Help with Olive Bread
Posted: 21 June 2009 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi everyone,

I’ve made the olive bread a third time now, and each time, I can’t seem to get a crisp crust that lasts (This goes for all my breads actually). 2nd thing is that the loaf is never quite the size that Rose specifies (6.5x3.5 inches). Mine is more like 7.5x2.5 inches.

I use a baking stone. I do the ice cube steaming technique.

Does anybody know how I can get a crisp crust that lasts, and also a higher bread?

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Posted: 22 June 2009 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Roddy, I’ll try to help.  It seems like your bread could be higher, with a crisper crust, if it had more gluten.  Either from a higher protein flour (perhaps switch to half bread flour, half AP), or from extra kneading.  However, I think this would also reduce the size of your holes a bit, would that be OK?

To me, the bread looks quite good, as a matter of fact, I’d like a slice now, please!

How long are you wanting the crust to last?  I usually eat bread within an hour or two after cooling, or else wrap well in plastic/foil and freeze.  The frozen bread gets thawed (still wrapped) on the counter, then re-baked for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Perhaps Matthew will be along shortly, he understands so much about bread, I’m sure he can help, too.

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Posted: 23 June 2009 01:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Julie, Thanks for the tip. I used GM all-purpose unbleached. Next time I will use GM Bread flour and knead it a little more.

How long should I expect a crispy crust to last? Hours? Days? Maybe I’m being unrealistic about how long a crust should stay crisp? How long do your crusts remain crisp? How long are they supposed to stay crisp?

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Posted: 23 June 2009 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I would say try the extra kneading, then if that still doesn’t produce the effect you want try half bread fllour/half AP.  Both extra kneading and all bread flour may be too drastic…

I have a use it or freeze it philosophy, so all my homemade bread gets eaten within a few hours of baking or else put in the freezer.  Sorry, because of that I’m not much help with how long the crust should last, I’m thinking that it may not last much past the day the bread is baked, but perhaps someone else can chime in?

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Posted: 23 June 2009 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think Julie is right—the crust won’t stay crisp for more than about a day.  I think you can recrisp it in the oven, but I haven’t tried.  As far as the olive bread, it has been a while since I made it, but I think it calls for a banneton, which would probably give you more height (are you using one already?).  Also, I get much better oven spring when using la cloche, so you could try baking it in that for more height.  But I have to say, I also think it looks great as is!

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