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Bread rising issues

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have made bread a nice few times and it is usually a huge failure. Boyfriend still eats it god bless him. (no one should be eating it)

 

I have bad hands so it's hard for me to knead the dough. However I got a stand mixer for Xmas and made my first loaf of good tasting bread. It was just very dense and had a hard time raising.

 

I live in a basement and wonder if this could effect the dough?

 

Also this is the recipe.

 

5 Cups Flour

8 grams of yeast

2 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Sugar

3 tbsp Butter

2 Cups warm milk

post #2 of 26

Just some of many possibilities: Over mixing can make the gluten too strong and the bread wont rise properly.  Too much salt can mess up the yeast.  Too hot of starting temp can kill the yeast. Old / dead yeast won't rise dough.  Not enough yeast or not enough rising time.

 

I don't see how a basement could really affect the dough - what do you mean? Basement humidity, no fresh air, no sunlight?  None of that will affect bread dough. Temperature and health of yeast are probably your 2 biggest factors.  Recipes and all those bread baking tips make it seem much harder than it is.  All that stuff is true, but basically just make sure your yeast is alive and don't let it get too hot.  If it's too cold it needs more time.  Everything else is more or less trivia if all you want to do is bake some bread ;-)

 

Next time try adding more yeast and see what happens.

 

CDF

post #3 of 26

There are two ways to get gluten development without hand-kneading.

 

  • A wet dough that the mixer can knead.  Here is a great illustration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v24OBsYsR-A    You can use the same technique for a less-wet dough by starting with all the wet ingredients, the salt and yeast, and maybe 3/4 of the flour, and then adding the rest of the flour at the end.

 

  • A long fermentation.  Here is an example: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?ref=dining  The very slow rising does the work.  (Because you're taking a lot more time, you start with way less yeast.)  (Don't worry about the cast-iron pot part of the recipe if you can't do that -- it will work fine in an old-fashioned loaf pan if that's what you're using, though I might reduce the temperature to 400F.)  

 

There are also combinations of these two techniques.

 

 

On general breadmaking pitfalls, this thread might have some suggestions for you: http://www.cheftalk.com/t/52226/why-is-my-bread-heavy-and-crust-too-hard.  There's a nice beginner's walkthrough at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf

 

8 grams is plenty of yeast for the recipe you give.  The key is time.  If it's chilly it may take several hours to rise, but a basement is no problem.

 

Happy holidays to you and the boyfriend!

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceScythe View Post
...It was just very dense and had a hard time raising.

 

Also this is the recipe.

 

5 Cups Flour

8 grams of yeast

2 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Sugar

3 tbsp Butter

2 Cups warm milk

 For how long do you allow the dough to rise.

 

  1. Mine is made with a preferment that sits/develops 8-12 hours - overnight.
  2. And is then mixed with the remainder of the ingredients.
  3. Once completely mixed, it rises 20 minutes.
  4. Deflated and french folded
  5. Allowed to rise for another 20 minutes.
  6. It's then deflated and shaped into a ball and rolled around the countertop to tighten the surface.
  7. Allowed to rest/rise another 20 minutes.
  8. Deflated and final shaping.
  9. 20-30 minute proofing
  10. Placed into the oven for the bake

 

Skip the butter and substitute no more than 2 TBS olive oil.

 

 

And my initial dough is kneaded for no more than 15-30 seconds as gluten has developed in the overnight preferment.  Once kneaded, the dough does NOT APPEAR SMOOTH.  Smoothness will be achieved by deflating, french folding - The more, the smoother.  I only do it once and that suffices.  And please trust me, I've been where you're at for years until I got a dvd on bread baking from KA (they no longer carry it, I think).

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-T

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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

I kneaded, let raise for two hours and then knead again and pan up. Then raise for two more hours before baking.

it is chilly  in the basement, so I'll just try and let it sit longer next time.

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceScythe View Post

I kneaded, let raise for two hours and then knead again and pan up. Then raise for two more hours before baking.

it is chilly  in the basement, so I'll just try and let it sit longer next time.

Instead of time, try rising to appearance:

  • 1st rise = double volume, I use a cylindrical container, it is easier to measure double.
  • 2nd rise = almost the height of the desired loaf

 

Sometimes it takes 2 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. Time is NOT critical, volume and size (amount of rising) IS critical!

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post #7 of 26

With my method, my dough "doubles" in size in less than 30 minutes, thanks to using a preferment and a warm environment as opposed to a cold basement.  Your choice.  Patience.

 

From the time my preferment is mixed with the remaining ingredients to the time that the final loaf is pulled from the oven, around 3 - 4 hours has elapsed.  None of this waiting half of the day for the dough to rise - thanks to using a preferment where the yeast has multiplied and the sugars that were produced overnight.


Edited by kokopuffs - 12/21/12 at 3:30am

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post #8 of 26

"I don't see how a basement could really affect the dough - what do you mean? Basement humidity, no fresh air, no sunlight?  None of that will affect bread dough."

 

Quite to the contrary Coup......I too live in a home that's partially underground, so I can tell you from experience that dampness, moisture, does have an affect on yeasts dough.

In fact, I'll do you one better than that..........Even at work, in that dry house..... damp days and high humidity does affect dough.

post #9 of 26

My thinking is that basements are inherently cold thus slowing yeast activity.


Edited by kokopuffs - 12/21/12 at 3:42am

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post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the insight everyone. I will have to try again in a few days when I'm done my Xmas baking.

post #11 of 26

Here's a technique I just learned that works pretty well. 

For the second rising, put a pan in the oven on the lower shelf. Fill with three quarts of boiling water.

Place the dough in the pan you want to bake it in on the upper shelf. 

Close the oven door. Leave the oven off. This will create a nice humid, warm environment for the dough and the dough should have no problem rising. 

I also think you may be using a bit too much salt. That can kill the yeast. Cut your salt to one tsp. 

post #12 of 26

For my 6C recipe I use 2 tsp of salt which is not nearly enough salt to inhibit yeast.

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-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

"I don't see how a basement could really affect the dough - what do you mean? Basement humidity, no fresh air, no sunlight?  None of that will affect bread dough."

 

Quite to the contrary Coup......I too live in a home that's partially underground, so I can tell you from experience that dampness, moisture, does have an affect on yeasts dough.

In fact, I'll do you one better than that..........Even at work, in that dry house..... damp days and high humidity does affect dough.

 

+1. I live in SE Mi and we have huge humidity swings from summer to winter. The humidity change alone has a very noticeable affect on dough.

Here's what I'm doing for my daily bread. I have no idea how close this is to the Lahey method any longer as I worked on my own no knead recipe for some time while playing with that method and this is where I wound up. It's not a true no knead but rather an "almost" no knead bread. If your having problems with bread IMO it's always a good idea to simplify. One way I do differ considerably from the Lahey method is I found little to no gain cooking at the hi-temps that method suggested.

I use;

 

3 Cups flour

1.5-1.75 cups water

1 packet of of instant or rapid yeast

1 teaspoon salt

 

Mix dry ingredients. Add 1/2 water, mix and gradually add the balance of water as needed. I usually knead by hand roughly five minutes. When I'm done folding the dough it does have a smooth finish. Once you get a feel of the texture you can get very consistent results. I leave this in a bowl covered with plastic wrap over night and let it rise. (spray the dough with non-stick spray). In the am I re-knead. I put parchment on a medium cast iron pan and then place the dough in that for my second rise. This keeps the shape and makes the bread easy to handle. I pre-heat my oven and Lecreuset Dutch oven to 400. Place the bread and parchment in the pot and mist with water.

Bake 55-60 minutes.

I think the most likely culprit of failure in the OP's recipe is getting the milk too hot and then adding the yeast.


Edited by DuckFat - 12/22/12 at 7:20am
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post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceScythe View Post

...

5 Cups Flour

8 grams of yeast

2 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Sugar

3 tbsp Butter

2 Cups warm milk

 

How warm is warm milk?  Have you measured its exact temperature?  Above 140F it kills the yeast.

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post #15 of 26

I will have to pay attention to how my bread acts on humid days.  Since I often cook in humid environments (Med, Caribbean, on boats)  I always figured humidity was a non factor.

post #16 of 26

One of my co workers was THE baker on an aircraft carrier and he was always making pounds and pounds of dough daily.  Hanging in the bakery were the instrument that measures humidity, a barometer and a thermometer.  Humidity always factored into his dough making.

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post #17 of 26

Temperature can play a huge part in rising time.  A pretty important tool for bread is a good thermometer.  There are short-cuts along the way but until you get it right its best to keep everything as consistent as you can. Your recipe sounds like it might be a little on the wet side (not necessarily bad).  For conventional bread (as opposed to sourdough where the techniques are significantly different).  For making bread in a stand mixer I know the following works well:

 

I'm not sure if you are comfortable with imperial measurement so I'll convert weight and temperature to metric.

 

6 cups white bread flour

1 package yeast

2 tbls sugar

2 tsp salt

6 tbls softened butter (I usually end up tossing it in the microwave and melting it)

2 cups water.

 

First: turn on your oven light-don't start the oven though.  If you have a separate oven thermometer great.  The light should get the inside temperature so somewhere in the low 30s C. but it will take a while.

 

Into 1/3 cup of warm water (30-35 degrees C) dissolve 2 tbls sugar and the yeast.  Let is sit for about 15 minutes until you get a nice foam on top (with today's yeasts you don't HAVE to do this but its a nice way to make sure your yeast is good and that its activated).

 

While the yeast is activating put 6 cups flour in your mixing bowl. The best way to accurately measure four is by weight.  6 cups is about 850 grams (its about 142 g per cup).

Add the salt and softened butter.

Put your dough hook on the mixer and mix the flour salt and butter on the first setting for a minute or so (helps kill time and keep you from getting to anxious about move to the next step).

Once your yeast is foaming mix it with 1 and 2/3 cups of cold water (or if you want to use milk that's okay too).  Turn on your mixer onto the first setting, lock it down if you have a lock, and slowly pour the water into the edge of the bowl in a constant stream.  It should probably take about 30 seconds to do the pour.

 

Once the dough has really formed, pulled away from the sides etc. you can kick up the speed to #2.  (I'm assuming a kitchenaid stand mixer but doesn't have to be).  Let the dough knead for about 5 minutes.

 

Now turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter and shape it into a ball.  Lightly oil a mixing bowl and place the ball of dough seam side down into the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven to proof for about an hour and a half.  As others have mentioned, the key is to get the dough to double in size rather than worry about the time.  Check the over temperature now and then.  You really don't want it to get much higher than 35C though yeast bread is pretty forgiving about temperature. 

 

After the first proofing punch down the dough and turn it out onto your counter.  Cut it in half and shape each half into loaf shapes.  Make sure to seal any seams tightly and place in well greased loaf pans seam side down.  Lightly oil a couple pieces of waxed paper and place them on top of the loaf pans, put the pans back in the oven for the 2nd proofing.  Sometimes I place a kitchen towel over the waxed paper just to hold it in place.  You want to keep the air out at this point so the surface doesn't dry out.  In about 45 minutes to an hour the dough SHOULD be a little over the top of the loaf pan, if not, wait a while longer.  Once its risen correctly remove from the oven and gently remove the waxed paper.  Heat the oven to 375 F (190 C) and bake for about 40-45 minutes. After around 40 minutes tap the top of the loaf, it should have a sort of hollow sound.  Remove from the oven and turn out onto cooling racks.

 

This recipe and technique gives me 2 nice loaves of bread so it can probably serve as a benchmark.  If it works for you then try deviating from it one step at a time.  Personally I always use a proofing box of some sort (cheap and dirty is the oven light but you have to be careful there because sometimes the temp gets too warm). 

 

Good luck

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

With my method, my dough "doubles" in size in less than 30 minutes, thanks to using a preferment and a warm environment as opposed to a cold basement.  Your choice.  Patience.

 

From the time my preferment is mixed with the remaining ingredients to the time that the final loaf is pulled from the oven, around 3 - 4 hours has elapsed.  None of this waiting half of the day for the dough to rise - thanks to using a preferment where the yeast has multiplied and the sugars that were produced overnight.


koko, do you have your preferment technique/recipe online somewhere for me to look at?  I have also been having bread rising issues, and would love to see how you do it.  I think I've been a little lax in measurement accuracy, and never learned proper techniques -- I started out making bread in a Panasonic bread machine, then tried having it make the dough and when it was done I'd put it in a cloche for final rise and baking.  I'm moving to just doing all the mixing and kneading myself but have been getting very flat loaves (like ciabatta loaves!) -- I've more or less been adapting the bread machine recipes and there must be something fundamentally different (no confinement in the machine's pan?) that causes this.

 

So I'm going back to square one and I like your concept of an overnight starting step with bread ready in a few hours the next day -- I'd appreciate some help.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomHudson View Post


koko, do you have your preferment technique/recipe online somewhere for me to look at?  ...

  give it a moment and I'll get permission to send (email) you an attachment for my recipe.  It's really simple, though.  At 2100 hrs the night before mix the preferment.  Then when you get up the next morn, you mix the preferment into all of the rest of the ingredients.  French fold and all the other crap to follow.  It's really simple.

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post #20 of 26

ARTISAN BREAD INGREDIENTS*

Poolish

Ingredients

4 ¾ Cup Loaf

6 Cup Loaf

7 C Loaf

8 C Loaf

Flour

1 ¾ Cups

2 1/4 Cups

2.6 C

2.9 C

Water

1 Cup

1 1/3 Cups minus 2-4 TBS

1.5 C

1.7 C

Yeast

1/8 tsp

.16 to 0.25 tsp

.18 tsp

.2 tsp

 

Remaining Ingredients

 

Ingredients

4 ¾ Cup Loaf

6 Cup Loaf

7 C Loaf

8 C Loaf

Flour

3 Cups

3 3/4 Cups

4.4 C

5 C

Water

1 Cup

1 Cup minus 2 TBS WARM WATER

1.5 C

1.7 C

Yeast

1 tsp

1.33 – 1.5 tsp

1.5 tsp

1.7 tsp

Salt

1.5 tsp sea salt

1.9 tsp

2.2 tsp

2.5 tsp

Seeds

 

1/3 C

 

 

Minced and toasted onions or just plain seed fennel, caraway

 

1/3 C prior to rehydration

 

 

 

 

* Assumes the use of either King Arthur All Purpose Flour.  1/6th of the total flour may either be rye or whole wheat flour without affecting any changes elsewhere in the recipe.

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post #21 of 26

Tom:  I've worked the 6C recipe for at least 10 years and it should work for you.

 

-T

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #22 of 26

And also take a look at several posts above this one, it'll show you the technique that I use when it comes to french folding and relaxing.  Just follow it and bake around 500F for 10 min then reduce heat to 450F for another thirty dirty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

-T

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-T

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-T

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post #23 of 26

And also I do the final proofing/rising in a flour-dusted banneton/brotforme AFTER the dough was sprayed with water and rolled into some cracked peppercorns and fennel seeds.

 

THANK YOU ACME  BREAD COMPANY  from the '80's alongside of Narsai's for the inspiration.

 

From THE pruveyor to Narsai's and George Linton's wine cellar.

 

 

8))))


Edited by kokopuffs - 12/27/12 at 2:12pm

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post #24 of 26

Awesome, thanks!  Can't wait to take a shot at this tonight->tomorrow!
 

post #25 of 26

And so what's happened since then??? 

 

And which flour are you using???

 

Does the flour that you are using have malted barley added to it, to hasten the transformation of carbos into sugars???????

 

I really need a reply on this one.

 

-T
 

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

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post #26 of 26
Here in California, I leave the dough to rise in my car parked in the drive way when it is 97 degrees outside but over 100 degrees inside during Summer. It only takes half the time it takes. When it's cold, I put it in the oven on "off" but much longer.
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