still failling at 3rd attempt

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by wuzzo87, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. wuzzo87

    wuzzo87

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    hi,

    This is my 3rd time trying to make french style country bread... and i still dun get the results i wan....

    I used as much as 25% of whole wheat flour for the total flour amount. The rest is plain white.

    This time i tried leaving my poolish longer overnight and... somehow, when i used it in the afternoon, it had some brownish liquid at the bottom. Smelt funny.. but it was active. I used mostly whole wheat flour for the poolish..Just a small part of plain white flour.

    And i tried reducing the hydration level, becoz the last time i tried making the bread, i think my hydration level was too high and the dough could just be poured onto the work surface and was almost impossible to knead.
    So, now it's more managable.
    But after i baked it, the outside looked alrite, but the inside was still rather dense and gummy. :confused:
    And it had some funny yeasty stench taste. I threw it away already... lol

    Is the texture cause by the whole wheat flour or insufficient rise? and,
    When making the dough using the poolish, do u leave it for the 1st rise, then punch it down, then the 2nd rise, then only shape it, or just shape it after the 1st rise?

    HELP!!....i'm getting depressed.....(partly because my mum makes too many comments... saying tht i'm wasting time, flour and money!) :cry:
     
  2. mymilkexpired

    mymilkexpired

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    Wuzzo87, What is your recipe and your process ( # rises, kneeding etc...) for making your bread? I think knowing this will help with someone answering your question :)
     
  3. wuzzo87

    wuzzo87

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    i used the recipe from here
    http://www.cyber-kitchen.com/recipes/French_Bread.htm

    But i didn't follow it exactly. I reduced the water amount because i thought the dough was too wet and batter like.

    And i used a poolish instead. The process is pretty much the same, apart from using instant yeast.

    Btw, is there any other way of seeing/testing that the dough is fully risen at the 1st rise, other than judging by the doubled-size?

    thx :)
     
  4. wuzzo87

    wuzzo87

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    oh and i forgot.

    After shaping it, i let it rise for somewhere near doubled or less b4 baking it. Whereas the recipe calls for triple its size.....weird...
     
  5. wuzzo87

    wuzzo87

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    i tried baking it again..
    but today i increased the hydration...and used all plain white flour...
    I also handled it extra careful, not to get any major deflatation....and also, i proofed it longer prior to baking it.

    It came out having quite a nice crumb... hazelnut size here and there. flavour was not bad too..a slight sour hint :D
    It was crispy on the outside too, but the crust wasn't so thick, and the color wasn't so deep. And the dough was wobbly, so the shape wasn't so good. :(
    Are baguette doughs wobbly like tht?? :confused: It's so hard to shape without defalting it a lot..

    I steamed my oven...do i need to put more steam to achieve a more deep brown and thicker crust? I tot i steamed it quite a lot... :bounce:
    And i wanted a smoother surface for the bread...but wat came out was rough....mebbe becoz of too much dusting..but i can't help it...

    (sorry for the amount of questions again....- new found hobby..lol!!) ...
     
  6. kylew

    kylew

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    Congrats on your crumb Wuz :) Bread baking is bothe addictive and frustrating. The more you do it the better you'll get. The better you get the less frustrating it will be. The less frustrating it is the more addictive it becomes!

    A couple of things...If you are using a poolish you will most likely have to reduce the amount of water in the final dough. Even with the reduced water, french bread dough is pretty well hydrated. This is where all those nice big holes come from. It also makes the dough 'wobbly'.

    There is a more accurate way to tell when a dough is ready to shape, other than the doubling thing. When you think it might be ready, gently push a finger into the dough. If the dough springs right back it isn;t ready. If the dough remains indented it's ready to shape. THe same method can be used to test shaped loaves.

    Keep at it :)
     
  7. wuzzo87

    wuzzo87

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    thx for the helpful info Kyle!

    It's hard to judge becoz my bowl's not uniformly shaped..it narrows at the bottom.

    Next time i'll use the technique... :D

    Btw, Kyle,
    I've seen ur ciabatta pics. They look excellent! WIsh i could bake like u too...lol..
    I wanted to ask, when u do the "turning/folding" process, u poured it on a heavily floured surface so tht it dun stick? Would it have any effect on the final result?..the added flour...or can u do the "turning/folding" process in the bowl itself?

    ~Thx!~
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Not a method to be better, but my admission.

    I can't make good biscuits. They ALL are hockey pucks. And I KNOW I don't overwork the dough. How? Becuase I discovered I don't give them enough kneading to form enough structure to hold the gas. They're a bit better now, but still bad. I haven't learned the biscuit touch yet.

    Phil
     
  9. jock

    jock

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    Just a slight modification to Kyle's spring back test method (if you don't mind Kyle :) )

    As Kyle said, if the dough springs back right away when you poke it with your finger it isn't ready. But if it stays indented without any spring back at all it may be over proofed. Ideally it should spring back about 50%.

    I used to wonder about all the extra flour used when shaping wet dough as well. I can use as much as 1/2 a cup extra but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Most of the added flour gets left behind on the board anyway and it isn't being worked into the dough. Not too much of it anyway.

    Jock
     
  10. kylew

    kylew

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    I don't mind Jock.:) Bread baking is an art and the more often you do it, including the finger test, the more you will develop your 'intuition'.

    As to the extra flour used when dealing with ciabatta dough, I try and clear as much flour as possible off of the surface after I fold each side into the center. This avoids seeing big streaks of flour in the finished bread. Also, because the turns/folds are the only 'kneading' the dough gets, I think I get more bang for the buck on the board rather than in the bowl.
     
  11. wuzzo87

    wuzzo87

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    hehe...
    Now i'm beginning to get the whole ciabatta process thing..

    Thx for the info guys!.. Was really helpful :D

    I think i'm gonna get my hands on ciabatta on Sunday ;)