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

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What is the ideal hydration for bread dough?

I made a bread that called for 1kg of flour and 700ml of water. That is a 70% hydration. The problem was that the dough became absolutely soaked, so in the end I added more than 500g more flour. ...
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8answers
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Do I need a bread maker?

I'd like to try my hand at baking my own bread. Do I need a bread maker to get decent bread? Are there any advantages to using a bread maker vs. my normal oven?
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What can I do with extra sourdough starter?

I recently made a sourdough starter from wild yeast, but the process I followed for making it resulted in a lot of starter. Instead of throwing it away I'd like to use it, and then once it gets down ...
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6answers
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My sourdough starter is bubbling but not rising, suggestions?

I've been trying to grow my own sourdough starter; I went with a 'pure' method, with 50g each of hard-wheat flour from a local mill and water. I've fed it once and it seems to be bubbling nicely ...
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5answers
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How can I rescue overproofed bread?

If I make a loaf and slow proof it in the refrigerator, I find that sometimes it will collapse in the middle. I know this is happening because there is a large air pocket in the cling film above the ...
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3answers
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How to keep a high hydration bread loaf from becoming flat

Yesterday, I made a sourdough loaf with a high hydration (80%) and as usual, when I turned it out of its banneton, it simply couldn't hold its shape and became very flat; only about 1 1/2 inches at ...
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5answers
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Techniques for making sourdough starter in cold/altitude

I want to try my hand at making sourdough starter but live in high altitude and cold weather. I'm not sure if the altitude is an issue but I don't think my house is warm enough on its own to allow a ...
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1answer
588 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 ...
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3answers
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How to convert a recipe calling for active dry yeast into rapid rise yeast?

I have a recipe for rolls where the first stage calls for 2 packages active dry yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water to be mixed until the yeast is proofed, and then 1/4 cup cubed butter is ...
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3answers
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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?
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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What additions can I make to my basic white bread recipe to increase its fiber content?

These are my ingredients for a one-loaf white bread recipe: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup milk 4 Tbsp butter 2 Tbsp sugar 1 1/4 tsp salt 1 packet active dry yeast I'd like to add an ingredient that ...
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4answers
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What temperature of water will kill yeast?

In other words, what is the maximum temperature of water I can use in yeast bread dough? I don't proof the yeast, I use rapid dry yeast and I just add it to the other ingredients and knead it in.
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1answer
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How does halving a bread recipe impact rising time?

I'd like to try an English Muffin Bread recipe, which makes two loaves, but I only have one pan. I assume that I can simply cut the ingredients in half, but the one thing I'm unsure of is rising time. ...
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3answers
793 views

What can I do with a failed bread?

So I attempted my first loaf of bread tonight and I blew it. It's flat and way wide (I tried a free pan loaf). It's about 2 inches tall and very spongy. It has roughly the consistency of a corn ...
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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 ...
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1answer
473 views

Should any liquid, or liquid-like ingredient, be included in the water proportion calculations for bread?

So I am just beginning on my bread making adventures and have been studying the concept of water to flour proportions for baking bread. My question is about experimenting with other types of ...
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6answers
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does bread have alcohol in it?

According to wikipedia, the byproducts of yeast fermenting (like done in baking it says) are carbon dioxide and alcohol (not necessarily ethanol -- the kind you can get drunk on). If that's the case, ...
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2answers
1k views

How do you get 'ears' when baking bread?

When slashing bread, how can I produce crusty 'ears' on the places where the slash opens up? Most of the time they open up, but just end up flush with the rest of the crust.
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1answer
133 views

What is the name of this Ukrainian bread?

As part of a welcoming ceremony, Vice President Joe Biden ate a certain type of bread in a salt and bread ceremony put on by the very hospitable Ukrainians in July of 2009.. It was not your every day ...
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3answers
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Can I successfully bake previously-frozen bread dough?

I prefer my bread freshly baked (who doesn't?), but my mixer prefers kneading two loaves at a time to just kneading one. I have tried to freeze the second loaf before baking it, but when I thaw it, it ...
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1answer
901 views

Can I make ciabatta with corn flour?

This is my ciabatta recipe: 4 cups flour 2 cups warm water 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon yeast Mix water and yeast Add flour and salt Stir into a heavy batter Set aside covered at least 8 hours Heat ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between a poolish and a biga?

Both poolish and biga are pre-ferments. Poolish is a French name, biga an Italian term. What other differences are there between the two? Just to give some direction: are there differences in making ...
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3answers
656 views

What characteristics should a bread peel have?

A peel is the utensil used to transfer loaves into the oven: Image source: Wikipedia I've done a couple of them using some wood boards I had on hand. I made them for a home electric oven. But now I'm ...
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9answers
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How do I eliminate Corn Meal “grittiness”?

I recently made some corn bread on my own from scratch for the first time. The flavour was perfect as was the general firmness/crumbliness of the bread. However, the corn meal in the recipe resulted ...
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4answers
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Sticky and unmanagable sourdough

I've recently started a sourdough starter culture (using equal parts water and spelt flour) and have used it in a sourdough bread recipe I got from the Telegraph. I've halved the recipe in the article ...
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6answers
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Baking naan without an oven?

Is it possible to make eggless naan without an oven?
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6answers
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Where can I buy American style bread flour in Europe

I live in Germany, and all the flour here is made from soft winter wheat. I can get some durum semolina imported from Italy and sold as "hardwheat flour" (Hartweizenmehl), and that's about it. But ...
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2answers
732 views

Baker's Math Formula System - Why Isn't the Flour Mass in Corn Bread Formula 100%?

I am currently in the middle of a challenge to bake every formula in the Bread Baker's Apprentice book (BBA). This book describes a principal called the Baker's Math Formula System where all ...
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5answers
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domestic bread steaming -> will my stone be okay?

Trying to maximise the oven rise of my loaf, and think I will try the steaming method, but what is the best way to do this in a domestic electric oven, and will could it damage my bread stone?
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How can I make a super-thin, yet strong, calzone crust?

I am a relatively experienced amateur when it comes to making pizza, especially pizza doughs. I recently went to Italy and enjoyed some calzones with super-thin crusts. My standard recipe for a ...
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2answers
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Why does commercial brown (whole wheat) bread taste bitter?

I use this flour for making parathas: Pillsbury Chakki Fresh Atta (whole wheat flour) This is whole wheat flour. The parathas never tasted bitter. Is the commercial whole wheat bread made of this ...
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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??
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3answers
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Why does bread with filling separate and how do I prevent it?

Sometimes when I make sausage kolaches or cinnamon rolls the bread layers pull away from the sausage or the filling and leave an open space inside. The separation is cosmetically unattractive, and can ...
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4answers
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Yeast Aftertaste

When trying to bake white bread, I use yeast to make it rise. The problem is that I always get a sour yeast taste with my bread. How do I avoid this "sour bread" effect?
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2answers
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How should I clean, or care for, a banneton (brotform, proofing basket)?

How should I care for a rattan (cane) banneton? It would seem that washing it in water would eventually warp or ruin the basket since the wood can easily absorb moisture. I've seen people suggest ...
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2answers
2k views

How careful do you have to be with adding flour for kneading?

When you're working a dough (kneading or rolling out), instructions often say to flour the surface you're working on and your rolling pin or hands. This helps the dough to stick less. However, I ...
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3answers
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Techniques for mixing bread dough with stand mixer

Can anyone tell me what the best technique is for using a stand mixer to make bread dough? I just got a stand mixer with a dough hook and have started using it for mixing and kneading bread dough. ...
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3answers
756 views

Baking bread with spelt flour, without using a bread pan

I ran out of "normal" wheat flour a few days ago, so I had to bake my bread with the closest thing - spelt flour. I noticed the dough was a lot stickier than when using wheat flour, and when baked, ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does baking bread in a closed pot make a good crust?

I just tried a recipe for bread that suggests baking it in the oven a casserole pot with a lid (Dutch oven?) Suddenly I have a loaf with a wonderful crust which I have never managed to do with an oven ...
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3answers
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What defines a bread as 'artisan'?

'Artisan' is a term thrown around a lot right now in the bread world. What defines something as an 'artisan' bread? Is it a function of the recipe, the technique, or the person? Note, I'm not ...
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3answers
716 views

What is the difference between making French baguettes and US style baguettes?

I have noticed that there is a large difference between French baguettes with chewy crust and consistent airy and chewy inside. Baguettes in the US are a different type. I am referring to the ones I ...
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2answers
397 views

When is the best time to use my sourdough starter?

When I feed my sourdough starter and leave it out to make bread, it reaches max size in about 6 or 7 hours, then it begins to fall back. Is this the point at which I should make bread in order to get ...
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2answers
675 views

How can I make this very low hydration bread more home baker friendly?

The recipe is something like that: 400g of flour 180g of water 2g of yeast 7g of salt Part of the flour and water can be used to prepare a biga or a poolish, let's ignore that to keep it simple. ...
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3answers
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What type of flour should I feed my starter with?

Different sites recommend different flours for the feeding of my established starter, so I suspect it depends on the purpose, but I can't find a definitive answer. Should I be using the flour I plan ...
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2answers
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yeast subtitution in a recipe with no water

I have found this recipe, but I want to use dry active yeast, rather than easy blend. My question is can I proof (right word?) the yeast in the milk? and how much should I use?
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1answer
121 views

How do I modify sourdough recipes for use with my small starter?

I have a 125% hydration starter that I got from some chef friends of mine, but I've been instructed that if I care for it properly I should be using no more than 90g of starter from the base culture ...
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2answers
156 views

Bread from the machine always too soft, can't be buttered

My bread machine (Panasonic SD-2501) makes good bread. The loaves rise every time and it has a great golden crust. However, the bread is always too soft. The recipe: 1 tsp dry yeast 440gm baker's ...