bread help please!

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bread help please!

Postby mrsflibble » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:59 am

I make bread with an overnight sponge base method, but the crumb keeps on coming out really really dense.
I've tried kneading with my Kenwood, and I've also tried just kneading by hand but it never comes out as light as I'd like.

the recipe I use is:

night before wishing to make the bread put 3 cups strong white flour in kenwood bowl with 7g dried yeast (the stuff in little tins) that's been activated in 475ml water, 100ml oil and beat until smooth. cover and leave for 8-12 hours.

next day add in 3-4 cups flour and Kenwood dough hook it/hand knead until it looks like bread dough and is springy. leave to proove until it's about doubled, dough hook/knead it again then shape and leave alone.

I bake in a cast iron casserole dish with a lid (double oven stylie) which has been preheated to 150 deg C, and cook it til it is browned and hollow sounding when tapped. the other day I decided to forego the cast iron and use a standard loaf tin and the same dense crumb happened so i think it must be my recipe, but what's wrong?


using filtered water too... you know, just in case anyone thinks it's the chlorine....

can anyone help please?
oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very
ve-he-he-he-heryyyyyyy soooooooooooon!!!!
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Odsox » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:29 am

I can't really help as I don't make my bread that way.
I make mine rather quicker by mixing and kneading in a Kenwood and put straight into 1lb loaf tins. The only way I get dense heavy loaves is if I didn't leave it long enough to rise, which in my case is just over doubled in size, and then bake at 200c for 30 minutes.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby mrsflibble » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:51 am

Odsox wrote:I can't really help as I don't make my bread that way.
I make mine rather quicker by mixing and kneading in a Kenwood and put straight into 1lb loaf tins. The only way I get dense heavy loaves is if I didn't leave it long enough to rise, which in my case is just over doubled in size, and then bake at 200c for 30 minutes.


think I shall try that. do you have a recipe?
oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very
ve-he-he-he-heryyyyyyy soooooooooooon!!!!
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Re: bread help please!

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:52 am

That sounds like quite a lot of oil. It might be worth trying substituting a smaller amount of butter or other hard fat (say about 25g) and upping the water accordingly.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby diggernotdreamer » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:07 am

the way I make my bread which turns out fine every time 2lbs flour whatever sort you want, 1 tablespoon of yeast mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 4 floz warm water until foamy, into the flour put in 2 teaspoons salt and l or 2 tablespoons of oil mix in well and then add the yeast mixture and then about 16floz more liquid (you might need more depending on how dry your flour is) knead well until the dough is silky, shape as required or put into tins, leave to double in size and bake on a very hot oven until done. If you don't want to use all the dough at once, You can the put remainder in the fridge in a bowl with a damp cloth over it, you can leave it there for up to 3 days, you then have more dough to make bread or pizza freshly, just take out of the fridge and knead again to knock the gases out, shape and leave to double in size, or if making pizza just roll out to size and put on toppings
I agree with RRE, that seems an awful lot of oil
Last edited by diggernotdreamer on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Dr.Syn » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:14 am

Is there no sugar for the yeast?
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Odsox » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:16 am

mrsflibble wrote:think I shall try that. do you have a recipe?

Of course.
I usually make a 3lb batch of rye and white mix and use fresh (frozen) yeast, but a single one pound white loaf would be;

Put 220ml of warm water into the Kenwood bowl.
add 1 tsp dried yeast and mix into the water
add 1/4 oz of oil
add 1 lb strong flour
add level tsp salt
Mix and then knead for 5 minutes. (might need a tad more water if too stiff)
Shape and place in a 1lb loaf tin and leave to rise until well above the top of the tin.
Bake at 200c for 30 minutes
Job done.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Odsox » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:22 am

Dr.Syn wrote:Is there no sugar for the yeast?

I don't think dried yeast needs sugar.

I use fresh yeast frozen into moulded balls of the right weight. just before making my bread I dissolve half a teaspoon of honey in a little hot water and drop the yeast ball in.
15 minutes later it's frothy and ready.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby demi » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:25 am

I use Jamie Oliver's recipe which is really good: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/brea ... ead-recipe

Although i mix the salt into the flour first, then separately mix the dry yeast with the sugar and 1/2 the water and leave it for 5 min or so somewhere warm until it goes frothy ( i leave it next to the wood burner) , then add it in the well in the flour, bring in the flour from the sides and kneed by hand until the dough is nice and smooth.

As Odsox was saying, make sure you leave it to rise long enough to get the air in it so it's no dense.

I'v been making a lot of naan bread recently which i think turns out lighter than a loaf. I think the thing is with home made loafs is that you can never get it as light and airy as the supermarket ones because they add other stuff to it to make it like that.

My naan bread recipe is a no fail one, i don't even measure it and it always turns out well. In fact, i'v got some rising by the wood burner right now to make pizza for lunch :) Here's the recipe encase you're interested:

300g plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
1tbsp dry yeast
1tbsp baking powder
big pinch salt
3-4 big tbsp plain yogurt
3-4 tbsp oil
About 1/2 cup warm water

1. Mix the yeast, sugar and water together and leave for 5 minuets until frothy.
2. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together on a clean table and make a well in the center.
3. In the well put the yogurt, oil and yeast mixture and mix together.
4. Bring in the flour from the sides to form the dough. It should be a sticky dough, it should be sticking to your hands and the table, if it's too dry add a little more warm water until it is the right consistency.
5.Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with cling flim and leave in a hot place ( i leave it next to the fire ) to rise until doubled in size.
6. When ready take out the bowl onto your floured surface and cut it into 6 equal pieces.( I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough easily.)
7. Gently shape the small pieces into rounds and flatten out with your hands, you can make a tear drop shape or any shape you like and they should be about 1/2cm thick.
8. Heat a frying pan or a big griddle pan like for pancakes, to a hot heat.
9. Lightly flour each side of the dough and place on the pan, cook for about 1 minuet until you see big bubbles forming and it's browning on the bottom, then flip it and cook a further minuet on the other side. The bubbles should burn slightly to form black spots on the bread.
10. And thats it! Serve it hot with anything in a sauce to mop up the sauce on your plate :) enjoy!
Last edited by demi on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby demi » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:29 am

Odsox wrote:
Dr.Syn wrote:Is there no sugar for the yeast?

I don't think dried yeast needs sugar.

I use fresh yeast frozen into moulded balls of the right weight. just before making my bread I dissolve half a teaspoon of honey in a little hot water and drop the yeast ball in.
15 minutes later it's frothy and ready.



I think dry yeast works better than fresh/frozen yeast, and i always use sugar to activate the yeast. Maybe it doesn't need it, but i always use it and every recipe i'v read has said to use sugar with the dry yeast.
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Green Aura » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:29 am

I'd miss out the oil altogether and put all the flour and salt in at the start. No sugar needed (or fats either).

If you're using your mixer only use it on a slow speed - otherwise it heats the dough up too much. Just do it sufficiently to mix everything thoroughly but no more.

Then in the morning knead it by hand until you get the windowpane (you can pull the dough thin enough to become translucent). Put it into the tins or whatever and then prove and bake as usual.

Remember kneading is about stretching the fibres, not beating the hell out of it. :lol:
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Odsox » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:34 am

demi wrote:1tbsp dry yeast
1tbsp baking powder


YEAST AND BAKING POWDER ???
I know I hate celebrity chefs with a vengeance, now I know why. :lol:
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Re: bread help please!

Postby demi » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:23 pm

Odsox wrote:
demi wrote:1tbsp dry yeast
1tbsp baking powder


YEAST AND BAKING POWDER ???
I know I hate celebrity chefs with a vengeance, now I know why. :lol:


Yes, that's just for the naan bread, which isn't the same as the Jamie oliver basic bread recipe.
What's wrong with baking powder?
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Re: bread help please!

Postby cebbern27 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:46 pm

mine always turns out light and fluffy but i make it differently my recipe is 350g of bread flour 190ml of warm water 12 quail eggs(or 2 medium chicken eggs) 1tbsp of dried yeast
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Re: bread help please!

Postby Odsox » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:57 am

demi wrote:What's wrong with baking powder?

Nothing's wrong with baking powder, it makes very good Irish soda bread.
But, yeast raises bread very efficiently, so what's the point of adding baking powder as well ?
It's surely a case of "either/or"
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