Wednesday, 6 October 2010

bread tip #2

Last bread tip I talked about a long knead time which does two things. First, it stretches the gluten and second it raises the dough temperature.Friction of course produces heat.
Another tip I learned recently was the benefit of three rises. I know you are probably already thinking about how much MORE time it would add to the process but it isn't so hard and the benefits particularly for whole grain breads, are worth it. I would love to share the youtube clip that I saw recently but just a few days later it had disappeared.
Here's  how it went.

First, put your slightly above body temperature water in your mixing bowl.
Second, add your eggs. Yes, egg in ordinary bread. I'll talk about this some more shortly. the eggs will bring the water temp down a little.
Third, add your yeast, a little veg oil and sugar but NOT salt.
Fourth add HALF your flour and begin mixing. Mix until combined. It should be the consistency of a thick batter.
Leave the batter to rise and bubble, about 20mins.
Now add the rest of the flour and salt and continue as usual.

Now why does this make a difference? There are a few good no knead "artisan" bread books around that give instructions to make a wet dough and leave it in the fridge, taking out enough for a loaf each day as you need it. The reason this works is what works in the method above. Moisture can develop the gluten in the dough. By letting half your flour "soak" in a wetter environment, it will help develop the gluten more than kneading in a drier environment alone.
In the youtube clip the presenter said that many people expect home ground wheat bread to have the texture and weight of a brick. She guaranteed her bread rose beautifully and was light and soft as white bread.
I had fairly good success with whole grain bread or so I thought.
I tried this method and Wow! it did make a huge difference on a 99% whole wheat bread. It was just as she said.
I had been keeping my basic dough, very basic, using flour, water, sugar and salt. I definitely didn't want to use "bread improver" which contain soy and a host of other things. I knew that the improver add lecithin. adding egg to your dough, adds lecithin naturally, plus of course making it even more nutritious. Having hens at home, adding egg is no imposition as they are always on hand. It will help make the loaf softer and softer for longer for a great sandwich loaf.
So next time you are making bread dough, give this a go. A wet first rise, followed by a long knead and you will find the dough will either rise faster or will give a great rise despite a shorter second and third rise. Once formed my rolls and loaves are lucky to get 10mins to rest before baking.

Here is one of the loaves I made yesterday. There is a dark mark on the side which is about where the dough started before rising/baking.

In other news, I did manage to list the new clippies last Tuesday in my Crafty Mamas marketplace store.

Tomorrow looks like a great day for sewing. I hope to have something crafty to share!

Thankyou for dropping by and tolerating my bread obsession :)

1 comment:

  1. I love your bread obsession :D I really need a lesson from you. I'm still using bread mixes after my less than successful efforts from scratch