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Bread Tips & Techniques: Not Sourdough

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

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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.

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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.

thanking very much!!

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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?

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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?

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.

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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 :-)

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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 :-)

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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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It also sounds like you might be scoring the dough far too deeply and/or, leaving it to proof for too long after slashing.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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

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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

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

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