Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Bread Tips & Techniques: Not Sourdough

Bread

  • Please log in to reply
51 replies to this topic

#1 FanGJiN

FanGJiN
  • participating member
  • 22 posts

Posted 26 March 2007 - 07:31 AM

currently i looking for a white bread recipe,which are soft and nice smell.

#2 glennbech

glennbech
  • participating member
  • 350 posts
  • Location:Oslo

Posted 27 March 2007 - 05:09 AM

If you are in a rush, and don't want to use a lot of time baking, but still want a semi-good result, i suggest you go for an enriched dough (fats, milk, eggs, sugar etc added). This is because time is neccesary to bring out the natural flavours in the fine flour.

Here are two "cheater's" loaves.

1,000 g flour
670g lukewarm water
20g salt
1 or two tspns of honey
1 dl olive oil
1 packet of instant yeast

Oils and other fats in the dough softens the crumb of your loaf. Experiments with diffent ratios to get the right balance for your taste and "health requirements".

Honey and sugards in the dough helps browning and caramelization of the crust. If you use only white flour, you have to ferment the dough for a long time to get a deep brown/golden crust colour. The sugar/honey trick helps out here.

The dough should ferment to at least double in size. Then be "knocked down", split in two, shaped and put into pans. Let double again (or reach the top of your pan). Bake for 50-60 minutes at ~ 200 degrees.

It can't be more basic than this .-) You can do it in about 2 hours.

#3 FanGJiN

FanGJiN
  • participating member
  • 22 posts

Posted 30 March 2007 - 09:09 AM

If you are in a rush, and don't want to use a lot of time baking, but still want a semi-good result, i suggest you go for an enriched dough (fats, milk, eggs, sugar etc added). This is because time is neccesary to bring out the natural flavours in the fine flour.

Here are two "cheater's" loaves.

1,000 g flour
670g lukewarm water
20g salt
1 or two tspns of  honey
1 dl olive oil
1 packet of instant yeast

Oils and other fats in the dough softens the crumb of your loaf. Experiments with diffent ratios to get the right balance for your taste and "health requirements". 

Honey and sugards in the dough helps browning and caramelization of the crust. If you use only white flour, you have to ferment the dough for a long time to get a deep brown/golden crust colour. The sugar/honey trick helps out here.

The dough should ferment to at least double in size. Then be "knocked down", split in two, shaped and put into pans. Let double again (or reach the top of your pan). Bake for 50-60 minutes at ~ 200 degrees.

It can't be more basic than this .-) You can do it in about 2 hours.

View Post


thanking very much!!

#4 FanGJiN

FanGJiN
  • participating member
  • 22 posts

Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:40 AM

i got 1 question about yeast and salt, as what i know if yeast and salt mix together will spoil the yeast,make it stop ferment, any idea how to prevent this problem?

#5 srhcb

srhcb
  • legacy participant
  • 2,918 posts
  • Location:Northern Minnesota

Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:50 AM

i got 1 question about yeast and salt, as what i know if yeast and salt mix together will spoil the yeast,make it stop ferment, any idea how to prevent this problem?

View Post


You might say that's how the salt controls the yeast action.

That's why you want to have the correct ratio of yeast and salt to other ingredients, and incorporate then according to the recipe instructions.

#6 srhcb

srhcb
  • legacy participant
  • 2,918 posts
  • Location:Northern Minnesota

Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:00 AM

BTW: For a good basic white bread with clear instructions go to King Arthur Flour's Web Site and enter "white Bread 101" in the Search Box. :wink:

#7 glennbech

glennbech
  • participating member
  • 350 posts
  • Location:Oslo

Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:01 AM

By the way; Salt also affects (slows down) gluten development. It is a known technique to mix together flour and wet ingredients without the salt, and let stand for 10-15 minutes, and then add the salt..

Salt and yeast activity shouldn't generally be a problem. I can add teaspoon of instant yeast to almost a half a kilo of flour, and add 10 grams of salt. The thing rises well anyhow...

Do you have "rising problems", pardon me for asking :-)

#8 FanGJiN

FanGJiN
  • participating member
  • 22 posts

Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:19 AM

By the way; Salt also affects (slows down) gluten development. It is a known technique to mix together flour and wet ingredients without the salt, and let stand for 10-15 minutes, and then add the salt..

Salt and yeast activity shouldn't generally be a problem. I can add teaspoon of instant yeast to almost a half a kilo of flour, and add 10 grams of salt. The thing rises well anyhow...

Do you have "rising problems", pardon me for asking :-)

View Post



yes,during my school time,the bread i make can double it twice,but now the one i do cannot ferment as big as last time.

#9 dearprudence

dearprudence
  • participating member
  • 23 posts

Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:30 AM

2 problems - I do not know if they are related

- i am getting a bulge down one side of the bread after baking.

- on other occasions the tops of my bread are tearing apart... it still looks ok in a rustic sort of way... but I want more structural integrity

So what can be happening?

Am I over proofing?

Under proofing?

Am I not sealing the seams tightly enough?

Am I sealing the seams too tightly - creating too much tension on the surface skin?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you

#10 tino27

tino27
  • participating member
  • 831 posts
  • Location:Akron, OH

Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:29 AM

Are you baking on a stone or in loaf pans?

I'm not sure what you mean by a bulge ... if you could either post a photo or try describing it in a little more detail, perhaps someone can help you out.

As for the crust tearing, what's basically happening is that your outside crust is setting before the inside of the bread has had a chance to fully expand to it's final position (this expansion in the oven is called ovenspring). It's cracking at a point that is the weakest structurally.

You have a couple of choices:

1) Using a razor blade, sharp knife, or lame, slash the breads. This not only lets you be artistic, but it also gives the expanding loaf a place to expand without the random cracking.

2) Keep the top of the loaf of bread moist enough during the ovenspring that it won't set too early. This can be accomplished by periodically spritzing the inside walls of your oven with hot water or placing a pan on the bottom of the oven that you throw 1/4 cup of water in. This should be done about every 2 minutes after the loaves go in and up until about 8-9 minutes into the cooking time.

Depending on the type of bread I am making, I do one or the other, sometimes both.

Good luck!
Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.
Flickr: Link To My Account
Twitter: @tnoe27

#11 dearprudence

dearprudence
  • participating member
  • 23 posts

Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:42 AM

Are you baking on a stone or in loaf pans?


on a stone

You have a couple of choices:

1) Using a razor blade, sharp knife, or lame, slash the breads. This not only lets you be artistic, but it also gives the expanding loaf a place to expand without the random cracking.

2) Keep the top of the loaf of bread moist enough during the ovenspring that it won't set too early. This can be accomplished by periodically spritzing the inside walls of your oven with hot water or placing a pan on the bottom of the oven that you throw 1/4 cup of water in. This should be done about every 2 minutes after the loaves go in and up until about 8-9 minutes into the cooking time.


I am slashing the bread with a razor. What is happening is not just a bit of cracking, it is much more extreme. For example in between the scores I am getting massive gaps. The bread is literally bursting open. Let's say I am doing a tic tac toe score - by the time the bread is done the score is almost unrecognizeable....The bread tastes fine...It just doesn't look good. I would be ok with some random cracks but the tops end up looking destroyed...

To clarify about the bulge. On some loaves it looks like the dough has leaked out to one side. So the effect is that it almost looks like a min loaf is attached to lengthwise down the side to the main loaf.

#12 jackal10

jackal10
  • participating member
  • 5,036 posts

Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:51 AM

The bread is underproved...

#13 GTO

GTO
  • participating member
  • 593 posts
  • Location:Lincoln, UK

Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:17 PM

It also sounds like you might be scoring the dough far too deeply and/or, leaving it to proof for too long after slashing.
Please take a quick look at my stuff.
Flickr foods

Blood Sugar

#14 gfron1

gfron1
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,272 posts
  • Location:Silver City, NM

Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:24 PM

I'm no bread expert, but the bread tumors...I'm wondering two things. First, if when you're rising the bread, its not equally covered/moist. It seems like a bread hernia. The other thought is if its not equally lubricated on the stone, meaning it might be sticking on some parts of the loaf and not in others - causing unequal resistance and give.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#15 saucée

saucée
  • participating member
  • 89 posts

Posted 24 July 2007 - 05:21 PM

Just to throw in my two cents...

I agree with Jackal (whose EGCI sourdough tutorial helped me in so many ways..._) and it sounds underproved to me if its busting out so radically. Slashing should allow for the expansion that occurs during the spring, but if the expansion is uncontrollable it sounds like a proofing problem.

It would be much easier to diagnose if there were a picture available.

Also, what leavening agent are you using and how long are you proofing?
josh

#16 dearprudence

dearprudence
  • participating member
  • 23 posts

Posted 24 July 2007 - 08:19 PM

Would the fact that my recipe is about 40% rye affect the ovenspring

I noticed with whiter breads the part of the loaf that surfaces through the score is much smoother after baking than with my rye (a kind of grainy texture with the smoother crust around it)

Sorry about no pic, my camera is busted right now, getting it fixed.

#17 iii_bake

iii_bake
  • participating member
  • 194 posts

Posted 08 August 2007 - 09:07 AM

I have been longing for a true understanding on bread making.
I have gone thru BBA (with good advices from Peter himself), Bread ( hamelman), Bread ( RLB), Bread ( Nancy Silverton) including Dan lepard and a lot more.
But what i need now is experience and a special section on my brain to help figuring out the way to identify "the mistakes" or "what to adjust to get better result" etc.
I just cannot go to Peter or others for advice on every loaf i made but still i am not confident in the dough thing at all.

The fact is that i am way over the hill now and not sure whether with the time i have left I would be able to master simple loaf making mysteries....
so here is the proposal:

Can you write about your experience in bread making that helped enlighten you or gave you the feeling that you have advanced another step?

iii :smile:

#18 cajungirl

cajungirl
  • participating member
  • 111 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 08 August 2007 - 09:46 AM

Your own senses will be the best judge. You will know if you are pleased. If you have a good artisan bakery near, and a kind baker, when you have problems you may be able to talk to him/her for advice. If you can show a piece of the bread that you're having an issue with to an experienced baker, that baker can give you tips and direction. I have been baking bread (on and off) for 15 years and I can tell you that I never stop learning and I'm never totally satisfied with what I bake, always feeling that I could make a better loaf. Good Luck to you. You have read some of the very best...so you're probably well on your way :smile:
Just a simple southern lady lost out west...

"Leave Mother in the fridge in a covered jar between bakes. No need to feed her." Jackal10

#19 sugarseattle

sugarseattle
  • participating member
  • 345 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:48 PM

i think you have shown that you have read as much as you can the techniques and tips from other bakers but what you really need to do is keep in baking.

I would recommend setting up a dedicated bread making area in your kitchen with all your tools stored in that area. Just to simplify, I would choose your favorite type of loaf and try to master JUST that type of loaf. ONe of the beautiful things about bread is there are so many subtleties in both ingredient and technique that isolating one bread type will limit your variables, but still leave you with enough variation to make it interesting. I would also trongly recommend starting a notebook and keeping it in your breadmaking area. As Hamelman writes in his book, there are like 9 steps in breadmaking. It's really important to write down your observations with EACH of those steps. For example, when mixing, how long did you mix. what did the dough look like after you mixed it. You might find the bread needs more salt, more water, more turns, longer rising time, etc. Also, dedicate at least one day/week to bake bread. I like starting on THursday so I have a fresh loaf for the weekend (I happen to LOVE french toast), but regularity is going to really help. You have to think that you're performing a scientific experiment.

PS. I think having the "muse" of never mastering a loaf of bread will probably be one of the things that keeps you alive and trying so don't ever let your age stop you from pursuing your dreams!
Stephanie Crocker
Sugar Bakery + Cafe

#20 susanfnp

susanfnp
  • participating member
  • 6 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:50 PM

That "special section in your brain" will naturally develop as you bake more bread. The books you mentioned are all wonderful, but there is no substitute for just getting in there and baking, baking, baking! Each and every loaf you bake, both successes and not-such-successes, will help you learn, even if you don't consciously know what you did right or wrong.

I feel like my bread baking has come really far from when I first started. I've done a lot of reading and taken some classes, but I do think the best teacher is just hands-on experimentation. I've not had many "aha" moments, just a gradual building of intuition, confidence, and skill. I echo what CajunGirl said about never stopping learning, always striving for a better loaf.

Good luck!

Susan
http://www.wildyeastblog.com

#21 srhcb

srhcb
  • legacy participant
  • 2,918 posts
  • Location:Northern Minnesota

Posted 08 August 2007 - 02:10 PM

The closest thing to a bread baking epiphany I had was when I switched from volume to weight measurement of major ingredients.

I just seemed to get a better "feel" thinking about it that way.

#22 iii_bake

iii_bake
  • participating member
  • 194 posts

Posted 08 August 2007 - 04:49 PM

Thank you guys!!
Actually i did make notes. But it seems like i could not figure out the "what" & "why" things.
I once made white loaf from BBA and took a pciture ( it came out very beautiful)....but ten loaves after that could not rise as high.
I tried to vary a lot of factors but still did not work.

I just thought getting more advices from you all would give me short cuts..aha!!! ( sorry for sounding so lazy and discouraged).

Once again, thanks for the input. i will keep working on it definitely!
iii :smile:

#23 tino27

tino27
  • participating member
  • 831 posts
  • Location:Akron, OH

Posted 08 August 2007 - 05:08 PM

Remember, too, that in an average bakery, a baker might make several hundred loaves in a day. As a home baker, you're lucky if you make several hundred loaves in a year. Or two. Realize that you're just not going to have the kind of day in and day out practice that it takes to make perfectly consistent loaves every single time.

That being said, I agree with the others above ... pay attention to the details and when the loaves don't come out right, do an assessment. Bread is a living organism and as such can be just a little bit different every single time you make it. One of the things that has freed me quite a bit is knowing that I might use 30g less water or maybe 30g more. It just depends on the day. I've made my doughs enough times in the KitchenAid (and by hand) that I know what the dough needs as it develops.

And if nothing else ... when you take a couple of loaves to dinner at a friend's house (and fresh homemade bread always announces itself), always present the dinner guests with the "perfect" loaf -- the one that looks the prettiest. Then cut up the tasty and deformed ones. They'll never know. :biggrin:
Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.
Flickr: Link To My Account
Twitter: @tnoe27

#24 jackal10

jackal10
  • participating member
  • 5,036 posts

Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:39 AM

There are things that matter in bread baking and many things that do not. Here is a rough list, but not exclusive. I'm sure others will have their views:

Things that matter:
Time and temperature of the fermentation and proof
Accurate neasurements by weight - use Baker's percentages
Lots of bottom heat
Steam in the first minute, but not after
Hydration of the dough, in quite a small range
Right amounts of salt (2% flour weight)
Good yeast or sourdough culture
Don't overprove
If you add sugar etc it will slow fermentation

Things that don't matter:
Strong flour - almost any flour will do
Steam after the first minute
Kneading - its time and water that develop the gluten, not mechanical work

#25 iii_bake

iii_bake
  • participating member
  • 194 posts

Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:25 AM

There are things that matter in bread baking and many things that do not. Here is a rough list, but not exclusive. I'm sure others will have their views:

Things that matter:
Time and temperature of the fermentation and proof
Accurate neasurements by weight - use Baker's percentages
Lots of bottom heat
Steam in the first minute, but not after
Hydration of the dough, in quite a small range
Right amounts of salt (2% flour weight)
Good yeast or sourdough culture
Don't overprove
If you add sugar etc it will slow fermentation

Things that don't matter:
Strong flour - almost any flour will do
Steam after the first minute
Kneading - its time and water that develop the gluten, not mechanical work

View Post


Hi Jackal10,
I have been the secret admiror of your post. Finally i get your advice.
Now that you r here, can u brief about the hydration and the effects of it to bread or its texture?
Thanks

#26 jackal10

jackal10
  • participating member
  • 5,036 posts

Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:03 AM

Hydration (the amount of water in the dough) has a number of effects.

Crudely it changes the viscosity, and hence the workability of the dough, but also the resistance to the gas bubbles expanding, and the amount of steam available to make that expansion. Roughly the wetter the dough the bigger the holes in the crumb, but too much water can make the dough sort of pudding like.
You can tell the loaves that try to get a good texture from an over wet dough rather than proper gluten development, by the characteristic of thick cell walls.

Most loaves I make are around 70% hydration (weight of water to total flour weight) for example:
Preferment: 200g flour + 100g water (plus 10g culture)
Dough: 400g flour + 320g water (+10g salt) (plus preferment)
Total: 420g water/600g flour = 70% hydration.

This dough will need support during proof.

Different flours adsorb different amounts (wholemeal adsorbs more).
Other factors affect viscosity as well, such as the acid in sourdough breaking down the starch - sourdough gets wetter as they prove. Temperature affects viscosity with cold doughs stiffer, hence cold retarded dough is less delicate and easier to handle, especially at the end of proof.

Bread can range from about 55% (tight, stiff, long fermented boules) to more than 100% hydration (ciabattta, more a batter than a dough). Very wet doughs are hard to handle directly - form, shape and bake them on silicon paper.

Its worth noting that you need to measure accurately. 5g difference in water (a teaspoonful) will make about a 1% difference to the hydration in the example above, and that will change the handling characteristics and the crumb structure.

Bread dough is tough stuff at the beginning of fermentation and can stand a lot of abuse, but it gets more and more delicate as the structure is set up and it expands, especially high hydration doughs.

#27 iii_bake

iii_bake
  • participating member
  • 194 posts

Posted 09 August 2007 - 04:53 AM

Hydration (the amount of water in the dough) has a number of effects.

Crudely it changes the viscosity, and hence the workability of the dough, but also the resistance to the gas bubbles expanding, and the amount of steam available to make that expansion. Roughly the wetter the dough the bigger the holes in the crumb, but too much water can make the dough sort of pudding like.
You can tell the loaves that try to get a good texture from an over wet dough rather than proper gluten development,  by the characteristic of thick cell walls.

Most loaves I make are around 70% hydration (weight of water to total flour weight) for example:
Preferment: 200g flour + 100g water (plus 10g culture)
Dough: 400g flour + 320g water (+10g salt) (plus preferment)
Total: 420g water/600g flour = 70% hydration.

This dough will need support during proof.

Different flours adsorb different amounts (wholemeal adsorbs more).
Other factors  affect viscosity as well, such as the acid in sourdough breaking down the starch - sourdough gets wetter as they prove.  Temperature affects viscosity with cold doughs stiffer, hence cold retarded dough is less delicate and easier to handle, especially at the end of proof.

Bread can range from about 55% (tight, stiff,  long fermented boules) to more than 100% hydration (ciabattta, more a batter than a dough). Very wet doughs are hard to handle directly - form, shape and bake them on silicon paper.

Its worth noting that you need to measure accurately. 5g difference in water (a teaspoonful) will make about a 1% difference to the hydration in the example above, and that will change the handling characteristics and the crumb structure.

Bread dough is tough stuff at the beginning of fermentation and can stand a lot of abuse, but it gets more and more delicate as the structure is set up and it expands, especially high hydration doughs.

View Post


Wow...thanks a lot.
Do i get another Q?
( how to indicate the amount and timing of Turning the dough?)

:smile: :wink: :rolleyes:

iii

#28 jackal10

jackal10
  • participating member
  • 5,036 posts

Posted 09 August 2007 - 05:49 AM

This is part of a larger question, of how long to ferment and prove the dough, and that depends on the sort of bread you are making, what the yeast or sourdough culture characteristics are, how much of it you use, level of salt and sugar (which inhibit) and the dough temperature I'm sure others will correct me.

You might find it instructive to put some of your dough when you have mixed it into a straight sided glass jar or glass tumbler and mark the level. Loosely cover. Keep it at the same temoperature as the dough you will bake. When the dough has expanded to two and a half to three times its initial volume, its ready to bake. This is for plain white - wholemeal or bread with additives rises less. That gives the total of fermentation plus proof times.

In general you want to bulk ferment until the bread dough is saturated with CO2, and little bubbles and the structure are beginning to form. When you can just see the bubbles its time to shape and prove. So when you cut into the dough with a sharp knife and can can see little bubbles starting to form its time to stop folding and start shaping.

For my sourdough in my kitchen (about 80F) the total time is about four hours from end of mixing to baking, I usually split it into 1 hour bulk and 3 hours proof. Straight yeasted dough takes about half that, about 2 hours total. I try and get 3 or 4 folds or turning into the bulk fermentation period, so every 15 or 20 minutes or so. Sometmes I only give it one turn every half hour. Its not critical.

If you retard (put the dough in the fridge) you have to reckon on the cool down time. For a 1Kg loaf I reckon that is about 2 hours, so retarding overnight is about equivalent to 2 hours proof at room temperature for that size loaf, Retarding (in a loose plastic bag) will give you better flavour, better crust (little bubbles), and make timing easier and less critical.

Edited by jackal10, 09 August 2007 - 06:27 AM.


#29 iii_bake

iii_bake
  • participating member
  • 194 posts

Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:09 AM

This is part of  a larger question, of how long to ferment and prove the dough, and that depends on the sort of bread you are making, what the yeast or sourdough culture characteristics are, how much of it you use, level of salt and sugar (which inhibit) and the dough temperature I'm sure others will correct me.

You might find it instructive to put some of your dough when you have mixed it into a straight sided glass jar or glass tumbler and mark the level. Loosely cover. Keep it at the same temoperature as the dough you will bake. When the dough has expanded to two and a half to three times  its initial volume, its ready to bake. This is for plain white - wholemeal or bread with additives rises less. That gives the  total of fermentation plus proof times. 

In general you want to bulk ferment until the bread dough is saturated with CO2, and little bubbles and the structure are beginning to form. When you can just see the bubbles its time to shape and prove. So when you cut into the dough with a sharp knife and can can see little bubbles starting to form its time to stop folding and start shaping.

For my sourdough in my kitchen (about 80F) the total  time is about four hours from end of mixing to baking, I usually split it into 1 hour bulk and 3 hours proof. Straight yeasted dough takes about half that, about 2 hours total. I try and get 3 or 4 folds or turning into the bulk fermentation period, so every 15 or 20 minutes or so. Sometmes I only give it one turn every half hour.  Its not critical.

If you retard (put the dough in the fridge) you have to reckon on the cool down time. For a 1Kg loaf I reckon that is about 2 hours, so retarding overnight is about equivalent to 2 hours proof at room temperature for that size loaf, Retarding (in a loose plastic bag) will give you better flavour, better crust (little bubbles), and make timing easier and less critical.

View Post


Thanks.
Do appreciate your advice. Cannot wait to get my hands on the dough again!
:rolleyes:

#30 SundaySous

SundaySous
  • participating member
  • 423 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:29 AM

Man I hear ya 111_bake. Every year coming upto Thanks Giving and on through the rest of the holidays pure frustration. Frustrated because what I could make in the spring never came close in the fall.

And I mean I gave up. Recently my cousin pointed out temp and humidity change. House is bone dry in fall unlike spring.

Got myself thermometers for the oven and fridge and man do they tell a story. The oven temp is off like 30 degrees and the damn fridge is inconsistent which I kinda already knew.

Have a baking stone on my wish list, would I be wasting money getting one of those?
"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Bread