what has happened?
Posted: 21 November 2007 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been baking for years.. No problems until now.. My dough is not rising properly, (I have changed yeast, used a poolish, starter, etc.). The bread itself is not browning properly… and it’s heavy. Oh- the crust is really hard too. Can someone please, please help me? I have never had problems like these- so other than changing yeast, I don’t know what to do… I am the person who always brings bread, so it’s kind of important as Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I’m sitting here with an ugly braid by my side… It’s supposed to go to a dinner tonight- but, well- who wants a heavy, hard, light colored bread at their table?
Thanks in advance!

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Posted: 21 November 2007 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Issues I recall from previous pre-holiday disasters: a) ovens not heating properly b) mis-labeled flour cannisters c)trying to let dough rise in a space that’s too cold, d) other assorted ‘an ingredient I thought I was using was actually something else’ mysteries related to the familial/holiday chaos.

I’ll just throw out a question: as far as browning goes, doesn’t the ph of the dough make a difference? (or something chemical like that, it’s been a while since I’ve read Rose’s thoughts on the issue in her books)

I don’t have any real insights, though. Sorry.

Which recipe are you using?

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Posted: 21 November 2007 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hmmm - your not killing the yeast by adding the salt too soon are you?  I’m not the most experienced bread baker, but your description does sound yeast related.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Did the dough over rise during the first rise?  This would look like a somewhat deflated dough with a wrinkly top after the first rise.  This usually results in heavy bread with not so good texture.  The change in yeast might mean that this yeast rises faster and if it was left to rise for longer than is necessary it might have over-risen.

Lots of tips on this webpage.

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Posted: 22 November 2007 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Garlanda, there are many reasons for the baking failure that you have described. I realize any help that can come your way now will be too late for you. Yeasted lean bread baking problems do occur due to oven temp. problems, outdated yeast & or flour. I am certain that you did mix the ingredients properly to fully develop the gluten & to ferment & proof this concoction properly.
  Garlanda, if you like post the recipe & the directions that you employed we members then can srutinize it too see what went wrong for you. I suspect a ingredient problem. Till then, I hope you will have a happy holiday.

                                                            ~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks to all who answered… I tried different recipes, one that has been a tried and true recipe of mine from 25+ years… I think from the replies I need to consider the coolness of the kitchen while the breads were rising, also, and perhaps most important- check the temp of my oven… I’m not going to brave the “Black Friday” crowds however- this will be an errand for tomorrow! I will post to update. Thanks again!!!

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Posted: 29 November 2007 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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i’m always amazed by how much the kitchen temp effects recipes. many times the room doesn’t even feel different, but the butter can tell!
lol

jen

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Posted: 29 November 2007 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Living in Florida, I don’t often have an issue with too cool of a room, but we do get our share of chilly days.  When I need to proof dough and it’s cold, I set a 9” cake pan on the counter and fill it halfway with hot water.  I set a baking rack on top of that, my dough bowl on top of the rack, and I drape the whole works with a large clean kitchen towel.  Makes the coziest little proofer you’ve ever seen and it works like a charm smile

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