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Making good white bread

incorporating Recipes and Cooking
Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#320354

Postby Mike4 » June 21st, 2020, 11:37 pm

Just a quick update. The white loaves are turning out GREAT so thanks everyone in this thread.

Here is an example:

Image

I'm currently following the "Bake with Jack" method to produce loaves like in the photo.

The next thing puzzling me is the recipe itself Jack doesn't include any sugar in his basic white loaf recipe. Other bakers (but not all) include widely varying quantities of sugar in the mix. What difference does sugar make? I'm imagining it improves the flavour but not with sweetness necessarily, as it allows the yeast to do more of the alcohol and chemical flavour generation. Would that be right or does it just add a bit of sweetness?

sg31
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Re: Making good white bread

#320736

Postby sg31 » June 23rd, 2020, 12:49 pm

Nice loaf.

It may be to feed the yeast but if that is the case it's unecessary as it will use flour instead.

Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#320759

Postby Mike4 » June 23rd, 2020, 1:28 pm

sg31 wrote:Nice loaf.

It may be to feed the yeast but if that is the case it's unecessary as it will use flour instead.


Thanks!

It's a curious thing. I goggled quite a bit before posting here asking about sugar and there seems to be no consensus or any proper research on the subject, just the same guesswork that you and I make.

So, I have a loaf in the oven now made with a rather conservative rounded teaspoon of sugar in the mix. Interestingly the risen dough in the bread tin is MUCH puffier and floppy and lacks body, it has overflowed the tin edges a substantial amount. Not a nice-looking loaf at all, this one. Too hot to cut open and taste now though, it may well taste great!

Will post a photo shortly...

Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#320765

Postby Mike4 » June 23rd, 2020, 1:55 pm

Mike4 wrote:Will post a photo shortly...


Image

kempiejon
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Re: Making good white bread

#320768

Postby kempiejon » June 23rd, 2020, 2:09 pm

I usually start my yeast in a glass of warm water with a small teaspoon of sugar just to test it's viable. I once made a loaf with old yeast, well I say a loaf more building material. Back in the 80s I would meet up with 2 chums and we'd have regular bread making sessions, one guy was sure that sugar put crunch into the crust but we couldn't demonstrate that satisfactorily. I now hear steam crisps the crust.

Mike4
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Re: Making good white bread

#320773

Postby Mike4 » June 23rd, 2020, 2:19 pm

kempiejon wrote:I usually start my yeast in a glass of warm water with a small teaspoon of sugar just to test it's viable. I once made a loaf with old yeast, well I say a loaf more building material. Back in the 80s I would meet up with 2 chums and we'd have regular bread making sessions, one guy was sure that sugar put crunch into the crust but we couldn't demonstrate that satisfactorily. I now hear steam crisps the crust.


That's an interesting thought, the sugar-in-the-water yeast test. I wonder if that is the origin of the belief that sugar in the recipe is necessary. I am more concerned with the bread taste than with the crispiness of the crust in my experiments with sugar in the mix.

The steam is something else to experiment with. I always put a tray of boiling water in the oven, but only because so many people say you must. I'll try a few loaves without and see what the difference is. A steam tray is probably only necessary (if at all) with electric ovens, as gas ovens are actually filled with products of combustion, and products of NG combustion are roughly 50% water vapour so nice and damp.

Steam is counter-intuitive though to me. I'd have thought steam would cause a soggy crust and a very dry atmosphere in the oven was better.

James
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Re: Making good white bread

#320780

Postby James » June 23rd, 2020, 2:39 pm

Mike4 wrote:
Steam is counter-intuitive though to me. I'd have thought steam would cause a soggy crust and a very dry atmosphere in the oven was better.


I do mine in a Dutch oven. 30 mins with lid on to keep moisture in, then 15 minute with lid off to brown up.
You can do the same with a 'poor man's Dutch oven', i.e. using bulldog clips to hold two baking tins together.

PrincessB
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Re: Making good white bread

#321438

Postby PrincessB » June 25th, 2020, 3:36 pm

No one has mentioned the water yet.

Depending on where you live and the water quality from the tap, your bread will vary.

For those who find home made bread a little too dense, try using supermarket budget brand spring water - A 20p experiment that might make all the difference.

B.

The water locally is pretty ghastly, which is useful as there's a competition at the local show for best breadmaker loaf. As there's nothing in the water to inhibit the yeast, my prize winning loaves rise at least 25% higher than the next best which gets second prize.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Making good white bread

#321485

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 25th, 2020, 5:58 pm

PrincessB wrote:No one has mentioned the water yet.

For white bread, you have to pass it first. 8-)

Lanark
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Re: Making good white bread

#321543

Postby Lanark » June 25th, 2020, 8:08 pm

Sugar:
Purist bakers will sometimes make the case that adding sugar to the proofing liquid for active dry yeast is not necessary. And the truth is, it isn't. Active dry yeast will proof just fine without sugar, albeit a little more slowly. But what the added sugar does is increase the yeast's activity. And this is especially important when you are trying to revive common active dry yeast from its freeze-dried stupor.
https://www.whats4eats.com/blogs/chefbr ... yeast-grow

ReformedCharacter
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Re: Making good white bread

#321546

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 25th, 2020, 8:25 pm

PrincessB wrote:No one has mentioned the water yet.

Depending on where you live and the water quality from the tap, your bread will vary.

For those who find home made bread a little too dense, try using supermarket budget brand spring water - A 20p experiment that might make all the difference.

B.

The water locally is pretty ghastly, which is useful as there's a competition at the local show for best breadmaker loaf. As there's nothing in the water to inhibit the yeast, my prize winning loaves rise at least 25% higher than the next best which gets second prize.

Hi, what is it in the water that inhibits the yeast? I'd be interested to know. Thanks

RC

PrincessB
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Re: Making good white bread

#322051

Postby PrincessB » June 27th, 2020, 1:39 pm

Hi, what is it in the water that inhibits the yeast? I'd be interested to know. Thanks


I've always assumed that chlorine was the main culprit. See link from homebrewing site:

https://homebrew.stackexchange.com/ques ... kill-yeast

I'm glad you picked up on the word 'inhibits' as that is my point, you're not going to kill the yeast but you are giving it an environment which is less than optimal.

Salt also inhibits the yeast but also adds flavour and helps the gluten. While slightly off topic, this reads quite well though it does appear to be done as a assignment from a course:

http://www.classofoods.com/page1_8.html

Complex stuff bread,

B.


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