The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

All those extra ingredients

Leftie's picture

All those extra ingredients

Namely, sugar, fat, and egg...

Not that I've gotten any better with my basic bread baking (flour, yeast, water, salt, sugar, and olive oil), but I visited my mother and baked anyway. Reaction was, can you make the bread any sweeter?

So after two loaves of this with the same reaction, I snapped and went with:
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup dark brown sugar + 1 Tbsp
3 Tbsp butter (melted)
1 egg
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt

Foam up the yeast with the water and 1 Tbsp sugar, add everything else, knead until smooth, rise, punch, shape, rise, bake 40 min @ 375 F...

I got an oven spring that cracked open the crust and kept going. The resulting loaf was triple if not double the size of the original lump of dough that went into the oven.

The loaf was somewhat sweet and fluffy all right, but is it considred bread with all these extra ingredients? So two questions:

1. How do compete against a demon like this with the basic leaner bread recipe?

2. Suppose I want to tweak this demon for the better, how do I make a more graceful oven spring that doesn't look like the dough cracked open and erupted? I'm posting here on the assumption it's an ingredient tweak more than method. And I pledge to get a kitchen scale so I'll be measuring by weight soon...soon...

PaddyL's picture

If you add a tsp. more salt, it should help retard the yeast enough so you won't have your loaves leaping out of their pans, or if they're free-form and slashed, the extra salt should keep them from cracking open so wildly.

Leftie's picture

Ah, so extra salt is needed to keep the yeast in check. Why is it that the yeast didn't go hog while during rise but only in the oven? Does their activity go exponential with temperature, until the heat kills them off?

mike721's picture

Probably you had not let the bread rise fully before it went into the oven, so the yeast still had a lot of food ready and waiting for it. Then you warmed it up in the oven and BOOM, it took off. From what I recall reading someplace, every 10 degree rise in temperature makes yeast activity double, so there is somewhat of  an exponential factor involved here. Think of it as those poor doomed yeasts giving it there all before the end :-)

Salt slows down yeast growth a lot, so I would add some more as another poster suggested, and maybe proof the bread a little longer too, that way you should have a litttle less oven spring and hopefully the loaf doesn't explode next time :-)


Mike in New Jersey