Need help diagnosing problem with my church bread
Posted: 31 March 2009 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2009-03-31

This may be a weird question to ask, but I’m searching everywhere to find the answer. I bake the prosphora that is used in our Russian Orthodox communion service. The finished loaves are small , approximately 4 inches in diameter and 2-2 1/2 inches tall. They must be rolled out into two portions, cut into circles, then joined for baking. The crust should be soft, and it is best if they do not crumb significantly. (The priest has to cut small portions from them and does not have a sharp knife for doing so)

The restrictions on this are that we can use nothing other than flour, yeast, salt, and water. No oils, no dairy.

My loaves come out fine, except that they seem to crumb a bit more than they should.

The Internet has a couple sites dedicated to the baking of the church bread, but most of them recite standard charts for diagnosing the problem, and I can’t seem to isolate it using them.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Many thanks for your consideration.

Anna

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 March 2009 04:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  575
Joined  2007-11-18

ANNA IN OKLA:
  Good afternoon Anna. Welcome into our culinary club. Anna, I would love to help you troubleshoot your baking question…However Anna I do not understand your description of what you disapprove of in your yeasted lean dough bread. Can you consider re-describing what you wish to be “FIXED” We can do that here if we know what ” SEEM TO CRUMB “more than they should means. question
  Till then Anna, good luck & enjoy the rest of the day young lady.

  ~FRESHKID. smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 March 2009 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2009-03-31
~FRESHKID - 31 March 2009 07:16 PM

ANNA IN OKLA:
  Good afternoon Anna. Welcome into our culinary club. Anna, I would love to help you troubleshoot your baking question…However Anna I do not understand your description of what you disapprove of in your yeasted lean dough bread. Can you consider re-describing what you wish to be “FIXED” We can do that here if we know what ” SEEM TO CRUMB “more than they should means. question
  Till then Anna, good luck & enjoy the rest of the day young lady.

  ~FRESHKID. smile

Thank you for the welcome!

I have been told my bread makes more crumbs when cut than the other baker’s bread. Once there have been small portions removed and placed into the communion cup, the rest is divided into small cubes and put into a plate to be distributed to the faithful after the communion itself. If the bread makes too many crumbs, it is a messy process, and the priest must try to account for all of these…the bread is considered blessed and the crumbs are not to be thrown in the trash or be allowed to just drop everywhere, thus an important factor in the finished product.

I have attached a picture that better shows what the finished product is supposed to look like.

Image Attachments
completed prosphora.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 March 2009 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-07-02

Anna,

Check your mail. I sent you a PM. Hopefully I can help when I get home.

Maria

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 April 2009 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  630
Joined  2008-01-24

My recommendation would be gluten development. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. More hydration, more kneading, longer proofing, different flour, gluten supplement if the religious constraints will allow. Adding the gluten is probably the easiest. More water could make the dough harder for you to form. Longer proofing could be inconvenient to your production schedule. I would start with a small increase in the water and some extra time kneading.

 Signature 

“This pizza is a symphony of flavors”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 April 2009 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2007-11-15

There’s a very interesting blog with photos about baking prosphora at Adventures of an Orthodox Mum - it might help ...?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 April 2009 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4737
Joined  2008-04-16

Hello and Welcome!  My suggestion would be similar to Gene’s- try to create more gluten, it will help the bread hold together better and not break into so many crumbs when sliced.  To do this, try either adding water or subtracting flour to make a wetter dough.  If that doesn’t do the trick, keep the wetter dough and switch to a higher protein flour, i.e., bread flour.

If you have the Bread Bible, perhaps check out the pizza dough recipe and see if that, minus the oil, might work.  It is a very simple, very wet, no-knead dough.  It is also available through many libraries.

Good Luck!

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2009 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  630
Joined  2008-01-24

Hey Anna,
How are your prosphora coming along?

 Signature 

“This pizza is a symphony of flavors”

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top
 
‹‹ Rose’s bread book....      Hamburger Buns ››