Bread Questions frm a novice
Posted: 01 October 2010 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi

Am just starting to make bread, am an absolute novice at it and don’t have the Bread Bible either. Have a coupla questions, kindly answer.

Made some regular rolls yes’day and they came out ok, want to know how I can get a softer crust…is it best to add yeast with water or milk?

Also, is it ok for the dough to be sticky, does it need to spring back when poked with two fingers?

Is adding 2 tsps active dry yeast enough for 4 to 5 cups flour?

Why do some people suggest to put an egg wash on the bread rolls before they go into baking?

Does it need to have three rises?

I use all purpose since we do not have access to bread flour.

Thanks.

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Posted: 01 October 2010 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sharon, the answers to your questions fill several chapters in many bread books! 

Briefly:
Crust is determined by how hot the oven is and what you brush on it.  For a soft crust, keep the oven temp on the low side (350F) and brush with butter before baking.
OK for dough to be sticky, many recipes now increase hydration.
The amount of yeast depends on rising times- more yeast will speed rising, while less will mean slower rising, but usually better flavor.
Egg wash aids browning and gives a shiny finish.
Number of rises depends on the desired texture, how well the gluten needs to be developed, and how much the flavor will be developed.  Three rises will produce a superior bread, in general.
If you use all-purpose in a recipe that calls for bread flour, the gluten content will be lower, and so you will need less water than the recipe calls for.  Your texture will be softer, your loaf possibly lower in height, and your holes larger.

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Posted: 01 October 2010 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks a bunch Julie, that was major help! Phew, I can bake bread at ease now.

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Posted: 01 October 2010 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Julie,
Nice summary.

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Posted: 02 October 2010 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks, Gene, that means a lot coming from one as learned as you are!  Enjoyed very much your blog comments on 2x4s, I never knew that and always thought it was an odd custom, that the size and the name differed.

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