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Making good white bread

incorporating Recipes and Cooking
Mike4
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Making good white bread

#308869

Postby Mike4 » May 15th, 2020, 1:34 pm

Astonished to search this forum for discussions about making bread to find NOTHING. Has the search tool broken?

Anyway here we go. My long term goal is to learn how to make a really good crusty and tasty white loaf just like you get in a good local baker. Been trying for years. When I make it by hand, it always turns out dense with not much rise, even though tastes good. I can't believe the local baker does it by hand though. Bound to mix with a machine.

So I dug out the Panasonic bread maker a couple of years ago and that gives the opposite result, a HUGE over-risen loaf with big open crumb and crust as tough as old boots. The crumb is very stiff and elastic (especially after a day or two), not soft and fluffy like the local baker's loaves. This tough and chewy crust and bouncy crumb happens if I do a proper bread mix with flour, yeast, salt, butter etc, or if I use a instant packet mix e.g. "Wrights crusty white loaf mix, just add water".

Does anyone here have the knack of making a really good crusty white to match the local baker? How do you do it, please? Can anyone spot where I'm going wrong?

(BTW I find top notch brown loaves easy in comparison.)

Thanks...

Imbiber
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Re: Making good white bread

#308897

Postby Imbiber » May 15th, 2020, 2:59 pm

Bake With Jack on You Tube has some good stuff, particularly the earlier videos.

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Re: Making good white bread

#308907

Postby Lanark » May 15th, 2020, 3:24 pm

I learned from a Richard Bertinet course back when they were still affordable, he also has books.

Key things for a crusty loaf are

1) Don't use a breadmaker, thats like riding a bike with the training wheels still attached.
2) Spray some water into the oven just before you bake the bread.

Also make sure your oven is really hot enough 220C to 230C

This isnt a bad introduction
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m08i8oXpFB0

sg31
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Re: Making good white bread

#308925

Postby sg31 » May 15th, 2020, 4:39 pm

Another vote for 'Baking with Jack' on You tube. Well presented and sensible stuff.

Steam in the early part of the bake is a good idea.

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Re: Making good white bread

#308934

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 15th, 2020, 5:08 pm

Lanark wrote:
2) Spray some water into the oven just before you bake the bread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m08i8oXpFB0


I have heard (friend went on a bread baking course) that a try of ice cubes placed in the oven at the same time as the bread goes in is very effective and produces steam for longer at the beginning of the bake.

RC

Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#308969

Postby Mike4 » May 15th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Thanks for the info chaps or chappesses, whichever you are. Straight away I've identified a problem after watching a couple of Jack's videos.

Doing his yeast test, I discover my well-in-date-but-opened-long-ago Allinson Easy Bake yeast in the same green pot as Jack's, is, like his, dead! And yeast is simply unavailable in shops around here.

Grrr.

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Re: Making good white bread

#308973

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 15th, 2020, 8:27 pm

Mike4 wrote:Thanks for the info chaps or chappesses, whichever you are. Straight away I've identified a problem after watching a couple of Jack's videos.

Doing his yeast test, I discover my well-in-date-but-opened-long-ago Allinson Easy Bake yeast in the same green pot as Jack's, is, like his, dead! And yeast is simply unavailable in shops around here.

Grrr.

Before you chuck it away, you only need a small amount of viable yeast to grow it up and it's unlikely to be completely defunct. I'd add a generous quantity to a pint of warm but not hot water with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a tablespoon of flour keep warm and watch for bubbles...

RC

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Re: Making good white bread

#308975

Postby Mike4 » May 15th, 2020, 8:53 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:
Mike4 wrote:Thanks for the info chaps or chappesses, whichever you are. Straight away I've identified a problem after watching a couple of Jack's videos.

Doing his yeast test, I discover my well-in-date-but-opened-long-ago Allinson Easy Bake yeast in the same green pot as Jack's, is, like his, dead! And yeast is simply unavailable in shops around here.

Grrr.

Before you chuck it away, you only need a small amount of viable yeast to grow it up and it's unlikely to be completely defunct. I'd add a generous quantity to a pint of warm but not hot water with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a tablespoon of flour keep warm and watch for bubbles...

RC


Ok thanks. Time I started learning the mysteries of yeast I think.

If I do this now, what should I do next with my hopefully bubbling pint of yeasty water? Does it keep? Does more yeast result? Do I need to use it straight away or can I just keep it in the fridge until I have time to make another loaf? Does the amount of yeast one bungs in the dough mix matter particularly?

Thanks!!

sg31
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Re: Making good white bread

#308978

Postby sg31 » May 15th, 2020, 9:27 pm

Mike4 wrote:Thanks for the info chaps or chappesses, whichever you are. Straight away I've identified a problem after watching a couple of Jack's videos.

Doing his yeast test, I discover my well-in-date-but-opened-long-ago Allinson Easy Bake yeast in the same green pot as Jack's, is, like his, dead! And yeast is simply unavailable in shops around here.

Grrr.


Careful you might be drawn to the dark side, otherwise known as sourdough. A king of homemade bread and it means you always have yeast on hand.

Go down that road and life will never be quite the same again. Bake with Jack covers it very well.

(Sourdough toast is a food of the gods. I can't wait for the bread to go a little past it's freshest so I can toast it)

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Re: Making good white bread

#309004

Postby Charlottesquare » May 16th, 2020, 1:22 am

My secrets are:

1. Tin of water (boiling) on shelf below for the first 10 minutes baking, it does seem to improve the texture.

2. Brush top of loaf with whisked egg for a better crust.

3. I do use a Kenwood with a dough hook, but see below,

4. I do use McDougall's just add water mix. (cheat)

5. When using the mix I ignore the circa 40 mins prove time on the packet and prove for one hour ten minutes.

6.We rarely have much of loaf left longer than day after it is made, kids devour, so shelf life is not an issue.

Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#309034

Postby Mike4 » May 16th, 2020, 9:22 am

sg31 wrote:Careful you might be drawn to the dark side, otherwise known as sourdough. A king of homemade bread and it means you always have yeast on hand.

Go down that road and life will never be quite the same again. Bake with Jack covers it very well.

(Sourdough toast is a food of the gods. I can't wait for the bread to go a little past it's freshest so I can toast it)


This is actually my forward plan but the term 'run before you can walk' springs to mind. I want to get a good understanding of conventional bread making first. I spent most of last night doing some basic homework on the types of yeast and how they work to make bread.

But you are right. Even now, the Dark Side beckons!

Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#309037

Postby Mike4 » May 16th, 2020, 9:42 am

Charlottesquare wrote:My secrets are:

3. I do use a Kenwood with a dough hook, but see below,

4. I do use McDougall's just add water mix. (cheat)

5. When using the mix I ignore the circa 40 mins prove time on the packet and prove for one hour ten minutes.


Thanks for your tips. These three touch on my own bread journey. Curious, your comment 3. I've been thinking along the same lines and trawling ebay trying to buy a Kenwood mixer with dough hook. Even Kenwoods 50 years old still make astonishingly high prices, such good British engineering. But then I remembered my Panasonic bread machine on "rapid Bake" cycle mixes/kneads continuously for ten minutes at the start of the cycle, so now I just use that for the six minutes of kneading mentioned on the MacDougalls packet. Which leads me on to your 4.

Compiling my Tesco shopping delivery last week, I spotted their 3.5kg bag of MacDougall's bread mix on offer for £3.50, so I grabbed one. (Annoyingly by delivery day the offer had expired and I see they charged me the full £7 for it, but that's by the by.) Anyway reading up on yeast, it seems the longer the bread is proofed (or is it proved?), the more the flavour develops. This rhymes with someone long ago on another forum telling me they proofed their white bread overnight in the fridge for max flavour, so last night I tried it with my MacDougall's mix. I did a loaf according to their instructions on the bag last night (very fast and a good result) and then I mixed a second loaf which I proofed overnight in the fridge to compare flavours. I'll be cooking it shortly and will report back with results of this direct comparison.

Might yet buy an eBay Kenwood this weekend. Cleaning raw dough out of the Panasonic loaf tin is a right faff....

sg31
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Re: Making good white bread

#309070

Postby sg31 » May 16th, 2020, 11:01 am

I bought one of the Kitchen Aid Artisan mixers when it was on special offer. It's a very nice kitchen ornament. :oops: :lol:

There's nothing wrong with it, it does a good job but I've found I actually enjoy kneading dough. It's one of those jobs you can do and let your mind wander. I value the relaxation I get from kneading.

Obviously if I was batch baking the mixer would come in handy but there's only 2 of us and we don't really eat a lot of bread. We both like it but tend to put on the pounds (and more pounds) when I start baking bread.

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Re: Making good white bread

#309099

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 16th, 2020, 11:55 am

Mike4 wrote:
Ok thanks. Time I started learning the mysteries of yeast I think.

If I do this now, what should I do next with my hopefully bubbling pint of yeasty water? Does it keep? Does more yeast result? Do I need to use it straight away or can I just keep it in the fridge until I have time to make another loaf? Does the amount of yeast one bungs in the dough mix matter particularly?

Thanks!!


https://cooking.stackexchange.com/quest ... kers-yeast

RC

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Re: Making good white bread

#309149

Postby Mike4 » May 16th, 2020, 2:57 pm

Mike4 wrote:This rhymes with someone long ago on another forum telling me they proofed their white bread overnight in the fridge for max flavour, so last night I tried it with my MacDougall's mix. I did a loaf according to their instructions on the bag last night (very fast and a good result) and then I mixed a second loaf which I proofed overnight in the fridge to compare flavours. I'll be cooking it shortly and will report back with results of this direct comparison.


Update:
The second loaf which proofed/proved overnight tastes very similar to the first loaf made in 90 minutes flat, but on careful bit-by-bite comparison the flavour is actually better. The longer proofed/proved loaf has more depth of flavour. Definitely nicer but the difference is quite subtle.

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Re: Making good white bread

#309166

Postby Lanark » May 16th, 2020, 4:17 pm

sg31 wrote:We both like it but tend to put on the pounds (and more pounds) when I start baking bread.

My workaround for that it to freeze most of the bread as soon as it has cooled down, otherwise it is too easy to just scoff far too much!

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Re: Making good white bread

#309201

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 16th, 2020, 7:01 pm

Mike4 wrote:
Mike4 wrote:This rhymes with someone long ago on another forum telling me they proofed their white bread overnight in the fridge for max flavour, so last night I tried it with my MacDougall's mix. I did a loaf according to their instructions on the bag last night (very fast and a good result) and then I mixed a second loaf which I proofed overnight in the fridge to compare flavours. I'll be cooking it shortly and will report back with results of this direct comparison.


Update:
The second loaf which proofed/proved overnight tastes very similar to the first loaf made in 90 minutes flat, but on careful bit-by-bite comparison the flavour is actually better. The longer proofed/proved loaf has more depth of flavour. Definitely nicer but the difference is quite subtle.

I like over-night rise bread. Obviously the yeast has more time to ferment and the taste and smell of the alcohol produced definitely changes and IMO improves the final product. The aroma reminds me of the days when I used make my own moonshine :)

RC

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Re: Making good white bread

#309707

Postby didds » May 18th, 2020, 4:29 pm

We used a panasonic bread maker for years until the kids decided they didnt want that and wanted plastic white Sh1t3 instead, but i would concur that its product is/was a bit odd.

Wife has made really nice rolls using the kneading program on it, but not for ages.

Then last week i stumbled across this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0t8ZAhb8lQ

( other similar videos for similar receipes are avaiailable).

It really is as easy as she suggests.

I don't bother with the "4 hour" method - I just use cold water and leave for ~1 day.

No kneading just a bit of knocking back, once.

The loaf it delivers isnt though light and fluffy (so being fair doesnt fit the OP's request :-) ) - its a good solid texture, almost doughy, but the flavour is great. My caveat here is that Im not sure the dried yeast I have is that fresh so it could not be rising as much as fresher yeast may provide - I've ordered a couple of sachets online to test later this week (assuming the sachets are fresher! LOL).

My wife loves the result of this.

Oh - and the crust is very crusty :-)

didds

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Re: Making good white bread

#309764

Postby sg31 » May 18th, 2020, 9:45 pm

Lanark wrote:
sg31 wrote:We both like it but tend to put on the pounds (and more pounds) when I start baking bread.

My workaround for that it to freeze most of the bread as soon as it has cooled down, otherwise it is too easy to just scoff far too much!


The difficulty is in getting it into the freezer. I accused my wife of eating all the bread but she flatly denied it. She accused me of eating it which was an outrageous suggestion. I think we must have a bread loving poltergeist.

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Re: Making good white bread

#309806

Postby PinkDalek » May 19th, 2020, 2:07 am

Mike4 wrote:Astonished to search this forum for discussions about making bread to find NOTHING. Has the search tool broken?


Not sure if anyone has replied to your first question.

The answer is yes and no. At some stage stooz restricted the facility to stop bots and other bad people finding out about Panasonic bread makers. In short I believe he removed the ability to find, internally, months of posts and other techie things. The longer version is somewhere in the Biscuit Bar, as is the suggestion that the best method to search the boards is via your favourite search engine, externally.

Here was an update on the subject over there:

viewtopic.php?p=277933#p277933

See also the earlier viewtopic.php?p=254731#p254731 ...


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