It's been a while since I have posted in instructables, and the bread making contest is just what I needed to inspire me for some delicious red neck greatness. I love bread, I love good bread. I lived in Germany for two years, and one of my favorite memories is the numerous, sometimes daily trips to the local Bäckerei (Bakery.) They seemed to be one on every street corner in every city I lived. Whether it was Greifswald on the North Sea, Weimar in Thüringen, or good old Berlin. The bread was like nothing I had ever had in America, it blew my socks off. I didn't realize bread could be that good. Even compared to my mom's homemade bread it seemed light years ahead in taste, texture, and crust! (sorry Mom, not your fault. Nobody competes with it.) Then I moved back to the states. As excited as I was to have the familiar sites and sounds of the land I grew up in... The bread! Why oh why wonder bread!?! How could you trick me into believing this was as good as bread gets! How I missed the smell of fresh bread on a morning Bäckerei pit stop before work.
After sampling every kind of artisan, bakery, $10 a pound specialty bread I had access to some came close, but alas none were truly as magnificent as meine beliebte kleine Brötchen (my beloved little hard crusted bread rolls.) Not to mention the price comparison was ridiculous. Sadly we pay obscene prices for one of the most basic culinary staples of western culture, because it's marketed to us as "Artisian" or "special" bakery bread. In my quest what I have come to understand about truly awesome bread is that it is about as simple of a culinary item to prepare as there ever was. Yet the art seems to have been lost in most of the standard American homes I've had chance to sample there home made version of bread. To that end I set out to prove that even the most redneck methods of bread preparation could best any weak squishy American store bought bread!
Thus the Redneck Stand Mixer was born!
Total cost of project for me $0
Step 1: The Problem & the Supplies
Please for the love buy some bread flour, and at the very least kneed, kneed your dough much, MUCH longer. (yeah it's important enough for caps lock yelling) The normal western culinary bread just isn't bread without that beautiful protein chain Gluten! And gluten just doesn't get awesome until you smack it around a whole bunch with a long arduous kneading process by hand, or for those of us blessed with the abundant power resources of the western world a stand mixer. Doesn't even have to be a good one, just one that has a dough hook. Heck any old red neck could build one for practically nothing at all. And create a device that will knead that hunk of what would otherwise be a stiff biscuit dough into a magically chewy delicious bread dough.
GROW YOUR MULLET AND GET YOUR SUPPLIES...
1 Quart Wide Mouth Mason Jar and accompanying lid and threaded ring
Whatever wood scraps you have ( I used scrap birch plywood)
Fasteners of your choosing
maybe some wood glue
THE DOUGH HOOK
Scroll Saw (Jig saw would work as well)
Pliers (to bend wire)
CNC Router or Laser Cutter (VERY OPTIONAL READ STEP 2 TO FIND OUT MORE)
Step 2: The Bowl & Base
Grab your 1qt Wide Mouth Mason Jar, and your done with your construction of the redneck stand mixer bowl. Toughest part of the project wasn't it?.
And here is where you get to get your crazy redneck, Macgyver action on. I used a piece of scrap 1/2" x 30" x 15" particle board to construct my base from. And I cut it out on my CNC router. Okay I know what your thinking... CNC router? That's not redneck! And I must agree, however mid project my back went all redneck on me from an old back injury and caused my back muscles to spasm and curve my back into a giant parenthesis. So two trips to the ER later, and obscene amounts of narcotics and ibuprofen and a week of being flat on my back I couldn't let the bread contest slip out of my reach. So I bribed my wife, okay she just really is that amazing to me, and she kindly learned how to use my CNC router, and with our two powers combined I was able to hobble around on crutches and direct her through the process of cutting out the parts. The original plan was to use scrap 1/2's and more conventional power tools, table saw, chop saw, jig saw. But that wasn't going to happen with my back out of commission. So I suppose you could say I used the CNC router in a redneck way by getting someone else to do all that fancy stuff... Sort of...
Anyhow the point is that this whole project can be done without the use of CNC. I just physically wasn't capable in time for the bread contest deadline. The upside of course is that I now get to give you open license to download the DXF files of the parts I designed and you can replicate my design exactly with ease if you have access to a cnc machine, or with a little more trouble you can tile print out the parts on paper, and spray adhesive them on to your scrap lumber and cut them out with a band saw or jig saw. Regardless of how you do it, get a cut'n, and a glue'n, and a screw'n. Duck tape it all together if you'd like.
Just have some fun. It's not important to replicate my exact design, as much as you just need to make something that will hold the bowl and drill in place. You could duck tape them to a two by four in a pinch.
Step 3: The Power
Grab your Favorite Cordless Power Drill, and make sure your base is cut to except it. If you have my same dewalt, which you could. Congrats. That was an easy step.
Step 4: The Attachments
You can chuck a kitchen whisk for a beater attachment. But since the whole point is to make a kneading machine I set out to make a kneading attachment. I took some stiff steel wire, duck taped it onto a bottle, and wrapped it by hand. Cut it, filed it. Done.
Step 5: The Awesomeness
The results were impressive. Great texture dough, and the drill lasted a full 10 minute kneading cycle easily. I will definitely be using this next time I go camping. It's funny how the intended silliness turned into something I am very fond of now.
I hope this has inspired you to make better bread, and be a better redneck!
Total cost for me $0.