Bread Dough

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Bread Dough

Postby bobloes » October 15th, 2018, 1:29 pm

Hi All

I have been making my own dough for bread, naan bread and pizza for quite a number of years (on and off) and although my wife is very supportive I have never been totally happy with how I produce it. It does not matter which cookery programme I have watched (even Hollywood) they all start with a similar dough to mine (I think) ie a bit loose and then after the words 'knead for about ten minutes' cut to a beautiful ball of dough 'with a smooth non sticky surface'. If I start with a loose dough and knead for somewhat more than 10 minutes I end up with as much dough on my hands as there is still in the ball. So last week I decided to really go for broke until 'the dough comes together'. After half an hour I gave up and added more flour and still have to scrape half of the dough off my hands. Clearly I am missing something. Obviously I have changed the mix re water and flour but I never get to that holy grail of a really pliable dough with a non sticky surface 'which springs back when prodded'. The way I win is to (probably) overdo the yeast in order to get a better rise. I think all my quotes are accurate. Any thoughts other than 'stop whinging' gratefully received.

Cheers Bob
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 15th, 2018, 1:33 pm

What sort of flour are you using?
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby bobloes » October 16th, 2018, 9:03 am

Allinson strong white bread flour
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 16th, 2018, 9:34 am

... and you say you've tried adding less water ... you do measure the water each time ... keeping a note somewhere so that you can reduce the amount? (sorry, not meaning to sound patronising but getting it right can sometimes verge on being quite scientific about it)
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Suelle » October 16th, 2018, 10:13 am

Have you compared the recipe you are using to any others, to see if it uses substantially more water?

I've never had consistent results with yeast baking, so have more or less given up, but I found Dan Lepard's recipes to be quite reliable in the past.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby patpoyntz » October 16th, 2018, 12:54 pm

I think I know what you mean bobloes....
Like you I have been making bread for years...48 actually....I am pleased with my results mostly, and I do lots of different varieties of bread including sourdough and pizzas etc, ( we have a wood fired pizza oven in the garden). For my everyday bread I do Dan Leppard no knead bread....400g of flour 5g of yeast and 300 mls of water. This gives, I find, a good consistency, not sticky, for kneading, and I use that as a basic method to make whokemeal or seeded or fruited breads etc with small adjustments. If I do a recipe that comes out quite wet, I find it never sorts itself out, no matter how long I knead it for, by hand or machine. Yet it seems to be well known that a wet mixture gives a better bread, and that enough kneading will give the right result.....and some breads like ciabatta have to be very wet. Now I just accept the fact that I have to use less water, or add more flour to the dough. As I said, I am fairly satisfied with what comes out....perhaps age has made me less fussy!
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby bobloes » October 16th, 2018, 2:53 pm

Thanks all for your input. I shall not give up and the next few I will ensure the quoted ingredients are exactly as the recipe. I shall also try the Dan Leppard bread as there are two recommendations. Nil desperandum. If everything went right all the time I would get bored. Cheers. Bob
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby PatsyMFagan » October 16th, 2018, 3:58 pm

The 'thing' about having so much dough sticking to the hands/fingers is the reason I use a bread making machine … I really can't stand the feeling of it all over my hands nor, the scraping off ! :( :sprout: :rolleyes:
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Suelle » October 16th, 2018, 4:40 pm

bobloes wrote:Thanks all for your input. I shall not give up and the next few I will ensure the quoted ingredients are exactly as the recipe. I shall also try the Dan Leppard bread as there are two recommendations. Nil desperandum. If everything went right all the time I would get bored. Cheers. Bob


One of Dan Lepard's tips is to weigh the water, not measure it, as scales are much more accurate than jugs. 1ml = 1g.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby patpoyntz » October 16th, 2018, 6:05 pm

Suelle wrote:
One of Dan Lepard's tips is to weigh the water, not measure it, as scales are much more accurate than jugs. 1ml = 1g.


That’s a good tip Sue...though I honestly don’t think you need to be quite as accurate with bread as you do with cakes - not with the DL method anyway, though I would weigh for any new recipe.
If I’m having a busy week, or I’m having a lot of visitors, then I make 3 batches of dough, one white, one brown, and I make the third batch slightly softer to make rolls, as I find they come out lighter and softer with a wetter dough mix....though it still isn’t sticky at all when kneading.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Kacey » October 16th, 2018, 6:12 pm

I always, always, always weigh my liquids for bread. 650g flour, 7g fast action yeast, 12g olive oil & 400g warm water with 1 tsp sugar and 2 tsp salt dissolved in it. Knead the lot for 10 mins, by hand or in a mixer, fast action yeast only needs 1 prove and no knocking back and makes an easy peasy no fuss loaf.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby patpoyntz » October 16th, 2018, 7:07 pm

FB05EC3F-7E1E-4A02-B49D-0B0F488158A0.jpeg


A batch bake!
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Seatallan » October 17th, 2018, 9:56 am

:chops: :chops: :D
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Seatallan » October 17th, 2018, 9:58 am

Planning to make some Rowies next week Patpoyntz. :chef:

Re bread- I do think some people just have natural 'bread hands' or something. Mr S is one of them. My dough/bread never comes out as well as his.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby patpoyntz » October 17th, 2018, 11:40 am

Seatallan wrote:Planning to make some Rowies next week Patpoyntz. :chef:

Re bread- I do think some people just have natural 'bread hands' or something. Mr S is one of them. My dough/bread never comes out as well as his.

Ooh, let me know how the rowies turn out. I bought some last week which were very disappointing, and decided I’d be much better making them.
I wish sometimes that Mr P would have a go at bread....I think it gives an enormous sense of achievement. I’ve shown several people...usually sons girlfriends...how to make bread, and they’ve all been successful and passed the recipe on. One, sadly now ex, said that I’d given her a lesson for life.
I was taught by my Mother, who said, when we had our first child....if you want to give him a good start in life, make all your own bread, then you know you are always giving him good unadulterated food. She had a thing about chemicals in bread!
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Seatallan » October 17th, 2018, 12:36 pm

I'll keep you posted pat. I make a batch fairly often as Mr S loves them. Home-made are deffo better than shop-bought I must say. :D
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby patpoyntz » October 17th, 2018, 12:38 pm

Seatallan wrote:I'll keep you posted pat. I make a batch fairly often as Mr S loves them. Home-made are deffo better than shop-bought I must say. :D

Great! please let me have your recipe.....
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Seatallan » October 17th, 2018, 4:40 pm

Hi pat,

I use the Hairy Bikers recipe:

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/aberde ... srow_92370

Always comes out a treat though I find I usually need slightly less butter & lard than the recipe suggests. I tend to play that part by ear a bit. :chops:
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby patpoyntz » October 17th, 2018, 7:01 pm

Thanks for that link Seat...when I read it, it looked familiar and I think I may have made them a while ago. Anyway, they are definitely going to be made on the next bad weather day. We are having glorious autumn days just now...lovely, but I’m ready for a rest from the gardening!
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Seatallan » October 18th, 2018, 8:07 am

Sounds perfect pat :D :tu:
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby dennispc » October 18th, 2018, 3:28 pm

Sorry you’re having such a struggle bobloes. Hope this isn't too long.

First, I think you’re working too hard at it and certainly too much kneading. After half an hour the dough thinks, ‘stuff this for a load of soldiers’ and starts fighting back.

Like you I spent years trying to make decent looking bread at home, even going on courses didn’t seem to help. Then by pure chance a guy called Paul (Paulthebread) turned up at a coffee morning, gave us a demonstration and the rest, as they say, is history.

Had coffee with him this morning - his original instructions were, ‘knead until you’ve had enough’, which for me was pretty quickly. These days he keeps to about twenty - enough to get the ingredients well mixed.

I don’t think it’s anything to do with your recipes, weighing (though I weigh everything in gms) or precision. I’m not precise with bread - it’s very forgiving.

Wet dough? Put oil on the worktop and hands. Sticky floured fingers? Stick fingers into bag of flower using a ‘washing’ action (as you would with soap) over the dough and the bits will come off.

Mary Berry described PH’s fingers as being like an Electric Mixer - it’s easy for him. Also, studios and professional kitchens are warm places and that helps with structures.

My basic mix in gms; Bread flour 500ish, about 7 of dried yeast; 325ish of water (straight from tap); heaped tsp of salt plus a couple of glugs of olive oil.

Mix in a bowl. Tip floured work top, bakers fold (google). Cover with the bowl, give it (and you) a chance to rest for ten minutes. Knead a bit. Make a sort of ball. Turn over, flatten into a squarish shape. Pick up one corner and fold it into the middle of the dough, hold with one hand and pull over another corner - keep going until there are no corners left. Turn over and lovingly stroke from the top down the sides and slightly turn at the same time. Slide the ball shape along the bench and you may notice the surface tighten a bit.

Or google Dan Lepard’s slow knead method.

Or after mixing, oil the bow a bit, put the dough back in, leave covered on the side. When risen knock back, put in tin, when risen again, in those immortal words - Bake.

Flour + Water + Yeast = dough + salt for taste + heat = bread.

Good luck
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby scullion » October 22nd, 2018, 7:12 pm

my partner made bread to cook in the sun on saturday. he had left a bit of the dough, covered, in the mixing bowl and left it on the table and done nothing with it (ie. put it in the compost/worm bin) so i thought i'd have a play this afternoon.
i put some flour, water and a little salt into the bowl and gave it a big stir around with a couple of spoons until it was mixed in (easy cos the original was made with granary flour) and left it to see if it would prove. it did so extremely well, rising far more than i expected. i knocked it back and put it in a lidl version one of [url=https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lékué-600-Bread-Maker-Brown/dp/B007F6EN96]these[/url] that i bought a few weeks ago (on an impulse - of course and about a quarter of the price) and left it to rise again - which it did very quickly. i closed the bowl up and popped it in the oven.
the resulting loaf was amazing and fortunately i kept back a little of the dough to act as a poolish for a loaf in a couple of days time. definitely the easy way to get a sourdough style bread without going through all the starter making palaver.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby dennispc » October 23rd, 2018, 7:49 am

Fascinating scullion, thanks for giving the details. We've cut down a lot on bread but years ago I kept a 100gms of dough back from each mix and added it to the next lot. I'll try it next summer or I suppose I could try freezing it.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby scullion » October 26th, 2018, 9:22 pm

well with the bit of dough i held back on monday, i started a loaf off yesterday - and forgot about it until i went to bed - when i found it had trebled in size. i knocked it back - and it had again overprooved by this morning. knocked it back again and finally baked it at lunchtime. really good bread.
so, the bit of held back dough will go from monday to thursday, in a jar on the counter, without any interference/additions from me. i'm impressed.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby dennispc » October 27th, 2018, 3:24 pm

So am I scullion. How did you prevent the dough from sticking to the jar, flour?
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby scullion » October 27th, 2018, 5:04 pm

no, just dolloped a snooker ball sized lump in a wide mouthed, squat, clip-top jar, without the rubber gasket so that it's fly proof but not airtight and left it alone.
it won't be left so long this time - we need more bread tomorrow so i'll start it off again tonight.
i imagine that over time the same, natural yeasts that inhabit traditional sourdough will creep in but as a way of avoiding the time (and wasted flour) spent on proper sourdough it seems a rather good alternative.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 10:23 am

As a relative newcomer to bread loaf in the last 10-15 years (though I did make pizza and naan before), I find that pretty much all recipes from any decent baker work well. My starting point was mostly Dan Baker and his guideline. He used to have a website, but I have lost track of it and nt visited it in a while.
I use roughly 500 gm flour to 315-320 ml. tap water. I have never had much luck with sour-dough bread, so will try saving a bit of saved dough to make next loaf's starter. Lets see how it works and it gives a taste something like sour-dough, eventually.
I do experiment with all sorts of additions to the dough, a tsp. of turmeric being a particular favourite at the moment.

Turmeric bread.jpg


One thing that I have not had much luck with is a proper, good wholemeal bread. Mine always gets too heavy. Anyone has any tips?

PS Like Pat, I mostly use a bread machine to make dough these days, not enough strength in my hands now, but I always, well almost always, give it a second rise on a kitchen top and then bake it in conventional oven.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 29th, 2018, 10:29 am

I use two thirds wholemeal breadflour to one third strong white flour ... that works well ... also wholemeal flour sometimes needs a fraction more liquid to make a softer dough so that it can rise.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 10:32 am

I use two thirds wholemeal breadflour to one third strong white flour ... that works well ... also wholemeal flour sometimes needs a fraction more liquid to make a softer dough so that it can rise.

That sounds great, but I use less wholemeal; 1/3rd whole meal 2/3rd white. It is still too heavy. I will make the dough a little more sloppy and see what happens. Thanks.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 29th, 2018, 10:35 am

Are you using Strong wholemeal?
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 2:40 pm

Yes, I am using strong wholemeal. May be it needs extra
yeast!
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 29th, 2018, 2:44 pm

I use about 7g fast action yeast to 500 gm flour .... a pinch of salt, and around 300 mls handhot water with a tablespoon of runny honey and two tablespoons light olive oil
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 2:53 pm

Same here Suffolk, except that I use brown or white sugar. I will double check amounts when I get home. Thanks.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 29th, 2018, 3:12 pm

Don't know if it will have been of any help Mamta ... maybe the yeast is a bit old?
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 3:16 pm

I will try again, haven't done for awhile, when my present one is used up. Thanks.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby dennispc » October 29th, 2018, 3:39 pm

Or Mamta, if I tasted your bread it might not seem heavy to me. Our digestive systems do change with the passing years. ;)

For white loaf/rolls, my mix is 500g flour, 7g dried yeast, (10g fresh), 325g water, heaped tsp salt, a few glugs of olive oil. Mixed in KitchenAid. Like you leave on the side to rise, knocked back, into tin to prove and conventional oven.

Wholemeal is roughly the same though 200g white flour, 300g wholemeal plus 350g water. Try 50/50 white and wholemeal. Prove for longer? Hotter oven?

Alternatively you could try an overnight rise - mix half of the flour with all of the yeast and water. Cover, leave on the side overnight. In the morning, add rest of flour, salt and olive oil if using. Knead and carry on as before.

scullion, took a lump from yesterday’s bake, about 50g but won’t be making bread for at least another week. Put the lump in the fridge and eventually doubled in size - I’ll knock back, put in fridge until tomorrow, wrap and keep in freezer just to see what happens.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby aero280 » October 29th, 2018, 3:39 pm

I've been adding 100g of wholemeal spelt flour to 250g strong brown wholemeal and 250g of strong white flour. Then salt, oil and a sachet of yeast. Someone recommended a bit of soya flour to make the bread lighter, but I tried and it didn't make any noticeable difference. And the soya flour soaks up water so I added some more to get the flour workable.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 4:02 pm

Thank you both. Will give whole wheat bread another try.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby scullion » October 29th, 2018, 5:25 pm

i found that adding a scoop (about a heaped tablespoon) of gluten powder to the 500g of wholemeal flour made a much lighter, less crumbly, loaf than straight wholemeal - without adding any white flour. it's the main ingredient in flour improvers that you can buy for bread making.
my aunt used to swear by an effervescent vitamin c tablet in the mix, too. i can't remember if she crumbled it in or added it to the water before putting that in the flour.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » October 29th, 2018, 5:36 pm

I did try the vitamin C tablets in the early days of my bread making, but they didn't seem to make a difference.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 29th, 2018, 6:13 pm

scullion wrote:i found that adding a scoop (about a heaped tablespoon) of gluten powder to the 500g of wholemeal flour made a much lighter, less crumbly, loaf than straight wholemeal - without adding any white flour. it's the main ingredient in flour improvers that you can buy for bread making.
....


But I was reading something the other day about gluten intolerances and it was suggested that the gluten added to commercial bread may be triggering some of these. Cant find it now ............... I'll have another look later ..............
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby dennispc » October 29th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Suffs, I think I posted it on the fibre thread. Sue didn’t rate it so not worth continuing with it. :D
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby suffolk » October 29th, 2018, 6:20 pm

Ah thanks dennispc ... ok... I'll ignore it then ...
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Seatallan » October 29th, 2018, 6:31 pm

Mamta wrote:I did try the vitamin C tablets in the early days of my bread making, but they didn't seem to make a difference.


?Mr S (who makes a very good wholemeal loaf) swears by a vitamin C tablet. Might be worth another go Mamta?
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby aero280 » October 29th, 2018, 7:48 pm

I used to use Vitamin C, but it didn’t seem to do anything. Then I found out that Vitamin C is mixed in to the dried yeast in the sachets.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 1st, 2018, 2:15 pm

Reading this thread has got me into the bread making vibe again and I loved Scully's experiment with the left-over dough … Watch this space ;)
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby dennispc » November 12th, 2018, 4:27 pm

scullion, took out my lump of dough from the freezer, left it on the side and it gradually puffed up. Made a loaf and I've kept back 100g, which I let rise twice before putting it in the freezer. Can't tell if it made any difference to today's loaf.
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby Mamta » November 12th, 2018, 5:15 pm

I must remember to save some dough from next bread I make and then use it as a starter.
Just talking to myself :)
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby scullion » November 12th, 2018, 9:51 pm

The ‘starter’ lump is definitely a sourdough now. The easiest way of making a starter I’ve found. I don’t think I’ll ever go through the ‘normal’ way of making one ever again - such a waste for the same result!
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Re: Bread Dough

Postby scullion » November 12th, 2018, 9:59 pm

dennispc wrote:Can't tell if it made any difference to today's loaf.

Did you use just the ‘lump’ or lump plus yeast?
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scullion
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