The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from the UK - Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Disaelfr's picture

Hi from the UK - Malmesbury, Wiltshire


I'm disgusted that commercial breads all seem to have soya flour in them now and I'm concerned that the soya used is genetically modified.  So I'm trying to make my own bread now.  This way I know exactly what is in the bread I'm eating.  But I'm struggling a lot at the moment.

I'm using 'instant yeast' that I've bought in the grocery store. I have been using organic strong white flour and spelt flour.

My first attempts:

1. The first rise was good, but when I shaped and then put it through the second rise, it barely rose at all.

2. Then I tried just doing the first rise in the pan itself and then baking, the first bread - the crust had pulled away from the inside (all white bread) and the second loaf - 1 cup of spelt and the remaining strong white overshot the pan (up and well over the sides) and I had to darn near chisel it out of the pan.

So my main question is...should I do two rises with instant yeast.  Is there something I can do to get the second rise to 'rise' properly.

Sorry for the newb questions, but I would really like to be an awesome bread maker. Thanks very much.

Anyway, a little about me.  I currently live in Malmesbury, but we have our home on the market with the goal to move up to the Highlands of Scotland.  We have a home we're renting near Kilmarnock in Scotland which I'll be moving to in December.  That's our 'holding' position until the home in Malmesbury is sold.

I have 2 hens, 2 ferrets and 3 cats (which are all in Scotland now).  I'm also interested in all forms of hand textily stuff especially revolving around animal fibres.  I do a lot in the Viking re-enactment arena as well - textiles and cooking.  Finally, I make country wines - my most awesome is Ginger and Elderflower - but the mixed berry is rather tasty as well - still struggling with mead though.

I'm looking forward to making superb bread with all your expertise to guide me.  Cheers!

pmccool's picture

Sorry to hear that your first experiments didn't go as hoped.    I think that most of us have a history of brick-making when we first attempt breads.  Luckily, that phase is easy to get past with a bit of information and practice.

If you would, please, tell us a bit more about the bread that is giving you grief.  What is the recipe (ingredients and quantities)?  How do you mix and knead it (methods and times).  How do you ferment it (temperature and time)?  How do you shape it?  How do you bake it (temperature and time)?

Lots of questions, I know, but each one has a bearing on the finished bread. 


Thaichef's picture

Good Morning and welcome Disaelfr:

  You come to right site to learn about bread making.  You are also very lucky to have a fellow TFL member, PMcCool as your helper. He is one of our "Master"  in bread making!  I hope that your house is sold soon and your bread making problems resolved. I too learn a lot from this site.