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Old 05-21-2013, 09:03 PM   #1
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Why can't I make bread?

Anything I make with bread dough or bread-like dough (soft pretzels, bread, bread rolls, croissant, etc) always turns out bad tasting (either like nothing, or the leavening agent...), dry, cracked, and it never browns evenly.

I can follow recipes fine on the internet usually, but anything I try to make out of bread just does NOT work.

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Old flour? Dirty oven? Or are you talking about premade bread products?
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science. You can't do a pinch of this, some of that. You do need fresh ingredients and proper untensils. Dry measuring cups for dry ingredients. Liquid ones for the wet ingredients.

Post a typical bread recipe that you use and what steps you take. It makes it easier to see where the problem may be.

And welcome to DC. You have a question? We have an answer.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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Tell us what recipe doesn't work.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:10 AM   #5
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I agree with the others that it would help to see the recipe.

Two things do come to mind old or stale ingredients and using too much flour.

Baking bread is one of those things that can be difficult to learn without actually watching someone else do it. If you see someone else make bread you can get a feel for the texture that you are trying to achieve. If you do not have a baker that can help you the next best thing might be a UTube video on bread making.

Good luck and don't give up!
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:28 AM   #6
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I'm new at bread baking. I have learned that one must try the same basic recipe a number of times while making minor changes in order to get a nice end product.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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Welcome to D.C.!
The short answer to your question is that there isn't a short answer. We need to see the recipe for starters. I am certain that some good suggestions will follow.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science. You can't do a pinch of this, some of that. You do need fresh ingredients and proper untensils. Dry measuring cups for dry ingredients. Liquid ones for the wet ingredients.

Post a typical bread recipe that you use and what steps you take. It makes it easier to see where the problem may be.

And welcome to DC. You have a question? We have an answer.
French Bread Rolls to Die For Recipe - Allrecipes.com This. I don't have bread flour, but I wouldn't think all-purpose flour would make something as terrible as I got. It was like chewing on raw dough... It tasted like dough, not bread. It was definitely baked at the right temperature and for the right amount of time. But it was all dry and cracked and white on top instead of being nice and golden and smooth like I'd think it should be. I followed those steps exactly.

And just so we're clear it's not only this recipe. Any time I make anything with dough like this it gets screwed up.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:35 PM   #9
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I read the recipe and watched the video for these rolls.

If you achieved the same results at the various stages in the video then I am thinking it could be that the temperature in your oven is off or that you may have used more flour than needed.

If everything else you bake comes out fine then the oven temp is probably not the issue.

The use of too much flour is a little tricky. Recipes for yeast breads normally give a range of amounts for the flour because the moisture content in the flour can vary and the humidity in your kitchen will vary. I would experiment with using less flour the next time. If you get a slightly sticky dough that you can finish working with greased hands then I would stop adding flour at that point. It may be a half cup less or a quarter cup less. The only way to tell is from experience and experimentation. Make some notes on your recipe card each time you make them until you get the desired results. By the time you are sick to death of rolls you will be turning out perfect rolls every time!
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science. You can't do a pinch of this, some of that.
Actually you're right. The book Ratio describes what the exact relationships are. The various elements of the recipe must match up.
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