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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...
Here's the set up.
New Bakery built out of an existing bakery.
I'm stuck with a POS ventless convection oven that blows low enough to do cupcakes and layer cakes. When power updates get approved we can install a real oven....in ghe meantime im stuch with the POS. So for breads I do things like Pullman loaves that bake inside their sealed 4x4x13 tin.
I make various flavors like pesto parmesean, jalapeño cheddar, and cinnamon raisin.

The cinnamon raisin is the one that's driving me nuts. It's always heavy and firm. It feels stale by comparison to the others even though it's baked at the same time.

Any suggestions for how to soften it up?
 

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So I assume you're using the same bread dough for the pesto parm, the jalapeño cheddar, and cinnamon raisin, right? One thing about cinnamon is that using excessive amounts will delay fermentation and the proofing of dough due to the spice’s antifungal properties. It can also cause the dough not to rise at all. Most of the time, yeast levels have to increase, for example in cinnamon rolls, to compensate.

So if you're using the same dough as for all the others, it's probably the cinnamon that's affecting the proof and the rise making it denser. Perhaps make a separate dough for the cinnamon raisin and up the yeast content? My best guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The loaves are all 4x4x13. They are rectangles. It fills the pan and browns on the sides and top.



I don't have issues with it proofing or baking. Comes out filling the pan perfectly. No tunnels or huge holes or anything like that...

My issue is that it's much firmer than the others. Feels stale when squeezed. It gets the same measured amount of dough as the others...but it is not as soft as any other loaf. So people think that it's stale when it's fresh.
 

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The loaves are all 4x4x13. They are rectangles. It fills the pan and browns on the sides and top.



I don't have issues with it proofing or baking. Comes out filling the pan perfectly. No tunnels or huge holes or anything like that...

My issue is that it's much firmer than the others. Feels stale when squeezed. It gets the same measured amount of dough as the others...but it is not as soft as any other loaf. So people think that it's stale when it's fresh.
How are you incorporating the cinnamon? Are you rolling it up in the dough a la cinnamon swirl?
 

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Of course....just like the others.
Well, given all the info so far, I would start cutting the problem in half to start troubleshooting the issue. First thing I'd do is bake a loaf in a non pullman pan; a standard loaf pan, and see if the "stale" texture persists. Also, have you tried reducing the baking time on the cinnamon raisin loaf? It may just be as simple as overbaking. Again, just trying to rule out the simple stuff first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, given all the info so far, I would start cutting the problem in half to start troubleshooting the issue. First thing I'd do is bake a loaf in a non pullman pan; a standard loaf pan, and see if the "stale" texture persists. Also, have you tried reducing the baking time on the cinnamon raisin loaf? It may just be as simple as overbaking. Again, just trying to rule out the simple stuff first.
If it was simple I probably wouldn't be asking....lol

If I don't use the full amount it doesn't proof up enough to fill the top corners and the bake is watched closely for temp....when the internal temp hits 197....it's pulled out.

I watch everything closely.

It's the shelf life that's troubling. Everything else is by the numbers. Spot on every time.

I'm thinking that even though I use a high hydration dough I might need to soak the raisins a bit before I put them in the bread....

But I've got no experience with doing so.

That's my next best guess as to what's going on.
 

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Make cinn sugar, roll the dough flat and sprinkle the mix on the dough with raisins, roll it up.
As it proofs the sugar will start to dissolve, it will add moisture and glue the spiral together.

If you mix the cinn into the dough it will kill the yeast.
 

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yeast is being damaged by the spice.
That's basically what I was saying at first, but usually when the cinnamon is sprinkled on top then rolled up, it's not that detrimental to the dough itself. That said......cinnamon roll dough isn't a whole lot different than bread dough, except with the enrichment of eggs and a little more sugar. Cinnamon rolls don't last more than a day so.......perhaps that's a clue.
 

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After having thought about it for a while, I think what you’ll need to do is use a separate enriched dough for your cinnamon raisin bread instead of using the same dough that you use for your other flavors. The reason I say that is because I had a look at several cinnamon raisin bread formulas and the doughs are enriched much like cinnamon roll dough with eggs, sugar and milk. I know it’s probably an inconvenience to mix up another dough and not be able to use the one you’re already making but I think you’ll need to do it if you want a nice soft loaf. Even so, your shelf life probably won’t be beyond a couple days as is typical with bread.
 

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yeast is being damaged by the spice.

Thanks for this. You have given our forums such sage advice over the years.
I used to be a benchman for a bakery. I scaled all my ingredients and was responsible for creating multiple loaves of various kinds of bread.
One of them was cinnamon raisin. I would make a white bread dough and after raising made a mixture of brown sugar, whole eggs and cinnamon that i poured right over the dough. I then used my pastry dough cutter to "chop" this dough mixture into many pieces. I'd scale 18 oz portions of this mixture into prepared loaf pans. They all went into a proof box for an hour then baked. The only thing I see here was I used fresh yeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh yeah...fresh yeast is the ONLY way to go...I've tried the various formulas and types of dried and don't think that they compare to fresh yeast performance and predictability. If only I could get sourdough mother to do the same predictability I'd be a millionaire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Let us know what you end up doing.
For the moment... nothing. But I am going to try more enriching later...when I get my deck oven installed. In the meantime Bread pudding is good with the "stales" that aren't really stale.

As it is I'm in desperate need of the deck oven and my dough sheeter and divider/rounder installed. Hand rolling and forming every last little thing is killing my time...
 

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Oh yeah...fresh yeast is the ONLY way to go...I've tried the various formulas and types of dried and don't think that they compare to fresh yeast performance and predictability. If only I could get sourdough mother to do the same predictability I'd be a millionaire.
I worked alone at night baking sourdough bread part time for a few months before I retired, I know nothing about sourdough, don't want to know either. I don't like it but that was the job.
I found the starter worked best when its tended and used daily, at first it was ok but after 2 weeks it really started to come alive. Then the head baker who only worked the day shift quit and became a barrister at starbucks (what kind of baker I wonder) and the owners didn't tend to the starter, it would go stagnant on my days off, i told them to drop the 9 varieties of bread we were making and I quit. i just checked their website, they did exactly that, dropped all the bread baking and only use 1 variety of bread which they buy from iggy's for sandwiches (plus wraps), very smart move.

if you make the commitment ( i wouldn't want that ball and chain) and tend it every day then it will become lively and predictable....and you'll lose money.
 
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