Grandma's Polish Sweet Bread


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Made the poolish last night. It's fermenting beautifully. But not sure if I'll be able to bake tomorrow. Wildfires started are burning 7 miles down the road, and another one 15 miles up the road just a few hours ago,, Some mandatory evacuations ordered closest to the fires.

We've lost power. Strong winds fanning the fires and knocking trees down. It's crazy outside right now.
 
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Made the poolish last night. It's fermenting beautifully. But not sure if I'll be able to bake tomorrow. Wildfires started are burning 7 miles down the road, and another one 15 miles up the road just a few hours ago,, Some mandatory evacuations ordered closest to the fires.

We've lost power. Strong winds fanning the fires and knocking trees down. It's crazy outside right now.
 
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You stay safe and take care. Guess it is all up to Mother Nature as far as the baking. I am trying to be patient, guess Mother Nature is teaching me too. The fires sound close. Happy to hear the poolish is going well. Hopefully the winds will calm down in daylight and the firefighters will be able to contain the fires. Good Luck!
 
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Power is still down, so no baking. I'm not sure if we're going to have to evacuate. About 1500 homes have burn already. The winds spread the fire so about 10 fires burning now...it is what it is.
 
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I hope you won't have to evacuate. I saw video's of the fire and wind on the news, looked terrible and the wind strong.

Doesn't sound like you will have power back on soon. I guess that poolish is toast now? Stay safe and I'll wait to hear from you when things are settled down and power is back on.
 
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I’m going to bake the bread tomorrow. Mixed the poolish. It’s developing a bit too fast because the house is very warm. I hope it doesn’t over-ferment. Since I didn’t have water for most of last week, I’ve been catching up on laundry. The dryer is really heated up the house.o_O

Since you don’t have a mixer, I’m going to use a couple of mixing techniques designed for mixing sticky doughs by hand. And to be frank, a dough with this level of hydration, made more sticky with sugar, eggs, and butter, shouldn’t be mixed in a home mixer anyway.

It will probably take you a couple of tries to become comfortable with the hand mixing techniques. But they are not that complicated. I think a large part of it is getting comfortable with getting your hands really sticky.


Fraisage: can be used for a lot of doughs, even pie crust. So this is a good technique to know.


Slap and fold. Very annoying, but affective.

If you find the slap and fold method too annoying, then you could try the Rubaud method. I prefer it, but it is more taxing.



Here’s the ingredient measurements. I calculated the amounts based on your grandmothers list of ingredients.

The amount of salt and the size of the raisin boxes are unknowns. Not an issue for either since there’s a standard amount of salt that goes into a bread dough. And raisins are an ingredient in which you can add to preference.

Equipment

Food scale OR dry and liquid measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Plastic bench scraper
Bowls
6” x 2” round cake pan
24” x 10” parchment baking paper
6” round parchment baking paper
Plastic cling wrap



1 loaf

Poolish: mix the night before. Use within 24 hrs of mixing
  • 125g (1 cup) bread flour (King Arthur)
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) water, 95° – 110°
  • 45 ml (3 1/2 Tablespoons) evaporated milk, 95° – 110°
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast (not instant or rapid rise)


Mix water and evaporated milk.

Sprinkle yeast over water mixture. Let sit 10 minutes to dissolve.

Pour water mixture over flour.

Mix to just combine, and no white flour is visible.

Loosely cover with plastic wrap.

Place in warm, draft free place. A turned off oven is a good place.



================

Main dough
  • 375g bread flour (King Arthur)
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) milk, scald 180°; and cool to 110°
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) water, 95° – 110°
  • 55g (1 large egg), room temperature
  • 6 g (2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 90g (scant 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20g (1 1/2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, 72°
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup Golden raisins, soaked in hot water, drained, and pat dry on paper towels.

I’ll post the rest of the instructions after I bake the bread tomorrow. I have a pretty good idea of the process I’m going to use, but depending on how the dough comes together as I mix, I may change a few things. So I’m not sure yet what the total process is actually going to be.
 
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Oh my what a surprise!

Well I'll have to do some shopping for some of the ingredients, let alone that size of cake pan, mine is 8" not sure of height.

How do I measure temp of liquids? Or unsalted butter temp?

Plastic bench scrapper? Not sure what that is, but will look ....

What is the difference between dry and liquid measuring cups? I have metal ones, and one glass pouring one. Is that ok?

Do I need to sift the flour? I see that a lot in recipes on here.

I hope you will take pictures of the process........

I am very excited and worried about ME BAKING!

Good luck wishes sent your way..........
 
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This is a liquid measuring cup. Use for liquids only. Do not measure dry ingredients such as sugar or flour using this type of measuring cup.

PS—make sure you get eye level when checking the amount of liquid in a measuring cup. If you are standing above the measuring cup it will look like the liquid is add the line. But if you get eye level you’ll see that in fact the liquid is below the line.

C643D419-6A6B-447B-9506-B3291CA24EB8.jpeg



This is a dry volume measuring cup. Do not use this type of measuring cup to measure liquids. Dry measurements and liquid measurements are not the same. You cannot use measuring cups interchangeably for wet and dry.
817A9458-A608-4EB6-ABD4-5391D0932ACB.jpeg






Stir flour

Spoon into a dry volume measuring cup
057B7317-B866-4ACF-9C10-3D066EAFCFCB.jpeg



Very very lightly tap top 2 times
D13B7490-8884-4BB6-B431-A32F6E074C7B.jpeg




Level with a knife
ABFB825E-1456-4850-B3F7-C6C7C152561C.jpeg


Flour should be even with rim of measuring cup
6CD9B28C-5217-4BAF-A5EA-77FAF2342508.jpeg
 
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Use an instant read thermometer to check temperature of everything.

After each use, I wash the probe, then put the probe in to boiling water to sterilize.

Sterilizing after each use is important. You don’t want to cross contaminate food, especially if you use the thermometer in any thing that contains egg.

I would recommend a waterproof one.


B025AAD6-5641-4AFB-879A-101FAD6D02D4.jpeg
 
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Always get eye level when checking the amount in a liquid measuring cup. From above, it will look like the liquid is at the line. But in fact it will be below the line.

I anticipated most of these questions. So when I was measuring out the ingredients I snapped a bunch of pictures Lol


F9A4117C-2A59-4F2C-AD92-E680F6D7E887.jpeg
 
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I’m going to line the pan with a parchment circle in the bottom
Then create a collar.

6” x 2” cake pan
6” round parchment circle
24” x 10” parchment sheet folded in half.
34BC4CA4-AB91-4AA1-99B3-3755A4B8D5AA.jpeg


Parchment sheet wrapped around inside of cake pan to create a collar

I WILL STAPLE THE COLLAR TOGETHER AT THE SEAM BEFORE FILLING THE PAN.

IF THE COLLAR IS NOT SECURED WITH STAPLES, THE RISING OF THE DOUGH DURING BAKING WILL CAUSE THE PAPER COLLAR TO SLIP OPEN. THE BREAD WILL THEN BAKE MISSHAPENED.

63E1D01F-4F9E-4BAF-8951-4904BC422F9E.jpeg
 
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Thanks for all of this work! I definitely have some shopping to do, scraper, that size of cake pan, thermometer, let alone the ingredients! Oh my, I better wake up with energy tomorrow!!
 
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I watched the videos. Oh my. Rather intimidating,informative, but intimidating. I hope it turns out well!!! Fingers crossed no disaster happens today, you have had enough surprises/disasters for the rest of the year (if not longer!)

I did buy a mixer before your fire. Should I just return it? It's been sitting here in the box unopened all that time.

So excited to see how it turns out for you & little me!!

I've been trying to find out more about Grandma, and the most I got was her maiden name, seems no relative has any more information. I looked at Ancestry.com but her last name is common, and it looks like they want a chunk of $ to join. I imagine she came over in a boat because I have her hump back trunk, and it was the only way to get over here at that time.

Can't wait (yes I can dang it) to see the results and what you learned.
 
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Bread making is intermediate to advanced baking. But it is not impossible. It just takes some practice. With each effort you learn something. And so you apply it the next time you make bread.

I believe you said in an earlier post that you purchased a handmixer… Correct?. I hand mixer is really of no use in bread making. So unless you’re planning to make a lot of cake and cupcake batter, there’s no need for you to keep it.

Far more important to baking is a food scale. If you’re going to return the mixer, exchange it for a food scale. Unequivocably, the single most important tool for a baker is a food scale. It was not by accident that your grandmothers recipe was simply a list of ingredients by weight.

If you have a list of ingredients by weight, and a scale, you can reproduce anything. Yes you do need to know the fundamentals of mixing, but the ingredients list by weight is really all the baker needs to re-create something.


https://www.kingarthurflour.com/sho...MI3-Ge9u-i1wIVgX5-Ch2ixwr8EAQYBCABEgLhu_D_BwE
 
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Bread making is intermediate to advanced baking. But it is not impossible. It just takes some practice. With each effort you learn something. And so you apply it the next time you make bread.

I believe you said in an earlier post that you purchased a handmixer… Correct?. I hand mixer is really of no use in bread making. So unless you’re planning to make a lot of cake and cupcake batter, there’s no need for you to keep it.

Far more important to baking is a food scale. If you’re going to return the mixer, exchange it for a food scale. Unequivocably, the single most important tool for a baker is a food scale. It was not by accident that your grandmothers recipe was simply a list of ingredients by weight.

If you have a list of ingredients by weight, and a scale, you can reproduce anything. Yes you do need to know the fundamentals of mixing, but the ingredients list by weight is really all the baker needs to re-create something.


https://www.kingarthurflour.com/sho...MI3-Ge9u-i1wIVgX5-Ch2ixwr8EAQYBCABEgLhu_D_BwE
 
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No it is table top standing mixer that I bought. I have had for years a hand mixer and you had told me it wouldn't work. So I have been holding on to the standing one, an Oster.
 
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No it is table top standing mixer that I bought. I have had for years a hand mixer and you had told me it wouldn't work. So I have been holding on to the standing one, an Oster.

I would return it. The Oster won’t handle a heavy sticky dough. For occasional mixing of heavy doughs, you need a KitchenAid Artisan or above. But even KitchenAids are not designed for bread. The mixers that are designed for bread doughs are spiral mixers and plunging arm mixers. Both of which carry a very hefty price tag.

I rarely mix bread in my KitchenAid. Bread dough, especially a high hydration dough, are too heavy and sticky for the average mixer.
 
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It’s in the final rise now. It’s a large dough ball. Hope it doesn’t break my makeshift mold during baking. But the dough looks good. If I make it again, I would definitely use a 750g panettone mold or a loaf pan.
 

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