Author Topic: Making bread  (Read 16381 times)

Julian

  • samoture
Making bread
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:11:55 pm »
I've been making home made bread recently, and although it's mainly been successful (apart from the first one which was squidgy inside) I've been getting squat, compact little loaves.  The dough rises exactly like it's meant to, but doesn't seem to get any bigger when it's been baked.  It's good bread, just a bit stodgy. 

The only thing I can think of is that I've been letting it rise in a bowl, then transferring it to a tin for baking.  Maybe I should let it rise in the tin so that I don't have to handle it which seems to deflate it a bit before baking.

Any ideas?


Re: Making bread
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 01:21:03 pm »
I know that you have to "knock back" certain types of bread whilst in the bowl, before allowing it to rise again. Knocking back is just squishing it up again, so I don't think this is the cause of the issue.

I've found that with bread recipes, the volume of the loaf (inversly proportional to the density for a given weight of flour) is directly related to the yeast content.

I've had lovely thick bread from book recipes, that fills you up with a couple of slices, and then following the recipes on the yeast packets (which involve twice as much yeast funnily enough) give lovely light loaves, which overflowed all over the oven the first time, as I wasn't expecting that much bread!

Apart from the yeast content make sure you use warm water for making the dough and try keeping it in an airing cupboard whilst rising. The yeast also requires some sugar aswell to do it's thing and fart those lovely pockets of air into the bread.

iakobski

Re: Making bread
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 01:23:04 pm »
Yes, it should prove twice, with a "knock back" in between. It will only rise in the oven if it has already risen and has all the little bubbles ready to expand.

Julian

  • samoture
Re: Making bread
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 01:24:56 pm »
I did the knock back thing with the last loaf, which is slightly bigger than the previous ones but not much.  I think I needed to let it rise a bit more after the second kneading.

I want fluffy bread!  Maybe I'll try doubling the yeast and seeing if that improves it.  Been using warm water and a bit of sugar, so that's not the issue.  

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Making bread
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 01:27:24 pm »
Let it rise in the tin, as bread's not like cakes - cooking doesn't make it rise lots more. 

Home-made bread is often under-salted too, and salt makes stretchy gluten makes light bread.
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Re: Making bread
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 01:28:38 pm »
My latest attempt (I tried posting a moment ago but seem to have failed) was a fluffy springy delight - taken from a recipe for "Mantovana olive oil bread" by Marcella Hazan.  We ate both loaves in the space of a few hours.  Two three-hour stints in the airing cupboard with a thorough knocking back in between.

Re: Making bread
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 01:31:26 pm »
I've been making home made bread recently, and although it's mainly been successful (apart from the first one which was squidgy inside) I've been getting squat, compact little loaves.  The dough rises exactly like it's meant to, but doesn't seem to get any bigger when it's been baked.  It's good bread, just a bit stodgy. 

The only thing I can think of is that I've been letting it rise in a bowl, then transferring it to a tin for baking.  Maybe I should let it rise in the tin so that I don't have to handle it which seems to deflate it a bit before baking.

Any ideas?



Yep, what you're making is real bread, not some airy squidgy chewy pasty confection made by the "Chorleywood" process.  The bread you're getting is just as it should be, solid and nutricious.

DO try making some real sourdough, and also some real (and extremely messy) ciabbatta. The ferment for that takes several days, but the holey chewy tasty result is fantastic.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Making bread
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 01:32:18 pm »
If you want fluffy bread you need chemicals.   Read up on the Chorleywood method.  Yuk!!  

I have never been able to get a fluffy loaf baking at home.   Doesn't mean you can't of course...   :)  

Strong white flour rises so much better than wholemeal.  I tend to mix my bread 75/25 strong white / wholemeal.   50/50 gives a really tasty loaf but rises much much less.   50/50 is great for adding seeds too imo.

/edit  Cross post with rafletcher  :thumbsup:


blackpuddinonnabike

Re: Making bread
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 01:32:59 pm »
I'd recommend reading 'Bread Matters' by Andrew Whitley - if anything, knowing what goes into mass-produced bread will easily make you persevere with your own. Made some great stotties from that (as well as others).

Julian

  • samoture
Re: Making bread
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 01:38:45 pm »
Ah - I'm using granary bread flour, and adding seeds, so that might have something to do with it.

Chemicals in commercial bread is one reason I'm making my own - the other being that I can eat pretty much an entire loaf of Hovis and still be hungry a couple of hours later.  My bread, stodgy or not, is much more filling.  ;D

More salt, more yeast, rise in the tin, two provings.  No airing cupboard but putting it next to a radiator works just as well (and keeps the cat happy).  I'll report back on the next loaf.  :thumbsup:

rr

Re: Making bread
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 03:30:12 pm »
Vitamin C powder helps as well, you can buy it from Holland and Barrett

iakobski

Re: Making bread
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2008, 03:46:05 pm »
Vitamin C powder helps as well, you can buy it from Holland and Barrett

You have to ask - this is sold from "under the counter" in many places.


Re: Making bread
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 03:56:58 pm »
Ah - I'm using granary bread flour, and adding seeds, so that might have something to do with it.

Chemicals in commercial bread is one reason I'm making my own - the other being that I can eat pretty much an entire loaf of Hovis and still be hungry a couple of hours later.  My bread, stodgy or not, is much more filling.  ;D

More salt, more yeast, rise in the tin, two provings.  No airing cupboard but putting it next to a radiator works just as well (and keeps the cat happy).  I'll report back on the next loaf.  :thumbsup:

Liz

I use the oven to get the dough to rise.  I just put in on at about 50deg while I'm kneading, and turn it off just before I put the dough in to rise (covered with clingfilm and a cloth).  I use dried active yeast from a tin, which I activiate, rather than adding it to the dry ingredients.

Then I take it out after about 45 mins, when it has risen to 2 or 3 times the size, knock it back and, either in a tin, or not, makes no difference, put it in an oven at around 50deg for 10 mins, causing it to rise again, then whack up the heat to 200deg for another 20-25 mins or so.  Obviously ovens vary, and the size of loaf you#re baking makes a difference etc etc.  I also use granary flour.

HTH

Woofage

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Re: Making bread
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008, 04:02:57 pm »
I wimp out and use a breadmaker (Panasonic). Ours gets used pretty much daily and I know the exact combination of ingredients to not only get perfect bread but bread that the critical Peeps in the family will enjoy eating!  BTW, I don't bother adding vitamin C.
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Re: Making bread
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 05:44:25 pm »
I normally do:

- First rise in the bowl.

- Knock back (where needed)

- Second rise in the tin, then straight into the oven.
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Re: Making bread
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2008, 05:58:38 pm »

Liz

I use the oven to get the dough to rise.  I just put in on at about 50deg while I'm kneading, and turn it off just before I put the dough in to rise (covered with clingfilm and a cloth).

Likewise in winter.  The other thing is to let it rise enough. Don't be timid about it. It should be about the size you want the finished loaf to be. Put it in a very hot oven and immediately turn down the temp to gas 5 or 150C.

cometworm

Re: Making bread
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2008, 08:07:53 pm »
If you want fluffy bread you need chemicals.   Read up on the Chorleywood method.  Yuk!!  

I have never been able to get a fluffy loaf baking at home.   Doesn't mean you can't of course...   :)  


You can. No Chorleywood madness necessary.

Get "The Handmade Loaf" by Dan Lepard, or failing that, follow his method for a naturally leavened loaf:

8 am: mix ingredients, leave to stand.
8:10 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand in the bowl
8:20 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
8:30 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
9 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
10 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
11 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
1 pm: divide the dough into 500g balls, leave to stand on the worksurface
1:15 pm: leave the balls in flour-dusted cloths, in bowls, to stand until doubled in height (about 4.5 hours)
5:30 pm: stick it in the oven

If you can't be bothered to wait quite that long, and/or aren't using natural leaven, the basic principle still gives lovely fluffy loaves: knead sparingly, stand in between "kneads," and take half a day to do it. You can do other stuff in between kneads, so it's not actually that onerous.

Re: Making bread
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2008, 08:16:16 pm »
If you leave the dough to rise for a long time then you can get away with only one rising. I usually mix the dough in the morn and then knead and bake in the eve. Or you can mix the night before if you want to bake in the morn. One of the most useful Christmas pressies I ever recieved is 'Breadmaking at home' by Harold Bagust. I had only just started baking my own bread and this book seemed to be aimed just at my level.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Making bread
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2008, 08:51:00 pm »
If you want fluffy bread you need chemicals.   Read up on the Chorleywood method.  Yuk!!  

This is your common or garden "cotton wool" (as my mum used to call it) sliced loaf?

I tend to mix my bread 75/25 strong white / wholemeal.

That's more-or-less the mix I use. Miss Woofage likes wholemeal bread, Young Master W likes white :-\.
Pen Pusher

Re: Making bread
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2008, 08:56:55 pm »
Ah - I'm using granary bread flour, and adding seeds, so that might have something to do with it.

Chemicals in commercial bread is one reason I'm making my own - the other being that I can eat pretty much an entire loaf of Hovis and still be hungry a couple of hours later.  My bread, stodgy or not, is much more filling.  ;D

More salt, more yeast, rise in the tin, two provings.  No airing cupboard but putting it next to a radiator works just as well (and keeps the cat happy).  I'll report back on the next loaf.  :thumbsup:

That should do it.  Wholemeal flour/seeds etc tends to shear the gluten - so more yeast, and or longer rising time - in my breadmaker experience.   :)
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Re: Making bread
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2008, 09:58:00 pm »
make sure you knead (?) it well.. you need the gluten to come out and make the dough elastic. Some people pull the dough apart, collect it, then pull it apart, until suddenly it becomes nice and elastic.

that said, I've never been able to make my wheat breads nearly as airy and light as my sour dough rye breads which aren't kneaded, just stirred  ???
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Re: Making bread
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2008, 10:31:40 pm »
Ah - I'm using granary bread flour, and adding seeds, so that might have something to do with it.

Chemicals in commercial bread is one reason I'm making my own - the other being that I can eat pretty much an entire loaf of Hovis and still be hungry a couple of hours later.  My bread, stodgy or not, is much more filling.  ;D

More salt, more yeast, rise in the tin, two provings.  No airing cupboard but putting it next to a radiator works just as well (and keeps the cat happy).  I'll report back on the next loaf.  :thumbsup:

I use a mix of white flour and wholemeal. I've never had a problem with insufficient yeast- I normally use half the recommended amount and it rises fine. Prove for an hour in a bowl, shape in a tin or on a tray and prove for another hour, then bake. For a softer loaf try adding some porridge oats (10-20%). Another variation you could try is using milk (or a mix of milk and water), but boil it first.
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Re: Making bread
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2008, 10:41:21 pm »
How much salt are you using.  It helps with the rising.

As for heat to help rising:  My Gramps was a master baker and his words ring in my ears:  Knead your dough for ten minutes.  Set it aside in a bowl with a slightly damp cloth over and leave it in the pantry1 for upto 2 hours.  Knock back and knead again for a couple of minutes.    Mix seeds, fruit etc as required during the second kneading.   Put it in the tin / on the tray and leave for another hour.  Then put it in the pre-heated oven.

1 Our pantry was a very cool place.  We don't have a pantry so I just leave mine in a metal bowl on the kitchen worktop.

Re: Making bread
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2008, 10:41:51 pm »
If you want fluffy bread you need chemicals.   Read up on the Chorleywood method.  Yuk!!  

I have never been able to get a fluffy loaf baking at home.   Doesn't mean you can't of course...   :)  


You can. No Chorleywood madness necessary.

Get "The Handmade Loaf" by Dan Lepard, or failing that, follow his method for a naturally leavened loaf:

8 am: mix ingredients, leave to stand.
8:10 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand in the bowl
8:20 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
8:30 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
9 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
10 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
11 am: knead the dough for 10 to 15 seconds (only!), leave to stand  in the bowl
1 pm: divide the dough into 500g balls, leave to stand on the worksurface
1:15 pm: leave the balls in flour-dusted cloths, in bowls, to stand until doubled in height (about 4.5 hours)
5:30 pm: stick it in the oven

If you can't be bothered to wait quite that long, and/or aren't using natural leaven, the basic principle still gives lovely fluffy loaves: knead sparingly, stand in between "kneads," and take half a day to do it. You can do other stuff in between kneads, so it's not actually that onerous.

Interesting.  I'll give it a try.

Re: Making bread
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2008, 11:50:10 pm »
I wimp out and use a breadmaker (Panasonic). Ours gets used pretty much daily and I know the exact combination of ingredients to not only get perfect bread but bread that the critical Peeps in the family will enjoy eating!  BTW, I don't bother adding vitamin C.

We have a Panasonic too - solidly used for 1.5yrs.  Fluffy bread - no problem, and 3 minutes prep.     The mini aos don't tend to like my Rye/Buckwheat/Wholemeal experiments though...   ;)  Apparently commercial dried yeast has some vit c added, I don't add it either.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.