Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Wed 06 Jan 10 8:52pm

ZeroNeo

Member
From Cape Town
Member since Tue 23 Nov 04

Bread Dough Questions

Hi guys and gals

Well i bake now and again when I feel like it, so a bit of a novice.

I got a question.

I noticed then when I need the dough it does not seem to become very elastic. I do knead for a while 5 to 10min or so.

I noticed when i knead the dough and push the dough away it seem to almost tear. I just does become elastic.

I dunno why... I maybe have very heavy hands lolol.

I did get right once in the past but cant remember doing anything different.

Do any of you guys know what the reason for this is?

I did do a search but could'nt seem to find the problem.

Thanks in advance

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#2 Wed 06 Jan 10 9:13pm

SusanneH

Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Bread Dough Questions

I am not sure I understand what really happens to your dough.

A few things about baking bread that might help (hopefully):
When you make bread you may have to add more water or flour than the recipe calls for to get the dough just right. This depends on how dry exactly the flour is and how well it absorbs the liquid. It also depends on the kneading method. Hand-kneaded dough needs less water than machine-kneaded usually.
I suspect you want a little more water in your dough. (maybe that one time you got just a tbsp more water or the flour was a little different or whatever. Every dough is a little different.)

You can better make your dough softer and bake in a dish if the shape doesn't hold than making the dough to dry - the dough will have to be able to move to get enough air in. Too firm a dough will make a denser crumb, a softer dough can become fluffier (depending on baking method).


Also the dough will get more elastic after the first rising (can't explain the chemical process, but the "glue" forms when the flour and water get to rest together for a bit)

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#3 Wed 06 Jan 10 9:47pm

King Henry VIII

Member
Member since Sun 19 Oct 08

Re: Bread Dough Questions

It seems to me that you may be using ordinary plain white flour instead of strong white bread flour. The difference being is that normal plain flour is very low in gluten and when you knead your bread it will very tricky to achieve an elastic dough due to its low gluten content unlike strong white flour which is high in gluten and should come together reasonably quickly.

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#4 Wed 06 Jan 10 9:48pm

King Henry VIII

Member
Member since Sun 19 Oct 08

Re: Bread Dough Questions

thumbsup

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#5 Thu 07 Jan 10 12:36am

nanstertoo

Forum champ
Occupation Retired nurse-midwife
From High Point, North Carolina
Member since Tue 17 Jun 08

Re: Bread Dough Questions

I have just read about a great website, www.thefreshloaf.com
, it was number 25 on the Saveur magazine's top 100 foodie things for 2009.  Supposed to be a wonderful site for bread bakers, and full of lively discussion, just like this one.

Last edited by nanstertoo (Thu 07 Jan 10 1:03am)

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#6 Thu 07 Jan 10 1:06am

nanstertoo

Forum champ
Occupation Retired nurse-midwife
From High Point, North Carolina
Member since Tue 17 Jun 08

Re: Bread Dough Questions

OMG, I just went to that website and it is incredible.  Everything you ever wanted to know about bread baking, and maybe some things you didn't know you wanted to know!

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#7 Thu 07 Jan 10 1:23am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Bread Dough Questions

Most kneading is done in that 'pushaway' way I think. The little glutens must like it!

One trick that might help: if you are kneading and it seems to 'sieze' just leave it for half an hour, in a warmish place if possible, and it will relax and much easier to knead.

I love starting with a sponge: say 1 cup of flour, the yeast, maybe a little sugar, and a cup of lukewarm water. Let that froth up until you can understand exactly why it is called a sponge, and then gradually add the rest of the flour, oil, whatever, to it until it is a good workable dough.
This seems to help avoid that too dry unkneadable dough. (Plus it helps it develop flavour).
Cheers!
smile

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#8 Thu 07 Jan 10 9:52am

ZeroNeo

Member
From Cape Town
Member since Tue 23 Nov 04

Re: Bread Dough Questions

Thanks guys and gals

I did you ordinary flour so i think you on to something there King Henry.

Well the dough rose quite nicely and after shaping the dough it rose again so in all it came out okay.

It just that when kneading the dough the texture just didn't seem correct. Its difficult to explain, like I said above when kneading (hand kneading) when i pushed the dough away with the heal of the palm my hand it would stretch a little and then start to tear away.

I am thinking now that maybe with it being plain flour it could have been to much water for that kinda flour.

I will try again soon using bread flour and see how it goes.

I am gonna start baking more in 2010

Thanks for the help guys and gals  clap  clap
smile

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#9 Thu 07 Jan 10 10:45am

SusanneH

Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Bread Dough Questions

You can use plain flour for bread very well. Don't let anyone tell you anything else. You may have to adjust water amounts and rising times a bit when you use other flours or even just other brands of flour. Treat your dough like a living being with individual needs (even if it sounds crazy).

When your dough tears it is more likely that you have too little water than too much. Too much water would more likely result in sticky dough.

Just experiment. If it goes wrong all you have wasted is a little water, flour, and yeast. Don't be afraid to just play!

Happy baking!

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#10 Thu 07 Jan 10 12:58pm

ZeroNeo

Member
From Cape Town
Member since Tue 23 Nov 04

Re: Bread Dough Questions

I have been checking out www.thefreshloaf.com very cool bread information site.

Thanks nanstertoo thumbsup

Do you guys know what are the benefits of making a starter mixture compared to just using instant yeast?

Also and sorry if this is a stupid question but can you make a starter mixture using instant yeast?

I must say i definitely wanna try the no knead bread method, takes a bit longer but looks great
smile  smile

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