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Yeasted Bread

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#1 glennbech

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 12:16 AM

Having been working with mainly sourdough bread in the past, I have now turned my attention to yeasted bread. As I recently became a father of a little boy, my schedule is a bit crammed :smile:

I try to apply the same basic techniques as in sorudough with rest/knead cycles (Dan Lepard, hand made loaf) , autolysis, slow fermentation etc.

Comments on my experience will are as always welcome!

- I use 25g Fresh yeast to 1 kg of flour (Half of suggested recipes) , and use ice cold water to slow down the process. Doing this I'm able to give my loaves 2-3 hours of bulk fermenting, and 1-2 hours of proofing, even longer if I put'em in the fridge. This is enough to get some aroma development I guess.

Does this make sense ? (to delay the process to get better aroma?)

- I finally found bread flour! (Hurray!) However, Italian bread flour costs about $3/kg. thats x3 "normal" flour, and about the same price as organic. How dows this compare to other countries? 1kg flour will give me about two laoves, making each loaf about $1,5. The economic motivation for baking for my family is starting to vanish... :sad:

- My lates creation was

600g wheat bread flour
300g sifted rye
100g wholemeal rye
20g salt

660g whater.
Honey

I know some comercial bakers claim loaves to be "rye" as long as thet have 10% Rye Would you consider this a "Rye" bread? How about my recipe?

- Visiting a restaurant last weekend, We got very nice tasting slices of bread with the meal. The crumb had an interesting texture I want to duplicate.

It's a bit hard to explain, but I guess that If you put a slice on the table and poke your finger in it; A permanent dent is made, It wouldn't "bounce up". And yes, I tried this in the restaurant .-) The texture was not rustique, but very even, and light.

The first thing that came to my mind was weak flour, am I on the right track?

Edited by glennbech, 19 July 2006 - 12:16 AM.


#2 Aphra

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 03:51 AM

I try to apply the same basic techniques as in sorudough with rest/knead cycles (Dan Lepard, hand made loaf) , autolysis, slow fermentation etc. 

Comments on my experience will are as always welcome!

- I use 25g Fresh yeast to 1 kg of flour (Half of suggested recipes) , and use ice cold water to slow down the process. Doing this I'm able to give my loaves 2-3 hours of bulk fermenting, and 1-2 hours of proofing, even longer if I put'em in the fridge.  This is enough to get some aroma development I guess.

Does this make sense ? (to delay the process to get better aroma?)

- I finally found bread flour! (Hurray!) However, Italian bread flour costs about $3/kg.  thats x3 "normal" flour, and about the same price as organic. How dows this compare to other countries? 1kg flour will give me about two laoves, making each loaf about $1,5. The economic motivation for baking for my family is starting to vanish...  :sad:


I've made quite a lot of yeasted bread over the years, and I would probably use even less yeast than that for 1kg of flour, maybe a teaspoon which I think is about 7g? I'm not very accurate, I tend to make bread a lot by general feel.

I usually set my bread up at night, using cold water and leave it in a cool place overnight to rise, the next morning do a gentle stretch and fold and leave it for the day and bake at night. The bread will have a lovely taste of wheat. I'm not convinced that yeasted bread is inferior to sourdough, it's just different.

My technique is an adaptation of Elizabeth David's basic bread from "English Bread and Yeast Cooking" ... and the stretch and fold technique works just as well for yeasted bread as for sourdough, to my mind.

I don't get all carried away with bread flour, it's not that easy to find in Australia anyway, and on the odd occasions I've used high protein flour the end result wasn't all that happy. I look for a decent, unbleached, all-purpose flour and use that, or organic flour when I'm feeling wealthy.

Did the bread you had in the restaurant have a very crunchy crust? Italian Pasta Dura has a very light, soft interior. It might also have been bread made with the addition of butter or milk to the dough, adding fats will give you a very soft crumb.

#3 glennbech

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 04:09 AM

Thanks for the input.

If you make yeasted breads the way you describe, the process is much the same as for baking with sourdough, only the kind of yeast is different, and you have no by-products of the process giving a sour taste.

As for my good tasting loaf at the restaurant... Fats might have something to do with it yes... It was an italian style white bread with crunchy crust. Do you have any Idea how much oil I would have to use to get a significant effect on crumb texture ?

What is Italian Pasta dura ? A Kind of Flour ? Durum Wheat ? I've tried baking with it, but I think Its very low gluten, and (hence) good for pasta making. (??) I remember beeing very enthusiastic about the dough, It was extremely easy to work with.

#4 Aphra

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 04:40 AM

Thanks for the input.

If you make yeasted breads the way you describe, the process is much the same as for baking with sourdough, only the kind of yeast is different, and you have no by-products of the process giving a sour taste. 


That's pretty much it. I spent most of last winter making sourdough and getting the hang of that, which was fun, but after a while I craved the "wheatiness" of ordinary yeasted bread.

The technique I use for yeasted bread is pretty much the same way I've been doing it for twenty-odd years ... the only difference is that instead of kneading it, I experimented with the stretch and fold technique because I'm lazy. It's the long, slow, cool fermentation which gives the flavour.

As for my good tasting loaf at the restaurant... Fats might have something to do with it yes... It was an italian style white bread with crunchy crust. Do you have any Idea how much oil I would have to use to get a significant effect on crumb texture ?

What is Italian Pasta dura ? A Kind of Flour ? Durum Wheat ? I've tried baking with it, but I think Its very low gluten, and (hence) good for pasta making. (??) I remember beeing very enthusiastic about the dough, It was extremely easy to work with.


In Australia Pasta Dura is a name for a kind of bread, commonly found in Italian bakeries and restaurants. It's typically white bread with a very crunchy, almost hard crust and a very soft interior. There is a recipe for it in Carol Field's "The Italian Baker". She describes it as a "hard, matte crust and a dense, stark, white, slightly cottony interior". It's a very dry, hard dough ... I've never made it because it sounds like very hard work. :biggrin:

If the bread had a crunchy crust, it probably didn't have a high proportion of fats. I think that the more fat in a bread dough, the softer the crust is going to be, although I'm happy to be proved wrong, since that's just my experience, and based on nothing else.

Carol Field also has a recipe for bread made with durum flour, which is excellent. I've made it a number of times.

#5 glennbech

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:14 AM

Other general bread questions that came to mind, is how many times it is possible to knock down a dough, and get a full recovery? I guess this depends on available starch to feed on? If the dough is "over fermented" and the starch gets eaten up by the yeast; How does this affect the texture of the dough, and taste of the loaf ?

And... Yeast orgamisms multiply and multiply... Does anyone know the time for a fresh baker's yeast colony to double it's size in different temperatures ? If I start with 7g yeast, and ferment for 24 hours, how much yeast in my final dough?

I was now inspired to do a low yeast, long duration baking .-) So I now have a two Durum/Plain white mixed loavesin the fridge. I am Baking it when I get back from work.

These two laoves will then get ~ 24 hours total fermentation time. The dough spent the night outside on my balcony overnight, and was starting to deflate when I brought it in for shaping this morning.

I guess that's not a good sign? It's summer, and about 15c-20c during the night. I am hoping the fridge will keep the loaves from over proofing for the next 6-7 hours before I get home.

I'll post the results .-)

Edited by glennbech, 20 July 2006 - 02:17 AM.


#6 jackal10

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:40 AM

Way too long.
Yeast breads only need about an hour from mixing to baking, Maybe 2 hour at 15/20C.

#7 glennbech

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:01 AM

Way too long.
Yeast breads only need about an hour from mixing to baking, Maybe 2 hour at 15/20C.


Hi Jack; I've been keeping the yeast levels way down and temperatures low. The Idea is to get more flavour development by allowing more time.

I've baked yeasted bread, rolls and baguettes, like you describe, in less than 2 hours with fresh yeast earlier. Now I want to find out if there is a difference with a slow vs. quick process when it comes to flavour, texture, presentation (colour of crust) etc.

Edited by glennbech, 20 July 2006 - 04:01 AM.


#8 jackal10

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:05 AM

I thnk you do better to premix the dough without the yeast, let it stand for however long you want, then add the normal amount of yeast, preferably as a sponge. There is much less chance of spoilage from wild yeasts and bacteria if you add a decent amount.
Also I personally don't think mnay commercial yeasts, especially instant ones taste very nice...

#9 glennbech

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for the tip, I actually startet thinking of the pre mixing without yeast as I wrote my previous post.

Do you think anyone would detect a bread made from a 24 hour flour/water mix, in a blind test? Compared to a 2 hour loaf with the same ingredients I mean. I really want to try this on myself .-)

I only use Fresh bakers yeast, very cheaep and available in all grocery stores in norway. They're sold in packs of 25g, and keep in the fridge for about a week or two.

#10 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 06:37 AM

I'm no bread expert but at a pastry course I took this spring we made bread that began with a poolish made with a bit of dry yeast that sat airtight at room temperature for about 16 hours until it began to collapse. Then we used it to make the bread dough. I'm pretty sure we added in a bit more yeast at this point. I can check the recipe later today. Then we continued as a normal yeast bread with a first rise, shape, rise and bake. It definitely had a much better flavour than a 2-hour yeast bread.
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#11 glennbech

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 06:50 AM

CanadianBakin'; I have already tried some recipes using your technique, using 2g yeast to 100g water/100g flour to make a poolish. Then combine this with the rest of the dough, and adding about 8g more yeast. Im not quite sure, but I believe 10g total yeast was enough for a pretty big recipe

Among others I've tried is the famous "Kneip" bread :-) If you have any other interesting recipe's im of course interested!

Edited by glennbech, 20 July 2006 - 06:50 AM.


#12 Desiderio

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 08:02 AM

WIth yeasted bread I like to make the starter as well like poolish or biga first , the results are more like the type of bread I like ( compare to a direct yeasted mix bread :hmmm: ).I only wish wasnt soo darn hot here :sad: .
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#13 tino27

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:22 AM

I'll chime in on the pre-ferment as well. I've been doing poolish/bigas now for several months (I did direct doughs before that) now and it I think it adds both flavor and longevity to the resulting bread. And it's wicked simple to do. Before I leave for work, I mix up 250g bread flour/250g water/5g fresh (or 1.5g instant) yeast in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a tea towel and just stash it in a corner. By the time I get home from work that evening, it's ready to go. For added convenience, I do the poolish in the same bowl I end up making the dough in - only one bowl to clean.

As for the science of growing yeast ... I read in Reinhart's BBA that yeast activity halves or doubles for every 17 deg F of difference in the room.
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#14 cajungirl

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:33 AM

I've baked yeasted bread, rolls and baguettes,  like you describe, in less than 2 hours with fresh yeast earlier. Now I want to find out if there is a difference with a slow vs. quick process when it comes to flavour,  texture, presentation (colour of crust) etc.

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Hi Glenn,
You will certainly get better and more complex flavor by mixing a poolish or biga, after it has had time to ferment, you can retard in fridge overnight before mixing your final dough. Do you have access to Peter Reinhardt's "Bread Baker's Apprentice"? If so, he does some wonderful two-day breads.
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

#15 glennbech

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 12:18 PM

CajunGirl ; It looks like I'll need that book -.) What do you all think fo the book "The Italian Baker" (Field) by the way? I feel It's time to draw more inspiration from some new books .-)

#16 cajungirl

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:36 PM

CajunGirl ; It looks like I'll need that book -.) What do you all think fo the book "The Italian Baker" (Field)  by the way? I feel It's time to draw more inspiration from some new books .-)

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Glenn, I also own "The Italian Baker", but I bought it second-hand quite some time back, forgot I had it, and haven't used it yet. I have heard great things about it, especially the "crocodile bread" its very wet, like ciabatta. I've become obsessed with sourdough lately. I think its time for me to take a break and get back to commercial yeast levened bread for a while. But the weather is so hot right now, that I won't be doing any baking...this heatwave is horrible. But I can tell you that I've used 'Bread Baker's Apprentice" since it came out and I think its one of my best books. :biggrin: Oh, and congrats on the new little one! :wink:
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

#17 McDuff

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 06:39 PM

I made Jeffrey Hamelman's poolish baguetters using Dan Lepard's no-knead technique today and got some beautiful batards. If you google "Hamelman pain rustique" you will stumble across a pdf file with 56 pages from the pre-ferment section of his book. I've been working my way through all of them, and incidentally, ordered the book.

Edited by McDuff, 20 July 2006 - 06:41 PM.


#18 glennbech

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:32 PM

I'll Take a look McDuff;

After baking my "24 hour" low yeast/low temp loaves with a great result taste wise, I still can't get that Italian bread from the restaurant last week out of my mind;

My last baking session ended up with great bread, Crisp crust, a very "even" crumb, open and a nice taste of wheat.

However, I think I need more work on the the crumb. It is still "spongy".
By Spongy, I mean that If I press a finger in it, it bounces back in a few seconds, leaving no dent. I think what Im trying to achieve is, a very crips crust, and ver soft interiour.

It's a bit hard to explain, but It's like the walls in the network of cells making up the crumb should be softened. Does anyon have any clue on how I can make this happen? Some suggested adding oil or other fats upthread. I'll definitly give that a go.

I'd also really like to know how high gluten content vs. low gluten content flour affects the crumb texture. Im also very curious on how the water content affects the result.

I might do some experiments myself, but any insight offered will be valued! :)

Edited by glennbech, 20 July 2006 - 11:34 PM.


#19 cognitivefun

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 07:02 AM

my favorite bread baking books and techniques are using the food processor technique from The Best Bread Ever by Van Over, combined with the formulas from Bread Baker's Apprentice.

For instance, I recently made the Hawaiin (Portaguese) bread in BBA using Van Over's food processor technique and it came out better than it had before using the traditional kneading (by mixer) specified in Reinhart's BBA.

So, Van Over's technique is to put the flour in a food processor together with salt and instant yeast (smaller amounts than on most other forumulas, often 1/2 teaspoon instead of, say, 2 teaspoons.)

Also any starter if you are using any. Then you measure the temperature. Add water that is at a temperature that when combined with the flour temperature equals 130F. if you are using a Kitchenaid or Cuisinart food processor. Then process for 45 seconds making sure the dough is 75-80. Refrigerate or process 5 seconds longer to cool over 80F dough or heat up under 75F dough, respectively.

Then you do your bulk fermentation in a 70-72F. room.

He says that the food processor doesn't introduce as much oxygen into the dough and the result is better keeping qualities and better taste. And I agree, it really does work better.

You can also adopt this to Reinhart's food processor method, doing a quick 10 second food processor spin, letting sit for 5 minutes or so, then completting the other 35 seconds. According to Van Over, this results in a lighter crumb, fluffier bread. Reinhart says this hydrates the flour better.

I now use Van Over's technique as it is easier, quicker, comes out better, and quicker to clean up.

However, BBA has better formulas in many cases especially more long fermentation and pre-fermentation/poolish/biga/pata fermentee/sponge formulas.

It turns out though that with Van Over's method of a slow bulk fermentation rise in a cooler room and with less added yeast, you get greater flavor without the pre-fermentation in most cases.

I am now experimenting with pre-fermentation and retardation using the food processor method. For lean doughs, I think this combo might be the big winner in terms of flavor.

#20 glennbech

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:07 AM

I did a 100% Wholemeal experiment yesterday with a yaest sponge. I tried to rise the loaves in a linnen lined basket, but When I flipped them over to my peel, the "skin" started to tear.

In the oven, the loaf just turned into a pancake.

Here's my recipe.

900g Wholemeal wheat
560g water
200g sponge (2g yeast, 100g water, 100g bread flour)

Any Idea on how to improve this situation ?

- Reduce hydration ? I Introduced some water during kneading by wetting the surface, and my hands repeatedly because I though the initial hydration level seemed a bit low when I started kneading.

- Bake in pans? Is 100% wholemeal doomed to fail in a banneton? The gluten content isn't all that high I guess, and the dough isn't as coherent as a normal bread flour dough.

- Add Dried gluten powder? Is this cheating? How much can I add without ending up with chewing gum loaves ?

Help! :-)

#21 jackal10

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:46 AM

Cut your fermentation and proof times in half.

#22 glennbech

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 05:02 AM

Yepp. You're probably on to something. The dough definitly weakened after bulk fermentation/during proof.

So the trick with 100% wholemeal is to get it onto the brick as "quick as possible" (or, at the optimal time) to avoid deflation / gluten degradation?

Edited by glennbech, 25 July 2006 - 05:03 AM.


#23 jackal10

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 05:17 AM

I suspect, especially in this hot weather that you are over fermenting your breads, especially yeasted ones. They really only take about an hour from mixing, less if you are introducing large amounts of yeast as a sponge.
I suspect you are geting slack doughs and therefore not getting much oven spring.

You might also find it beneficial to use a stiffer sponge. Try using 200g of flour to 100g water, and reducing the dough flour correspondingly.

#24 cajungirl

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:21 AM

- Add Dried gluten powder? Is this cheating? How much can I add without ending up with chewing gum loaves ?

Help! :-)

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I got a response to a requesst for proportions from a mill that sells vital wheat gluten and they said to use 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of flour...I haven't tried it yet though because its hotter than hell here and I just can't light the oven :wacko:
Just a simple southern lady lost out west...

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#25 cognitivefun

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:49 AM

I try to ferment in the basement, 70-72F. Slower is tastier. Although for enriched breads it is less important and sometimes I must admit it is tempting to speed up the process using the proverbial "warm place".

#26 jackal10

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 10:03 AM

Excuse me shouting but GLUTEN CONTENT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.
You can add all the vital gluten you like, and it won't make a blind bit of difference.
If your technique is wrong, or the dough is overdeveloped you will still make bad bread. High gluten allows you to add a little more water, and is a little nit more tolerant to over mixing, but not enough to make a difference under domestic conditions.

#27 glennbech

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 02:18 AM

This may is off topic, but a general Bread questions ;

- Does the temperature of the dough affects is "stickyness" ? Is a dough at let's say 70% hydration easier to handle at 15c than 28c ?

- Any tips on how to handle doughs > 70% hydration? I usually oil my work surface, and hands generously with olive oil. However, the dough usually absorb this oil pretty fast, and my fingers and hands become sticky. Once My hands get sticky, the dough just sticks even more... Im sure you all know what I mean .-)

It's very difficult to roll one kilo of such a messy sticky mass into for example a ball.

Resting/kneading helps a bit, I usually notice that the dough gets a tiny bit easier to handle after each rest.

- Low gluten flour sticks less, High gluten flour sticks a lot, right?

#28 jackal10

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:23 AM

Yes temperature does affect the viscosity of the dough. Cold dough is much easier to handle. Its more about the starch than the gluten though.
High gluten makes little difference to stickiness.
Be gentle with the dough. I supect youa re over working it
If you fold the dough sides to centre a couple of times, it will be a lot more controllable.

Not sure why you are rolling it.
To form a ball flatten the dough slightly, then pick up one corner and fold it to the centre. Turn the dough by 45 degrees and repeat, that is making 8 folds to the centre. Yurn it over and you are there, pretty well. You can push it along the bench with one hand on the side to consolidate, using the frictionof the bench - the dough sort of baloons out on the opposite side to hwher you push it, A light spray of oil should be all you need.

#29 glennbech

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 04:34 AM

Hi Jack, Thanks for providing the insight, and claring up the gluten vs. stickyness question.

I'm often using the "side to centre" folding you describe. When I "Hand bake", this is basicly all I do during the initial 10 sec. kneading.

I usually try to give the dough the shape of a ball, by pushing it along the bench, utilizing the friction, after each kneading, before putting it back to the bowl for a rest. I guess I have an Idea in my head that it's good to have the dough as one coherent mass, rather than something I've scooped off the bench with a spatula .-)

One thing that struck my mind, is that you write things like "turn it over", and "fold". When I last worked with a 70% dough, folding and turning is impossible, at least for the first 10 second knead, as it soon sticks to the bench (and hands).

I also think I'll invest in one of those oil spray canister. I suspect I incorporate to much oil into the dough. I use at least one large tablespoon during each kneading. That actually results in quite a lot over 6 kneadings.

I think I'll bake a yeasted experimental dough at 70% today, with cold (15-20c) water and maybe document the process.

So ... I'll try

- Colder dough
- Gentel handling
- Less oil

And We'll se how it goes .-)

Edited by glennbech, 27 July 2006 - 04:35 AM.


#30 cognitivefun

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:43 AM

I've taken to using water, not oil. I dip my hands in water each time I handle the dough and nothing sticks. Dip a utensil in water, ditto.

I think the key to yeasted bread tasting good is long rise times at a lower temperature. Under 72 degrees F. Less important with enriched dough of course.





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