The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

please help my crusting dough !!!

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shaylaaaa's picture
shaylaaaa

please help my crusting dough !!!

So I could really use some help on my starter ...


In my teen and college years, I worked over my mother's shoulder (an exquisite home chef !!) and now I'm far far on my own, married with a baby on the way and far far from what I once called home and the aide of my mom ... I'm living and working in Vietnam, so the likeliness of King Arthur's flour is low, unfortunately, and I take what imported flour I can get my hands on (which is a lot considering ... whole wheat, rye, well that's what I got in my kitchen right now). But when I bake, I use a 50/50 ratio of white/whole wheat flour, as I've been taught and further suggested by this brilliant website.


So blah, blah, blah here's my main problem ...


When I leave my dough to rise (usually for 3+ hours) and for usually 2 rises, I get a tough crust-like covering. I assume this is from the drying of the dough (???) I have tried leaving my dough more wet rather than more floury, and in a oil-sprayed pan, with a towel loosely drapped over it. I've tried thicker and thinner towels, and also partially uncovering and fully covering the dough, ... all with the same results.


My problem with this is that it leaves the crust really dry on the outside, with a little aide if I paint the surface of my bread with butter after baking.


I'm sure this is a climate thing, its 25-35*C night and day, and humid. This affects my baking times (for all cooking really) and I cook for shorter times, but the only climate thing I cannot get over is this crusting business !!


Any suggestions ???


Shayla :)

freerk's picture
freerk

Did you ever try retarding and rising your dough in the fridge? I think you're right about the climate thing. Retarding your dough should mean the end of your crusty dough :-)

bnom's picture
bnom

You might want to cover the bowl with plastic crap or a damp towel (or even both....the wet towel first and then plastic wrap or foil to keep it from drying out too soon.


BTW, what sort of work do you and your husband do in Vietnam and how do you like living there?  My husband does work in Vietnam too but is based in Seattle. We've considered moving there.


 

shaylaaaa's picture
shaylaaaa

hmmm... I'll try both: putting it in the fridge (which I've done with a little less crusting) and I'll put it in with saran wrap on. However, I thought the bread needed fresh air to rise ?? I'll try it this morning, thanks !!!


@bnom: We are English teachers, and we love it. We live in a coastal town called Vung Tau, google image, its beautiful: fresh seafood, fruits, veggies, and the weather is always warm and beautiful !! We are 2-3 hours away from HCMC, so many people come out here for the weekend to enjoy the beaches and scenery. I'd be pleased to give you more info, go ahead and email me: shayla@thrower.org It's quite a change of climate from Seattle though !!!


Thanks again for the advice !! I'll post how it goes ...


Shayla :)

bnom's picture
bnom

Bread will rise quite well without air circulation - possibly better actually because you don't want drafts.  I believe most professional bakers rise their dough in lidded plastic tubs.


Vung Tau looks lovely! I've only been in North Viertnam.  My husband heads an NGO that sponsors demining and community bldg in Quang Tri Province. I may be headed there later this year so I'll drop you a note if we head south.


 

breadmantalking's picture
breadmantalking

Professional bakers use either the plastic tubs mentioned or a proofing cabinet. This is essentially a cabinet with a high level of moisture injected along with temperature control. You can duplicate this by placing your dough in a warmed oven (90 to 100 degrees F). Pour a cup or two of boiling water into a pan on the bottom of the oven, close the door,  and let it get nice and moist. Then, with the oven warmed, you can place the dough, uncovered, in the oven to rise. Your dough will stay moist and rise beautifully just like in a proofing cabinet. Otherwise the way to go is with plastic wrap. There is air in the bowl for the bread and the plastic will keep the dough from drying out and making the 'crust'.


Hope this helps.


David from : www.breadmantalking.blogspot.com