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YEAST VS STARTER
Posted: 20 July 2009 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Carolitta,

Thank you for putting it into a more simplified form. I guess the reason i had upped the yeast was because it didn’t rise. Will let you know how it comes out. Wish me luck.

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Posted: 22 July 2009 03:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Hi,

With all the heat I was finally able to make the bread. I made half of the recipe using the ingredients specified which included the 1/3 cup oil and 1/3 cup honey. I placed the 1 T. salt when soaking the grains. I kneaded it then let it rise. In the midst of the rising of 1 hour i gave it 2 business folds and finished the rising of 2 hours(this was a total of 2 hours) on the first rising then shaped it into loaves and allowed it to almost double,  and gave it a few gentle slashes before puttiing it into the oven. With the lesser amount of yeast it rose nicely. I filled my pans about 2/3 full but didn’t see it rise as high as i would like. I don’t know maybe i should have been more daring and allowed it to rise higher. I placed it into three 4x8 pans. One pan was 1.6 oz, the next was 1.8 oz and the last was 1.9 oz which ran a total of 4.7 pounds. When it was done baking it came out to 1.6 oz, 1.7 oz and 1.4 oz. There is a good chance I should have rose it 3 times to give it a better volume as Matthew suggested. The bread measured a low of 4 inches high. With only using 1 3/4 teaspoon of saf instant yeast I still was able to smell the yeast aroma during baking. Is it possible I didn’t kill all the yeast after baking ata 350 for 45 minutes?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 22 July 2009 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Well done, Gingerr! Such a good, clear description of the process, too. Now you’re looking to improve the result even further.

Your instinct that perhaps the temperature is a little low for a multi-grain bread is right on. I hesitated to raise the issue before, because it was mainly the indigestibility problem that you were concerned about. So yes, it would be wise to take the temperature up to at least to 400F. Many multigrain formulas even use 450F to 460F for 40 to 45 minutes, cutting back by 20 degrees part way through the bake if the bread is taking on too much colour.

I would also suggest cutting the honey back slightly, especially if you increase the temperature. A more modest amount would still contribute the mild, sweet note that goes so well with all the other ingredients. It would also avoid bread that blackens on the outside before it’s baked on the inside. The usual amount for a multigrain is from 3 to 9% of flour/grain weight. For your half recipe, that would be no more than 3 oz. (4T) and you could take it as low as 1 oz. (1T + 1tsp) without any loss in flavour.

Give a full rise to the bread the second time. But with whole wheats, multigrain and the like, you have to be careful not to overproof or the bread may collapse. It’s a fine balance. One business fold would probably do the trick, and slashing is not normally done on loaf breads, just the free-standing ovals and rounds. The purpose of the slashing is decorative in part, but more to prevent blow-outs on the sides of the bread. Not a problem when the pan sides hold your bread in place.

You might try some steam for increased oven spring (volume). One way to do that is to put a cast iron fry pan on the lower rack of your oven. Preheat your oven. Just before you load your bread, place about half a cup of boiling water very carefully into the fry pan. It will hit the pan, hiss and spit and throw off a lot of steam. That’s why you have to be careful. Close the oven door briefly and allow the steam to circulate. Then load your bread quickly so as not to lose too much steam. You can also spray the interior of your oven with water once or twice during the first 10 minutes of the bake. Remove the fry pan at the 10 minute mark. This is the home baker’s way of duplicating the steam injection that commercial bakers enjoy as one of the features of hearth ovens. Steam keeps the outside of the loaf from crusting over too early, so the bread can continue to expand as long as possible until the yeast has done its job.

Finally, there’s another trick you can use for increased leavening that involves prefermenting some of the flour in your recipe or using a portion of dough held back from a previous mix. Correct mixing and handling of a pre-ferment is not hard, but you do have to know what you’re doing. Maybe that’s a topic for another day. Meanwhile, try the steam and higher temperature. I’ll look forward to hearing your results. You’ve got me so intrigued. I might try making this bread myself, but there are a few others ahead of it in the queue. I’ve been working mostly with barley lately. Wonderful grain!

Until next time….

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Posted: 22 July 2009 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Good Evening, Carolita. I hope i spelled your name correctly this time around. For starters let me tell you how much i appreciate your continued assistance and knowing you haven’t given up on me makes we want to perfect what little bread baking skills I have at this time.  I will try to have my family consume the bread so i can make another trial batch.  For starters I am concerned with the half batch i had done there was still a medium smell of the alcohol-yeast aroma during the baking process. I would like to know even with what little yeast I used can you tell me why the alcohol aroma still occurs?

I have made a few changes as you had suggested in your last memo with putting in 1/4 honey. Would that amount of honey still be too much or should i go as low as 1/8 cup? There was no mention of the oil so I am assuming 1/3 oil is alright. You did mention the grain should be less like 4 T. Does this includes a total for both the 10 grain and millet? So if i wanted to use the 10 grain as well as millet I would need to only use 2 T 10 grain adn 2 T millet, is my understanding correct? Carolita I am so used to having my breads with lots of grain that using so little and not being able to see all the grains when looking at a slice I am sure my husband will frown on this matter. Is there a way i can use more than 4 T of grain and have the bread to rise more? ..I have also changed the temperature to 400 for 45 minutes and if it gets too brown I am supposed to lower the temperature to 375. Then, instead of giving the bread 2 business fold I should do one and I can then eliminate the slashing bit as well. Oh, and boiling water in the pan.

Question. When making sourdough bread Rose mentioned to use ice cubes, is there a difference when using ice cubes and boiling water?

BTW, when i mixed the recipe I didn’t know what I was doing so i just dumped everything into my Bosch and crossed my fingers. Normally when i make my bread I never measure the flour so what I had given you was all guess work; to my surprise the amount of flour was right. The dough was a little sticky so all i had to do was add another 1/4 cup of bread flour.

As i mentioned earlier I placed the dough in 3 loaf pans (4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches) using the smaller size is there a trick of knowing how much dough i should put into the pan for it to come to a nice rise and without my disappointment?

I took a picture or two of my bread and did not know if you were interested in seeing my handywork. Part of the problem is I do not know how to put pictures on this website.

Gingerr

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Posted: 23 July 2009 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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We seem to have a tutorial going, Gingerr! As much as you appreciate my faith in you, I appreciate your commitment to the process and the chance for all of us to review many of the small factors that can make a huge difference with bread. I read a story today that says it all. It’s about a master baker in France, called in to consult at a restaurant that was having problems.

“Calvel inspected the oven, the other equipment, and the recipe.  He examined a loaf that had been baked that morning, slicing it open to examine the crumb, putting the cut surface to his nose, and squeezing lightly to extract the aroma.  He said little and went off ... returning afterwards with a small piece of paper on which he had noted two or three changes in tiny, perfect handwriting ... The next day, the changes were put into place. They seemed minor - a bit more water, a slightly longer fermentation.  The tangible improvement in the bread contrasted so much with the little Calvel had done that we were dumbstruck.”

So your first question was about the alcohol smell during the bake. You don’t want to get rid of it entirely! Fermentation is what makes bread rise. The problems occur only when there is too much (or too little) fermentation.

I personally would not put any more than 1/8 cup honey (that is, 2T) in half the bread recipe. But this is YOUR bread. If you and your family like it a little sweeter, by all means try 1/4 cup (4T). No higher for the reasons given earlier. (Yes, the oil level is fine at 1/3 cup for the half recipe.)

The idea that I wanted you to cut the grain back is a misreading of the paragraph where I was talking about the honey. The sweetener in most multigrain breads, whether sugar, honey, molasses or whatever, is usually in the range of 3 to 9.2% of the total weight of the flour & grains in the bread. I calculated the total flour/grain weight of half your recipe at 32 oz, then did the percentage calculations to give you the range of honey it might be best to use. Answer: from 1 oz (1T + 1t) to a maximum of 3 oz (4T).

About the ice cubes, my understanding is that they provide humidity rather than steam. Both are very good for oven spring. I actually do both, but find the steam more critical. I place a small round tin pie plate with 5 or 6 ice cubes on my oven floor at the same time as I preheat the oven and place the frying pan on the bottom rack as described earlier. I have an electric oven, and that’s what works for me.

How much dough you put in the pan is not the key to a good rise. By convention, we know that most bakers find a dough weight of 1 1/2 lb. works well in that size of pan. That is, 24 ounces of dough. A little less, a little more makes no difference to the rise. The trick or, I should say tricks for a good rise are ALL the things that Mr. Calvel, you, I and every other baker work with all the time. The magic of yeast, temperature, flour, water, etc. All the variables, and they change all the time. That’s the challenge and that’s the joy when you get a good result.

About adding extra flour, I thought you had a little more final dough weight than you should have from the ingredient list you posted! Let me know if you find it necessary to add the extra flour again next time, and we can work it into the overall calculations.

Would love to see pictures! If they’re on your computer, just click Browse underneath the post you’re writing (where it says attachments).

Carol

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Posted: 23 July 2009 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Good Evening, Carolita, I have no problem reducing the honey to 2 Tablespoons. I can imagine each time everytime one bakes the same recipe the results will not always be the same because of the environment. In that case I will need to conclude one must always cross their toes and fingers and hope for the best. This evening I served the bread I made last night and had my boy’s slice the bread. To my surprise they chose to cut very thin slices, like 1/8 of an inch and it held up beautifully! The taste and texture was great, no falling apart. Husband was very pleased with the taste and commented that was the best bread he has ever tasted; even better than the sourdough bread. He was also pleased with the less yeast that was used in the bread. I am sure I had mentioned to you that I am not a bread person, well this evening I had 3 slices. Carolitta, the bread was that good. Enclosing 2 pics.

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Posted: 23 July 2009 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Wow, Gingerr! Gorgeous crumb on that bread and lovely looking crust. I can see that it would hold together well in the slicing, and I can imagine the good taste with all those yummy ingredients. My guess is that it will even improve in taste by tomorrow and have excellent keeping qualities. But I don’t expect it will last very long!! smile

Looking forward to the next instalment….

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Posted: 26 July 2009 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Carolita,

I am glad you liked the pictures i had sent. It was much easier sending than I had imagined. I really liked the way the bread sliced and it wasn’t as chewy as the sourdough. On the next batch that i will be doing in a few days I am wondering if the steaming will cause it to get chewy?  I listed all the changes and am ready. I was puzzled on my last loaves since I did put enough dough in the pan but it didn’t rise as much. I was wondering if I was supposed to weigh my measurements which is something I didn’t bother doing. I realize all my questions will be answered as soon as I work on my next batch in a matter of days.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Hello Carolita,

After the hot heat we’ve been having I had to put off my bread baking. I was finally able to put together the recipe. Do you realize after several weeks had gone by I had to go through all the paperwork and see where we had left off. First of all, I couldn’t get in because I couldn’t remember my log in process and I didn’t want to start over. Low and behold I found it. Okay. I went ahead and soaked the 2T millet and 10 grain cereal along with 2 1/2 T. of polenta and the 1 T. salt in boiling hot water for more than 8 hours since I had a few pressing matters; like baking a raspberry and strawberry pie. I couldn’t see it going to waste. I went ahead and placed 2 cups of room temperature water with the 1/3 cup of oil, 2 T. honey, 1/3 cup of potato flakes and gluten, then added 1/2 tsp salt along with 1/3 cup of vital wheat gluten, 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 4 cups of bread flour. Oh, and we can’t forget 1 3/4 tsp of saf instant yeast. The Saf Instant I have is the regular one.

I mixed it all together and kneaded it for 5 minutes in my bosch. Then let it rise for 1 hour and ended it with a business fold.
Back into my oiled container and had it rise for about an hour. I tested it with my finger and the print stayed. I am assuming that is the proper way of testing; i couldn’t find it anywhere how to properly do the test as i recall you mentioned i should allow it to rise fully.  Then i divided it into three portions. I wanted to be 24 oz each and it seemed i came close. I had one at 1.82, one at 1.88 and the least at 1.4 and when it finished baking it was 1.53, 1.61 and 1.16.

I preheated the oven to 400 and placed a pie plate with 6 ice cubes and then allowed some steam and tossed it into the oven. Since one of the loaves was a bit smaller I stuffed some foil at the end of the loaf pan so it wouldn’t turn out to be a midget.  I baked them for 40 minutes which I thought was enough as they were getting awfully brown.

Now, that is done I get to tell you my goofs as I saw it. I added a half cup more of bread flour at the end which I think i should not have done. After kneading the dough I think i could have gotten away and being alright with the amount of flour that we discussed; 3 cups whole wheat and 4 cups bread flour. I did notice that the flour i had grinded was a bit coarse than what you would find in the grocery store and I think because of that my bread tends to rise less. Yes, I am not satisfied with my bread because it did not turn out as high as i would like it; but i am sure it will have a good flavor. Using the 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 pans for 24 oz may be the proper amount of dough to use but with the amount of wheat i chose to use it does not rise as i would like. I would like to know if there is a way I can get around my deliemma and still have large loaves? I took a picture or two of the loaves out of the oven but need to wait a day or so so i can see what the slices looks like. The largest loaf reached 5 inches. The loaves feels light, or, could the size be my imagination? I will send the pictures as soon as I get to slice it.

Have a nice evening.

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Posted: 13 August 2009 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Hi Gingerr, sorry for the silence. Have been busy getting ready to bake a wedding cake next week. Also preparing for my days at work starting tomorrow (laundry done, etc.) Let’s make sure everybody else knows they’re welcome to chime in, so you don’t have to wait for me to get your questions answered. That’s the beauty of this forum - so much expertise to call on!!! But from a quick read, sounds good. Also sounds like you’re having fun. That’s important, imo! smile

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Posted: 18 August 2009 03:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I have made the bread in 3 - 4 1/2x8 1/2 loaf pans filling them with 24 oz each. They did not rise as much as i would like. How would I go about making it a bit higher? I have included a picture of how it looks on the inside. I have one loaf left ready to make another batch soon.

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Posted: 18 August 2009 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I’m assuming this is the same recipe, more or less, that you’ve been working with all along, Gingerr? If so, you should be able to get texture and volume similar to regular pan breads. In multi-grain breads, the density mostly depends on the ratio of grains used. Up to 25% based on the flour can be used without noticeable change to density and volume. Your % of other grains relative to flour is about 10%. So we have to look elsewhere re: the height issue.

Over-mixing can create serious problems, giving smaller loaves, for breads that contain a fair amount of whole wheat flour. I’m not familiar with your Bosch. In my KitchenAid, I’d do 2 minutes on low speed and 7 to 9 minutes on medium speed.

Secondly, a full proof is good, but not over-proofing. If you let the bread get too high before baking, it has no oomph left and the bread falls instead of rising further in the oven.

Do you have an instant read thermometer? Another factor that can help is temperature control. You want to end up with a dough temp after kneading of roughly 80 degrees F, no more—a zone that favours both fermentation (the rise) and flavour. Next time, take the dough’s temp immediately after kneading. If it’s significantly higher than 80 degrees, we can talk later about how to change that. Basically it involves doing some calculations so you know what water temperature to use. It can vary dramatically depending on the time of year, etc. For sure, don’t use hot water in the final mix—only in the soaker. Water that’s too hot can kill the yeast.

Maybe try a shorter fermentation time on the first rise? That is, let it rise to about 80% of original size rather than double. I seem to remember you’re doing folds. That’s good rather than punching the dough down. Basically you just want to degass it gently after the first rise, pre-shape round, let rest briefly, final shape into loaves, cover and let rise.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Carolita - 18 August 2009 11:58 AM

I’m assuming this is the same recipe, more or less, that you’ve been working with all along, Gingerr? If so, you should be able to get texture and volume similar to regular pan breads. In multi-grain breads, the density mostly depends on the ratio of grains used. Up to 25% based on the flour can be used without noticeable change to density and volume. Your % of other grains relative to flour is about 10%. So we have to look elsewhere re: the height issue.

Over-mixing can create serious problems, giving smaller loaves, for breads that contain a fair amount of whole wheat flour. I’m not familiar with your Bosch. In my KitchenAid, I’d do 2 minutes on low speed and 7 to 9 minutes on medium speed.

Secondly, a full proof is good, but not over-proofing. If you let the bread get too high before baking, it has no oomph left and the bread falls instead of rising further in the oven.

Do you have an instant read thermometer? Another factor that can help is temperature control. You want to end up with a dough temp after kneading of roughly 80 degrees F, no more—a zone that favours both fermentation (the rise) and flavour. Next time, take the dough’s temp immediately after kneading. If it’s significantly higher than 80 degrees, we can talk later about how to change that. Basically it involves doing some calculations so you know what water temperature to use. It can vary dramatically depending on the time of year, etc. For sure, don’t use hot water in the final mix—only in the soaker. Water that’s too hot can kill the yeast.

Maybe try a shorter fermentation time on the first rise? That is, let it rise to about 80% of original size rather than double. I seem to remember you’re doing folds. That’s good rather than punching the dough down. Basically you just want to degass it gently after the first rise, pre-shape round, let rest briefly, final shape into loaves, cover and let rise.

How do i test the dough if it has been proofed enough?

What kind of thermometer do i look for?

As for the water i use the hot water for the grains and a little warmer water for the flour.  Before i made the changes my breads were nice and tall but with the use of too much yeast. Should I be using more yeast or gluten?

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Posted: 19 August 2009 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Testing the proof: This is mostly a matter of experience. You’ve baked a fair amount of bread, Gingerr. You get to know how the dough looks when it’s puffed up too high, i.e. more than double. Then your fears are confirmed when you put your bread in the oven and after a few minutes, instead of springing up a bit more with the heat, the loaves deflate a little. But one test for lightness is to press lightly with your little finger near the edge of the bread. If the dent remains, it has risen enough.

It’s difficult to advise on what kind of thermometer to look for, not knowing what brands are available to you. Mine is a Cooper, distributed in Western Canada by Russell Food Equipment Ltd. Rose has recommended others that are available in the U.S. (search the blog). But basically, look for a digital instant read thermometer designed for testing food. In my area, they’re usually under $20 and found in hardware and kitchen supply stores.

It’s fine, even advisable to use hot water for soaking the grains 12 hours prior to baking. But as I said, don’t use hot water for the final mix. With instant yeast, you don’t even need particularly warm water. Certainly not at the height of summer when your flour, the room temp, etc. will all be warmer. I’ve even had to use ice water to make my bread sometimes in summer, in order to end up with a kneaded dough temp of between 76F and 80F.

I wouldn’t add any more yeast or gluten. You’ve actually got a little more vital wheat gluten in the mix than the recommended 5% based on flour weight. You could cut it back from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup (amount for your half recipe). If you add more yeast, you’ll be right back where you started with tall bread that was difficult for your husband to digest. There’s nothing wrong with a loaf that’s a little more compact as long as it tastes great. I seem to recall that your family gobbled up the last loaves and thought they were the best ever! I think you’ll be happier with the results if you persevere with the recipe as amended, and just watch for over-mixing and over-proofing.

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Posted: 26 August 2009 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I will see what i can find as far as a digital thermometer. I have never used one in baking so i may need some assistance. With harvesting my garden as well as canning I may need to put baking bread on hold.  In the meaaan while, have a nice summer, what’s left of it.

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