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Posts by ricwhiting

There are many different types of cakes. Some slightly dense like a pound cake. And others like a super-light weight like a wedding cake. My advice is to take a cake that you already like and that is a known quantity and work from there. Going in totally blind is likely to result in frustration. The ingredient list is very wide and varied.  Not all cake use butter or eggs. I make a deliciously rich moist chocolate cake with no butter or eggs. 
Once again, there is a wide difference of opinion among Bread Book authors. Most say that an autolyse is  the combing of the flour and water (no yeast or salt ) mixing for 2 or 3 minutues and resting for a period,  usually 15-30 minutes to begin the passive process of combining the glutenin and the gliadin to form the gluten. Later yeast and salt are added and the kneading begins. The authors state that because much of the gluten has already been developed , less kneading...
Hello. Panini,    Success at last ! Yahoo !  It was the hydration rate all along.  As you may recall, I dropped from 72 % to 65 % ; that helped, fewer large bubbles. Today I dropped again down to 60% hydration rate. There were far fewer bubbles and they were too small to worry about.  Of course, there was a price to pay. I got a much less open crumb.  But I think that may be cured by a longer bulk fermentation and/or a longer final proof of the finished loaves.  ...
Hi Panini,   I was using a Kitchenaid 5 qt mixer, but now I hand knead all my bread. Just to refresh your memory, I use a Poolish 100 gm Bread Flour, !00 gram water and a tiny, tiny amount of instant yeast. (1/4 cup water mixed with 1/8 tsp of instant yeast. I stir well and use ONLY 2 tsp of the yeasted water) this is less than 1/32nd of a tsp of yeast granules. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit on counter  ; It takes about 14 hrs to ripen and double in volume....
I often watch Jeffery Hammelman´s videos on making baguettes. If you are not familiar with Mr. Hammelman, he is the head baker at King Arthur flour. He has a large tub of fermented dough which he dumps out onto his work counter. If you watch him you will notice that he does not do any "punch-down" He moves directly to scaling and preshaping the baguette dough. I´m sure that he feels that the preshaping and the following shaping expels plenty of gas. Last night I tried to...
Hello Panini,   Thank you very much for your support and comments.  Interesting thing about my attitude regarding baguette dough is that I have failed so much and I´ve read , and read and read then I get confused because one author says, "Do it this way" ; the next bread book author says something entirely different.  Example, regarding french bread hydration. One says 72 % hydration or higher. The next says 65 % is fine. That´s a pretty big difference. Last night I doublé...
Thank you all for the gemerous replies.  OK, I´m convinced, from now on bread flour only in my baguette dough. I´m also convinced that I´m dealing with multiple problem areas. Wrong flour (no matter what the bread book author states ). Also, re dough temp: interesting concept. colder temp (65 F ) kills off some yeast and allowing CO2 to grow out of proportation. I´ll certainly give this area some trials. Though, to be honest, I lived in the tropics for 7 years and I had...
I don´t wish to be argumenative but many formulas in my baking books as cited above call for A.P. flour.  That said. I have used bread flour to make these loaves and the problem remains. Additionally, it is my understanding that the whole purpose of making baguette or french bread dough is to get a very open crumb. Once again, the above listed authors call for a very gentle handling of the dough once it has been bulk fermented so as too not destroy all of the tiny air...
I have been trying (failing) to make a decent French bread. I have followed formulas in Peter Reinhart, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and Daniel T. DiMuzio baking books.Dozens and dozens of times. But one thing that has me stumped is that I ALWAYS get gigantic bubbles in my fermented dough. When I dump out the dough onto the work counter and i start to shape the loaves , RIGHT THEN AT THAT PRECISE POINT I get giant bubbles in the dough. When I say giant, I mean huge, the size of...
Thank you all. With all of the helpful advice, I have enough ideas that I can use as tenderizers. the wine worked well and next time I think I'll use corn starch. Thanks again.
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