Hi, a newbie to this forum, joining after reading a 2009 post in the forum about Vitamen C in bread baking. I hope someone can help with a problem I have. I am UK based so my ingredients are from what we have here. I describe my recipe so in case it explains my problem when using Vitamen C.
I have baked bread using a breadmaker for several years producing 2 or 3 loaves a week and refined my recipe and mix and balance of flours and ingredients to create a very tasty, high rise and soft wholemeal loaf using 455g flour as a mix of 17% mix grain flour (contains rye and malted wheat and barley), 15% very strong white, 25% strong wholemeal and 15% spelt - all organic flours and the balance is Hovis Premium flour.
The addition of the malted flour mix creates a bread which when toasted becomes light but slightly chewy instead of being dried out. The Hovis Premium flour ensures a good rise. Everyone who eats it, as bread or toast becomes 'addicted' to asking for it every time they visit.
For the 455 g of flours I use 1 tblsp of olive oil and 1 tblsp of Stork soft marg; 1 and a 1/4 tsp of salt; a very slightly heaped tsp of instant yeast; and 1 and 1/3 cups (330g) of warm water.
When baked, the loaf has a lovely rounded top that does not collapse.The only slight problem is that the top quarter of the loaf is a bit more light and aerated than the lower part. I find that putting all ingredients in the breadmaker with salt and yeast placed on top and giving the programme a 4hr to 8hr delay (so fresh bread for breakfast is 1 hour old) produces the best rise. Starting the programme immediately or less than 1.5 hour delays produces a lower rise and a varying amount of rise - up to 20% less.
To try and cure the slightly more aerated top having read about Vitamen C, I tried a 1/2 tspn of baking quality powdered Vitamen C and the loaf became far more consistent in the distribution of aeration. I add the Vitamen C with the yeast and salt on top of the flour mix, as recommended in the Vit C instructions.
BUT, the next time when I used the recommended 1 tspn, the bread collapsed to half height and the yeast smelt very stringent, gross !!
Next time I used a 1/4 tspn, same result. I tried again with the 1/2 tspn, same collapse. I tried baking the bread with Vit C immediately and with delay. All efforts apart from the first time produce a half height solid inedible and stringent smelling loaf . I kept the Vit C dry in its capped container. Nothing else changed in my recipe. Its only been 2 weeks since I bought the Vit C which was new stock in the shop - they have just opened up in our town and is a reputable national chain of cooking suppliers.
Does anyone know what could be wrong ? If I leave the Vit C out, I get my usual full rise tasy loaf, but, would like to achieve the result I first got with the Vit C.