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Old 08-08-2012, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Flavor comes from fermentation, which in turn causes the dough to rise. The longer the rise, the better the flavor. Is it possible you made your first loaves during the winter months, when it might've taken longer for the dough to rise?
Really the best advise given so far, and what I would go with. Time is crucial, unless it's a quick, unleavened flat bread/lavash.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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I'm sure the yeast is good, it bubbles up/foams up great, rises great, and I cook several other loaves of bread every week. I'm equally as sure that my water temp is correct, as I've been baking bread for 20+ years and as I said I bake several loaves a week with no problems. I have just never baked bread with olive oil until now.

I think it must be the rise time, I don't understand why it was right the first two times but tomorrow I'll try it with a little less yeast and at room temp instead of in the machine and see what happens!

Thank you all for answering me on this, it has just puzzled me to no end. While I've cooked in restaurants, I'm mostly a home cook but I've never been so stumped as I have on this one. Once I doubled the olive oil, thinking maybe I messed up to begin with and added too much..... still didn't taste any better, though!

Thanks again!
Renee
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #13
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It's an interesting topic. I'm no expert, just recently took up baking bread in earnest.

I'm going with (not in any particular order) (1) the yeast theory, (2) the climate theory, and (3) the amount theory (volumetric amount vs. weight amount). I don't think there's any way to assure that you have the same amount of flour unless you weigh it. Any other way depends on packing, settling and sifting.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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I whole heartedly agree that the amount of flour is probably different each time. That could differ by a 1/4 cup with each loaf, as I add flour until it looks or feels right. I don't know that a slight variation in the amount of flour would effect the taste to the degree though, as every time you make yeast bread or rolls by hand, you add flour until the dough is the right.... I've made the same yeast rolls at holidays for over 20 years (not in a bread machine, by hand kneading) and for the first few years they varied alot because I probably didn't knead them correctly or added a little too much flour, the taste was always great, just the texture would be off and sometimes they just didn't rise correctly - It was severeal years before I learned that the reason they didn't rise correctly sometimes was because I didn't know that when I scalded the milk, I was supposed to let it set and skim the fat off of it, as milk fats inhibit the yeast. The times they were rising correctly, I probably let it get hot enough that I had to skim it and other times I was not letting it scald long enough.

I'm going to try less yeast today.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by drnewman6 View Post
I whole heartedly agree that the amount of flour is probably different each time. That could differ by a 1/4 cup with each loaf, as I add flour until it looks or feels right.
Now that you mention it, that's the way I make bread too. (I'm not an expert.) I measure my water and other ingredients, adding them to a bit less flour than I expect to need. (I proof my yeast.) Then I knead the dough adding small amounts of flour until it feels the right consistency. I would be hard pressed to tell anybody how much flour I used in any particular loaf of bread.

I guess I could develop a precise recipe by experiment and then make the identical recipe every time. I guess that would probably work as long as you don't change your flour or yeast brands.

When I think about it in those terms it hardly matters whether I measure it by volume or by weight. But I do know that if you want a precise amount of flour the only you can get that is by weighing it.

More often than not I bake breads like focaccia with additional ingredients like rosemary, cheese, chopped onion (sauteed), etc. I'm not so sure measuring an exact amount of flour would work in that case anyway. I don't really even know how much of the ingredients I add since I often add ingredients until I think it's right. And half an onion or a whole onion is how much? (Since onions vary in size.) I must be doing something right since it always comes out good.
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