Why my bread came out heavy and too hard?

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Joined Oct 26, 2015
Can someone explain to me why it came out like that? I used the following ingredients:

300g strong white flour for bread
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried yeast
250ml lukewarm water
1 and 1/2 tbsp olive butter

But i allowed the dough to rise over the night and for the first 15 minutes i was baking it for approx 225 then aftee reduced it to around 200 ... Any theories why it came out like that? Suggestions are welcomed..:)
 
4,462
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Baking time????

Brand of flour????

My recommendation is to try making another dough using 1 tsp instant yeast.  Preheat water to 110F (44C) before mixing with the dry ingredients.  Allow to rise for an hour then deflate and proceed to the final proof.

Bake for approx 30-45 minutes at 460F (235C).

To lighten the final loaf, try using a 50-50 mix of AP and BF.
 
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90
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Joined Dec 7, 2005
How long are you baking it?  I bake my standard white bread at 425F (218-ish C.) for 25 to 30 minutes.  If you're using celsius, you're dropping your temp down to 392F part-way through--why?  The longer the bread's in the oven, the more the crust is going to dry out and harden up.

I've also never used olive butter before.  Will it stand up to the kind of heat bread generally requires?  Honestly asking here since I have no clue.  It would be interesting to experiment with, though!

Another thing to try once the bread is done is to rub the top crust with a small amount of fat of some sort.  If I know the bread'll be eaten in a day or two, I use butter.  If it needs to last longer, I'll use a little vegetable shortening.  It helps keep the top crust from getting hard and brittle.

As for the heavy issue, how heavy is heavy? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif   Part of the charm, I think, of homemade bread is that it isn't an overly-aerated glob of cotton-wadding.  It has flavor and substance, something mass-produced bread lacks.
 
3,235
671
Joined May 5, 2010
I'd say your yeast is off. Your 250 ml of water is roughly 1 1/2 cups. Usually for this much water/flour you'd need 2+ teaspoons of yeast.
 
4,462
105
Joined Aug 4, 2000
 
I'd say your yeast is off. Your 250 ml of water is roughly 1 1/2 cups. Usually for this much water/flour you'd need 2+ teaspoons of yeast.
I respectively disagree.  For approx 500g of water + flour only one tsp of yeast  is the max necessary.  But for more flavor I'd use less than a quarter tsp for an overnight ferment.  The slow activity of the yeast and prolonged action of the enzymes will produce more sugars for the yeast to act on and flavors for the palette to appreciate.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smiles.gif  

For just "one pound" of dough, not more than a tsp of instant should be necessary and should the rising be too slow for your requirements, just mix with water that's been heated to 110F and after an hour of rest/rising the dough will be ready for a deflation (do NOT punch down), shaping and final proof (as an abbreviated method for producing bread).
 
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3,235
671
Joined May 5, 2010
 
I respectively disagree.  For approx 500g of water + flour only one tsp of yeast  is the max necessary.  But for more flavor I'd use less than a quarter tsp for an overnight ferment.  The slow activity of the yeast and prolonged action of the enzymes will produce more sugars for the yeast to act on and flavors for the palette to appreciate.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smiles.gif  

For just "one pound" of dough, not more than a tsp of instant should be necessary and should the rising be too slow for your requirements, just mix with water that's been heated to 110F and after an hour of rest/rising the dough will be ready for a deflation (do NOT punch down), shaping and final proof (as an abbreviated method for producing bread).
Alright now kokopuffs, point taken; however, nothing was mentioned about an overnight proofing. I concur with your thoughts on using only 1 tsp for an overnight proof.

But, I still stand by my ratios. I bake most every day and I utilize 2 1/2 tsp of yeast: 1 1/4 cups of water.

If I'm using my starter for making sourdough baguette, I will use less yeast.
 
17
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Joined Oct 27, 2015
I am not a baker but I was always under the impression that you don't use yeast for true sourdough? I believe that almost all bakers cheat by using yeast and some vinegar for flavour for the entire process and I aknowlege that you said you use your starter, and I know here in Australia that there are only a handful of bakeries who make true sourdough- one being in my home town (people line up out the door for it!). The rest just imitate it and call it sourdough- you can even buy it as a packet mix with a yeast sachet from supermarkets.... Not sure how it can be sold as sourdough quite frankly!
Bakers have told me that if you use yeast, it'aint true sourdough! But i've read that you need to feed the starter.... it's an art that not many have the time to do properly- but do close enough :)
But as I said, I'm no baker- I'm purely going off hearsay!
My hometown bakery is The berry Sourdough Factory. People drive 2hrs to see where we live and buy the local sourdough :)

http://berrysourdoughcafe.com.au
 
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3,235
671
Joined May 5, 2010
I am not a baker but I was always under the impression that you don't use yeast for true sourdough? I believe that almost all bakers cheat by using yeast and some vinegar for flavour for the entire process and I aknowlege that you said you use your starter, and I know here in Australia that there are only a handful of bakeries who make true sourdough- one being in my home town (people line up out the door for it!). The rest just imitate it and call it sourdough- you can even buy it as a packet mix with a yeast sachet from supermarkets.... Not sure how it can be sold as sourdough quite frankly!
Bakers have told me that if you use yeast, it'aint true sourdough! But i've read that you need to feed the starter.... it's an art that not many have the time to do properly- but do close enough /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
But as I said, I'm no baker- I'm purely going off hearsay!
My hometown bakery is The berry Sourdough Factory. People drive 2hrs to see where we live and buy the local sourdough /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

http://berrysourdoughcafe.com.au
You are correct in that a well made sourdough starter needs no yeast. Well made being the key word here.
 
4,462
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
 
Alright now kokopuffs, point taken; ... concur with your thoughts on using only 1 tsp for an overnight proof.
......
I am not a baker but I was always under the impression that you don't use yeast for true sourdough? I believe that almost all bakers cheat by using yeast and some vinegar for flavour for the entire process and I aknowlege that you said you use your starter.........
@Chefross, for a 1kg dough I use up to 1/4 tsp for a slow slow overnight ferment and your mileage my differ!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

@Tippa:  In Hamelman's book entitled BREAD - a baker's book of Techniques and Recipes, he lists a recipe for french sourdough that is really easy to follow.  So if you're into breadbaking, I would highly recommend this book; it's full of sourdough recipies.
 
3,235
671
Joined May 5, 2010
 
@Chefross, for a 1kg dough I use up to 1/4 tsp for a slow slow overnight ferment and your mileage my differ!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

@Tippa:  In Hamelman's book entitled BREAD - a baker's book of Techniques and Recipes, he lists a recipe for french sourdough that is really easy to follow.  So if you're into breadbaking, I would highly recommend this book; it's full of sourdough recipies.
I believe it is time to make a new starter at work. The one I have was given to my boss by a French Chef who made it from white grapes. It was 25 years ago. It still smells very sour.

I feed it a beer once a month. I use it pretty much every other day.
 
9
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Joined Oct 26, 2015
Just to let you guys know how it went. This time I used 2 and a half tsp of Allison's active yeast and the dough nicely risen.
 
4,462
105
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Just to let you guys know how it went. This time I used 2 and a half tsp of Allison's active yeast and the dough nicely risen.
What is the water's temperature when added to the dry ingredients?  Using warm water at 110F for up to 1kg will give a fast rise and requires only half the yeast the you are using. 8)
 
9
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Joined Oct 26, 2015
I honestly didn't measure te temp but it was warm but not very warm. But what's the harm if you use more?
 
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17
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Joined Oct 28, 2015
Hi,

What's the gluten content of the floor you've used?

Usually with a W260 floor i let it rise for 6hrs overall (5hrs in a bowl and 1 hr on the baking tray)

If you've not a steam owen, put a pan of hot water inside and remove it at two third of the expected cooking time, for the last third, lower the temperature and ventilate the owen (if you've not a ventilated owen, just keep the door slightly opened by putting a towel or a wood spoon, this will make a crunchy crust...the longer the thiker the crust)

Let me know.

:))
 

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