The bakers' thread

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by glasgowcyclist, 19 Dec 2017.

  1. C R

    C R Über Member

    Location:
    Worcester
    For my "bola", which is quite fluffy, 3/4 of a teaspoon.
     
  2. Mugshot

    Mugshot Guru

    I haven't looked at this thread previously because my baking skills go as far as popping a part baked baguette in the oven. Having had a look through I have to congratulate you all on being awesome, the bakes in your pics look absolutely gorgeous, you're very talented!!





    And I hate you all :whistle:
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2019
    Dave7 and Katherine like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    There's no need for the first step of soaking the yeast. All that frothing is gas that your dough isn't benefitting from. Just whack everything in together and mix, let the yeast do all its work in the dough.

    I don't let my dough get to double in size as by then it's rather exhausted. This is evident by prodding the surface to see if it springs back. If it sags after prodding then it's over-proved but saveable. I would suggest letting it rise until it had increased in volume by a little over half, then knock it back.

    When knocking back, don't be too rough. Some recipes talk about 'punching down' and people interpret this as beating every last drop of gas out. Don't do that, simply partially deflate it (gently). All you're doing at this stage is getting the yeast back in contact with its food source so it can produce more gas.

    Shape it and put it in the tin, keeping a close eye on it. When it crests the rim of the tin by no more than 1cm at its highest, bake it. Once in the oven, sometimes the crust of the bread can start to form before the yeast has done its thing and although the yeast will carry on gassing, the hard crust prevents expansion. To avoid this you could place a small roasting tin or dish in the bottom of the oven while it heats and when you're about to put your loaf in, pour about 250ml of boiling water into it. The steam will keep the dough surface soft enough to prevent premature crusting and let your bread rise nicely. Remove this roasting tin after 15 minutes to allow your loaf to form a crust and colour to your liking.

    Despite having made a lot of bread over the last couple of years, I still use a food thermometer to check when it's ready. All this advice to tap the loaf to see if it sounds hollow is way too vague, mine all sound the same, even when they're not ready. Standard bread I bake until it reaches 195F in the centre and sourdough until it's 205F.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland

    I'd buy that!
     
    SteveF likes this.
  5. bluenotebob

    bluenotebob Senior Member

    Location:
    France
    I've been making my own bread for 35 years now. I disagree with some of the comments above - but it doesn't matter: if it works for you, that's fine. For the record, I don't think using accurate fluid measurements are helpful - get the initial dough right by 'touch and feel' (a dough hook isn't necessary either - use your hands). Loaf tins and oiled clingfim aren't essential either.

    Don't skip the knocking-back - it's important (and yes, I agree - don't be too brutal).

    Have you checked the expiry date on that tin of Easy-Bake yeast? 'Old' yeast won't work as well. It might be that ..?
     
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  6. benb

    benb Evidence based cyclist

    Location:
    Epsom
    Thanks, will try those tips next loaf.
     
  7. CarlP

    CarlP There’s no need to live in a pit of doom

    FWIW I agree with GC that’s pretty much the way I make my bread, sometimes for no reason I understand the bread sometimes doesn’t rise as well as other times.
     
  8. Reynard

    Reynard Veteran

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Yeah, could be the yeast. But with easy bake, you just add the yeast straight in, no need to activate it. (I use the stuff in the yellow tin, which I *do* have to activate...)

    Things like temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure have a bearing on how well your dough performs. The storm systems coming in could well be a factor as well - in fact, I'd be surprised if they weren't.

    Also, watch the dough, NOT the clock. Sounds like you may be overproving your dough, which is why you're not getting oven spring. Other possibility is that the crust is forming on the bread before the dough has had a chance to spring, so try either a) putting a tin of boiling water in the bottom of your oven to generate steam or b) back your bread under a cloche.

    P.S. No need for the oiled clingfilm, just put your bowl in a large plastic bag. Clear bag is helpful, though not necessary.
     
    CharlesF and CarlP like this.
  9. CarlP

    CarlP There’s no need to live in a pit of doom

    I cover my dough with a tea towel on the first prove, nothing on the second.
     
  10. Reynard

    Reynard Veteran

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Don't you get problems with a dry skin forming on the dough then?
     
  11. benb

    benb Evidence based cyclist

    Location:
    Epsom
    Thanks. I'm doing another loaf tonight, so I'll see what happens.
    When you say "Watch the dough not the clock" how do you know when it's proved enough but not too much?
    When it indents with a finger and springs back fairly promptly?
     
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  12. C R

    C R Über Member

    Location:
    Worcester
    Yep, finger pressure. If it doesn't spring back it is overproved. Good luck.
     
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  13. The Bystander

    The Bystander Über Member

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    +1 for the tea towel (but I use it both times) and I do get a thin dry skin on top of the dough after the first rise but it doesn't seem to cause a problem and gets reabsorbed when knocking back.

    Here's today's effort - one short of a baker's dozen
    BakersDozen-1.jpg
     
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  14. CarlP

    CarlP There’s no need to live in a pit of doom

    Nope, as long I don’t leave it to long.
     
    Reynard likes this.
  15. benb

    benb Evidence based cyclist

    Location:
    Epsom
    OK, thanks all.

    Still not 100% sure about how much yeast to use.
    I'm sure that the tin is exactly the same as the sachets. The sachets have 7g in, which is at least 2 teaspoons, probably more like 2½.
    But above someone was only putting in less than 1 teaspoon. I guess that too much is as bad as not enough.
     
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