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Old 02-24-2011, 12:23 PM   #11
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Cmarchibald has a good point about the water temperature. When you proof the yeast the water should be no hotter than the milk you would feed a baby. Just nice and warm, not hot.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:00 PM   #12
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FWIW, I never use water warmer than room temperature. It always works out fine. It's awfully easy to get your water too warm, and that definitely equals dead yeast.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #13
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Room temp works fine for us as well. We hold back (do not add) about 15% of the anticipated flour when performing the initial mixing of the dough. We add that flour as required during the hand kneading phase.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:57 PM   #14
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Wow thank you everyone. I really do appreciate the time everyone has taken to answer. I am going to try a few new things today when I have another go. As for the water temp regarding being the same temp as a baby bottle, got that down pat, I just finished feeding my 3 month old hehe. I shall post back with how my next batch went. Thanks again :)
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:05 PM   #15
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Since going into the final pre-bake rise the dough should be about 50% water and 50% flour, the 3 decalitres of water should be increased to more like .5 litres. If baked freeform, the finished product will loose some 35 to 45% of it's water content.
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Hi there. So for starters I will write down the recipe that I have been using.

500 grams All purpose flour
300 mls water
5 grams instant yeast
10 grams salt
35 grams butter

Bring everything together and knead for ten mins. Leave to rise for an hour and a half. Knock out the air once it's doubled in size and shape (I try rolls)
Leave to rise till doubled in size in a warm place then carefully put in the oven so as to not knock the air out. Oven is on 175 degrees c.

So problem is that my bread is coming out still rather dense. The second rise the rolls looked wonderful and then when they came out of the oven they seemed to of shrunk a little. I'm certainly a beginner but have done a lot of reading because I would really love to master this skill to some degree.

Please help me!!!
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:04 PM   #16
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Did anybody ask already about using less flour? My mom likes to describe the dough that is in perfect condition as Breathing. If you have too much flour it will be too heavy and will not "breathe", if you have not enough flour it will not "breathe" either. Recipe in bread baking is but a guide. You need to find these perfect conditions of all the ingredients and the temperatures.

For example I was making pancakes last Sunday, I used the perfect recipe, the only problem, the flour was too cold when I started and the pancakes did not turn out the way I wanted them to be.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Since going into the final pre-bake rise the dough should be about 50% water and 50% flour, the 3 decalitres of water should be increased to more like .5 litres. If baked freeform, the finished product will loose some 35 to 45% of it's water content.
That should be decilitres. 3 decalitres would be 30 litres. That's a lot of water
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:55 AM   #18
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My bread is coming out more dense than I would like, also. I can't seem to get those large holes in my Italian/French breads. I called King Arthur up (they have a fantastic help service) and they also suggested over-kneading. They also suggested wetting my hands with water to punch it down and shape the loaf. I had been dusting my hands with flour. They thought maybe I was drying the dough out too much and said to keep it as wet as possible. I'm going to try these ideas out on my next loaf.
Pacanis in the UK all white flours have calcium added by law, this law was brought in in the 40s(it is not required to say this on the bag) it makes it nearly impossible to make those breads that have random large holes, the only additive that is allowed by law in French Bread is ascorbic acid, the bakery I worked in in Frejus when I was a kid used the Poolish method and added ascorbic to make their baguettes and ficelle (my ficelle viennoise was the best) I tried adding ascorbic to UK flour and it works quite well when making ciabatta ect, I dont bother now as I can buy imported Italian 00 flour I use it to make all my white breads to get an authentic texture.
My brothers neighbour in Tuscany uses his wood fired oven for her bread and gives him some ( he cant boil an egg) its fab, I watch her making the dough sometimes next time I visit I will tell her about King Arthurs recs, they maybe very nice people but they will protect there product,
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:23 AM   #19
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That should be decilitres. 3 decalitres would be 30 litres. That's a lot of water
Thanks; glad to see you're paying attention. All those dcl's and dl's of kirshwasser tend to blur the distinction between an a (10) and an i (.1).
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:20 AM   #20
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My bread is coming out more dense than I would like, also. I can't seem to get those large holes in my Italian/French breads. I called King Arthur up (they have a fantastic help service) and they also suggested over-kneading. They also suggested wetting my hands with water to punch it down and shape the loaf. I had been dusting my hands with flour. They thought maybe I was drying the dough out too much and said to keep it as wet as possible. I'm going to try these ideas out on my next loaf.
Hmmm....I do the flour-hand-dusting as well. Next time I make bread I'll try wet hands instead.
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