WOW! A TON of recipes here, and I'm not sure I'll be capable of adding much, but 'm going to try adding a few of my tricks below. This is awesome, who needs a cook book? I might try that cauliflower pizza as I've got a head laying around about to go brown on me, I clearly am in need of a food dehydrator, and I need to salt my eggs 15 minutes before cooking! Who knew? Mayo -BTDT - More of an aioli though with lemon instead of vinegar and GARLIC (because we adore garlic around here).
OK, so I didn't read through ALL the posts... but I saw one about proofing bread in the microwave. That's interesting! I generally try to grab the quick rise yeast and force mine to proof faster by either:
1. While mixing the dough, warm up the oven on it's lowest setting (175 I think is as low as mine goes). Turn OFF. Cover dough bowl with plastic wrap to keep from drying out the top and getting crusty bits in your soft dough (but when I forgot, and punched it down it was fine... couldn't notice anything weird in the final bread, pizza, etc).
2. While mixing dough, put a pot on to boil water. Place dough on top rack of cold oven, place a pan (or more often that mixing bowl that was just used, ahem... it's still dirty but you were going to soak it anyway right?) on bottom rack and pour boiling water in it. CLOSE OVEN to keep the moist heat in!
I've tried mixing the two methods as well. I like the idea of a warm MOIST oven rather than a warm DRY oven, and the warmer temp rises the dough much faster. Too hot will start to cook your dough, too dry will create a crust on the top of your dough ball. This is also good method if your oven is already warm, not hot. I'll turn the oven on, then shut it off to cool a little (or turn it off before it's all the way up to temp) and add the hot water on that second rack, or even top rack - but NOT DIRECTLY BELOW the dough. :) When the oven is already warm, the heat from the water will be too much that close to the dough. You just want some heat and steam IN the oven here, not directly warming the dough. The oven racks should be cool enough to touch at this temp. If they're too hot, the oven is too hot for dough. :)
*French bread? - MIST water on the inside metal surfaces of the HOT oven DURING baking to create steam inside the oven and create a more CRUNCHY CRUST!
-sorry if any of these suggestions were already in here, as said... I didn't read through everything, but I'll keep an eye on this thread for SURE from here on out!
Personally I am somewhat "lazy" and let my bread maker do the mixing and first rise.
But find the comment on misting inside the oven for French Bread interesting --wondered why the recipes call for misting water on top of the loaves.
Thanks of the tips. Glad you have joined the thread. Looking forward to see your posts.
I've read somewhere that the misting advice is to give your loaf a greater rise, before forming a crust but either way, I used to make lots of bread and to be honest, i did not see any real difference in either size of the loaf or crustiness.