The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Improvement Journey.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Bread Improvement Journey.

I have started baking white bread and the results have been ok. I wanted to up my game so I switched from supermarket bread flour to my local Dorset flour Stoats strong White Bread flour. I used up my supermarket flour and few days later used the same basic white bread recipe for my new flour, the results was disappointing. The bread did not rise as high as the other loafs and it had a bit of a bitter taste. My second batch was no different but the comments from my wife were that it was more like a biscuit /cake texture. I also notice there was no information on the package about the (protein). Any clues to what is wrong. I have read the posting’s regarding other types to try (Marriage, Shipton, Wessex). I would welcome some advice on a White bread recipe and a flour to start my improvement journey

JerrytheK's picture
JerrytheK

Seadog, before any of us can help, we (or at least I) need more information on what you're doing.

At a minimum, what's the recipe you're using, and how long is each stage, i.e, autolyse? initial rise, secondary proof, baking time and temp.

You may want to look at some other posts to see how people describe the above.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Basic White Bread Recipe

500g strong white flour (stoate's strong white flour)

8g salt

7g yeast

3 Tlbspoon Oil

300ml water

Mix all together and knead for 10 mins.

The first prove is for 2 hours  second knead for 5 mins the the last prove for 1.5 hours all at room tempature.

when completed I bake for 35 min in oven at 195.

albacore's picture
albacore

According to the Stoates website, all their flour is stoneground, so it will inevitably produce a much more solid loaf than roller milled flour, albeit more flavorsome.

I suggest you buy some good quality roller milled white flour, eg Shiptons No. 4, or Marriages strong white, which you can get from Waitrose or Ocado, if any nearby.

Add in 20% of your Stoate's flour for starters and you should be making a nice white loaf with your recipe. Once you are happy with it, you can play the tunes by increasing your stoneground content or making a preferment such as a poolish, for more flavour.

One other point: are you using fresh yeast or dried? I imagine the 7g of yeast in the recipe is for fresh yeast, giving you 1.4% yeast, which is fine; if it's dried, it's far too much - you would only need about 2.5g.

Lance

 

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

Another problem is probably that you are kneading the dough after bulk fermenting. By that you are knocking out a lot of the built up gases. After bulk-fermenting just straight shape and final proof, no knocking back or extra kneading.

And yeah, as albacore said, the amount of yeast is good if it's fresh...if it's dry, I would use about a teaspoon.

About the cake-like texture: if you are mixing for 10 min. and you still get that texture, the flour's protein might be quite low or of poor quality. Strange that it doesn't say on the package.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Thank you very much for the helpful advice,

I will go down Waitrose tomorrow and get some additional flour as you mentioned.

The yeast  I am using is Allinsons dry easy bake, 7g so I will reduce down to a teaspoon.

I will also drop the second knead process.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

I tried Waitrose for the Shipton No. 4 or Marriages flour and they don't stock it, Ocado has marriages min order £40.

Is there another flour you would recomment while trying to improve say from waitrose.

albacore's picture
albacore

Try Duchy organic strong white bread flour and/or Waitrose Canadian very strong white bread flour.

If you buy both, I'd go 40% Duchy, 40% Canadian and 20% Stoates.

 

Lance

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Many thanks Lance, I will try that, book wise any ideas for the christmas list.

albacore's picture
albacore

There are many threads on best baking books on TFL.

Personally I would go for Bread by Geoffrey Hamelman. It may initially seem rather complex, but a slow and careful study of it will pay dividends, and it will become a reference book of recipes and techniques for many of your future baking journeys.

For an easier read, you could look at the Dan Lepard books, but I personally haven't used them.

Lance

JerrytheK's picture
JerrytheK

I may be in the minority, but I found Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast very helpful. Yes, the directions can be repetitive. Also, it is totally focused on no-knead bread and cooking in a dutch oven.

If you have a good library near by, I've found our local library a great resource to 'try before I buy' source for books.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Thank you again for the advice and the book selection I will also spend some time finding my way around this great Bread site.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Thanks I am grateful for any views on the books, what it is I baked a couple loaves ok but realised I just don’t want to follow a script I want to know what I was doing and why and get more enjoyment from the process. Thanks to this forum I can see I have a lot to learn.

Ed

Anne Ng's picture
Anne Ng

FMHO I would suggest adding an autolyse during the mixing process. First add all ingredients except the oil, mix until no dry flour is left, then autolyse for 30 minutes. You can autolyse it with yeast in if you use iced water during the mixing, let it rest in the fridge for the 30 minutes, and add the oil during the second knead after the autolyse. 

Autolyse provides a time window for the dry flour to absorb water and develop gluten. Since stone ground flour is a bit more coarse than roller milled, it would benefit from soaking water throughout and become softer and more pliable, and the result will have a better gluten structure. 

Do you get windowpane after kneading with the locally milled flour? The recipe has a hydration ratio of 60%, this is pretty low that stretch and folds, slap and folds, etc., won't be applicable, hence you will need to get windowpane by kneading to ensure gluten is properly developed. 

Another question is that, what is your room temperature during kneading? If it is above 22C you may want to use ice water during mixing so that you don't bring the dough temp above 24C during kneading (your hands warm the dough up pretty quickly). A warm dough will cause gluten strands to break during kneading and result into a dense bread. 

All of these little things are there to make sure that even if you are using a lower gluten flour (usually with a protein content below 13%), you would still get proper gluten structure to support the bread, which would help the bread to rise higher. 

Happy baking!