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The Bread Topic (2016–)


DianaM
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6 minutes ago, Dave R said:

@blue_dolphin those turned out really well! What percentage of rye did you use? Looks like it worked really well.

 

I've tried baking soda but just went back to some sort of sugar for the boiling water, malt syrup in my case. I've never tried baking the baking soda to make it more alkaline, although lots of pretzel recipes use that. Yours look to have a pretty nice gloss to them.

 

Dave

 

Thanks!  This recipe calls for 106 g pumpernickel flour (I used rye) + 320 g high-gluten flour for 6 bagels.  My bread flour was a bit lower in gluten than the Sir Lancelot she recommends so I added a little vital wheat gluten to make up for that. 

I'll try the malt syrup in the water next time.  I was reading over various bagel recipes before I boiled these and decided to throw in the baking soda at the last minute.  Aside from a lot of bubbles when I put it in, there was no dramatic effect!

 

 

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7 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Aside from a lot of bubbles when I put it in, there was no dramatic effect!

 

 

When I was a kid sweeping up in a bakery I saw a newer employee dump a can of sodium hydroxide or baker's lye (recommended by purists) into the boiling vat. Now that was dramatic! No one was seriously injured but the sudden boil over splashed everywhere. Some of it actually ate thru our clothes.

 

Dave

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Warning: Newbie bread baker post ahead, still learning the basics. 😉

 

Tried baking the Malt Loaf recipe from Paul Hollywood's "Bread" book today - also my inaugural bake using my new Ankarsrum mixer. The problem: insufficient rise. Wondering what thoughts you have on what I should do differently next time I try this same recipe. Details below.

 

I won't list Paul's recipe here, as I'm assuming that's a copyright violation - is that correct? I can provide details on that if it's helpful for problem solving.

 

In accordance with the process for the Ankarsrum, I used the dough roller/bowl scraper and added all of the wet ingredients to the bowl first. I then slowly added the flours, the yeast, the raisins, allowed the machine to mix everything well, then slowly added the salt. I allowed the dough to knead on the low setting for about 5 minutes. It was sufficiently "pulling away from the sides of the bowl" at the end of that time. When I took it out of the mixer, it was still quite sticky but after turning it out onto a lightly floured surface and forming the dough into 2 sausage-shaped rolls for rising in the bread pans, it was quite manageable and held its shape well.

 

After 3+ hours of proofing (first with a tea towel over the top of the pans on the counter for the first hour, and then - when it seemed like little if anything was happening - with a shower cap over the pans in the oven on the Proof setting for the remaining time), both loaves barely reached the top of the pans. And both actually fell a bit during baking. Pictures before and after baking appear below.

 

I'm new enough to all of this that I've maybe baked a dozen loaves of bread so far. Interestingly, I would say that all of them suffered from insufficient rise to some degree or another. Initially, I was using regular flour. When I made the switch to bread flour, that definitely helped - but I can't say that I've fully solved the problem yet.

 

In brainstorming a list of things I did with this bake that might have been wrong, I came up with the following:

  • I never actually take the temperature of the water I'm using. I have an instant probe, so it's really silly that I don't simply check it each time. I feel like this is probably my first and best opportunity for improvement.
  • I use instant yeast but I don't activate it in any way before using it. I just add it in with the rest of the dry ingredients, as that seems to be the commonly accepted practice. Should I dissolve it in the warm water first for a few minutes before proceeding?
  • I understand that salt is a yeast killer, so I'm always hesitant about how and when to add that in. I thought my strategy today was going to be ideal, since it basically went in last - and slowly - but it somehow still felt wrong to basically be sprinkling salt on the dough as it was mixing.
  • Since this was my first time with it, I wasn't sure about the kneading time in the Ankarsrum. Paul's recipe says to "knead gently but thoroughly for a few minutes to bring the dough together," but I wondered if perhaps I should have allowed it to knead for a few minutes longer.

Thoughts? What else am I missing?

 

The best part of this process so far is eating my mistakes because WOW - this recipe is definitely delicious, my horrible baking skills notwithstanding! 😂 Thanks for your thoughts.

IMG_0877.jpeg

IMG_0879.jpeg

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I don't know if this is the whole problem but it sounds like you may not have kneaded it long enough to fully develop the gluten.  I also have an Ankarsrum and usually knead 10 to 15 minutes at a medium speed. 

Edited by Cyberider (log)
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@PatrickT I'll see what I can add here.

First, yes you should take the temperature of the water. Common baking standards want you to have your finished dough at 76° to 80° F. So you need to be aware of room temperature as well as the ingredient temperatures. The Ank will also raise the temperature due to what's called friction factor. That is basically the increase in temperature caused by mixing.  https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/blog/2018/08/27/determining-the-friction-factor-in-baking#:~:text=Subtract the actual temperatures of,to yield the friction factor.

 

Instant yeast is fine the way you used it, active dry yeast needs to be bloomed. Salt is also fine the way you used it. I always add it after a couple minutes of mixing. Salt won't actually kill the yeast but it draws moisture away from it and retards the yeasts action.

 

I can't help with the Ank function but it sounds like you used it the way I've seen in videos. I also assume you followed the recipe.

 

That leaves over proofing which may be a problem. Assuming a decent room temperature, three hours sounds like a long time for a yeasted bread. Here again, using your thermometer to take the dough temperature my help.

 

These are all kind of general points. I hope this helps a little. 

 

Dave

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1 hour ago, PatrickT said:

I won't list Paul's recipe here, as I'm assuming that's a copyright violation - is that correct? I can provide details on that if it's helpful for problem solving.

 

It's generally considered that a list of ingredients can't be copyrighted so it's OK to share that.  The text of recipe instructions can be subject to copyrights but paraphrasing, as you've done here is OK.  Is this the recipe you are using?

 

A malt loaf is kind of an odd bird as it treads the line between cake and bread.  Some recipes, like this one by Prue Leith doesn't even include yeast.  I'm not familiar enough with it to offer much help except to say that that checking the temps of everything (water, proofing space, oven and baked loaf) is surely a good idea.  And sinking is often a sign of underbaking. 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
clarification and to change link (log)
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30 minutes ago, Cyberider said:

I also have an Ankarsrum and usually knead 10 to 15 minutes at a medium speed.

Ahh - excellent tip! Thank you.

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25 minutes ago, Dave R said:

These are all kind of general points. I hope this helps a little.

 

Yes - really excellent, Dave - thank you! It's funny how often bread recipes don't include those points, but I'm sure that most accomplished bakers just know and follow them as a matter of principle. Good habits for me to develop.

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31 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Is this the recipe you are using?

 

Upon closer examination, the amount of salt appears to be the only difference - 8g in the book, vs a "pinch" in your linked recipe. Seems strange - wonder if the 8g might have been a misprint?

Edited by PatrickT (log)
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17 minutes ago, Dave R said:

seeing the picture in the link posted, it kind of looks like yours didn't turn out too far off.

 

From that picture, I'd agree with you! The picture in the book has more volume to it, which is what made me wonder.

 

IMG_0880.jpeg

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OK - the next time I try this recipe, I'll monitor all of my ingredient temperatures and ensure that I'm kneading the dough 10-15 min at medium speed in the Ankle. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you all so much! 👍

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1 hour ago, PatrickT said:

OK - the next time I try this recipe, I'll monitor all of my ingredient temperatures and ensure that I'm kneading the dough 10-15 min at medium speed in the Ankle. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you all so much! 👍

 

For my bread I have better results with the dough hook than with the roller.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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11 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

For my bread I have better results with the dough hook than with the roller.

 

 

Thank you! I'll definitely experiment with that.

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This morning's bake, sandwich buns, is one of my "on hand in the freezer" formulas. It's very versatile in that it can be used for burger/sandwich buns, dinner rolls, breakfast rolls with cinnamon and raisin etc,, With just a few additions to enrich it, an egg wash, seeds of choice and a different shaping and sizing, they can be used for lots of situations. The only thing that they all share is an over night cold ferment, and even that can be eliminated if you're in a hurry. For the sandwich buns I like to flatten them so they are not too puffy.

 

Kind if hard to take an interesting photo of such a mundane subject but I tried.

 

Dave

Bun 2 4.22 web.JPG

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1 hour ago, Dave R said:

This morning's bake, sandwich buns, is one of my "on hand in the freezer" formulas. It's very versatile in that it can be used for burger/sandwich buns, dinner rolls, breakfast rolls with cinnamon and raisin etc,, With just a few additions to enrich it, an egg wash, seeds of choice and a different shaping and sizing, they can be used for lots of situations. The only thing that they all share is an over night cold ferment, and even that can be eliminated if you're in a hurry. For the sandwich buns I like to flatten them so they are not too puffy.

 

Kind if hard to take an interesting photo of such a mundane subject but I tried.

 

Dave

Bun 2 4.22 web.JPG

 

Those look like fine buns.  When you say "on hand in the freezer" are they frozen baked or unbaked?

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@ElsieD I bake them first and then freeze. I've never had much luck freezing unbaked dough. I know plenty of people do, but I've never been happy with my results. And, once they're baked and individually wrapped, you can have just one or two or a whole batch pretty quickly.

 

Dave

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2 hours ago, Dave R said:

@ElsieD I bake them first and then freeze. I've never had much luck freezing unbaked dough. I know plenty of people do, but I've never been happy with my results. And, once they're baked and individually wrapped, you can have just one or two or a whole batch pretty quickly.

 

Dave

FWIW, I often par-bake dinner rolls, which I bake separated on a cookie sheet so they'll spread out more and rise upward a bit less, so they serve well as sandwich buns), and freeze the par-baked product, which has developed enough of an outside "crust" that it holds shape when frozen. If, for example, your rolls have a 20 -- 25 minute bake, try par-baking 10-12 minutes, let cool, and then bag and freeze.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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@kaybI know bakers who par bake like you do and others who freeze raw dough with very good results.

 

I think in my case it's more of a equipment issue. I have a very small freezer and opening and closing it doesn't allow for consistent temperatures. I get a variance of 0°F to 20°F. Getting par baked or raw goods down to temperature quickly affects the quality, in my experience.

 

Dave

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Could be. I’m fortunate to have two small chest freezers and two refrigerators with decent sized freezers.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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18 hours ago, Dave R said:

@ElsieD I bake them first and then freeze. I've never had much luck freezing unbaked dough. I know plenty of people do, but I've never been happy with my results. And, once they're baked and individually wrapped, you can have just one or two or a whole batch pretty quickly.

 

Dave

 

I'm still drooling over those buns.  Do you have a recipe you can share?

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@ElsieD always glad to share. I copied my Excel sheet as a picture, so I hope you can see it OK. I haven't really done much with the sheet since 2016 when I last printed it and my wife is always telling me that I don't put enough detail in my sheets. So, if I haven't put in enough detail I'd be happy to answer questions.

 

Dave

Burger Rolls 16 F.png

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8 hours ago, Dave R said:

@ElsieD always glad to share. I copied my Excel sheet as a picture, so I hope you can see it OK. I haven't really done much with the sheet since 2016 when I last printed it and my wife is always telling me that I don't put enough detail in my sheets. So, if I haven't put in enough detail I'd be happy to answer questions.

 

Dave

Burger Rolls 16 F.png

 

Thank you.  I'm going to make these but will use all bread flour.  Someone I live with does not like whole wheat flour in anything.  The instructions are cleat except for "turning at 30 minutes".  Do you mean "fold"?

 

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20 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

Thank you.  I'm going to make these but will use all bread flour.  Someone I live with does not like whole wheat flour in anything.  The instructions are cleat except for "turning at 30 minutes".  Do you mean "fold"?

 

Have you tried "white whole wheat" - has made a difference for some of my pernickety peeps

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3 minutes ago, heidih said:

Have you tried "white whole wheat" - has made a difference for some of my pernickety peeps

 I tried some once a few years ago and I can't remember what I did with it.  I had also forgotten about white whole wheat flour so thanks for reminding me.  Next time I go out I'll pick some up and try it out.

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