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Bread Baking at Home

Adagio Feb 7, 2010 05:47 AM

Hi:

I was asked by some to start a board concerning bread baking at home.

I agreed.

So, if I can help...awesome. No one will learn more than I.

NO...we'll learn together.

We'll deal with anything that contains yeast, from Brioche to pre-ferments, to sour doughs.

So...let's play and learn together!

If I don't know the answer, I know where to find it.

No being bashful here...we're just all breadheads!

RJ
Adagio Bakery & Cafe
agagiobakery@gmail.com

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  1. r
    rtms Feb 7, 2010 06:10 AM

    Thanks Adagio!

    I'm more confident working with yeast bread dough and have been pleased with the resulting bread. I've used my cast iron dutch oven and cookie sheets to make 'artisan' bread. Do you have recommendations or things to look for in a loaf pan? I'm going to start making sandwich bread for everyday use.

    Also, how to tell that the bread is fully baked - without letting the load cool and cutting it open?

    2 Replies
    1. re: rtms
      Adagio Feb 10, 2010 03:55 AM

      Hi:

      Normally, a 4X8x2 inch pan will hold about a pound of product. Roll the dougn into a cylinder and place it in the pan to proof.

      Proofing is done when you gently press the dough and it comes back slowly.

      Bake around 440F with Steam (a cast iron fying pan on the floor or lowest rack of the oven will do nicely. Load the pan and throw a cup of hot water in the frying pan, close the door and do NOT check for 15 minutes, then open the door to let out any moisture, turn the pan.

      Good color is an indication of a fully baked loaf. However, you can turn the loaf out of the pan and thump the bottom...it should be hollow.

      Also, squeezing the sides...they should be firm.

      Practice, practice.......practice!

      1. re: rtms
        LMAshton Jan 9, 2013 09:57 PM

        Yep, good color is a great indication. Also, you can knock on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it's done.

        As for loaf pans - I don't even own one. I bake my bread freestyle on, well, whatever I have on hand. Right now, that's a roasting pan. I'll bake smaller batches in a stainless steel pot that's had the handle (plastic) removed - that works great for the husband to have fresh bread for breakfast every morning. And he gets fresh bread every morning.

      2. blue room Feb 7, 2010 07:59 AM

        I'd like to hear about the use of a poolish & biga--why is that different than just no-knead with an extra step added?
        I'd also like some frank talk about oven limitations--I've got an old electric (which does the no-knead just fine.) But should I not try certain breads?

        36 Replies
        1. re: blue room
          s
          Smachnoho Feb 7, 2010 09:55 AM

          Has anyone tried leaving their yeast dough in the fridge over night to rise? Does it work? Does it give bread more flavour?

          1. re: Smachnoho
            blue room Feb 7, 2010 10:07 AM

            Yes, I've done this with the Lahey no-knead dough--it does rise, just very very slowly compared to how it rises on the counter in the summer. I always like the flavor, but personally have never had 2 loaves (one slow, one fast) to compare. I read that fermentation is what causes flavor. It *seems* like the same amount of fermentation must take place in both cases, if both bowls of dough end up the same size. I would like to know also how this works.

            1. re: blue room
              Adagio Feb 10, 2010 04:03 AM

              Adding a pre-ferment will change the flavor!

              A biga 60% hydration left over night will make the bread a bit more acidic.

              A poolish, 100% hydration will make the bread more lactic...think yogurt!

            2. re: Smachnoho
              k
              Kelli2006 Feb 7, 2010 10:16 AM

              I'm baking pizza this evening and the crust that I am using is a whole wheat crust that has been resting/rising in a Rubbermaid container my fridge for a week.

              A week might seem too long to some but a long slow rise is a sure way to extract the maximum flavor from a yeast dough. I wouldn't leave it out on a 68° counter for more than 48 hours, but because the action of the yeast is slowed dramatically at 40° a week in the fridge is quite safe.

              Rising time= flavor.

              1. re: Kelli2006
                blue room Feb 7, 2010 10:51 AM

                I didn't get why rising time=flavor.
                But just found (at a site called "The Kitchn") this explanation:

                "When dough is refrigerated, the yeast and bacteria go dormant, but the enzymes that have been breaking down flour starches into sugar keep on trucking. This gives you a much higher percentage of simple sugars in your final dough than you would otherwise. The final loaf will have sweet nutty flavors and the crust will get nicely caramelized."

                1. re: blue room
                  s
                  Smachnoho Feb 8, 2010 03:01 PM

                  One more question, if I leave my bread dough in the fridge overnight, should I shape it into loaves after I take it out in the morning and then bake or should I shape it into loaves and then put it back in the frige for a few more hours?

                  1. re: Smachnoho
                    Adagio Feb 13, 2010 07:23 AM

                    Shape first...then retard overnight.

                    This works really well with Levain breads.

                    Ralph
                    Adagio Bakery & Cafe
                    adagiobakery@gmail.com

                    1. re: Smachnoho
                      LMAshton Jan 9, 2013 09:59 PM

                      You can do it either way.

                      Personally, I usually let the dough go through its first rise, then shape it and stick it in the freezer, but I've done it both ways and it's worked fine.

                    2. re: blue room
                      Adagio Feb 10, 2010 04:08 AM

                      The yeast in retarding does not go to sleep, rather, it slows down.

                      There will be an increased acidity present the next day.

                      Usually, retading is limited to about 16 hours, otherwise the acid strength is way too much.

                      regards,

                      Ralph
                      Adagio Bakery & Cafe

                      1. re: blue room
                        maria lorraine Oct 29, 2012 08:36 PM

                        When you use the no-knead method (Lahey-Sullivan) or a sourdough or pre-dough to make your bread, there are two types of lactobacilli that affect the dough, and one type of yeast. This is true no matter where in the world you make your bread.

                        The lactobacilli come in two different forms: hetero and homo. Heterofermentative and homefermentative. They play the major role in bread rising and flavor. Less important, but still important, is the yeast.

                        Most of sourdough's flavor and leavening come from the heterofermentative type of lactobacillus, which pumps out acetic acid (vinegar, for sourness) as a by-product and favors a temp below 82-85 degrees F. The other type of lactobacillus -- homofermentative -- pumps out the lactic acid (more mellow and complex than acetic acid) and does its thing above 82-85 F.

                        So, a long cool fermentation increases sourness. By controlling the temp of the starter and dough, you control the type of lactobacillus that has the upper hand in fermentation, thereby controlling the final flavor and sourness of the bread.

                        Debra Wink, the co-author on a number of scientific sourdough articles whom I quoted above, sums up things nicely on her great bread baking website:
                        http://www.thefreshloaf.com/

                        -- more fermentation time generally means more acid
                        -- lower temperature increases the percentage of acetic acid, or sourness.
                        -- lower temperatures produce acids more slowly; higher temps, more quickly
                        -- higher temperatures mean a higher ratio of lactic to acetic acid. This is a mellower acid; the flavor is rounded and complex.

                        You can experiment what temperature (or combination of temperatures -- both in and out of the refrigerator) gives you the flavor you prefer.

                        I have also found these tips helpful to producing artisan loaves:
                        -- heating the cast iron pot in which you will bake your bread in a hot oven for an hour (from the Lahey method)
                        --introducing steam into the oven at the beginning of the bake for good oven rise; this can be as simple as throwing a half-cup of water into the bottom of the oven.
                        --dusting the loaf with flour before the final rise, and slashing the tops of the loaves in a pretty pattern

                        Good luck to you. If you need links to the Lahey-Sullivan no-knead instructions (both initial and revised), let me know. There are other very good threads on this on Chowhound. I really think the flavor, look, and texture are excellent with this method.

                    3. re: Smachnoho
                      Adagio Feb 10, 2010 04:01 AM

                      You can do that after shaping if you like.

                      It's called...retarding the dough.

                      It will absolutely affect the flavor as acids will build up during that process.

                      Also, you will notice the bake will produce little bubbles on the crust. If you don't mind that then go ahead.

                      Retarding bread is a great way to come in the morning and go right to the bake.

                      Some loaves lend themselves to retarding more than others. Experimentation is key.

                      1. re: Smachnoho
                        j
                        jencounter Feb 13, 2010 08:21 AM

                        I'm currently doing the Artisan Bread in Five method wherein you mix up a large batch of dough (enough for 4 1lb loaves) and store the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks to use at your leisure.

                        I let my last batch sit longer than two weeks (life got in the way); the last two loaves I baked were almost sourdough in taste - absolutely delicious. So in my experience: yes, letting it sit in the fridge absolutely results in a more flavorful bread.

                        1. re: jencounter
                          Adagio Feb 14, 2010 09:23 AM

                          Best part about bread baking, and the first rule is...if you like it...it's right!

                          Now...go bake some more!

                          RJ
                          Adagio Bakery & Cafe

                        2. re: Smachnoho
                          b
                          bigfred Dec 3, 2012 01:03 PM

                          It certainly does help-to a point. I have found that up to 48 hours is optimal in terms of increasing the flavour

                        3. re: blue room
                          Adagio Feb 10, 2010 03:59 AM

                          Poolish, biga, madre, pate fermente...are the "flavor packets" of the bread.

                          The pre-ferments, as they are called, add the flavor profile. You can bake a straight dough without a pre-ferment but it just won'e be as interesting.

                          Oven limitations are the biggest thing. However, there isn't a home oven I haven't been able to overcome.

                          Steam is all important and if you read the above post, you will see an explanation.

                          Knowing your oven is the most important thing, and an internal thermometer would help to see if your oven is accurate.

                          Loading the bread in a home oven is a problem because when you open the door...you loose a hundred degrees right off the bat.

                          I stone is a wonderful thing. Go find "fibrament" on the web...they are great.

                          No-knead? Please explain to make sure we're talking about the same thing.

                          1. re: Adagio
                            h
                            housewolf Feb 10, 2010 10:25 AM

                            "No-Knead" is a term used for the relatively new bread baking technique of stretch and folding high hydration bread dough over a period of time to develop gluten rather than kneading dough (either by machine or by hand).

                            One of the first to use this method was Steve Sullivan of Acme Bread Bakery and has become popularized by Jim Lahey (the New York Times No-Knead Bread (aka NYT No-Knead bread)), the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" (aka "ABin5), Cooks Illustrated, and Peter Reinhart in his new book "Artisan Breads Every Day".

                            It's revolutionized bread-baking for home bakers in that the method allows home bakers to make up a batch of dough and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or so and each day, cutting off a portion that's ready to bake in a very short period of time. Home bakes can come home from work and have freshly baked, deeply-flavored bread for dinner every night;

                            1. re: housewolf
                              Adagio Feb 10, 2010 03:36 PM

                              Hi:

                              We do "stretch and folds" all the time.

                              Normally, it depends on much gluten you form off the mixer.

                              It's never knowing when to turn on the mixer...it's when to turn it off.

                              However, I feel, a certain amount of mixing is always needed.

                              In normal bread, we do a stretchen a fold in the middle of a two hour bulk fermentation.

                              On higher hydration breads like Ciabatta, we do a 3 hour bulk fermentation and two stretch and folds.

                              This is not a revolutionary method for home bakers, but a normal device for pro bakers as well.

                              As for keeping dough in the fridge for 5 days...there will be a LOT of acid formed.

                              If you like that...great.

                              Ralph
                              Adagio Baker & Cafe

                              1. re: housewolf
                                r
                                RikkiMama Feb 13, 2010 03:27 PM

                                Correction: Peter Reinhart's new book "Artisan Breads Every Day" is not about no-knead. The bread is kneaded on the first day, then allow to cold ferment in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Reinhart found that he likes the flavor of the bread better when using extended fermentation at refrigerated temperatures.

                                It is a method used by pro bakers - make the dough the day before, then shape, proof, and bake the next day. It's more a matter of scheduling when you need to have fresh bread available for your morning customers.

                                1. re: RikkiMama
                                  Adagio Feb 14, 2010 09:26 AM

                                  Right!

                                  Extended slow, overnight, retarding of dough does change the flavor.

                                  We find that levain bread work best like this.

                                  Also, we retard laminated dough and brioche over night.

                                  Remember, after mixing, let ferment at room temperature for one hour then refrigerate. De-gas several times in the next few hours.

                                  Have fun!

                                  RJ
                                  Adagio Bakery & Cafe

                                  And...if you're looking for the definitive book on bread baking, try: BREAD by Jeffrey Hamelman...it is the best.

                                  RJ

                                  1. re: Adagio
                                    EllieLA Feb 15, 2010 02:15 PM

                                    I've been making the Lahey no-knead bread in a cast iron pot.
                                    Can I use this same recipe in a loaf pan? Been wanting to find a way to make a no-knead sandwich loaf.
                                    Thanks!

                                    1. re: EllieLA
                                      Adagio Feb 16, 2010 01:09 PM

                                      Hi EllieLA

                                      I don't see why not!

                                      I would put a cast iron frying pan in the bottom of the oven. If it's electric...the bottom rack.

                                      Try baking at 440F.

                                      Load the panned bread, put a cup of hot water in the frying pan, and close the door.

                                      Do NOT open for at least 15 minutes, then change the position of the pan to get an even bake.

                                      Let me know how you do.

                                      RJ
                                      Adagio Bakery & Cafe

                                      1. re: Adagio
                                        s
                                        Sherri Feb 16, 2010 01:33 PM

                                        If the poster, EllieLA, is using Pyrex or other glass loaf pans, couldn't 440 be a pretty hot oven? Most of these brands advise against using temps above 375 degrees.

                                        1. re: Sherri
                                          Adagio Feb 21, 2010 08:39 AM

                                          HI Sherri:

                                          I guess 440 for glass might be too hot...one would have to check with the manufacturer.

                                          Also, and I'm not sure about this, the sudden introduction of steam could crack them?!

                                          Here's my take on glass:

                                          1. it insulates too much slowing the bake. Remember, the yeast will continue to feed until 140F. So too much gas production might...I say might be a problem.

                                          2. Because of the insulating properties of glass, the bake will take longer for two reasons, you suggestion of a lower temp and the thick glass.

                                          3. Why just make one loaf??? You can get ganged steel pans, three to a section that will fit nicely in a home oven. This makes turning the loaves much easier, and you can get 6 loaves to the bake.

                                          Think how family and friends will love you!!!!

                                          Regards,
                                          Ralph
                                          Adagio Bakery & Cafe, LLP

                                  2. re: RikkiMama
                                    Adagio Jun 18, 2012 01:14 PM

                                    Hi:

                                    This usually works best with sour dough breads. The extra fermentation...does help the flavor.

                                    However, you have to put up with the "bubbles" on the crust.

                                  3. re: housewolf
                                    j
                                    jarona Sep 3, 2013 03:56 PM

                                    Last week, I purchased "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" . I was a bit skeptical, but the loaves I've made thus far were a major hit with the family. Especially my Frenchman, who is thoroughly disgusted with the baguettes in American bakeries.
                                    That being said, the title of the book is just a tad off-putting. Yes. It truly does take five minutes to MAKE the bread dough. However, the day of baking, it takes 40 minutes to rise the dough, another 20 to preheat the oven and another 30 to 35 minutes to bake the bread. Also, if you like your bread salty, ya gotta add more salt!
                                    Other than that the book is great!

                                    1. re: jarona
                                      DuffyH Sep 3, 2013 05:32 PM

                                      jarona,

                                      I recently bought the book, too, and my experience has been similar to yours. The claim of 5 minutes is true, for hand's on time. IIRC, I previewed the book on Amazon, and was ready for the additional time I'd need to be present.

                                      I initially decided to buy it after successfully baking a few loaves in my 4.5 quart saucepan. I now have a different take-away.

                                      It's great if you want the the same bread every day, or nearly. My problem is that we like too many different kinds of bread, and with a small household, it takes us a while to eat them. If you have a large family, with a lot of extra fridge space, it will be much more useful. I could make smaller loaves, but I'd still not have the variety we like.

                                      I am keeping the book for now and may find it more useful as time goes on.

                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                        s
                                        sandylc Sep 3, 2013 06:47 PM

                                        When I make artisan bread (bread that requires time and attention), I let it cool completely, then slice it, plastic bag it, and freeze it. We remove slices as needed to nuke for sandwiches or to throw right into the toaster. If you are looking for a dinner party loaf, you can freeze it whole, let it thaw in the bag, then refresh it whole in the oven.

                                        1. re: sandylc
                                          DuffyH Sep 3, 2013 07:34 PM

                                          Thanks, sandy.

                                          We're already doing that. My problem with the ABin5 bread is that I'm baking 3 times every 2 weeks, not counting pizza. 1 time is rolls (which we use for various things), another is 2 loaves of multigrain, the 3rd is 1 loaf of white sandwich bread for Mom.

                                          It's possible I could make white sandwich bread and rolls from the same dough. Is there a nice fine crumb recipe in the book? I could also keep pizza dough on hand, then I'd only need to make the multigrain every 2 weeks. My issue now becomes storage space. We just don't have room in the fridge for 2 buckets of dough.

                                          I'm not a contrarian about this, honestly. I'd *like* to be able to make breads without having to start from step 1 every time. Even with the rise and bake times, it would save a lot of effort, what with all the weighing, measuring, mixing and kneading.

                                          Perhaps if I spend more time with the book I'll be inspired to find a way. :)

                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                            s
                                            sandylc Sep 3, 2013 08:32 PM

                                            Your problems sound similar to mine - !

                                            We both actually want to be a production kitchen rather than a home kitchen.

                                            The challenges of life...

                                            1. re: sandylc
                                              DuffyH Sep 3, 2013 08:59 PM

                                              <We both actually want to be a production kitchen rather than a home kitchen.>

                                              That made me smile, thanks! :)

                                              1. re: DuffyH
                                                s
                                                sandylc Sep 3, 2013 09:10 PM

                                                I dream of having a freezer full of every kind of top-notch homemade goodie imaginable. Bagels, English muffins, croissants, etc....

                                                EDIT: Maybe I need more people to eat these things, first...

                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                  DuffyH Sep 4, 2013 06:31 AM

                                                  You're singing my song. For my next trick, I wanted to tackle pita bread, which is kind of meh from the store, but I think would be great at home. Problem is, no one else wants it. Same thing happened with the English Muffin bread. So good, yet so lonely.

                                                  When I'm cooking, I want to be Ray Kinsella. If I bake or cook it, they will come. And stay to do the clean-up! :0

                                                  1. re: DuffyH
                                                    s
                                                    sandylc Sep 4, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                    Pita is fun to make! The James Beard recipe is very good...

                                          2. re: sandylc
                                            DuffyH Sep 3, 2013 07:44 PM

                                            I should add that we're already freezing rolls, everything else goes in the fridge, unsliced. Fresh bread spoils in 3 days here in summer.

                                            It's always a battle between fridge and freezer space, trying to strike the right balance. It comes from my frugality. We're retired military, living an hour away from the nearest commissary. We shop once every 2 weeks, filling in with produce in between. It makes for a crowded fridge/freezer unit, but saves a bundle versus shopping at the local supermarkets.

                                          3. re: DuffyH
                                            j
                                            jarona Sep 5, 2013 03:13 PM

                                            Duffy H. Did you try the brioche recipe at all? I haven't tried it, but it is definitely on my to-make list. I am also planning on adding some olives and rosemary and additional salt to the dough I will prepare for this weekend!
                                            I don't worry about the shelf-life of bread in our house--I live with a Frenchman and they will survive solely on bread, cheese and wine--LOL! However, when my oldest son came to visit last weekend, he just about ate an entire loaf:)

                                            1. re: jarona
                                              DuffyH Sep 5, 2013 07:16 PM

                                              I haven't tried the brioche yet. Just the basic loaf.

                                              We could survive on bread, cheese and wine, happily. Alas, we have no self-control where those are concerned. You'd need to stencil "Boeing" on our butts. :0

                                  4. a
                                    ams1 Mar 30, 2010 04:18 PM

                                    Anyone know where I can get liquid levain in DC?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: ams1
                                      Adagio Apr 12, 2010 06:54 PM

                                      Hi:

                                      Yes...it lives in your flour bag!
                                      Monday morning:
                                      Step one:

                                      Put 125 grams water in a mixing bowl

                                      Add 50 grams of rye flour

                                      Add 50 grams of all purpose flour.

                                      Mix well and cover lightly with plastic.

                                      Monday afternoon:

                                      Add 125 grams of water
                                      50 grams of rye
                                      50 grams of all purpose

                                      Tuesday Morning

                                      Take one half of your sour...toss out the rest.
                                      to it add 125 grams of water,
                                      50 grams of rye
                                      50 grams or all purpose.

                                      Tuesday afternoon:

                                      add 125 grams of water
                                      50 grams of rye
                                      50 grams of all purpose

                                      Wednesday morning

                                      remove half of the sour
                                      add 125 grams of water
                                      100 grams of all purpose...no more rye.

                                      Wednesday afternoon

                                      add 125 grams of water
                                      100 grams of all purpose

                                      Thursday morning

                                      remove half your sour
                                      add 125 grams water
                                      100 grams all purpose

                                      Thursday afternoon
                                      add 125 grams water
                                      100 grams AP flour

                                      Friday Morning...you may just see gas forming by now.

                                      Remove half your sour
                                      add 125 grams water
                                      100 grams all purpose

                                      Friday afternoon
                                      add 125 grams water
                                      100 grams all purpose

                                      You should have an active culture of liquid levain by now!

                                      You can continue to feed it once to twice a day for another weak. Remember to remove half the sour and toss it.

                                      Keep the formula 125% water to 100% flour.

                                      After you have a strong culture, you can refrigerate your levain and each week a couple of days before you bake, take it out of the fridge, remove half and feed. as you did when you started it.

                                      The rye is there to start the culture. The enzymes in the rye really accelerate the process, but it is not necessary! You can do it with all purpose flour alone. It may just take a day or three longer to get going.

                                      Let me know how you do!

                                      Ralph
                                      Adagio Bakery & Cafe

                                      1. re: Adagio
                                        gingershelley Jun 20, 2012 11:18 AM

                                        Adagio, what is the science or purpose of removing half of the sour so often and throwing it out?

                                        And, at what point is it ready to use. At that point, wouldn't the 1/2 I remove from the mother culture be what I use to actually bake with, as in remove and make a loaf with 1/2 the starter, feed remaining starter and put it back in the fridge?

                                        Please advise.

                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                          s
                                          sandylc Jun 20, 2012 11:29 AM

                                          Gingershelley, those are the questions I have had for years....it seems unclear and wasteful to me. I guess, tho, that the throwing away part is so that it can be fed frequently without becoming the size of a house - ?

                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                            LMAshton Jan 9, 2013 10:05 PM

                                            Personally, when I start a new wild yeast starter (also known as sourdough starter, but mine isn't sour), I start with much, much smaller amounts of flour and water. I tend to do, say, 10 grams flour, 10 grams water - no rye.

                                            If you don't remove some of the starter each time you refresh, you'll have to add an increasingly larger amount of flour and water. For example, let's say you have 50 grams of starter that you want to refresh. I'd add 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water - so twice the amount of flour and water of what's already in the starter. If I had 500 grams of starter, I'd have to add 500 grams of flour and water to refresh it. That's really wasteful.

                                            I don't through out the starter I remove - I'll use it for making pancakes, waffles, cakes, and so on.

                                      2. g
                                        guster4lovers Aug 3, 2010 04:06 PM

                                        Hi all-

                                        I'm fairly new to bread baking, and have recently began exploring the recipes in Bread Baker's Apprentice. I have made several of them, and I've noticed the same problem each time (which seems to mean it's my technique rather than his instructions/procedures): my bread always registers higher on an instant probe thermometer than Reinhart indicates it should be (often as high as 88-90 degrees, instead of at the required 79-81) and yet it doesn't pass the windowpane test. I start checking half way through the suggested kneading time, and it's nearly always above temperature, and yet just pulls apart when I try to stretch it. Today, out of curiosity, I probed it before I started kneading, and found it to be 86-87 degrees. Does that mean I'm adding water that's too hot, and thus leaving too much residual heat in my dough? Or is there another factor I'm not seeing?

                                        In case it matters, here's how I have been kneading my dough: entirely in a large Oxo bowl, rather than on a counter. This innovation (to me at least) was brought about due to a back injury that made standing uncomfortable, and the total lack of counterspace in my kitchen (and Reinhart mentions it as a technique in the tutorial at the start of BBA). It means that I'm not adding any extra flour - when I first started, I was often adding 1/2 cup in order to keep my dough from sticking. For the record, I have done the kneading the "traditional" way and in the bowl, and the result is always the same.

                                        My second problem is the amount of rise I'm able to get during the final proofing before baking. After the hour Reinhart indicates, the dough has either not doubled in size or has started deflating a bit, which is compounded when I score and transfer the dough to bake it. Is there some way I don't know about to measure when to stop the final proofing so that you still get some oven "spring"?

                                        Thanks, and please let me know if I'm not being clear enough. I really appreciate the help!

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: guster4lovers
                                          Adagio Jun 18, 2012 01:23 PM

                                          Hi:

                                          This will take a few emails. If we're talking white flour, pre-ferment doughs, 76F is MORE than enough!

                                          Also, you MUST correct for temperature during the mixing phase!!!

                                          So, if you have all the parts:

                                          Flour temperature, room temperature, preferment temperature and mixer friction...here's how it goes.

                                          Flour, room, pre-ferment, water are four parts. At 76F that's 4 X 76 = 304F

                                          Example:

                                          Flour = 65F
                                          Room = 66F
                                          Pre=ferment = 68F
                                          Mixer Friction = 15F

                                          Total 304
                                          Flour -65
                                          Room -66
                                          Pre-ferment -68
                                          Mixer friction -15

                                          Water = 90F

                                          This will get you to the desired dough temperature and consistency.

                                          1. re: Adagio
                                            w
                                            we3lsc Oct 29, 2012 01:33 PM

                                            I just bought a KitchenAid 600 Pro stand mixer, and I do not know what is meant by mixer friction, and pre ferment. my house is at 72 degrees, so does that mean my water and flour need to be at 72 as well? Also how did you do the calculations to figure the mixer friction

                                            1. re: we3lsc
                                              b
                                              bevwinchester Aug 16, 2013 11:12 AM

                                              Ok- I've baked bread for over 30 years & IMHO the only temp I pay attention to is that of liquids added to the yeast (ie. too hot). All this other stuff just confuses & complicates- how can anyone learn to bake bread by constantly sticking thermometers into the ingredients?

                                              1. re: bevwinchester
                                                DuffyH Aug 16, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                Hi bev,

                                                I'm a seasoned cook and a novice baker, but just as I use an oven thermometer to check my oven temp before baking, I use a Thermapen to check ingredient temps and final loaf temp when baking. To me, it's just common sense.

                                                My range's oven always signals it's preheated at 220º, and my Breville oven shows 240º when it's signalling 350º, for example. So I stick my oven thermometer in as soon as I turn those on. I once removed a loaf from the oven when time was up. It thumped hollow and had a nice golden crust, but it was underbaked. Ever since that loaf I've been checking the temp of my loaves and have had zero problems.

                                                You say I can't learn to bake bread this way, and perhaps you're right, if by 'baking bread' you mean doing everything by feel and look, without bothering with measuring spoons, scales, recipes and thermometers. Me, I'm fine with all those things. To each baker her own, yes?

                                                1. re: bevwinchester
                                                  s
                                                  sandylc Aug 16, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                  Bev, this is not directed at you, necessarily, just at the topic...

                                                  Many professional bakers use precision times and temperatures at all stages of the baking process in order to produce large quantities with consistent results and perhaps with several bakers contributing. They consider things like friction in the mixer, room temperature, etc. to obtain exact results every time.

                                                  For the most part, the home bread baker could/should pay attention to the following temperatures:

                                                  liquids
                                                  oven
                                                  finished loaf

                                                  The liquids, so that you don't kill the yeast.

                                                  The oven, for obvious reasons. Home ovens don't necessarily heat to the temperature that you set them at; you can usually just take your chances, but I have sometimes found the need to use an oven thermometer. If you don't use one, be aware that your baking time might be different from the recipe.

                                                  Using a probe thermometer of good quality is an excellent way to be sure your loaf is baked perfectly. I have baked bread for about forty years, and I began using my thermopen to check for doneness a few years ago. I will never go back to guessing.

                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                    s
                                                    SomersetDee Aug 16, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                    Even professional bakers don't get times and temps right. It is because of the following reasons:

                                                    1) each batch of flour can have slight variance in the gluten and the amount of water it absorbs. During each kneading, a final visual and tactile check is done to see and feel if the dough consistency is all right.

                                                    2)each batch of yeast may have slight variations in efficacy. it is difficult to keep this consistent.

                                                    The air pockets raising the bread before it goes into oven is carbon dioxide. the final rising that happens inside the oven heat is steam expanding. Why I mention it is because for a good baking, high temperatures, constant movement of air (like fan oven) and copious moisture like steam oven are all very important.

                                                    1)Low temperature results in poor rise. So preheat fully. For domestic oven I recommend the highest setting.

                                                    2)If you like bread, proper steam oven is a good investment.

                                                    (you can convert ordinary domestic oven to stem baking by splashing 100ml water EVERY 7 minutes.)

                                                    I uploaded a pic of the bread (baguette) that I do most often. Small amount of organic rye and spelt added to cheap ordinary flour with sea salt. The dough is extra matured for 2 to 3 days inside the fridge for flavour and good rise. Green tint is from added spirulina and wakame.

                                                     
                                          2. m
                                            MDCurrent918 Nov 9, 2010 10:42 AM

                                            Hi.
                                            I'm working on a baguette recipe, where there's a pate fermente that's about 70% the total weight of the flour. Can you tell me your thoughts on the best time and method to incorporate this is?

                                            I've been mixing it into the water & yeast, then adding the flour & salt. This results in a very ... STRONG dough, that rips itself apart at the seam. (no, it's not too much flour during shaping, I've tested that to death!). I've tried adding an additional amount of water to the dough, to soften it. This almost worked, but the dough is so soft, it's very difficult to work.

                                            Any help would be appreciated!
                                            Thanks!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MDCurrent918
                                              Adagio Jun 18, 2012 01:11 PM

                                              Hi:

                                              70% is a lot.

                                              Try throttling back to about 40% and see how that goes for you for taste.

                                              As far as gluten development, take your pate fermente and break it into pieces and throw it in during the incorporation phase.

                                              Mix the dough for about 2-3 minutes until it comes together, then about 4-6 minutes at medium speed...about 8 on a kitchen aid.

                                              That's enough!!!!!!

                                              Two stretch and folds will provide all the gluten you need after that!

                                              Adagio Bakery

                                            2. ZenSojourner Nov 10, 2010 02:51 AM

                                              I have a question about baguettes. Is a cloth couche absolutely required? My crust comes out TOO thick and I understand a couche is supposed to help that to develop. I've been using my super parchment with towels rolled up under the parchment to create the u-shaped spaces for proofing the baguettes, so I don't have to handle the dough at all once the baguettes have been formed and proofed.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                Adagio Jun 18, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                Hi:

                                                Of course you can get around the Egyption or artist linen...but it's less fun!

                                                If your crust is coming out thick, I suspect either you're not using steam, or not enough!

                                                Adagio

                                                1. re: Adagio
                                                  s
                                                  sandylc Jun 20, 2012 09:18 AM

                                                  Hi....

                                                  How do you propose the home baker deal with a starter? In other words, not baking every day or even every other day....maybe once a week or two weeks...it seems a bit silly to be a slave to the starter if you don't use it that often. (Seems wasteful, as well) I've heard it can be frozen; is this worth it?

                                                  Thanks!

                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                    LMAshton Jan 9, 2013 10:08 PM

                                                    I keep my starter in the fridge when I'm not using it. I refresh as needed. If it's been a long time since the last time I used it - say, a few weeks or longer - then I'll refresh it twice before I use it again. It's kept fine for months at a time.

                                                    1. re: LMAshton
                                                      s
                                                      sandylc Jan 10, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                      Thanks!

                                              2. r
                                                RuralDeb Apr 22, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                I'm glad you're here. I've just finished a one year Baking and Pastry Arts program at a local college and entered a baking competition where I won gold for my bread, bronze for cookies and bronze overall. All at age 57. I'm trying to recreate my success at home but I don't have access to fresh yeast like at the lab at school and we never did cover how to substitue dry yeast for fresh. Is there a formula?

                                                If anyone can help I'd really appreciate it.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: RuralDeb
                                                  h
                                                  housewolf Apr 22, 2011 11:28 PM

                                                  Here's a chart you can use, it's more accurate than trying to use a formula.
                                                  http://www.theartisan.net/convert_yea...

                                                  Good luck to you! Baking bread at home has it's challenges over baking in the commercial ovens that schools and restaurants use, but you should be able to create some great breads in your own kitchen.

                                                  1. re: RuralDeb
                                                    k
                                                    Kelli2006 Apr 22, 2011 11:31 PM

                                                    You can often buy fresh yeast in cake form in the refrigerator case in most mega-marts.

                                                    This is the fresh to dry conversion rate.
                                                    "to convert fresh cake yeast to instant yeast, for 1 packed tablespoon/0.75 ounce cake yeast use 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry"

                                                    1. re: RuralDeb
                                                      Adagio Jun 18, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                      Hi:

                                                      You don't need fresh yeast. I do admit that it does perform better, but it only lasts about 3 weeks. So instead use INSTANT yeast at about 33% that of the fresh. It needs no pre-proofing...I don't know who started that rumor. Just throw it in with the rest of the ingredients and mix.

                                                      1. re: RuralDeb
                                                        q
                                                        Querencia Jun 18, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                        I started baking with yeast 65 years ago when we were living in Argentina where yeast was sold in bulk (you bought it by the 100 grams) at bakeries. I used to use 1 level tablespoon, packed, for 1 cake of yeast as was called for in American recipes at that time. And 1 cake should correspond to 1 envelope of dry. Nowadays I do sometimes see cakes of fresh yeast but not at all stores.

                                                        1. re: Querencia
                                                          Adagio Jul 14, 2012 09:01 PM

                                                          Fresh yeast outperforms all others. However, it is tough to get in small quantities and three weeks later, it's toast...sorry about that.

                                                          Instant, (dry) is very good. In formulas that call for fresh, just use about .33 of the amount called for for fresh. Also, I like to make up the difference in water.

                                                          Remember, Fresh yeast is mostly moisture.

                                                          Remember to always check your hydration by "feel" and also...the all important dough temperature is a good way to keep consistency from loaf to loaf.

                                                      2. AmandaCA Jun 18, 2012 06:27 PM

                                                        I bought a loaf of bread at my local farmer's market. It was super delicious! I went back the next week to find out what type of bread it was. The kid working the tent said it was applesauce bread. He also recommended oatmeal bread. Does anyone have any tried and true recipes for these breads? I'd never heard of them before.

                                                        For reference they were like half wheat/half white sandwich breads with a touch of sweetness. The crumb was full of tiny bubbles that gave a pleasant spongy or bouncy texture to the bread. And the crust was a thin pale brown.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: AmandaCA
                                                          d
                                                          DebinIndiana Aug 16, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                          Hi, Amanda, I don't know how this measures up to your farmers' market bread, but I love this recipe. I've made it many times, and always successfully.

                                                          Give it a try!

                                                          http://www.farmgirlfare.com/2006/11/o...

                                                        2. s
                                                          sandylc Jun 19, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                          Ralph, are you still hanging around to answer questions?

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                            k
                                                            KSlink Jun 20, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                            He was here two days ago--check upthread for his e-maill address......

                                                            1. re: KSlink
                                                              s
                                                              sandylc Jun 20, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                              Cooll! Thanks...

                                                            2. re: sandylc
                                                              Adagio Jul 14, 2012 08:56 PM

                                                              LOL...

                                                              Absolutely. I admit not as much as I should!!! I'll try to fix that!

                                                              Ralph

                                                            3. m
                                                              milkbd Jul 14, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                              I love making bread at home and tried both fresh making on the same day and proofing overnight in the fridge. Both ended up with very good.
                                                              But this time, I've tried to do "2 days proofing in the fridge"for the first time. The texture was good, but the yeast flavor took over way too much and tasted awful. Is there maximum proofing time in the fridge?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: milkbd
                                                                Adagio Jul 14, 2012 08:55 PM

                                                                Hi:

                                                                The more you ferment the bread, the more acidiy it will create. Slow fermentation, or retarding, in the fridge works best with sour dough formulas and one night is about the limit.

                                                                It's a great way to "get up and bake", instead of "get up and make bread".

                                                                Happy Baking!

                                                              2. c
                                                                carluccio Nov 23, 2012 06:55 AM

                                                                I have a question....I bake bread about every three weeks and about 8 to 10 loaves. I use Nancy Silverton's Breads from La Brea Bakery recipes and starter that I have had for years. I cool the bread for most of the day then cut the loaves in half, wrap them in plastic and freeze them for later use. Nine times out of ten the crust breaks off in chunks, like there are large air bubbles underneath. What causes this and can I prevent it? Thanks in advance for your wisdom.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: carluccio
                                                                  maria lorraine Dec 2, 2012 05:31 PM

                                                                  Is it a big bubble on this inside? Like this?

                                                                  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2178...

                                                                  Lots of answers to baking problems on that site.

                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                    c
                                                                    carluccio Dec 2, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                    No there are no bubbles, the crust just separates from the remainder of the loaf. I just baked a batch and after they have been frozen I will post a photo, thanks for your response.

                                                                    1. re: carluccio
                                                                      maria lorraine Dec 2, 2012 10:07 PM

                                                                      Also check, oiling your dough before rising. Google is helpful here with your problem.

                                                                  2. re: carluccio
                                                                    z
                                                                    ZoeLouise Dec 2, 2012 10:22 PM

                                                                    Not much help, just to say that this happens to me too. My bread is perfect, but once frozen, thawed and crisped up again: flying crust. Underbaking the bread a bit helps, but the taste will suffer.

                                                                    1. re: carluccio
                                                                      b
                                                                      bakergal Dec 3, 2012 08:03 AM

                                                                      This happens to me, too. I freeze mini-baguettes in individual plastic bags that I put inside heavy freezer bags. When it's time to eat, I thaw the bread (usually in the MW), then pop it into the toaster oven to crisp. The amount of de-crusting is directly proportional to time spent in the freezer. The first week, good as new. Second week, maybe a little de-crusting . By the third or fourth week, much of the crust cracks off when I cut it.

                                                                      1. re: carluccio
                                                                        Adagio Jan 9, 2013 05:38 PM

                                                                        are you baking with steam????

                                                                        1. re: carluccio
                                                                          Adagio Jan 9, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                                          OK...for a real educated guess...I would have to see the formula and the method. However, I would question the shaping technique and ask if you're using steam in the intitial stages of the bake. Also, at what temp are you baking? Are these pan breads or free loaves?

                                                                          RJ
                                                                          adagio bakery

                                                                          1. re: Adagio
                                                                            maria lorraine Jan 9, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                            Seems to be related to the bread being frozen. See below in the thread.

                                                                        2. c
                                                                          carluccio Dec 2, 2012 03:14 PM

                                                                          I have a post at the end of this feed asking why my crust separates from the bread. Not sure anyone has seen the post. Any comments?

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: carluccio
                                                                            s
                                                                            sandylc Dec 2, 2012 03:25 PM

                                                                            I did see it, but I was waiting for someone smarter than me to answer it for you! I do wonder if you observe bubbles/air pockets on the surface of the risen loaves before baking. I have read that you can pop these with a toothpick. But I don't know what is causing it, and I am fairly sure that it should be prevented rather than fixed.

                                                                            I hope my comment helps to draw attention to your question....

                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                              c
                                                                              carluccio Dec 2, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                              Thanks Sandy, I don't think it is air bubble because the breaks are too irregular. My husband thinks it might come from the misting in the first 5 minutes of baking. Anyone else have a thought?

                                                                              1. re: carluccio
                                                                                s
                                                                                sandylc Dec 2, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                                Ah-h...just reading in my new Jeffrey Hamelman book that the misting should only be in the first several seconds of baking.....

                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  carluccio Dec 2, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                  In these recipes you mist the oven, not directly on the bread, 3 times within the first 5 minutes. Don't think that is what it is. I think the bread may expand during freezing and then shrink during defrosting and it causes the crust to come loose. I would love a solution but if it is the freezing is it we are living with it I don't want to bake every other day!

                                                                              2. re: sandylc
                                                                                maria lorraine Dec 2, 2012 10:10 PM

                                                                                Does it have to do with moisture migration to the outer edge of the crust from the middle of the dough? What about swapping out the plastic wrap?

                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  carluccio Dec 3, 2012 07:11 AM

                                                                                  THat's a thought I will give that a try, thank you!

                                                                                  1. re: carluccio
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    sandylc Dec 3, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                                                    Whenever you can, it is best to freeze food naked on a baking sheet until it is hard, then bagging/wrapping it. It's also best to avoid nuking good bread if you can.

                                                                              3. re: carluccio
                                                                                maria lorraine Dec 4, 2012 08:56 PM

                                                                                By any chance, carluccio, are you cooling the bread in the pans? If so, the bread continues to bake, especially the outer edge -- the crust -- that is in contact with the heat of the pan. This can lead to uneven baking, wherein the crust is denser and dryer than the crumb, and so it doesn't stay on.

                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  carluccio Dec 4, 2012 09:08 PM

                                                                                  No I bake it on a stone in the oven and it cools on racks after it comes out. Thanks

                                                                                  1. re: carluccio
                                                                                    maria lorraine Dec 4, 2012 10:00 PM

                                                                                    Still a mystery, then. Check the baking sites. Loads of really good ones that have troubleshooting sections. Good luck.

                                                                                2. re: carluccio
                                                                                  z
                                                                                  ZoeLouise Dec 6, 2012 01:20 AM

                                                                                  Carluccio, do you read French? Here's a pdf which deals with all kinds of bread problems and on page 15 has reasons for "croute qui s'ecaille" with fresh and frozen bread: http://www.cannelle.com/BILIOTHEQUE/r...

                                                                                  1. re: ZoeLouise
                                                                                    maria lorraine Dec 6, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                                                    Interesting site, Zoe. Thanks. Please help with my translation:

                                                                                    Bread fault: Crust "coming off in scales"
                                                                                    Frozen bread:
                                                                                    Freezing bread is forbidden in [French] bakeries
                                                                                    Too much air flow in freezer {leading to excessive drying]
                                                                                    Freezing too long

                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                      z
                                                                                      ZoeLouise Dec 7, 2012 12:02 AM

                                                                                      That's what I make of it, together with overproofing, too much steam and too hot oven. As we probably don't add Vitamin C, that shouldn't be our problem.

                                                                                3. q
                                                                                  Querencia Dec 7, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                  Just remember that your yeast is alive, like a little baby, so you treat it like a baby. Feed it (it likes flour and sugar and isn't crazy about salt) and keep it warm (but not too hot). I remember my aunt's only attempt at working with yeast when she put the dough to rise on a VERY hot sunny back porch and killed her yeast. Liquids added to your yeast should be body temperature, like baby formul, and you want to keep Baby out of drafts and heat waves.

                                                                                  1. k
                                                                                    kara2006 Dec 7, 2012 04:19 PM

                                                                                    What a great topic! Thank you. Will this be a separate board discussion eventually?

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: kara2006
                                                                                      maria lorraine Dec 7, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                                                      This is a good thread, but there are many others similar to it, with an entire world of experience in the posts.

                                                                                    2. Antilope Jan 18, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                      Tender, Fluffy Bread with a Roux

                                                                                      You can use a flour and water roux in bread baking to make a more tender, fluffy loaf. The starch in the roux also traps water and retains it in the finished bread causing it to stay fresh and moist longer. Some people say their bread lasts up to a week.

                                                                                      Just a flour and water roux, no oil is added.

                                                                                      It's a technique developed in China called "Tang Zhong" Method Bread.

                                                                                      The flour and water (5 to 1 ratio water to flour by weight) is heated to 65 C / 150 F to form the smooth roux. The roux can be heated in a saucepan or in the microwave.

                                                                                      2 1/2 Tbs of flour to about 1/2 cup of water is enough roux for a 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb loaf.

                                                                                      The cooled roux is just added to the dough mixture with the other wet ingredients, or to the bread machine basket.

                                                                                      You will probably have to adjust the other flour in the recipe up or the other wet ingredients down to compensate for the extra moisture from the roux.

                                                                                      This technique can be used on any type of yeast bread recipe. Kneading and bake times are unchanged for any recipe.

                                                                                      I've used this method with all-purpose flour and bread flour. I haven't tried whole-wheat flour, but there are whole-wheat recipes that can be found with a Google search.

                                                                                      Google "Tang Zhong Bread" for more info on the subject.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Antilope
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        sandylc Jan 18, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                        Fascinating! Thanks.

                                                                                      2. Ruthie789 Jan 19, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                                                        I have been successful at making the long rising 18 hour bread but regular bread is not working out for me. My dough always rises but once baked the bread is heavy what am I doing wrong?

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                          Bada Bing Jan 27, 2013 06:55 AM

                                                                                          @Ruthie789: if you're using the same dough recipe for long rise and regular rise, then the success of the long rise would mean that the bread's gluten has developed better in that approach. So you should try more thorough kneading of the dough when making regular bread. For most doughs, it makes sense to go for the windowpaning effect:

                                                                                          http://www.thekitchn.com/bakers-techn...

                                                                                          It is also possible that the longer rise would allow some time for a moderate amount of fermentation, but I would think that would only make for a flavor boost, not a texture boost.

                                                                                          1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                            Ruthie789 Jan 28, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                                                            I do not use the same recipe for the regular rise. I have been successful as mentioned with the long rise and as well with refridgerator rolls which require an overnight stay in the fridge. However each time I attempt a regular loaf everything goes fine, the dough rises but once cooked it is heavy. I will try to knead more and use the link above. My aim a light soft dough... ah if only. Thank you for your help.

                                                                                        2. r
                                                                                          rtms Mar 12, 2013 09:34 PM

                                                                                          what internal temperature should I be looking for on my homebaked bread?

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rtms
                                                                                            Antilope Mar 12, 2013 09:48 PM

                                                                                            Most homebaked breads are done at an internal temperature of 195-F. Some rustic breads are better when cooked to 200-F.

                                                                                            1. re: Antilope
                                                                                              r
                                                                                              rtms Mar 18, 2013 09:00 PM

                                                                                              Yikes and thank you! I guess the 220 F was a little high but I was so tired of gummy bread and the crust was nice.

                                                                                            2. re: rtms
                                                                                              s
                                                                                              sandylc Mar 13, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                              I do 190 on American and enriched breads, but take rustic ones to 200.

                                                                                              1. re: rtms
                                                                                                Bada Bing Mar 13, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                I tend to take rustic bread to 205+. I like the "bold" darker style of crust, and that's generally the internal temp by the time the crust gets where I like it.

                                                                                                In case you don't already know: resist the urge to cut the bread before it's cooled.

                                                                                                1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                  sandylc Mar 13, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                                  I agree: Dark Crust = GOOD STUFF.

                                                                                                  I hate the type of bakery where everything is pale. Gummy and tasteless.

                                                                                              2. egit Mar 13, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                                I'm pretty new to baking bread at home.

                                                                                                What kind of thermometers do home bread bakers use to test the dough temperature in the kneading stages, as well as to test when it's done (aside from the Drum test).

                                                                                                Also, some recipes I've read recommend misting the loaves with water a couple of times in the first 5-6 minutes, in addition to placing a CI pan with water in the bottom of the oven.

                                                                                                It seems that opening the oven to mist is counterproductive. Any thoughts on that?

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: egit
                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                  sandylc Mar 13, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                                  Here is a nice one:

                                                                                                  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                    Antilope Mar 13, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                                                                    The Thermapen is about $ 5.00 cheaper directly from Thermoworks.

                                                                                                    http://www.thermoworks.com/products/thermapen/

                                                                                                    If you need a timer, they sell the best timer for $ 19
                                                                                                    http://www.thermoworks.com/products/t...

                                                                                                    1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      sandylc Mar 13, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                      Nice timer!

                                                                                                2. egit Mar 18, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                  Hi All --

                                                                                                  It's me again. I have another question. I made a batch of the following over the weekend:

                                                                                                  http://jezebel.com/no_knead-refrigera...

                                                                                                  I read somewhere (I thought here, but I guess not...) someone suggested "up to a third" of the flour could be substituted with semolina, and it would magically transform the flavor. For some strange reason, I happened to have semolina flour, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

                                                                                                  The trouble I had was that the dough didn't really rise as much as I'd thought it would. It never quite doubled. I let it rise for well over two hours. It got close, but eventually after 90 minutes it simply stopped moving. The resulting product was somewhat dense; not quite like a bagel, but not nearly as light as I'd have liked. It's not a total loss, just a little bit disappointing.

                                                                                                  My question: was this due to the semolina? Or is it more likely some of my yeast had given up the ghost? I had several partial packets of yeast and one fresh one in my fridge. Some of them may have been rather old (6-12 months old).

                                                                                                  Insight? Thank you!

                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: egit
                                                                                                    Antilope Mar 18, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                    I see the recipe calls for 1 1/2 Tbsp of kosher salt for 6 1/2 cups of flour. This is okay if you used kosher salt. If you used this much sea salt or table salt, it might be too much and might inhibit yeast growth, making a dense loaf. If substituting sea salt for kosher salt, I would use only 1 Tbsp for the recipe, based on the weights below.

                                                                                                    I just weighted some table salt, sea salt and kosher salt I have on hand:

                                                                                                    Morton Table Salt 19.2 gm per Tbsp
                                                                                                    La Baleine Coarse Sea Salt 19.0 gm per Tbsp
                                                                                                    Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt 12.9 gm per Tbsp

                                                                                                    I had bulk 1-lb packs of instant yeast (stored airtight) in my freezer that were 5 years past the expiration date and worked fine. Store your yeast in the freezer. I used it right out of the freezer without warming to room temp and it worked fine.

                                                                                                    1. re: egit
                                                                                                      maria lorraine Mar 18, 2013 11:10 AM

                                                                                                      Dunno...but all the semolina I've used is far heavier than regular bread flour -- meaning, the same amount of yeast as before isn't going to provide enough ooomph to make that heavy dough rise. I encountered the same thing when first making rye breads with heavier rye meal flours -- the loaves were dense.

                                                                                                      Solutions? Increase the quantity of yeast, or accept that the loaf will dense, or reduce the quantity (or eliminate) the semolina or??

                                                                                                      Did you like the flavor of adding the semolina? If not, go back to the original recipe.

                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                        maria lorraine Mar 18, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                                                        Curious about this...just checked the King Arthur Semolina Bread recipe and it uses 1 Tablespoon yeast PER LOAF (made with 3 cups semolina flour).
                                                                                                        http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/semolina-bread-recipe

                                                                                                        Your linked recipe used 1.5 Tablespoons for three loaves, or half a tablespoon per loaf.

                                                                                                        So, increase your yeast quantity.

                                                                                                        Also, most semolina flour breads (Italian, usually) are slightly dense.
                                                                                                        http://www.macheesmo.com/2011/03/semo...

                                                                                                      2. re: egit
                                                                                                        egit Mar 18, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                                        Thanks guys.

                                                                                                        Antilope - I used diamond crystals, so it wasn't that it was over-salted. I will confess that I measured one T of yeast, and then it looked "about like a half T" for the rest. My eye is pretty good, but I can't swear to that quantity. Nice tip on the freezer though. I'll store yeast in the freezer in the future.

                                                                                                        maria - It tasted fine, but if that's a trade-off, I'll ditch the semolina next time. I'm waiting until the remainder of the dough ferments a bit to see if it makes any appreciable difference. I made the dough Saturday morning and baked a small loaf from it on Sunday.

                                                                                                        Thanks again! I really appreciate there being one thread I can throw out random bread questions with the hope that someone will share insight and experience.

                                                                                                        1. re: egit
                                                                                                          LMAshton Mar 18, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                                                                          Personally, I do all my baking in weight, not volume. I find it easier to consistently get good results. One main problem with baking using volumes is that you don't know how the recipe writer measures her flour. Packed? Sifted? How sifted? Scooped? And how do you measure and how does that compare to the recipe writer?

                                                                                                          One informal study done over at The Fresh Loaf, I believe, showed that a cup of flour could range anywhere from 100 grams to 250 grams depending on if it was sifted, how it was sifted, if it was scooped, packed, and so on.

                                                                                                          Then if you're substituting one type of flour for another, they may have different densities. I checked my handy dandy online conversion tool at http://www.onlineconversion.com/weigh... and found that:

                                                                                                          1 cup flour, all purpose = 125 grams
                                                                                                          1 cup semolina = 167 grams

                                                                                                          That's for sifted flour. There was no semolina flour listed, so I don't know how much that weighs, but to give you some idea...

                                                                                                          1 cup barley flour = 148 grams
                                                                                                          1 cup rice flour = 158 grams

                                                                                                          There are also flours listed that weight less than all purpose wheat flour, but I'm guessing that semolina flour probably weighs more per cup that white flour, and if that's the case, one contributing factor could be that the dough was more dense than when you use white flour only.

                                                                                                          My suggestion is to get a scale and use that for baking. You'll be closer to getting consistent results and it'll be easier to rule out the weight of the flour as a source of the problem.

                                                                                                          If you go that route, keep in mind that salt is usually measured at 2% of the total weight of the flour.

                                                                                                          1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                            Bada Bing Mar 18, 2013 08:19 PM

                                                                                                            I agree that weights are much better. But finding recipes that go by weight involves moving up a notch or two sophistication of sources, which not everyone is game to do. I'm not saying weights are more challenging--quite the contrary--but only that recipes that go by weight aren't what you find in the popular press and newspapers and common cookbooks very often, alas.

                                                                                                            edit: p.s., the word "formula" is sometimes helpful in Googling baking recipes that go by weight (e.g., "semolina bread formula"). Also "baker's weight."

                                                                                                            1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                              Antilope Mar 18, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                                                              It's really not that difficult, for any volume recipe, to reverse engineer the flour weight from the weight of the liquids that are called for. People may use different methods to volume measure flour, but liquid volume should be pretty accurate. If you want a 60% hydration and weigh the liquids, the flour weight is easy to determine.

                                                                                                              Example: If the recipe calls for 1 cup of water, it weighs 236 gm / .60 = 393 gm of flour.

                                                                                                              As an example for the recipe in question calling for 3 cups of water and 6 1/2 cups of flour: I have a bakers formula for wheat bread (bread flour and whole wheat flour) calling for 63% hydration. Probably similar to the bread flour and semolina flour recipe. Doing the math results in:

                                                                                                              3 cups water = 236 gm * 3 = 708 gm / .63 = 1123.8 gm of flour total. Just divide the flour weight up by 50 / 50 or 25 / 75 etc, depending on how much semolina and how much bread flour is used.

                                                                                                              1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                                LMAshton Mar 18, 2013 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                I use the conversion tool I linked to above to convert recipes from volume to weight. I've converted all the baking recipes I use to weights, including cakes, souffles, cookies, brownies. Works great and the conversion is not at all difficult.

                                                                                                                Using the above recipe, the 6.5 cups flour is 812 g with the called for 3 cups water, or 711 grams. That gives a really high hydration of 87%. Antilope's theoretical 63% is typical of a French bread loaf. I see 87% very rarely, like with a very slack ciabatta, but I can see it working for a no-knead bread.

                                                                                                                1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                                  maria lorraine Mar 18, 2013 10:44 PM

                                                                                                                  Actually, I've found that the linked recipe has quite a few errors, certainly factual errors.

                                                                                                                  Though it's convenient to work from an established recipe -- especially one with ingredients in weights -- not all recipes are honed, and that's the case here.

                                                                                                                  I feel like a better approach would be to take the No-Knead Bread Recipe or the 5-Minute recipe and adapt it yourself.

                                                                                                                  Or, to take a great bread baking book -- like any of Peter Reinhart's books, the Tartine bread baking book, Bouchon's -- and use those recipes, which are tightly honed. Some recipes from those books are online, and some, of course, are here on Chowhound.

                                                                                                                  Finally, the Debra Wink website is phenomenal for recipes and explanations.

                                                                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                    LMAshton Mar 18, 2013 10:50 PM

                                                                                                                    I hadn't read the recipe in detail, so I'll take your word for it. Personally, I adapt all recipes anyway. I use only sourdough starter, not commercial yeast, so that's adapted after I convert the recipe to weight...

                                                                                                                    1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Mar 18, 2013 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                      And we have to bear in mind that bakers come in a variety of skill levels and with varying amounts of curiosity and time.

                                                                                                                      While you may enjoy converting or adapting a bread recipe, that may be too much work or effort for another. While some of us may enjoy using and maintaining a starter, that isn't workable for others. Or the lack of an accurate digital scale means weighing ingredients is out. And so forth. So recipes must come in many forms.

                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        sandylc Mar 19, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                        What's funny about bread baking is how well it follows a pattern that I have noticed in life:

                                                                                                                        You have to learn the rules before you can break them.

                                                                                                                        In other words, after you've made the long journey through discovering how things work (including precise weights, etc.), only then can you throw some stuff randomly into a bowl, stir it up, and get a reasonable loaf as your result.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                          Bada Bing Mar 19, 2013 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                          Agreed.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                            LMAshton Mar 19, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                            Which is why I advocate using a recipe with weights. It's a much, much, much shorter learning curve than baking with volume measurements.

                                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                                              chocchic May 13, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                              I'm addicted to Peter Reinhart's Multi Grain Bread Extraordinaire. I find that I bake up a loaf about once a week. Have two questions. Could I double the recipe and just bake in two pans? I would love to share a loaf but despite my good intentions I end up eating it. HaHa.
                                                                                                              Also wondering could I substitute a smmall portion of whole wheat flour for bread flour?
                                                                                                              thanks so much.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: chocchic
                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                sandylc May 13, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                I find that generally speaking a substitution of 25% or less of whole wheat flour is OK. Doubling the recipes should also work if you have the muscles/equipment to handle the mixing of so much heavy dough. With either/both changes you might have to adjust the flour/water a bit to acheive the right hydration; you are familiar with this dough, so you should be able to judge this by looks/feel.

                                                                                                                1. re: chocchic
                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                  calumin Sep 3, 2013 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                  I just made that bread yesterday, using millet - it came out really well. My main change was that used the bread maker instead of doing it by hand, but it was the best bread I've made so far in the machine!

                                                                                                                  I also substituted 1/3 of the bread flour with whole wheat flour.

                                                                                                                2. DuffyH May 18, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                  I don't bake, but have been yearning to save money on bread, so just this morning I baked my very first loaf of no-knead bread in my 4.5qt clad stainless saucepan. Ta Da! Check out this picture. Isn't it gorgeous?

                                                                                                                  It is very, very good bread. A classic rustic loaf. I'd read that it can be rather blah tasting, but it wasn't. Maybe it's because I live in Tampa and it's warmer here. Maybe it's because I don't have any instant yeast, so used a bit more active dry yeast. Maybe I'm a magician. Whatever the reason, it has a great crust, a chewy crumb and a nice yeasty tang.

                                                                                                                  But, I'd also like to find a recipe that produces a lighter, less chewy crumb, something a little better suited to sandwiches, along the lines of fresh supermarket French bread. I'm open to anything. Any ideas?

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1. q
                                                                                                                    Querencia May 18, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                    I remember watching an aunt's first (and only) attempt at yeast baking---she set her dough to rise on a REALLY hot back porch in the sun, thinking the more heat, the better, and of course she killed her yeast. Grown up now (and a yeast baker) I always tell beginning bakers to think of yeast as if it were a little baby that you must keep warm and feed but must protect from extremes. Like an infant, yeast likes body temperatures. It eats carbohydrate (sugar and flour), it does better if it's kept out of cold drafts, and it eliminates but in a more pleasant way than a baby does--- bubbles of air that make the dough rise and make the whole house smell like baking bread.

                                                                                                                    1. q
                                                                                                                      Querencia May 18, 2013 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                      This is the bread I made twice a week for years. It makes extraordinary toast. Dissolve 1 cake yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and let set 45 minutes. Meanwhile melt and cool 1 stick (4 oz) butter. When cool, add to the yeast with 1 beaten egg, 2 cups lukewarm water, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat thoroughly then work in 8 cups flour and knead until elastic, about 10 minutes. Let rise. Punch down and form 2 loaves. Let rise again. Place in COLD oven and turn temperature to 400* then after 15 minutes to 375* and bake bread 25 minutes longer. Brush loaves with butter. VARIANT: Instead of 8 cups white flour use 2 cups white flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups yellow cornmeal, and 2 cups Kellogg's All Bran cereal.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                        DuffyH May 19, 2013 04:07 AM

                                                                                                                        <It makes extraordinary toast.>

                                                                                                                        Would you say it's like English muffin bread, then?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                          Wtg2Retire Aug 17, 2013 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                          Querencia, I really like the sound of your bread. However, do you think it would work if leaving the eggs out? One family member cannot eat anything with eggs.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                            SomersetDee Aug 20, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                            :) enjoyed reading your recipe. Butter and egg will add yumminess. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like this recipe may need modifying since we have some of the best yeasts human civilisation has ever seen.

                                                                                                                            After much experimentation I have gone back to my FOUR ingredient bread.
                                                                                                                            Flour (organic stone milled),
                                                                                                                            Yeast (professional instant dry),
                                                                                                                            Salt, (sea salt > softer bread >better yeast growth)
                                                                                                                            Water (chlorine free)

                                                                                                                            For eating as soon as you have baked (like in our house), then this four ingredient bread is the best. Egg helps if you want to *keep* the bread for a few days. Egg and butter will make the bread taste like cake as well as help shelf life. After the world war, baking bread from cold oven to give it hard crust was popular because hard crust forms an insulation and helps the bread 'keep' for longer.

                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                            SomersetDee Jun 22, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                            I baked this for today's lunch. 60% flour, 15% Spelt 10% Barley 10% Rye + sea salt + 5% sourdough starter + spirulina. Thanks for looking.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                              Antilope Jun 22, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                              Those look great. Like a work of art. You almost hate to cut into them.

                                                                                                                            2. e
                                                                                                                              emu48 Jun 22, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                              I've joined the no-knead cult. Doesn't work for everything, but for the simple breads and pizzas I like to bake, it's excellent. Best of all, it's given me a reason to not replace the standing mixer with dough hook I gave away a couple moves ago. They never were cheap, but nowadays you pay even more and get plastic-geared crap unless you really spend a bundle.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: emu48
                                                                                                                                Antilope Jun 22, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                A bread machine with a separate dough cycle works better, and probably lasts longer kneading dough, than a mixer. You can buy a used one for a really good price. That's what I use, my Kitchenaid mixer seems too wimpy for the task.

                                                                                                                              2. p
                                                                                                                                pembree Aug 15, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                I love homemade bread like Mom used to make and have recently made it frequently. My husband grew up on store-bought wonder bread and isn't fond of the texture of homemade bread.

                                                                                                                                Is there a way to achieve a happy medium in terms of texture? I've tried a few things to get a softer texture, but without success. Is there an ingredient the commercial bakeries use that I don't, a technique I've never heard about? Any help will be appreciated.

                                                                                                                                35 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                  sandylc Aug 15, 2013 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                  You aren't going to achieve Wonder Bread texture because their kind of bad quality doesn't translate well to the home kitchen.

                                                                                                                                  Maybe try a potato bread recipe and tell him it's a copycat recipe for Wonder Bread.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                    DuffyH Aug 15, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                    I just found a thread that's all about Wonder Bread at The Fresh Loaf. If you ignore the preachy 'Wonder bread is evil' people, there's a lot of information, and several recipe links, there. :)

                                                                                                                                    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1147...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                      sandylc Aug 15, 2013 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                      There's preachy, and then there's the plain truth.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                        DuffyH Aug 16, 2013 05:35 AM

                                                                                                                                        Without accepting your premise, I'll point out that plain truth can be preachy, too.

                                                                                                                                        The OP on Gardenweb had asked for a homemade version of WB and got a lot of people telling her how awful WB is. Not really helpful, is all I'm saying.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                      SomersetDee Aug 16, 2013 02:42 AM

                                                                                                                                      HI, Getting smooth texture is easy.

                                                                                                                                      1) Using very finely ground strong flour and kneading well.
                                                                                                                                      2) Some moisture in the oven. (Or simply using a steam oven)

                                                                                                                                      Hope this helps

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Aug 16, 2013 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                                        1)Fine stong flour, 2)steam oven

                                                                                                                                        and the third trick 3) maybe try egg white from one egg added (kneaded into the dough) to compensate for lower quality flour.

                                                                                                                                        4th trick)
                                                                                                                                        protein from milk can work as long as you boil milk thoroughly for 3-minutes and then let it cool to room temperature and then add while kneading. Don't add too much!

                                                                                                                                        Steam oven is key. Commercial breads are baked in steam ovens.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                          DuffyH Aug 16, 2013 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                                          SomersetDee,

                                                                                                                                          I'm not an experienced baker, so hesitate to suggest anything specific to our OP, but will vital wheat gluten help soften bread? IIRC, I read that somewhere.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                            SomersetDee Aug 16, 2013 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                            Hi DuffyH, Yes it should :)

                                                                                                                                            Please let us know how it goes. regards

                                                                                                                                        2. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                                                          pembree Aug 16, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                          DuffyH - I followed your link and found some potential solutions there. And yes, I ignored the "evil Wonder bread" comments :) My husband's preference for soft-textured bread probably won't kill him - and while homemade white bread still isn't the "most healthy" bread, it's a step up from store bought!

                                                                                                                                          SummersetDee - You recommend "very finely ground strong flour." Is there a brand you would recommend? I'm a home cook so only have access to what I can find at the supermarkets.

                                                                                                                                          One of the suggestions I've found in my search is to use a Pullman Pan (Pan de Mie). I've not used one before, but it makes some sense that the cover would reduce evaporation and yield a softer texture. Does anyone have experience with thee pans?

                                                                                                                                          I'm going to try some of these ideas this weekend. I'll let you know my results. I really appreciate all of the responses I've gotten. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                            sandylc Aug 16, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                            Pain de Mie is an excellent white bread. If you are using the covered Pain de Mie pan, the biggest challenge is finding the right amount of dough to use in your pan, so that the risen/baked loaf fills the pan without squishing out. You can just make Pain de Mie without the Pullman pan with similar results, just domed on top rather than square.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                              DuffyH Aug 16, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                              pembree,

                                                                                                                                              If you do decide to get a pullman pan, I strongly recommend USA Pans. They've got a silicone coating that makes them 100% non-stick, without using butter or oil to coat the pan.

                                                                                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/USA-Pans-Pullma...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                                                              pembree Aug 19, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                                              This weekend's bread baking session was quite successful! I managed to get a very flavorful loaf with a soft texture and a very thin crust. I had previously added 1/4 cup of milk powder to my standard white bread recipe, which had given me a bit softer texture, so I kept that change. Yesterday, I added 1/4 cup of potato flakes and 4 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten to the mix. It took about 1/2 cup less flour than it usually does, but came together into a wonderful dough.

                                                                                                                                              I wanted to experiment to see if using a metal pan vs. my standard Pyrex pan would yield different results so I ran to the local discount store (didn't want to spend a fortune on an experiment) and found a steel loaf pan for 97 cents.

                                                                                                                                              I also changed technique a bit based on a something I read at The Fresh Loaf (I think). My usual method includes rising in a bowl, then shaping and rising in the pan. This suggested rising in the bowl twice. This made me a little nervous - afraid the yeast would run out of gas - but did it anyway. There was little to no rise after the bread was in the oven, but I'm not sure if it made a difference in texture. Any insight on this?

                                                                                                                                              The final analysis:

                                                                                                                                              1) I don't know if it was the potato flakes or the wheat gluten or the combination, but I'll be including both in future batches.

                                                                                                                                              2) While the crust on both loaves was thin, the steel pan yielded the thinner crust.

                                                                                                                                              3) I'm definitely getting the pullman pan - and DuffyH, that's is exactly the pan I was looking at! (Made in the good old USA is high on my list of qualifiers)

                                                                                                                                              4) I forgot to add steam so I'll put a pan of water in the oven next time and see if it improved the already soft texture.

                                                                                                                                              4) I can't wait to see if the same changes make an appreciable difference in my wheat or oatmeal breads.

                                                                                                                                              Thanks to all who commented.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                SomersetDee Aug 20, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                Hi Pembree

                                                                                                                                                All my senses tell me that you will get better results by *not* adding the potato flakes. Even though carbohydrates can give an initial boost to yeast it can also give you a more sour (alcohol) taste. Even if bread is being made quickly it will still spoil texture somewhat.

                                                                                                                                                Better bread usually comes from better protein content

                                                                                                                                                (usually in the form of gluten in wheat and 'improvers' as well as the protein in milk if milk has been added. Milk protein softens the bread.)

                                                                                                                                                Warning about adding too much milk. You may find that it reduces the efficacy of yeast.

                                                                                                                                                Your decision regarding a tin pan is spot on. Great intuition. Glass = poor conductor = bad for baking in.

                                                                                                                                                In my humble opinion steam makes the biggest difference. One of the reason why many get better results in a pullman's tin is because of the fact that the bread is baking in its own steam. So in effect it is a steam baked loaf!
                                                                                                                                                kind regards
                                                                                                                                                Dee

                                                                                                                                                1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                                                                  pembree Aug 21, 2013 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Dee,

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the pointers. I did notice that my bread was a little less sweet than the flavor I usually get, but thought that might have something to do with the third rising. It still had a good flavor, so I'm willing to live with it if that keeps me from having to buy the stuff in the colorful plastic wrapper.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm making another batch tonight because it was such a big hit! There's not a bite left after breakfast this morning, so I'll try it without the potato flakes.

                                                                                                                                                  I assumed that some of the texture change was because of the added protein from the dry milk powder. Is there a difference in the yeast's efficiency when using dry milk vs. liquid? Does the amount of fat in the milk make an appreciable difference (skim, 1%, 2%, whole)?

                                                                                                                                                  I'll also put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven for this batch.

                                                                                                                                                  Do you have any insight as to the third rise? Did this contribute to the fine texture? If so, enough to make it worth the extra time involved?

                                                                                                                                                  I've ordered the pullman pan, but won't have it until some time next week :(

                                                                                                                                                  I really appreciate all the help. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                    SomersetDee Aug 23, 2013 04:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Hi Pembree,

                                                                                                                                                    a) Yes you are intuitively spot on correct. It is the later rise that gives more flavour. Most artisan bakers do the final bake only at the 3rd to 4th rise. (5th might be pushing it!)

                                                                                                                                                    b) I can tell you that the nature of the flour itself is profoundly important. Please keep trying different brands.

                                                                                                                                                    c) Dry milk powder is less likely to affect the yeast yeild. However, milk powder is less effective in softening the bread than just liquid milk.

                                                                                                                                                    d) Also try different brand yeast. I can recommend "Mauripan" I manage to get 4th rise from it every time!!

                                                                                                                                                    e) If using a pan of water at the bottom. It is great but please ensure that the water is boiling fully and creating steam before putting the bread in.

                                                                                                                                                    f) I mature my dough in the fridge. Refrigerate BEFORE even the first rise. First rise happens slowly in fridge. Then next day, knead and then use part of it or pop it back in fridge to use next day. (I keep a bowl permanently in the fridge. I take out half the dough and add some freshly kneaded dough to keep it going. So essentially I am always using a mixture of very mature dough.)

                                                                                                                                                    g) live bio-yoghurt has a more profound impact on the consistency of the final bread. It initially retards the yeast but later forms a balance. Much of sourdough cultivation has to do with this. So feel free to experiment with that.

                                                                                                                                                    h) Yes you are right that the fat content in milk affects the bread. Fat retards yeast. Not good if you want to mature the bread for many days for taste.

                                                                                                                                                    g) Maturing the bread 'creates' nutrition within it.

                                                                                                                                                    I just love the smell of freshly baked bread. :) I think families not baking bread at home are missing out on the appetising aroma of freshly baked loaf. :)
                                                                                                                                                    kind regards

                                                                                                                                              2. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                                                pembree Aug 26, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                The experimentation continues: I've made two more batches of bread trying to isolate the ingredient(s) and/or technique(s) that most contribute to soft texture and small grain. Neither turned out as good as the previous.

                                                                                                                                                Batch one - see my post on Aug 19th - it was great in texture and flavor - very slight sour taste.

                                                                                                                                                Batch two - last Wednesday evening: I took the advise on leaving out the potato flakes and inadvertently omitted the wheat gluten. (Realized about 1/2 into the kneading process and didn't think it would be incorporated well at that point in the process) So, this loaf had the added dry milk and I used the three-rise process and boiling water in the bottom of the oven which yielded a softer, finer grain than I had been getting, but it wasn't as soft as the loaf I made on the 18th. LESSONS - The third rise and the steam help and will be part of my process going forward. Potato flakes were the flavor culprit.

                                                                                                                                                Batch three - yesterday: I managed to remember to add the wheat gluten with the flour and repeated everything else. Got a slightly softer grain than batch two, but still not as soft as the loaf that included the potato flakes, but the very slightly sour taste in the potato flake loaf wasn't there.

                                                                                                                                                Next steps: I got the pullman pan this morning, so my next batch will be baked in the new pan which will, no doubt, complicate my little experiment with other factors - temp, time, volume of dough, etc. I'll try to repeat batch 3 which yields two small loaves (approx. 8x4x4 - weighing in at about 15 ounces each when the loaf is formed before the last rise.) I got the 13 inch pulman pan, hoping that my recipe would be about the right size. A recipe came on the side of the packaging that requires an additional 3/4 cup of flour, so I may end up needing to use a larger recipe or modify mine to make sure I fill the pan. Will attempt mid-week with the recipe, as is, and see what I get.

                                                                                                                                                This has become my new obsession. I'm having as much fun with this analysis as I have doing business analyses for work - but this one has potential to make me get pudgy! I need to recruit additional taste-testers. :-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                  DuffyH Aug 26, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                  pembree,

                                                                                                                                                  I'm following your baking adventure closely, as I'm also on a quest. My goal is a 12-grain loaf to emulate the Oroweat/Arnold's loaf we used to buy at the supermarket. We've been addicted to this loaf since about 20-forever.

                                                                                                                                                  It's a very soft 12-grain, much lighter than similar breads from other bakeries. I've come close, and think adding the VWG may be the final ingredient. I'm encouraged that it's helped your loaves.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                    buhhh Jan 11, 2014 01:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                    For soft bread, why not try using cake flour/pastry flour?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buhhh
                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                      CookingForReal Jan 16, 2014 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                      because cake flour and pastry flour will make AWFUL bread. There is not enough gluten in them (not enough of the right kinds of proteins) to make a good bread structure, and the particle size is too small. Cake/pastry flours also have a higher proportion of starches (good for cake structure, bad for bread structure). Cake flour is nearly always bleached via a chlorination process, which breaks down the proteins that would normally form gluten structures (which breads need) and breaks down the larger starches to smaller (which is good for cakes as they rely on foam structures formed partly by gelatinization of starches and the damaged/broken down larger starches will gel more appropriately for the cake batter).

                                                                                                                                                      Bread flour is for bread and cake flour is for cake not because somebody thought it would be fun to name them differently, but because they are differently milled, differently treated, and use different varieties of wheat that make them best suited to the named purpose.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                    foxspirit Aug 26, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I grew up eating the breads my mom would buy at the asian bakery. They tended to be fluffy with a bit of chew and very thin almost non existant crust. While this might not be what you want to achieve, I wonder if some of the techniques used to make them can aid you. I've made it with various wheat/other grain flours in combination with standard white bread flour before pretty successfully. I'm not sure how well it would work at say 100% whole wheat. The secret you might want to google around is "tangzhong" which is basically just a 1 to 5 ratio of bread flour to water paste you cook up ahead of time then let cool. This paste lends moisture to the bread which helps it get lots of fluff. In addition, I add vital wheat gluten to aid the "other" flours.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                                    pembree Aug 29, 2013 02:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I'm well on my way to a loaf in the new Pullman pan. The dough is working on its first rise as I type (yes, a very early morning today).

                                                                                                                                                    Until the past two weeks I've never made bread on such a regular basis and therefore didn't make note of the small differences in the dough from one day to the next, but they are definitely there.

                                                                                                                                                    This morning's dough was much firmer and less sticky after machine kneading. Temperature in my home is the same today as it on Sunday. Same amount of each ingredient was used. I almost want to bake it in the old pans to see if it changes the final consistency, but that's not the purpose today, and I've been waiting since Monday to use the new pan! I'll post an update on the results.

                                                                                                                                                    DuffyH - I've had the Arnold 12 Grain. It is a wonderful bread. You say you've come close - what have you done to soften the whole grain bread thus far? My favorite is the Oat Nut Bread and have hopes of concurring that after I (and hubby) are happy with this one. Then, on to some multi-grains.

                                                                                                                                                    foxspirit - Thanks for your suggestion. I had heard about bread started with a roux, but didn't know what it was called. I've now read up on it and seen some pics on other sites that make me want to give it a try, so that too is on the list - if today's loaf isn't right, I may give this a try next.

                                                                                                                                                    So many breads, so little time...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                      DuffyH Aug 29, 2013 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                      pembree,

                                                                                                                                                      I went through several recipes before settling on CI's Multigrain Bread. I was using Bob's Red Mill 10-grain cereal and adding a little more water to the porridge in step 1.

                                                                                                                                                      When I omitted the whole seeds from the recipe, I found I could use less water (I went back to the stated amount) and still get good results. I also omit rolling the loaves in oatmeal. I could never get it to stay on through repeated handling of the finished loaf. By the time we'd consumed half the loaf, the oatmeal was gone.

                                                                                                                                                      So, following along, I'm making the 'as written' loaves minus whole seeds and oatmeal. The recipe makes 2 loaves, which last a couple of weeks for us in the fridge and freezer. I'll be making it again in 3-4 days and will add the VWG to that batch. Stay tuned, film at 11. ;)

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Aug 29, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Hi Pembree

                                                                                                                                                        Great to hear you are trying out the pullman today. I had been busy a few days (but did manage to read your posts on my phone). It is great news! we are with you all the way! :)

                                                                                                                                                        May I add a warning that animal fats are better for greasing the pullman (Butter, pork lard or beef dripping). Never use olive oil as I found out the hard way :( Olive oil (most vegetable oils) develops a greasy deposit that ruins the pan. If you are vegan or vegetarian then only Groundnut oil (peanut oil) is what I know that does not develop grease or resin.

                                                                                                                                                        Everything else you say makes me think that you are not only on the right track but you may excel everyone else on this forum :) You appear to go about things quite logically.

                                                                                                                                                        One thing is certain: you will make far tastier breads at home than any shop bought breads.

                                                                                                                                                        I am quite eager to hear how your pullman loaf went. If possible please post a picture. Regards, Dee.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                          pembree Aug 29, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Results: The firmer dough today made it more difficult to handle between risings this morning. It was as if I had used way too much flour. I should have adjusted during the machine kneading when I noticed, but lesson learned.

                                                                                                                                                          The bread actually turned out quite well. Soft texture, small grain, good flavor.

                                                                                                                                                          The Pullman pan: When I shaped the dough and placed it in the bottom of the pan I thought I might have too little dough, but proceeded anyway. The dough rose to about 3/4 inch from the top of the pan, but rose higher in the middle. I put the lid on and hoped the rise in the oven would even things out.

                                                                                                                                                          Time and temp will need some adjustment. The instructions that came on the pan's packaging said to bake their recipe at 350 for 25minutes, remove the lid and return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                          My recipe bakes at 350, so I thought all would work out well. After 20 minutes, I removed the lid and noted that the ends of the loaf hadn't risen to the top of the pan, so decided to check for done after 15 minutes. When I did, the internal temp was at 200 degrees vs. the 190 degrees I usually call done. So a bit over baked.

                                                                                                                                                          As I said, texture is exactly what I've been trying to achieve, so I'm pretty happy. But, unfortunately, there were a couple of problems.

                                                                                                                                                          First the loaf was crustier than the same recipe in the other pans. Thin crust is one of the goals. Two possible reasons come to mind; the Pullman pan is a dark metal pan vs the cheap shiny steel pan I used earlier in the week. OR the over baking due to too little dough to fill the pan. I hope it's the latter.

                                                                                                                                                          Second, when I cut the third slice, there was a large hole which was visible in about 6 slices. Then more perfect texture until I got to the other end. A matching hole! We had a good laugh. If I'm going to mess up the bread, I'm at least going to be sure it's symmetrical.

                                                                                                                                                          I did take some pics. Suggestions on correcting the two problems are welcomed.

                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                            SomersetDee Aug 30, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Hi Pembree,

                                                                                                                                                            Thank you for the pictures. Congratulations on such fantastic results!! I am not sure if you realise what a great achievement this is to get the pullman loaf right. I would say that the flaws you mention are minor.

                                                                                                                                                            Nice grain structure. The air gap is just because of a bubble of air that was trapped inside. No big deal. As long as you are happy with the grain structure and the taste then you should pat yourself on your back :)

                                                                                                                                                            Small grain soft texture is great for melting some hard or semi-hard cheese on... also goes better when serving with a stew.
                                                                                                                                                            Possible solutions for issue 1) Larger grain structure can be obtained by making a more soft dough consistency. So more water. Longer kneading helps too.

                                                                                                                                                            Possible solutions for issue 2) Even though I like such air holes it can be annoying for making sandwiches. So beat down the dough squeezing with your hands to release trapped air inside. Yeast releases bubbles of CO2 gas. These gases eventually kill the yeast. So by beating the dough down you are helping the yeast grow further!! Beat the dough very lightly (gently) if you want uneven grain. Beat it thoroughly if you want an even grain. I prefer an uneven grain. (small grain-structure littered with areas of larger grain structure.)

                                                                                                                                                            Possible solutions for issue number 3) The excessive rise in the middle and less rise towards the ends (tapering) This is easy to solve. It has to do with consistency again. Tiny bit more water while kneading will give a more pliable dough. Also when you put the dough into the pullmans, make sure it is slightly concave, more towards the ends and slightly dipping in centre. Gravity and the rise takes care of evening it out and you will get a perfect cuboid loaf.

                                                                                                                                                            To me the colour of the crust is just right.

                                                                                                                                                            I am not sure about a suggestion regarding the prominent crust. Please find out if it happens again. Over all all the issues are related... you had a dough which was "too firm".

                                                                                                                                                            (Let me remind you that it is just nit picking. Quite frankly I can't imagine anyone complaining about that beautiful loaf you have there)

                                                                                                                                                            even if pullmans tin does not require extra steam in oven I would still advice leaving a pan of watter bubbling at the bottom. It may possibly solve the crust issue.

                                                                                                                                                            kind regards.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                          pembree Aug 31, 2013 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                          This morning I decided to cube the remainder of the loaf from a couple of days ago and freeze for thanksgiving stuffing. I wanted to try it once again...

                                                                                                                                                          I debated whether to increase the recipe a bit or try again with the same quantity of ingredients and decided not to mess with near perfection just yet.

                                                                                                                                                          To avoid the stiff dough problem of last time, I saved out about a full cup of the flour and gradually added about 3/8 cup until it was still very slightly clinging to the bottom of the Kitchen Aid bowl but not the sides. Machine kneaded for about 6 minutes. I had to add about 2 teaspoons of flour during hand kneading.

                                                                                                                                                          Problems pretty much solved now. Got a perfect cube - no sloping at the ends - and a bit looser grain with a nice thin crust.

                                                                                                                                                          I'll try to post a pic later.

                                                                                                                                                          A huge amount of thanks to SummersetDee for all the great advise!

                                                                                                                                                          And DuffyH, I'm cheering you on! Post a pic and update us on your success!

                                                                                                                                                          I'm planning my next challenge now!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                            pembree Aug 31, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Here they are.

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                              MrsPatmore Sep 2, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Holy cow, pembree, that is gorgeous bread. Bravo!

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                                                                                                                                                                foxspirit Sep 9, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                That is a great looking loaf!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                                  SomersetDee Sep 16, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Pembree, Your kitchen is more of a proper lady's kitchen. I guess that is what my wife wants our kitchen to look like. Because I cook 75% of the time our kitchen is more like a food production facility than a "kitchen".

                                                                                                                                                                  My Pullman looks more rustic compared to yours because of the stuff I add to dough. Yours look graceful and elegant.

                                                                                                                                                                  I missed catching up on your breadmaking as we had our third baby last month and its been hectic. I have uploaded a picture of my Pullman's loaf. That appearance is very typical of my loaf because everyone in my house likes it with a bit of crust for added flavour. I do this by removing the lid for 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                  best wishes
                                                                                                                                                                  D.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SomersetDee
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                                                                                                                                                                    pembree Sep 16, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    SomersetDee, Haha. That's funny. It's all about a slight OCD affliction. If the pic were closer in you would note that all of my spice jars are labeled and in alphabetical order so I can always find what I'm searching for (except when someone else invades my kitchen).

                                                                                                                                                                    My little family is very grateful to you. I hadn't purchased a loaf of store bought bread in the past month - until last week when I was putting in really crazy hours for work and thought I wouldn't have time to make a loaf mid-week. I bought a loaf at the store and nobody (not even hubby) ate bread for four days. Yesterday, I tossed it and we now have homemade bread again.

                                                                                                                                                                    Your loaf looks great! I may try to get the rounded top next time. I love the Pullman pan and the loaves fit perfectly in my bread saver.

                                                                                                                                                                    Congratulations on the baby!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Sep 16, 2013 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Great looking Pullman Loaf/Pan de Mie.

                                                                                                                                                                      What was the cause of the hole earlier?

                                                                                                                                                                      Glad you got it fixed -- looks perfect now.

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the photos!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
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                                                                                                                                                                        pembree Sep 17, 2013 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        maria Lorraine - I'm still not certain why I got the matching holes in that loaf, but I either got too much flour or too little liquid in that loaf and it was pretty hard to handle. I suspect that was the reason, but still not sure.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: pembree
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                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Sep 17, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi thanks for your kind words :)

                                                                                                                                                                        I am trying to get back into a routine this week. Hopefully, getting back into a baking routine this week.

                                                                                                                                                                        I definitely NEED a bit of OCD in my life haha!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                    DuffyH Aug 31, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    pembree,

                                                                                                                                                                    Those are perfect loaves. Conga Rats 2 Ewes!

                                                                                                                                                                    On using less flour - Recipes say that in moist climates we will likely need to use the full amount of flour specified, or even add a bit more. I live in Tampa, FL and have found that not to be true for the lighter, fluffier loaves I prefer. Wetter does seem to be better for this effect. And as you noted, the dough is a little sticky.

                                                                                                                                                                2. DuffyH Sep 2, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, everyone

                                                                                                                                                                  I need some advice. I've tried two recipes for burger/hot dog buns and both were near misses. The first was a bit heavy, but would stand up well to a chili dog. The second has been much lighter, but with a large, more rustic crumb. I'm after buns that are like fresh-from-the-bakery. Super light, fluffy, soft, with a fine crumb.

                                                                                                                                                                  As I mentioned, the second recipe gave me light, soft and fluffy, but with a large crumb. I'm thinking of trying a classic dinner roll recipe, like this from Peter Reinhart. What do you think? Is it likely to do the job? If you've got one that you love, please send me a link! Thanks :)

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/cl...

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH
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                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc Sep 2, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I like this one (sorry about baking time - I keep forgetting to watch the clock and write it down):

                                                                                                                                                                    Amish Potato Rolls

                                                                                                                                                                    Yield
                                                                                                                                                                    12 rolls

                                                                                                                                                                    Ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                    2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup reserved warm potato water
                                                                                                                                                                    1 large egg
                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
                                                                                                                                                                    2/3 cup whole milk
                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/4 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                    2 T. granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                    1 T. yeast
                                                                                                                                                                    18 oz. or 510 grams unbleached flour (about 4 cups)

                                                                                                                                                                    Instructions
                                                                                                                                                                    1.Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until they are tender when pierced with a fork. drain them completely, reserving 1/2 cup of the potato water; cool the potato water to lukewarm. Rice the potatoes and measure out 1 cup for making the rolls. Cool the mashed potatoes to room temperature.
                                                                                                                                                                    2.Mix the dry ingredients in the stand mixer. Combine the wet ingredients (including the riced potatoes and their cooking liquid) in a bowl. Pour the wet over the dry and mix. Switch to the hook a knead a bit. Adjust the flour if necessary.
                                                                                                                                                                    3.Let rise. Shape into 12 portions (approximately 85 grams each) and round them (or tube them for hotdog buns), then flatten them on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Let rise again. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
                                                                                                                                                                    4.Glaze with egg wash and top with seeds, if desired. Bake for ??? minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                      DuffyH Sep 3, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc,

                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for posting this. I went searching to find the recipe in a format that played well with Paprika. After much searching I hit pay dirt. I found one with the exact same ingredient amounts but I thank you for giving me the flour by weight.

                                                                                                                                                                      It also filled in this novice baker's recipe holes, namely:

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Knead time 4-5 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                      2. Approx. rise time, 1 hour (size doubled)
                                                                                                                                                                      3. Baking time 10-12 minutes at 400º (a bit of a difference in temp).

                                                                                                                                                                      I'll try this for my next attempt. As for the recipe I've been using, they'll be re-purposed for tonight's spaghetti feast. They make most excellent garlic bread! :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH
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                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc Sep 3, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Good luck!

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                                                                                                                                                                    pembree Sep 5, 2013 04:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Good Morning!

                                                                                                                                                                    I mixed a loaf on Tuesday night and refrigerated it for baking on Wednesday. Time savings was my main objective but also wanted to see if there would be an appreciable difference in flavor. The bread rose to double in the fridge before I went to bed so I punched it down and placed it back in the fridge. In the morning, there was a significant amount of condensation on the plastic wrap covering the bowl. I understand why, but I didn't know what to do with the condensation. I carefully removed the plastic wrap careful not to drip on the dough and proceeded to allow it to come to room temp, then noted the dough seemed a little drier than it was the night before. Should I have left the condensation and incorporated it?

                                                                                                                                                                    This was an oatmeal bread recipe that I substituted a multigrain hot cereal.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                      DuffyH Sep 5, 2013 04:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Finally my college courses help me out in life! The amount of water air can hold depends on the temperature of the air, among other factors. Cold air cannot hold as much water vapor or moisture as warm air. So when the air in your sealed container cooled down, some of the water had to go. That's the condensation you noticed.

                                                                                                                                                                      As for why the loaf itself feels dryer, is it possible the cereal absorbed some of the liquid in the dough? My multigrain recipe call for making a porridge of the hot cereal first, which adds an hour to the prep time.

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                                                                                                                                                                      pembree Sep 17, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      There is nothing more yummy than fresh, warm cinnamon rolls. I awoke at 4 am for some reason this morning and decided to make a rare treat. I really should do this more often! Icing is made with pure maple syrup. It just doesn't get much better than that.

                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                        maria lorraine Sep 17, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        The white icing is maple syrup??? Clue me in. Recipe, maybe??

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine
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                                                                                                                                                                          pembree Sep 17, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          The maple icing you see in the bakeries is actually made with imitation maple flavoring which yields the appetizing tan color. Pure maple syrup, while close in color, when mixed with white powdered sugar yields a much lighter shade. But it is oh so much better.

                                                                                                                                                                          I just used about a cup of powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp. of maple syrup, about 2 tsp. butter and enough milk to make it pourable but not too thin. Add the milk about 1/2 tsp at a time - it doesn't take much. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                            DuffyH Sep 17, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            < ... made with imitation maple flavoring... >

                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, Mapleine. The maple syrup of my childhood. When I hit adulthood I discovered Mrs. Butterworth and never looked back. Now in late adulthood I keep real maple syrup in the house.

                                                                                                                                                                            I serve the real stuff to guests. There's just something about that buttery Mrs. Butterworth's I can't give up. I'll go crawl into a corner now. I'm so ashamed. :(

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH
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                                                                                                                                                                              SomersetDee Sep 18, 2013 06:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              yum....

                                                                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Sep 24, 2013 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Everyone (Pembree, DuffyH et al)
                                                                                                                                                                        How is everyone's bread adventures going? I just thought I will post today's Seaweed bread I made for tonight. Gonna serve it with pork (pimento pork). The bread does look like hedgehogs though!
                                                                                                                                                                        Regards

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                          DuffyH Sep 24, 2013 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Hey SomersetDee,

                                                                                                                                                                          Your photo didn't show up for me. I would love to see that prickly bread. :(

                                                                                                                                                                          I've mostly (and sadly) decided I need to shelve my quest for that really soft 12 grain loaf. I just cannot get anything at all that's near consistent enough to make it our go-to sandwich bread. So it's back to Oroweat for that.

                                                                                                                                                                          But on a better note, although my burger buns aren't quite perfect for burgers (still not super soft), my Dude has decided that they're the bomb for garlic bread. So I've decided to make some into dinner rolls next time, and make some mini-baguettes with the rest.

                                                                                                                                                                          I make killer overnight pizza dough, too. I get reliable results using either the CI cooking school's thin crust, or the similar Reinhart recipe. I'd love to find a quick NY crust recipe that will give nice big air pockets, but I don't think such an animal exists.

                                                                                                                                                                          So I do believe I'll concentrate on our rustic breads, leaving the sandwich loaves for Sweetbay.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                            chocchic Sep 28, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi all;
                                                                                                                                                                            I'm finally sort of accepting that summer is winding down and I need to eat something other than BLT's and gazpacho. So this week I returned to my favorite Multigrain Extraordinare from P Reinhardt. It almost convinced me that fall isn't that bad. I will probably be making at least a loaf a week. It is so wonderful toasted. If you all haven't tried - it is worth the time.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chocchic
                                                                                                                                                                              maria lorraine Sep 28, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Reinhart is a bread-baking genius. Incredible teacher, soulful man.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chocchic
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                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Sep 28, 2013 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                That is a great recipe - I make an older version of it. I just saw a recipe with rice in it in Bakewise where she adds parmesan cheese and cayenne to her version. I might try that with Reinhardt's recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                                  chocchic Sep 28, 2013 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sandylc, please let us know how it turns out. I use multigrain almost exclusively for toast and add jam. So would like to know how you serve.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                                                                                pembree Oct 9, 2013 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                This bread looks really good! What's the source of the recipe? I've have a few crazy busy weeks between work and our quarterly trip to do "chores" at my mother-in-law's home in FL. Have somehow managed to maintain my "NO Store-bought Bread" quest, and planning to mix a loaf tonight for baking in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm getting a little bored with the 3 varieties I've been repeating for the past several weeks, so a seaweed bread could be a fun twist.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. eperdu Sep 27, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I apologize in advance if this has been answered.

                                                                                                                                                                                I've been doing the no-knead bread, and love it. I take notes each time and tweak it slightly with rise time and so on.

                                                                                                                                                                                The very first batch I made stands out as one of the best and it's one my partner loved the most. It had a distinct "sour" taste to it, sort of like a sourdough.

                                                                                                                                                                                The only thing I did different (dramatically) was the amount of yeast I used. I didn't pay attention the first time and used an entire packet of yeast in the dough. All the other batches I used 1/4 tsp (since I read the directions the next time!).

                                                                                                                                                                                Would the increased yeast cause it to sour? The texture was also different on that batch too, much stringier.

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: eperdu
                                                                                                                                                                                  DuffyH Sep 27, 2013 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  eperdu,

                                                                                                                                                                                  I made a loaf of Kenji Lopez-Alt's "Almost No-Knead" bread today. It's a variation on Jim Lahey's recipe with pale ale and vinegar to boost the flavor. It used just 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, the same as in the original recipe. I started it last night, baked it this afternoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                  My impression - I didn't notice any extra flavor at all, compared to the original version. I'll see what adding more yeast does to my next loaf, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm wondering if the refrigerated doughs (ABin5) would give more flavor, especially near the end of their 2-week lifespan. Have you tried that?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                                    maria lorraine Sep 27, 2013 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    <<I'm wondering if the refrigerated doughs (ABin5) would give more flavor>>

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, a long slow cool fermentation is the way to create flavor.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Read above for the reason why.

                                                                                                                                                                                    You don't get more flavor by adding commercial yeast -- just the opposite. Commercial yeast gallops the fermentation along -- it makes it go too fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eperdu
                                                                                                                                                                                    LMAshton Sep 27, 2013 11:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    The stringy bit makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The additional yeast can make the gluten development process speed up, if I recall correctly. Too much yeast, whether commercial or sourdough, leading to too much gluten development, leads to stringy dough instead of nice, smooth dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                                                                                                      eperdu Sep 28, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      The texture was great with it too. It reminded me of a good sourdough with the air holes and tang. Maybe I'll try another batch and see if I can replicate it. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. e
                                                                                                                                                                                    ellabee Sep 28, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    A question for those familiar with the 'ABin5' series and methods:

                                                                                                                                                                                    One of my many cooking resolutions is to begin making flatbreads at home. A year or more ago, I picked up 'Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day' at a library sale, but have never roused myself to use it. Just recently I realized they did a whole book devoted to flatbreads and pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Is there enough new information in 'Artisan Flatbreads and Pizza in 5 Minutes a Day' that I should seek it out, or will I be fine using the book I have?

                                                                                                                                                                                    I checked out the Duguid/Alford 'Flatbreads and Flavors' from the library, but it's physically and in many other ways overwhelming. Will probably go back to it once I've actually got a few batches done.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. f
                                                                                                                                                                                      foxspirit Oct 8, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      So this might be a dumb newbie question but I've gotten pretty good at making tangzhong based breads. I'd like to make one of those perfectly square looking loaves so I'm getting a pullman loaf pan. Since it has a lid its not like the extra can simply rise out and above the pan like I normally let it do and this bread rises a lot still in the oven. How do I know how much dough to put into the pullman pan? If I add too much will the pan burst open in the oven? Will the bread just not rise well and be hard as a a rock?

                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foxspirit
                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc Oct 8, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ugh, I went through this many years ago after purchasing a Pullman pan at a garage sale. My pan was a non-standard size, and I went through hoops trying to figure out how much dough to put in it. Too much, and it burst out at the seams while baking, creating a mess. Too little, and it was just a regular loaf, domed on the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I should mention that this was before the age of the internet, so information was scarce.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, I would just find a recipe scaled to my pan size and just make it. If you want to use tangzhong, just factor in the amount of flour and liquid from the tangzhong into whatever recipe you choose. I am sure that, if you are a baker, you are good at math!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Be sure to grease it thoroughly, including the inside of the lid.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                          foxspirit Oct 9, 2013 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Darn. Sounds like I might be going through some trial and error and soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foxspirit
                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc Oct 9, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yup. Good luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe you should choose a good recipe (non-tangzhong) and then buy a pan that is the right size for that recipe. Make that recipe until you have it right, and then try to sub in some tangzhong for some of the flour and liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                                                                                              foxspirit Oct 9, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've only ever made that kind of bread and the 5 minute artisan kind but I grew up on the asian style breads and actually don't like the crusty loaves you get with the artisan style. Makes great pizza though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: foxspirit
                                                                                                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                                                                                                          pembree Oct 9, 2013 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          With about a dozen loaves in the pullman pan over the past 6 weeks, I can perhaps save you a bit of the headache where this is concerned. I've tried a basic white, a multi-grain and a white-wheat in the pan and have yielded short loaves and one that squished out. I've found that regardless of the type of bread I'm baking, I shape enough dough to fill just less than half way. I cover the pan with plastic wrap until it has risen to about 1 inch below the top of the pan. At that point, I remove the plastic wrap, place the lid on the pan, leaving about an inch open and preheat the oven. By then, the loaf has usually risen to within about 1/2 inch of the lid. It will be domed and the middle of the loaf is 1/2 from the lid. Close the lid and bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                          One of the recipes I use makes too much dough, so I just shape the remainder into a few rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                                                                            foxspirit Oct 9, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ohhh that's a good starting point for me. Thanks! I'm going to give that a try and adjust a little if necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                              sandylc Oct 9, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Very valuable info. Maybe I'll dig out my pan!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. p
                                                                                                                                                                                            pembree Nov 16, 2013 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pumpkin Yeast Bread - In preparation for Thanksgiving, I'm trying to find a recipe for a pumpkin yeast bread to serve at breakfast time. Great Harvest Bread Co. had one that was heavenly a few years back - assume they still make it. I hope not to have to travel the distance to get it and pay their quite pricey asking, so I'm seeking a recipe for one. I would love to find one that I can rise in the fridge to save precious early morning time, but I'm willing to get up extra early for a great loaf. Tested recipes only please. I get lots of results in google but want a recipe someone has actually made. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pembree
                                                                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                                                                              ellabee Nov 16, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              There was a recipe for pumpkin yeast rolls on The Kitchn using the Artisan Bread in 5 fridge rise.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, on closer inspection, I mis-remembered; it's for sweet potato rolls. But that seems like a pretty straightforward sub.

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/ba...

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Antilope Nov 16, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Made Stretch & Fold Bread with 65% Hydration Dough
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a No-Knead bread using firm bread dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              I used the stretch and fold technique on 65% hydration light wheat bread (half bread flour & half whole wheat flour).
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's a link to a YouTube video showing the Stretch & Fold technique I used on the firm bread dough :
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              First stretch and fold
                                                                                                                                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxqmWxWBDSQ
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Second Stretch and Fold
                                                                                                                                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLuMfEJnNW0
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Third Stretch and Fold
                                                                                                                                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy52m...
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              It came out as good as when I make the recipe from kneaded dough. I adapted the Panama bread stretch & fold recipe that is on Sourdoughhome.com. I also made a Tangzhong roux from the 1/2 cup of water and 3 Tbsp of bread flour, which I always do to this recipe when making the kneaded version.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's the recipe I used:
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              No-Knead Stretch-N-Fold Honey Wheat Bread
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              This makes a delicious loaf of bread with very little effort.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Makes a 1-1/2 lb sandwich loaf of Honey Wheat Bread without kneading.
                                                                                                                                                                                              No mixer, bread machine or hand kneading required.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              You just need a wooden spoon and a couple of mixing bowls along with a loaf pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              This recipe uses a series of stretch and fold techniques on regular firm dough to replace kneading. The bread is baked in a regular loaf pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Total time, about 4 hours, mostly rising and waiting. Actual hands on work, about 15 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Ingredients:
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              1 3/4 cups (225 g) Whole Wheat Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                              1 2/3 cups (225 g) Bread Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Tbsp (30 g) Wheat Germ, raw or toasted
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              2/3 cup (160 g) Milk, lukewarm
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 cup (120 g) Water, lukewarm (used for Tangzhong roux with 3 Tbsp bread flour
                                                                                                                                                                                              )1 Egg (50 g), beaten (or 1/4 cup Eggbeaters egg substitute)
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp (40 g) Honey or Brown Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp (15 g) Ovaltine Classic Malt Powder (do not use chocolate flavor) - optional
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp (15 g) Non-Fat Dry Milk or Dry Coffee Creamer
                                                                                                                                                                                              1 1/4 tsp (9 g) Table Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet (7 g) Instant or Active Dry Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Tbsp (45 g) Butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Directions:
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              In a large mixing bowl, stir together the Whole Wheat Flour, Bread Floor and Wheat Germ. Mix well.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              In a smaller bowl, mix in the milk, water (or cooled Tangzhong roux), beaten egg, honey, Ovaltine, non-fat milk powder, table salt and yeast. Mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Stir the mixed liquid into the flour mixture. Mix until the flour is completely moistened. Mix in the softened butter. Add enough additional water or flour as needed to form a slightly sticky, firm, ball of dough. Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Form dough into a ball, place in covered bowl and let rest for 45 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Remove dough from bowl, do the first of three stretch and folds on the bread board.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Stretch and Fold Technique:
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Press and stretch the dough into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle. Dust lightly with flour, as needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Take the top (12-inch) edge of the dough and fold it down to the middle. Press dough flat.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Take the bottom (12-inch) edge of the dough and fold up to the top edge. Press dough flat.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Take the right edge of the dough and fold it over to the middle. Press dough flat.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Take the left edge of the dough and fold it over to the right edge. Press flat.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Return dough square to the bowl and cover. Rest 45 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Remove dough from bowl, do the 2nd stretch and fold on the bread board and return the dough to the covered bowl for another 45 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Remove dough from bowl, do the 3rd stretch and fold on the bread board and return the dough to the covered bowl for another 45 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Remove dough from bowl, form loaf by rolling or pressing dough out into a 10 x 10 inch rectangle. Roll dough into a sausage shape. Pinch seam closed along length of dough. Rotate loaf to place seam on bottom. Flatten about 1 inch on each end of roll and fold under loaf.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Place formed dough in loaf pan, seam side down. Use an 8 x 4-inch or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until doubled and it has risen about 1-inch over the edge of the loaf pan, about 60 minutes. Remove plastic wrap.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350-F degrees for 45 minutes, until done, or until center of loaf reaches 200-F on a digital probe thermometer.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Remove from loaf pan and allow to cool before slicing.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              Makes one 1-1/2 lb loaf of bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              To add rolled oat topping, after loaf is formed and placed in loaf pan, before rising:
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Using a pastry brush, paint plain water over entire top of loaf to moisten dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Quick Rolled Oats over top of moistened loaf and press on oats to make them stick to dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                              -Allow loaf to rise and then bake as stated in recipe above.

                                                                                                                                                                                              -----

                                                                                                                                                                                              The stretch and fold technique should work with any conventional (kneaded) yeast dough bread recipe. I wanted to try it on whole wheat first, because I thought that would be the one that really tests it. This is just my standard whole wheat bread recipe, but using the stretch and fold technique instead of kneading.
                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought that stretch and fold was only for slack, high hydration dough. That's usually where you see it mentioned and used. But on Sourdoughhome.com they had a stretch and fold recipe using regular, firm bread dough (called Panama bread - a white bread). So I applied the technique to my whole wheat recipe and it really worked.

                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                              18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Nov 16, 2013 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stretch and fold (SAF) method. I've applied it to many recipes of late and feel like I've begun to come full circle on bread-making now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The one most important ingredient that I have discovered with bread-making is TIME. I've never been a patient person, but I've finally learned what a great thing lots of time is regarding the quality of the end product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for your detailed chronicle - I am sure many of us will benefit from it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bryan Pepperseed Nov 21, 2013 04:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm another big fan of the SAF method. It even works great for pizza dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  From this link:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/175-the-stretch-and-fold-method.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Peter Reinhart (among other things) says -
                                                                                                                                                                                                  "You can repeat this S&F at 5, 10, or even 45 minute intervals, depending on your baking schedule for the dough in question. For same day bakes, three or four S&F's at 30 to 40 minute intervals are common, which allows the dough to ferment in between the S&F's. For overnight dough, such as pizza or focaccia or certain rustic bread formulas, the S&F intervals can be as short as 5 minutes. Typically, four S&F's are sufficient to fully develop and firm up the dough, but some doughs require only one, while others might require five S&F's if they are very wet. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                  He too has a youtube demo:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1timJl...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                                                                                                                                                                                                    maria lorraine Nov 21, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you! Love Peter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought this video was extremely helpful
                                                                                                                                                                                                    for Stretch and Fold:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W580u-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love her Stretch and Fold technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any leads on good buys on the banneton baskets? Anything better than Amazon?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, she says that when she bakes she uses a roasting lid. What does she mean? Photo?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bryan Pepperseed Nov 22, 2013 04:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not sure how the prices compare to Amazon, but here's a source for baskets -
                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.fantes.com/brotforms.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not an expert, but I think she actually meant she uses the lid of a standard roasting pan so she doesn't have to buy one of these -
                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/long-covered-baker

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apparently, according to the folks at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/ some people use "disposable" aluminum foil roasting pans as an alternative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Antilope Nov 22, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I rise and bake round loaves in the same stainless steel mixing bowl. With this method, I don't disturb the risen dough and achieve a maximum risen loaf. This thinner bowl reacts quicker to the oven temperatures than cast iron and doesn't retain heat to over-bake the crust like cast iron will do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bake boule's (round loaves) directly in a stainless steel mixing bowl. It's a 5-quart NSF rated stainless steel mixing bowl from Walmart (part of a set of 3). I spray the mixing bowl interior with non-stick cooking spray (usually olive oil), form the dough and plop it in the bottom of the bowl. I place a pan lid that fits tightly on top of the bowl. Then I either place in the fridge for an overnight rise, or let the bowl of dough rise on the counter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I pre-heat the oven, water mist the risen dough in the bowl and place the uncovered bowl of risen dough in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. I use a digital probe thermometer to check when the center of the loaf reaches 205F, then I know it's done. This technique creates a perfect boule with a brown crispy crust all over. The baked boule always tips right out of the stainless steel bowl with no sticking. This method eliminates the need for a bread proofing basket or dutch oven. Although I have several dutch ovens I prefer this method.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                          DuffyH Nov 22, 2013 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Clever! I've got a set of bowls that are on thin side, so I'm not sure about warping. I've used my 4.5 quart stainless saucepan in place of a dutch oven quite successfully. But it's heavy, so needs pre-heating. Hmm.... what else can I use instead?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm off to look for stuff! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Antilope Nov 22, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm using a stainless steel Tramontina bowl set from Walmart to bake the round loaves. They don't warp, but they will discolor with some brown varnish like color and coating. So don't use a good bowl set you want to keep shiny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                            MrsPatmore Nov 23, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is pure genius! Thank you for sharing your tips. I'm going to get a cheap SS bowl and try your technique!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antilope Nov 23, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's another tip.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I usually proof my dough in the off oven with the light bulb on. But when the oven is being used, I proof the dough above a crock pot of warm water.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fill your crock pot half full of warm water, turn it to LOW or HIGH depending on how much heating you need (A crock pot heats the food, internally, to about 80°C (175°F) on LOW, 93°C (200°F) on HIGH.). Put the lid in place, inverted (up-side-down). Place a folded kitchen towel on the inverted lid. Now place your covered bowl of dough or starter on the kitchen towel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                              If the dough gets too warm, turn the crockpot down or add another folded towel or two between the dough bowl and the inverted crock pot lid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                                                              miss louella Dec 11, 2013 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, I loved reading about this... I only have one dutch oven and need two to fulfill our bread needs (and those of friends). So I followed your directions exactly in my stainless steel mixing bowl. As hoped, it rose and browned beautifully. But mine definitely did not "tip right out." Took serious work and still the bottom crust (which was delicious and crispy) separated from the loaf. I was just glad it finally separated from the PAN. Could it be because I used real oil instead of cooking spray? I smeared it all over, so I can't see why that would do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for your help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                LMAshton Dec 11, 2013 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Personally, I have problems with bread sticking to my pan when I use any kind of oil. When I use butter, it doesn't stick at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                FYI, I live in a tropical country, so the butter's definitely very soft at room temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Antilope Dec 11, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've only used olive oil or canola cooking spray. Haven't tried only oil. Mine has not stuck since I started baking in the stainless steel bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    miss louella Dec 11, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting... I used olive oil, but not spray on. I would think the thicker coat would make is release even better but it totally stuck (still soaking the bowl).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How wet is your dough (typically)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And what temp do you cook your bread at?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Antilope Dec 11, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use the Great Value spray-on Olive Oil from Walmart. Maybe they add something else to the mix in the can?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DuffyH Dec 11, 2013 06:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        miss louella,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My boules are a double rise. The first rise is in the mixing bowl, for the second rise I put the dough on oiled (Pam) parchment paper in a 9" skillet, let it rise, then lift the paper and transfer the final loaf, oiled paper and all, to my preheated 4.5 quart saucepan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like using the saucepan for the same reason a mixing bowl is good, it gives a higher, rounder loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Try it in your mixing bowl with oiled parchment?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SomersetDee Dec 12, 2013 05:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Guys/Gals,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I NEVER use olive oil or ANY vegetable oil anymore! Soya Lecithin sprays, olive oils etc. :) I found that the vegetable based oils tend to degrade the tins and pans. They form a hard resin coating that makes bread stick to it more unless you flour it extensively. So it is not necessarily non-stick as some believe and definitely also ruins the pan. Among aluminium, Copper, steel and ss, ss is the worst metal. You can get away with very very thin gauge but still aluminium will out-perform it easily. For those scared of aluminium I suggest tinned copper. It is the bees-knees. I only ever use natural butter, lard or beef dripping (organic). All these animal fats do not leave a residue. The bread just FALLS OFF the tin!! Absolutely does not stick. My personal favourite is beef dripping because it simply is the best. Best for both for cakes and bread. Butter that has too many milk solids will not be as good as clarified butter. I recommend melting butter and taking the clarified fat from top and storing that for cakes and bread. Nevertheless beef dripping is superior. All my tins (and my wife's cake tins) look new like on the day we bought it, despite being used frequently!! Unless you have some religious reasons not to use animal fat I recommend it highly. Regards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc Nov 22, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I line a dome-shaped bowl with a flour-impregnated flour-sack-style towel, then put my boule seam-side up in it and cover that with plastic wrap. When it has proofed, I flip it over into my hand and place it on a piece of parchment on a peel. I slash it, then slide the paper and loaf onto my preheated stone. Then I throw about 1/4-1/3 cup of water into the bottom of the oven and hurry and close it. Five minutes later I throw a bit more water in, then let the loaf finish baking undisturbed. At about 460 degrees, it's usually done in 30-35 minutes, at 200 degrees+.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The no-knead dutch oven method of baking is good, and I have done it, but it limits the size and shape of the loaf. I get great crust with my method.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is just what works for me, my oven, and our tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That all said, I would love to have bannetons instead of a bowl - I love the flour pattern that they create. Someone send this post to my husband before Christmas ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ruthie789 Mar 14, 2014 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That loaf of bread looks amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                alienor Nov 16, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i am not sure if this is the place to post this question, but anyways here goes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                just came back from nyc where we bought a wonderful health bread at zabars. it was full of seeds, nuts? and was a deep brown in color. does anyone know where or have the recipe for this bread. i really would like to make it .....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  travelerjjm Nov 16, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just noticed this thread, how I could have missed it, I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I just took some ABin5 boules out of the oven. I had made their new dough and tried the stove top English Muffins which were wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm making baguettes tomorrow using a different recipe. I wanted them a little "sourer" than usual. Based on what I've read in this thread, I guess I should mix the dough and do the first kneading and then refrigerate the dough overnight? The let the dough warm up and proceed as usual tomorrow?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: travelerjjm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bada Bing Nov 16, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If the timing works for you, a night of retarding in the fridge is always worthwhile, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SomersetDee Nov 16, 2013 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought I will share the pictures I took of my 5 seed pullman's loaf with fennel made earlier today. The 'leaven' used for this is nearly a year old. Taste is sublime, it had beautifully complex flavour from the fennel with nutty overtones. There is some seaweed present (which is usual with all of my bread), as it helps give a lovely soft texture. Weight before baking might have exceeded a kilo, I did not weigh it in this instance. regards

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MrsPatmore Nov 16, 2013 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That loaf is a thing of beauty. I could not be trusted with such a loaf - I'd want to eat the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never heard of adding seaweed to bread. But I love seaweed in any form. What kind do you use, how much, and when do you add it? Thanks for sharing the photos of your gorgeous bread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Nov 28, 2013 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks MrsPatmore,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haha in my family the wife and two of the older kids (third one is too tiny!) finished that loaf (1.2kg loaf) on the same day it was photographed. I made lamb stew that day to go with it and it proved to be a hit. Whatever was left got eaten later that evening as "slices with honey and butter".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My original intention in adding the seaweed was for its taste as well as the nutritional benefits. But what I have discovered since then are the benefits they add towards the texture and crumb structure of the loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I add two things:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I add some Pacific/Hawaiian Spirulina (best taste of all spirulina brands that I have tried)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also add Kombu (Atlantic or Japanese Kelp seaweed). I found a Norwegian seller selling them in dried powdered form of Kelp harvested from Norwegian coastline.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (I have not managed to find other varieties in a reasonable price range. I am on the lookout. e.g. Wakame is more expensive but if I find it in powdered bulk form it may be interesting to add. Another option is that I go and harvest it myself. I am somewhat suspicious of our coastlines here in the southwest of UK with regard to their cleanliness.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Initially I would recommend 3/4th of a teaspoon per 500 grams of flour and then add more if it is too mild for your palate. Spirulina can have a stronger colour. Some brands have stronger taste than others. The one I use is so very mild that I can use even two teaspoons per 500 grams and it will not get noticed by my kids! .In the 1.2 kg loaf above there is only 1 full teaspoon of spirulina, but there is more than one full tablespoon of seaweed powder! Seaweed has a fantastic taste and less colour. The longer the seaweed sits inside the dough the softer it makes the loaf. I add it ALL during kneading. 30% of the dough is "old" leaven (starter dough) that I maintain in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trust me eating it in the end is the best fun of all...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for reading and best of luck with your experimentation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Antilope Dec 10, 2013 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I recently tried combining the Tangzhong roux** technique with a 1 hour autolyse* on a light wheat loaf (50% bread flour & 50% whole wheat flour - the Tangzhong roux was made from the bread flour). The loaf was so light and moist it is almost too tender to slice. It did crumble in places. I will have to experiment more with combining these two techniques.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use the regular Tangzhong roux technique on all of my white and light wheat sandwich bread. My family complains about dry, "rough" bread if I don't use it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't see much difference when I baked 100% whole wheat sandwich bread using a Tangzhong roux (making the Tangzhong roux with the whole wheat flour).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do see a big difference with light wheat sandwich bread, using the Tangzhong roux made with the white bread flour (the loaf was 50% bread flour and 50% whole wheat flour also adding 1/4 cup wheat germ). Of course the Tangzhong roux technique also makes much lighter and fluffier white breads.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Tangzhong roux is usually 1/2 cup of water and 3 Tbsp bread flour (125g water, 25g bread flour) for a 1-1/2 lb loaf. I make the roux in a cup in the microwave in 40 seconds. (Mix flour and water well. Microwave 25 seconds, stir, microwave 15 seconds, stir. Perfect ~150-F roux).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      *Autolyse - mixing only the flour and liquids (water, milk, eggs, etc) until all the flour is moistened and allowing them to combine for 20 minutes to 1 hour before adding salt, yeast, sugar, butter, oil, etc. This encourages a maximum gluten development without interference from salt and sugar which compete for the moisture and yeast which begins breaking down the flour into sugars. This technique contributes to a greater oven spring and a lighter loaf of bread with a better crumb.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      **Tangzhong roux - Heating 5% (by weight) of the flour with water in a 5 to 1 ratio (125g water, 25g bread flour) to 150-F. This gelatinizes the flour (makes a pudding-like mixture), causing it to retain moisture when the loaf is baked, making a more tender, fluffy loaf of bread that has a longer shelf life. The roux is mixed with the other liquid ingredients, otherwise your bread recipe is unchanged. The flour and water come from the original recipe ingredients. No extra amounts are added to the recipe. (Example: If the original recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, use 1/2 cup of milk instead and 1/2 cup of water for the roux.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DuffyH Dec 10, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, Antilope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had totally abandoned white and wheat sandwich loaves because I couldn't match the Oroweat/Arnold's softness with all their yummy whole wheat/whole grain goodness. My loaves were a bit heavier, but also a bit drier. My recipe was a light wheat with added 10-grain cereal, in a porridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will assuredly go back and try a loaf with this method. I'd like to mix in some of the cereal, too. Normally, I add hot water to the grains and let them soak for an hour to form the porridge, with none of the water coming from the recipe, as it were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps I'll bake one loaf with and one without to see how they differ. Tomorrow is going to be a baking day, yay! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SomersetDee Dec 11, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Both excellent points for obtaining exceptional bread. I have found the "adding salt after 20 min" method very practical and useful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Personally I find that doing the Tangzhong roux causes the dough to be less stable when it needs to be stored in the fridge (especially as starter dough for the next batch). The tendency for alcohol formation increases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you experienced this? Regards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Antilope Dec 12, 2013 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I only use Tangzhong for straight dough, so I don't store the dough for any length of time. The Tangzhong dough is bread within a few hours and never goes into the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Antilope Jan 17, 2014 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We always default to using the recipe flour for tangzhong roux. But would a different flour type or flour characteristic create a better tangzhong roux? That 5% tangzhong roux flour doesn't necessarily need to be the same as the main recipe flour. Would an instant flour like Wondra make a better tanzhong roux? Does gluten matter in the roux flour? Would cake flour, soft southern flour, all purpose flour, bread flour or a whole grain flour make a better roux? Or is unbleached flour better than bleached flour in a tangzhong roux? Would adding some cornstarch or arrowroot to the tangzhong roux flour make it work better? Some things to think about and experiment with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Antilope Dec 14, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How I finally made homemade sourdough starter:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have used Carl's Oregon Trail starter for over 5-years, and it worked great, but I wanted to make my own starter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I tried several times with either whole wheat or bread flour without much success, using water or pineapple juice. The starter attempt would go nowhere, only making a few feeble bubbles, or nothing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Then, this summer, I decided to throw everything at the attempt, here's what finally worked for me: (all of these flours were just from the local supermarket) one of these flours had the "magic wild yeast" ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I call it - Kitchen Sink Sourdough Starter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp Unbleached Bread Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp Unbleached All Purpose Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp Hodgson Mill Organic Rye Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 or 4 Tbsp Pineapple Juice (unsweetened juice from canned Pineapple packed in its own juice)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mix ingredients well. The mixture should look like a thick pancake batter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The pineapple juice encourages growth of the desired sourdough cultures - wild yeast spores and Lactobacillus (which are naturally in the wheat fields and are in the whole wheat, rye and unbleached flour) because it is slightly acidic, and sourdough cultures like a slightly acidic environment. The slightly acidic environment discourages unwanted bacteria cultures, that don't like an acidic environment. Once the sourdough cultures are established for a few days, the pineapple juice feedings can be replaced with tap water. The established sourdough cultures will discourage other bacterial growth in the sourdough starter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 1 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mixed all the ingredients in a Gladware container. Put on the lid loosely. Left out on the kitchen counter (in summertime, with air conditioning) at about 78-F. Stirred twice a day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 2 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 3 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A few bubbles appeared. Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 4 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            More bubbles appeared. Added an additional Tablespoon each Whole Wheat, Bread, All-Purpose, Rye Flours and some pineapple juice to moisten. Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 5 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Even more bubbles appearing. Added a Tablespoon each Whole Wheat, Bread, All-Purpose, Rye Flours and pineapple juice. Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 6 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Quite bubbly, fruity, yeasty smell. Added a couple of Tablespoons of only Bread Flour and tap water. Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 7 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very bubbly, fruity, yeasty smell. Added a couple of Tablespoons of only Bread Flour and tap water. Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Day 8 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very bubbly, fruity, yeasty smell. Added a couple of Tablespoons of only Bread Flour and tap water. Stirred mixture twice a day, once in the morning, once at night. Used some of starter to make bread. It rose quite well and made good bread, but of course it wasn't sour, because the starter was so new. But I now had my own
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            homemade starter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I stored the bubbly starter in the fridge and baked bread once or twice a week. I take out the starter, feed it and get it bubbly before using for a recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After a few months it is now developing a nice, sour taste and smell. I usually feed it bread flour and water, but once every two or three weeks, I feed some whole wheat flour and a tablespoon or two of rye flour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've kept my sourdough starters at different degrees of thickness, from pancake batter/pour-able, to spoon-able/taffy like all the way to knead-able dough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thicker starters can go longer in the fridge between feedings. Thin pancake batter like starters will develop an alcohol scented liquid on the top called "hooch", if not fed for a week or so.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just stir the liquid back in and feed the starter as normal. A starter kept as a knead-able dough will not usually develop "hooch".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After keeping sourdough cultures for over 5 years, I prefer to keep my starter on the thicker side, either spoon-able/taffy like or even dough like. When mixing some thick starter in a recipe, just dissolve it in the recipe water or liquids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SomersetDee Dec 15, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great post Antilope. I hope everyone realises the value of excellent observations you have there. My sourdough starter is about a year old now! Like you have said, I found it better to keep it more towards the firmer side as well. Everyone should try different flours and yeast strains until one finds the "taste" they like in the starter. Another thing I can think of is to never throw away your starter because you feel it has some bitterness or some other unpleasant taste. They tend to "sort itself" out over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Finding some good live yoghurt and adding a spoon of it for a few days usually sorts out problems like unpleasant taste etc . Oh, and it is good to resist the temptation to add sugar, starch or cooked dough (roux).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maintaining a starter that is not just reached an equilibrium of taste but has also reached a consistent reliability in terms of providing a good texture to the finished bread is by far the slowest process. It takes longer to get it right because it is hard to guess and a lot of trial and error is involved. Lactobacillus and yeast compete against each other. But the unique proportion that they settle down in with one's starter determines part of the nature of texture. Of course there are many other factors but I don't know enough about all the chemical nuances to comment. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                maria lorraine Dec 15, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the miraculous things about a sourdough starter is that the specific lactobacilli and the specific yeast that populate a starter co-exist well together. They do not compete.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis populates most of the world's bread starters, or pre-doughs, in spite of having been discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area. (The idea that there is a San Francisco sourdough is a myth, since the lactobacilli and yeast you need for a starter come not from the environment or air, but from the grain or flour itself.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The lactobacilli eke out lots of acid, either lactic acid or acetic acid (they put the sour in sourdough), but what's unusual about the yeast -- candida milleri -- is that it is hardy enough to survive and thrive in the acidic environment the lactobacilli create. The yeast does far less of a job leavening the bread than the lactobacilli, but it too, pumps out carbon dioxide to leaven the bread and its own acid to provide flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rye flour, especially rye grain (rye berries) have the most of these bacteria and yeast already on them, so it's the best flour to use to begin a starter. Even if you change the starter to be whole wheat flour or white flour, or your goal is to bake whole wheat or white bread, begin the starter with rye flour or rye berries ground in your coffee grinder. A little sugar of some sort and non-chlorinated water and you're good to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, as far as sourdoughs, or levain or biga or a pre-dough, the yeast and lactobacilli do not compete at all. They happily coexist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are hundreds, if not thousands, of lactobacilli. Each has adapted to work on one particular thing. Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis are adapted to work on grain, but the lactobacilli in yogurt are specifically adapted to work on milk and nothing else. They have no use in a bread starter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                However, yogurt and (even better) whey are useful in bread baking (just not in starters), so save and accumulate the whey you pour off of yogurt, and reserve it for your next batch of bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If the sourdough starter is too acidic, or especially pungent, or with a brownish pool of "liquor" on the top, don't add it to bread. It's best to begin a new starter and throw the old oe out. There's no merit in keeping an old starter, in spite of claims of twenty-year-old or hundred-year-old starter, when it's a pool of acrid pungency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you use the right flour (rye), it's easy to begin a new starter. Make a mixture of rye flour, non-chlorinated water (critical), and a touch of sugar in some form, and you're good to go. Feed it with more flour and more non-chlorinated water, and store it at a temperature that facilitates the lactobacilli multiplying and populating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I buy a big handful of rye berries from the bulk food bins at Whole Foods or at a health food store, for the express purpose of beginning a starter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Even if you don't have time to grow a starter, you can still make a pre-dough or levain or biga that will add a striking depth of flavor to your bread. I happen to love the Sullivan-Lahey-Bittman revised method from the New York Times that was published years ago, but there are many ways to make a great levain or pre-dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm also increasing curious about the gelatinization of flours/doughs and the depeth of flavor that comes from taking that step.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SomersetDee Dec 29, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Maria Lorraine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another beautiful post for the forum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes gelatinising dough does add to softness. I would not say it adds "depth of flavour". When you cook the flour, essentially you are breaking down the more complex sugars into simpler sugar molecules. This can help production of CO2 more aggressively adding to the springiness. The pre-cooked protein molecules give a "fresh taste" too. Personally I do not prefer the flavour of bread where too much roux is present because I and everyone else in our family prefer to finish the bread within hours (if not minutes) of it being baked. However, if you want to use it for packing lunch during the week days then it is another story as the roux can give a more commercial leaf texture, easily reheatable as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Absolutely loved reading your post Maria Lorraine. Thanks again. Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Antilope Dec 15, 2013 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's something different: Dorito Bread at Bon Appetit (at the bottom of the page, the Dorito Compound Butter looks interesting, also.):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.bonappetit.com/columns/koo...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I made the Dorito bread, I don't see why it has to be sourdough. There is enough flavor there, with the Doritos, for a straight dough yeast bread. I might throw in some sourdough starter as an "old" dough, but I would add yeast for a faster rise and wouldn't expect it to be sour. If you wanted sour, you could always add some buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar and/or citric acid.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As for a use for the bread, it would be good for dips. A Dorito bread dipping a spinach dip or onion dip would probably be really good. Maybe something to try for New Years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Antilope Jan 6, 2014 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I received a covered ceramic baker as a gift recently. Here's a recipe I've used to make a great, crusty French bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                French Bread in Covered Baker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Makes one 2-lb loaf. (I used a Sassafras Superstone 14.5" Covered Baker).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The sourdough starter is used to add flavor, like an old dough (pate fermentee), not sour, with the short rise times in this recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 1/3 cups - 10.6 oz (300 g) Warm Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3/4 cup - 7 oz (200 g) Sourdough Starter - 100% hydration, cold from the fridge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 teaspoons - 0.28 oz (8 g) White Granulated Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 1/4 teaspoons - 0.25 oz (7 g) Instant Yeast, or 1 packet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 teaspoons - 0.43 oz (12 g) Table Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 cups - 17 oz (480 g) All Purpose Flour and Bread Flour (2 cups of each)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You may have to adjust the water or flour slightly, depending on the hydration of your starter. I bake by weights (grams), so the volume measurements are a close approximation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Attach bowl and whisk attachment to Kitchen-aid mixer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Add water to mixing bowl.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Weigh out starter and add to water in mixer bowl.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dissolve yeast in water in mixer bowl. Add sugar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mix on Speed 2 for 1 or 2 minutes until well mixed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remove whisk attachment and add dough hook to mixer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mix table salt into dry flour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Add flour to mixer bowl. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute, or until well blended.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Knead on Speed 2 about 4 minutes longer. Dough will be slightly sticky, but the dough should not stick to the bowl, to any great extent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remove dough from bowl, form dough into a ball and allow to rest on breadboard 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perform stretch and fold on dough. Form a ball. Cover with a bowl and allow to rest 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perform second stretch and fold on dough. Cover with a bowl and allow to rest 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perform third stretch and fold on dough. Let dough rest 5 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Coat inside of covered baker (inside top and inside bottom) with cooking oil. Sprinkle bottom with cornmeal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Form dough into long loaf, place in covered baker.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cover. Let rise in warm place, like an off oven, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With sharp knife, make 3 diagonal cuts on top of loaf, 1/4" deep. Replace lid. Place in oven.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Start in a cold oven. Set temperature at 425°F and bake, covered, for 40 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remove covered baker lid. Bake, uncovered, 10 more minutes (for a total of 50 minutes) or until golden brown and center of loaf reaches 205°F.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remove from oven, remove loaf from covered baker and allow to cool before slicing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  divadmas Jan 14, 2014 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i have been wanting to use more whole wheat. i have been using up to 50% white whole wheat and 50% ap flour in bread with good but noticeably different results than straight ap or bread flour in texture, taste and fluffiness.. will whole wheat products always be different than from white flour? didn't chefs, even pastry chefs, once upon a time only have whole wheat? any tips on using?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: divadmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc Jan 14, 2014 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your issue might be with expectations. Whole wheat flour is a delicious food, as is bread made with it. It is not the same food as white flour and bread made with white flour - they are two different foods. It's an apples to oranges sort of thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: divadmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Jan 14, 2014 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Breads made with whole wheat and rye flours require more liquid than the same amount of white flour. They also require more yeast to achieve the same leavening because whole wheat flour and rye flour are heavier than white flour. Check recipes for specifics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: divadmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Antilope Jan 14, 2014 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        White Whole Wheat is basically an albino whole wheat. In every other way, it's just a whole wheat. It contains the ground whole grain. Even though it's white it's still whole wheat and different from an all purpose or bread flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: divadmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SomersetDee Jan 15, 2014 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The real difference can only be due to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1) fineness of grind and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2) Gluten percentage (protein content)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Out of those two the protein (or gluten) content is the only real difference we need to take into consideration. The more gluten there is the better it is for baking. Gluten content is less important for biscuits and cakes. Weight per weight the strong bread flour will have marginally LESS calories than all purpose flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nutritionally wholewheat flour is not better than strong breadflour for home baking because the nutritional quality of bread comes from the *fermentation process and the *additional ingredients that you add to the bread. At best the whole wheat has more indigestible husk increasing the indigestible bulk that may aid in bowel movement! Maybe of benefit for those who do not eat any vegetables!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Flour can vary in the gluten content from batch (year), variety, etc. Even wholewheat can have more gluten than some white flours. Unbleached flour always has a slight colour to it. Unless you specifically buy unbleached flour, most flour that you buy are wholewheat BLEACHED flour!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Refined flour or "strong" bread flour is more of the inside of the wheat grain and the outer bits are added to the wholewheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Personally, I use unbleached organic plain as well as unbleached strong flour. Good batches of wheat yield also give rise to extra strong flour :) I always avoid "wholewheat" flour. I enhance the nutritional value of flour by adding ingredients like extensively aged sourdough, seaweed, sometimes various seeds, spirulina, etc. etc. and most of all by lining my burger with many layes of lettuce, tomato and spinach like greens before I bite into it!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for reading,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc Jan 15, 2014 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are you forgetting about the germ? Present in whole wheat, absent in white/unbleached...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SomersetDee Jan 15, 2014 02:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't intend this thread to be diverted towards brownish whole wheat vs strong bread flour argument. But everyone here tends to be in search of culinary truth and that makes this the best place to share honest thoughts and info :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have tried to be logical about this. There are a lot of silly myths about fibre in the market today. Fibre is just an aid for healthy bowel movement. Absolutely nothing else. Don't take regular bowel movement as something trivial. People with regular bowel movement tend to be healthier because it reduces bodily stress and one tends to have better hormonal balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There are no vitamins or nutrition in fibre. None.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Poor nutrition and hi fibre diet will get you nowhere. An individual on such a diet will be under nourished as is the case in some poor countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One more thing is that the Australian whole wheat is naturally a white variety of wheat that tends to be white even after grinding to a flour even without bleaching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              High content of husk (fibre) in wholewheat is offsetting the starch in refined flour. So when you eat a slice of whole wheat you are consuming less calories and feeling equally full. So the benefit to health is that less insulin is produced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As to the question about wheatgerm: I very much doubt that manufacturers add wheatgerm to wholewheat flour. The wheatgerm is a part of the grain that goes stale very quickly and reduces the shelf life. If you grind whole wheat yourself and try storing it you will notice that it goes rancid much quicker than shop bought "wholewheat". So these are the reasons I, personally, do not bother with wholewheat. I find it a pointless endeavour. If I am so particular about wheatgerm, I have to mill (using a mill attachment in a Kitchen Aid Artisan or a Kenwood Chef) and mill it myself. But then this would not guarantee a hi gluten flour for good bread making. Not to mention the demands on time that most of us may not be able to spare. I hope this addresses the question regarding the "wheat germ" sandylc above asked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your best bet is fermentation. All kinds of nutritional benefits are "created" through home leavening of bread. Better if you can mature it over months of sourdough maturation. Brown "Whole wheat" sold commercially lacks proteins (Gladinin and glutenin) to offer much to your sourdough culture in terms of nutrients that the micro organisms need. Rye flour is good additive to give your sourdough culture some robustness. I find too much husk gets in the way of good bread texture, but it can be filling. So if you have the inclination add some "brown wholewheat" flour for colour and its unique taste then go for it!! The assumption that wholewheat flour is the answer to nutrition is all that I object to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Jan 15, 2014 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, where to begin here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, whole wheat flour contains the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. That's why it is WHOLE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                White flour has only the endosperm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe the laws are different where you live?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc Jan 15, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  By the way, no one here that I've seen has claimed that there are vitamins/nutrition in fiber.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    divadmas Jan 15, 2014 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i prefer white flour but i have never heard anybody claim it was better for you than whole wheat. and i think there is agreement that the american diet would benefit from more fiber. it is not a vitamin or nutrient but is an important factor in lowering blood sugar, cancer and heart disease. whole wheat may not be the answer to nutrition but it is much better than white flour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i understand white whole wheat (as opposed to our red whole wheat) did originate in austrailia but is increasingly grown and available here in the states. much milder flavor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i don't mean to be argumentative. i would love to learn more about improving my diet, specifically here using the staff of life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: divadmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SomersetDee Jan 15, 2014 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have said that commercial brown wholewheat flour (what is sold as whole wheat) is not nutritionally superior to a significant degree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have never claimed anywhere that white flour is superior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All I am saying is that many are fooled into thinking that brown "wholewheat" flour with a lot of husk is nutritionally superior and it is NOT. It is the fermentation process of bread making that yields nutrition. For that strong unbleached flour is superior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fibre is important in diet. Fibre does not cure cancer or reduce blood sugar or cure or prevent heart disease. THESE ARE MYTHS. Fibre gives you good bowel movement which in turn gives you health benefits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A white bread sandwich eaten with a lot of green leafy lettuce, fresh tomatoes etc + ham is superior to wholewheat bread eaten with just ham and no other vegetables. THAT IS MY POINT. You get better nutrition through vegetables and fruits than you can possibly get from eating ground up husk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc Jan 15, 2014 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I give up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        maria lorraine or mcf, would you like to play?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: divadmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc Jan 15, 2014 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <banging head on wall>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Jan 17, 2014 12:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<I don't intend this thread to be diverted towards brownish whole wheat vs strong bread flour argument.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, because of your inaccurate statements about whole wheat flour and exaggerated nutrition claims about white bread and white flour (either bread flour or refined white flour), this portion of the thread does seem to be diverted to asking you to clarify your statements, and correcting some of your inaccurate statements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's quite a bit in your three posts here to unpack, so I apologize for the long post, but I really don't want anyone to be misled by your statements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<All I am saying is that many are fooled into thinking that brown "wholewheat" flour with a lot of husk is nutritionally superior and it is NOT. >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sorry, that's not true.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Certainly whole-grain whole wheat flour and whole wheat flour have much more nutrition than bread flour or refined white flour. I've checked numerous scientific stats to make sure of this before I wrote, and copied them in another post near this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<It is the fermentation process of bread making that yields nutrition. For that strong unbleached flour is superior.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fermentation does create nutrition (phytin/phytates as one example), but this occurs with all wheat flours, and is in addition to the nutrition already in the flour. I've seen no scientific evidence, after searching and searching, that fermentation creates more nutrition in white flour than in whole wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<High content of husk (fibre) in wholewheat is offsetting the starch in refined flour. So when you eat a slice of whole wheat you are consuming less calories and feeling equally full. So the benefit to health is that less insulin is produced.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Less insulin is only one benefit of many. The husk or hull is the outer covering of wheat, and is removed before the wheat is ground. Are you using the word "husk" to mean fiber? Because "husk" means something else -- a part of the wheat that is removed -- and so it's not in any bread. That's another thing I've found confusing in your statements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Like all wheat, whole wheat has the hull or husk removed. Whole wheat has all the grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Strong/bread flour or refined white flour contains only the endosperm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<I very much doubt that manufacturers add wheatgerm to wholewheat flour.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They don't add it because they never remove it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Fibre is important in diet. Fibre does not cure cancer or reduce blood sugar or cure or prevent heart disease. THESE ARE MYTHS. Fibre gives you good bowel movement which in turn gives you health benefits.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eating fiber can reduce cardiovascular disease, something that's been proven many times over in rigorous medical studies. Fiber can moderate blood sugar spikes and insulin release, also proven. It certainly aids the health of the bowel, which can in turn reduce the incidence of disease in that part of the body.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<The wheatgerm is a part of the grain that goes stale very quickly and reduces the shelf life. If you grind whole wheat yourself and try storing it you will notice that it goes rancid much quicker than shop bought "wholewheat". So these are the reasons I, personally, do not bother with wholewheat. I find it a pointless endeavour. If I am so particular about wheatgerm, I have to mill (using a mill attachment in a Kitchen Aid Artisan or a Kenwood Chef) and mill it myself. But then this would not guarantee a hi gluten flour for good bread making. Not to mention the demands on time that most of us may not be able to spare. I hope this addresses the question regarding the "wheat germ" sandylc above asked.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some of your statements appear to be self-justification for using white flour. Your saying whole wheat flour is difficult to work with or slams on its nutrition appear to be part of the self-justification.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To dissect/debate what you've said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~ The wheat germ is in whole wheat flour so there's no need to grind your grains (but still fun to do so).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~ You are supposed to refrigerate your whole wheat or whole grain flour anyway (standard operating procedure),

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~ adding a couple of tablespoons of wheat gluten to your flour is a snap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      These three "issues" are so easily solved that I'm surprised at your using them as reasons to not use whole wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BTW, you don't need to justify using white bread flour or refined white flour. It's your choice. But don't say inaccurate things about whole wheat flour to feel better about your choice to use white bread flour or refined white flour, if that's what you're doing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Your best bet is fermentation. All kinds of nutritional benefits are "created" through home leavening of bread. Better if you can mature it over months of sourdough maturation.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any fermentation (either regular proofing or a sourdough or pre-dough) will create additional nutrition in bread, but more nutrition is not created with white bread flour than with whole wheat flour, as you say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bread made with sourdough has been tentatively shown to slow the body's glucose/glycemic response, but the scientific tests were so far were so poorly designed that you couldn't tell what was from the sourdough and what was from additives added to the bread (no control). I read and read scientific article after article to corroborate your claim. I also read another author's work who tried to substantiate the same claim, and in his research he could not find a single cereal/food scientist who said so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Brown "Whole wheat" sold commercially lacks proteins (Gladinin and glutenin) to offer much to your sourdough culture in terms of nutrients that the micro organisms need.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The microorganisms in a starter have nothing to do with either form of gluten, gliadin or glutenin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Rye flour is good additive to give your sourdough culture some robustness. >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's because rye flour has a great many of the specific lactobacilli and yeast that the sourdough culture needs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If rye flour or whole wheat gluten needs some extra gluten to create good bread structure, it takes ten seconds to add. I haven't found any need to add gluten to Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour, but I do add gluten to rye flour since it cannot form gluten like whole wheat or bread flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    maria lorraine Jan 15, 2014 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not sure about a lot of this, especially the nutrition claims. Would love to see hard data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Jan 16, 2014 10:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<The real difference [in bread flours] can only be due to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) fineness of grind and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Gluten percentage (protein content)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Out of those two the protein (or gluten) content is the only real difference we need to take into consideration. The more gluten there is the better it is for baking. >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dee,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I sense you have used some terms imprecisely or have an inaccurate understanding of fermentation and nutrition, and because of that, I'm having trouble understanding what you mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I'd like to know what you really mean, and I certainly don't want others to be misled, so would you mind clarifying a few things?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For example, you say "the protein (or gluten) content is the only real difference," but that's not correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are 30 types of protein in bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Only two of those 30 are gluten-related -- gliaden and glutenin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      None of these 30 proteins can be used by the body directly. Those proteins aren't usable by the body, though, until they can be assembled by the human liver into a complete protein the body can use. There is a lot of misinformation propagated about protein to mislead the public into thinking something is more nutritious than it really is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Nutritionally wholewheat flour is not better than strong breadflour for home baking because the nutritional quality of bread comes from the *fermentation process.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you saying there is no difference in the nutrition content of whole wheat flour vs. bread flour?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I checked several different data sources, I found that, compared to a cup of whole grain whole wheat flour, each cup of bread flour, has one-fourth the Vitamin A, one-half the Vitamin E, one-sixth the Vitamin K, one-fifth the thiamin, one-third the riboflavin, one-fifth the niacin, one-fourth the B6, and so on. It has one-fourth the fiber, and 100 more calories per cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The fermentation process does create nutrition (phytin/phytates as one example), but fermentation does not create more nutrition in bread/strong flour than it does in whole wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is a still a big nutrition difference between bread made with whole wheat flour and bread flour. There's even a greater difference if the flour is whole grain whole wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are six basic types of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, hard white, soft white and durum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      White wheat is what is mostly grown/sold in Australia and red wheat (also called conventional wheat) is what is mostly grown and sold in the US and Canada. The nutrition, protein content, and performance of each wheat type differs, so it's important to specify which type you mean for comparison's sake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Good batches of wheat yield also give rise to extra strong flour>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Within each type, there are variations in nutrition, protein and gluten potential by season. For example, in hard red wheat, spring wheat has about 3% more protein than winter wheat. There are also some geographic differences between the same species of wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<Refined flour or "strong" bread flour is more of the inside of the wheat grain and the outer bits are added to the wholewheat flour.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      By "strong" bread flour, do you mean high-protein refined white bread flour with lots of gluten potential?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Refined white flour contains only the endosperm but outer bits are not "added" to whole wheat flour; they're simply never removed (except for the husk/hull).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<The more gluten there is the better it is for baking. >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Better for bread baking, that is, not for all baking. Cakes and pastries are terrible with flour that easily forms gluten, so for those items, you use a flour that has the least potential for forming gluten, usually a soft wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Jan 17, 2014 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Maria Lorraine,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Firstly thanks for bringing the focus back to bread baking and a great post. I think a lot of confusion has risen out of me using the term "brown whole wheat" loosely. I am pointing my finger at what is sold in shops as "healthy flour".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was trying to point out that when it comes to breadmaking it is a good idea to add value to your bread by the fermentation process and adding OTHER ingredients (other than different types of wheat! :) )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also when I say strong flour I do not automatically mean highly refined flour. Refined flour is NOT necessarily strong flour. You can however have strong flour that is actually whole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But Maria Lorraine, there are a lot of wonderful points you have picked up on that I would like to respond to but my younger two are not letting me type and the older one is about to reach from school.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks, will speak soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SomersetDee Jan 17, 2014 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dear Maria Lorraine,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for your patience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The younger two are now asleep and the older one is gone for music lessons and I have some time to type now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Clarification: I have used quotes “” for “Whole wheat” because most whole wheat bought from supermarkets and health food shops have some of the oils from the wheatgerm removed. If that is not done it will simply go rancid within days. Hence the quotes because in my personal opinion it is not really whole. My mom used a miller to mill every week when I was a kid (about 30+ years ago). Then it became fashionable to buy flour in the shops and the small miller went out of business. My mom still managed to get occasional batches done, as that miller retained a small machine in his house to cater to personal friends!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another reason for quotes is that they often have EXTRA bran added!! Health food shop customers often like that!! If something is a little good then more of it must be better!! Eating excess bran and bits of ground up husk that comes through is a minor health hazard. Fibre obtained from vegetables are superior in many ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          THERE ARE NO VITAMINS, MINERALS, OR FIBRE THAT ONE CAN GET FROM WHOLE WHEAT THAT AREN’T PRESENT IN HIGHER PROPORTIONS IN OTHER INGREDIENTS AND FOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Unfortunately, even freshly milled whole (no quotes here) wheat will trigger insulin production. Calorifically it is no less calorific than most other grains. Refining increases the carbohydrate saturation and obviously speeds up insulin production. How much ever I love bread (my whole family does), I do not eat it more than once a day. In our family we skip cereals and bread for breakfast. Usually breakfast is fried eggs or a cheese omelette with a sausage or an apple preferably both. This is what even my two year old eats for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nothing wrong with insulin production except that if it is done more than twice a day then you run the risks of fat deposits and insulin resistance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Therefore a smart way to enhance the nutritional quality of bread is to incorporate more complex FERMENTATION PROCESS and add OTHER INGREDIENTS (and NOT more or different monocot grains, or whole wheat or bran)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In fact, in many previous threads we have discussed enhancing nutrition through very many complex fermentation processes. Adding dicot seeds, spirulina, sun dried tomatoes, anchovies, the list is endless.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So when someone said that they added 50% “wholewheat” flour to plain flour hoping to enhance nutrition I quickly replied that if the objective is to enhance nutritional value then one needs to think differently and not keep going in the direction of bran and wholewheat. Most bread flour is 80 to 90% whole anyway. It is not a big deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For example, there is more folic acid in Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts (or chicken/lamb liver) than in wheat. There is more fibre without triggering insulin production in a spoon of string beans, broccoli or green garden peas than several slices of whole meal bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the link and the photo that is attached I made the bread using this flour:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005FPZ3RU

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes I also buy this brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009F7K38I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Other times I just buy the cheapest organic white flour that I can find.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The bread has a lot of added ingredients and has a very complex fermentation process that I cultured over many months mostly in the pursuit of taste, and also to fulfil the demands of my wife and three hungry kids in a healthy manner. Many others in the forum make even more complex bread than I do. Someone here even has a 6 year old leaven going strong!! Such a leaven could contain 100s if not more different species of microorganisms living in it. That could be providing untold benefits to the upkeep of overall health. It is a big subject. Let’s get back to bread!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So if out of my excitement to share information, if I offended anyone, I am sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kind regards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc Jan 17, 2014 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Random thoughts:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -It is wonderful that you have found ways to pump up the nutrition in your homemade breads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -In the US, "whole wheat flour" by law must contain the ENTIRE wheat berry, including the bran, endosperm, and germ, and thusly has more nutrition (from the inclusion of the entire germ) than white flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MrsPatmore Jan 18, 2014 12:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi somerset dee, you certainly haven't offended me, I enjoy your posts. I just wish you were my neighbor, so I could come over for some of your fabulous bread (and a cup of tea and interesting conversation)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MrsPatmore
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SomersetDee Jan 21, 2014 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                haha! Thank you Mrs Patmore, you never know, me and my noisy family just might move in next door to you! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For Sandylc: Thanks. Yes I understand that in the US the wholewheat flour is stored in the fridge because it really is entire. Apparently, it is not so in Canada and the UK. Apparently a significant portion of the oils evaporate in the heat from grinding. Anyway that is the excuse Canadians and the UK make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Has anyone tried malted grain? I have a bag of malted wheat flour which I have not used yet. Mostly because I did not know where to start with it. It smells very sweet. (well, even tastes sweet) I can perhaps write a review on how it performs for bread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                kind regards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Antilope Mar 7, 2014 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On another thread, someone asked the difference between Diastatic Malt and Non-Diastatic Malt in breadmaking and the suggested uses. I thought I would post my response here, also, as a reference:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Malt powder is made from sprouted grain, usually barley, that is dried and ground to a powder (flour). The sprouting grain contains enzymes that improve texture, rise and browning when making bread. The resulting product is called diastatic malt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The diastatic malt powder contains enzymes, that will break down some of the flour in a recipe, into simple sugars, such as dextrose, glucose and maltose. These simple sugars provide extra food for yeast. Adding diastatic malt powder to a bread recipe feeds the yeast and results in a higher rising, better texture and better browning of the crust from the freed up sugars. It is usually added at a rate of 0.5% to 2% of the total weight of flour used. Adding 1 teaspoon of diastatic malt powder to 3 cups of flour is a rate of about 1%. A level teaspoon of diastatic malt powder weighs about 3.5 grams. Adding diastatic malt powder at a rate of more than 2% can result in a gummy crumb in the finished bread. Most flours come from the mill with some diastatic malt already added.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If the malt powder is heated or toasted during manufacture, this destroys the enzymes and results in non-diastatic malt powder. This type of malt powder is used as a sweetener and flavoring. One such use is adding non-diastatic malt powder to water bagels are boiled in. This results in a brown, shiny coating on the bagels. It is also added to bread recipes as a sweetener and flavoring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Diastatic Malt Powder is a dough improver and yeast food. It improves bread texture and crust color.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Non-Diastatic Malt Powder is a sweetener that is added to bread recipes. It is a flavoring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These products can come as a powder or a syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MrsPatmore Mar 7, 2014 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you, antilope! I have often wondered about "malt" in recipes. I've had the ingredient in my online shopping cart several times, but deleted it as I really didn't understand why it could be essential (and I'm tired of buying ingredients to use just once! )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now that you've explained, I'm ordering some tonight (both kinds) and then I'm going to re - try the bagel recipe in The Breadbaker's Apprentice. Thanks so much for the info!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Antilope Mar 7, 2014 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always add malt powder (whatever kind) to the recipe liquids to make sure of a more even distribution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adagio Mar 14, 2014 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you buy good flour, malt powder is unnecessary. Malt is used in flour for corrections and balance. It is already done in flours like King Arthur, Ceresota, and the like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Antilope Mar 14, 2014 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would say those that are interested should experiment with both types of malt and see if it improves their loaves. Many artisan bread books recommend adding these ingredients. I have noticed improvements in my bread when using malt. Don't just dismiss it out of hand saying the flour has enough. The flour has a bare minimum, the mills aren't going to waste money adding any more malt than their bean counters allow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Adagio Mar 14, 2014 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Experimenting is great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I always learned that when someone says don't do something...you do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But the malt thing is like pre-proofing instant yeast...in normal bread baking...it's not necessary to balance the already balanced

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          veggiechef1965 Mar 14, 2014 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          enough...what we need is the basics!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can you bring us through bread baking at a level we can handle?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ...soup to nuts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          veggiechef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: veggiechef1965
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 14, 2014 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi veggie chef!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OK...I realize there are a lot of details flying around and that's great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The best I can do is bring my 40 years of baking experience and try to help formulate some basic skills we all need in baking bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What you ask will take a bit. But if you bear with me...we can get through this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So we will start with flour to dough temperature to pre-ferments to steam or no steam, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I promise you...if you hang in there with me, you can make world class bread right there in your home oven be it gas or electric, convection or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We'll get started in our next session.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sandylc Mar 14, 2014 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ugh, I don't envy you. I have thought about teaching a very basic bread class, but then I start thinking in tangents about everything from types of flours to....well, you get the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A beginner needs to put things in a bowl, following directions. It takes time to learn breadbaking - that's why it's so fascinating on a long-term basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adagio, I am willing to bet that you (a clearly accomplished baker) are still learning things about it - have you used the stretch-and-fold much, for example?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adagio Mar 15, 2014 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi sandylc:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                when you stop learning...you stop getting better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The best part about baking is if you have a bad bake day today...there is always tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love teaching. It's all I do now, besides baking for my wife who is a personal chef. I bake specialty breads for her gigs and do decorative breads as she requests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Accomplished...I hope...still learning...you bet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Time to learn bread baking...again...you bet. In pastry schools all over the country, you get 5 weeks of bread because bread isn't "sexy". Two of those weeks is devoted to machinery and safety...the rest is a whirlwind tour of flour in your face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I must admit, I studied bread from the seed to the table and when I thought I knew it all, I studied with Cyril Hitz, then when I absolutely thought I knew it all, I studied with Jeffrey Hamelman. I think both of those masters will tell you they still learn something new every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Acutally, I learn the most from teaching. My background is in pastry with my family. At any one time my family had three bakeries going and I worked in every one and hated every minute of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then I found bread. I baked for years from "seat of your pants" training, read books, then came videos, then one on one training.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bread is simple. And in that simplicity comes failure. When we forget the basics; dough temperature, the right flour, when to turn the mixer OFF, bulk fermentation, stretch and folds, we fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The truth is that no matter how complicated the formula, if we hang on to the basics, we can make it work every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So when veggiechef said let's go back to the basics, I was pleased to go there and that's what we'll do. And you will look over my shoulder to make sure I don't lead them astray!...LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And to answer the last part of your question, just about all of my bread formulae call for stretch and folds except for some rye breads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My idea here is to get people some basic skills that can make them create world class breads right there in their own kitchens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc Mar 15, 2014 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You are wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adagio Mar 16, 2014 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL..just trying to help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Mar 14, 2014 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe you should write a book. Another thing that's much easier said than done....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Adagio Mar 15, 2014 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are so many bread books out there it's silly. In my opinion, there is but one book: BREAD by Jeffery Hamelman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What I like about this book is that it goes into great detail if you are the type that has to know everything about everything, or you can go right to the formulae and start baking, and everyplace in between.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have read this book from cover to cover and still use it as reference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You know, every book has reviewers who say "nice" things about it on the back cover so it sells. But how many bread books has accolades from the famous master Raymond Calvel?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me write a book...I have to copy Jeffrey's and go to jail...LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a bunch of bread books as does everyone else. I use them for ideas, and then apply the basics. If you master the basics you can look at a formula and know if it will work properly or not and make the necessary corrections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stick to "BREAD" and you can't go wrong!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc Mar 15, 2014 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also have that one and many others. I forget about one of them occasionally and then rediscover it, and it's a whole new book because I'm in a different place in breadbaking than I was before....!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 16, 2014 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wtg2Retire Mar 17, 2014 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio, I want to purchase the book BREAD you mentioned above, There are two publication dates. Do you recommend the 2004 or 2012 publication, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wtg2Retire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Adagio Mar 17, 2014 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Although I have the older one and have yet to find a problem...I would always choose the latest edition. You may find a new formula at the very least!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wtg2Retire Mar 17, 2014 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Wtg2Retire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 18, 2014 04:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi chef and you are entirely welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stay in touch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MrsPatmore Mar 15, 2014 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Adagio, I'm reading every word that you write and I love you for sharing your experience and techniques!!! Thank you for your generosity. I'm excited to from you. Sincerely, MrsP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 16, 2014 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm happy to help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hang in there and feel free to stop me at any time if you don't understand something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Once you get the process...you will own it and I promise, you will be baking world class bread at home!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: veggiechef1965
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adagio Mar 15, 2014 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will add this to the request for the "basics":

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chow would like us to keep everything here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have included my email address so that I could send a file. I have about 80 formulae on Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets for which I get requests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My promise to Chow is that I send only the file, and ALL discussion remains here so that all can benefit from our successes and failures. That how we learn!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will ask that we honor Chow's rule. After all, they kindly let us use this site to learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So with their kind permission, I will send the file requested, but we come right back here to discuss it...agreed?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Mar 15, 2014 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps you could start with one basic recipe and copy and explain it here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps Whole Wheat Bread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Might be easier than sending 80 recipes (quite possibly too much info) at the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Adagio Mar 15, 2014 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HI...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I said 80 formulae...I meant they are available...not that I would go through them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whole Wheat soon...first simple French dough...and we're not taking the fire hose approach!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wtg2Retire Mar 17, 2014 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would love to have the spreadsheets. Please send to me at fairwayser@yahoo.com. TIA. I am hoping I read your post correctly; if not, please let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Wtg2Retire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adagio Mar 17, 2014 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi chef:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For which bread are you referring?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shall we start with French dough for baguettes with poolish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: veggiechef1965
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        maria lorraine Mar 16, 2014 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Veggiechef,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is the stuff below what you're looking for, or are you looking for something even more basic?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Something more basic would be a recipe with easy ingredients, basic techniques, all in one single post. Like a recipe just to get baking?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm asking because I know a geeky math explanation might be off-putting and not at all fun to some, though very fun to more advanced bakers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wondering what would be helpful to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          veggiechef1965 Mar 16, 2014 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is exactly what I was looking for and what I'm sure others need to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I talked to a master bread baker and he told me the same thing...it's usually the basics that we overlook when we fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm hanging on every post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you Maria Lorraine and thank you Chef "Adagio"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Mar 14, 2014 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi I thought I would share this. Apologies in advance for the vegetarians about the roast being in the frame. The bread disappeared within minutes after it reached the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ingredients = flour+leaven+water+salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flour = oak-smoked malted organic white flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leaven = 1+ year old (33% by volume)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kneading = 2 times,(15min and 4 min) rested in fridge for 3 hours between kneads
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crust = sprinkled with broken wheat while shaping.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Final rise time = 2 hours or so.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Life span of bread after baking = 9 minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Adagio Mar 15, 2014 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK...I hope I'm in the right place!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First..."stuff" we need for artisan loaves at home:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Thermometer for water and dough temperature. Just a good kitchen thermometer will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Stone for the oven for free standing loaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Loaf pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Mixer, such as a Kitchen Aid or equivalent. You can knead by hand if you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Parchment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6. bun pan...1/2 size

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7. 9-10 inch cast iron frying pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8. Kitchen scale...nothing fancy, just so it goes from ounces to grams...I work exclusively in grams.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9. Lame or equivalent (razor) for scoring bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10. Couche material (linen) or equivalent. This, by the way we can purchase at an art store and I'll give you number and size as we go along.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          11. a place to work...at home...I use a bread board that was Grandma's...it's portable and historic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK kids...what did I forget...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc Mar 15, 2014 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .....a peel?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .....a cooling rack?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .....I like a shaker can for flour so I don't use too much; I haven't learned that sideways flour toss yet.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adagio Mar 16, 2014 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A peel...well...I send in the bread on the back of a half pan with parchment...but a peel is great except you need to use a lubricant like semolina or rice flour...messes up the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cooling rack...you bet...thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL on the shaker can...keep practicing that toss and thanks for the help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Mar 16, 2014 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I use parchment on my peel. A bit into the baking period, I reach in and snatch the parchment back out from under the bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Adagio Mar 17, 2014 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perfect chef!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antilope Mar 15, 2014 07:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A spray bottle to mist the French bread, or something to create steam in the oven? I use the mist bottle, and also a 1/2 sheet pan, preheated on the shelf below the bread. Pour water into the pre-heated sheet pan and it makes a lot of steam for a couple of minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adagio Mar 16, 2014 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That is what the cast iron frying pan is for. 1 cup of hot water and you're good to go...explanation to follow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Adagio Mar 15, 2014 09:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let's talk basic ingredients...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Flour:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No...we not going into ash content and falling number, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For our purposes...All Purpose flour is perfect. We shall look for a protein content of about 11.5 to 12%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Examples: King Arthur All Purpose tips in at around 11.7 or so and Cerasota and Hector's around 12. We don't want any more than this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Protein flour at around 14% isn't much good to us just now. We'll find out later that in Brioche or heavy rye breads a percentage of High Protein flour will help give those "heavy" doughs a bit of lift. But for general bread baking...all purpose, non-bleached, non-bromated flours will work perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If the flour is white, it's bleached!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wheat is yellow...you know, "amber waves of grain".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And remember, fresh flour doesn't work. Most commercial flours are "aged" before sold so you don't need to worry here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Water...potable! If your tap water is drinkable, it's bread makeable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salt: granulated. You can use Kosher, Sea Salt, Morton, whatever as long as it's fine granulated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeast: for our home purposes, we will use instant yeast. Not rapid rise or whatever else they sell out there. I work with Baker's Fresh yeast which by definition is mostly water. An ounce of Instant yeast is about three time more potent than fresh baker's yeast. So if I say 10 grams of yeast...you use 10 X .33 or 3.3 grams. If you feel you have cold kitchen...no be afraid to go to .4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ok...that's about as technical as we're going to get with these ingredients. As we move along, we'll get as technical as we need to, to make a point and no more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              35 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adagio Mar 15, 2014 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ok...Baker's Percentages or Baker's Math as I like to call it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you asked me for a formula for banquettes let's say, my reply would be this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour 100%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Water 66%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeast 1.75%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salt 1.5%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and that's all you would need to make simple dough with no starter. Starters will come in a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour is always 100% and this is the number against which you apply all of your other ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's go for a ride and use that simple formula.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here is a simple formula to remember:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour = total product divided by total percentage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You don't have to understand the algebra behind this even though it's basic...you just have to remember it...write it down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour 100% 1.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Water 66% .66
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeast 1.75% .0175
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salt 1.5% .015

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Total 1.6925

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That is our total percentage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok...the rule again:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour weight = total product divided by total percentage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour weight = total product divided by 1.6925

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So how much is our product weight?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well...if we're making baguettes in France, it has to be 250 grams/loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's make three baguettes...that will fit in our home oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remember, we will loose about 10% of the weight in the baking process. If we want to end up with 250 grams, we start with 275.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Product weight = unit weight times quantity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Product weight = 275 times 3 baguettes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Product weight = 275 X3 = 825 grams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK...back to our rule for flour...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour = Product weight divided by total percentage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour = 825 grams / 1.6925 = 487.4...oh...487!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                we will pay for dropping that .4 at the end but this isn't rocket science!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour for our three baguettes is 487 grams. That's our number!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The water was 66% or .66

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Water = 487 X .66 = 321 grams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeast was 1.75

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeast = .0175 X 487 = 8.5 grams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salt was 1.5%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salt = .015 X 487 = 7.3 grams,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's see if that worked:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flour 1.00 is 487
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Water .66 is 321
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeast .0175 is 8.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sale .015 is 7.3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's add them up: 823.8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Our original target was 825...we didn't round up the numbers...so close enough!!!!!!! It worked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now you are baking with the big dudes...you know baker's math!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's a big step.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The next big step is the weight. You notice we don't work in volume. Volume will lie to you. What one person's cup is another person's cup and them some. Weight doesn't lie! A pound of feathers weights just as much as a pound of steel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We do this to be consistent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok...digest this for a while because the next part of consistency will come in terms of dough temperature...very, very, important.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next session...how we regulate dough temperature and why that is important.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ciao and happy baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SomersetDee Mar 15, 2014 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Adagio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow! Very useful post. But I suspect that it is all this baker's style of calculation that puts many off of baking bread casually on a day-to-day basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Calculating the hydration level and yield and rise is useful for a businessman. A professional baker who needs to make money needs to worry about consistent results, yield and repeatability. A home baker essentially needs a more qualitative approach as opposed to a commercial quantitative one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I never weigh my flour. I never measure the yeast. I never use "granulated" salt or pre-dissolve my salt. I use large sea-salt crystals.. I don't care too much about my leaven or what brand or type of yeast I use. All I care about is ease, and taste. :) It's good to have knowledge, hence I love your post(s). But on a practical home-baking level; enjoyment is the key.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My advice to first time bakers. Just try it. There is nothing to it. Mix flour and yeast. just bake in any old cranky oven you will still have home baked bread that YOU baked! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adagio Mar 15, 2014 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good for you...have fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 16, 2014 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will respectfully disagree. Once you get used to the simple way of being consistent and you see how your breads come out time and time again...you'll wonder why you didn't do these simple steps before!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My advice is why risk certain failure when following a few simple rules of bread baking will get you to certain success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Mar 16, 2014 05:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Adagio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a fan of yours. I greatly enjoy your posts. But I do have a point Adagio. I used to be a scientist too and it is impossible (at least difficult) for me not to think quantitatively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I cook for my family. Initially I used quantitative methods to get near perfect breads from the very first time I tried some years ago. But it was so unnecessarily complicated that I did not bake often simply for lack of time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Slowly I realised that there are only 4 ingredients. Flour, yeast, water and salt. salt and water can vary but not much. Yeast can vary more, and flour can vary the most.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe that there is no such thing as a perfect bread. There are only variations in taste arising out of different strains of yeast, kind of salt, local water, and most of all the flour used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Even more so because of family preferences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You and I both know that blindly sticking to quantitative recipes can make you oblivious to local variations in water and flour... resulting in mistakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Going by qualitative "feel" is a nicer way to make bread in my humble opinion. For example. Whatever flour one uses, how much ever water one adds, add enough to make a loose enough dough where you can poke your finger through the dough without too much resistance. Knead till the dough is smooth and buttery on the outside. Get your evidence (or proof) that the yeast is working. If not at this stage add more yeast. :) simples. After resting when kneading for the second time, knead only till the dough is easy to stretch and translucent. No more than that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Everyday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        love to everyone for sharing. Thanks Adagio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MrsPatmore Mar 16, 2014 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi SomersetDee, I have admired so many of your beautiful breads on this thread. I'm chiming in here to say that I'm appreciative of your input as well as that of Adagio. In my life, there is room for both of you and I learn from both of you. Earlier in my life, I was discouraged from bread baking because of uneven results. For too many years, I gave up on bread baking. Then I learned about weighing ingredients. After some years of weighing ingredients and getting good results, I've gained confidence with my dough so now I can *tell* if it's going to develop into a satisfactory result. I'm no longer married to weighing ingredients, especially if it's a familiar recipe. With new, vastly different recipes, however, I will weigh my ingredients (a recent example is pumpernickel bagels - I totally used a recipe for those!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really wish that I could make a beautiful Pullman loaf like you've made. That's on my bucket list! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and perspective. Sincerely, MrsP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 17, 2014 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ok chef I certainly agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            However, please consider this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This thread was started for troubleshooting puposes, not to find the perfect bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In order to troubleshoot via a thread discussion on here, I have to know certain things. If I were looking over shoulders it would be different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think you misunderstand my reasons for getting the basics down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let's say you said: "My french bread is too bready" as a writer did on another post. I would ask for the formula. In baker's percentages, I might see Flour: 100%, Water 58%...and I would stop there. I would know at a glance that the hydration was way to low.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not trying to make scientists here. I am trying to troubleshoot problems from here and that can be tough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, let's say you see a formula for whole wheat. It says Whole Wheat flour 100%, Water, 72% Yeast 1.5%, Salt 1.25% Suger 15%, honey 10 %. And you tell me your bread is burning on the bottom before it's done baking inside. I say...the sugars in the loaf may be the problem...double pan, lower the temp and try again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If I just get, "I tried to bake a whole wheat loaf and it burns on the bottome before it's done baking", then I have to play 20 questions and by the time we get to the problem, we forgot what the original problem was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We could go on all day, and I consult bread and bakery problems all over the world. I'm just trying to eliminate the greater percentage of the work with simple basics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Example: A young lade in NY told be she and her mom have a bagel shop. She goes on to say, "my bagels are different every day". I ask, "what is your dough temperature coming off the mixer?". She says, "dough temperature?" OK...we have a place to start to troubleshoot consistency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight...dough temperature and why that simple step that takes a minute to correct is so important!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SomersetDee Mar 18, 2014 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Ralph,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :) True! I agree Chef. Me and my wife are often at odds because she is always talking in abstract qualitative terms where I tend to be more logical and quantitative in my approach. For example; when she declares that the first pancake ALWAYS sticks, I respond, no, not always! If the pan temperature has stabilised before you pour the first pancake in, then the first one will also not stick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like what Mrs Patmore pointed out to me as well. If it was not for the fact that I started off my breadmaking with a quantitative approach, I could not have had sustained good results leading me to enjoy breadmaking more and more by just "feel".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess being able to look at ratios and proportions will come at a later stage. I rely a lot on feel, taste, visual cues and lastly smell when I make things in the kitchen. At home we can adopt sensory feedback mechanisms when cooking or baking. I often taste/eat a pinch of my dough in various stages to keep track and make reasonable adjustments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Similar to what Ralph has suggested elsewhere, I also would like to strongly suggest to home bakers to keep a diary/logbook where you make observations such as 'with 60% hydration my flour still has reasonable resistance to my finger pushing through it'. I personally also kept logs of various kneading times and corresponding end results. Eventually, you can make a mental recording of what you feel is the right "consistency" of the dough given the end result that you personally enjoy. Similar log for various crust texture, baking temperature, etc etc are all useful (even necessary) initially.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reading a book called "Bread" all alone in a room is a bit dry (not enough hydration lol :) ) whereas discussing this live, with real people from both sides of the Atlantic is a real privilege and great joy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am really glad about this thread. I hope this stays as an entertaining as well as a comprehensive resource to bread making (at home); and it is thanks to you Ralph! :) regards,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 17, 2014 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ok...to recap...two simple formulae:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. total product = how many loaves X the weight of each loaf...easy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Total Product = units X weight

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Flour alway s equas 100% and all the other ingredients are multiplied against the wieght of the flour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Flour weight = Total product divded by the total percentage of all the ingredients...simple

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Flour weight = Total Product / Total percentage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why do we go here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let's say you write and say "Ralph...my bread feels like a brick...not light and filled with holes" I ask for your formula. You give me:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Flour = 100%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Water = 56%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeast = 1.25%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Salt = 1.5%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I say..."OK raise yo ur water to 66% and give that a try"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You go back to your total percentage; you add 100 + 66 = 1.25 + 1.5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your total percentage goes up and when you divide it into you product, you will see your flour weight come down!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hydration goes up and your bread lightens like magic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      By the way...56% hydration is a bagel...not a brick...LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Once you try this a couple of times...it will be owned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Adagio Mar 19, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK...so my bread is great one day, not so another. What's going on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Consistency in baking is key to success for professional bakers and home balers alike. And...I am both!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the major steps in baking that is so often overlooked is dough temperature. This is the temperature of the dough coming off the mixer and ready to be bulk fermented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bulk fermentation is just that...when you let the dough rest a bit, say two hours for most doughs, in a covered environment. This is where the dough is building flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let say, for the sake of this discussion, that normal white doughs like to be at around 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Many experiments both technical and non technical bear this out to be true...let's leave it at that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Getting the correct dough temperature, or at least close is not a difficult as it seems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We have variables: flour temperature, Room Temperature, Water Temperature, Mixer friction, and pre-ferment if used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixer friction is a crap shoot at first. We use 24 degrees as a starting point from experience with our own mixer. If our dough temperature is consistently high after applying our correction, then we raise our mixer friction a bit at the next bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So...how do we correct for the proper temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If we go with a straight dough; flour, water, room, we take our desired dough temperature and multiply by 3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Example:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Desired dough temperature: 76F X 3 = 228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Variables:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flour: 74F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Water ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Room 78F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixer 24F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From our target or 228 we subtract:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        228 - Flour @ 74 = 154

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        154 - Room @ 78 = 76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        76 - Mixer friction @ 24 = 52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        52F is our water temperature for this bake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We can do it another way if you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add up the knowns:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flour @ 74
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Room @ 78
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixer @ 24
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Total = 176

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Target was 228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Subtract: 228 - 176 = 52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It doesn't matter which math you like better, you get to the same place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So before you add the "warm" water as most home formulae tell you, take caution as your fermenting process is way to hot. As a result..."dough not happy".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here is the cool this about regulating dough temperature: You bake what you think is the perfect loaf of bread in July. You would like to repeat that for the winter holidays. Your room temperature my be 15 degrees lower. However, using our little formula...we take that into consideration and what have what? Consistency...all else being equal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you are using a pre-ferment; poolish, sponge, biga, that was left to ferment overnight, then we take it's temperature also and add it into the mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In that case we multiply the target temp by 4.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Target temperature: 76 X 4 = 304

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Room: 68
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flour: 69
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pre-ferment: 72
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixer Friction: 24

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        304 - Room @ 68 = 236
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        236- Flour @ 69 = 167
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        167 - pre-ferment @ 72 = 95
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        95 - mixer friction @ 24 = 71 for water temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The other way:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Room (68) + Flour (69) + pre-ferment (72) = MIxer (24) = 233.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Target 304 - 233 = 71 (water temperature)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        See how important that thermometer was????!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Again, you arbitrarily use "warm" water and your dough temperature will be way too high!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Question in the back of the room?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Next: Bulk fermentation and stretch and fold...we don't punch dough...we pat it...it do anything to us!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sandylc Mar 19, 2014 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great tutorial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes for fun, I mix my loaf with my hand in a giant SS bowl instead of using my mixer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How would this change your temperature equation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 19, 2014 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I too do this! It saves clean up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I use a scraper to fold the mixture, cover it, come back a half hour later, do it again. Gluten forms in the rest period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's like a type of autolyse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It doesn't change the equation at all...the target temperature is always worth the effort! The hand mixing is great and if you keep it covered between mixings, you have a better shot at your target then if not at all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great job chef!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            daislander Mar 19, 2014 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            flour temp!! I've never thought about it. neat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: daislander
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adagio Mar 19, 2014 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              HI chef...lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't either until I was taught!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              maria lorraine Mar 19, 2014 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Love this. And have never seen it elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adagio Mar 19, 2014 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Happy to help. Once you get these simple steps down, they become second nature and so do more consistent bakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's much easier to detect problems if we eliminate some basic bread techniques.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What I was most impressed about when I learned about all of this is that Flour, Water, yeast, salt...all take on a growing personality...it has needs. Give it what it needs and it will give you what you need...or knead...LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Are we having fun or what?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  maria lorraine Mar 19, 2014 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a very experienced bread baker myself, and get professional results. But thanks for the encouragement anyway. I always like to learn too, and because I keep studying and experimenting, the loaves keep getting better and better. I'm still on a quest, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I disagree with you a bit on fermentation temperature, since varying that is one of the ways to achieve a depth in flavor or different kind of wonderful flavor, in bread. This is how the personality of the bread -- what you referred to above -- can alter, become better, more lively, more appealing, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can read what I wrote earlier that each different bacterium or fungus produces individual flavors in an optimum temperature for that specific bacterium/fungus. Take advantage of that specific temperature window, usually within 2-3 degrees, and notice the flavor difference in the bread without changing anything else about the way you made it. The temp formulas work for any temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bear in mind that what works in a professional setting is not always in the interest of flavor for the home baker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Professional production baking has a strict time restraint -- fermentations have to be galloped along to be ready for bread sales or deliveries. The home baker can take more time. Time is the friend of flavor. Slower fermentations and pre-doughs help achieve a great depth of flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the specialty flours that work for a home baker may not be economically feasible in production baking, either because of cost or the lack of broad customer appeal. But I love experimenting with different batches or types of flour for the different flavor they bring to a loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't say this part is fun. This is prep for the fun. But the experimenting, baking and eating is fun. Cheers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adagio Mar 20, 2014 04:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I won't argue that fermentation and taste can be altered by temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    However, I find managing 2-3 degrees is tough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I change fermentation with time and keep the temperature as steady as I can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Works both way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks chef!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Mar 20, 2014 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The other component important for artisanal bread is hydration. I always go with a high hydration -- sometimes 100% -- for these loaves. The dough will be slack and sticky so use a bench scraper to work with it. Results are amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are many great posts about hydration on Chowhound, with many bakers speaking far more eloquently than I could about it, so I urge other bakers to read those posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Adagio Mar 20, 2014 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adagio Mar 20, 2014 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK...now we know how to achieve "desired dough temperature".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On our way...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bulk fermentation:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's just that...bulk...it's all the dough you mixed, whether for one loaf or 40.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When your dough comes off the mixer, it goes into a covered container to ferment. That is where organic acids form to add to the flavor of the bread and the dough strength! Also, the bread raising carbon dioxide is forming. This process happens in an anaerobic state...no oxygen required.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Again, for wheat breads, somewhere around 75 to 78 F in a closed container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now...to enhance two things: dough strength and temperature evening, in the middle of the bulk fermentation we do a "stretch an fold".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's say the formula calls for a 2 hour bulk fermentation with a stretch and fold in the middle at the 1 hour mark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can do this two ways...on the bench or "in the bucket".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As home bakers, we'll do "on the bench". At the one hour mark, we dump the dough on our work surface.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The surface is flowered lightly for drier doughs and more for wet doughs. Try not to incorporate the surface flour into the mix. Pat it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With a flat palm, we tamp the dough to expel some of the accumulated gas. OK...Let's see if I can explain this so you can understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh...we don't "punch" dough! It didn't do anything to us...why abuse it! In the punching process we form high density gluten pockets and this makes for uneven results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. pull the dough by the edge nearest you and fold it to the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Reach over the far and and pull the dough (away from you) and place it in the middle. Pat out lightly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Turn the dough 180 degrees and do the same thing...bottom to top and top to bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pick up the dough, turn it over and return it to its covered container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Congratulations...you have just performed a stretch and fold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the bakery...we do it in the large container we call the "bucket" without removing it. That's why we call it a bucket stretch and fold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only dough I don't do this with (bucket fold) is with ciabatta. It's too loose, and will require a vigorous stretch and fold to attain dough strength.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sorry...if I overlooked mixing I apologize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The mix is the most important phase. It's not when to turn the mixer on...it's knowing when to turn it OFF!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So...if a formula says 2-4 minutes on first speed (home kitchen aids 1-2, and 2-3 minutes on second (home kitchen aid 7-8) that's what we do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On first speed, we have a chance to check hydration. Some days the flour is dry...summer...not so dry. This is learned through experience...fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On first speed, we stick our hand in the bowl...mixer off...and feel the dough. We will get that the dough...from experience...feels dry. This is time to add a bit of water. If the dough feels wet...a tiny bit of flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On second speed, it is unlikely that you will have and opportunity to correct hydration. Remember...better too wet than too dry. Once dough strength starts to form, it will object to the addition of anything else...flour or water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Second speed is where we make the real beginnings of dough strength. I know you read about the "window pane" but I urge you to refrain. A window pane means real dough strength and tough dough...in brioche...we want real mixing...on French bread...not so much!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's do an exercise. Let's all take our cheek between our thumb and index finger. Give it a tug. See how that resistance feels. That's where we STOP mixing...at the beginning of real dough strength!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Once, I hadn't had an opportunity to bring my bread to my mom. My significant other and I stopped in a South Philadelphia bakery to pick up that which mom was used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I told Gretchen to go in and make a purchase. When she came out, she said, "the bread won't be very good".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I ask how she know this and she explained, "I watched in the back. The baker put all the ingredients in the mixer, turned it on first, waited a bit, turned it on second, and went out for a smoke".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She was correct, the bread was tough and all because too much gluten was formed in the mixer!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let the bulk fermentation do it's job...there is less oxidation, and more flavor!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK...what's next?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, our two hours are up, and it's time to divide the dough. If we made enough for three baguettes at 275 grams of wet dough, then we scale the wet dough, form it into a round to have a cohesive piece of dough and let it rest for 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why the rest?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When we work dough, the gluten strands shorten. They become elastic and not extensive. We try to shape and the dough says, "NO". We fight the dough, but the dough always wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We let the dough "rest". In that resting period the strands elongate and become extensible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, we want both, elasticity and extensibility. We want a balance between the two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In about twenty minutes, the dough will do our bidding like wet hair!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the bakery, we use this to alter the bake time. If we have to wait for oven space, we will make a tight round knowing it will take longer to relax. We can also rest the dough seam down. This will also make the dough take longer to relax. It's a ballet...controlled chaos ! and I lover every minute!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next...shaping and proofing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MrsPatmore Mar 20, 2014 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Adagio . . . I'm loving this lesson, thus far!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SomersetDee Mar 21, 2014 03:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    :) great posts. Keep them coming!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am sure everyone is thinking this: If all home bakers bake to shop quality then does that mean shop sales will drop?!!? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 21, 2014 03:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      interesting thought!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think history shows that the more an item is made...the more prices go down...look at computers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or maybe that's not such a good analogy...but one can always hope!.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SomersetDee Mar 21, 2014 04:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes Chef Ralph. On a more serious thought, the demand from artisan bakers and changing consumer habits are the only reasons for the availability of better quality flour in todays market. Here is a good book (for home bakers) that I can recommend from this side of the Atlantic. I am not a woman, so for me the pictures of various bread inside the book were more interesting than the cover. But I am sure, that for some of the female bakers, the charming Viking eyes of Paul on the cover will be the deciding factor to buy this book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Hollywoo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adagio Mar 21, 2014 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Food for thought...so to speak!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 21, 2014 03:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi chef:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are entirely welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As they say up at King Arthur...Happy Baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 21, 2014 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK...dough rested...ready to shape.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Remember, if the dough fights you, go on to another piece. If you're making one loaf, cover it for a bit. Go have a cup of coffee...you can't win this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shape the dough into baguettes, boules, batards, whatever,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like to shape and proof baguettes seam up. That lets the top dry out and it's easier to score!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Boules get proofed in baskets, lined or not, or in a bowl with a tea towel infiltrated with flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Batards, seam up or down!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Depending on your room temperature, your bread will be ready to bake in 60-90 minutes. At the 60 minute mark...give it a check. Poke it gently with your finger...if it comes back quickly...not ready...if it comes back slowly...it's time. If it doesn't come back...ooooppsss..overproofed. Bake it anyway!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Free standing artisan loaves go on a stone. This stone in the oven, has been heating for 45 minutes at 440F.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We need steam for free standing loaves! Where at home? That's where the cast iron frying pan comes in. That lives at the bottom of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After loading your bread, you throw a cup of hot water (microwave) in the pan and close that door!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We do NOT open that door for at least 12-15 mnutes or until we see color on the loaf. Color says the loaf won't rise any more. That's why we use steam...to hold off the crust so the loaf will have great "oven spring".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When there is color, open the door, turn your loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you think the loaf it done, give it 5 more minutes with the door cracked a bit with a wooden spoon. This will make great crust. In the bakery...we open the vents!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The baguettes are done when they really resist a squeeze. Batards and boules, if you thump the bottom and it sounds hollow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To reduce your learning curve, do the sqeeze and thump test and take it's temperature. The intermal temp of a finished loaf is around 205F.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't resist a full bake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If it's done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. We do not cut warm bread. It takes time for the starches to settle and the crumb to set...don't be impatient! I know it looks great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We will go over every step of this process next and talk about the pre-ferment and flavor enhancement!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We will do our best to talk about shaping...hard on a discussion thread! I'll try to find you something to watch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do I see a hand up in the back of the room?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ciao and happy baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MrsPatmore Mar 21, 2014 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm really enjoying this thread. Thank you Adagio! Next week is my spring break and while others are partying, I'm going to be partying with dough in my kitchen! I can't wait. Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adagio Mar 22, 2014 05:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is entirely my pleasure,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let me know if you want a formula or two. I have them on excel spread sheets and they are 'automatic'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They calculate the percentages, weights, and make an adjustment for instant yeast vs. fresh baker's yeast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We can start with a French dough with a poolish if you like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adagio Mar 22, 2014 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Flavor, flavor, flavor...it's all about taste?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi chefs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Did you ever go to the store to purchase a "starter" for soups or chilis?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, the pre-ferment is exactly that...a flavor packet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is made by taking a portion of the water, flour, and yeast from the original formula and letting it sit (ferment) 12-16 hours before putting it in with the rest of the ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These come in several forms:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Biga, Sponge, and poolish. We'll leave levains for another time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By definition:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Biga: 60% hydration...somewhat stiff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sponge: 70-80% hydration...loose...er.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Poolish: 100% hydration...very loose...batter like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They all have their own personalities and I encourage you to try all in your formulae to see which you prefer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You will find that poolish helps with the volume of the loaf along with more ease in shaping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The differences in flavor go from more acid to lactic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And, you get to control the flavor by deciding how much of the flour you wish to ferment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Generally, you will use about .1% +/- yeast (subtracted from the entire amount of yeast in the formula) if you are going for the 16 hour time period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The longer the time period the less yeast!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's say we are going to make French dough for baguettes and we want to use a poolish as our pre-ferment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We may take maybe 30% of the flour, and apply our hydration to it, and our yeast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's look at a formula:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The overall formula: 3 baguettes @ 275 grams wet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Flour 100% 825 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Water 66% 545 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Salt 2% 17 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeast 1.1% 9 grams (fresh baker's)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Correction for instants 9 X .33 = 3 grams instant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Poolish (pre-ferment) 30%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Flour 100% 248 grams (all of the flour 825 X 30%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Water 100% 248 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeast .2% .5 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Conversion for instant yeast .5 X .33 = .165

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Final dough = overall formula - preferment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Flour 577 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Water 297 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Salt 17 grams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeast 2.8 grams.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You make the pre-ferment the night before and add in into the mix along with everything else. The pre-ferment is covered. It needs no air. However...give it room! It will grow!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Remember...no salt in this pre-ferment. Salt added to the pre-ferment is Pate Fermentee, or "old dough"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can make a biga at 60% if you like or sponge at a higher hydration depending on your personal taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These pre-ferments are not the same as sours or levains. Levains are made from true starters that have NO commercial yeast in them. The leavener for this dough comes from allowing the bacteria in the air and on the flour to ferment over time: saccharomyces cerevisiae.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We shall discuss building a starter in a bit...if anyone is in a hurry...poke me and we'll do it now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How are we doing so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you want a formula...just ask. I'm sure you all have Microsoft Excel. These sheets are on automatic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You simply plug in the amount of units (loaves) you want and the calculation are done for you. You, however are left to calculate water temperature to achieve your desired dough temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can email me...see the first thread above...and I will send it. However, all discussions regarding this topic comes back here so everyone can benefit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ciao and happy baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maria lorraine Mar 22, 2014 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A couple of tweaks, which I've already mentioned up thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <<The leavener for this dough comes from allowing the bacteria in the air and on the flour to ferment over time: saccharomyces cerevisiae.>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Doughs do not capture yeast or bacteria from the air. That was disproven during the microbiological investigation of San Francisco sourdough and sourdoughs found all over the world. All the bacteria and yeast in a pre-dough or pre-ferment come from the flour itself. The yeast from the flour is not Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but Saccharomyces exiguus, Candida milleri, Kazachstania exigua and Candida humilis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Howeverm the yeast do little of the work to create leavening compared to a lactobacillus also found in the flour. Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis does most of the work of leavening -- much more than the combo of yeasts. It's important to understand this because this is a very rare magical symbiosis -- that the flour yeasts are able to survive the extremely acidic environment created by the lactobacillus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Introduce even a tiny amount of commercial yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as you suggest, and you change the entire microbiology, and thus flavor, of the bread. Saccharomyces cerevisiae overtakes the native yeasts and gallops a fermentation along, so much so that other flavors don't have the time to develop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adagio Mar 22, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ok chef...thanks for clearing that up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antilope Mar 22, 2014 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I use my 100% hydration sourdough starter as a poolish, since I always have some in the back of the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adagio Mar 22, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great tip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    austineatsworld Mar 16, 2014 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm thrilled to find this post as I have a bread question I have not been able to find an answer to. I have been asked to make a loaf bread using primarily teff flour. I can't use potato, tapioca, or corn starch and no gums. I am able to use eggs or chia seeds, but in limited quantities. I can also use yeast, other whole grain flours (sorghum, brown rice, millet, etc)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have tried a couple of times and have had no success. I'm starting to think it is impossible given the makeup of the teff flour, but apparently it has been done before (I just can't find a recipe or guide). Any help is so extremely appreciated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: austineatsworld
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adagio Mar 17, 2014 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi chef:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would go to the book by Chef Coppidge. I think he references this in his book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let me know what you find and I'll research more myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Adagio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        austineatsworld Mar 17, 2014 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the tip. What is the title of the book that you are referencing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: austineatsworld
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adagio Mar 17, 2014 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gluten Free Baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I get the concept of teff flour, but I do no gluten free baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will warn you though, Chef Coppedge's formulae work...but will not stand substitutions. His years of trial and error have turned out many successes, but you can't leave out anything!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.glutenfreeeasy.com/chef/co...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: austineatsworld
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 22, 2014 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi chef:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You may want to go here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.npr.org/2014/03/20/2918737...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: austineatsworld
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          maria lorraine Mar 17, 2014 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Re: Teff flour, teff bread:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Teff flour is not uncommon and often used to bake into bread in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are you familiar with the website, The Fresh Loaf?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's run by a knowledgeable bread baker, and the website is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a huge resource for bread bakers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's a search for teff on that website:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.thefreshloaf.com/search/no...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 17, 2014 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know the fresh loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I know, but have never used teff. That's why I said I'm not expert...but chef Coppedge is!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ralph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. TrishUntrapped Mar 17, 2014 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for inviting me to this thread Adagio. Like flour waiting for hydration, there's a lot to absorb here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adagio Mar 17, 2014 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Welcome chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We go slowly here and questions are happily accepted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I treat everyone the same and everyone is a chef here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And...we are all going to learn to make award winning, artisan breads at home...no special stuff...so special knowledge...just some basics!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Take a look at my last few threads talking about ingredients and baker's percentage...not as much to absorb as you think, I promise!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We go into dough temperature next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm here for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ralph, RJ, Adagio...whatever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sweetTooth Mar 19, 2014 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi everyone! Wow, what a thread! I've been wanting to get into bread baking for a while. I've baked a few here and there. I've tried the Sullivan-Lahey No knead Bread. Wasn't crazy about the thicker crust and slightly gummy crumb. But it convinced me to think about attempting artisan breads at home. Tried a focaccia from RLB's Bread Bible. Was good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, I've been wanting to try something from Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. If I get into bread baking seriously, most of it has got to be whole grain. Before I invest in a scale, an instant read thermometer, a baking stone etc. was wondering if yawl can point out a great recipe from there? Are there any other good books with whole grain recipes?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I suppose I am on the cusp and am looking for some inspiration to take the next step. Especially since it may involve some investment. Any recommendations for a digital weighing scale and an instant read thermometer? I don't cook meat, so this would be for bread mostly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks much, everyone and happy baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sweetTooth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              maria lorraine Mar 19, 2014 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <<I've tried the Sullivan-Lahey No knead Bread. Wasn't crazy about the thicker crust and slightly gummy crumb. But it convinced me to think about attempting artisan breads at home. >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A lower temp might have solved the problem. Sounds like the crust got overcooked and the crumb undercooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The recipe, as designed, is supposed to create extra crusty artisanal bread with a very large (hole-y) open crumb. That may not be your cup of tea. If it is, then a lower temp and using revised recipe might help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "NY Times No Knead Bread Recipe-my crust is too hard!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/882824

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm a huge fan of the Bittman-Sullivan-Lahey method. Especially with the Bittman revisions. It's just so darn easy to produce artisanal bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              See links below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sweetTooth Mar 19, 2014 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aha! Will try again. Thanks, Maria! Do you have a link to the revised recipe, with the Bittman revisions? How low should I go with the temperature? I don't believe I have the one I used bookmarked. I baked when it was all the rage here on CH - wow, was that over 6 years ago?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  maria lorraine Mar 19, 2014 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Links:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (free access)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Original Article: Mark Bittman, The Minimalist, New York Times, variation on Sullivan-Lahey method:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Recipe: No-Knead Bread"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Revisions and Fine-Tuning to Original Recipe (I changed my recipe to note these):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "No Kneading but Some Fine-Tuning"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/din...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sweetTooth Mar 19, 2014 10:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad to see more salt in the revised version. Thanks for the links!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last time I baked in a 4.5 qt saucepan and got a high boule. I now have a 6+ qt enameled cast iron. So will use that at the suggested temp 450 deg F and see if I still get a gummy crumb. I've moved since my last attempt - it is likely that the oven in my old place ran hotter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sweetTooth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maria lorraine Mar 19, 2014 11:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An oven thermometer is one of your best tools -- this brand, especially, and less than $10:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Atkins-2...