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Baking Your Own Bread

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Hi, anyone has experience baking your own bread using a bread maker at home?

 

In times like this when we have to stay at home, we can buy almost everything online, such as rice/noodles, frozen meat, and fresh vegetables/fruits.

But when it comes to bread, it is more difficult.

I have been toying with the idea of baking my own bread with a simple bread maker, nothing fanciful but just good enough to bake my own fresh bread without any preservatives.

 

Any account of your experience, or recommendations on the bread maker model will be appreciated. Thanks.

 

 

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On 4/7/2020 at 5:41 PM, Guest Bread said:

Hi, anyone has experience baking your own bread using a bread maker at home?

 

In times like this when we have to stay at home, we can buy almost everything online, such as rice/noodles, frozen meat, and fresh vegetables/fruits.

But when it comes to bread, it is more difficult.

I have been toying with the idea of baking my own bread with a simple bread maker, nothing fanciful but just good enough to bake my own fresh bread without any preservatives.

 

Any account of your experience, or recommendations on the bread maker model will be appreciated. Thanks.

 

 

Honestly there is joy in kneeding bread. Do a simple bread recipe like shokupan and kneed it! it will be fun and tastyyyy

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I think this is not bad, and does't require much fore sight (some other methods like yudane required planning the day before)

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On 5/30/2020 at 3:44 PM, luvhandle said:

I think he need a recipe if u can guide him with one

HAha oops i didn't on notification and didn't see this XD

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Once you get the hang of it, it doesn't matter which methods used. The system just kicks in and you only plan during the initial phrases to get a know of the system. All bread making methods require time and patience for the rise and fall of the dough.

 

For beginners a simple bread machine is the easiest to start. With the instruction Manual, a simple loaf is not an issue. Complications starts when you try to experiment and try new ways. 

 

For those who prefer non machine, there are many methods easily googled for wider knowledge. To name a few methods for those unfamiliar, 

1. TangZhong method. A preparation of a water roux, 1 part flour to 5 part water, made ahead of time. Usually end products are Japanese style soft buns.

2. Yudane method. A portion of flour mixed with hot water also require ahead of time. Products similar to tangzhong method.

3. Poolish method. Pre fermented sponge mix created ahead of time. These are yeast dough that is similiar to Chinese references to 'old dough' 老面.

4. No knead method. Current trending method as it require no kneading but take some getting used to handling of much softer dough.

5. Sourdough bread. Another trending and IG worthy. Most advance and require a growing culture which you need to maintain regularly. 

 

3. 4. 5. Products are usually western style hard loaves with thicker, crusts and airy crumbs.

 

5. products due to longer fermentation are usually slight sour hence the name. Due to it's natural fermentation it carries its own unique taste and most preferred in the west but trending in modern sandwiches and high end eatery. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, shyc said:

Once you get the hang of it, it doesn't matter which methods used. The system just kicks in and you only plan during the initial phrases to get a know of the system. All bread making methods require time and patience for the rise and fall of the dough.

 

For beginners a simple bread machine is the easiest to start. With the instruction Manual, a simple loaf is not an issue. Complications starts when you try to experiment and try new ways. 

 

For those who prefer non machine, there are many methods easily googled for wider knowledge. To name a few methods for those unfamiliar, 

1. TangZhong method. A preparation of a water roux, 1 part flour to 5 part water, made ahead of time. Usually end products are Japanese style soft buns.

2. Yudane method. A portion of flour mixed with hot water also require ahead of time. Products similar to tangzhong method.

3. Poolish method. Pre fermented sponge mix created ahead of time. These are yeast dough that is similiar to Chinese references to 'old dough' 老面.

4. No knead method. Current trending method as it require no kneading but take some getting used to handling of much softer dough.

5. Sourdough bread. Another trending and IG worthy. Most advance and require a growing culture which you need to maintain regularly. 

 

3. 4. 5. Products are usually western style hard loaves with thicker, crusts and airy crumbs.

 

5. products due to longer fermentation are usually slight sour hence the name. Due to it's natural fermentation it carries its own unique taste and most preferred in the west but trending in modern sandwiches and high end eatery. 

 

 

u must be in F&B!!!!!!!!! or learnt before after attending a long course?

 

Anyone tried using machines? which model /brand did u purchase? (but don't quote those meant for commercial kitchen pls)

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One oy my retirement pleasures (here in the UK) has been baking my own bread. Here's a seeded wholemeal sourdough loaf (which I bake every week):

 

Stephen

270420-1205-56.jpg

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4 hours ago, Older4yngr said:

One oy my retirement pleasures (here in the UK) has been baking my own bread. Here's a seeded wholemeal sourdough loaf (which I bake every week):

 

Stephen

270420-1205-56.jpg

OH MY LORD

Confession: the last time i tried to make a sour dough i killed the starter. Shame on me

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22 hours ago, phewphew said:

OH MY LORD

Confession: the last time i tried to make a sour dough i killed the starter. Shame on me

It's all too easy to do—but once you get it going it's much easier to keep it alive!

 

Stephen

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3 hours ago, Older4yngr said:

It's all too easy to do—but once you get it going it's much easier to keep it alive!

 

Stephen

well im staying at normal yeast (and lower hydration cos i do not have a stand mixer) bread for now HAHA T>T 

 

2 hours ago, Guest Breadstick said:

The bread here look TO DIE FOR, theflowers are hella pretty

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On 6/8/2020 at 1:47 PM, Older4yngr said:

One oy my retirement pleasures (here in the UK) has been baking my own bread. Here's a seeded wholemeal sourdough loaf (which I bake every week):

 

Stephen

270420-1205-56.jpg

Tats a beautiful loaf. It is therapeutic to bake and when you get good result it is almost satisfying. It becomes a headache when it didn't turn out as expected and bugs me for an answer to what went wrong. Still a long way to learn for me. I am assuming your bakes are within a Dutch oven? Any points on getting good results without one? I can't achieve oven spring despite spraying with water or leaving a small tray of ice cubes.

 

On 6/8/2020 at 5:59 PM, phewphew said:

Confession: the last time i tried to make a sour dough i killed the starter. Shame on me

It is easy to start and create new starter, almost in a week. They are quite resilient. I have mine for few years. With practice and patience, high hydration are manageable. Don't give up. I am still learning too. Mixer of course easier but without you just need your muscle strength. I toggle between starter and commercial yeast. You don't need a mixer for high hydrations.

 

And those artistic ones are way out of my leagues. I am not a good follower and cannot follow instructions. 😋

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9 hours ago, shyc said:

Tats a beautiful loaf. It is therapeutic to bake and when you get good result it is almost satisfying. It becomes a headache when it didn't turn out as expected and bugs me for an answer to what went wrong. Still a long way to learn for me. I am assuming your bakes are within a Dutch oven? Any points on getting good results without one? I can't achieve oven spring despite spraying with water or leaving a small tray of ice cubes.

 

It is easy to start and create new starter, almost in a week. They are quite resilient. I have mine for few years. With practice and patience, high hydration are manageable. Don't give up. I am still learning too. Mixer of course easier but without you just need your muscle strength. I toggle between starter and commercial yeast. You don't need a mixer for high hydrations.

 

And those artistic ones are way out of my leagues. I am not a good follower and cannot follow instructions. 😋

OH YES i forgot to say i hate WET SQUISHY dough HAHA it brings me nightmares HAHA. Gib me some starter pls HAHA

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On 6/13/2020 at 5:18 PM, shyc said:

I am assuming your bakes are within a Dutch oven? Any points on getting good results without one? I can't achieve oven spring despite spraying with water or leaving a small tray of ice cubes.

Sorry for the delayed response. No, the loaf was baked on a baking tray in an ordinary fan oven—with a tray of boling water in the bottom of the oven to provide steam: nothing very special.

 

The most important, and tricky, thing in getting oven spring is to ensure your dough is properly proved. If under- or over-proved you won't get good oven spring. For what it's worth, my loaf is 80% hydration. The dough initially gets four "stretch and folds" at 10-15 minutes intervals, rests for about an hour and is then put into a banneton in the fridge for retarded proving overnight (which develops the flavour)...about 16 hours at 5C. I heat the baking tray in the oven as the oven heats, give the dough 15 minutes at 230C and then 25 minutes at 200C (this is about a 1kg loaf). As it's a wholemeal loaf I then leave it to the next day before cutting it and starting to eat it. It needs that period to "ripen" after baking.

 

I know this all sounds very technical but, rest assured, I've had loads of trial and error over the years! It's taken me years of experimenting to get to the loaves I enjoy so much now...but it has been really worthwhile. I agree with your view that it's therapuetic to bake and also your comment on how resilient starters are.

 

The best overall tip is be prepared to experiment a little and when you find something that works keep working with that and develp your ideas accordingly. Retarded proving is THE way to add flavour though.

 

Stephen

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@Older4yngr Thanks much Stephen for the inputs. I started with overnight retard and did enjoy the loaves despite no oven spring. However few negative feedbacks from friends I gave to made me rethink about the sour flavour and I reworked my routine to cut down on the sourness. So now I do my levain first thing in the morning. 3 hrs later my autolyse, 70% hydration. An hour later rough mixing autolyse with 25% levain. The next 3 hrs I do my stretch and fold with 1 hour intervals. This usually will result with good double the volume. I stretch out the dough to do my final shaping. And goes into a dusted bowl. This proof for one and half hours to two. Base on one of the methods I learned, I only preheat oven for 15mins at 230C. The dough get turned out onto a cold tray and baked 10mins at 230C, reduce to 160C for the remaining 28 mins. Mine is a small oven and doesn't give me much space for placing a tray of boiling water hence I use a small cup of ice cube place in a corner when I put in the dough. The dough also get an overall spray of water once in the oven before I close.

 

I use non professional bread flours, meaning just the regular supermarket type with no indication of protein content percentage. Occasionally I could retard the dough overnight if time was running late and bake the next day straight from the fridge. 

 

Indeed agree that the experimentations had been the most fulfilling. Over the years had tried different methods and had made some improvements. However the huge oven spring and that 'dog-ear' effect eluded me. I truthly enjoy picking up different pointers from others. Than see if it could work into my routine. 

 

D627-DCC5-4-DFF-4-F9-A-BF63-B845-EAA65-E

One of my better result, if memory didn't fail me, I twirl this with chocolate flavoured sourdough and regular at the final shaping stage. 

My bakes are usually about a quarter kg. They are less tangy now that I tried to do it within the day.  I had done float test to make sure the starters ready and the mild poke test just before going into oven. 

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13 hours ago, shyc said:

@Older4yngr Thanks much Stephen for the inputs. I started with overnight retard and did enjoy the loaves despite no oven spring. However few negative feedbacks from friends I gave to made me rethink about the sour flavour and I reworked my routine to cut down on the sourness. So now I do my levain first thing in the morning. 3 hrs later my autolyse, 70% hydration. An hour later rough mixing autolyse with 25% levain. The next 3 hrs I do my stretch and fold with 1 hour intervals. This usually will result with good double the volume. I stretch out the dough to do my final shaping. And goes into a dusted bowl. This proof for one and half hours to two. Base on one of the methods I learned, I only preheat oven for 15mins at 230C. The dough get turned out onto a cold tray and baked 10mins at 230C, reduce to 160C for the remaining 28 mins. Mine is a small oven and doesn't give me much space for placing a tray of boiling water hence I use a small cup of ice cube place in a corner when I put in the dough. The dough also get an overall spray of water once in the oven before I close.

 

I use non professional bread flours, meaning just the regular supermarket type with no indication of protein content percentage. Occasionally I could retard the dough overnight if time was running late and bake the next day straight from the fridge. 

 

Indeed agree that the experimentations had been the most fulfilling. Over the years had tried different methods and had made some improvements. However the huge oven spring and that 'dog-ear' effect eluded me. I truthly enjoy picking up different pointers from others. Than see if it could work into my routine. 

 

D627-DCC5-4-DFF-4-F9-A-BF63-B845-EAA65-E

One of my better result, if memory didn't fail me, I twirl this with chocolate flavoured sourdough and regular at the final shaping stage. 

My bakes are usually about a quarter kg. They are less tangy now that I tried to do it within the day.  I had done float test to make sure the starters ready and the mild poke test just before going into oven. 

Ah some flour in the market has a nutrition label, u can calculate the protein % from there ^^

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2 hours ago, phewphew said:

Ah some flour in the market has a nutrition label, u can calculate the protein % from there ^^

Are they similiar? Was wondering if the flour protein ration is equivalent to the nutritional label too. Professional huge sack of flour will normally indicate clearly but not on normal commercial packs for general consumers.

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ah well its close enuf, like those w labels (i.e. NOT PAGODA BRAND, i never figured their protein content HAHA, but its plain flour so) (but prima has nutri label) its does match the average protein content, like 12%for bread and 9-10% for AP

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@phewphew sorry again for the late response. Your bread making technique sounds much more sophisticated than mine: I don't even autolyse. I think that loaf looks really good. What was the crumb like?

 

I suspect that if you were able to find high protein bread flour you'd have an even better experience. Here in the UK we buy specific "bread flour", which is high gluten and makes good bread. Chatting with other friends in Europe I find they, too, have problems finding specific "bread flour".

 

You’re certainly doing all the right things so I think it's really a matter of trying to get the right flour.

 

Incidentally the very best website I've discovered about baking bread is The Fresh Loaf: the forums are excellent and people there are really helpful. (I've never posted or joined but have learned a lot from reading forum posts.)

 

Don't give up: bread making is always worthwhile!

 

Stephen

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6 hours ago, Older4yngr said:

@phewphew sorry again for the late response. Your bread making technique sounds much more sophisticated than mine: I don't even autolyse. I think that loaf looks really good. What was the crumb like?

 

I suspect that if you were able to find high protein bread flour you'd have an even better experience. Here in the UK we buy specific "bread flour", which is high gluten and makes good bread. Chatting with other friends in Europe I find they, too, have problems finding specific "bread flour".

 

You’re certainly doing all the right things so I think it's really a matter of trying to get the right flour.

 

Incidentally the very best website I've discovered about baking bread is The Fresh Loaf: the forums are excellent and people there are really helpful. (I've never posted or joined but have learned a lot from reading forum posts.)

 

Don't give up: bread making is always worthwhile!

 

Stephen

HAHA i think u meant @shyc, hes the one with the autolyse (i keep writing autolysis URHG)

 

Our bread flour is usually 12% gluten content, so thats fine HAHA its just some are unlabeled (and we aren't sure what the gluten content is) 

Anyway has anyone made franken-flour from AP and vital wheat gluten o.o How did it go?

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26 minutes ago, phewphew said:

Anyway has anyone made franken-flour from AP and vital wheat gluten o.o How did it go?

Haven't come across that term before, care to share a bit more? I tried google but just want to make sure we in the same direction of thots?

 

6 hours ago, Older4yngr said:

@phewphew sorry again for the late response. Your bread making technique sounds much more sophisticated than mine: I don't even autolyse. I think that loaf looks really good. What was the crumb like?

 

I suspect that if you were able to find high protein bread flour you'd have an even better experience. Here in the UK we buy specific "bread flour", which is high gluten and makes good bread. Chatting with other friends in Europe I find they, too, have problems finding specific "bread flour".

 

You’re certainly doing all the right things so I think it's really a matter of trying to get the right flour.

 

Incidentally the very best website I've discovered about baking bread is The Fresh Loaf:

 

Stephen

Hi Stephen, thanks for the encouragements. Yes The Fresh Loaf is my go to site when in troubled and looking for more infos. It was my first in depth discovery of how to start a starter. Currently a follower of FoodBod, I like and used (with personal modification) her Master recipe and techniques. Fuss free and easy for lazy folks like me. Tend to prefer convenience hence my preference to find solutions to lack of oven spring without relying on Dutch oven or not easily accessible French or Japanese bread flour. 

 

Loaf02a.jpg

Loaf02b.jpg

The earlier pict I posted had more dense crumb as I had used cocoa powder and forgot to increase hydration.

Current baking crumbs are mostly dense and don't have the typical big airy holes as in most sourdough bread.  Tried shorter / longer proofing, resulting with very dense heavy loaf or flat loaf with gummy crumbs. Current proofing time seems to work best with my starter. Eliminated the over proof or underproof aspect, short of timing the peak of the starter. 

 

P/s: no worries to late responses. really no urgencies to it. baking leisurely out of fun. many thanks 🙏 for the inputs.

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14 minutes ago, shyc said:

Haven't come across that term before, care to share a bit more? I tried google but just want to make sure we in the same direction of thots?

 

Hi Stephen, thanks for the encouragements. Yes The Fresh Loaf is my go to site when in troubled and looking for more infos. It was my first in depth discovery of how to start a starter. Currently a follower of FoodBod, I like and used (with personal modification) her Master recipe and techniques. Fuss free and easy for lazy folks like me. Tend to prefer convenience hence my preference to find solutions to lack of oven spring without relying on Dutch oven or not easily accessible French or Japanese bread flour. 

 

Loaf02a.jpg

Loaf02b.jpg

The earlier pict I posted had more dense crumb as I had used cocoa powder and forgot to increase hydration.

Current baking crumbs are mostly dense and don't have the typical big airy holes as in most sourdough bread.  Tried shorter / longer proofing, resulting with very dense heavy loaf or flat loaf with gummy crumbs. Current proofing time seems to work best with my starter. Eliminated the over proof or underproof aspect, short of timing the peak of the starter. 

 

P/s: no worries to late responses. really no urgencies to it. baking leisurely out of fun. many thanks 🙏 for the inputs.

Ah franken - something is just us millennial way of saying DIY XD (like Frankenstein) So its making bread flour out of AP and gluten, so u add gluten into the AP to match the protein content. I have heard of it, but never been desperate enough XD

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6 hours ago, phewphew said:

Ah franken - something is just us millennial way of saying DIY XD (like Frankenstein) So its making bread flour out of AP and gluten, so u add gluten into the AP to match the protein content. I have heard of it, but never been desperate enough XD

Interesting. With the wide range easily available here, I doubt anyone would need that. Guess it is more for places without easy access. Good to know thou. So far I only heard of adding corn flour to AP in order to give better textures to cakes. Or self raising flour substitutions in desperate times when one is short of it. I do that lots of times, looking into DIY substitute where I foresee a lack of usage for a certain items in the recipe. 

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Apologies to the two of you for muddling you up in my last response!

 

@shyc I know people go on about baking bread in Dutch ovens but in my experience that's not essential by any means. You can do well enough in an ordinary oven (provided it's able to reach the high temperature required when you first put in the bread—230C for 15 minutes for mine, then 200C for 25 minutes).

 

Oven spring is such an elusive thing. I bake my bread once every week (today in fact) and follow an identical recipe and timing on each occasion (except as mentioned below). Nevertheless, oven spring still varies. The crumb in your bread does look rather dense but the loaf itself looks great. I guess if it tastes good you should be happy!

 

If a loaf has been over-proved you sometimes see a thicker line of dough at the bottom of the loaf once baked. I don't see that on yours, which suggests that loaf was not over-proved. I still keep experimenting, from time to time, with proving times (just varying them by half-an-hour or so either way) to try to find the perfect time for my recipe....but I suspect it's an unending quest!

 

Stephen

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9 hours ago, shyc said:

Interesting. With the wide range easily available here, I doubt anyone would need that. Guess it is more for places without easy access. Good to know thou. So far I only heard of adding corn flour to AP in order to give better textures to cakes. Or self raising flour substitutions in desperate times when one is short of it. I do that lots of times, looking into DIY substitute where I foresee a lack of usage for a certain items in the recipe. 

Oh i never buy cake flour or self rising cos i usually do these "Franken flours" HAHA Im chaotic HAHA

 

1 hour ago, Older4yngr said:

Apologies to the two of you for muddling you up in my last response!

 

@shyc I know people go on about baking bread in Dutch ovens but in my experience that's not essential by any means. You can do well enough in an ordinary oven (provided it's able to reach the high temperature required when you first put in the bread—230C for 15 minutes for mine, then 200C for 25 minutes).

 

Oven spring is such an elusive thing. I bake my bread once every week (today in fact) and follow an identical recipe and timing on each occasion (except as mentioned below). Nevertheless, oven spring still varies. The crumb in your bread does look rather dense but the loaf itself looks great. I guess if it tastes good you should be happy!

 

If a loaf has been over-proved you sometimes see a thicker line of dough at the bottom of the loaf once baked. I don't see that on yours, which suggests that loaf was not over-proved. I still keep experimenting, from time to time, with proving times (just varying them by half-an-hour or so either way) to try to find the perfect time for my recipe....but I suspect it's an unending quest!

 

Stephen

HAHA the mix up is fine ^^. Woah so experienced in baking, HAHA ONE DAY I WILL REACH THAT STANDARD (maybe)

 

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On 6/20/2020 at 1:29 PM, Older4yngr said:

If a loaf has been over-proved you sometimes see a thicker line of dough at the bottom of the loaf once baked. I don't see that on yours, which suggests that loaf was not over-proved. I still keep experimenting, from time to time, with proving times (just varying them by half-an-hour or so either way) to try to find the perfect time for my recipe....but I suspect it's an unending quest!

 

Stephen

Thx Stephen. I m learning each time you post. I had seen the " thicker line of dough at the bottom" of my earlier loaves. All along I thot I had set the temperature too high and cause the crust to brown but crumb to be under baked. Had changed the temp to 160C for 30 mins after the first 10 mins at 230C. I might have set it too Low as the loaf is paler these days. No worries about the mixed up we Asian look alike 😜

 

23 hours ago, phewphew said:

Oh i never buy cake flour or self rising cos i usually do these "Franken flours" HAHA Im chaotic HAHA

M curious. I do the self raising substitute sometimes when the need arise but how do u do cake flour? Is it possible to remove gluten from AP?

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1 hour ago, shyc said:

Thx Stephen. I m learning each time you post. I had seen the " thicker line of dough at the bottom" of my earlier loaves. All along I thot I had set the temperature too high and cause the crust to brown but crumb to be under baked. Had changed the temp to 160C for 30 mins after the first 10 mins at 230C. I might have set it too Low as the loaf is paler these days. No worries about the mixed up we Asian look alike 😜

 

M curious. I do the self raising substitute sometimes when the need arise but how do u do cake flour? Is it possible to remove gluten from AP?

Oh the trick is to just add some corn starch into AP. That is just what i do cos im too lazy to get cake flour (and lets be honest, AP flour is the cheapest). Hey pale bread is still great bread ^^

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6 hours ago, phewphew said:

Oh the trick is to just add some corn starch into AP. That is just what i do cos im too lazy to get cake flour (and lets be honest, AP flour is the cheapest). Hey pale bread is still great bread ^^

 Pale seems like under bake but yet sometime pale and burn is only a split second away. 😆 

 

frankly have reservation about that cake flour 'trick', theoretically speaking adding corn starch doesn't remove the existing gluten in AP. In most instances when cake flour is require the pastries would not work with mid or high gluten flour, isn't it? Furthermore isn't cake flour a lot more refine than AP? Interesting I just googled and realise it is recommended/suggested too. Maybe one day when the curiosity mood kicks in, will give it a try. 

 

Incidentally came across a new brand of bread flour in the supermarket. Maybe will see if any different when making bread.

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23 hours ago, shyc said:

Had changed the temp to 160C for 30 mins after the first 10 mins at 230C. I might have set it too Low as the loaf is paler these days

@shyc I'd definitely say 160C was too low. As I mentioned, for my 1kg seeded wholemeal sourdough loaf I use 15 minutes at 230C followed by 25 minutes at 200C. The actual times may not be right for your bread but I'd certainly be inclined to use 200C for the second stage.

 

Stephen

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2 hours ago, Older4yngr said:

@shyc I'd definitely say 160C was too low. As I mentioned, for my 1kg seeded wholemeal sourdough loaf I use 15 minutes at 230C followed by 25 minutes at 200C. The actual times may not be right for your bread but I'd certainly be inclined to use 200C for the second stage.

 

Stephen

Hi Stephen, yes I noted your temp and timing in your earlier postings. Planning to try it out in my next bake. Also found a new brand of bread flour in the supermarket here. Still toying with the idea if I want to try it out too. 

Just curious what your schedules for your starter? Mine goes in the fridge for not more than 1 and half weeks. I leave it to room temp (abt an hour) and feed, use it 3-4 hrs later ( usually slightly more than double) . The remaining goes back in the fridge. The cycle repeats. 

My questions:

1. Do you feed 2-4 rounds before using?

2. Do you feed, let it double than place in fridge. Use when required after it's back to room temp?

3. What type of flour do you feed?

Cheers.

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On 6/22/2020 at 9:16 AM, shyc said:

1. Do you feed 2-4 rounds before using?

2. Do you feed, let it double than place in fridge. Use when required after it's back to room temp?

3. What type of flour do you feed?

@shyc answers as follows:

  1. I take the starter (called 'Bruce" for some unknown reason 😀) out of the fridge first thing on a Friday and feed at 10.30, 12.30 and 2.30 before starting to make the bread dough at 4.30.
  2. When I've used some of the starter to make the bread dough I pour some away, to reduce the quantity a little, then feed it again before returning it straight back to the fridge.
  3. I feed with wholemeal bread flour—the same as I use to make my bread.

I'm not really bothered about this business of the starter doubling in size. I find if I feed it on that schedule it works perfectly well (so well, in fact, I'm planning this week to experiment a little by reducing the amount of starter used when I make the bread dough and increasing the water to maintain the hydration: i want to be able to do a longer retarded prove in the fridge to develop more flavour).

 

Hope this is clear. If not by all means ask again!

 

Stephen

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12 hours ago, Older4yngr said:

I'm not really bothered about this business of the starter doubling in size. I find if I feed it on that schedule it works perfectly well (so well, in fact, I'm planning this week to experiment a little by reducing the amount of starter used when I make the bread dough and increasing the water to maintain the hydration: i want to be able to do a longer retarded prove in the fridge to develop more flavour).

 

Hope this is clear. If not by all means ask again!

 

Stephen

Thanks again Stephen. Very clearly written. 🙏 I am however wondering what feeding twice 2 hrs apart does? I had tried feeding the night before, left in room temp and feed again next morning. Using it 3-4 hrs later versus just letting it sit an hour in room temp in the morning feeding and use 3-4 hrs later with no significant differences. 

 

What amount of starter are you using now and how much are you increasing it to?

I started with 50% but had over time reduced to 25% or lesser in order to cut down on sourness. Likewise for bulk proofing or retarding in fridge. I am doing the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. Cut from retarding overnight to baking within the day. More so because it is more commonly acceptable by folks here to eat commercial white loaves from supermarket. I personally preferred the sourness and could actually finish one whole loaf, just nibbling like snacks. 😂 

 

Over the week, I finally put to test to see the rise and fall of Arthur (not her real name, name had been modified to safeguard her identity form being outed. 🙊😜). I finally realise that by the 7th hours, Arthur would had been exhausted and start to show signs of collapsing. Hence final putting an end to my doubts about stretching and folding beyond 4-5 hours. For the record I had on busy occasion forgotten about the dough and left on the countertop for stretch and fold for 8-10hrs. Resulting in a completely flatten loaf. 🙈

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On 6/21/2020 at 10:04 PM, shyc said:

 Pale seems like under bake but yet sometime pale and burn is only a split second away. 😆 

 

frankly have reservation about that cake flour 'trick', theoretically speaking adding corn starch doesn't remove the existing gluten in AP. In most instances when cake flour is require the pastries would not work with mid or high gluten flour, isn't it? Furthermore isn't cake flour a lot more refine than AP? Interesting I just googled and realise it is recommended/suggested too. Maybe one day when the curiosity mood kicks in, will give it a try. 

 

Incidentally came across a new brand of bread flour in the supermarket. Maybe will see if any different when making bread.

I would assume that it doesn't lower the gluten content BUT it inhibit gluten cross-linking (im not too sure of the word), thus less chewie?

 

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3 hours ago, shyc said:

What amount of starter are you using now and how much are you increasing it to?

@shyc my recipe (which I developed myself years ago from my ordinary bread recipe—i.e., non-sourodugh) used 187g of starter with 406g wholemeal bread flour and 125g white bread flour (and 390g of water and 70g of mixed seeds). I'm going to try reducing the starter to 125g initially—and so increasing the water content to 403g to maintain the hydration. The starter is 178% hydration (61g of flour to 79g of water): probably higher than most people use but it has worked for me.

 

I don't stretch and fold the dough for a long period, like you have. When it's first made I let it rest for 15 minutes then stretch and fold it four times every ten minutes and then let it rest for an hour before putting it into a banneton for overnight retarded proving in the fridge.

 

I should say that this is probably all completely unorthodox as the recipe is one I've developed over very many years and in many respects does not follow standard sourdough recipes.So please don't assume my way is the right way! It's simply something that has worked for me…so far.

 

Stephen

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@Older4yngr your starter hydration is high. Assuming likewise for your dough. I find too high hydrations I tend to get collapse dough when I turn it out on baking tray since I don't do cold retard these days. Will try a shorter stretch and fold and longer retard. 

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1 hour ago, shyc said:

your starter hydration is high. Assuming likewise for your dough.

@shyc Yes, the starter hydration is high. The overall dough hydration is 80.85% - which seems to work well for me using primarily wholemeal bread flour, with some white bread flour mixed in.

 

In my experience, the cold retard makes a real difference to the flavour. Having at the weekend reduced the amount of starter I use the dough had an 18+ hour retarded proving in the fridge at 5C and the flavour of the bread was excellent…much better than when I used more starter and had as a result to have a shorter period of retarded proving (in order not to over-prove).

 

I've been making this bread for years and am obviously still learning! It's so worthwhile experimenting.

 

Stephen

Edited by Older4yngr
Added name tag to quoted poster

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