Problems with bread being too dense

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by nadinec, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Yeah, I know. That was one of my points above.


    Thing is, we're not talking about pennies. The in store prices are much lower; almost 25% difference.
     
  2. carmensguy68

    carmensguy68

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    hi

    im also learning how to make breads at home....one thing i have read on this topic is that you can kill the yeast by adding more salt than yeast.....its best if you add the same amount or a little less....and also a little sugar added to the yeast helps feed the yeast...hope this helps....
     
  3. cottagerose

    cottagerose

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    Hello read you problem with bread being too dense try using a1/4 teaspoon more yeast as that is usually the problem. Hope this is of some help. :)
     
  4. Joseph Scarafone

    Joseph Scarafone

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    This is a great thread. I'd been making bread for a year now. I just got my Kitchenaide 5 qt mixer. I kneaded by hand all last year. How long is too long to mix in a mixer? I noticed nobody mentioned STARTERS. I can't imagine eating sourdough without a starter. But anyway my sour dough in dense. I've been following the King Arthur basic sourdough recipe. It tastes fine, it want it a little bit more fluffy. Just a bit. I'm using rapid rise yeast and let dough rise for 2 hours on top of the stove after I mixed and it got a lousy rise. I did no hand kneading. You guys are great, thanks in advance.
     
  5. brulo

    brulo

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    When I'm not using sourdough I make a poolish (pre-ferment) with equal parts flour and water and a teaspoon of honey. I use 400 grams (200 flour & 200 water) of poolish for every kilo of flour.

    I let the poolish rise for about an hour, in the meantime just mix the rest of the flour (the main amount that will make the bread itself) with about 65% water, form a simple dough and let it rest for an hour (the same time as the poolish basically) to let the flour completely hydrate (autolyse process).

    After the hour has passed I put together the dough and the poolish (by hand or in the kitchenaid), and add the salt (about 2-3%).

    Form a nice round ball, put it in a bowl with a kitched towel well covered in flour and put it to rise for one or two hours (until triple the size).

    While I wait that time I preheat the over to the maximum it can, and a dutch oven inside.

    When the dough is big enough I take the hot as hell dutch oven, open it, throw some flour in, then carefully drop the dough in (trying to be gentle to avoid all the air retained to escape), make some cuts, cover the dutch and to the oven it goes!

    15 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and keep baking for as long as necessary, it will start to get a nice brown/black crust.

    Once done let it cool down on a grill (you need air to flow over and under) and do not cut it open until completely cooled.

    This was the last one I've made (I used too much flour on the towel because the previous run I used more water and the dough ended up sticking, but clearly I could use a little less):

    [​IMG]

    And these are using sourdough but the process is more or less the same:

     
  6. dueh

    dueh

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    My first question as far as your sour goes is: Is it ready to use? Is the starter active and bubbly? or a simple test of Does it float? If you drop a spoonful of your starter into a bowl of water, does it float? If not it is not ready to use in a dough.

    Two hour at room temp to proof your dough seems like a very short amount of time. Properly testing the proofing of your dough is far more reliable than any time table a recipe can give you. Give your dough a poke with your finger, about 1/4" deep. If the indentation springs back right away, keep proofing, if it comeback slowly and only about halfway, you are ready to bake!

    I would like to caution about using an electric stand mixer for sourdough. it is easy to let the machine run and overmix your dough, resulting in too much gluten forming, and a much tighter and denser crumb than you might desire. For sourdough I like to mix just till the flour is incorporated. No dry flour at the bottom of your bowl. Usually around 2 minutes. Then it is time to cover and autolyse. (1-2 hours) This gives your dough extensibility, but not elasticity( gluten development) mix in your salt and yeast after the autolyse, only till it is incorporated in your dough. Again only 2-3 minutes. your dough will become tighter and smoother after you have preshaped, rested, final shape, and proof your dough.

    Once you get a loaf that comes out to your liking, you can play with the hydration. The KAF recipe ( basic sourdough) is at 65 percent hydration, and will have a bit tighter crumb under normal circumstances. I like around 70 percent hydration, all the way up to 78% under special circumstances ( adding wheat and rye flour, extra salt, stiffer starter)

    Make some adjustments, and report back. Hopefully you get a loaf you fall in love with.
     
    drirene likes this.