The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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hallowedbename's picture

What are the benefits of kneading twice?

What are the benefits of kneading twice? I read that it creates a finer texture if you knead again after the first rise and I was also reading an article which made it appear that the bread rises bigger when kneaded twice. Planning on making some loaves tomorrow so I'm curious. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

minani's picture

I guess I can call it Naan

Hello Guys, 

Here's a bread that I made a couple of days ago and I thought I'd share it with you. Im just going to jump into the recipe. 

The following are the ingredients I used:

- 200 g bread flour.

- 120 g room temp water (60% hydration)

- 1/2 tsp instant yeast

- 1/4 cup greek yogurt 

- 4 g salt 

- 3 g sugar (optinal) 

- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil.

I mixed water, yeast, yogurt, salt, sugar together, put it in my stand mixer bowl, added the dough and mix on low speed for about 3 min. then i added the oil and mixed for another 3 mins. l then let the dough relax for 30 min and did three stretch and folds at 30 min intervals and then put the whole thing in the fridge. 

The next day I took the dough out of the fridge 2 hours before baking. divided it into balls and let them proof for about 2 hours. I preheated my oven to the max 550 F. when i was ready to bake, i took one of the balls and stretched it like if it was pizza dough (not too thick and not too thin) and poked it with a fork a couple of times in the middle and then placed in my 550F oven for about 5 min (or untill it puffs up and browns). As soon as it came out, i brushed it with some melted salted butter and it was soooo delicious.



sugargil74's picture

Problems baking with sourdough

Hi everyone! I'm an amateur baker from Madrid based in London for the last four months or so. Although I had been baking for a few months before leaving, it was when I arrived here that I started using ONLY SOURDOUGH as rising agent. I like the idea of making 100% natural bread (or nearly, since I can't afford buying organic flour) and I find that the bread tastes much better. However, I must say that I am having a hard time trying to give my loaves the look and texture that they should have. Basically, the biggest problem is that the doughs I get are so sticky that they are really hard to knead and practically impossible to shape, so either I bake them inside a hob or they come out shapeless (it is also impossible to cut them). They do rise in the oven, but not as much as they do when they are well formed. I have the feeling that the problem is about an excess of water in the dough, but I wonder if it is in the sourdough itself, because I'm always quite careful to keep the proportions of the classical white wheat loaf recipe (60%water-100% flour). If that is the case, I would appreciate some tips to get a good sourdough in a humid climate such as England has. I also wonder if it's something to do with fermentation times, which also vary depending on temperature. Finally, as you can see in one of the pictures, the crust is actually "not very crusty" since I make bread this way. Is it always so with sourdough bread? I would appreciate some guidance to understand these bugs a little better :)

Abelbreadgallery's picture

I'm not a junkie of sourdough

I'm not a junkie of sourdough.

Sourdough + a pinch of yeast is a great combination.

90 % bread flour, 10% whole spelt, 60% water, 20% liquid levain, 2% sal, 0.4% instant yeast. 

1 hour bulk fermentation, and 2h30m final fermentation.

Skibum's picture

Yeast water pulla!

Holy oven spring Batman! This was essentially the same as my last pulla bake but used only YW levain to leaven the loaf. I also used only 30% bread flour and 70% AP. The dough felt quite a bit more extensible than just using strong bread flour. Yeast water makes for some mighty tasty pulla and sweet dough and the loaf volumes are truly astonishing to me!

I once again brushed on an egg glaze and sprinkled liberally with sugar, ground almond and chopped slivered almonds.

Just the thing with a good cup of strong expresso coffee from my Bialetti moka -- Spanish style cafe con leche, half hot milk and half expresso. Yummmmm!

Happy baking folks! Brian


Greg D's picture
Greg D

Food Grade Plastic Bags to Cover Half-Sheet Pan

Reinhart and others recommend half-sheet pans for proofing bagels, etc.  But you are supposed to place the half-sheet pan into a food grade plastic bag during the proofing and retarding cycles.  Twenty years ago my late mother in law purchased a large quantity of such bags from the KA catalog and gave me 100 or so but even with careful washing and recycling I am about out.  Anybody know where I can buy more?

Thanks and Happy Baking. 

EileenFrances's picture

Non-Dairy Milks

My favorite bread recipe calls for 1 2/3 cups milk, 6 cups whole wheat four, 1/2 cup wheat germ, and 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries, among other things like butter and honey. This is a delicious, but heavy bread.

 I want to substitute a non-dairy milk for the cows milk. But since I am not sure of the science behind milk's role in bread-making, I'm not sure of the effect of the substitution. Does it make a difference if I substitute almond milk vs. soy milk?  Would water be the best substitute?

The recipe calls for scalding the milk. I guess I wouldn't have to scald almond or soy milk. 

Would substituting non-dairy milk affect the way the bread holds together?  It's shelf life?  Etc.?

Bread In Brooklyn's picture
Bread In Brooklyn

Varied Amounts of Yeast in Cinnamon Roll Recipes

I've been looking for a cinnamon roll recipe to make this morning and noticed some recipes calls for 2 packets of yeast with all purpose flour and another calls for 1 packet of yeast with bread flour.  I'm down to my last packet of yeast and wonder if 1 packet of active dry yeast in an all-purpose based recipe will work?  2 packets seems like a lot of yeast in a standard cinnamon rolls recipe.  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

sourdoughnut's picture

What haven't I tried to get a sour taste

Can't get my sourdough sour. I've tried: stiffening it, long cool rise, adding rye, adding vinegar, extra feeding, starving it, and probably a few other things. Usual routine is approx 50% hydration, store in fridge all week, refresh a few times before baking sat or sunday. It's a very healthy starter with plenty of rise once refreshed, just not sour. Tried a sourdough from the bakery around the corner and they taste almost identical. Any thoughts?

RSI's picture

Bench flour and bubbles under the gluten sheet

My understanding of baking is slowly improving but there are two questions that I'm at the moment most struggling with and was wondering whether anybody here could help me get some insight on these:
- I started out with Laurel's kitchen's Loaf for learning. In that recipe they tell you not to use bench flour so that you can get a better feel for the dough plus avoid the risk of adjusting the flour amount too much. That sounded reasonable. So after I switched to BBA, I've been doing the same. Problem is wvery time the dough sticks to my hands quite badly. It gets better the more the dough is developed but it stays sticky all the time (also after fermentation). When I tried to add bench flour, it was worked into the dough and back to being sticky within several kneads. Is it me or the dough which is to be blamed here?

- When I shape my dough, I always have bubbles trapped right under my gluten sheet. How do I prevent these?

Oh, I made challah for the first time today. I know I baked it too dark but I think it is still quite ok for my tiny oven. Next time I'll have to scale down even alittle further.