It's really hard to reproduce "specialty" breads without specialty ingredients. I make bread almost every day and I order my dough conditioner from Prepared Pantry:
Dough conditioner is what gives the bread the light fluffy texture that we love so much in the restaurant breads and rolls. The instructions on the bag say to use 1/2 teaspoon per loaf but I use more than that to actually get the results that I want. I use about 1-1/2 teaspoons per loaf or 2 cups of flour.
You can get Vital Wheat Gluten from the grocery store but I order it online to save money.
You can order 3.5-pound can for $8.99.
I order the case 6 cans 3.5 pounds each for $35.99, at that price it's like getting 2 of the 3.5 pound cans free.
A case will last me about 1 year. An unopened can has a shelf life of about 5 years but once it's opened it needs to be stored in the freezer. In the freezer it should last indefinitely. I store all my bread making supplies in the freezer that way they are always just opened fresh.
I use this basic recipe for most of the things that I make. For whole wheat bread just replace 1 cup of the AP flour with 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and add 1/4 cup of honey. This is a soft dough and I never have a problem with it because I use my mixer to make it. Kneading a dough this soft by hand would take a little practice to get it right.
2 cups hot tap water
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
Put ingredients into stand mixer or bread machine pan. Stir to melt shortening.
If using a bread machine add the rest of the ingredients and turn on the machine.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping tablespoons of VWG
1 tablespoon of dough conditioner
1 heavy teaspoon of yeast
Add 3 cups of the flour to the mixer bowl and the rest of the ingredients in the order given and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed to mix the ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add the last cup of flour and replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Knead on the #2 setting for 15 minutes.
Spray dough with oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size.
Shape the dough for whatever you are going to use it for; rise and bake at 375° for:
45 minutes for 1 big round loaf
30 minutes for 2 loaf pans
30 minutes for a 9x13inch pan of cinnamon rolls or dinner rolls
45 minutes for a cinnamon bun Babka
25 minutes for hamburger or hot dog buns
Last edited by BettyR; 03-24-2007 at 02:15 PM.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."