What are we doing wrong? - bread baking.
Hello, first of all, this is my first post and I hope that the place for it is in the right place, if not, I hope that the admin will be kind enough to replace it.
Bread baking seems to be quite a challenge for my wife and myself. our attempts to bake bread yield loafs that were dense (I hope it's the right term) and sort of heavy. our last loaf was a trial of rye bread - picture attached- and the ingredients were 11/2 cup of whole rye flour, 11/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 tbsp salt, 18 gram fresh yeast, 1/2 tbsp honey and 700ml of water. it was baked in a domestic oven for about 45min. in a temperature of 400F.
Earlier attempts were made to bake bread loafs from all purpose flour and the outcome was unfortunately similar. dense and heavy.
We hope that your expertise and experience can provide some guidelines for the right process to get better results.
You have come to the right place. This is a marvellous forum for all things bread and other baked goodies.
Is this your own recipe or are you following a recipe? What was the method?
100% wholegrain bread with 50% rye is sort of bound to be rather dense. I can recommend adding some sort of acidity to the dough (if not using sourdough, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, pickle juice from fermented pickles or sauerkraut liquid... many possibilities), it definitely helps with the texture for the rye in particular, but also for the whole grain wheat flour.
Another option that I think would help is using a pan, and making sure you proof it well.
And use less yeast and give it more time...
Honey is acidic. And some honey can be as low as 3.5. The normal range is 3.4 - 5.5 ish. I think.
That's a good point! But I think the amount here is too small to bring much acid...
Agreed! And I think some other things may be off as well. As you say too much yeast and might benefit from less yeast and more time.
Thanx for your replies. I'm afraid that I wasn't clear enough. we used equal amounts of flour (rye and all purpose).
The recipe that we used was taken from the back of the rye flour package. to our limited experience the process of making the dough is quite straightforward routine of making dough (mixing, kneading, rising, etc.). you know it much better than me.
There is a point that is unclear to me. Abe wrote that the honey is acidic, while Ilya Flyamer suggests that more acidic should be added. please advise me about it so that we will be able to make one more trail.
Because when I do the math...a 125g cup of flour x 3 = gives 375g total flour and on the heavier side a 135g cup x 3 = gives 405g total flour. Add 700g water and you are looking at 187% to 172% hydration dough. Which is very wet dough, more like a batter. I would expect the water to be between 265g to 300g. More in the range of +/- 70% hydration. It looks to me like the water amount has been doubled. (An easy mistake if halving the recipe ingredients but forgetting to half the water.)
How much does a cup of your flour weigh?
Describe the dough consistency after mixing together.
Silly me, you're so right, the amount of water was actually 350g. since it was a first experience we made half of the recipe's amounts and when I wrote it, I forgot to divide the amount of water, so, as you can assume, the consistency was quite normal, as dough is usually is.
the loaf didn't look more like a pancake. Ok then 350g water. And how much does one cup of the rye flour weigh?
It looks more like 350g water would be for an all rye loaf. AP water requirements are much lower.
If I were to bake it again, I might lower the amount of water. Once you know the weight of one cup of rye flour, weigh one cup of the AP. Separately figure the water amount for the rye...say 83% Then for the AP 65% (can vary from 50 to 75% depending on type of wheat flour, protein etc.) Then add them up or... since everything is 50/50 just add 74% water to the total flour weight.
Fresh yeast requires less water to hydrate so chuck a tablspoon of water out of your water cup. Save it for instant dry yeast, that stuff is very thirsty.
Use weight, not cup measures. As mentioned earlier, the recipe calls for alot of water. And alot of yeast.
This is my standard recipe that works for me every time:
900g flour: works best when at least 50% of the flour is white unbleached all-purpose
1 envelope dry commercial yeast
Whisk dry ingredients to combine. Add water. Knead using 100 slap-folds (French folds). Place in bowl, covered with plastic, place in refrigerator overnight. Next morning, deflate dough and shape into your desired loaf shape. Place on a perforated silicone mat on a baking sheet, then into a warm, moist place for 1 hour - I use the microwave with a cup of hot water. Remove from warm moist place, slash and place in 425 deg F oven and bake for approx 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool for 4 hours minimum.
Thanx for the recipe. I would like to give it a try. as per the yeast - would an envelope containing 50g of fresh yeast do the trick?
One sachet of dried yeast is 7g I think.
To convert to fresh yeast you need to multiply that by 3. So you'll need 21g of fresh yeast. So a tad less than half and envelope.
500g of wheat flour. Less when half rye flour.
A 50g package (sure that's not 5g?) will make 10 loaves separately.
You need about 1 % of the flour weight. The half recipe asks for 18g fresh yeast. Divide by 3= 6 g instant yeast.
That is about 3 level teaspoons of instant yeast and not more. Use 2 1/2. Or just 2 level teaspoons.
I've checked again (after my mistake with the water) - the fresh yeast package contains 50g and written on the back of it, that it should be combined with 1000g of flour, which makes 5%.
for you. Ah. FRESH yeast. Yup 21 g fresh yeast for 500g flour. Here it comes in 42g cubes and I cut in half for 500g flour but for 50% rye, I tend to use less yeast than the norm for wheat flour.