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Making Bread that Lasts


Rico
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Note: There is no doubt a conversation on eGullet somewhere that addresses the issue, but my searching skills, despite years on the site, still remain markedly flawed. That said, I have a question.

 

The title of the post should read, rather, 'bread that lasts and is pillowy soft for days. I'm not scared of using those nebulous 'additives,' though I'd rather not. Here's the issue: I'd like to make buns like, say, In-n-Out or Chic Fil A. Buns that are inoffensive and squishy soft. I'd like to understand how they get the texture and - also important - how they get them to last that way. For my purposes I would go beyond those basic buns, but I need a starting point. There are two methods I've used so far that have gotten me the best results - both high hydration and/or fat - but neither is close enough to what I'm looking for. Not sure of the standard baking percentages, but I always just ratio based on the largest quantity of flour type.

 

Tangzhong:

 

AP Flour: 100%

Potato Flour: 12%

Pre-saturated Slurry, 5:1 water to flour: 7.5%

Water: 30%

Milk: 30%

Butter: 24%

Eggs: 15%

Salt: 2.5%

Sugar: 14%

Yeast around 1 percent.

 

Crumb is right with a featheriness about it. Density seems right, but I want a softer give when I bite in.

 

And then the other is pretty much a variation of the portuguese sweet roll in the KA cookbook. Texture is right, but I can't get it to last. Again, not scared of adding additives, but don't want to jump to it if there's a more traditional way.

 

Help from my eGullet culinary heroes appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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While you're waiting for the heroes, what's stopping you from holding them in the freezer?  Bread is good for that.

 

For a hydration comparison, you'd need to add up your wheat & potato flours (including the slurry) and separately the amount of water (ditto).  You can do that if you want.  Hydration is water weight as a %age of flour weight.  But hydration willl affect your rise and texture rather than keeping.

 

The secret to most eG searching is to use the selection to return results "as posts" not "as a topic list".

 

I have no actual experience of using additives to make bread last longer, since I use my freezer.  I use it after baking and before - you can hold the dough unrisen or part-risen.

 

Oh, except that i put a tbsp of (olive) oil in my loaves, and that's to do with a crumb that stays moist, more than flavour.  And in the summer I even keep the loaf that I'm currently going to the kitchen to cut slices off, in the fridge.  In this moist heat the mold is phenomenal.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I add dry WHOLE milk powder to my bread recipes to prolong the softness - I find it is easier to use than liquid milk.

 

As most of my recipes are for two loaves, I add 3 tablespoons of milk powder for each loaf.  That allows the crumb to be soft and moist while the crust remains fairly crisp.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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(And too late to ETA) you also have eggs in there.  How you account for those in 'hydration', I don't know, but eggs being mostly water you will need to account for them in any comparison.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I dont know about  that type of bread and my recipe are never based on percentage ,  but my loafs stays soft and lovely for at least 4 days ( they are gone by then).  My trick is to scald part of the flour and whisk it to smooth paste  and then  knead the  dough until smooth  before the first rise and hardly work it at all when I shape the dough into loafs.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Thank you all for the responses. And I might add, to specify, everyone on eGullet is my culinary hero. It has large part responsible for my culinary education over the past 10 years.

 

Blether, the freezer is a good idea; I know bread freezes well, but for some reason don't want to believe it - likely due to those times I've put a lof in the freezer only to rediscover it six months later heavily laden with freezer burn. Do you just put the bread in a ziploc and throw it in there, or do you have a specific way to freeze it?

I usually count the eggs as 50/50 fat and water (so, for example, the portuguese-style bun has a hydration of 54 percent and a fat percentage of 36 percent). The yolk is somewhere around 60 percent fat, so I may be overaccounting for that aspect of it at the expense of hydration, but surely only by a couple percentage points, right?

 

Andie, I use the milk powder in the Portuguese style bread, but I've never specified whole milk. The added fats surely have a beneficial effect. I'll try that immediately.

 

CatPoet, your post is a revelatory one - I never realized the scalding of flour (what I refer to as tangzhong above) - was a common practice in Scandinavia until I read your post and researched 'scalding flour'. I thought it was a purely Asian approach. Something new every day, right? I just discovered the approach a few weeks ago and yes, it's amazing: the difference is significant, plus it offers an interesting way to incorporate flavor into the bread.

 

Ultimately what I want is about the most un-'artisan' bread we can think of. I don't want that shatteringly brittle crust, or a crumb beautifully arrayed with an assortment of shapes; just a plain, supersoft, slightly chewy white roll. If I must use the freezer, that's fine, but if I can make it last for just a few days unchanged, that would be ideal.

 

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I regard the two packets of plastic bags I keep on the open shelf above the sink as essential to my batterie de cuisine.  The soft, clear, polythene kind, not the rustly super-thin ones.  They're similar to the bgas that some commercial bread comes in, and I use them every day for all sorts of things.  I wait till the bread's cold, bag & freeze.  I suck the air out like a reverse of blowing up a crisp (chip) bag when I was a kid.

 

Delia Smith wrote that if you're keeping bread even for a few days, it's better if you do it in the freezer than the fridge or the room.  And she was right.

 

I'd say an eggs sufficiently more than 50% water for you to need to revise that.  Try 75%?

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Rico_ Oh well, I dont do big hole loafs at all,  the holes do not feed a family and my breads is family orientated, this is a go to bread  in this house hold.  I prefer  scalded loafs over non scalded  because they keep so well.  You can make rolls out of this  too, just bake them at  250 C  for 15 min.

 

Sammets limpa / Velvet loaf
 
500 ml milk
250 ml flour
1 tablespoon of oil or butter
2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of  golden syrup or honey.
 
In a pot add all this and whisk smooth, cook until thicken while whisking. Pour into a bowl.
 
 
Add
500 ml gold water,  check it is hand hot or little bit warmer before adding.
2 tablespoon of dry active yeast
 
Stir in 500 ml flour and then add your hands to the bowl and knead in more flour until soft,  elastic  smooth dough is achived. Keep kneading for  5min.
 
Leave to rise for 1 hour.
 
 Dust a large baking tray with flour . Push you hand into the dough and knead just a little to break big bubbles. Divide into two loaf and lay on the tray.   Two praying hands apart.
 
Leave to rise for 30 min. Turn the oven on 250 C.
 
Brush the loaf with syrup water ( 1 teaspoon of  dark treacle or  golden syrup or honey and  4 tablespoon of water).  Cut the bread from nose to end, just one sharp line.
 
Bake for 10 minutes then lower the heat to 200 C and bake for 25 min.  Take the bread out, tap it if it sounds hollow, it is done.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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