Stages of Bread Making
I noticed you are using instant yeast in this formula. Is everything fine if you use active yeast and follow the usual steps and adjust accordingly?
Maybe 1 c warm water? (The recipe print out says Instant yeast)
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
Indeed you can use active dry yeast instead of instant dry yeast if you like. With the active dry you will just need to rehydrate it first (instant you technically don't have to rehydrate). The amounts will be the same for either of them. It is also not necessary to use warm water but you can if you like. Warm water merely speeds up the process.
You may also want to check out the "yeast topic" from the "How to Make Bread | Basics" lesson.
Hope this helps Ian, good luck and happy baking!
To understand the proofing stage takes practice and a feeling for the dough. The more you bake, the more you will understand if you have under- or over-proofed. This is just one of those things that you have to dive into, test for yourself...and trust yourself. Basically, you are trying to find that sweet spot. If the indentation completely remains or if it springs back very quickly, the dough isn't at the ideal stage before baking.
Don't be afraid of messing up. At the beginning, it is all about learning. Just let go and give it a try. You'll be happy with the results you achieve and have an understanding of what to adjust/try for the next time. Cheers!
Even though you bake a lot, we are happy to know that you got something out of this lesson. Sometimes, going back to the very basics can really help to identify steps that might not have been fully implemented or understood.
The French term autolyse refers to a resting period after water and flour have been mixed. It helps the flour to better absorb the water. This can assist with gluten development and can make working with the dough and shaping easier. We'll get more into this in advanced bread making lessons, but not right now. We want people to be able to walk - and walk with confidence - before they start to run. One step at a time. Happy baking!
Many thanks for teaching/sharing great techniques on bread making.
I have taught myself baking bread by reading great instructional books. In your video you are baking only one loaf of bread. Is it because you are after clear lesson instructions or is it advisable to bake just one loaf at a time? I usually proof 3 baguettes at a time on a parchment paper (separating each loaf by creating pleats out of paper between each baguette) on the back of a baking pan and after proofing I slide loaves still on parchment paper right on the baking stone that was preheated in the oven. Would the bread texture improve if the loafs are baked one at a time?
We started out with one loaf of bread because as people are just beginning to learn it is easier to handle and deal with. If you can manage to make more dough, and if your oven can accommodate it all at the same time, by all means go ahead. Happy baking!
In the 1cup/2cup formula, what is the weight of the flour?
I tried the lean dough recipe with 8oz. water and 8.4oz. flour (King Arthur All-purpose, Unbleached). Then I casually filled half my measuring cup with flour for the bench and kneading. I ended up using all that plus about 3/4 cup extra before the dough was ready to come out of the mixing bowl.
So, if I had two 4.2oz. cups of flour, then I ended up with 3 1/4 cups before I could start kneading. That sounds like too much. So how much does a cup of flour weigh? Or, is that normal for my hot humid mid-west climate?
We purposefully did not include the weight of the ingredients for this lesson because we want people to be able to tackle bread without it being too complicated or too intimidating - especially for those who have never made it before. Yes, advanced baker's weigh ingredients for consistent results, but here the goal is to get you to "feel" the dough and develop the proper consistency.
Flours will vary from brand to brand and definitely season to season, so it's hard to say just how much flour you will need with the type you are using. The humidity in your environment will also affect this. Keep practicing, making sure to keep the dough tacky during kneading as shown in the lesson.
To answer your question, typically, one cup of bread flour will weigh approximately 4.25 ounces or 130 grams. With the Simple Baker's Bread Formula, we want you to start out with 2 cups, but it doesn't mean you can't add more. We're trying to prevent people from adding too much and winding up with a really dense dough. Cheers!
Again, this is a basic baking lesson, so we are not going to get into hydration, DDT's, baker's percentage or weights. Coming from a person who loves to weigh things, I understand how this may be uncomfortable for some. However, this lesson challenges you to use all of your senses and develop a loaf of bread based on that. In future lessons, we will get into more advanced concepts and techniques, but for now, the point is to get in there, get your hands dirty and learn to identify the stages of bread making without over thinking it. Happy Baking!
I've baked many times before, taught by my mom and "Beard on Bread". I was a little worried about the wetness of this dough but I stuck with it. In the end, the bread was great. My wife and I just ate the whole loaf with some tomato soup and called it diner.
I had some issues though. I've always heard "... when the dough pulls cleanly off the sides of the bowl" and never understood what that meant. If I have a sticky ball that "strings" against the sides as I stir it, leaving bits stuck to the bowl, as soon as add just a little flour, the ball "tightens up" and refuses to stick, leaving the bits on the bowl dry. Eventually the flour gets absorbed and I end up right where I started. This doesn't seem to change at all from the "clay stage" on. It seems like I could go on adding a couple tablespoons of flour all day long and never reach a point where the dough, when fully mixed, "cleans itself off the bowl."
The dough was SO wet when kneading that it sticks to the counter. I end up with a layer of stuck dough once I'm done that only a knife (I don't have a bench scraper) will lift up. Should I be scraping and re-incorporating as I kneed?
The "window test". I don't get how this works. I knead for ~5 minutes, cut a piece off, wait about 2 minutes, and try to stretch it. It always breaks. I kneaded this loaf for about 45 MINUTES. Am I not waiting long enough before testing? I never seem to get the "smooth and tacky" dough surface. It always blisters and tears, even after kneading forever. Is this a sign that I'm not kneading correctly? Am I using the wrong flour? (King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose, ~13% protein).
Sorry for the raft of question.
First and foremost, glad you enjoyed the loaf of bread you baked - that YOU baked! You must have done something right :)
1. As you're adding flour to the clay stage, don't worry about every bit of dough coming off the sides of the bowl - it won't. The mass shouldn't be a big blob but as you mix it, it becomes sort of one mass. This is when you turn it out onto a floured counter top, add a bit more flour and start kneading.
2. It is absolutely worth it to invest in a bench scraper. They are only about $3 and one of the handiest tools you'll have in the kitchen - not only for baking, but for picking up ingredients after chopping, cleaning off the surface of the counter, etc.
The dough will be sticky. Incorporate flour a bit at a time until you can handle it, and, yes, scrape the counter as you go to pick up and incorporate everything.
3. 45 minutes kneading time is excessive. Just make sure you are driving the dough into the counter with the heel of your hand(s), folding it over, turning it and repeating the process. I'm sure you're doing a great job, but you don't need to knead for this long.
A couple of minutes of resting is plenty of time to wait before you test the piece. Possibly, you could be stretching the dough too quickly when performing the window test. Be gentle with the dough. Once you are done kneading, you can lightly dust the dough with flour to shape it into a smooth ball.
4. I used to live in Maryland and used King Arthur flour all the time, so don't worry. You can try experimenting with other flours; however, I remember it was hard to find high-protein flours in that area.
Hope this helps. Don't give up! It just takes practice.
I made a mistake in the mixing state by not giving the yeast enough time to rehydrate.
When starting over with the dough, which would be the correct way to use this yeast if you describe a method (dissolve it in water, let it rest 5 minutes, after it sits stir to completely dissolve and let fully rehydrate for another 5 minutes) and the yeast package describe another? (use luke warm water + sugar and 15 minutes of rest).
By reading the posts, i guess im also having trouble with the humidity in the environment as Aubrey G.
This really takes practice!
Im on my way to get more flour, hope i can get a good and happy dough this time.
I would follow the way that was shown in the lesson (the first option that you wrote). That being said, the directions on the package will also work. The sugar is not necessary if you know your yeast is fresh and the lukewarm water will just speed up the process. Just make sure the water is not too hot or you will kill the rest (more on this in the lesson, if you need).
Hope this helps - happy practicing!
Yesterday after reaching the consistency shown on the lesson, I had to leave the dough fermenting on the refrigerator overnight.
This morning I notice the dough had some unsmooth texture, i don't know why. Anyway, i continue making the bread after the dough was at room temperature.
Once in the oven i notice something wasn't right. The dough raised but not with the same smoothness shown in the video.
I also couldn't get the nice brown color shown. I had to leave the bread a long time on the oven to get a light brown!
The worst of all is that i end up with a baguette from stone :(
Im using a gas oven instead of an electric one, could this be one of the problems?
If the dough was left to ferment in the refrigerator, punch it down once you remove it. After about 15 minutes, even though the dough will be cold, you can go straight into shaping it (it's actually easier to shape cold dough). The proofing time will be longer. It might be worthwhile to buy an oven thermometer to test the temperature of your oven and make sure it is at the correct setting. Sometimes gas ovens can provide uneven heat for baking. Don't give up, try again! Cheers!
The bread turned out and looks great, with only one problem. It tastes really salty. I don't use much salt in any of my cooking/baking, so is it just because I'm not use to it? (I followed the measurements in the recipe exactly). Is salt necessary in the bread, or is it just personal taste? Thanks.
The first time was a personal disaster due to mistakes I made and the crust was a disaster. However when the recipe called for "cool" water, I used water @60 degrees which took twice as long to rise. The flavor was awesome despite the fact the crust sucked; the second go around I used water at 100 degrees. I paid closer attention to the steps and the bread came out perfectly. The crust was beautiful however the flavor wasn't as good. The saltiness was lacking though I made no change in the amount of salt. Only the water temp was different. Any thoughts on whether that caused the flavor to taste differently?
Baking bread takes plenty of practice to obtain consistent results. There are just so many factors that can affect the outcome.
The longer the dough is allowed to ferment, the more flavor will develop; so, if you used cooler water and left the dough to ferment in a cool room or refrigerator, it will take longer to rise and, therefore, develop more flavor. In terms of the crust, proofing, slashing, steaming, the temperature of your oven and baking times could all have an impact on the result. A common mistake (especially in North America) is to not bake the bread for long enough. The baguette should have a deep golden color and the tips should be quite dark.
The key is to keep on doing what you are doing. Keep on practicing and pay very close attention to the conditions of the ingredients and your environment. This is why it often takes bakers years to perfect a bread. Baking bread is both an art and a science. Happy baking!
Does anybody know how to make a baguette? I love baguettes and their fresh bread smell so any insight on how to make this will be totally awesome! I live on Guam so it's hard to come by GOOD baguettes that are the real thing. Thanks in advance, Laura