get chopped up. (Or the dough may slow the blade enough to prevent that…haven’t ever tried.)

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Posted: 06 April 2013 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, CT!

What’s the window pane test?

I used to make bread all the time by hand—literally weekly for a number of years—but I really didn’t know anything about it.  Seeing some of the beautiful breads you all have produced here and some of the technical discussion about them has shown me there’s more to it than I originally assumed, and I only made, essentially, white bread, either free-form loaf or bread pan loaf.

I don’t have a food processor, but I do have a Blendtec blender, and you can, supposedly, make bread in it, although I’m more inclined to go by hand.  Why do you shudder at it?  I ask not because I don’t think it’s a big deal—I mean, I don’t, but maybe that’s because my 10 minutes of kneading should have been 30, in which case, I would, in fact, shudder!!

—ak

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Posted: 06 April 2013 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m sort of kidding about the “shudder”. On the home improvement forums, they have labels for two sorts of people: “neanders”, from Neanderthals, who like to use hand tools, and “Normites”, from Norm Abrams, who never met a power tool he didn’t like. I’m of the latter camp. I’m not a process person, I’m an end result person, and any tool that expedites something and means less dirt on my hands, the better.

Since you’ve actually done a lot of bread making, this should be an easy bread for you; it’s just a white bread with some stuff thrown in. The windowpane test is how you know your dough is ready; you stretch a piece of it between your fingers and see if it forms a thin, translucent sheet of bubblegum. This is most appropriate for sandwich type bread, where you want a fine, airy crumb. Probably not as relevant for some of the artisan type loaves. The windowpane test obviates some of the more useless recipe instructions, such as “mix for 8 minutes on medium.” That’s a rough guess and your dough may or may not be ready at that point.

This dough is simple in that it doesn’t have any preferments or overnight fermentation, techniques that improve the flavor of bread. You could, of course, alter the recipe to include one or more of these techniques, but the overall flavor is probably mostly determined by the added ingredients.

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Posted: 06 April 2013 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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No ‘knead’ for any changes to this recipe. In fact a dough hook is less efficient than hand kneading. It may be a trifle more work to get the seeds distributed evenly but not much. Turn the dough out on a floured board and work it as you always have. I would sprinkle the seeds into the dough as I kneaded. As Charles noted this is not intended to be a heavily ‘developed’ bread as you can see in the picture. Let your experience guide you and it will be fine.

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Posted: 07 April 2013 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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And here I thought Charles might weigh in with his observations on RPMs and the translation to hand kneading smile

My take on this recipe is the same as Charles and Gene, go for it you should have no problems.  Try it as written, substituting about 7-8 minutes of hand kneading for the 4-6 minutes of machine mixing.  FWIW, I’m a neander and mix about 90% of my breads by hand, because I like the way it allows me to judge both the hydration and the gluten development by the feel of the dough.  The only breads I mix by machine are pandoro and brioche, though I’ve made brioche with slap/folds when I was traveling and didn’t have a mixer (clean up after that took as long as the slap and folds).  Pandoro with slap/folds would be a real workout!

After an initial run, if you like the recipe and want to explore more variations in process, my thought would be to mix a biga-style pre-ferment and at the same time soak the grains, allowing both to sit overnight.  Then, in the morning, mix up the main dough, kneading to a windowpane before adding the soaked grains and then the seeds.  As Charles points out, the soaked grains are likely to cause a windowpane to tear easily, it really works best on white doughs. so you may choose to knead the dough until it forms a windowpane before adding any of the other “stuff”.  You can search for a picture of a windowpane, it will be easy to see what is meant.  If, after a first run, you like the recipe and want to explore a pre-ferment, etc., post back and we can guide you through that process.

For the most part, breads are a lot more forgiving than cake, so have fun! smile

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Posted: 07 April 2013 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thank you, everyone!

I thought I’d give my one boss a choice of sweet or savory for her birthday this year (September), and if she goes for savory, I’m planning on this bread with some homemade hummus, homegrown sprouts, kale chips and orange slices drizzled with olive oil and pepper.

However, it would be a one-off, because we don’t ever eat bread (or any grains or meat or oils or dairy) in our house (although I’m rather flexible outside), so I kind of wanted to get a reasonable idea if it would “work,” as I wouldn’t find out until it was cut into on “the day.”

Thanks again!  I feel pretty happy going for it and doing it by hand.  I kind of hope she goes for savory, and there’s a pretty strong chance she will!

—ak

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Posted: 07 April 2013 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Is this bread very different from Rose’s Tyrolean 10 Grain Torpedo?

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