The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread collapsed, first in years, need to save my marriage

jmarchetti's picture
jmarchetti

Bread collapsed, first in years, need to save my marriage

Hi all,


I have been using my bread machine for several years, very good results so far. Then I had the idea to buy a kichen scale and start using it for the recipes, my wife was against, I convinced her by saying that we would have even greater reliability when using the scale. I tried a simple french bread, less ingredients would be better, I thought. Here is the french bread recipe that is in my bread machine book ( I have used it with success for several times ):


Water-1 1/2 cups Sugar- 2 TBL Salt 2 tsp Flour 4 cups Yeast 2 1/4 tsp


Converting water from volume to weight is easy: 355 grams, for the flour, I went to my king arthur package that says: 1 serving is 1/4 cup or 30 grams, so 4 cups would be 4*30*4 or 480 grams.


The bread was obviously too wet and collapsed. What could be wrong ? My wife wants to step back from the scale now. After the fact I calculate the hydration rate: 355/480 = 74% which much higher than the 66% the "the fresh loaf hadbook" tells.


OK, would my bread machine's recipe book be considering people would pack the flour when measuring by volume ? Any other conjecture ?


Another related question about hydration: Other liquids like oil, molasses, honey, should I add their weight when calculating the hydration rate ?


Thanks all for getting this far on my post, I need to save my marriage ;)


 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

As we were just discussing the other day, a cup of flour can come in anywhere from 120g to 170g.   So be careful using that 30g number.


A dough with 73% hydration is going to be really tough to handle, though it is possible if you fold a lot.  If you want more of just a straight up french bread that you can easily handle, I'd go to 500g flour and 310-320g water.  You can always add more water the next batch.


Yes, other liquids effect the hydration too, but you usually don't add enough of them to a rustic bread that they make a significant difference, and sandwich type breads typically are much lower hydration.


Good luck!


-Floyd

sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)

Floyd is correct on the weighing of flour.  Measure out the 4 1/2 cups flour as you were doing prior to weighing and see what you get.  I'll bet you're closer to 6 cups.  If you're going to use the 480 grams (General Mills uses the 30g per 1/4 figure) you'll have to use baker's percentages to figure out how much water to use.  At 60% hydration, 480 grams of flour would take about 288g of water.  Hope this helps!

jmarchetti's picture
jmarchetti

Thanks for the replies, so if I understood rigth, I can't easily convert a recipe that is defined in volume to weight. I need to understand first how a cup of flour was measured by whoever created the recipe.


Of course I can use the hydration rate as a guideline.


Hummm.... I see lots of tries going on here.


Talking about the hydration rate, what is the recommended hydration rate for whole wheat breads ?


Thanks!


 

JeannieTay's picture
JeannieTay

I am also at a lost with the conversion from volume to weight so if a recipe is written in volumes, I usually skip it cos I always ended making a mess out of it.


I have searched the internet for conversions and get deferring results.

jmarchetti's picture
jmarchetti

But mostly of the times the recipes are in volume, not weight. You mentioned you skip recipes in volume, where can I find recipes in weight ?


 


Thanks,

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

kingarthur.com gives many/most of it's recipes by weight. Even when the weights are not listed, you can be pretty sure they are based on the weights listed in their master weights chart: cup of white flour=4.25 oz and a cup of whole wheat = 4 oz. Most of their recipes have been almost foolproof for me.


America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Country often has the weights given in their recipes. Most of their recipes are based on a cup of flour= 5 oz.


Again, very reliabe recipes.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I find a lot of recipes here use weight, not volume.  Just do a keyword search and you will find many recipes to play with. Have fun baking!  Al


sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)

jmarchetti - I sent you a message.