The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How can I adapt this recipe

carefreebaker's picture

How can I adapt this recipe

My family likes this french bread recipe. Is there any technique I can use to help the bread not go soft and stale the next day? The recipe makes 2. The first loaf gets eaten the day of bake. It is second loaf, which we eat the day after, I would like it to taste better?

1 pkg. yeast

1 1/2 cups water

1 tb. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tb. butter

4 1/4 cups AP flour

Basically mix, knead, rise, bake.

isand66's picture

Your best bet is to wrap the bread once it has cooled completely in plastic wrap until the next day.  When ready to eat again, put it back in the oven set at 300 degrees and let it warm up and it should be just like new.  If you wrap the bread while it is still hot or warm the moisture trapped in the dough will end up causing the crust to go soft so make sure you let the bread cool completely.

Since you are making a fairly lean dough, it will go stale pretty quickly.  I would suggest you start baking with a sourdough starter.  Breads made with a sourdough culture by nature last longer before going stale.  My sourdough breads usually last up to 1 week before they are completely stale.

Hope this helps a little.

dabrownman's picture

are a couple of more option. You can cut the recipe in half and only make one loaf at a time or perhaps better option is to refrigerate the 2nd loaf covered in plastic right after you shape it and before it starts its final proof.  Then take it out of the fridge, let it finish proofing and then bake it.  you can also refrigerate it bulk before shaping too.  Just let it warm up for about and hour, shape and then proof it to bake it off.

The 2nd loaf should taste better than the 1st one this way :-)

Happy baking.

carefreebaker's picture

Thank you for giving me options. Reheating or parking in frig will both work for me.

is there a way to use some of the ingredients to make a biga? 

Does anyone know whether it is possible to be allergic to sourdough bread?

kmcquade's picture

Hi, Carefreebaker,

I agree with the use of some preferment or Starter.  The other option is that you can just slow ferment your dough by putting it in the fridge overnight before baking - and cutting down the yeast - In general, the longer you take to make the bread - the longer it  retains its freshness - Quick loafs stale quickly .  Also I noticed that your recipe has a pretty low water content less about 57 % by my calculations - for example a traditional french bread is about 65% water - having a higher water content will also not dry out as fast.  If you slow down the development you will get a great natural taste of the dough and may not need to add Butter and sugar .

For a biga, you can do that too just take 25% of your total flour and premix it with just some of the water and yeast to get a little dough ball about 60% hydration - ( no salt) let it ferment overnight then mix it in with the rest.