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Old 08-19-2011, 03:31 PM   #11
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I'm surprised but I didn't notice anyone mention that maybe your yeast was old, since it didn't double as it should have, and didn't have that yeasty smell.

Try the same recipe with fresh yeast and see if that helps.


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Old 08-19-2011, 04:33 PM   #12
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>>year old yeast

the dough did rise, so apparently the yeast is alive. that it didn't double may more likely be the directions - which typically run like: "allow to rise for one hour or until doubled" - folk look at the clock, an hour has passed, but it's not doubled so something must be wrong.

wrong. really easy solution - wait. time and temp and yeast makes for double . . .

I'm making pizza dough now - in the summer, takes 90 minutes. in the winter - same yeast, same recipe, takes closer to 3 hours. the house is warmer in summer than in winter.

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Old 08-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #13
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Posts at Baking911.com convinced me that in not providing an environment conducive to yeast dough chemistry and/or providing incorrect timing within that environment was my error. Proofing is a vastly superior term for this important fundamental. Did I understand correctly that proofing times are relative to temperature and humidity, (not to mention from general flour types all the way down to specific grain millers)? Is proofing in an oven warmed for around a minute the best or most common method? What are some alternatives for when the main oven is busy doing something else? I would like to develop and use a concistent proofing system independent of the oven.

I found the Joy of Cooking "White Bread Plus" recipe on the net. I have the book too and will read it after I remember what safe and easy place to remember where I saved it prior to a kitchen remodel.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:02 AM   #14
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I have been messing about with bread making methods for 40 years and have had my fare share of bricks.
The flour for me is very important, I do not use UK flour as it has calcium added by law which for me restricts it to sandwich loaves.
I use either Italian 00 or French type 65.
I think newb bread makers charge at the process, I tend to do my fist mix about 20.00 hrs, place in a little oiled large bowl cling wrap and put it in the fridge overnight, the next day I knock back, knead then put it in my tins to prove at room temp.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:56 PM   #15
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>>proofing dependent on . . .

humidity may have something to do with it - but temperature is the biggest factor.

yeast is a living thing - it eats sugar(s), belches out CO2 and alcohol. it multiples.
all that takes time, it happens faster when warm than when cool. although it probably varies by yeast strain, something on the order of 26C/80F is optimum for multiplication while 'fermentation' is best closer to 38C/100F. to complete the picture, one can't go overboard - yeast is killed at temps of 60C/140F. bread makers often knead up bread doughs and keep it in the refrigerator overnight/for days - the yeast continues to do its thing, just much slower at fridge temps.

you may be able to 'find' a spot where the timing is more consistent. we moved, the new kitchen has a 'hole' for the fridge. the old fridge left space at the top - super spot for rising.... got a new fridge, biggest thing that would go in the hole, I lost my proofing spot. <sigh.>

alternatives abound. now-a-days I just cover the dough and plunk it on the counter. yes, perhaps I have the advantage of experience to recognize 'done' (and 'over proofed') - but that you can learn if pretty short order. professional bakeries - and $300k kitchens - have 'proofing boxes' - temperature controlled. the more usual kitchen baker needs some flexibility in timing to make it happen.

softer sandwich type breads/rolls usually call for AP flour; artisan / country style / crunchy / hearty breads go for higher gluten aka 'bread flour'

be aware, in the USA there is no legal label definition /requirement about what gluten content is required to call it pastry/cake/AP/bread flour - you can get an indication from the protein content - but one brand of AP is another brand's bread flour in terms of gluten content.

for that reason .... I use King Arthur bread flour and Cerasota Unbleached AP - that's it - I never buy 'store brands' because of their variability. I've learned how 'my' flours work in my recipes and I'm sticking to my story. I might save some on a store brand, but that is of little consolation when it makes a brick or a naan layer cake.

if you're going to bake seriously, get a scale. weigh the flour & water - shortening/fat/sugar if used. keep notes and tweak it as you go until you get good results. 'by weight' is the best way to achieve consistency.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:46 PM   #16
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I'd agree with dcSaute

I use Julia a lot for baguettes, croissants and occasionally do her Pain de Mie.

I've found that the results can be dependent on temperature (our kitchen is either too hot or too cold i.e. not often within the temperature range she gives in each recipe). But mostly, stuff still works out as she intended - I just have to adjust rising times and / or utilise the fridge for rising if it's too hot. I figured out how to do this effectively in my old farmhouse kitchen by trial and error.

One ''mistake'' I was making was to use bread machine yeast. I naively thought all yeast was the same, until I discovered that her croissants just wouldn't double during the final rise and I did a bit of internet research to find out why. I'm just in the middle of giving this recipe another go with regular yeast - hopefully it will work out perfectly this time!

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Old 08-21-2011, 01:18 AM   #17
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The link will take you to fellow scousers BBC site then you should clic on the right hand side on the link(elsewhere on the web) that take you to his Artisan Bread company site and read his profile, Hollywood worked in our local 5 star Grosvenor Hotel with a Michelin stared restaurant and is accepted as the best artisan baker in the UK, his company supplies Harrods, he trained a good friend who know works in a superb bakery in Derbyshire.BakerPhil is well known on boards in the UK and was young Welsh Chef of the year twice, I met Phil when he work as the Chef at my Mums care home, he taught in a night school and I guested a few times.
Hollywood when he first appeared on UK TV he debunked the mystique that surrounds bread making.
On the BBC site clic on all recipes then on easy white bread then watch the vid, then try his ciabatta recipe which uses an overnight 50% flour 100% liquid yeast batter mix, its foolproof if you use 00 flour.
BBC - Food - Chefs : Paul Hollywood recipes

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