Posted 11/22/2012 04:43 (#2710281 - in reply to #2710274) Subject: Re: Bread machines...Tell me about yours.
Haha, it's no fuss, you make that sourdough starter only once, and usually keep it for years.
I tried to play with gluten and other ingredients, but these days I keep it simple, using only wheat or rye flour.
I do play with spices though, as I love the spiced mini rolls they sell in Germany, usually near the sausage stand.
I can bake 9 mini rolls in that baguette pan, usually 3 curry, 3 cumin, 3 caraway.
Add walnuts to bake bread for cheese, etc. Possibilities are endless with the same dough base.
Using milk instead of water, a bit of sugar and green anise seeds works wonders for breakfast.
The kneading itself takes about 10 minutes, most of the time is letting it rest and rise.
Artisan bakeries use refrigeration too, similar but not exactly like John mentioned, to develop the gluten strands: Just mix flour and water, without yeast, let it rest overnight in the fridge, the moisture will soften the gluten cells so that kneading will achieve better results, and it somehow develops better flavors too. You can see when the gluten is not kneaded enough when you roll a piece of dough into a long sausage to bake a baguette: As soon as you stop rolling, if the "sausage" shrinks back like an elastic instead of retaining its shape, it could have used a little more kneading.