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Old 09-12-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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What can I do to get a lighter bread??

I've been making this amish white bread and its a heavy bread and i want to know if there is anything i can do to make it lighter. by saying heavy i mean compact, not as airy as i would like. Its really good but i would also like to try it being a little more airy inside and less compact.

Can i achieve this by adding more yeast, less flour, baking outside the pan? Please help. If you need anymore info, please let me know.

this is the recipe & thank you. I'm planning to make it today again and i'm hoping to get an answer before the evening, i keep forgetting to post.

Amish White Bread
READY IN 2 Hrs 30 Min
Original recipe yield 2 - 9x5 inch loaves

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast.
Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
Mix salt and oil into the yeast.
Mix in flour one cup at a time.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat.
Cover with a damp cloth.
Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down.
Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half.
Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans.
Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.


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Old 09-12-2008, 12:38 PM   #2
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I would suspect that it is not rising enough or you are accidently knocking the air out as it goes into the oven. I would let it rise a bit more - my second rise is 45mins to an hour.

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Old 09-12-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
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Unless your kitchen is VERY warm, I agree that the dough might not be rising enough. 30 minutes seems awfully short for a second rise. Is it actually getting to the 1 inch above the pans in that time?
You might want to try the "finger poke" test.
Put your index and middle finger together.
Poke into the dough until about the first knuckle.
Watch the hole.
If if fills rapidly, it needs more time.
If it just very slowly fills in, dough should be ready to bake.
If it does not fill in, it is overproofed and may collapse or not rise in the oven.

You might also want to try adding about 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to that dough.
Another thing is to put the salt in after you put the flour in. Salt will sometimes stop the yeast action.

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Old 09-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #4
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PS, I make a bread very similar to what you are doing, but I use only one Tablespoon of ADY.

Most of the time, I actually substitute one cup of sourdough starter for the yeast. Other than that, it is identical. Pan size, baking temperature, time, etc.

When you shape the dough to pan it, does the dough feel like a "baby's butt"? It should be smooth and elastic. Hard to describe, but once you get it, the feel stays with you.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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maybe i'm not letting it rise enough on the 2nd rise because honestly it doesnt ever get above the pan. I just let it rise 30mins and then pop it in the oven. I thought maybe my pan is just high but i dont know. When i make it tonight i'll let it rise longer and see how that goes. Honestly tho in 30mins it doesnt rise that much from when i put it in the pan, its usually about 3/4 of the pan so it will take probably more than 1hr to get above the pan. When baked it gets about 1'' above the pan. I'll also try adding the salt after the flour because i usually put it in before i start adding the flour.

Thank you for the responses.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:14 PM   #6
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oldcampcook i'll have my baby close by and compare the feeling of the dough and the feeling of his butt and update you

usually when i put it in the pan i try to stretch it out to fit the entire pan on the bottom but it doesnt usually fit the entire bottom until it rises. I would say its a bit elastic because when i try to stretch it to fit it just shrinks back to how it was.

Thanks for responding.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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Let it rise for at least an hour. Try putting in some of the flour before adding the salt -salt and yeast don't really like each other. Another thing to try is an additional rising. Patience is a real virtue when baking bread. I sometimes let my dough rise up to three hours. For a softer crust, brush with milk as soon as you take it out of the oven.

Make sure baby's butt is dry before checking! (LOL)
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:09 PM   #8
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Debbie, I'm going to guess you may not be kneading it enough. If you are using all-purpose bread flour (white) you can expect to knead it for at least 10 - 12 minutes. Too little kneading will yield a heavy loaf, but so will too much kneading.

For the first rise, you cannot leave it too long. However, once you have shaped your loaves and put them into their baking pans, you need to watch that you don't let them rise too long.... They should expand by two-thirds, approximately.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:29 PM   #9
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I have been making/baking bread since I was 10 years old....make sure you knead it long enough to strengthen the gluten and let it rise until doubled in size before knocking it down, but don't let it over-rise or it will deflate once in the oven. You can't really go by the times in a recipe as each kitchen's temperature/humidity is different. After you have made it several times you will know about how long it will take to rise. Don't give up!
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:10 PM   #10
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i have no problem with the 1st rise because it definitely doubles in 1 hr but the 2nd time it does not. I knead it enough the 1st time to get it smooth, i'm guessing about 10mins or a little more and the 2nd time only about 3-4 mins.

Also i'm using all bread flour

If any of the experts decide to try this recipe i would love to hear your results. (did anyone catch that hint?). LOL

also my house has central air and is set to 82 degrees f so i dont think theres a problem with the temp and during both rises i keep it the dough covered with a damp kitchen towel.

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