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How do I make my white bread more chewy and/or less dense?

(7 Posts)
hopefully Fri 05-Sep-08 11:20:21

I make white bread rolls (have finally moved on to making it from scratch rather than bread mix), and they're quite nice straight out of the oven, naturally, but after about 12 hours they are a lot less interesting. They seem quite dense - all the air bubbles are tiny - and not very chewy, which gives them a hint of a stale texture from the moment they are cold. The recipe I use is:

Hand baking recipe Allinson Traditional Dried Active Yeast
Method Using Traditional Dried Active Yeast

Allinson Traditional Dried Active Yeast must be
reactivated in water before use.

650g (1lb 5oz) of flour usually requires 15g ( oz) or one level tablespoon of yeast.

650g/1lb 5oz Allinson Strong White Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
15g/ oz Allinson Traditional Dried Active Yeast
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
450ml/15fl oz Warm Water

1. In a 600ml (1 pint) jug, dissolve 5ml (1tsp) of sugar in 150ml ( pint) of warm water (1 part boiling, 2 parts cold).
2. Sprinkle with 15g ( oz or 1 tbsp) of yeast and whisk thoroughly.
3. Leave in a warm place until the surface is covered with approximately 2 cm of froth (10-15 mins).
4. Whisk again and use.
5. Place the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl.
6. Mix to a soft dough with the oil and yeast mixture, made up as above, and the remaining warm water.
7. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
8. Place in a bowl and cover with greased cling film.
9. Leave in a warm location until the dough has doubled in size.
10. Knock back the dough and shape as desired and put into an appropriate greased tin.
11. Leave to prove (rise) slowly until double in size. 12. Add you chosen topping/glaze if using.
13. Place in an oven preheated to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 and immediately turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
14. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
15. When cooked the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Am I not kneading the dough properly/for long enough perhaps? Any tips gratefully received, as DP is eating these rolls without complaint, but would be nice if he was actually enjoying them!

Carmenere Fri 05-Sep-08 11:29:02

I would guess that you are possibly not kneading for long enough. ime 10 minutes is much longer than you would think and you really have to give it a thorough working out to stretch the gluten. Or if you have a food processor with a dough hook, lob it in there for 10 mins and that should do it.

My top tip for a crusty crust is to place an empty roasting tin into the bottom of the oven whilst you are preheating the oven and allow it to get really really hot. So when you are putting your rolls in pour half a kettle of hot water into the tray. this creates steam which helps crisp up the crust.

hopefully Fri 05-Sep-08 11:37:08

Tragically no food processor (saving myself for food processor of my choice as joint christmas present from all parents and step parents!), but will definitely try kneading for longer. It felt like a long time at the time, but I didn't actually time it - I probably kneaded it for about 4 mins! Thanks for the crusty dough tip, will try that too.

mankymummy Fri 05-Sep-08 11:40:29

try replacing some of the liquid with beer and a little bit of orange juice. i found this lightened my loaves. i also put an egg in mine too.

hopefully Fri 05-Sep-08 12:03:32

Ooh, that all sound v odd, but interesting Mankymummy. I might make a few small batches and see how they turn out!

mankymummy Sun 07-Sep-08 10:52:11

does it? a friend taught me to make bread and thats the way he showed me so its the way i've always done it !

Overmydeadbody Sun 07-Sep-08 14:09:36

The trick is definately in the kneading.

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