Finished loaf weight vs Store bought
I originally started baking loaves to avoid the rising cost of a french bread loaf from Publix that we would buy a couple times a week that creeped up to the $2.50 range. I love any type that I have made, but the question is: How are those Store ones so light as a feather most of the time? I wouldn't call mine dense per se as some have that problem, but no way would they ever be as light weight wise as those store ones. I've done the 66% to 74% hydration range on many loaves. I'm assuming the Store French ones are in the mid 60's due to the tighter/less holey crumb. Like I said, I like any style I've made, but my original goal in the beginning was duplicating the ones we would buy, but never ever have I had one that felt like a feather. Thanks for the help and knowledge.
Good gluten development and proper rise. Bread is light cuz the ratio of gas to bread is high. Simple really - good gluten will hold lots of gas bubbles, proper proof will create lots of gas. Enjoy!
Welcome to TFL!
If by "French bread" you mean baguettes, then you are in luck. TFL is home to at least 4 baguette experts, whose recent creations, along with the learning curve, are documented in this PDF:
That PDF follows 4 bakers, and was taken from the comments of a famous baguette thread/post.
It was a "Community Bake" in which many members documented their learning. If you want to scroll through 8 pages and over 2000 comments, go to:
Good luck. And bon appétit.
Thanks phaz. I guess I thought I have good gluten development on all my previous hand mixes/folds and whatever else. I now own a stand mixer and am guessing I get an even greater mix and knead, etc. I understand everything you said, but have yet to see the results I'm looking for with any bakes lately. As far as the proof, I've took em young where they rose more in the oven, and I've taken em late where they don't seem to get much bigger than the longer final proof. I weighed one on pre bake recently at around 380g give or take and when baked, it was still 350g+.
Thank you also idaveindy for the pdf with all those loaves. I'll be sure to dig in and try and copy those when I move back to holey phase. However, the point of my post was about those super lightweight store loaves with consistent smaller holes, yet come in at 12 oz. final weight when they're as long as my arm and if you put your middle fingers and thumbs touching opposing each other, the things are that big around!
I would maybe like this thread to be about the quest for bread this big in volume that weighs next to nothing, and I would deeply appreciate anyone that can help me get there.
Weight - this is a funny thing. When you go to lift something, the brain has expectations and adjusts for those expectations. ie you see a big loaf, the brain immediately says must be some weight there and then muscle strength is adjusted for that expectation. When that expectation is not met - lighter in this case - Mr. Brain goes whoa, that was lighter than i expected - tada - loaf feels light.
There should be little difference pre bake to post bake - there isn't much that "disappears" when baking, just a little water. The difference you see is normal.
Mixer will form gluten faster, that's about it., well it'll also save muscle pain - 10 min in a mixer at low speeds equated to something like 3 hrs of hand mixing, or about a day stretch and fold (they do little to nothing).
I would suggest, 10 min in mixer, rise till doubled, punch down, shape (rough handling recommended), proof to doubled, bake.
You'll know if it's light by the thump test - take a finger and thump the loaf when done, kinda like tapping a drum, when it sounds hollow (you'll know) you've got a light airy loaf.
Last note - vast majority of instructions here, and elsewhere, are not geared to this type of loaf. Just look at most of the pics posted. So kudos for being able to follow direction, you just followed the wrong direction for your particular bread style. And I'll close with - something i say time and time again - get a good grasp of the fundamentals. Every, any and all breads are a variation of those fundamentals. Enjoy!