The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stumped on bread

Franzia's picture

Stumped on bread

My sister recently gave away her bread machine - which she only used for dough - and got a KitchenAid Pro mixer. She's using exactly the same ingredients as she did in the bread machine but she has two problems that doesn't make sense to either of us.

1. Her white/wheat bread - 2/3 white and 1/3 whole wheat - does not, nor has ever browned since she started using the KA! Same flour, same everything yet it doesn't brown. The dough made from the bm always browned very nicely. Her all white bread browns just like it should - only problem is with the part whole wheat!

2. She tells me that she (nor her daughter, nor our brother - all 3 just switched to the KA) can't get a high rise other than the first rise. When they put the dough in the pans, it just raises very little and absolutely no oven spring to speak of. They’re all using Fleishmann’s Instant Yeast. They’ve proofed the yeast and it’s live...just can’t make it past one rise.

They're using simple recipes...exactly the same measurements as in the bm.

1 1/4ish cups water - as needed
2 c. bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. yeast

Anyone have any ideas? We'd sure appreciate some insight and I told her last night that I knew just the place to ask - ta-da!

Thanks, Franzia

donyeokl's picture

Hi Franzia,

I would assume that your initial bulk fermentation is fine and only when its in the tin where there's very little rise. Just curious, how long was your first rise? What I do to make sure that the dough is ready to be shaped/rolled and into the tin after the initial rise is the following:

After mixing, let dough rest for 10 mins and if you using the KA and not handkneading, plonk the dough onto floured surface and do a brief 10secs knead. Return dough to the clean and oiled bowl. Do another 10secs knead after 10mins and the third time after another 10mins and leave dough to rest for another 10mins (total is 3 times of 10secs at intervals of 10mins).

After which, do stretch & fold (press dough gently into a rectangle, then take the top end and fold one third in toward the centre then fold the bottom end over the top. Rotate 90 degress, press down gently and do the one third folds again then return dough to the bowl. Leave covered for one hour then repeat the stretch & fold. After the second hour, take a sharp knife and in a swift motion, make a slit across the dough, look into the cut-opened dough for a series of bubbles. If you see the bubbles, your dough is ready to be shaped. if not, do another stretch & fold, cover for an hour then check again.

Once you're ready to shape, do not knead the dough anymore. Just shaped it into whatever you want to. In this case, it seems like its going into a pan, so you might do the jelly-roll thingy, pinch the ends and tuck the ends in and place the dough into the pan seam-side down and cover with cloth for final proofing. It should either double in size or when pressed, the dough does not spring back immediately leaving a slight indent. This signal thats its ready to go into the oven. I would preheat my oven at 440F and bake for between 5 to 10mins, once you see a slight browning of the crust, reduce temperature to 375F and bake till its done.

I hope the above helps and apologies if its a little long-winded.


sphealey's picture

Two temperature-related thoughts:

Breadmakers generally do the first rise at a much warmer temperature than artisan makers do when working by hand. So she might need to extend her manual rising times.

OTOH, mixers are said to raise the temperature of the dough considerably more than breadmakers during the kneading cycle. Has she measured the internal temperature of the dough with a fast-read thermometer (Thermapen or similar)? She might need to use the icewater jacket on the KA's kneading bowl to keep the temperature down.

By the way, I have no intention of giving away my breadmaker should I be fortunate enough to acquire a KitchenAid mixer!

helend's picture

First off I notice no sweetener at all in your recipe - sugar, honey etc will do two jobs - feed your yeast and allow caramalisation on heating.

Since wholewheat flour is harder to work than white I would look at the kneading times and oven temperatures. If the initial knead is allowing the dough to rise then some gluten development must be taking place but maybe the wholewheat is not yet developed - the second rise will be affected since the degassing/knockdown will lose the air trapped by the first rise and there will be no new gluten "elastic" for the redistributed yeast to work with.

Also oven spring and browning are related to a high burst of heat - instant rise then set. The set comes from the hardening of the protein, starch and sugars on the surface - as does the colour from caramelistaion of both natural and added sugars. (see recipe comment above)

You don't mention the crust - if it soft and chewy it may be because the oven temp is too low and the above isn't happening. Again because wholewheat is harder to work to the same state it could be this that is being affected by the low heat and causing the apparant discrepancy between this and all-white loaves.

I don't possess either a kitchenaid or a breadmaker and make high percentage wholewheat sandwich loaves almost weekly - sometimes my crust is a little too dark - which I blame entirely on my hot fan oven!!! Floydm's honey wholewheat is a great loaf and a very reliable method - you could adapt this for your percentage white flour and use it as a "test" loaf to try out kneading times, sugar content and oven temp.

One of the great things about breadmaking is the experimentation - it nver ceases to amaze me how such simple ingrediants can produce such a wide variety of tasty results :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

This is an observation of my brothers bread machine. I had noticed that as it mixed, it would stop or pause occasionally, this probably helped develope the gluten and gave the dough a chance to relax during the process. Try doing this with the Kitchen aid by stopping occasionally with little pauses thus immitating the kneading process mentioned by doneyokel above.

About the browning, try checking the oven dial (upper and lower heat) to see that both coils are operating. Maybe the upper coil is loose or has a short or someone messed with the dial. Bread baking is hard on ovens. :) Mini Oven

andrew_l's picture

I agree with DONYEOKL. Do just a mix with the KA, then follow the 10 second knead / 10 minute rest for 3 times. Proceed with the folding as D says - as a method I find it works well.
The KA may be overkneading?