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White yeast bread - where am I going wrong?

(16 Posts)
GrainneWail Sun 18-Mar-18 18:12:10

I'm a reasonable baker but I just can't crack white bread. Today I tried a recipe I'd googled -
500g strong white flour
350ml luke warm water
Sachet dried yeast
Half teaspoon salt and sugar

I let the yeast froth up in the sugar and some warm water then added it to the flour and salt and kneaded it until it was soft and springy. I left it to rise near a radiator for about an hour. It was beautifully light when I divided it into 6 balls to shape into rolls. Left them to rise for 30 mins (all proving done under a damp tea towel). Baked for 25 ish mins at 200. They were golden on top but flavourless, too chewey and the crust was a bit tough.

Can anyone suggest where I'm going wrong (I think I should have turned down the oven to 180 anyway) or a different recipe I could try?

OP’s posts: |
OlennasWimple Sun 18-Mar-18 18:13:42

How many times did you knead the dough?

TERFragetteCity Sun 18-Mar-18 18:19:46

I use 500g strong bread flour, 7g fast yeast and salt, 320 g water. you don't have to add sugar, that makes it crustier.

Mix all together and knead for 15 mins, then leave for an hour or more depending on the heat of the house. Then knock the air out, shape and leave another hour, again more if the house is cooler and cook at 180 deg oven until the bottom sounds hollow.

I add a cup of hot water to the bottom of the oven as I put it in. I score the top of the loaf just before it goes in. When it comes out, it goes into an airtight container with some moisture eg a damp tea towel, as it cools it absorbs the moisture and the crust is softer.

Using fast yeast and organic bread flour really took my bread up a notch. I make 2 loaves a week.

If you want softer rolls, I believe that adding milk to the recipe helps.

PurpleDaisies Sun 18-Mar-18 18:22:10

This is by far the nicest soft white bread recipe I’ve ever used

SandLand Sun 18-Mar-18 18:25:15

I make these
My yeast cooking improved when I moved to a place where the house is cooled to 25C For most of the year. Probably a bit extreme to move just to make bread tho!

GrainneWail Sun 18-Mar-18 18:25:28

I knocked it back then shaped it into the rolls. I was afraid of knocking too much air out of it by kneading it too much the second time.

That's good to know about the sugar, I'll leave it out next time. A steamy oven makes sense. I'll try that too.

OP’s posts: |
brownelephant Sun 18-Mar-18 18:26:35

no need for sugar.
a bit of oil makes rolls less dry.
milk (or part milk) instead of water for soft bread.
slow rise (room temp, not warm) for better taste.

bought rolls are tasty because they contain a lot of salt.

Strax Sun 18-Mar-18 18:29:26

I don't think you need to let the yeast froth up if it's the dried yeast in sachets either, isn't that for fresh yeast? Don't know enough to know whether that would make a difference though.

senua Sun 18-Mar-18 18:29:37

I make my bread in a machine so can't really comment on heat, timings etc but ...
I don't bother with sugar but do add oil - a mix of olive oil and butter for a farmhouse loaf, OO only for focaccia or a flavoured OO if I'm feeling fancy.

GrainneWail Sun 18-Mar-18 18:30:03

Those two recipe look good, especially the rolls. I'll try them next. 👍

OP’s posts: |
ILikTheBred Sun 18-Mar-18 18:31:52

These bread rolls are absolutely delicious OP - they include butter and eggs so a bit rich but well worth the effort. I know she uses a bread maker but I think manual kneading would be fine. It’s also US units but I can translate if needed !


4merlyknownasSHD Mon 19-Mar-18 09:50:58

At the risk of upsetting the 'Salt Police' I think you should put more salt in (1 level tsp). I have seen recipes for 1 tsp salt for 350gms flour, so 1 tsp for 500gms flour is less salt than that. The recipe I base my baking around called for 2 tsp for 700gms flour but I cut it to 1.5tsp.

AnnaMagnani Mon 19-Mar-18 09:54:24

Interesting that PurpleDaisies has linked a Dan Lepard recipe.

I have his book Short and Sweet. It's amazing. Not made much yeast recipes from it but what I have done are brilliant. And so tasty. Plus he doesn't believe in kneading - just turning it over, leaving the dough and turning it every few minutes - it still works! It's like magic!

His pizza dough is fantastic. I wish he still wrote for the Guardian sad

PurpleDaisies Mon 19-Mar-18 10:00:35

anna that’s my favourite sweet cookbook. Everything’s been a hit from it.

BertrandRussell Mon 19-Mar-18 10:05:16

Your recipe looks fine- but you could try using milk instead.

No need to froth the yeast if it’s the fast acting sort, but be careful to put the yeast and salt at opposite sides of the bowl before you mix it nsalt is bad for yeast.

I mix in the liquid, then leave for 30 minutes before I knead. Then minutes. Then leave to rise in a warm place for a couple of hours (or in the fridge overnight)

Then make the rolls - no need to knead again- and rise again til doubled in size. If you want them soft, put them in the oven as hot as you can get for 10-12 minutes, not forgetting to chuck in a mug of water. For crusty you need a slightly cooler oven and a slightly longer bake.

I think your oven probably wasn’t hot enough.

BertrandRussell Mon 19-Mar-18 10:06:45

Oops- sorry. Recipe fine except you need a whole teaspoon of salt (that’s why it was tasteless)

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