The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

enriched bread

bernadetty's picture

enriched bread

Hello All!

I'm a new member but I've been reading comments on this forum for a while now. Thank you for all the wisdom you shared here. I have a question regarding enriched breads. I've making a challa like bread. I let the dough rise for about an hour ( until it doubles) on the counter. My house is about 72-75F. After the initial bulk fermentation I put the dough in the fridge for overnite. I usually degas it 2x after I put it in the fridge. Next morning I degas again, divide dough and let it rest for ten minutes. After the bench rest I roll them into long sections about a finger width thick...I use oil and water to roll them out. Sometimes my dough fills like there are a lot of air pockets inside the long strands. Could these extra (large) airpockets cause the baked product to be somewhat dry? Shoud I degas the dough before putting it in the fridge? Should I reduce the kneading time? I hand knead for about 5 minutes...Thank you for all the advice you can give me. 

richkaimd's picture

My question:  what is the purpose of the oil and water you use to roll out your dough strands?

Because you do not want any bubbles (holes) in the crumb of your challah, you must use a technique to get rid of them before you form your loaves.  This can be done by kneading you dough after you second rise.  I recommend finding a copy of Maggie Glezer's A Blessing of Bread to see her technique for this process which uses a rolling pin.  Challah should have a cake-like crumb without any holes.

Holes will not make your crumb dry.  Over baking will, however.  Are you baking in a moderate oven (350 degrees) until the internal temperature measured by a thermometer is about 200 degrees (195-205 or so)?  Over that your crumb is likely to be dry. 

Should you degas before putting it in the fridge?  First off, why are you putting it in the fridge?  If you're doing so because you need to go to sleep, form your loaves having degassed the dough first.  Take them out when you're ready to get back to them and bake them when they've almost doubled in size from the size they were when you put them in the fridge.  This may be immediately or after some time has passed and they've risen.

Learn to know when you've kneaded enough.  Do you know the gluten window test?  If not, learn it by reading about it somewhere on this website or finding it displayed on a video.  Duration of kneading is not the issue; the issue is knowing when enough's enough.

bernadetty's picture

Thanks for the answer. 

The purpose of using oil and water is to not let my dough develop a skin and it enables me to work with it very easily without having to ruin it with adding a lot of extra flour.  

I let my dough rest overnight because it improves texture and keeping quality. This was recommended by Jeffrey Hamelman in his Bread book. Enriched doughs always benefit from some cold rest.

I think I have a feel for when my gluten developed enough. I was just wondering since it will continue developing overnite, reaching the gluten window after kneading it might be overdoing it. 

I guess I will just have to experiment.