The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grainy Whole Wheat and Seeds with Apricts, Prunesm and Raisins -- shaping problems

bshuval's picture
bshuval

Grainy Whole Wheat and Seeds with Apricts, Prunesm and Raisins -- shaping problems

Hi all,

This weekend I decided to make the "Grainy Wholw Wheat and Seeds with Apricots, Prunes, and Raisins" bread from Amy's Bread. I've been eyeing this recipe for quite some time. 

I made the dough according to directions, but made only one small change: I omitted the sesame seeds. After mixing, I got a soft dough, with all the fruits, wheat berries, and seeds kneaded into it. I let that rise for an hour on the counter and put it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I removed the dough from the fridge, let it come to room temperature (it was already fully risen) -- I resisted the desire to give the dough a fold. Then I turned it onto a lightly floured counter, and divided into two equal pieces. 

I shaped each piece into a nice taut boule: I first folded the edges into the center, and then I rolled it on the counter in cupped hands to stretch and tighten the skin. I placed the boules on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I then proceeded with the scoring. Immediately after shaping, I flattened each boule to be about 2 inches in height. I then took my dough scraper and used it to deeply score each disk into six sections. After I had done this I noticed that Amy called for flouring the scraper, which I forgot to do. I covered the dough with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour and 45 minutes at which time the dough had almost doubled in size and an indentation would fill slowly. At this time I noticed that the dough spread somewhat where I had scored it, and I suspected that I might not get the nice division into sections. I put the dough in the preheated oven and baked as directed. 

As you can see from my picture, below, the shape of the resulting bread is not good. In the picture in Amy's book, the finished bread is actually divided into six sections, whereas in my bread you can hardly tell that there are six sections. So, my question is what can I do to improve the shape? Obviously next time I will remember to flour the scraper. But could that have made that much difference? Could my boules have been too tight (or not tight enough?)? Should I have maybe floured the top of the loaves? Should I have weighted 10 or 15 minutes after forming the boules before flattening and scoring (there is no mention of a wait in the recipe)? 

Thanks,

Boaz

Here is the picture:

Grainy Whole Wheat and Seeds with Apricots, Prunes, and RaisinsGrainy Whole Wheat and Seeds with Apricots, Prunes, and Raisins

bshuval's picture
bshuval

Well, while my shaping wasn't great, the bread itself was delicious. Here are some pictures of the bread after I've torn one sixth of it out.

 

 

And another view:

 

L_M's picture
L_M

Boaz that looks soooo delicious! I bet nobody cared about the sections :-)

From my experience, if I want to keep sections seperate then the trick is flour - just like Amy suggested. Before braiding dough into a challah, I always make sure to give each of the strans a good coating in flour  - otherwise they all rise up together and the braid disappears. In addition to using a floured dough scraper you could also try to lightly rub some flour into the freshly scored areas.

Hope that helps at least a bit

L_M

bshuval's picture
bshuval

It really is good. It has no sugar in it, and it gets all the sweetness from the dried fruit, so that is nice. For my next attempt, and there will be a next attempt, I will not forget to flour the scraper.

Interestingly, I don't roll the strands of my Challah when I braid. I used Maggie Glezer's recipe for Challah ("My Challah" in A Blessing of Bread), and it works marvelously.  

L_M, you are a fellow Israeli, right? (I am an Israeli, although for the past few years I've been living, temporarily, in San Diego). It's great to meet other Israeli bread bakers. Did you know that we also have an Israeli bread forum? Please visit us:

http://www.tapuz.co.il/Communa/userCommunaMsges.asp?CommunaId=29125 

We'd love to have more members there as well.

Anyone is welcome to visit, of course, although something will be lost if you don't know Hebrew. You'll be able to see the pictures, but not understand a lot about the text.  

L_M's picture
L_M

Yes Boaz I am also Israeli -  watch out for that 'temporarily living somewhere else'....that's what happened to me! I was born and lived in Toronto until I came here for the summer, a long, long time ago  :-)))))

Thanks for that link to the forum - I'll check it out.

Good luck with your next attempt

L_M

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

The bread looks scrumptious!  As for the sections not being very distinct, my first thought is that they would hold better if the gluten were developed more. That has been my experience with slashing and dough spreading. But, I'm not the most experienced baker around.