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May 22 12 1:45 PM

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I grew up in a small family owned bakery. Last year I got the idea to write a book with our formulas and nostalgia tidbits for the small town it was in. At the time my dad had just had a work injury so was at home bored and so he jumped on the idea. He's since healed and has cooled off about the work involved in the idea. But the good news is that I've worked a number of the formulas up for at home size batches (trust me you don't want to roll out a few hundred loaves a bread like we did daily). They've really helped us keep costs down (last time I priced things, I was doing a loaf of french bread at $1.27) and are (IMHO) healthier as they don't have a ton of preservative crap in them.  I'll put more up later.

French Bread
3 Cups White Flour
2 Tablespoon white sugar
3 Tablespoon gluten flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Packet Highly Active Yeast (if you use the other kind, disolve in water first)
1 Tablespoon Oil (I use olive oil)

Mix in a tabletop mixer (I use the 4 qt KitchenAid) for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretches when you pull on it.

Set on counter for 1 hour (cover with light towel to keep from drying out). Knock down and round. Let rest for 1 more hour. Make into loaf. Shephard's Bread is done by forming into a ball by tucking the edges under until it's a tight ball. Normal french bread is done by knocking flat into a rectangle and rolling into a long loaf starting at the far edge and coming back towards you. After you have formed, coat with egg wash (just take an egg and scramble it and brush on top of loaf). Let set for 20 - 30 minutes. Cover again with egg wash and score the top with a knife (shephard's bread is a tic-tac-toe pattern, normal french bread is just diagonal cuts across top). Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. If you tap on the bottom of the loaf and it has a hollow sound the loaf is done.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Blend together until a lumpy paste:

1 ½  c.   Raisins

3 Tb.     Honey

Add to above scraping down once to break up paste:

2 ea.     Lg. Eggs

1/3 c.    Water

Add to above and blend:

2 ¼ c.    Sugar

2 ¼ c.     Shortening

1 Tb.      Soda

½ Tea.    Salt

Add to above and blend in:

3 ¼ c.     All purpose Flour

3 ½ c.      Rolled Oats


Either spoon to desired size or roll out in strings and cut off about 1 oz. to 1 ½ oz. pieces.  Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Stagger pieces so as not to bake into each other.  50 to 60 cookies @ 1 ½ oz.


Bake @ 375 for about 10 min. or until edges appear dry and slightly tan or light brown on bottoms.  Cookies will continue to bake for a short while after removal from oven.             


Peanut Butter Cookies


Cream together:

1 c.     Granulated Sugar

1 c.     Brown Sugar (do not pack)

2 Tb.   Honey

1 c. + 2 Tb.  Shortening

2 ¼ c.   Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)

2 ea.     Lg. Eggs

¼ c.     Buttermilk (water or milk will work too)

 Blend together dry & add to above:

2 ¼ c.   A.P. Flour

2 Teas.   Soda

3/4  Teas.   Salt   

1 c.      Roasted unsalted peanut pieces.  (Opitional)


Mix until blended (do not over mix).  Spoon to desired size or roll out in strings and cut off 1 to 1 ½ oz. pieces (28 cookies @ 1 ½ oz. pieces)


Bake @ 375 for about 10 min. or until edges appear dry and slightly tan or light brown on bottoms.  Cookies will continue to bake for a short while after removal from oven.             


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#1 [url]

May 22 12 4:14 PM

Yumm!  Those look like tasty recipes!  Kitchen aid mixers are great, aren't they?  

If you get active dry yeast in the 2# or 3# bags it is significantly less expensive than those little packets.  Costco and Cost-U-Less as well as KTA have them.  It's not much more expensive than one of those three packet strips and you get a whole lot more yeast.  You have a choice between instant and active, I usually get the active.  Also, flour in twenty or fifty pound bags is a lot less expensive than those little ones from the grocery.  If you are baking bread twice a week, you'll use up a twenty pound bag before it goes stale, otherwise keep half in the freezer.

Hmm, we make bread around here by the slap and dash method.  Put some liquid in the bowl of the Kitchen Aid mixer and use the flat beater attachment.  The liquid can be water, coffee, tea, pumpkin juice, milk, whatever you feel like that morning.  The amount is usually around four or five cups.  Usually room temperature or a touch warmer.  (Hmm, would the alcohol content of beer keep the yeast from growing?  I've never tried beer.)  An egg or two can be added if you want richer bread.  Add in a slug of some sort of sugar, either evaporated cane juice, honey, molasses or cane sugar.  Anywhere from one tablespoon to a quarter cup depending on how sweet you want it to be.  Then about three teaspoon fulls of yeast.  Mix that all together.  If you are using rolled oats, wheat bran or wheat germ, add those next.  About a cup full or so.  Then add in enough flour to make a batter about the consistency of pancake batter.  

Let that sit for at least three quarters of an hour and up to six to eight hours.  It will develop flavors and change the consistency of the flour.  When you've gotten totally bored with it just sitting, add in whatever oils you feel like using, if any.  A pinch to a half teaspoon of salt if you want at this point.  Too much salt, though, weakens the yeast action. Then add in enough flour that it starts pulling strings of dough off the sides of the bowl.  Let it do that for several minutes.  Then add more flour until it starts balling up on the flat paddle.  Switch to the dough hook, add a bit more flour and let it twist around and work on the hook for three to five minutes.  Remove the hook, let the dough sit for awhile until it doubles in volume and/or tries to climb out of the bowl.  You can either punch it down and let it rise again or put it in pans at this stage.  Spray a couple of baking dishes - bread pans, cast iron pans, a flat baking sheet, whatever shape you want - with non-stick spray.  Then wet your hands and grab half the dough, shape it a bit and plop it into the pans.  If it starts sticking, wet your hands some more.  A bondo scraper works well for getting the dough out of the bowl.  Let it rise about two thirds of what the final product will be and then slash the tops and put into a pre-warmed oven at 350 to 400 degrees for about half an hour to forty five minutes or so.  Adding a splash of water to the oven when putting in the bread along with another splash part way through baking makes for a crusty loaf.

You can also saute broccoli, mushrooms or other things and roll those into the dough before baking.  Meat rolls are also tasty if you want to roll the dough around bits of sausage.  It will double in volume, though, so make the dough fairly thin around the meat centers unless you like them fat like manapua.  Since they aren't steamed afterwards, though, they are probably more like the Chinese bao.  You can brush on the eggwash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, oatmeal, poppy seeds, etc.  There's loads of things you can do.

For a more fussy recipe, there's always mayonnaise.    Get the whip attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer.  Put 1/4 cup oil in the bowl.  You can use flavored oils like olive or maybe a couple of tablespoons of toasted sesame oil or some other flavored oil.  The more flavor, though, use less of that flavor and fill in the rest with a more bland salad oil of your choice such as soybean, corn, rapeseed, sunflower, etc.  

Anyway, 1/4 cup of oil.  
Add in one whole egg.  
Add in one sixteenth of a teaspoon of cayenne - more or less a healthy dash but not two dashes.  If you don't have cayenne, you can add in wasabi instead.  
Add in one teaspoon of dry mustard powder.  
Add in a tablespoon of sugar, honey OR (not "and") evaporated cane juice.  You can also skip the sweetener if you don't like sweet mayo.

Put the mixer on "high" and then drizzle in VERY SLOWLY -  this is DRIZZLE - and VERY SLOWLY (got that part, eh?) a half cup of bland salad oil.

Add in three tablespoons of lime juice or if you don't have lime you can use lemon juice instead.  I suppose in a pinch you could also use grapefruit or even vinegar if you had to but it might taste pretty different if either of those were used.

Add in another half cup of bland oil.  VERY SLOWLY.  All this while the mixer has been on "high".

That's pretty much it.  Mayonnaise.  Much cheaper and tastier than that white gel stuff which is commercially sold as mayo.

If for some reason it doesn't gel, you can use it as a base for salad dressings by adding in a few spices and  herbs.  Green Goddess dressing involves avocados and pretty much a failed mayo recipe.  Some folks say you shouldn't make mayo in a thunderstorm since it won't gel.  I haven't tried it though, if you do, let me know how it went.

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#2 [url]

May 22 12 5:20 PM

**cringe** There's a little bit of a "rub" between cooks, err I mean Chefs and Bakers. Chef's can do that artsy dash of this, splash of that. Baker's are production scientists that follow a formula and get a consistent product every time :)  When do things on the fly it's called "research". LOL. One of those silly little things that parents indoctrinate you with lol.

Here's a beer rye that we use to produce. Due to the lack of gluten in the rye flour this will take longer to develop (mix) in a home mixer.

Dense Dark Rye


Mix dry:

1 ½ cups + 2 tbl.   Rye Flour

1 ¼ (+/-) cups        Bread Flour

½ tea.                      Salt

1 tbl.                        Sugar

1 tbl.                       Gluten (optional)



1 Tbl.                     Shortening

2 Tbl.                    Molasses


Dissolve in 1 cup 2 Table spoons of slightly warmed dark beer (110*)

1 Tbl.                      Yeast

1 cup                       Nonfat dry milk


Add dry ingredients and mix to a smooth, elastic ball.

Bench rest for 1- 2 hr. punching down at least once during that hour.

Form into desired shape, brush water or egg was on top, dust with a little rye flour and score.

Bake @ 375* - 400* for about 20 min. rotating once during baking.


Variations:  Pale beer for a lighter color.  Replace beer with water for just plain rye bread.  Add caraway seeds for seeded rye (aka Deli Rye)


What’s in a name:  Rusty’s Beer Rye was formulated by Virgil Wedeking to create something a little different for friend and fellow business owner Rusty Fossitti.  Rusty owned a bar and restaurant in Fallbrook call Rusty’s Ammo Room.  The loaves were made in a 2 piece hinged bread pan that produced a round loaf for the specialty sandwiches Rusty made at his eatery.


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#4 [url]

May 24 12 8:54 AM

Production bakeries cheat when it comes to sourdough. They just add a flavoring to a white bread formula.

Since getting back into baking I've tried two different formulas with blah results. My dad picked up a sourdough starter kit for me last year. Supposed to be authentic "san francisco sourdough yeast" but didn't get much sour flavor. In a book I found one that uses local yeast bacteria (basically IMO's lol) and it took 2 weeks to build a yeast starter and then work it into a base for a loaf of bread. Got a very dense bread (that was good straight out of the oven) with a strong sour flavor but the next day it was a baseball bat of a loaf. So am currently discouraged and taking a break from sourdough lol.

I do have a forumla for a Boule loaf. Has a little bit of a sour taste, the hard crust and swiss cheese (holey) texture I think about when I think of Bay area sourdough. Takes time but no real work.

The Miracle Boule

Total Time:

15 hr 10 min


10 min


Inactive Prep:

14 hr 0 min



1 hr 0 min




1 boule


  • 3 cups/375 g all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Cornmeal, wheat bran or extra flour, as needed


Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 cups/375 ml water to blend. What you'll have is a wet, shaggy, sticky dough, but not so wet as to be batter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. It's ready for the next step when the surface is dotted with bubbles.

Flour a work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Sprinkle over a little more flour and fold it once or twice. Cover with the tea towel and let rest 15 minutes.

Using only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers, shape the dough into a ball. Coat a cotton towel with cornmeal, wheat bran or flour and lay the dough on it, seam-side down. Dust with more cornmeal, wheat bran or flour. (You need quite a lot because you want to be sure the dough doesn't stick to the towel). Cover and let rise for about 2 hours. When ready, the dough will be more than double in size.

Half an hour before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/230 degrees C. Put an 8-quart/2-liter cast-iron pot or Dutch oven (cocotte) inside to heat.

When the dough is ready, remove the pot from the oven and turn the dough into it, seam-side up. (It will look messy, but this is OK.) Shake the pot to settle the bread evenly. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until the loaf is nicely browned, another 15 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.


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#5 [url]

May 25 12 1:36 AM

The commercial bakeries cheat with the Portuguese sweet bread, too.  It's some sort of yellow goo which is added to the dough instead of actual stuff to make it sweet.  We ended up with fifty pounds of it once.  A local bakery went out of business and they were giving away all the baking supplies since they didn't want them anymore.  I ended up with a ton and a half of various flours and a bunch of oddball commercial bakery additives.  Two hundred pounds of Breadmate II, the fifty pound box of Portuguese mix, about twenty pounds of onion flakes and several hundred pounds of powdered milk.  Oh yeah, about ten pounds of yeast, too.  For awhile we were giving away baking supplies to anyone who came near.

I have two or three sourdough starters and they taste different.  The sweetish local one went up in smoke, but I can get more of it from a friend who has some.  There is one which we got on an Alaska cruise several years ago and it's nicely sour.  We also have a version from a laundromat/ restaurant - some place called the "French Laundry" and that has a lovely tang to it.  More of a tang than sour.

When you get a sourdough starter that you like, make up a big batch of it and then spread it out on a baking sheet and let it dry.  Don't bake it, just let it dry.  Then you can store the dry bits for years without having to feed it and do all the fuss and bother of sourdough starters.  Also, the stored stuff doesn't change flavor so you can go back and get the original flavor if your starter has shifted over time.  I just add plain white flour and filtered water to mine.  It stays pretty stable.  If you come up this way, you can have a bit of it if you want.

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