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Sweet dough problems

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bohogal's picture
bohogal

Sweet dough problems

I followed the recipe for sweet dough from "Artisan Baking" by Maggie Glezer, but by the time I got everything kneaded in something didn't feel right.  The dough was quite dense and heavy.  In addition, the dough didn't rise in the pans at all.  The loaves I'm using the sweet dough for is also in the same book - Acme's Cinnamon-Currant Bread with Walnuts.  They are in the oven right now and I just rotated them.  The dough has risen some.  Any thoughts out there?  This is my first attempt at a sweet dough.  Thanks!

BettyR's picture
BettyR

The only reason I can think of that would make a dough not rise would be a problem with the yeast. You can have any number of problems with the dough and it will still rise if the yeast is good.


 


If you could post an exact count of how you put the bread together that might give some insight. And you can check your yeast by dissolving a little bit of it in some warm water with a pinch of sugar. 5 to 10 minutes should tell you if your yeast is good.


 


Editing to add:


If your yeast comes into direct contact with either the sugar or the salt in the mixing stages that can kill off enough of your yeast to keep the dough from rising...and of course too high a temp will kill yeast.


 


 


 


 

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Well....I heated the milk first (about 105 degrees) and sprinkled the yeast (6 grams) on top, stirred and let it stand for 10 minutes.  In another bowl, I put 400 grams of unbleached all-purpose flour and added the yeast/milk mixture and 3 eggs.  I mixed the dough with my hands until it was well combined and then let it rest (covered) for about 15 minutes.  After that, I added 8 grams of sea salt to the dough in the bowl and mixed until combined.  I turned the dough out and kneaded for about 8 minutes.  The salt dissolved by that point.  I then added approximately 37 grams sugar and kneaded it in the dough until dissolved.  I added the other 37 grams of sugar and kneaded until dough was smooth (probably 5-6 minutes total).  After that, I added 116 grams of softened butter in two different stages and kneaded it into the dough.  At this point, the dough was a sticky, gooey mess, so I kept adding small amount of flour until the dough was smooth and silky.  I popped the dough (rolled in flour) into a plastic sack, sealed it and put in it the fridge overnight.  This morning, I let the dough come to room temp (about 2 hours).  I flattened the dough into a rectangle and rolled it into a long snake.  Cut it into 32 equal pieces, rolled the pieces into balls, dipped them in water and rolled them in cinnamon & sugar.  Placed balls in to greased (parchment paper on bottom) baking pans, sprinkled with walnuts and more cinnamon & sugar.  Another layer of the same and covered both pans with plastic to let the dough rise for about 2 hours.  According to the recipe, it should have risen over the top of the pans.  Never happened!  Anyway, they did rise somewhat during baking (325 degrees/lowest shelf in oven for 35 min).  Turned them out of the pans after 10 min of cooling.  It tasted great!  Any thoughts?!?  


Thanks so much!  I don't have the digital camera right now, or I'd upload a photo.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that maybe the milk was hotter than 105°F.  I stick a finger into it first, unless it is Active Dry Yeast which requires the warmer liguid.  If it's too hot for my finger (stir beore testing) then my yeasts will also not like it.  The cinn. is not the problem if they were just rolled in it. Adding to the dough would make a difference.  


If you are still using the same yeast, and it happens again, give the dough longer proofing times, so the yeasts can go thru several generations of budding to catch up.  If you are using bulk yeast... until the yeast is used up or replaced, it might be wise to increase the amount of yeast used. 


The moisture could lie with the eggs.  If not listed in grams there could be the difference with egg sizes and ages.  Just a thought.  I'm keen on recipes that ask to combine the eggs with the liquids and then bring up the measure, taking into account albumin water evaporation.


Mini

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Thanks, Mini!  I did use X-large eggs come to think of it!

qahtan's picture
qahtan

So they do NOT work well together......qahtan


Also for what it's worth I often use fresh yeast in my baking some times I just crumple the yeast into my ingredients some times I cream my fresh yeast with sugar before adding to the mix....  

BettyR's picture
BettyR

qahtan...Do you cream the yeast with any kind of fat or just yeast and sugar? I have always been told to be careful not to let my dry yeast come into direct contact with salt or sugar. I find that very interesting and I would like to know if my fears about sugar and yeast are unnecessary.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Fear not! 


Mini

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Thank you...good to know.

proth5's picture
proth5

is not at all like creaming shortening and sugar.


It is just the act of getting it dissolved in water and letting it sit until "creamy."  More like the practice of proofing active dry yeast than anything else...

BettyR's picture
BettyR

OK...well that makes more sense. I have done the same thing with...melting my yeast into some warm sugar water to give it a kick-start.


 


I was just under the impression that straight up sugar or salt would kill yeast...but I guess that's not so.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if you really wanted to be mean to your yeast.  If you mixed salt and dry yeast nothing would happen until you added a wee amount of water.  That would be high concentrations of salt and low amounts of water then the yeast allowed to soak in it, really roll in it.   Like grabbing a sack of salt instead of flour to mix up your dough.  Now who honestly does that?  (Someone who mixes with push button ingredient silos could.)  What recipe calls for it?  Baking with sea water wouldn't even come close.  


I tend to mix up my dough rather quickly and even if I pour salt into the sponge before adding it to the water and flour in a bowl, nothing much will change.  I can see some concern for a bread maker and automation (when pushing buttons and determining the order of additions with timers)  but then again, following directions would avoid that teeny tiny chance that water & salt & yeast combine to such concentrations. 


In all practical sense, it doesn't happen.


 


 

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Ah ha!  Perhaps that's the issue!  Cinnamon!

kermitdd's picture
kermitdd

I have heard a lot about yeast not coming into contact with sugar or salt. All I know is that when I do my mise en place I just dump the yeast, sugar and salt on top of the flour and it sits there until the next day (sometimes longer) before I add the water and mix the dough. Never had a problem.

yozzause's picture
yozzause

firstly I'm not familiar with the recipe  by Maggie Glezer but from my view there are a couple of things that stand out, 8 grams of salt to 400 grams of flour  = 2% usually with a rich fruit dough you reduce to 1%, so the salt will have slowed things down somewhat, not sure where you are but if the ambient temp is cold then that can be another slowing feature, there are a lot of ingediants that have a slowing effect too butter at 29% sugar 9%. yeast was 1.5% which is to me kind of low,


but with the refrigerated overnight yeast activity would just about be halted , the 2 hours to come to room temp would be just that getting itself slowly back into an active state, you didn't indicate whether the dough had doubled in size at this stage which would be an indication that full fermentation had been achieved. 


it would seem a big ask to have the dough go from 4 degrees c fridge temp to 28 degrees c  the ideal temperature for yeast to work in and achieve full fermentation in 2 hours. the fact that the dough still hadnt reached the desired height in the pans after 2 hours proofing also points to being inhibited.  So just going forward id say halve the SALT and double the yeast in most RICH FRUIT doughs compared to a  normal bread dough  got to go late for work now!


will post a pic when i get there


regards yozza


 


 

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Thanks for the info.  Next time I will halve the salt and double the yeast.  


 


Take care!

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Well i made it to work before the boss, just posting a picture of a batch of buns i made with some primary school kids that were visiting the college last year



this dough had salt @1% sugar @8% butter @16% yeast @3%


 

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Darling!  Thanks for sharing...

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

isn't there some special yeast (was it SAF Gold?) that is supposed to work best when there is a high percentage of sugar in the dough?  Or is it yet another urban myth/marketing ploy? 


I seem to remember some scientific explanation about the osmotolerance of yeast when there is a high sugar content.  But I'm not exactly running out to buy another type of yeast (don't really like sweet doughs anyway!). 

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

SAF Gold yeast is specifically made for sweet doughs.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The dough the OP is using is the 1999 Baking Team USA's sweet dough.  Page 212 of Artisan Baking.  That team went on to win the Gold Cup at the 1999 Coupe du Monde in Paris, so I don't think there's any issue about the accuracy of the ingredient percentages.


The formula notes the dough is kneaded in four stages and chilled for eight hours or up to two days.


The recipe specifically notes that the milk is supposed to be scalded first, to denature a protein in the milk that attacks the gluten, then cooled to 105F-115F.  From bohogal's description of the process, he/she skipped this step.


The recipe for Acme's cinnamon currant bread with walnuts is a monkey-type bread.  There's no mention that the dough is supposed to rise above the top of the pan (page 219) so I'm not sure if there truly was a problem with the rise, especially as the final result apparently tasted great.


SAF Gold is supposed to be beneficial for sweet breads as well as sourdough, but the formula just calls for no-name instant yeast.  If SAF Gold is available, might be fun to try it.


Thanks for posting about the sweet bread.  I had forgotten that Glezer's book was on my bookshelf!

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Thanks for your thoughts!  Yes, I did scald the milk and cooled it down to about 105-110F.  The rise above the pans is mentioned in the recipe on page 220.  Next time, I'll find some of the SAF Gold.


I've tried several recipes from Glezer's book and had good results with most of them.


Take care.


 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Another thought has occurred to me regarding comments about salt and yeast and sugar coming into contact , it is a big problem if you are using compressed yeast as it is already moist  with 2/3 being moisture, which allows the salt to start to dissolve and accelerates the breakdown. when yeast does rupture it goes very quickly into a yukky puddle  of useless dead yeast. 


With dry yeast there is no percieved moisture present so the problem is less likey to occur.the comment about the rich fruit dough still tasting nice is no real suprise as you could just about eat it raw with that high percentage of goodies in there and it would still be quite tasty.


regards yozza

qahtan's picture
qahtan

When mixed with sugar is BY NO MEANs a dead useless puddle. qahtan

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Bohogal,


In your original post, you mention that "by the time I got everything kneaded in, something didn't feel right.  The dough was quite dense and heavy".  Then, in your response to BettyR, you mention "I kept adding small amount of flour until the dough was smooth and silky."  


What if the quantity of flour added during kneading was enough to tilt the dough's hydration closer to bagel texture?  That could certainly reduce the amount of expansion in the dough.  Since this sweet dough, like many, relies on a period of refrigeration, it wouldn't have necessarily been "smooth and silky" at the end of kneading.  Some of the textural changes would have occurred as a consequence of the long, slow, refrigerated ferment.  


I think that the other respondents who guessed that there are issues with the yeast may also be onto something.  The total time between refrigerator and oven was 4 hours.  That should have been long enough for the dough to warm up and exhibit some expansion, even if not to the extent described in the recipe.  The cinnamon isn't really the issue, since it wasn't mixed into the dough.  And the sweet dough, by itself, should not have had that big an effect on the yeast's ability to reproduce.  I've never had the luxury of using osmotolerant yeast, but all my sweet doughs made with either ADY or IDY have risen well.  What does that leave us with?  Maybe yeast that isn't as active as it should be (per BettyR), or maybe too-hot milk killed the yeast (per Mini Oven), or maybe a cold kitchen that inhibits yeast growth (per me).  Or some cosmically bad combination of those factors.


I hope your next attempt goes better.


Paul

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Thanks, Paul!  A lot of good ideas out there!  Combination of several factors, including a cool kitchen.  The thermostat is kept at 63F in the house and my kitchen is in the back of the house where it's the coldest.  


I enjoy challenges and will bake using the sweet dough again - making sure to keep copious notes!


Regards!


 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 


 I have been creaming fresh yeast and sugar for over 52 years, .


 put a small spoon regular sugar into a small bowl. cup/whatever and then crumple your fresh yeast over it and stir together, at first you don't think it is going to do anything but then as if by magic the mix will go creamy. NO WATER, NOT ANYTHING ELSE,,,,,,,,,,, IF NOTHING ELSE JUST TRY IT....  qahtan

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Qahtan


my comment was SALT and COMPRESSED YEAST, just try that and you will get a yukky puddle of ruptured yeast cells DEAD YEAST.

Kmarie's picture
Kmarie

If your dough was very hard and didn't rise you might have added too much flour. I find that the dough should be a little tacky. Plus I just threw out a cookbook because every loaf of bread came out so hard I had to register them as weapons. I threw the last one to the squirrels and they threw it back.  I figured out that the author was kneading the bread too much. Like 3 times. After the 3rd time it wouldn't rise either.  Also if you are using all purpose flour you should add either gluten or  diastatic malt powder.  Hope this helps.

bohogal's picture
bohogal

I think you are right, in addition to some other issues!  Thanks for your comment.