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Old 08-18-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
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Julia's White Bread

I am the first to admit that I am new to baking & cooking and numerous opportunities for poor recipe interpretation and execution exist. This time it is with a white bread recipe posted as being from Julia Child. My finished product was soft and edible. The loaves were visually appealing in that they were without voids/holes. They even tasted good and did not have the ‘sweet and yeasty’ taste some homemade recipes do. My problem was with the physical weight of the loaves. What might I have done incorrectly to produce loaves that were significantly heavier than store bought? Can homemade bread be made to mimic commercial loaves?

Thanks

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Old 08-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
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I see your heavier loaves as a good thing unless you're trying to duplicate Wonder Bread. Bread should have substance and weight. Did you get the rise you were expecting? How did it taste?
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Bread should have substance and weight.
This batch had both. When removed from the oven I could not tell if bread or boat anchors had been produced.
Quote:
Did you get the rise you were expecting?
It did rise to a noticable degree, but did not double as the recipe said to expect.
Quote:
How did it taste?
It tasted fine without the sweet and yeasty taste of other homemade breads I have tasted.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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Did you follow the recipe or make adjustments/substitutions?

I gather from your response that it didn't rise enough and was too dense for your liking. So a slice of this bread wasn't as tall as a store bought?
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:08 PM   #5
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The recipe was followed precisely including the use of bread flour instead of AP. The height of the loaf & slices were about right. I used a serrated knife and could make thin or thick slices. I suppose my primary complaint is density. When I try the recipe again I would hope for similar results except for density/weight. Are those characteristics controllable by mere mortals in the kitchen? -OR- is there also the possibility I actually succeeded in reproducing that particular recipe and should simply try another next time?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JuanaCook View Post
The recipe was followed precisely including the use of bread flour instead of AP. The height of the loaf & slices were about right. I used a serrated knife and could make thin or thick slices. I suppose my primary complaint is density. When I try the recipe again I would hope for similar results except for density/weight. Are those characteristics controllable by mere mortals in the kitchen? -OR- is there also the possibility I actually succeeded in reproducing that particular recipe and should simply try another next time?

Thanks again.
I would say that since you followed the recipe precisely and got the results you describe, it's not going to change next time. What you describe is most likely what Julia intended - sandwich bread that's a bit more substantial than store-bought.

I'd suggest searching the internet for a "Wonder bread-stye" recipe if that's what you want.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Agreed. A sandwich bread that's a bit more substantial than store-bought could have been Ms. Child's exact target. I was concerned that it could additionally be used as a brick like construction material.

I am also about to register for forums at Baking911.com. I just discovered the fine folks there and even the little I have read so far (terms and definitions) seem helpful.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:14 PM   #8
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Here's a discussion on the same thing:

What can I do to get a lighter bread??



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Old 08-18-2011, 04:30 PM   #9
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THANKS!! That is a helpful and reassuring thread.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
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if you want "WonderBread" there's probably recipes out there in cyberspace.

that aside and as a generalization, no - "home made white bread" is not the light, fluffy, airy, one pound per four cubic yard volume. never has been. the 'lots of air incorporated' wonder bread style is a different technique and uses lots of 'additives' to make the dough/finish product come out 'as sold'

under-proofing can make for dense.
over-proofing can make for big holes and collapsed loaves.
there is a 'perfect middle ground' but yes - takes a bit of experience to 'recognize' the 'signs' and get there.

if you want to go in that direction, first thing is: throw all clocks and timers into the trash. it's a 'by feel' thing - clocks are exceeding counterproductive in that artisan line of bread making.

if you have it available, check/try Joy of Cooking "White Bread Plus" - I use that as a basis for 150% of my "white bread in a loaf pan" - if you don't have it I can gin up my interpretation of same.
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