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Old 09-12-2008, 07:59 AM   #1
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Crusty bread questions

I'm attempting crusty bread again
Rather than cooking the whole recipe this time, I would like to separate and store some dough. I am hoping that this can be done after the first rise (rest?), when I will be getting my hands gooky with it anyway.

So, do I just pull some dough out and wrap it up in plastic wrap? Do I need to spray the plastic wrap with cooking oil?
Fridge or freezer? How long will the doughball last in the fridge?
When I go to use it, does it need warmed to room temp before starting the next step, which would be; sprinkle with flour, fold it over and let it rest for two hours under a towel?

And..... will separating half of the dough out lessen the cooking time?

Thanks for your help. I'm determined to get good at this, but the whole recipe is just too much.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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After the first rise, wrap the dough in oiled plastic and then into a plastic bag. Freeze. Then defrost in the fridge overnight before using.

Cooking time should be less. There is an internal temperature for bread but I don;t know what it is.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:27 AM   #3
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Thanks again, Andy. You're just a "myriad" of answers this morning

That will get me started anyway.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:12 AM   #4
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Assuming your talking about a yeast dough-
Refrigeration is fine for one day. For more than that, freezing would be preferable. Don't be surprised if the bread from the refrigerated dough has better characteristics than the one made from fresh dough. Since the dough that's refrigerated is likely to continue fermentation, you might want to keep it in a bowl and may have to add more flour after bringing it back to room temperature.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Thanks again, Andy. You're just a "myriad" of answers this morning

That will get me started anyway.

I'm running low on myriads, I hope you're all set for a while.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:10 AM   #6
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Just to add a little to what's already been said:

When you wrap & freeze your dough, shape it into a disc rather than a ball - it will freeze and defrost faster that way. I've refrigerated dough for up to 3 days and gotten great results from it. The flavor develops very nicely in the fridge. Longer than that and it will probably overrise, even in the fridge.

Another thing: While you're thinking about separating some dough for later use, you may want to consider making some to set aside and add to later loaves. the old dough acts as a preferment which adds flavor and helps the bread's keeping qualities.

As far as cooking times go, Andy is probably right, but I tend to just estimate cooking times, actually determining doneness of bread with an instant read thermometer (depending on the bread, I go for somewhere 195-205). It takes a lot of worry out of the process for me.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:37 AM   #7
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Very good tip on freezing in disc shape. It pretty much wanted to assume that shape anyway.
And thanks for the temp info Russell!
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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If you are going for a ""crusty" crust, Heat the oven to 425 or 450. Put your bread into that hot oven, and spray a mister of water into the oven and close the door, fast. This will help to create steam.

Let the bread bake at that high temp for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 (don't open the door!) and continue baking for about 25 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf taps hollow.

Above all, Pacanis, mastering bread just takes practice. With not much effort, I can still see (in my mind's eye) my first attempt at whole wheat bread -- three aromatic 8 x 4-inch doorstops about 30+ years ago! Silly me, thought since I'd made white bread since I was 7 that I knew how to "do" whole wheat!
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:41 AM   #9
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I ceratinly could have turned the oven down some.
Since it was only a half loaf, I thought limiting the time cooked with the lid off would be sufficient, but after 30 minutes at 450, when I took the lid off it was already done looking. So I only cooked it for 5-10 minutes with the lid off. It was done..... but a little doughy.
Practice makes perfect and I've got those 5-5 lb bags of flour I bought on sale to get it right.
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
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pacanis,

Am I missing something here, or are you making NYT (No-Knead) bread? I'm confused. If you are making NYT, I have not heard of storing the dough (or freezing it for that matter). I know you can do it with traditional yeast dough, but I'm a bit lost with your description of 'gooky' when describing working withthe dough. Can you help me out? (I'll even show you where I came in at!)

Joe
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