Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Bread and circuses

Well, not really circuses.

We just got back from a place that served the most sumptuous chocolate bread. Michael ate some every meal and actually asked the chef for the recipe. So I was going to make some for his birthday. The problem is that the recipe is handwritten, and a little difficult to decipher. Unfortunately I don't make bread often enough to recognise what is credible, so I'm at a loss with the proportions. Perhaps some helpful soul out there can verify for me how much salt and yeast should go per cup of flour. (I tried looking up some basic bread recipes in my cookbooks to get an idea, but they were very unhelpful, giving all the proportions with packages of yeast.)

So the recipe calls for 2 lbs. of flour. (How much is that in cups, by the way?)

Then 4 TSP of salt and yeast. I assume this is teaspoon? Because otherwise there would be a B in there? But then why the all caps? Perhaps because the chef is French? Anyway, there's a big difference between tsp and Tbl, and I want to make sure the loaf doesn't end up too bland or too salty. Any help and guidance would be much appreciated. If it turns out well I'll post the recipe here.


Queen of Carrots said...

Based on the rule, "a pint's a pound, the world around," I'd say that's about four cups of flour.

That sounds like a little bit too much salt, and a little bit too little yeast. For that much flour I'd usually use 2 tsp. of salt and 2 tbs. of yeast. Of course, he could be referring to a more concentrated form of yeast than I'm used to. So, this is probably not much help. Is it a fairly dense bread?

the Joneses said...

I think one package of yeast usually equals one tablespoon of yeast. --DJ

Anonymous said...

Hmm, that's an idea. I made the batch that night using rough estimates and it tasted a little pasty. Probably too much yeast and not enough baking time (I forgot how much yeast bread rises and shaped the loaf way too big). I'll tweak it and try again.

(Joy of Cooking was no help, by the way. I looked at all the charts in the back and they didn't have the conversion table I was looking for. Demerits to Joy of Cooking.)


the Joneses said...

What you need to do is switch from "Joy of Cooking" to "Better Homes and Gardens." That's what I think :) Of course, I'm biased, because BHG was the one I grew up with. I can still remember that the recipes for pancakes and waffles are on pages 79-80. --DJ