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Bread making issues

(24 Posts)
LeBFG Fri 21-Sep-12 17:56:26

Calling all who make their own bread by hand. I've been finally getting good loaves using 500g flour plus a bit of butter and sugar - 20 mins rise, knock back, 1hr rise - oven 220 for . Nice colour, looks great. THe main problem is it is quite crumbly when sliced. What can I do to improve this? Am I leaving it too long to prove? Is there too much yeast? I follow the yeast packet recipe so...I'm stumped really.

UnChartered Fri 21-Sep-12 17:59:24

i don't like butter in my bread (different story when it comes to eating it, mind)

try using a tblspn of veg oil and perhaps kneading a little longer in the knocking back stage?

YouOldSlag Fri 21-Sep-12 18:00:41

yes oil is smoother than butter in bread

LeBFG Fri 21-Sep-12 18:12:06

OK, will do this in the next loaf. I keep thinking it might be rising too much (humph, before my problem was it wouldn't rise enough!) so perhaps I'm holding back a bit at the knocking back stage.

starfishmummy Fri 21-Sep-12 19:19:52

I do my proving times the other way round - so the first rise is the longer one. Don't know if that would.cause crumbliness though.

LeBFG Sat 22-Sep-12 08:59:37

Oh, you do that starfish? I know the Delia recipes do and hour plus an hour. I'm still wondering if I add too much yeast. It's fast action dried stuff that somes in sachets. One sachet for 500g flour for machine made bread. Two sachets for same quantity of hand made bread, so I use 2. Perhaps my needing skills are just too good grin

LeBFG Sat 22-Sep-12 08:59:48

I mean 'kneading'

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Sep-12 10:13:41

Are you using good quality extra stong bread flour with a high gluten content? Do you knead it until it is very stretchy? And is your dough a soft consistency rather than quite stiff? Usually 'crumbly' means inadequate gluten in the flour or inadequate kneading.

LeBFG Sat 22-Sep-12 10:46:29

Ahh, is that so? Worth knowing. I knead until I get tired! The dough is always nice and springy, never stiff. I've been changing the flour - some of the organic wholemeal has been the best wrt crumbling. So I think you have a point. I don't know how to tell the gluten content of the flour I buy. Is it normally marked somewhere?

KnockKnockPenny Sat 22-Sep-12 11:52:48

I make my bread with no kneading at all smile It makes quite rustic type bread, but it is awesome. I use the 5 minute-no-knead bread method.

TunipTheVegemal Sat 22-Sep-12 12:03:40

Plain flour has little gluten, strong has more and superstrong has even more.

I find if I put more water in it's less crumbly. My standard white loaf is 500g strong flour with 320ml water. If I make a cottage loaf it's 300ml water or less, which makes a stiffer dough (so the cottage loaf stands up) and a crumbly texture.

I also agree with Cogito about kneading and gluten. The kneading gets the gluten working, and it's the gluten that forms long strands and stops it being crumbly.

LeBFG Sat 22-Sep-12 12:49:25

Have you got an easy to follow link for the recipe you use KK?

My last loaf has turned out pretty OK - I finished the old flour I was using and mixed with a new one. Perhaps the newer one is higher in gluten? I'll carry on trying different varieties. Thanks for the tips smile

TirednessKills Sat 22-Sep-12 16:28:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 22-Sep-12 16:57:20

The no-knead bread.

I do the Dan Lepard method which involves minimal kneading: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/24/foodanddrink.baking8

I use butter and sometimes oil - no discernable difference.

LeBFG Sun 23-Sep-12 09:20:51

Thanks for the link. Will try it out!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Sep-12 10:00:21

Gluten content is indicated by the words 'strong' or 'extra strong' as said earlier. It's also more expensive. In fact, bread flour is one of those products where you get what you pay for. The bag costing the extra 50p is actually worth the money.

LeBFG Wed 26-Sep-12 15:13:54

So, I've tried a loaf with half the yeast, the newer flour and a good bit of kneading. I had a great first rise - took longer than with two sachets of yeast, but doubled in an hour. Kneaded for a minute or two and into pan for second rise. This was the disappointment - took several hours to more-or-less double. It has a nice spongey texture but the slices are rectangular rather than square cos it hasn't risen enough probably - lack of yeast this time?

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 26-Sep-12 15:52:56

I wouldn't stick to the TIMES for raising/proving, but go on size as this is a better guide.

LeBFG Wed 26-Sep-12 16:19:59

Ah, OK. So what am I looking for size-wise?

vixsatis Thu 27-Sep-12 10:05:10

Second rise doesn't need to be to full size. Once in a hot oven the rise will complete very fast.

A handful of cooked white rice added to the flour, or using water in which you have cooked potatoes helps with crumbliness. Not sure why

4merlyknownasSHD Thu 27-Sep-12 16:15:27

LeBFG, it doesn't really matter if your first rise goes beserk. Last night mine trebled in size (sorry, my bread dough did). I then knocked it back, kneaded and popped in the loaf pan and waited until it was almost double the size before puting in the oven. It then rose in the oven from just under 4 inches to about 5.5 inches high.

LeBFG Thu 27-Sep-12 16:31:03

I see. Thanks for the precisions. I think everything went well then except the dough then didn't rise in the oven - too hot I should think. Next time it'll be perfect <crosses fingers>

4merlyknownasSHD Thu 27-Sep-12 16:47:30

I don't think that the oven can ever really be too hot. In fact, the hotter it is to start with, the more "bounce" you will get at the bottom of the loaf. It may be that you were a little rough when picking up the loaf pan to put it in t eoven. If you inadvertently "knock" it, it can deflate the dough in just the same way you do when knocking it back after its first rise.

MelBanks Fri 28-Sep-12 10:11:14

Try some healthy, low carb, high fibre organic coconut bread. It is a good source of protein! Make sure you use the flour my Tiana fair trade organics. It's the best one out there.

Here's the recipe.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Recipes/i/5770-Coconut-Bread-Gluten-Free-High-Fibre-Low-Carbs

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