Questions about kneading, baking, storing, and culinary use of any kind of bread.

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16
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4answers
12k views

How long will a sourdough starter last between feedings?

I'm using a sourdough starter from the recipe in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and I have gone through several of the rebuilding cycles with it. It's been working fairly well for me and I ...
12
votes
2answers
615 views

Devising a first-scratch bread recipe

I have some cracked wheat, some bran flakes, wheat germ, bread flour, and whole wheat flour (among other various things). How could I, using those ingredients and whatever basic principles (what I'm ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the factors that affect the chewiness, softness, moisture of bread based desserts like cinnamon rolls?

I made some cinnamon rolls the other day but the outside of the rolls are firm rather than soft after baking. What are the factors that affect the chewiness, softness, moisture of bread based desserts ...
25
votes
9answers
52k views

How warm must dough be in order to rise?

While making some focaccia this afternoon, my wife said, "sure the house is 'warm'; it'll be fine." One hour later, no rising. It may be worth noting that our house is 66F. So we stuck it in a warm ...
15
votes
4answers
17k views

Why does my bread collapse in my bread machine?

I have a bread machine and when I follow the recipes in the included booklet that came with the machine, the bread rises for about an hour, but the collapses back on itself and comes out rock hard ...
9
votes
2answers
33k views

Why doesn't my bread rise in the oven? (Not first rise)

I've been trying to work on nice bread but am having issues with the bread not rising in the oven. The first rise after kneading seems to go well, as does a short rise after shaping but before going ...
9
votes
3answers
225 views

What are convenient and reliable ways to make the starter for rye bread?

The biggest issue with make good rye bread is to make the starter since it needs to rise in a very controlled temperature for some time. What are good and reliable ways to achieve this?
8
votes
1answer
587 views

What happens with bread at >= 94˚C/201˚F? Or: Is temperature a reliable indicator of doneness?

So I baked a rye bread last night (in a bread pan). It was a new recipe for me and I had to adjust some things in it due to missing ingredients, so I could not fully rely on the time and temperature ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the secret to baking bread with a very fine crumb?

I've noticed bread purchased from the local baker always has a very fine crumb. How is this achieved??
2
votes
4answers
23k views

How do I get crispy but thin bread crust?

On a handful of occasions I've had bread in a restaurant where the crust is thin but very crispy, almost as if it had a couple layers. It looks crackly and gives easily to pressure. It's not a thick ...
14
votes
9answers
96k views

What should I cover bread dough with while it's rising?

If you let (bread) dough rise, the recipe always asks to cover it. Years ago, I read to cover it with a wet towel. Nowadays, I see more and more recipes that ask for plastic wrap (aka saran or cling ...
13
votes
8answers
5k views

Baking bread … without crust?

My fiancee doesn't like to eat the crust of bread. I like to bake bread. But she ends up cutting off like half of each piece in the process of de-crust-ifying it. What are some suggestions to make ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What takes over the functions of gluten in gluten-free bread mixes?

Gluten has many effects on bread doughs, as explained in this beautiful answer. I think the main effects for bread doughs are the first three mentioned there: Provide elasticity, presumably because ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I prevent dough from wrapping around a dough hook? [duplicate]

I have a 5.5qt KitchenAid stand mixer with the burnished spiral ("pigtail") dough hook. This is not the C-hook. When I make a small amount (for example, using 250g of flour or approximately 2 cups) of ...
9
votes
3answers
20k views

What is the purpose of oil or butter in bread?

Specifically in wheat and potato breads, what is the purpose of adding oil or butter to the dough? I have always assumed it was just for flavor, but I suspect there is some background chemical ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to achieve great baguette crusts

I have baked baguettes a few times, the recipe I used was something from the net which might or might not be good. It went like this: 13 dl wheat flour 5 dl clean, cold water salt, some olive oil ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Preheat the Dutch oven (and the oven itself) for No-Knead Bread? (experiment results)

I'm trying the America's Test Kitchen tweak of No-Knead Bread. The video segment on the website conflicts with the attached written recipe (sorry, paywalled). The video clearly says to preheat the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to store homemade bread?

I made a bigger batch of bread than I was initially planning on, and I don't want it to go bad before I get a chance to eat it. Having it go stale isn't an issue (french toast, bread pudding), but ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I make authentic Russian black bread?

I am interested in making the dense pungent black bread that is traditional in Russia. Recipes for black bread are varied and seem to disagree with one another. Too many of them make spongy, ...
2
votes
5answers
12k views

Having trouble getting gluten free bread to rise

I am new to gluten free baking and I am having much trouble getting my breads to rise. I have tried several recipes, with no luck. Can anybody give me some fool proof suggestions? I am desperate. ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

How to make hot dog buns or sandwich rolls with a soft crust?

Whenever I make sandwich rolls, the crust ends up too thick and too crispy. I've tried a few things, such as a moister dough, but I can't seem to get a combination of a hearty bread and a soft crust. ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I make whole grains stick to the top of bread?

I want to bake bread or bagels that have whole grains like poppy seeds, cumin, caraway, etc. stuck to the top. I have tried just pressing them to the top but they fall off during or shortly after ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Thick, moist, fluffy, flavorful pitas

Are there tricks for baking thick and fluffy pita bread? The ones I make come out fine, with an even puff and nice pockets, but they are on the thin side. I would really love to be able to make ...
9
votes
2answers
336 views

how to break up a bread recipe?

I found this recipe for a pull apart cheesy bread that I love. It turned out ok the first time, and I'd like to try it again for a dinner I'm having this week. However, I don't have a lot of time to ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How does hydration of a sourdough affect baking features?

Looking at different recipes for sourdough starters, there's everything from a mix as dry as cookie dough to as wet as gruel. In this (danish) recipe from the acclaimed chef Claus Meyer of a pretty ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Do breadcrumbs really act as a binder in meat preparations?

I routinely hear that breadcrumbs are added to burgers and meatballs to bind them. For example, see the answers to this question: how to stop meatballs falling apart. On the other hand, I have heard ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Kneading before or after rising?

I've found a pita bread recipe (that turned out well) that indicates to knead after rising the dough (for about 3 hours). What's the difference between kneading before or after rising? It's even ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is bread that can go mouldy better than that which does not?

I've recently moved from Holland to the UK, and one thing I've been noticing is that the available bread here (which I feel is highly inferior to Dutch bread) does not go mouldy. When left in the ...
6
votes
2answers
802 views

Why do some recipes recommend a short rest after mixing but before kneading the bread?

Some recipes I see for bread dough recommend a short rest between the mixing (just enough to make the ingredients homogeneous) and kneading stage - often 10 to 30 minutes. The dough seems to be a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I score wet bread dough more easily?

I've noticed that it is dramatically easier to score firm bread dough than wet bread dough. But, sometimes it's good to work with a wet dough for other reasons. Any tips on how to score wet bread ...
5
votes
1answer
787 views

Safety of room-temperature soaker from Reinhart's *Whole Grain Breads*

One of the “tricks” used in Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads is to soak various whole grains in water, at room temperature, for 12–24 hours. For example, in his “Multigrain Stuan” formula, he calls ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How can you know that your bread is done?

Most bread recipes give an estimate to how long that bread must bake. However, I find it hard to check whether it's done or not. I don't have a thermometer, and I don't think the toothpick trick works ...
4
votes
3answers
295 views

How to replicate this bakery's bread

A local bakery is going out of business and they sell the most delicious bread. The pretzel bread is my favorite. All of their loaves tend to be heavy and dense, they stand up well to slicing, and the ...
3
votes
2answers
32k views

Can I store bread dough overnight?

I would like to bake bread as soon as I get up. Would it be possible to store bread dough overnight, perhaps in the fridge? For how long could I store it? Would it need to rise again next morning?
3
votes
3answers
87k views

How long can I keep bread dough in the refrigerator?

If I've made some dough and want to bake it later, how long can I store it in the refrigerator? Do I need to do anything special to make that work out? Are there any types of bread it won't work well ...
3
votes
4answers
901 views

What edible solution can I cover bread in to make it waterproof?

My partner and I are working an entrepreneurial project for school, and we decided to make a sort of edible water bottle. We decided we would make it out of bread, which we would cover in some ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Topping bread with poppy seeds or sesame seeds

Should the seeds be sprinkled over the dough before baking, or will they burn? Should they be soaked first to prevent burning? Should a wash (cornstarch?) be used to stick them to the dough? ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a way to bring a loaf of bread that's gone dry, back to life?

It seems that some of the whole grain loafs seem to dry out very quickly, even stored in a plastic bag - if it hasn't started to turn green, is there a way to restore some of the life back into them?
14
votes
8answers
13k views

Why does leftover pizza dough make terrible bread?

I like to make my own pizza dough. Usually I end up with some leftover dough, which I stick in the fridge and then try to make into buns or something for breakfast the next morning. It never turns ...
13
votes
6answers
18k views

Why is there vinegar in the bread recipe?

Yesterday I made bread based on a recipe I found on the flour bag. It contained both rye and wheat flour but also three tablespoons of vinegar. I've never seen it used in bread before, why is it ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

When adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe, should one reduce the amount of flour equal to it?

I've always thought that the rule of thumb for adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe was to add one tablespoon of it per cup of flour called for. A friend is telling me that rather than do that, ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

What is a poolish starter?

I asked a question about what I could add to homemade bread to stop it going off so fast and someone suggested trying "a poolish starter". I've never heard of this before, so what is it?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What are good techniques for getting gluten free bread to rise?

I make gluten free bread in a bread maker, however I can never get it to rise as much as 'regular' bread and is usually a little heavy. What techniques/recipes/substitutions can I try to get my gluten ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

What is “pizza crust yeast”?

Someone gave me a bunch of envelopes of pizza crust yeast, "specially formulated for pizza crust". The packets also say that no rise time or proofing is needed, and that it's "NOT recommended for ...
9
votes
2answers
16k views

Why add malt to bread?

Several bread recipes that I have been looking at recently call for rye malt. I know that malt is sweet but what other effect will malt have on a bread recipe?
9
votes
1answer
945 views

Uses for Old bread dough

I found some old bread dough that I had left, sealed in tupperware, in my fridge. It has a powerful fermented smell, but doesn't appear to be moldy or otherwise bad. Is there any use for this ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Why and what kind of breads should be scored?

Inspired by this question How can I score wet bread dough more easily?, I am quite keen to know why and what kind of breads should be scored? What will happen if we don't score the breads?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

My grandmothers “brown” bread

I grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada and my grandmother used to make what she called "brown" bread she used to make it every time she would make homemade baked beans. She is no longer with us and I'm ...
7
votes
4answers
715 views

I want to duplicate my bread mistake!

I make all of my own bread. For just everyday use my go-to recipe is as follows: Honey-Oat Pain de Mie 255g lukewarm water 361g AP Flour 85g old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats) 1 1/2 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to ship bread or bread dough?

I've been thinking about starting a boutique mail order dinner roll business. Dough While I'd really like to ship dough and allow customers to bake (per roll) at their leisure, I'm beginning to think ...