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December 31, 2005

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jennifer

on holiday in Germany 2005, and for a dedicated bread lover, was in 7th heaven! The town we stayed in had (I think)16 bakeries with an amazing variety of breads. To date, haven't made my own, but could be persuaded!

lindy

jennifer-When I travel, I often wish I could bring back breads and other bakery specialties as gifts and souveniers. Sometimes breads are so specific to a place, eating them elsewhere could almost conjure it up.
Too bad they are so quickly past their prime-even if you could figure out a way to freeze them for travel , they wouldn't be the same as freshly baked.
Sixteen bakeries! Hope you were there long enough to sample many.

Heath

The rolls look really good - they look just crusty enough, and yet not too crusty (so as to cause the filling to come squishing out the other side as you tear at the crust!)

I've never messed with instant yeast - I bought a 5 lb bag of regular old Red Star at Costco and have had it in the freezer for a year now. However, I will be running out soon (although I have been on a sourdough jag lately...) and I'm curious about the instant. Did you add it at the beginning with the flour and salt and it activates itself when you add the liquid? And what about rise times and flavor development (again, that's the sourdough talking)?

lindy

Heath- Thanks for pointing out my failure to add the yeast. Those rolls would be waiting a long time to rise!
Yes, the instant yeast goes in with the flour- as there is no need to dissolve it in liquid separately. That is what makes it "instant"- it is not related to the "quick rise" yeasts, which are pretty much useless.
You can use a wee bit less yeast with the instant than with regular yeast, and the rising time is the same, really.
I'm sure you've noticed that less yeast and longer rising time can really improve flavor in a lot of breads.Times are all so variable by temperature, humidity and whatnot..hard to know exactly what will happen when you bake bread at home. Keeps things interesting, doesn't it?
I keep a big jar of the stuff in the freezer, too.

Luisa

Lindy - this post is great, I'm so excited to hear what you make next. I'm glad the sweet rolls I posted about got you thinking! And while I was in Berlin for the holidays, I picked up an old copy of Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery that was lying around the house. I think you would LOVE this book. Lots of fantastic recipes for all kinds of breads and rolls, sweet and savory. Plus history and all that stuff Ms David is so good at.

lindy

I do love it , Luisa. I just recently picked up an old copy myself on bookfinder.com. So far, I have made the english muffins, and I was pretty happy with them. But it's great for just reading, too, isn't it?

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