The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Experiments with Struan...

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gijane's picture
gijane

Experiments with Struan...

Well First off I'd like to thank everyone for all their advice and encouragement...Especially Pamela!


I think the best advice so far is I do my soakers in the morning, mix up my dough a couple hours before I go to bed, let it rise to double  size, punch it down and throw it in the fridge overnight.  Then shape, proof and bake in the morning!  Love that!


I have been doing alot of experimenting with the Struan Recipe from "The Baker's Apprentice" book. 


Here's what I've tried.


I opened a new package of yeast, the old pack had seen better days.


made it with the bleached bread flour I bought from Costco. (I'm committed to this part for a while cuz I just opened the 50 lbs bag)


Made it with Vital Wheat Gluten and without...Not much difference there.


I did the overnight 2nd rise both in a tub and in my bread pans.   The results were maybe a little better in the bread pan ones.


I also tried a batch with unbleached flour that one turned out the best, by the way!


and today I am trying the recipe with a smaller bread pan and using 3/4 of the dough so I end up with a 1.5 lb loaf instead of a 2 lb loaf.


The best part is I'm finally getting some oven spring, and loaves that look more like loaves and less like bricks!  Oh and my husband isn't calling my bread "impotent" anymore!


I've got one more thing to try with this recipe then it's time to move on to a new bread!  I'm gonna try a boule in a banneton with the full dough amount. 


All in all it's a little fun, a little frustrating, and absolutely rewarding to finally figure out what I've been doing wrong.


Thanks All!


GI Jane

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Hi Jane. It sounds like your making some progress. I'm glad you got some new yeast--think that is probably half your problem. I think the term "punch down" is not so much in use these days, or at least not what I'm doing anymore. I attempt to degas my breads as gently as possible after their initial rise. My breads get one rise (bulk fermentation) and one proof (2ndary fermentation). I think you will have a lot better results when you get rid of the bromated flour. We both live in Santa Rosa. Perhaps we should put something on Craig's list and see if we could form a little coop so we can meet the minimum price to buy from the wholesalers?


--Pamela

gijane's picture
gijane

Pamela,


Just let me know when you are ready to order flour.  I have other things I need to order all the time so coming up with the minimum is not an issue.


I can call you and go over what's available and for how much.


Jane

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Sounds good, Jane. If there are any other Santa Rosans out there that are interested in buying bulk, please send me a message.


--Pamela

gijane's picture
gijane

Hey Pamela,


I was wondering can you give me a little more detail about degassing.  I think I'm confused. 


I don't completely knead all the gas out of it.  When I'm done "punching down" the dough it's just a little above my original dough mark before the initial rise.


Am I doing this wrong?


I think my next thing will be a sour dough something...


Keep kneading...


Jane

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Jane, I do my initial rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I gently roll the dough out of the container, shape it are carefully as I can so as not to degas it too much, proof it, and bake it.


Are you using two rises and a final proof? If so you might want to skip the 2nd rise.


--Pamela