Having an issue Making Bread....3rd attempt using suggestions here

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by lockedhearts, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    I made the White bread posted by GumpsGirl and it turned out good. I have tried, unsuccessfully 2 times to make a nice crusty french bread and it STINKS!!! It seems heavy and hard to cut and impossible to eat.
    1) I think I may be getting my dough too stiff, I will try using a little less flour next time and not kneading as much.

    Any other advice? French Bread I have bought from a Store/Bakery is very light inside with nice even aration holes in the dough, what I am getting is very dense inside.

    If someone has a good recipe they would like to share I would appreciate it, I used a recipe from allrecipes.com

    I love a crusty bread, especially with soups & stews, but I am about to bang my head on the stove over this [​IMG]

    I am in the process now and so far so good. I used non-iodized salt and it is on the last rise, I did not let it rise in the oven but I did cover with a warm damp towel and that seems to have helped. I should have taken pics through the whole process but forgot.
    I also did not use as much flour and the dough was not as stiff.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  2. Queen Scoot

    Queen Scoot Crochet Chieftess

    May 27, 2008
    i usually use less salt than what is called for to me it makes it lighter and rises better
  3. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Thats a good tip , I will try that.
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I let my french bread recipe raise twice before I shape it into the loaves, then it raises a third time before baking. I think that helps.
  5. HSmamma

    HSmamma In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2008
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    I was a bakery manager for safeway for 17 years. I was thinking about this today, as I have never been able to make bread at home until I read the recipes here.

    This is what I am going to try. I kicked this around with one of the bakery mucky mucks over coffee today at work.

    When we rise or "proof" the bread it is done in a very hot humid cabinet. We pre-heat the oven to 450 and blast the bread with steam and put the temp to 400 for the rest of the bake. This gives it the crisp thin crust and moist interior.

    You might get better results if you cover your bread with a warm damp tea towel. You can also heat your oven to about 150 and when you put the bread in to rise put a bowl of boiling water int he oven. Turn the oven off and close the door. The moisture will keep the top of the bread from drying out and not allowing the bread to rise fully.

    When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the oven and heat it to about 25 degrees higher than you want to bake it at. Put your pan of dough in the oven and get a 1/2 cup measure of that boiling water and toss it in your oven away from the bread, but in a spot that is a solid sheet of metal away from the coils. (I don't have coils in my oven, so this might work well for me.)
    Shut the oven quick and lower the temp to the called for temp and finish the bake.

    oh and scoring the top of hte dough before you put it in the oven helps with expansion during baking.

    I will try this and if you do too, post your results and lets see what we can come up with.
  7. jo-me

    jo-me In the Brooder

    Nov 13, 2008
    Make sure you are not using idoine salt. It kill the yeast. For many years I couldn't figure out why my bread wouldn't rise the way it suppose too. I would even use a thermometer and it still wouldn't rise correctly and the bread would be heavy. Till I read that idione kills yeast. I do use bread flour and if I am baking with wheat flour I aslo add extra gluten. Now I don't have heavy bread and it rises avery time. Hope this help. Jo-me
  8. BlairMitch73

    BlairMitch73 Hatching

    Jan 21, 2009
    Okay so finally something I can chime in on successfully. So I make quite a bit of Sourdough at home and thanks to a couple awesome books on bread making by Reinhart I got the hang of that amazing crunchy crust and reasonably hole interior.

    Holey Interior

    1. Wetter the dough the more rustic the bread.
    2. Make sure you give it a very gentle handling while shaping for the final rise.

    Nice Crust
    1. Use a pizza stone
    2. Use a steam bath
    Put a heave baking sheet or case iron skillet on the rack beneath the stone and preheat oven for 45-1 hour. Heat about a cup of water to boiling and have a spray bottle of water on hand. Put the bread onto the baking stone, pour hot water into the preheated baking pan (carefully the steam hurts and burns) and spritz the sides of the oven (not the glass or the bulb they might break from the cold water) to generate steam. Close oven and two minutes later open and spritz again.
    3. Get some Diastatic Malt Extract. It will help the rise and help browning my breaking down more starchs to simple sugar.
    4. Do a over night retardation of the bread after you have shaped the loaves.

    So I know this all sounds like a lot of work... I also rise at room temperature. So a 4lbs batch of sourdough and work with a intermediate starter..... I think that also makes it even tastier.

    Hope this helps!
  9. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    Spritz the bread with a spray bottle before it goes in the oven, spritz it again after 5 minutes (DON'T hit the light...trust me)

    Also put a shallow pan with a bit of hot water in the oven on the rack under the bread. Let it dry halfway through the baking.

    You can let your dough rise first overnight in the fridge, then once more on a pan in a plastic bag on the counter.

    Less water is good, as is a high protein flour. For french bread use half AP and half bread flour.

    If you don't want to buy a pizza stone, get an unglazed tile from the hardware store.
  10. mirecipes

    mirecipes Songster

    Sep 5, 2008
    I also use the spritzing method and heating the oven pretty high and then turning it down when I put the bread in..

    One thing I also do that I haven't seen here..is add powdered milk to my flour before I add the liquid..

    Dunno why it works, a friend of mine told me about it [​IMG]
    I can make a soft bread (like you get from the big bakeries) from straight home ground whole wheat (no white flour) that way [​IMG]

    Cant help you with a recipe tho..
    I just kind of throw things in, been doing it that way for years [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: