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Old 06-12-2016, 10:21 AM   #11
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All that kneading is completely unnecessary. Read this article, follow the instructions in the linked recipe, and you'll be thrilled with the outcome: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/06/t...ead-dough.html
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:44 AM   #12
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I think you would be better off with a sticky dough than a dry hard one so if this is what you have after you make a recipe just make sure to keep your hands and surface well floured when working with it. This flour will also be incorporated into the dough as you knead and you will gradually arrive at the state you want to be in. The harder the dough, the less it will rise so keeping it as soft as you can while still being able to handle it is what you are going for...

I think bread recipes are just basic guides, because there are so many things that can change the results.. It all boils down to you finding what works best for you. Unfortunately, you will have a few failures before you get there...
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MoridinUK View Post
I kneaded for much longer than the recipe asked me too because the dough was not, to my mind, elastic, it would tear and rip as I tried to stretch it, but perhaps I was trying to stretch too far!?
If it's tearing when you knead it, you need to cover it and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Better yet, use the no-knead method
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MoridinUK View Post
The GBBO recipe I'm using is from the book "The Great British Bake Off. How to Bake." page 105 "how to make a perfect white loaf".

I didn't know salt acts as a yeast inhibitor. I do know many recipes use fat of some kind, but I believe traditional French Recipes do not.

I was following what I thought was a sure-fire method, as the book bills it as such. However, the loafs came out ok. Just not great. They aren't too tough but the bread is denser than I expected.

I suspect that I needed a little more water, (or less flour) but when I watch videos I get confused as people handle these doughs without it leaving a mess on their hands. Silky and smooth is a difficult description to aim for when you haven't felt what that means!

I kneaded for much longer than the recipe asked me too because the dough was not, to my mind, elastic, it would tear and rip as I tried to stretch it, but perhaps I was trying to stretch too far!?

My stand mixer is broken at the moment so it is all by hand at the moment for me!

Part of me wants to hunt out a totally by weight recipe, as professional bakeries weigh the liquids rather than measure them by volume, but that may be going a bit too far?

What is a poolish? (goes to google)

Thanks for the advice and once I have an Idea I'll try that recipe at the top...
A polish is your yeast starter.

Instead of adding more flour to your recipe, KEEP your hands well floured along with your surface. And every so often give your dough a rest when you are kneading or handling it. Add the salt to your dry ingredients, not your starter. Remember, rainy days are the worst days to make bread. The humidity alone affects your flour. And making bread by weights instead is not a bad idea at all. Because each days' weather affects how the flour is going to acts and weigh. Some days the same weight will be less flour and some days more. And remember, the chefs on YouTube do not always do it straight through without editing or stopping the camera every so often. So you are missing a lot. Who wants to watch them kneading for ten or more minutes.

Do you have a bench scraper? It is great for turning over the dough while it is still sticky and difficult to handle.

You have the GBBO, we have ATK. Neither one is infallible.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #15
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It was rainy today!!

As for the video edits, I know what you mean, and yes while I doubt it would be popular I would actually watch a full-length video to get some idea of what it actually looks at each stage!

My loaves were fine, though a little dense, and shrank slightly in the over, which I'm confused by, I thought that was a result of over kneading in a mixer?

I think I should have rested it...

I did have my 5 year old helping which doesn't help when it comes to doing nothing for a few mins!

Thanks all for the great advice, it didn't taste very salty but next time I think (if there is time) I will start with a poolish!
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MoridinUK View Post
It was rainy today!!

As for the video edits, I know what you mean, and yes while I doubt it would be popular I would actually watch a full-length video to get some idea of what it actually looks at each stage!

My loaves were fine, though a little dense, and shrank slightly in the over, which I'm confused by, I thought that was a result of over kneading in a mixer?

I think I should have rested it...

I did have my 5 year old helping which doesn't help when it comes to doing nothing for a few mins!

Thanks all for the great advice, it didn't taste very salty but next time I think (if there is time) I will start with a poolish!
One more piece of advice. Give your starter a good healthy start. Feed it a few grains of sugar every ten minutes or so. And a few when you first start it in warm water. Yeast is a living organism and like the rest of life, needs to be fed every so often.

Having your five year old helping is more of a memory building than the most perfect loaf of bread will ever give you.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:02 PM   #17
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My experience has been that the really sticky doughs are used to make baguettes and breads like that. Baguettes are supposed to have those large holes in the bread and from what I understand, the best way to get them is to have a sticky dough. I was trying to make an 80% hydration baguette once, which is really sticky dough. I failed.

Here's an example I found on Google of a baguette with the holes. However, I don't think you want your regular bread to be that holey, so your dough may not need to be that sticky. I usually mix the flour and whatnot until I have a "shaggy mess", then turn it out on the counter and knead until it feels smooth and silky (sounds like a hair commercial). I don't think I've ever kneaded more than 7 or 8 minutes.

Another option I heard of for kneading sticky doughs is to oil your hands, probably with vegetable oil or olive oil. I haven't tried that yet, but given my wildly unsuccessful attempts to work with a sticky dough, I may do that in the future.

I have done no-knead recipes before, but I enjoy kneading, so that's what I do when I make bread. For my baguettes, though, I fold and rest. Not that it seems to make any difference in my case.

A poolish is where you would mix flour, water, and yeast together and then let it stand at room temp for maybe an hour and then fridge overnight for up to 18 hours. That's just one method. Then when you go to make your bread, you just add the rest of the flour, water, salt, etc. One thing the poolish does is give the bread some good flavor - the longer it stands in the fridge, the more flavor. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I heard that San Francisco's sourdough is let to stand for 36 hours before adding the other ingredients and making the bread.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:06 PM   #18
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Oh one thing I have learned over the years, if you and a recipe are not getting along, try a different recipe.
Also best bet is don't put all the flour in at once. Make sure your board or whatever surface you are using and your hands are well floured.

Also do not try to make candy in humid weather.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:13 AM   #19
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Oh one thing I have learned over the years, if you and a recipe are not getting along, try a different recipe.
Also best bet is don't put all the flour in at once. Make sure your board or whatever surface you are using and your hands are well floured.

Also do not try to make candy in humid weather.
Oh the fun I've had with chocolate blooming... grrrr...

Humidity is the hardest thing to control, it's either dry as... (in the fridge) or whatever the multiple personality disordered British climate chooses to give me!

That holey baguette looks amazing!

I'm playing with idea of a 12 hour recipe I want to make it all up, leave it over night and bake it first thing! :D
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:59 AM   #20
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Actually, to me, that particular baguette does not look especially appetizing. I want to eat bread, not air!
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