The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why did it work?

Felila's picture

Why did it work?

I had made some hot chocolate and stored the leftover in the refridgerator. When I poured off the liquid, I noticed a chocolately sludge on the bottom. As the chocolate was a bit too intense when first made, I decide not to stir up the sludge, but to save it and add it to some bread.

I've been baking Floyd's daily bread for months now, having graduated from no-knead bread. I don't have a scale, so I measure, then add flour or liquid as needed until the dough feels right. In this case, I made the poolish with white bread flour, left it overnight, and the next morning, added 4 more cups white flour, and then one cup of liquid: chocolate sludge plus 2 eggs plus a bit of milk to fill it out. The dough was dry, so I added more water. I kneaded more than usual, to add the water. The Kitchenaid mixer chugged and chugged.

It wasn't until the bread was rising in an oiled bowl that I realized that I had completely forgotten the extra teaspoon of yeast and the two teaspoons of salt specified in the recipe. So that's why the bread was rising so slowly! I was sure it was doomed.

It rose slowly, but gained enthusiasm as it rose. After a few hours, it was wonderfully soft and pliable. I folded twice, then formed boules, let them rise, slashed them, and baked them in a pre-heated, pre-steamed oven.

They don't taste chocolate-ish, or sweet, but they're otherwise perfect. In fact, they're better than my usual loaves. They are softer, moister, and had incredible oven spring. My usual loaves tend towards the tasty but flat. Barely any oven spring at all.

I wish I had a digital camera and could post a picture.

So what made the difference? More kneading than usual? The lack of salt to retard the yeast? Forgetting the extra yeast but giving the bread more time? The sugar in the hot chocolate sludge?

Please advise. I'd like my usual loaves to be this spectacular!

HogieWan's picture

bread doesn't need that much yeast as long as you give it more time. I normally use 1/8 tsp for ~3# of dough.

I would also bet that you'd get better oven spring if you proofed your regular recipes 1.5 times longer.