The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question on Hamelman's Soft Butter Rolls

00Eve00's picture

Question on Hamelman's Soft Butter Rolls

I attempted to make the soft butter rolls on pg. 258 in the book "Bread" but I had some issues.  The flour I used was KA AP.

One of my issues was that the dough was extremely dry.  So dry in fact, I had to add an additional 4 tablespoons of water (the dough was crumbling).  It could be that I incorrectly measured the flour or water, but I'm anal retentive and check the scale and then check the recipe just to make sure.  I also....get ready.....checked the humidity....hehe....and it was around 60% so I don't think that's a problem.  I'm a little clueless.

My other problem was that my dough was shredding once it came together.  It got better as I increased the hydration, but I never really got appropriate gluten development.  I was wondering if adding the butter, albeit a small amount, at the beginning of the mix, might be responsible?  Also, I substituted an equivalent amount of buttermilk to reconstituted milk.  I now wonder if that could have played a factor as it is high in fat and more acidic thank plain milk.

The end product was dough that took 2x as long to bulk ferment, and the bread was very dense.

I appreciate any insight that anyone might and I apologize if this is a confusing and convoluted post.

Thanks a bunch




Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I had some very acidic yogurt once that I used to make a cinnamon raisin bread. (PR's wholegrain recipe). The recipe said that you could use yogurt but I wonder if because my yogurt had gotten too acidic from a longer than normal culturing time if this is where my problem arose.

Anyway, I had dough similar to yours and although it finally rose it took forever, despite good commercial yeast and warm temps. The dough was crumbly and broke. I could never get any elastic or extensible feel to it at all.

I still wonder if that acidity was too much and just broke everything down.

00Eve00's picture

That's a good point.  I checked the pH of buttermilk and it said ~4.5.  Perhaps if you used enough, it would drop the pH of your dough to a point that it would inhibit the yeast's consumption?

I just checked the ingredients and amounts again.  I compared the columns to see if things were consistent.  When I converted his fresh yeast (based on his conversion factor of .33) in the US and Metric columns to instant and then calculated the baker's percentage, it didn't match up with the percentage I calculated in the Home column.....1.7% for the US and Metric vs. 0.5% for the Home.  So I'm actually supposed to be using about .3oz or 2 5/8 tsp of yeast.  Not the .09oz or 1 tsp.

The baker's percentage he gives you for the yeast is only correct for fresh yeast, so that's why I converted.  But I am using significantly less yeast than what is intended and that's at least why it's taking forever to rise....I think.

But I wonder why no one else has had problems with this?

apprentice's picture

I haven't taken the time to read thread carefully, because it's an old one and I'm sure you've solved your problem by now. But anyone new reading, looking for advice.... the yeast level in the home column was a misprint. An errata was published with a list of corrections, and the corrected amount was put in the new edition to my knowledge. Just ordered 2nd edition - can't wait!! Meanwhile I'm away from home, wanted to make some of the rolls and found the recipe in amazon. Remembered the yeast level was wrong and went looking for the errata online. Having trouble finding it, except for a cut'n'paste from someone in thefreshloaf. If I understand it correctly (hard to read), the proper level for the home column is 0.29 oz instant yeast. That is, 2-3/4 tsp.

Also...he doesn't say so but I think he intended us to use non-instant milk powder. Hard to find sometimes unless you're a bakery ordering from a supplier. So I substitute with real milk when I'm away from home and my supply, then cut back the water by an appropriate amount. Sorry can't help with the exact substitution I use. That, too, is a note in the 1st edition I forgot to pack in my suitcase. :( Try google - that's what I did originally and will do now.

These are so worth it. Make awesome hamburger buns, too!