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BANGKOK 22 July 2019 03:27
Kenny202

Bread making fundamentals advice

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Been making bread here for about 5 years. My basic recipe

 

8 cups flour

3 cups tepid water

30gr dry yeast

2 Desert spoons sugar

desert spoon salt

 

I whisk everything together first. Then mix in my semi commercial mixer with a dough hook for about 10 minutes then hand knead for

a further 5 - 10 mins. Let sit covered to rise about 2 hours depending on the ambient conditions. Sometimes takes longer lesser. 

Then I divide the dough in two and make two loaves on a pizza tray. I slit the dough on the top. Normally these days I put the bread

in the oven on a very low temp, just over room temp to prove. Normally takes an hour or two. Once I am satisfied the second rise is

done I bump the oven straight up to 180 deg for 35 minutes.

 

Let me say first I have no problem with rise. bread always at least doubles in size. The air bubbles inside the loaf are small and even.

The bread however is very dense and heavy. Not nice and light like a loaf from the bakery. Nice texture and perfect for toast which is what I mostly use it for. I have tried various things and it always seems to come out the same.

 

The first thing I have noticed is I knead the bread I never can seem to get it in that smooth silky ball like you see bakers doing on you tube. It's ok and elastic, even and all that but not like it should be. Is that because I am using normal Thai flour? Should I be using bread flour or is perfection only possible with improvers and additives? I assume kneading with the dough hook alone for 10 minutes should produce the result but I do by hand as well.

 

What sort of consistency should I be looking for? Mine is normally still very pliable but not wet) and at a stage where (it only just)

doesn't stick to the bowl or surfaces. 

 

Are there different results for different consistencies for eg more wet / dry mix = lighter loaf or vice versa?

Wetter / dryer = better crust?

 

Do my oven temps sound about right? I never get that nice crispy light crust. More of a heavier crust. I have experimented with faster temperatures etc but I find cooking too fast creates a crust too quick and actually restricts the full rise of the bread. This is why I proof it in the oven now and not remove it so it has max rise from the proving and straight to the heat stage. I find sometimes moving the loaf after proving it can sag a bit.

 

Any tips or advice appreciated but would love a point by point reply from a proper baker if anyone around. I am happy with the current result. Like I said makes nice toast and freezes well but I am sure I can do better. 

 

 

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Do you mix the dough by hand or with an electric mixer?

My wife she use an electric mixer and she get a smooth even dough, no hole or else.

I'm not sure about the oven temp but i can bet is a bit higher than your, as the final result  is quite browning then your, and with a decent crust, not too hard, but for us is ok.

I even noticed that when she prepare the dough in a hotter day, it does not come out as good as when the ambient temperature is fresher.

 

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9 hours ago, Kenny202 said:

8 cups flour

3 cups tepid water

30gr dry yeast

I hate US cup measurements. I never have the faintest idea what they really mean. I recommend that you only use gram measurements.

 

However, that 30g yeast measurement sounds way over the top regardless of what a cup really is.

 

20 minutes kneading (especially in a machine) also sounds way over the top. You may be destroying the gluten.

 

My recipe (works perfectly every time):

 

280g tepid water.

400g bread flour (can be 100g wholemeal and 300g white). It MUST be bread flour. Anything else will just make cake. I use the green bread flour from Makro at about 35B/kg. For wholemeal I buy the Aussie flour sold in small paper bags in various shops for about 50B.

7-10g of yeast (depending on how much of a hurry you are in, and see below)

6-7g salt.

 

Water in first. Then mix in the yeast. Let it dissolve. Then add flour. Then the salt but it must be very well distributed. Mix well with a spoon for a minute. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Mix by hand for a minute or more if you like. A minute does me. Cover and leave till doubled in size. Knock back and place in a silicone backing mould or tray. Leave till doubled in size. This may take 3 hours. Put into a hot oven (220C) for about 30 minutes (maybe more depending on the oven).

 

If you want bigger holes and a sour dough taste (and that is what I like in bread) then you want a bit more water in the mix and you should leave it for longer but use a smaller amount of yeast (see above). The longer it takes to rise the more tasty it will be.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

I hate US cup measurements. I never have the faintest idea what they really mean. I recommend that you only use gram measurements.

 

However, that 30g yeast measurement sounds way over the top regardless of what a cup really is.

 

20 minutes kneading (especially in a machine) also sounds way over the top. You may be destroying the gluten.

 

My recipe (works perfectly every time):

 

280g tepid water.

400g bread flour (can be 100g wholemeal and 300g white). It MUST be bread flour. Anything else will just make cake. I use the green bread flour from Makro at about 35B/kg. For wholemeal I buy the Aussie flour sold in small paper bags in various shops for about 50B.

7-10g of yeast (depending on how much of a hurry you are in, and see below)

6-7g salt.

 

Water in first. Then mix in the yeast. Let it dissolve. Then add flour. Then the salt but it must be very well distributed. Mix well with a spoon for a minute. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Mix by hand for a minute or more if you like. A minute does me. Cover and leave till doubled in size. Knock back and place in a silicone backing mould or tray. Leave till doubled in size. This may take 3 hours. Put into a hot oven (220C) for about 30 minutes (maybe more depending on the oven).

 

If you want bigger holes and a sour dough taste (and that is what I like in bread) then you want a bit more water in the mix and you should leave it for longer but use a smaller amount of yeast (see above). The longer it takes to rise the more tasty it will be.

Appreciate the advice mate and yes of I could describe the texture it would be cakey so will be off to Makro tomorrow to get the bread flour. The green label one is Swan brand I think.

I'm surprised you say 280 gr water to 400 grams flour? I used a kilo of flour this morning and only added 400 grams of water and it was wet as, had to add some more flour. You sure thats right? I will definitely try the hotter oven and see what the result is. 

 

If your oven will go down to lower temperatures, trying proving the bread in the oven works so well. Just turn the thermostat until it just clicks, just above room temperature. You don't need to move the bread around and just turn the heat up when fully proven. I've never had a loaf fall yet

Edited by Kenny202

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

I'm surprised you say 280 gr water to 400 grams flour? I used a kilo of flour this morning and only added 400 grams of water and it was wet as, had to add some more flour. You sure thats right?

I'm certain. I have a loaf proving as I type. I think the general baker's calculation is 100 of flour to 67 of water.

 

I do live with air-con all the time, and I keep my flour in hermetic containers, so ambient humidity may be factor.

Edited by KittenKong

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I'm new to breadmaking and I usually proof the yeast in a side bowl with a bit of water and the sugar before I add to the flour/oil/salt mixture in the big mixing bowl then mix and knead adding flour and water to get the big sticky dough ball...the instructions I use say to then let rise until double the size (about an hour) then knead slightly again and divide the dough depending on how big ye want yer loaves...let rise again until doubled then in the oven...I spray the loaves with water while baking to get a chewy crust...always turns out the same, a loaf in the fridge and one in the freezer for later on in the week...

 

my goal is a french or VN baguette and I'm still far away with my efforts..anyone got any suggestions? maybe knead less to get bigger air pockets? them bakeries in VN got the right idea, dump all the ingredients in one end and a perfect loaf emerges from the other end...always got a scrum of people waiting in the supermarket, reach over their heids and grab 6 loaves and then run...keep in the freezer and ye got enough fer pate sarnies until the end of the week...dip into yer nescafe with milk fer brekkie...

 

'comin' to lunch with us tutsi?' and tutsi has his feet up on his desk with crusty bread crumbs everywhere 'does it look like it?'

 

 

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8 hours ago, Kenny202 said:

If your oven will go down to lower temperatures, trying proving the bread in the oven works so well. Just turn the thermostat until it just clicks, just above room temperature. You don't need to move the bread around and just turn the heat up when fully proven.

This may be part of your problem. You need to put the loaf directly into a hot oven to get the best effect. Gradually increasing the temperature once the loaf is in is not good.

 

My loaves never have any problem at all with being moved from the kitchen counter where they have been proving into the hot oven. If yours tend to collapse when you do that it is because you have overworked the gluten (too much mixing) or there simply isnt enough due to you not using bread flour.

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Baguettes 

230 in oven 12-17 minutes.

Mrs had 3 cracks now. 

Last ones were better than any I had in Laos and I had a lot and all were good.

 

 

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You have to put the bread in a hot oven a really hot oven.I don't understand why you need to prove the bread in the oven the ambient temperature in Thailand is more than warm enough.modern bread making techniques is no knead and long slow proof up to 24 hours in the fridge. 

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Baguettes 
230 in oven 12-17 minutes.
Mrs had 3 cracks now. 
Last ones were better than any I had in Laos and I had a lot and all were good.
 
 
Would love to know ur recipe and method if you could share it. Would love to make nice thin crispy crust baguettes

Sent from my SM-J730GM using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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You have to put the bread in a hot oven a really hot oven.I don't understand why you need to prove the bread in the oven the ambient temperature in Thailand is more than warm enough.modern bread making techniques is no knead and long slow proof up to 24 hours in the fridge. 
I dont need to do it. Ive just found I get max rise this way. The oven is just above room temp. I think even commercial bakers have a proving cabinet

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35 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

I dont need to do it. Ive just found I get max rise this way. The oven is just above room temp. I think even commercial bakers have a proving cabinet

Sent from my SM-J730GM using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
 

They do but that's because they need very controlled conditions and they use conditioners.try letting it rise in it's own time and wack it in a hot oven the heat that really can give the rise a boost.what is the room temperature and what's the optimum temp to prove bread? 

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Posted (edited)

I'm a fairly novice baker myself but believe the reason OP's bread is coming out dense is two-fold:

 

1. Second proofing step appears to have been omitted. After initial kneading and proofing to doubling in size, you need to punch down the dough, knead it for 3 minutes and let it rise again for at least 30 minutes, before shaping into loaves and allowing dough to rise again for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (see below recipie)

 

2. The second reason the dough may be dense is because the temperature in the oven during the proofing process is either too low or possibly too high (which arrests the yeast from growing). I would shoot for avoiding proofing in the oven (as getting temperature right can be tricky), and schedule proofing for hot afternoons or when other cooking you are doing gets kitchen nice and warm.

 

3. Other tip is that salt is important for the leavening process and if you omit it, it can result in denser loaf.

 

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017369-excellent-white-bread

Edited by Gecko123

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8 minutes ago, Gecko123 said:

I'm a fairly novice baker myself but believe the reason OP's bread is coming out dense is two-fold:

 

1. Second proofing step appears to have been omitted. After initial kneading and proofing to doubling in size, you need to punch down the dough, knead it for 3 minutes and let it rise again for at least 30 minutes, before shaping into loaves and allowing dough to rise again for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (see below recipie)

 

2. The second reason the dough may be dense is because the temperature in the oven during the proofing process is either too low or possibly too high (which arrests the yeast from growing). I would shoot for avoiding proofing in the oven (as getting temperature right can be tricky), and schedule proofing for hot afternoons or when other cooking you are doing gets kitchen nice and warm.

 

3. Other tip is that salt is important for the leavening process and if you omit it, it can result in denser loaf.

 

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017369-excellent-white-bread

You clearly didnt read my post. Yes I do punchdown after initial rise and then let rise (prove) again for about 2 hours. No problem at all with rise. It more than doubles in size, probably triples. The flavour of the bread is good. My problem is the cakey texture and Im quite sure now must be from using normal flour. If you read my recipe you will see I use a generous amount of salt.

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