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First attempt at bread

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default First attempt at bread

Post by amyw on 14th March 2011, 2:56 pm

Tried to make a simple white loaf today (used to use a breadmaker before till it died) and it didn't rise much in the oven and had a mushy bit in the middle.

Where did I go wrong?

Thanks Smile
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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 14th March 2011, 3:45 pm


That's always so disappointing when you really want to make something and it doesn't work out. I had a look in my bread making books and the possibilities are too much liquid , you didn't leave it to prove for long enough or your oven wasn't hot enough but it's hard to say really.
Sometimes I can make fantastic bread and at other times, even using exactly the same recipe it's a total disaster. It also depends on my mood, they say never bake when you're in a bad mood. I tend to stick with the breadmaker now

Save what you can and dry it out to make breadcrumbs ready to use for something else
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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 14th March 2011, 4:02 pm

Or croutons. Bread making is really an art, rather than an exacting science. That's why the specialty creations are referred to as 'artisan breads' lol. Anyway, things like humidity, ambient temperatures, etc. all affect the bread process. It will take practice. Don't get discouraged. We learn more from our failures than our successes. Eventaully you'll get a 'feel' for when the dough is right, when it's risen enough, and how long it bakes for.

BTW, I used to be a baker in a former (during college) existence.
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Post by polgara on 14th March 2011, 4:04 pm

Must admit I use a breadmaker, trying to do it by hand does not work for me, best I can do is a packet mix for rolls.

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Post by amyw on 14th March 2011, 4:08 pm

I made some rolls absolutely fine, just the loaf looked ok from the outside and rubbish on the inside...dogs ate it Laughing and me and kids had the lovely crust!

I have the most pathetic oven so that could be why...I just don't have the room for a breadmaker...or the pennies...

Might just stick to rolls then and keep trying on the loaves and see how it goes...Thanks guys x
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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 14th March 2011, 4:27 pm

Bread machines go for next to nothing on boot sales around here. Can't wait for boot sale season to start up again, loads of things I'm on the lookout for.
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Post by Adrian on 14th March 2011, 10:08 pm

I gave my breadmaker to my sister when we left the UK. Now I just hand make and I wouldn't look bake. I use a very simple recipe and add to it, I think that the trick is to make sure that the yeast you use is fresh and activated - I used dry yeast and activate it in warm water with a little sugar in it.


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Post by Dandelion on 14th March 2011, 10:15 pm

I was going to suggest that using a bread mix might be a good bridge between using a breadmaker and making bread fully by hand. The ingredients are already mixed, you have exact instructions, and it gives you the feeling for the kneading and the rest of the process.
I'm sure you already know this (but my family will tell you that I'm always stating the obvious) when a loaf comes out of the oven, tip it out of the tin and tap or knock the underneath. If it's cooked it'll sound hollow. If it needs a bit longer it sort of 'thuds'.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 14th March 2011, 10:34 pm

Did you let it rise twice?

Scour ebay and freecycle for a bread machine. Unless you have mucho time, they are a godsend. If not try the 24 hr no-knead method.

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default Re: First attempt at bread

Post by Chilli-head on 15th March 2011, 10:29 am

If you look for a breadmaker, for best results choose a Panasonic.

Breadmaking is quite an art. What you do to it matters as much as the ingredients, I find. For handmade bread, I have a few recipies from a Roux brothers pattiserie book, which uncharacteristically are not a huge faf, but give great results.
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default Re: First attempt at bread

Post by amyw on 15th March 2011, 11:13 am

I am going to give it anothe rgo...any tips on recicpes, the one I used said to add the dried yeast to it...I did let it rise twice (on top of a vivarium...nice and warm!) and do have a lot of free time, will have even more in September when yound=gest goes to nursery but will keep a look out for a cheap or free breadmaker...might be less disheartening!

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Post by Adrian on 15th March 2011, 11:25 am

The recipe I use is one I have modified from Delia

700g flour
550ml warm water
1 tsp golden sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
pinch salt

add the sugar and yeast to the water and set aside for 10-15 minutes to let it foam
Add the salt to the flour and mix, make a well in the middle and add the foamy water mix to it.

Stir until all the ingredients are mixed, then knead until smooth, adding extra flour slowly if too wet ( I prefer to start off with a wet dough, its easier to modify) return to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until twice the size.

Turn out of the bowl and knead again until smooth and silky, shape and allow to rise again til double in size, preheat the oven to 450f (230c or gas mark Cool.

Cut shallow expansion slit(s) in the top of the loaf. Bake for 20 mins then cover and bake for another 20 mins.

take out of oven and cool.


Last edited by Badger on 15th March 2011, 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by amyw on 15th March 2011, 11:28 am

Badger wrote:The recipe I use is one I have modified from Delia

700g flour
550ml warm water
1 tsp golden sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
pinch salt

add the sugar and yeast to the water and set aside for 10-15 minutes to let it foam
Add the salt to the flour and mix, make a well in the middle and add the foamy water mix to it.

Stir until all the ingredients are mixed, then knead until smooth, adding extra flour slowly if too wet ( I prefer to start off with a wet dough, its easier to modify) return to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until twice the size.

Turn out of the bowl and knead again until smooth and silky, shape and allow to rise again til double in size, preheat the oven to 450f (230c or gas mark Cool.

Cut shallow expansion slit(s) in the top of the loaf. Bake for 20 mins then cover and bake for another 20 mins.

take out of oven and cool.

Thankyou, will try that way x
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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 15th March 2011, 1:58 pm

That bit about adding the powdered yeast and sugar to the water is what's known as "proofing" the yeast. It's a test of the viability of the culture as much as activating it. What's nice is that yeast is a rapidly reproducing micro-organism. Even if your yeast doesn't "proof" as vigorously as it may have when you first opened the jar, as long as it is still alive in some quantity, it will still work. It will just take longer. That's not a bad thing. Allowing for a longer proofing time in the dough will actually add some nice complexities to the bread, as the enzyme action of the yeast breaks down the components of the various flours and grains in their own way. Some recipes specifically call for LESS yeast, and a rise time for overnight for the first rise, till morning, beating it down, then letting it rise again slowly until after mid-day to begin baking, 16 hours in a bowl before it goes in the oven. Of course, you've only worked at it for 15 minutes, and after that, gone to bed, dressed the kids, had tea, etc.

While I was a professional baker, we would make something like 80 gallons of dough at a time. With that much thermal mass, the internal temperature of the dough could potentially reach a point that the bread would "bake" itself from the inside out if the culture activity was left uncheck, before we'd had a chance to knead it properly, shape, etc. We would add buckets of ice into the mixing bin to keep the temperature low at first, then, as we were working the dough, it would gradually warm up to where it needed to be, one batch at at time. Probably not necessary in the home kitchen, but keep in mind that the yeast is a living thing, and you can encourage it to do what you want it to do.
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Post by Dandelion on 15th March 2011, 5:53 pm

mr_sfstk8d wrote:

While I was a professional baker

Coo, I didn't know that. Respect!!

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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 15th March 2011, 6:36 pm

Thanks!
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Post by Adrian on 15th March 2011, 8:08 pm



Cheese and onion bread made today with the above recipe

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Post by Compostwoman on 15th March 2011, 8:28 pm

Chilli-head wrote:If you look for a breadmaker, for best results choose a Panasonic.

Breadmaking is quite an art. What you do to it matters as much as the ingredients, I find. For handmade bread, I have a few recipies from a Roux brothers pattiserie book, which uncharacteristically are not a huge faf, but give great results.

Yep, would agree with that! Quite a few of us on here have ended up with a panasonic SD 252, or variation of the same.

Best breadmaker I've used and I have tried a lot, as we don't buy any bread product ( apart from the very occasional, odd specialist stuff)

hand made is ( just ) better, but for consistancy and ease, it wins hands down.

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Post by GB on 20th March 2011, 3:05 pm

I use a very old family bread recipe.

Two cups warm water
One tablespoon sugar
One tablespoon salt
Two tablespoons dry yeast
Six cups flour


Put salt, sugar and yeast into warm water and let work. When its all nice and foamy add the flour one or two cups at a time. The flour is a bit variable, sometimes it only takes five cups, sometimes it takes seven but you are going for a dough that isnt too sticky so just keep adding until it gets there.

Turn out onto a well floured surface, kneed the heck out of it and put back into (the now washed and dried) bowl.

Keep warm and when its trying to creep out over the sides of the bowl, turn back out, kneed briefly, cut into two equal pieces, and kneed.

I then do something a bit different than family tradition dictates Twisted Evil

Take two loaf pans and butter the heck out of them, put your newly formed loaves into the buttered tins and then butter the heck out of the loaves themselves.

Then let rise and bake in a 350f oven till done. About 30 to 50 min. depending on the oven.

I find its really hard to over bake bread so if in doubt, leave it in for ten more minutes.

Oh, and I failed at bread making until moving to Florida. Its warm enough over here for my bread to rise properly Laughing and yes, I tried everything I could think of to get it warm enough. Hot press, vivarum lids, warm ovens. No luck at all Rolling Eyes

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