Sweet Challah and Slow, slow rising…
Posted: 31 March 2008 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s a challah recipe that I have been tinkering with that takes something like 3 or 4 hours to rise to double in size.  Am I doing something wrong?

3 tsp yeast
1/4 cup water
1/4 bread flour

This is mixed into a slurry, let sit 10 minutes.

4 cups flour
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup flour (as needed)
1.5 tsp salt
4.5 oz honey
1/4 cup sugar
3.5 oz water
1/8 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
3 Tbl. oil

Any thought?  Should I increase the yeast?  Some other ingredient?  I am already using osmotolerant yeast.

Thanks.

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Posted: 31 March 2008 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The yeast is a bit low, I would add about 3/4 teaspoon more if you are using instant yeast—if you are using regular yeast, then you would need even more.  To simplify your measurements, 3 teaspoons is 1 tablespoon.

What kind of flour are you using?  The amount of vital gluten seems a little excessive to me.

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Posted: 31 March 2008 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I am using Bread Flour. 

My concern about adding more yeast was that it would make it too yeasty.  But three to four hours is too long to wait.  I tried added the wheat gluten to boost the rising of the bread.

I am using instant yeast.

Thanks.

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Posted: 31 March 2008 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think it wasn’t rising because the percentage of yeast was too low—you can calculate it against the weight of the flour to find the percentage.  How was the texture with all of that gluten?  I’m not completely sure off the top of my head, but I don’t even think I add that much when I make bagels—was it chewy?

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Posted: 01 April 2008 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Considering that it’s still kinda like winter outside…could the spot you are proofing the loaves be too cold? If it’s not at least 80 degrees, it will take 3-4 hours to proof. Also, are you keeping the loaf moist as it rises, so it can expand easily?

If you are using instant yeast, than the amount is just about right (I usually use 2.25 tsp. of instant yeast for one loaf of bread). If you are using traditional dried yeast that you have to wake up in warm water, than you need about 4 tsp.

The amount of vital wheat gluten seems unnecessary. Challah is supposed to be a slightly softer, enriched bread, with a softer crumb. I wouldn’t even use vital wheat gluten, and it could also be hindering the proofing process.

Roxanne

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Posted: 02 April 2008 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The oil, eggs, salt, and even the honey retard yeast reproduction. You can add a bit more yeast to overcome these obstacles or just let it rise longer. Remember the yeast reproduces exponentially during the first two rises. Your dough should start to catch up after the first rise and it will be more flavorful for the slower rise.

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Posted: 07 April 2008 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for all the comments.

Last week I used 5 tsps. of yeast and removed the wheat gluten.  The texture was much better, and the bread rose (first rise, using instant yeast) in about 2 hours, 15 minutes, instead of more than three hours. 

The whole recipe came out much better.

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