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Bread bakers help regarding texture please

(20 Posts)
RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:12:36

All the bread I make at home is too dense. I don't have a bread maker but bake in the oven. Last bread I baked was with a sourdough sachets which improved the taste but it is a bit rock like.

I would like to get the texture with really big air pockets in it. What do I need to do?

PlentyOfPubeGardens Mon 06-Jan-14 17:15:08

More kneading, slightly wetter dough and slower rising all help IME

RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:16:49

Is 5 minutes not enough kneading? I use a kitchen machine for this part.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Mon 06-Jan-14 17:17:05

Also, to get the really big, uneven air holes, you might want to try an actual sourdough culture rather than a sachet. I've never done this myself but I think it's quite easy.

Even quite gone wrong homemade bread is delicious smile

RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:17:09

and can you knead too much?

PlentyOfPubeGardens Mon 06-Jan-14 17:18:32

I do 10 minutes but don't use a machine so probably equivalent. Try making it a bit wetter.

RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:18:59

Great. Thanks for the tips Plenty

Aliama Mon 06-Jan-14 17:21:53

Probably not long enough. Try kneading for 10 minutes, see if that helps. Also go by texture. You want the dough to be very stretchy and smooth. Do you know the windowpane test? Take a small lump of dough and see if you can stretch it out thinly enough that you can see light through it.

How long do you leave to prove? It might also have been overproved, which means the bread can't hold its structure because the air holes are too big, and it collapsed. If you've overproved, reshape and leave to prove again.

nicename Mon 06-Jan-14 17:22:23

Its so cold at the moment - did you give loads of time for it to rise? Sourdough dough can be sloppy. Lakeland sell something called 'dough improver' which does make it better.

coffeeinbed Mon 06-Jan-14 17:22:44

I don't knead at all.
Stir a bit, keep it very very wet, let rise overnight in fridge.

Aliama Mon 06-Jan-14 17:24:00

I should add I use a mixer too, and tend to mix for 10 minutes or so. Not sure about whether it's possible to over knead.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Mon 06-Jan-14 17:24:26

Give the ingredients a quick mix and leave to sit for an hour for two before kneading. Starts the process off. And agree re.wetter dough.

RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:24:33

Oh, I see some experts. Will give the test a go, Ali.

It wasn't that cold where I am but I mistakenly opened the window for a minute which my DM always told me to avoid - no drafts for anything with yeast.

Aliama Mon 06-Jan-14 17:25:14

Oh, and do you use 'proper' yeast as well, or just the sourdough sachet? Sourdough takes ages to rise.

RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:25:39

I like your method best, coffeeinbed grin

RedundantExpat Mon 06-Jan-14 17:26:47

My recipe had 12g of fresh yeast plus two sachets of sourdough starter (to 500g flour) but really little water so I added some that was not in the recipe.

coffeeinbed Mon 06-Jan-14 17:47:49

I have a book called No Need to Knead.
I do what they say, and it works.

RedundantExpat Thu 09-Jan-14 12:19:20

I have just tried a no kneading bread
and it has great big air bubbles in it!

and needed no kneading


coffeeinbed Thu 09-Jan-14 13:19:12

What I do is use a very wet dough, pour on tray, dimple the top, cover with lots of olive oil and coarse salt and chopped rosemary.
Perfect focaccia. Much better than anything you can buy.

RedundantExpat Thu 09-Jan-14 20:57:05

It's so good! not that it helps me to cut down on carbs grin but the DCs are well impressed with it.

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