we're new to the obsession of breadmaking but since i got reinhart's book for christmas....its been experiment after experiment! what a great site this is.
looking for a little advice-
I have a starter born this past May that, all summer long, reliably tripled at its peak. Around mid-August - BEFORE the weather got appreciably cooler - it started to peak at lower and lower levels, until now I'm lucky if I can get it to double before collapsing. It seems to be raising my bread just about as well as it did in the summer, but I'm worried about the downward trend. My living quarters are supposedly temperature-controlled at about 72 degrees F, though I'm sure it's not as stable as my thermostat claims it is.
I am attempting to retard two loaves left in the fridge overnight. Question: do I take them out of the fridge and shape them while still cold or let them warm some?
I'm using my breadmaker to make a multi grain bread. It was looking great, having risen almost to the top of the bread pan. Then, it started to sag. At first, the middle collapsed a little, then, the sides almost caught up. The situation is not terrible as the bread will be finished shortly and it still rose enough, however, it was around an inch taller.
What caused the drop? Itmust be too much, or too little of some ingredient.
Made these crown challahs today that have an apple butter filling. Taste wonderful, but look like they exploded. Any suggestions on what is causing this? Too much oven rise? How do I avoid that? It is a woven loaf not a pull apart bread which it looks like.
In January I started my first batch of sourdough starter. The taste evolves weekly and is delicious. Within the last month I've noticed that after kneeding, the bread seems to get very sticky and rises so fast I can't keep up with it. I've tried adding more flour before and after the kneed, but it seems to suck in the moisture from the air or something and just gets stickier. It rises so fast that I punch down and let it rise about 3 times, which actually seems to develop the flavor more but also makes it difficult to manage. My last problem is that it doesn't seem to rise in the oven
I have a West Bend bread machine and can make excellent white bread that rises just up over the top of the pan perfectly every time. However, when I make whole wheat bread - and I've tried several recipes - it never rises - oh, it may rise 40% of the pan height at most, but that's it. My 1.5 lb. wheat bread load is less than half the height of my 1.5 lb. white bread.
Any suggestings on where to start looking for the cause? I have all fresh ingredients.