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Can anyone make bread?
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astra



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1243
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 5:05 pm    Post subject: Can anyone make bread? Reply with quote
    

I've tried and tried but all I get is a disappointing damp heavy brick. Today is the last straw. I tried to make a muesli loaf with some lovely ingredients but I seem to have made a good doorstop.

I can make that sourdough stuff ok but I wanted to make some like my gran used to bake

Please can anyone tell me what I might be doing wrong?

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Fresh or dried yeast?
What type of flour?

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

any particular kneading technique that you use, and how long do you knead for?
How long do you prove the dough for between kneadings and before baking?

too much kneading can be as bad as too little sometimes

Midland Spinner



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

How much liquid did you use? - a lot of people make it far too dry, which makes it stiff and it struggles to rise. Particularly if it's got whole-grains in it - they soak up a lot of the moisture during the proving process.

I usually make it a lot stickier than you'd expect - so that a hand put flat on the dough will stick to it. Yes, it's almost too sticky to knead at first, but once I've got it all mixed and kneaded as much as I can, in I leave it for the first prove. Once it's had the first rising it's usually soaked a lot of the moisture into the grains and it's a lovely texture for kneading.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 8853
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

There is a book called Crust by Richard Bertinet. The book comes with a DVD, which is so helpful as you can actually see someone making the dough and kneading. He describes everything he is doing and shows quite clearly what things should look like at each stage. Immensely useful and taught the OH and I so much.

Hettyb



Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I've never made bread by hand ,so cant call myself an expert, but I use a bread machine all the time and we like the results.

You can add grains, fruit etc, comes with its recipe book

astra



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1243
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks for the replies.

I use dried yeast (not sure if I could get traditional yeast now) and strong bread flour.

I usually knead it for about 15 mins until it gets a sort of pliable texture and not sticky. I prove the first time until it doubles in size but sometimes I can leave it several hours in a warm place and it still doesn't seem quite as big as it should be. Then after I've kneaded it again I leave it about another hour. Then bake it at 220C

I'll try the book Shan. Thanks for the recommendation.

Hettyb. I do use a bread maker which is ok but I've really got this thing about wanting to make all sorts of yeasty stuff that I remember my Gran baking! And Lardy cake to die for

Midland Spinner



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

astra wrote:
I usually knead it for about 15 mins until it gets a sort of pliable texture and not sticky. I prove the first time until it doubles in size but sometimes I can leave it several hours in a warm place and it still doesn't seem quite as big as it should be.


It does sound as if it might be a bit too dry to rise easily. Try adding a bit more water.

astra



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1243
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks, I'll try that! I'm going to try a couple of times a week until I get it right!!Should have learned from Gran when I had the chance!

graysalchemy



Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I have recently started making sourdough and the thing i have learnt is to knead for a good half an hour this can be split into ten minutes sessions with five minute breaks.

The other thing i have learnt is really wet dough 70% hydration. The other things that help are hot ovens a tray of water to make steam whilst you are cooking and a baking stone or terracotta tiles if you are not using a baking tin.

I would certainly give it a lot m,ore needing and perhaps more water.

Sally Too



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 2511
Location: N.Ireland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Do try the No Knead method https://www.downsizer.net/Articles/Cooking%2C_preserving_and_home_brewing/No_Knead_Bread/

I now make it with sourdough starter which has been going for months!

I sometimes add other flours, seeds, oats, or what ever takes my fancy.

Love it!

Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Are you using a wholemeal flour??? I find that is a lot more likely to turn into a 'brick' try mixing 1/3 strong white in, it improves the texture no end.

Kate

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18395

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

To reassure yourself that you can actually make nice yeasty things that rise, try making the recipe for 'Judith's Dinner Rolls' that is in the DS Recipe Database.

Use white flour the first time. Yes, I know, I know.
It also works with 50/50 white/wholewheat.

As a means of raising your confidence re baking bread, it's a winner, and they are delicious. And pretty quick.

I also have a book recommendation (which gets good reviews in the same way as the Bertinet Crust one) :
Andrew Whitley : Bread Matters : Why and how to make your own

VM



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 1748
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Yes, I was going to suggest making white bread or two thirds or half white or whatever first until you have the technique down pay. All white is by far the easiest. Then, assuming that more whole meal is what you want, gradually increase the amount of whole meal flour in your recipe, which will usually mean also slightly increasing the amount of water.

Dan Lepard has a technique using less kneading, which seems to work. He has some very nice bread recipes though they tend to be a bit on the white side for my taste, for everyday eating at least.

But worth trying his recipes - book is The Handmade Loaf, plus his columns in the Guardian plus his web forum which is useful.

Something like danlepard.com

yummersetter



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 3241
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 12 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

If you have family who want to give you expensive Christmas presents, Paul Merry's baking courses at Panary are great https://www.panary.co.uk/book-course/course-calendar-and-booking And the flour from Cann Mills, across the yard from the bakery, is the best I've ever used. Morrisons sell fresh yeast, by the way

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