Dense heavy bread

13
10
Joined Dec 17, 2016
Hi
I'm making artisan breads with jalapeno and cheese the crust looks great but its heavy and dense I'm using k.a. bread flour red star instant yeast salt and water also using a stand mixer
would adding diastatic malt powder how much or a starter help with this and how long should I mix and knead bread dough
every recipe says 2 minutes
 
2,024
534
Joined Oct 31, 2012
You may need to increase the yeast, cut down on the cheese, increase the proofing time, use all purpose flour instead. Perhaps you could post the entire recipe and one of the professional bakers can give you more specific answers. I suspect your problem is of a more basic nature and won't be entirely resolved by using malt powder.
 
13
10
Joined Dec 17, 2016
hi chefwriter
this is the recipe 3c bread flour 1/4 tsp yeast 1 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 Tbl vinegar 1/4 c beer 3/4 c water
1 c cheese 1/3 c jalapeno
 
2,024
534
Joined Oct 31, 2012
I probably should have said to add the method as well; what do you mix and when?
I am certainly not a baker but I have done home made breads. So from my limited home experience, my first thought is that I would add more yeast. 1/4 of a tsp seems very little. I'd do 1/2 tsp. Yeast isn't expensive. I see no reason to spare it.
Then mix the yeast, a bit of warm water and some flour to activate the yeast. ( I use enough flour to make a thin batter. No salt yet. I would stir the salt and remaining flour together to evenly distribute the salt.
Once the yeast has activated, ( the "batter" is bubbly) then add the remaining liquids and the rest of the salt/flour/cheese for the first kneading. Close contact with salt kills the yeast so adding it with flour keeps the yeast active.
Then knead by hand, (I find this relaxing) for up to five minutes or until the dough has a tight, developed feel to it and my arms are tired.. Coat the top with some olive oil and a loose damp towel, Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. then punch down and knead again for.couple of minutes. Let it rise a second time. Pan and bake.
I find time and temperature to be very important. Water too hot or cold and yeast will be dead or inactive. Proofing/rising time too short, bread won't rise well or enough.
Now I think I'll go see what flour I have in the pantry and maybe bake a loaf.
 
13
10
Joined Dec 17, 2016
I probably should have said to add the method as well; what do you mix and when?
I am certainly not a baker but I have done home made breads. So from my limited home experience, my first thought is that I would add more yeast. 1/4 of a tsp seems very little. I'd do 1/2 tsp. Yeast isn't expensive. I see no reason to spare it.
Then mix the yeast, a bit of warm water and some flour to activate the yeast. ( I use enough flour to make a thin batter. No salt yet. I would stir the salt and remaining flour together to evenly distribute the salt.
Once the yeast has activated, ( the "batter" is bubbly) then add the remaining liquids and the rest of the salt/flour/cheese for the first kneading. Close contact with salt kills the yeast so adding it with flour keeps the yeast active.
Then knead by hand, (I find this relaxing) for up to five minutes or until the dough has a tight, developed feel to it and my arms are tired.. Coat the top with some olive oil and a loose damp towel, Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. then punch down and knead again for.couple of minutes. Let it rise a second time. Pan and bake.
I find time and temperature to be very important. Water too hot or cold and yeast will be dead or inactive. Proofing/rising time too short, bread won't rise well or enough.
Now I think I'll go see what flour I have in the pantry and maybe bake a loaf.
 
13
10
Joined Dec 17, 2016
Hi chefwriter
Thanks for the suggestions I did try a biga starter overnight then used it next day that did seem to help never tried kneading dough by hand just in my stand mixer
I will definitely keep salt separate
Hey I can send you quite a few loaves since I've learned now all farmers markets are cancelled
 
969
569
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Dense bread is often the result of poor gluten formation. This typically happens when the dough isn't kneaded enough or kneaded too much or the yeast isn't active enough.

When the bread bakes, the yeast take what my grandmother called "l'ultimo respiro" or "last breath." While baking, the yeast are still active until killed off by the high temperature. Until that point, however, the yeast will continue to produce Co2 gas as a byproduct of sugar consumption. If the gluten is not well formed, the gas produced by the yeast will be unable to form large bubbles within the bread. A dense bread will be the result. Gluten makes the dough elastic and able to form bubbles as the yeast produces Co2. Think of it like chewing gum. Regular gum isn't elastic and terrible for making bubbles. Bubble gum, on the other hand, is very elastic and great for making bubbles. The difference, of course, is the elasticity.

Another factor that causes dense bread is a crust that forms too early and doesn't allow the bread to expand as it bakes. As a result, air pockets are not allowed to form resulting in a dense texture.

Figuring out what the problem is or the combination of issues that's causing the dense bread is a process of elimination. A good place to start is to make sure that your oven temperature reading is accurate. Once you've ruled out possible equipment issues, start with the basics. Is your yeast "lively" enough? If not, buy better yeast. If yes, move on to increasing the knead time and see if that produces results. If yes, then, you're on the right track. If not, move on to oven temperature. Even though your oven reading may be accurate, the temp may be too high given your altitude. Try reducing the oven temp in 5 degree increments and check the results.

If none of these work, its time to examine the recipe itself. A 2 minute knead time is a bit short, even with an electric mixer. This begs the question of what type of mixer you're using? If its a Kitchen Aid or something similar with a dough attachment, the knead should be more like 5 to 6 minutes at a minimum. Unfortunately, many recipes are poorly written or not well tested before being published.

Too much salt will also stifle yeast activity. Salt kills yeast. So, be careful there.

I agree with the others. Post your recipe and the equipment you use, including the length of time spent kneading, how its kneaded, the type of yeast, oven temp, time in the oven etc. The more detail you include, the better.

Good luck. :)
 
2,024
534
Joined Oct 31, 2012
So this post got me to make some bread the other day. The end result was a loose dough that could not hold shape. In brief, my hydration was off. Too much water and not enough flour. Ended up baking it in a pot, forgot it while watching you tube and ended up with an overcooked, stuck to the pan loaf of bread.
I'll try again tomorrow. It's fun experimenting.
 
13
10
Joined Dec 17, 2016
Lol now you sound like me i fell asleep and woke up to bread amoeba oozing out of the bowl and on the countertop oops
 
13
10
Joined Dec 17, 2016
Dense bread is often the result of poor gluten formation. This typically happens when the dough isn't kneaded enough or kneaded too much or the yeast isn't active enough.

When the bread bakes, the yeast take what my grandmother called "l'ultimo respiro" or "last breath." While baking, the yeast are still active until killed off by the high temperature. Until that point, however, the yeast will continue to produce Co2 gas as a byproduct of sugar consumption. If the gluten is not well formed, the gas produced by the yeast will be unable to form large bubbles within the bread. A dense bread will be the result. Gluten makes the dough elastic and able to form bubbles as the yeast produces Co2. Think of it like chewing gum. Regular gum isn't elastic and terrible for making bubbles. Bubble gum, on the other hand, is very elastic and great for making bubbles. The difference, of course, is the elasticity.

Another factor that causes dense bread is a crust that forms too early and doesn't allow the bread to expand as it bakes. As a result, air pockets are not allowed to form resulting in a dense texture.

Figuring out what the problem is or the combination of issues that's causing the dense bread is a process of elimination. A good place to start is to make sure that your oven temperature reading is accurate. Once you've ruled out possible equipment issues, start with the basics. Is your yeast "lively" enough? If not, buy better yeast. If yes, move on to increasing the knead time and see if that produces results. If yes, then, you're on the right track. If not, move on to oven temperature. Even though your oven reading may be accurate, the temp may be too high given your altitude. Try reducing the oven temp in 5 degree increments and check the results.

If none of these work, its time to examine the recipe itself. A 2 minute knead time is a bit short, even with an electric mixer. This begs the question of what type of mixer you're using? If its a Kitchen Aid or something similar with a dough attachment, the knead should be more like 5 to 6 minutes at a minimum. Unfortunately, many recipes are poorly written or not well tested before being published.

Too much salt will also stifle yeast activity. Salt kills yeast. So, be careful there.

I agree with the others. Post your recipe and the equipment you use, including the length of time spent kneading, how its kneaded, the type of yeast, oven temp, time in the oven etc. The more detail you include, the better.

Good luck. :)
Hi sgsvirgil
I'm using a kitchen aid stand mixer and saf instant yeast the recipe I'm using is bread flour I use king arthur yeast 1 1/ 2 tsp salt beer vinegar cheese and jalapenos
 
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