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Old 10-28-2005, 05:24 PM   #1
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Question Degassing (or punching down) vs. Kneading

I don't understand the difference between these two. I am learning a lot from the bread makers apprentice book. I am in the process of my 2nd rise for challah bread. The book says to degas or punch down for 2 minutes. They say degassing is handling the dough very gently to retain as much gas as possible. Gently fold the dough.

But when I fold the dough (I did this for about 2 min), trying to be as gentle as possible. I saw little air (?) bubles form that I think popped. It ended up looking a lot like the dough from the first rise, though the texture is different.

I don't really see the difference between the two techniques. ?

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Old 10-28-2005, 06:28 PM   #2
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Htc,

that is how my dough looks after degassing too..JUst press lightly on it, not like the fold,push away from you,press fold you do for kneading...You should be fine and that bread is soooo good..
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Kadesma. I have just finished the braid and it's rising for the last time. I can't wait!
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:26 AM   #4
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kadesma, how is challah supposed to taste? I have had it one time a long time ago. I remember it being soft w/ a soft crust and it to be a golden brown all around. And a little sweet. Is this correct??

I took my recipe from the bread bakers apprentice book. I made 2 three braid loaves with it. I might have made the loaves too skinny. After the rise and it was baked, it was the whole length of a large cookie sheet. Most of the braid is golden brown, but the inside, where the braids meet, it's light (didn't get gold brown). And the crust is kind of crunchy. My loaf isn't sweet at all but rather reminds me of a french bread. It tastes good, but not at all what I expected. The book said that the bread should be done in about 40 min and register at 190 degrees internally. Since my loaves were kinda skinny, I only baked for 25 min at 350. I checked the temp and it registered 200. So I took the bread out.

I think I did something wrong???
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Old 10-29-2005, 03:38 PM   #5
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HTC, I've made several kinds of bread but never made challah before so I'm not sure but I'm wondering if this has something to do with the changed texture:

Quote:
I just prepared a dough to make challah. My recipe called for about 3/4 c + 2tbsp to 1 1/4 c water. I put the min amout of water in my dough (3/4 + 2tbsp) and in my mixer with all the flour, yeast, etc. Then for some WHO KNOWS WHAT reason, I decided to add 1/2 tbsp to the mixture (even though it didn't really need it) --for some reason I felt compelled to do it.

Anyways, it turned my dough a lot more sticky and not very not where it needed to be. So I had to add about 2 pho spoons of flour to get it back to the consistency it needed.
Even though you added the flour to get it back to the desired consistency, you still didn't have the originally intended proportions so it might have effected the outcome.

I'm sure it was still yummy, though!
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by htc
kadesma, how is challah supposed to taste? I have had it one time a long time ago. I remember it being soft w/ a soft crust and it to be a golden brown all around. And a little sweet. Is this correct??

I took my recipe from the bread bakers apprentice book. I made 2 three braid loaves with it. I might have made the loaves too skinny. After the rise and it was baked, it was the whole length of a large cookie sheet. Most of the braid is golden brown, but the inside, where the braids meet, it's light (didn't get gold brown). And the crust is kind of crunchy. My loaf isn't sweet at all but rather reminds me of a french bread. It tastes good, but not at all what I expected. The book said that the bread should be done in about 40 min and register at 190 degrees internally. Since my loaves were kinda skinny, I only baked for 25 min at 350. I checked the temp and it registered 200. So I took the bread out.

I think I did something wrong???
Htc,I don't know how others feel Callah should taste, but the loaf I made was fairly soft and golden, the insides soft and a hint of sweetness the texture was more like a loaf of white bread, but more golden inside and out ..My loaves were fairly wide after rising and almost as long as the cookie sheet, I had to use two sheets or they would have grown together..Don't give up this is one bread you really want to make often it's so good..And I'll bet the one you made tasted just fine, the only thing you had a little different texture...Keep working on it..It will come..Heck the way you bake cakes and breads, you have this one mastered in no time
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Kadesma! Have you tried the challah in this specific book? (I think I remember you said you have it). My bread didn't taste sweet at all. It just tasted kinda like french bread. A bit crusty onthe outside. Next time I make this, I am going to try baking it in one loaf instead of two.
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:27 PM   #8
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I made it from the breadmaking made easy book by Beth Hensperger...it's called a classic challah egg bread..it has honey in the ingredients..It makes 3 standard loaves or two 14inch braids...i'll go look at the Bread Bakers Apprentice and see what is different..Your recipe only calls for 2 Tab. sugar, mine 1/2c. honey..If you would like the recipe I have I'll be glad to make a copy for you...

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Old 11-01-2005, 07:44 PM   #9
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Mmm Challah. I have a fabulous recipe that is from Julia Child and her Baking show with the great chefs of the world. I actually got it from someone who went to CIA. It makes the best Challah. If made correctly Challah should have a golden surface and flaky interior with a slightly sweet taste from both honey and sugar.

I brush the surface of my bread with an egg and then sprinkle sesame seeds on it. Leftover challah can be used to make yummy french toasts.

We use to make challah and then make a dinner out of it. Just the braids and fresh whipped butter with some tea or coffee.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:43 PM   #10
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Yakuta,

your recipe sounds similar to mine..I wasn't sure what it was supposed to look and taste like the first time I made it, but, I guess I did it right, because I loved the taste and flavor of it. Next to a good ciabatta, I think callah is my favorite...I brush mine with the egg and sesame seeds too..Yummy...Does yours make one or two braids?

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Old 11-01-2005, 10:00 PM   #11
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I did the same thing you two did, braid, brush with egg and sprinkled seasame on top (tho mine was black seasame, since that's what I have). Maybe I don't have the proper taste buds?? I think I need to go buy some store bought challah to see what one tastes like.


Would it be too much to ask for you both to PM me or post the recipe on this thread? Make sure the recipe isn't exactly like what it states in your recipe book, don't want to get in trouble.
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
..I am not worried about getting into trouble because it's from a cookbook so far as the right credits are given (which I am doing) it should be fine...
Yakuta:

Giving credit does not eliminate copyright infringement. In order to post a recipe out of a cookbook, you must request and receive written permission from the author. Then, if a permission is granted, it would be for one specific use, not for repeated use wherever you choose.
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:45 AM   #13
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Thanks Yukta! I copied it down, just in case it gets wiped out later. :)
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:19 AM   #14
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Thanks for clarifying Andy - As you can see I am ignorant about this. I just love to cook and collect books and recipes.

Anyway, the site admin can get rid of this so no one can get into trouble. Next time I will send it as a private topic. GB you can help delete it. Thxs.

Enjoy htc.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc on 10-28-2005
Degassing (or punching down) vs. Kneading

I don't understand the difference between these two. I am learning a lot from the bread makers apprentice book. I am in the process of my 2nd rise for challah bread. The book says to degas or punch down for 2 minutes. They say degassing is handling the dough very gently to retain as much gas as possible. Gently fold the dough.

But when I fold the dough (I did this for about 2 min), trying to be as gentle as possible. I saw little air (?) bubles form that I think popped. It ended up looking a lot like the dough from the first rise, though the texture is different.

I don't really see the difference between the two techniques. ?
IMHO, degassing, punching down and kneading are three different techniques, not two. If the focus is on redistributing yeast in the dough during a rise (not the final rise) and eliminating *large* air pockets, then the scale would be from degassing (most gentle - preserves small air pockets but eliminates large ones) to kneading (most robust - redistributes yeast effectively but destroys *all or most* air pockets).

Kneading
- kneading is - ummmmm - kneading. Just have a light hand and don't add xtra flour. A few "turns" are sufficient. (Sometimes, as you knead, large air pockets give out little farting sounds as they burst; I think that is a riot.)

Punching down
- used to deflate dough during a rise "in the bowl". After the dough has about risen 1-1/2 to 2 times the original bulk, you punch it down with your fist (it deflates) and then, usually, you flip it (to bring the oiled part to the top) and recover with plastic wrap.

Degassing
- a gentler technique than punching it, since you achieve the same effect *without* eliminating the small air pockets. This involves stretching and folding the dough (rather than punching it).
For a general explanation of this technique (with pix), go to http://home.earthlink.net/~myjunketc...adWithBiga.htm and scroll down to the section titled The Optional Neat Trick.

Here's an *even gentler* approach to degassing, which is a variation on the above link - keep the dough *in* the bowl (since removing it from the bowl to the board will deflate a very wet dough) and apply the technique like this

One usually degasses dough when it has risen about 1-1/2 times the original bulk. Two "strech and folds" are normally sufficient. You'll notice that the dough rises faster after doing this; wait until it has risen again to 1-1/2 to 2 times the original bulk and proceed with the shaping according to the recipe.

Wet doughs benefit from using the degassing over the punch-down technique since they are very fragile and, in general, you want as much as possible to preserve the smaller air pockets in order to get an open structure (eg - holes in the interior of the bread) in the final product. This includes breads like ciabatta or baguettes.

If you're making challah, which is not as fragile, you could punch it down.

Hope this helps -
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc
I did the same thing you two did, braid, brush with egg and sprinkled seasame on top (tho mine was black seasame, since that's what I have). Maybe I don't have the proper taste buds?? I think I need to go buy some store bought challah to see what one tastes like.


Would it be too much to ask for you both to PM me or post the recipe on this thread? Make sure the recipe isn't exactly like what it states in your recipe book, don't want to get in trouble.
Htc, I'll send you a pm and we can go from there...Sorry I'm just now answering you..
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:21 PM   #17
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Wow Subf, tha's great info!! Thanks for taking time out to post! I am amazed that you know so much about bread baking.
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc on 7Nov2005
Wow Subf, tha's great info!! Thanks for taking time out to post!
Thanks!

Actually, all of the techniques I cited are "degassing", since they eliminate air bubbles in the dough. What was called "degassing" in my post is more precisely a "strech and fold" method of degassing. As noted, you can do it on the board or in the bowl.

Glad you liked the post Do I get karma? (The pix are time-consuming to create ) SF [203]
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