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Raamo

Baking with Myhrvold's "Modernist Bread: The Art and Science"

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Van Over bread made in Thermomix - dough was 24 C in a very short time.

 

 

 

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In the basic sourdough recipe, with the machine mixing instructions, do they clarify what they mean by "mix to medium gluten development?"

 

I use a 6qt KA mixer with a spiral dough hook, and have gradually been shortening mixing times when using medium to high-hydration doughs and autolyse steps. If I go longer than 90 seconds, the dough seems to get soupier rather than firmer. I'm assuming the gluten will break down if I go longer than this, but everyone online who writes about mixing bread mechanically mentions mixing times of several minutes. Should I ignore the apparent weakening of the dough and mix longer?

 

My dough ends up being extremely extensible, but almost entirely without elasticity. At hydration levels above 65% my boules get floppy and almost resemble focaccia. (using half KA AP flour, half KA bread). But it's delicious ... like the best tasting bread I've had. When I lower the hydration, I get beautiful, professional looking boules that just taste ok. 

 

Should I mix longer or change the dough development steps in any other way? Right now I'm making the recipe as written, with regard to autolyse, mixing, and stretch / fold schedule. I've increased the hydration to 70%, and am using a lower percentage of starter, to facilitate a longer warm ferment. My starter gives the flavors I like if it gets a few hours in the 90°F range.

 

For one trial I tried adding a couple of extra stretch / fold steps. This made a stronger dough, but gave a tightly organized crumb that was less chewy, and resembled commercial sandwich bread. Not awesome.

 

Any tips on how to get a stronger dough that will hold its shape, without compromising flavor, will make me oh so happy.

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I bake a couple loves of French lean bread once a week.  Tonight's baguette was particularly lovely.  I have a KitchenAid and rather than finishing on speed two I've been finishing my dough on speed four or higher for a shorter time.  Not recommended of course.  Don't tell on me.  But why pay for a commercial mixer if you can't beat the hell out of it?

 

It sure was good.

 

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8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I have a KitchenAid and rather than finishing on speed two I've been finishing my dough on speed four or higher for a shorter time. 

 

I thought most of the recipes say to finish mixing on medium speed which I've been using between 4 and 6 on my kitchenaid?

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22 minutes ago, rob1234 said:

 

I thought most of the recipes say to finish mixing on medium speed which I've been using between 4 and 6 on my kitchenaid?

 

Interesting!  I'd love to know what the MB folks call "medium".  I had originally been using 1 for low and 2 for medium.

 

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4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Interesting!  I'd love to know what the MB folks call "medium".  I had originally been using 1 for low and 2 for medium.

 

Having said that, I sometimes have to hold the mixer in place so it doesn't fly off the counter when mixing at that speed so maybe it should be slower.

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Kitchenaid's guidelines are not very useful for bread. They don't take into account hydration or degree of gluten development you're going for. 

 

You really just have to pay attention to the machine. Watch it, listen to it, keep a hand near the vent to feel how warm the exhaust air is, smell it. Don't wait for the motor to labor, or for the smell of sizzling hot motor windings. The only problem with the higher speeds is that when the mixer gets overwhelmed, it happens much more quickly. You'll have less time to react. You'll be more likely to break a gear than to just overheat the thing.

 

But as long as it the mixer isn't showing signs of struggle it's probably fine.

 

It's telling that actual commercial mixer companies like Hobart give more precise—and conservative—capacity recommendations.

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Though in the context of Modernist Bread recipes, which numerical KitchenAid speed setting corresponds to "low" and which to "medium"?  I have a commercial KitchenAid and I've never had it wobble.  I also have a smaller KitchenAid but I've never (that I can remember) tried it to make bread.

 

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I'd imagine "low" means speed 2, which is the only speed that KA recommends for bread. On 1 the motor doesn't get enough air flow and is danger of overheating. 

 

I don't know if the MC crew define their speeds. I think most people think of 4 to 6 as "medium." If you've got really soupy high-hydration dough I can imagine this working ... if for some reason you really need to beat the crap out of it. With firmer dough this seems pretty dicey to me. 

 

KA's top-end machines aren't really what bakers think of as commercial mixers, even though plenty of them get used commercially for smaller stuff. The one labelled "commercial" is distinguished by a few tweaks that make it easier to clean, so it gets an NSF approval. All the real commercial mixers (Hobart, Globe, etc.) change speeds through changeable gears, so they have monstrous torque in low speed, with no sacrifice of cooling power. But it's still not terribly hard to break them!

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Tried the Bahn Mi this morning, dough is very hard to mix until the stage where the fat gets added, then it's a really nice dough.

 

I only have space to bake 2 at a time in my steam oven, so I proofed 2 on the counter at 70F and two in the steam oven with humidity at 95F (I can't go lower).

 

Made sadwiches with it for lunch, I'll post that picture over in the lunch thread.  Notice how much a difference the two proofing methods made.

 

bahnmi.thumb.png.a49fcf0566459fad062f32c7d440f2b8.png

 

Guessing ideally it would be not as wide.  These are 260g of dough and ~8" long per the recipe.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Raamo said:

Tried the Bahn Mi this morning, dough is very hard to mix until the stage where the fat gets added, then it's a really nice dough.

 

I only have space to bake 2 at a time in my steam oven, so I proofed 2 on the counter at 70F and two in the steam oven with humidity at 95F (I can't go lower).

 

Made sadwiches with it for lunch, I'll post that picture over in the lunch thread.  Notice how much a difference the two proofing methods made.

 

bahnmi.thumb.png.a49fcf0566459fad062f32c7d440f2b8.png

 

Guessing ideally it would be not as wide.  These are 260g of dough and ~8" long per the recipe.

 

 

 

Which are which?

 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Which are which?

 

 

2 on the left were proofed in the steam oven.  

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