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Old 06-29-2005, 09:43 AM   #1
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Trashy Bread issues

Ok, so I've only made bread twice so far.


Once, the bread came out a little compacted.

I was using an Italian Bread recipe, but obviously screwed up somehow because what I got from the oven was 'good', but it was really dense and almost had a cake-like texture.

The second time I made bread was this past weekend. It was a ciabatta recipe (from artisan.com), but it didn't come out anything like ciabatta. I made the dough according to the recipe, but it was absolutely impossible to work with. It was very wet and very sticky. I couldn't keep it from sticking to absolutely everything and anything it came near. So, I decided to pass on the ciabatta and add more flour to firm up the dough. It helped with the stickyness. So I let the dough rest on a board, under a towel all night and baked it Saturday morning. The crust was like thin porcelain tile. It was horrible. LOL The inside of the bread was a little yeasty, which is ok I don't mind that, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.


Any tips or techniques for making really good bread?

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Old 06-29-2005, 11:28 AM   #2
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nytxn, we have some great bread bakers on this site so I'm sure they'll be able to help you a lot! I'm pretty new to bread baking myself, but the one thing that caught my eye was that you said you let it rise overnight. Did the recipe say to do that? It just seems like a long time. Maybe that had an impact on your results? Just a guess, though--we'll wait and see what the others have to say!
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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nytxn,

I have the book on artisian breads, and as much as I love them, they can be a pain in the patootie I'll take a look and see what I can find out for you. I do know that I love breads that have a long rise. I made a J. Pepin long rice bread last summer and we loved it...I'm off to get things going for the luncheon today, but will look as soon as I can. Bread making is really fun and you can go crazy being creative with it.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:36 AM   #4
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Kad,
That's what appeals to me so much about it.


If you can master basic breadmaking, you can get really creative with combining styles and ingredients.



PA,
I had already screwed up the ciabatta recipe at that point, so I just winged it. I probably let it sit too long. I'll wait and let the experts chime in.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:48 AM   #5
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I thought I remembered a seeing big ole bread baking thread thread a while back...but couldn't find it... Does anyone remember?

I did find antother one that might be helpful. (Didn't read it all though) Bread Baking Question
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:51 AM   #6
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I found it! Maybe something in here will help.

Bread Making Invite 4 All - a Collaborative Bread Thread
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:56 PM   #7
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Cool.

Thank you!
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Old 07-01-2005, 06:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc
I found it! Maybe something in here will help.

Bread Making Invite 4 All - a Collaborative Bread Thread
to hto and nytxn
Hi! I'm the person who started that thread. I and others posted a lot of stuff to it.

Unfortunately, when DC switched to new software for the forums awhile back some of the the pix and posts in this thread no longer display as well as they did under the old forum software but you can still get some good info from it.

I will tell you straight off that a lot of "artisan" breads (like ciabatta) are *very* wet. They're supposed to be that way. If you're used to making a standard "loaf style" bread, this kind of dough will be a real challenge. I found I had to abandon a lot of my hard-won bread-baking knowledge when I first started to make these kinds of bread.

If you hand-knead, one implement you'll find *very* handy is what's called a "dough scraper" or "bench scraper" (same thing - just different descriptions) - they're pictured in one of my posts in that thread. I got the ones I have very cheaply (about $15 for 2 including shipping) on eBay.

I'll try to respond with some other hints in a few days - gotta collect my thoughts. Stay tuned and check on this thread. I promise to reply...

Happy bread baking - sf
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Old 07-02-2005, 12:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nytxn on 06-29-2005 wrote
Ok, so I've only made bread twice so far...

The second time I made bread was this past weekend. It was a ciabatta recipe (from artisan.com), but it didn't come out anything like ciabatta. I made the dough according to the recipe, but it was absolutely impossible to work with. It was very wet and very sticky...So, I decided to pass on the ciabatta and add more flour to firm up the dough.
I already commented on that issue...

Quote:
I let the dough rest on a board, under a towel all night and baked it Saturday morning...the bread was a little yeasty
The bread was "yeasty" b/c you let it sit out overnite at room temp. You "over-proofed" the bread dough, which produces a "yeasty" or acidic taste to the bread. Letting bread dough rise for a long time in a refrigerator is a well known technique for both improving flavor and adjusting bread-making to a busy schedule. However, letting dough rise at room temp for 8-16 hours only applies to making what's called a "pre-ferment" (and only a *very tiny amount of yeast* is added to the pre-ferment if it is going to develop at room temperature for 6-12 hrs).

Quote:
I let the dough rest on a board, under a towel all nightI The crust was like thin porcelain tile. It was horrible.
That's b/c you [1]left the dough unrefrigerated and [2] only covered it with a towel. This means the surface of the dough would dry out, and you'd get a thin, tough crust.

Quote:
Any tips or techniques for making really good bread?
What kind of bread do you want to learn how to make? If you're a beginner, maybe the "artisan" style breads (baguettes / ciabatta etc.) are not a good starting point.

There are lots of good bread-bakers here. Look at some of the past posts in this topic area. In http://discusscooking.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6298 pancake kindly posted her aunt's "foolproof" recipe for baguettes - her post in this thread was on 18Feb05 and hopefully this link will take you right to it Bread Making Invite 4 All - a Collaborative Bread Thread

oldcoot has posted quite a few recipes and tips for a relaxed (and very successful) approach to artisan-style breads - why don't you search on his posts?
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:20 AM   #10
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Pick up a copy of The Bread Bakers Apprentice by Steve Reinhart, it's fantastic. Lots of recipes and lots of the why's and hows.
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