The Fresh Loaf

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diastatic malt powder use with dough that won't rise too happily

christinepi's picture

diastatic malt powder use with dough that won't rise too happily

I posted here about 10 days ago with a question about my no knead loaves that won't have lovely holes once done. The crust and flavor are great, but the bread itself is still pretty dense. The first rise is ca 24 hours, the second 2 hours. I use Arrowhead Mills Organic (3/4 white, 1/4 whole wheat). Somebody suggested trying different dry yeast, which I did--nothing changed. Somebody else suggested diastatic malt powder, because that hasn't been added to this particular flour; tried that; it's ever so slightly "holier", but not very noticeable. I used 1 teaspoon for 3 cups. The one thing I haven't tried is to use warmer water than the recipe asks for (the recipe asks for water 55-65 degrees). Could that be it? ANy other ideas? I'm so bummed. 

Dillbert's picture

I did a range of experimenting on the classic no-knead recipe and found that 18 hrs for the first rise worked best in terms of height & open crumb.  other folks have posted similar experience here - I wonder if it's 'over proofed' ?

a dash of ascorbic acid can help as well.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Just a thought, how about some gluten powder? It may help to hold the bubbles rather then having them act like a balloon with a pin hole. 

copyu's picture

...I assume you are using the 'original' NY Times--Jim Lahey--Sullivan St bakery YouTube...(yada-yada) formula.

Jim's bread dough was about 20 hours old, in the original video, or so he said. He did ONE stretch and fold before final proofing.

I've done this bread many times and had only one failure. I think you need to watch the timing a bit more. (I know—it depends on your work/life schedule, but...that's the only real problem I've found with home-baking.)

I would guess that thousands of bakers complained that the salt content was too low and the water content was too high in the original formula. I would agree, but I note that the original formula was all in cup/volume measures, as well...which, while better than nothing, is almost useless for really good bread.

Some kind soul converted the volumes (cup measures) of the original formula into weights (grams) and published them on the internet, but they also forgot that Jim Lahey is a very experienced, professional baker, who can probably judge the amount of water to put into his dough just by checking the daily weather forecast for NYC!

I've limited myself to a certain volume of water (340g) and do at least three stretch and folds (S&F) at 10-40 minute intervals...(It depends how long after the first proof.) I've started the S&F at 14 and 16 hours. Earlier than 14 hours wouldn't work, somehow...FAILURE! Anything much later than 18 hours is just 'pushing your luck' in my opinion...I could be wrong, but my NKB is always very good.

I hope this helps. Sincere best wishes,



christinepi's picture

Well, the problem seems to be that the dough never doubles during the second rise. It grows ca 40-50%, that's it. In terms of water, I found that the equivalent of the volume Lahey gives (1 1/3 cups) is almost exactly 300 grams, which is what I use. Is that too much? Too little? Just right? 

I'll try 18 hours next.

copyu's picture

Well, you are using less water than my "limit" and that could be a good thing. I weigh my water (340g) and use just enough to thoroughly hydrate all of the flour. The dough should look 'shaggy' but not 'soggy' and I always make sure there is no coating of unhydrated flour on the bottom of the bowl. 

Another important note, though—if you're using a normal bowl, you have to remember that it's a bit like an ice-cream cone! You can't judge a 'doubling' of volume just by 'eye-balling' it. Your dough does NOT have to double in height in order to be double in volume.

If it's been long enough, at a suitable temperature, the yeast will do its work. I mix my dough, cover it with plastic and pop it into a draft-free place—a cabinet or the oven—where it sits for 15-18 hours before I mess around with it again. I usually use a glass bowl for the first rise and I can see the level of activity.

You should always use a rounded plastic scraper to remove the dough in one piece, if possible, before stretch and fold...

Finally, you mentioned 'dry yeast'. No-Knead-Bread uses "instant yeast" or "bread machine yeast" which is NOT the same as "Active Dry Yeast". Just a heads-up! Standard usage of active dry yeast is about 7g (about 1/4oz, or one whole sachet) compared with a tiny 'smidgen' of instant. Best of luck with the next batch!




Davo's picture

Diastatic lalt powder might help you if you are making sourdough, but not if you are making yeasted dough bread.