The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fluffy Bread

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erehwesle's picture
erehwesle

Fluffy Bread

Hi all, I just found this forum. Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma (though I'm actually just sojurning here, an ex-pat from the east coast).

I just started baking. I'm kind of a seat of the pants cook, so the precision really intimidates me, Baker's Math and all. (English Major, failure in math).

So I have a nice bread crock I use, and have with small success made some beer bread. I.e. mix a beer with a packet of yeast, and heat to 110 degrees. Add three cups of flour and a cup of water, two tsp of salt, and a teaspoon of maple syrup. 

It makes a hearty thick bread. 

I'm going for something fluffy now. I just proofed a pack of active yeast with warm water and a little bit of maple syrup and put about three cups of flour, 2tbsp of salt and 1 1/8 cup of water in the bowl. 

One of my problems is too much water. I get sticky hands all the time. I feel like for every loaf of bread I make, I end up washing a cup of flour down the drain as it sticks to my hands and I need to wash it off to get more flour!

Keeping just to a 3 cups to 1 cup recipe seems to have helped.

I'm letting this dough rise and let you know how it comes out.

Aside from the maple syrup instead of sugar to proof the yeast, I'm not adding anything to this. I want to make a basic loaf to use as a benchmark, and start experimenting from there. 

So any tips? I'm looking for a nice fluffy crisp loaf of white to use as a benchmark, and from there, well we'll start to work through the refrigerator.

I don't have a mixer, but have a food processor and a blender. 

Best,

 

TBS

 

 

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Have you considered looking for a recipe instead of using a "trial and error" method?

There are tons of recipes on this site alone, usually with accompanying reports on how they turned out.

Just a thought...

 

Stephan

golfermd's picture
golfermd

Baking is more of a science than art, unfortunately. Disobeying those laws usually results in rather unsatisfactory results. Also, baking tends to be more by weight than volume. Having said that there are many good recipes that do use volumes with good results. I am still on a steep learning curve myself. But, slowly some things are beginning to show progress.

Dan

yy's picture
yy

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but the place to start is getting a kitchen scale :-)

At the end of the day, you'll have more reliable results, better outcomes, and far less waste (fewer failures) if you use weights instead of volumes. Working with baker's percentage will also give you much more control and confidence in your baking. If you do a search here on TFL, there are lots of forum posts that can help walk you through baker's percentage calculations. Might be a bit annoying at first, but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it. 

erehwesle's picture
erehwesle

You guys mean I have to buy a scale? Oh poop.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

HAAAAA!  I love it.

FF

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

and measure ingredients in grams.  A scale actually makes life a lot easier.  As someone originally from the Northeast, I had a real hankering for good bread and didn't really find the taste of Italian bread until someone gave me a bag of Caputo 00 pizza flour.

Meanwhile, to make your life easier while making up for measuring ingredients, you really only need 4 ingredients for bread (flour, water, salt, and yeast) and you don't need to heat the water or proof the yeast if it is instant yeast from the grocery.

You also might want to switch to a stretch and fold method so you can get away from trying to knead a sticky dough.   Watch these videos and you might see a method to make your life easier -- even if you do need to measure the ingredients.

Peter Reihart's stretch & fold video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1timJlCT3PM

Mike Avery's stretch & fold videos: http://www.sourdoughhome.com/stretchandfold.html

 

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

If you want fluffy, there is nothing fluffier than asian milk bread. There is a post with a recipe under "Hokkaido", I think.