BDL a wealth of info there and thanks very very much.
I had noted many people, including those here, using sweet ingredients – if I can put it that way. But for now I will hold off that route, although be assured it is in the little grey cells. (by the way your english is very good. We'll have you drinking proper beer next )
“Salt is a necessary part of bread making. Don't sweat the tiny amount you're using. Jeeze! The things people find to feel guilty about!”
Not guilt I can assure you. But my wife and I do try to consider health issues. My salt intake is above that recommended and I take every opportunity to reduce it. Salt recommended by many researchers is 6g per day so I do my best.
I go for all your comments on measuring and ‘touch and feel’. Not sure why random volumes are better than precise weighing to get started on a new recipe?
"Presumably you're using a professional type of instant” Yup.
"Whoever told you (presumably the baking class teacher) that adding the instant yeast and water at the same time as opposed to adding the instant yeast with the other dries (including salt) doesn't understand how that part of modern bread making works.”
Perhaps I wasn't clear. It was the yeast and the salt coming into direct contact prior to mixing.
“rather than using my stand mixer” – what is one of them???
“ but at 88% hydration according to your recipe, you don't want it any slacker -- in fact, you probably want it slightly stiffer.”
Tx for that. It is what I thought. At first I found myself flouring the surface and knew this must be wrong. Now I can knead on the oak surface without problems. I guess I’m getting to know the stiffness I’m looking for – or should be looking for.
“Remember what I said about novice bakers scaling? It's equally if not more alarming that you haven't described what you're feeling and seeing.”
I’ll write you 'war and peace' next time
“Don't bother with the carbonated water, you can get a decent crumb and more open structure with a little more knead time.”
Brilliant . Didn’t know the relationship but I’ll be working on that.
“A second rise between first rise and formation will also make for a lighter texture and more open structure.”
Presumably that means three rises?
“So does "touch." Don't punch the dough down too hard between the first and second rise; in fact, don't punch it down at all, use a "French fold." "
The course I went on covered that one but earlier I did love that rushing escape of air when I tried Spanish rustic bread. Great sensation.
“Like Petals, I'm concerned about your rise time. It's going very slowly. Whether your yeast is tired, your water and/or house temps are too cold,”
We’re in winter here and even the boiler cupboard offers little more than room temperature. But I have tried to focus on the doubling rather than the time.
“A retarded rise in the refrigerator will help develop flavor, but won't get you a much better texture. It won't hurt either. It's primary benefit as far as I'm concerned is allowing you to bake first thing in the morning.”
And my problem is leaving it to the morning and not getting on and cutting that fresh hot bread, dribbled with butter, and ...........
“Try and remember that people try and make bread making much harder than it is. You're already doing well, you'll be doing better soon.”
With all the help here BDL I think you are right. Muchas gracias
Edited by nigele2 - 1/24/12 at 9:36am