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Get yourself a copy of the DVD called Artisan Breadmaking from King Arthur website. Actually watching Mr. Jubinsky making bread and listening to his comments really helped me to eliminate my dreadful production of doorstops! And no amount of bookreading ever helped me so much as actually watching the successful making of a loaf of bread on that DVD! :bounce::beer::D

You'll probably find that you'll no longer need, as far as technique goes, most breadmaking books and you also be delighted to learn the easy way to knead bread as Mr. Jubinsky demonstrates. Trust me on this one.

Using Mr. Jubinsky's recipe and technique, I knead my dough for only 1 minute instead of his demonstrated 3 to 5 minute range. And I allow my dough to triple in size instead of doubling.
 

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Get the DVD mentioned in the previous post and:

1. Watch bread actually being made as no amount of verbage could describe the technique used. You'll visually note factors concerning stretch, expansion and wetness that words cannot describe by any means.

2. Forget using mixers and bread machines. First, learn breadmaking by hand in order to get the feel of things.
 

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I've heard good things about using potato water for moisture retention in bread. Yet, a great loaf can be made without using shortening, sugar or oil. Get the DVD from KA that I mentioned and learn from it. And I am in no way affiliated with KA or any other culinary enterprise. It's just that that DVD was a godsend for me and cured all of my breadmaking ills.
 

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My bread making is a two step process.  At approx 2100 hrs the night before I make a preferment using 1/3'rd of the flour mixed with 1/2 of the water along with a pinch of SAF RED INSTANT YEAST.  This is your preferment.

Eight to twelve hours later, the next morning, I mix the remaining flour, water, salt and SAF RED INSTANT YEAST into the preferment.  Knead for about 20 seconds, yes, that's 20 seconds of kneading.  Allow to rise 20-30 minutes.  French fold.  Another rise for 20-30 minutes and French fold.  Then roll into a ball to develop the outer skin.  Finally shape and proof for around half an hour and then bake.

And so from the final mixing of the remaining ingredients into the preferment to the final BAKED loaf, only about three hours have elapsed.  A preferment speeds up the process.

For the flour I use is 5/6th's AP flour mixed with 1/6th whole wheat or rye flour.  And I have over 11 years in home breadbaking experience as some long term member can attest.

Toodles,

-T

Oh, and you might either be over hydrating or over proofing.  After first mixing the preferment with the remaining ingredients, the dough appears dry, there's some dry spots on it that'll hydrate with each successive french folding and proofing and DO NOT add anything more.
 

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Hello, first post! I can bake a good artisan bread but always want to learn more. The recommended DVD King Arthur artisan bread baking is not available on their website. Any ideas where I can get a copy?

Thanks,

David
KA's breadbaking dvd with Michael Jubinsky is still around.

I can email to you a copy but it'll cost a dollar for the dvd along with S&H charges. Ssshhhhhhhhh, this is on the qt.
 

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I have just spent the last 18 years at one of the best commercial sourdough bakeries here in the SF Bay Area (125 years old). I was not in the production department, but worked very closely with them and was always involved in writing and adjusting formulas. But since we now closed and gone I have the need to perfect the sourdough at home. So far, I have not had the success that I expected. The bread has been too dense. I am not getting the bloom. And the crust is too hard. And most of all I am not getting the sour flavor out of it. Even though I am giving 18+ hour cool proof. Nor am I getting the volume increase on the proof. Typically that is in my garage at around 55 F.

I have done both with yeast and without. After reading some of these posts I do believe I may be over kneading. And I might be little to dry on the dough mixture.

The one major difference is the sponge. Our sponge was approximately 62% flour. 26%water. 12% yesterday's sponge. Which made a very stiff sponge.

Now I am using the 50% method to build a sponge (starter) at room temp. It seems to be dying after the 5th day, even though I am feeding it daily. It still has good gassing (bubbling), but the sourness is almost gone.

I am going to try another batch this weekend with the following adjustments:

1. Reduce the mixing time. I was trying to duplicate the 12minute mixing time we had at the bakery, but I think that is too much for the small kitchen aide batch.

2. Very little kneading after the mix. I will be trying the "windowpane" method to see when dough is ready.

Anybody else have any suggestions? I know I have been fairly vague on some of the formula and methods, but I am tired and I be back at it tomorrow.
Which bakery were you at, Columbo (I really liked their bread way back in the 70's and no insult intended)?????

You may need to purchase a small envelope of starter as it may give you the sourness that you seek.

And which flour are you using? Does it have malted barley added to it because it'll give a more vigorous rise and oven spring and I don't know if it is used in conjunction with sourdough.
 

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...PS: I did see your post about the 2-step method. That looks very interesting and makes all the sense in the world. Perhaps I will try that on the next go around.
For your starter, are you replenishing it with rye flour. Once I made a starter replenished with rye and at the end of a week or two, it smelled really sour and not cheesy.

My strategy for yeast bread is 5 parts AP flour and 1 part rye or whole wheat flour.
 

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Why not try doing the two-step process that I detailed.  Once the preferment is mixed with the remaining ingredients, only 20 seconds (twenty seconds 8D) of kneading is required then a 25 minute rest - followed by one or two french folds 20 minutes apart.  Final proofing and putting into the oven.

Again, I use 5 parts AP flour and 1 part of either bread, rye, or whole wheat flour.
 

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I would start using a preferment using, let's say, for my 6C loaf recipe, 1 1/4C AP flour mixed with 1C of either WW or rye.  Allow it to set overnight but not more than twelve hours.  That amount of time will allow the WW or rye to hydrate fully.  Then mix it with the remaining 3 3/4C AP flour.  Otherwise scale the combination to your preferred size.

But you won't get the sour flavor unless using a sour starter.  Best of luck with your efforts.

-T
 

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You can use a flour and water roux in bread baking to make a more tender, fluffy loaf. Just a flour and water roux, no oil is added. The starch in the roux also traps water and retains it in the finished bread causing it to stay fresh and moist longer.
...The dough is a little more sticky at the beginning of kneading, but it smooths out. There is no problem if mechanical kneading is used.
I've noticed a difference in my white bread, sour dough and wheat bread with this method.

I make the TangZhong roux in an 1100-watt microwave. Use a pyrex cup. 120-gm (about 1/2 cup) room temperature water, 25-gm (about 3 Tbsp) ap or bread flour. Mix well with whisk.

-Microwave 22-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 125-F. -Microwave 11-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 145-F. -Microwave 11 more seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 155-F.The roux will be thick and creamy and a translucent white color. Cool to below 130-F, mix with other wet ingredients in recipe. Proceed as usual with recipe.
When I began adding hot water (approx 130F) to my flour and yeast mixture, I too noticed that the dough and final crumb seemed a whole lot softer and moister.
 
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