Posts in Category: Reference

Waffle Makers

Types of Waffle Makers

  • Iron – Two cast iron plates in a scissor like format with 2 handles. The batter is poured between the two plates, closed and heated over a fire. This is the old fashion way to make waffles and useful when camping.
  • Traditional – Waffles are 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) thick and usually round.
  • Belgian – Waffles are one inch (2.5 cm) thick. The greater depth is popular. This is the most common waffle maker. All three in the picture above are Belgian waffle makers.
  • Waffle Cones – This waffles for making waffle ice cream cones. They are thin and pliable when first removed. The waffle is then formed into a cone or bowl and left to cool and harden.

Baking Bread in 1911 vs now

Do you ever think about how our lives have changed in the last 100 years? Learn about baking bread in 1911 versus now. Why 1911?

In the spring of 2017 I was approached by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society to give a talk at the site where Lucy lived from 1911 to 1926. The idea was to compare how Lucy baked bread when she arrived versus how it is made now. I researched the topic and found it very interesting. I presented the talk on July 26, 2017 and again at the Uxbridge Public Library on Nov 27, 2017.

I discovered a copy of the GOLD MEDAL FLOUR COOK BOOK by Washburn-Crosby Co, published in 1910. The talk revolves around a recipe for ‘Milk and Water Bread’ on page 49, and why each ingredient and step was done.

Presentation: Baking Bread 1911 vs Now PDF

Recipe Conventions/Conversions

Like most bakers I work from grams. I never work in cups of flour. They are listed for convenience. Different flours will have different weights for a cup and how the flour has settled will also effect weight. Working from weight is always the most reliable. For small quantities such as a teaspoon of salt I use measuring spoons but I know the weight of the salt I use. If you want to use course salt, measuring spoons will not work. Again this is where weight helps. The best tool your baking can benefit from is a scale. I have two, one basic kitchen digital scale (+-1 gram accuracy) and a precision scale (+-.1 gram accuracy) for working out small details. I bought my basic scale on sale for $12 so not a big expense.

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Bread Baking Pans

I am a big fan of bread pans. They serve several purposes. They give the bread a defined shape, and make it easier to handle. A big benefit to me is supporting the loaf. I live in outside of Toronto in Canada. Canada is the 7th largest producer of wheat in the world and most of it is hard wheat. This means our all purpose flour has a higher percentage of protein than many other countries. A 5 kg (11 lb) bag of Robin Hood Bread Flour costs about the same as a 10 kg (22 lb) bag of Robin Hood All Purpose Original. Most of my baking is working on recipes so I go through a lot of flour.

When you make bread with all purpose flour the dough does not hold its shape as well. The dough tends to relax and spread more. By using a pan to provide structure I can use all purpose flour to reduce my costs.

Here are a collection of my favourite pans.

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What is a Timeline?

One of the unique features of On Bread Alone is what I call a recipe timeline. Bread recipes differ from cooking recipes in that for yeast breads there are ferment and proof times. I look at a bread recipe timing from two points of view:

  1. How much time will I be active – measuring, mixing, forming, …
  2. How much time will I be inactive, ie waiting – ferment, proofing, preheating the oven and baking

The recipes list active and inactive times and a resulting total time. A timeline clock is a representation of this. Here are some examples

Sponge Method Challah

Timeline 3:40

Timeline 3:40

Sponge Method Challah has many active and inactive steps. The active steps are red pie shapes, the inactive times white. The steps include Active-Mix sponge, inactive-ferment, Active-Mix and knead dough, Inactive-proof, Active-Form braid, Inactive-Proof, Active-Wash and seed, Inactive-Bake, Active-Remove loaf.

The total time is 3:40 but only 40 minutes of that is active while you wait for 3 hours.

Beer Soda Bread

Timeline 0:55

Timeline 0:55

Beer Soda Bread is the exact opposite. Mix the ingredients and bake.

The Flour Effect – on baking bread

Report Cover

Report Cover

I am studying Artisan Bread Baking at George Brown College. I completed the Artisan Bread Theory class today. What a blast. This is my final report on the effect of various flour types on making a loaf of bread.

I know it is a bit overboard to produce a 32 page report for this assignment. I was just having so much fun.

The purpose of the experiment is to compare the results using the identical bread recipe and six different flours. No compensation was made for hydration or timing.

• All Purpose Flour Unbleached
• All Purpose Flour Bleached
• Bread Flour White
• Commercial Whole Wheat Bread Flour
• Heritage Red Fife
• Cake / Pastry Flour

Reports

Oven Temperature Guide

Oven temperatures are quoted in different ways around the world. The metric scale uses degrees in Celsius (°C), Imperial scale uses degrees Fahrenheit (°F) and sometimes in the UK and France gas mark.

Electric Gas Mark Electric (Convection)

°F

°C

°F

°C

230

110

¼

200

90

250

120

½

210

100

285

140

1

250

120

300

150

2

270

130

320

160

3

285

140

350

180

4

320

160

375

190

5

340

170

400

200

6

360

180

425

220

7

400

200

450

230

8

410

210

475

240

9

425

220