Print Story Attn Doughy Infidels!
Food
By LilFlightTest (Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:14:44 PM EST) (all tags)
I am, admittedly, a breadmaking novice. I attempted to make some rolls the other day, and while tasty, they didn't quite have the texture I was looking for. What did I do wrong?


They were sweet yeast rolls. They tasted as expected, but were a bit tough, and not fluffy at all. The expected texture was dense but soft. This recipe was the first I'd ever used without clear instructions- it was full of things like "let stand until..." and "knead until" and "add flour until" and gave some vague description of what the texture should be at that step. I ended up not even using all the flour the recipe called for, because I was going by the texture...so I may have gotten that wrong too. I suspect I went wrong in the kneading or rising steps...but I'm not sure if I kneaded too much, not enough, too much flour, not enough, etc...

I want to make these again because they were tasty, I just want the texture to be right. They take a longass time to make, too, so it's disappointing to go through all the work to not have it come out quite right.

help me, HuSiWan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

< All aboard the opera train | I am afraid >
Attn Doughy Infidels! | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Too dense by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:53:40 PM EST
If I had to guess and assuming you're new to baking bread, I'd say you used ordinary flour. Bread makers would refer to it as "crap flour". You really do need to have the good stuff if you want to make good bread. And heavy, dense bread is a sign of low quality flour.

Could also be too much fat, or not enough rising (or too much, that one really makes new bakers pull out their hair). It could be too much salt, also, but that's a lot less likely.

This might help: http://www.baking911.com/bread/problems.htm

this strikes me by garlic (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:25:54 PM EST
like the issue of getting a carbon fiber bike for lightness when the rider is significantly overweight -- i.e. it can help, but may not be the area that needs addressing first.


[ Parent ]
Bread flour's quite a lot different to all-purpose by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:54:13 PM EST
using your analogy, it's more like someone of average fitness trying to do a 20 mile bike ride on a heavy dual-suspension bike with the saddle too low and crappy underinflated tyres: they'd do it fine on any bike in OK condition, but on that one, it's a no-goer.

That said, if it's tough, then it's not all-purpose flour. The whole no-gluten problem would be that it would be crumbly.

[ Parent ]
Not at all by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:19:21 PM EST
Sometimes you really do need to use the right tool for the job. Baking bread with bread flour is one of them. There may or may not be other problems, but until this one is fixed the bread still isn't going to turn out.

[ Parent ]
I would add by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:03:50 PM EST
Notafurry suggested that you used the wrong flour. That's possible. I would suggest buying some gluten and adding a tablespoon or two to the flour as you're mixing the dough.

The gluten both provides more food for the yeast (making more bubbles) and helps bind the bread together.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
i do have gluten by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:06:44 PM EST
at which stage should i add it? one step has me adding enough flour to make a batter, the letting it sit, and the next step is to add enough flour to make dough.
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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
That's two different techniques. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:23:02 PM EST
Always mix the gluten with the flour, then divvy the flour up into the recipe.

As for how to mix the flour and we ingredients - The first method you mentioned is the traditional method, and it's most useful when you're trying to make a sour-dough. If you're working with modern  commercial yeast, the second method works best.

I do have to tell you that bread making is always an experiment - very small differences in ratios or ingredients create completely different breads. Just have fun and let a bread maker do the hard work of kneading for you. 


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
See ambrosen's comment by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:20:58 PM EST
Lack of gluten makes loaves fall apart and be crumbly. This load is described as being dense and tough. More gluten will make that worse, not better.

[ Parent ]
Not in my experience. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:11:30 PM EST
Gluten also acts as food for the yeast, creating a higher rising loaf.

In my own experience a dense loaf indicates starving yeast.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Gluten by ni (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:26:57 PM EST
The gluten both provides more food for the yeast

Where did you learn this? It's not intuitive.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
Actually, it is intuitive by lm (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 06:21:08 AM EST
It's just wrong.

There are many cookings books, baking books, web sites, etcetera, that advise adding gluten to multi-purpose flour if you're bread is turning out too dense. Their advice is correct.

The intuitive conclusion is that because the loaf is dense, it isn't rising enough and if it isn't rising enough, it's because the yeast isn't working right and if the yeast isn't working right, it's because it didn't have enough to eat and starved to death.

But that's not what the gluten does in flour. Gluten forms protein strands that trap the carbon-dioxide given off by the yeast as the bread rises and then sets as the bread bakes. This might be intuitive to a chemist. But it isn't to most people trying to make a loaf of bread.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Thanks for telling me what I find intuitive. by ni (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 10:04:03 AM EST
I'm never clear on that!

But that's not what the gluten does in flour. Gluten forms protein strands that trap the carbon-dioxide given off by the yeast as the bread rises and then sets as the bread bakes. This might be intuitive to a chemist. But it isn't to most people trying to make a loaf of bread.

I knew that, of course. I suspect that OviousTroll does, too. He did not deny this (in fact, he essentially said the same thing you did, with less detail) but rather made a separate claim about an additional mechanism behind the gluten. Aside from blankly denying this, you haven't remarked on this at all.

When I said "not intuitive", I meant biochemically. I know a bit about yeast metabolism, and find it very unlikely it would tackle protein catabolism for energy in all but the most dire environment. Perhaps I find this intuitive too, though (it's so damn hard to tell!) -- maybe you could clear it up for me?


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
My apologies by lm (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 05:57:20 PM EST
When you wrote "It's not intuitive", I had presumed that you meant this as a general statement rather than as "It's not intuitive to me."

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
You are apparently correct, sir. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:16:48 PM EST
From a cookbook on bread baking. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:12:15 PM EST
and from personal experience - adding gluten to flour makes the bread rise higher. 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
It probably does, by ni (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:21:32 PM EST
but my bet is that it's due to increased dough elasticity, and not increased CO2 production. Yeast have no nutritive need for gluten, particularly when they're surrounded by sugar.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
What they usually mean by barooo (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:11:00 PM EST
It's hard to over-knead bread, so don't worry about that.  For typical recipes, unless you're going for some sort of crazy artisan bread that's super wet, you can usually knead the hell out of it for a good solid 5-10 minutes by hand.  It's not done (again, for typical dough) if you can't take a little piece and sort of stretch it out without it just wanting to tear easily.  For typical dough, it should be dry enough that it forms a ball, and if you put it in a bowl it looks like a ball, not a blob.  If you touch it it should seem slightly tacky at most, but I prefer to err on the side of too wet if one must err.

As far as textures go, too dense either means it didn't rise enough, or it rose too much.  It's done rising (with the current rise, but you can stretch and fold it back into a ball and let it go a second time) when if you gently poke it it shows no signs of wanting to spring back.  After you shape it or pan it, make sure it's risen again before you try and bake it.   My guess is that it wasn't done rising after you shaped it or panned it, but if it rose like crazy and sort of collapsed, then it's the other.

If you want an awesome book, check out anything by Peter Reinhart.  The Bread Baker's Apprentice is good, and he also has a newer one I forget the name of, as well as one for whole grain breads.

Ignore the flour people.  If you're making sweet rolls, AP is what you want.  Bread is what you want for french bread or bagels or ciabatta.


man, i need a beefy taco now.
-gzt
the rise was my guess too by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:46:33 PM EST
and I'm guessing it didn't rise enough. I was sorta pressed for time so I probably didn't let it go long enough. it was supposed to double, be punched down and divided, let stand, shaped, then doubled again.  i probably put it in the oven too soon.
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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
enriched yeast rolls are by barooo (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:32:09 PM EST
very forgiving.  You can punch them down violently, etc.  If you're pressed for time, after you shape it put it somewhere that's nice and toasty, about 95 degrees, and it'll go nuts.  On the contrary, if it's going too fast and you aren't ready, throw it in the fridge for a bit.  Or even overnight, immediately after shaping and let it sit out for an hour or two before you bake.  This will probably taste even better and brown more deeply when you get it exactly right; the enzymes have time to break down starches and such. 

man, i need a beefy taco now.
-gzt
[ Parent ]
Attn Doughy Infidels! | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback