can we talk bread?

Why do I see recipes where after making dough, the instructions will say to put in a warm place to double in size, or whatever the needs are before shape and bake. Why not say in recipe to put in oven to proof? The bagel recipes tell you to use the oven to proof why don’t they all? I would like to see more recipes w crispy, crunchy crusts, not so many softies! Anyone care to share their recipes?

Watch this. Recipe in the discription. https://youtu.be/qenk9HTDeYM

Works for me everytime.

Hi Suz, isn’t it disappointing that recipes provide the how to, but rarely answer your why and why not? Competent cooks and bakers need to know the whys.

The living yeast cells in your bread dough need to digest available starch sugars to produce CO2 that causes the bread to rise, doubling in size. The process is often referred to as fermentation. Yeast requires a warm and moist environment for heightened activity over time.

Consider that not all recipe writers have the same capabilities. Some provide more useful information than others. To improve your knowledge you may want to search for detailed recipes that provide both how and why. I prefer bread recipes that have precise details and don’t require multiple baking periods.

To ensure doneness you need to know that lean bread doughs are baked to an internal temperature of 90C to 99C. Crusty breads are done at the higher end of that range. Keep a record of your recipe’s pull temperatures until you discover the point of perfection.

Keep well.

There are several element in your message that will require you to search further.

First the fermentation, and then the cooking to achieve doneness and crispy crusts.

For the fermentation basically putting your dough in a warm+humid environment will allow to grow faster, to the detriment of the texture. I’d suggest that you look for various recipes (not just the anova ones) and look for alternatives.
After several trial and errors, I personally settled to make sourdough bread rather than using yeast, and the fermentation process I have chosen is rather long, including a night in the fridge. This slow fermentation gives it a specific taste and allow to have regular bubbles (no big ones) in the bread.
You can also use yeast, and keep in mind that in all case kneading and fermentation requires time.
One important point to keep in mind is the quality of the flour. Not all flours allow to prepare a good soft bread with crispy crusts. The one you can kind find in supermarkets is not always a good one.

This was the hard bit, now the easy one

Crispy crust, is somewhat simpler: it needs humidity, and I do not have to use a steam oven for that although it would greatly help.

Suz, to save you the search here’s an easy semi-artisan bread recipe that delivers a shatteringly crisp crust with a pleasing flavour. It’s so easy and enjoyable it could become a part of your regular repertoire.

The recipe was written for bakers without a kitchen scale or steam assisted oven. You can scroll down a few comments after the recipe for its ingredients’ weights. Flavour improves with a longer fermentation, up to an additional 48 hours in your refrigerator after the initial 24 hours at room temperature.

Enjoy.

Thanks chatnoir. I am familiar w recipes like this one you listed for my consideration. They initially mention long rise at room temp. No special need to be in oven. I wonder how second rise in the oven utilizing steam and set temp might affect the rise, as the first was not in oven. just received my oven less than a week ago. One function being the reason for my purchase was because of it’s ability to assist in proofing the bread in the oven. Again, thanks!

In the description given of the flour, here in the United States anyway, sounds like it is what we simply call bread flour, which is different than all purpose flour.

That’s correct Suz. Most American AP flour is milled from soft wheat that’s relatively low in gluten.

Bread flour is milled from hard wheat with higher gluten content. The gluten provides your dough with the elasticity required to stretch and encompass the CO2 bubbles that gives bread its amazing open texture and structure.

If you are going to get serious about your baking knowledge i can’t think of a better internet site than King Arthur Flour’s. The information available there is reliable and as complete as any baking school provides. Their products are first class too.

I didn’t know your oven had a Bread Proof preset. Use it.

It doesn’t matter how the first rise was done. As long as the oven’s bread proofing preset is accurate the bread’s second rise will be fine. What you don’t get is the enhanced flavour of the longer ferment. Serious bakers know that bread is a complex food that can’t be rushed for the best outcomes.

There’s a danger of over heating proofing bread and killing the yeast with a conventional oven’s imprecise temperature control.

Happy baking.

I have decided to go back to making a batch of dough which can be refrigerated until ready to bake. It allows for the slow rise in the fridge, while allowing me the flexibility to bake when it is convenient for me. It does not allow the proofing in my Anova oven but will give me a chance to familiarize myself w how the oven will bake.Since I am a new owner, I think it is a good place to start

Thanks! I would love to try your recipe after I familiarize myself w my new oven! Great video!

1 Like

One little thing; for flour I always use unbleached flours. Bleached flour is banned almost everywhere except the US. If you ever start doing sourdough unbleached is a must.

I have been baking bread for years now and finally got an oven that will allow for correct steaming, yay! I have a few thoughts that might help you.

  1. Slower fermentation creates a deeper flavor in the bread. You absolutely can proof your bread in the oven for a first rise, but it will be much faster than on your counter. Also, your second rise after shaping can’t really be done in the oven because you will want to be preheating your oven (and probably a cast iron plate, steel, or ceramic plate) for the last 45 minutes of your rise. The book “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast” by Ken Forkish was really helpful in understanding the temperatures and timings of rising dough.

  2. While refrigerating dough is a great way to rise slowly and create a lot of great flavor, there is still a time window in which your bread is ready to bake. It’s a larger window than at room temperatures, but it is still only a few hours. Too early and you will not get a good oven spring, too late and you will get too much spring that will break the crumb structure and cause deflation. Because eveyone’s temperatures vary (my room temp this time of year is about 64 degrees, most recipes assume more like 72 degrees) recipes cannot guarantee times unless they know your exact temp.

  3. Flour is a huge variable to your baking. Flour types vary greatly. They absorb water differently and measure differently based on type of wheat, age, milling process, humidity in your area, and a lot of other things too complicated for me. Measuring by weight is vital. In my experience it takes a lot of trial runs to get the balance right.

  4. Good luck and keep baking! My first loaf out of the Anova was a minor disaster…but the next loaf will be better until I get exactly what I want.

It is. The flour I use here has bread improver in it to stimulate the gluten. Long ago when miller’s milled grain into flour they would keep it up to 3 weeks before selling it to bakers. This was a method to let the gluten rest before baking bread. Nowadays an additive is used to shorten this process. I think your American bread flour is based on the same principle.

1 Like

This mornings beauty…

2 Likes

Beautiful and :yum:

Beautiful!

I followed the temp, humidity, and time parameters in the Anova ‘Sourdough Boule’ recipe for my first loaf in my new oven and it wasn’t right at all (20 minutes at 250c with 100% steam, and then dry bake at 205c to set the crust). The loaf in my Anova oven had much less oven spring than the exact same loaf I baked in my standard oven (in a ceramic baking dish). Also, after 20 minutes it was basically fully cooked and browned all over. It was like the steam didn’t do anything at all.

Can you tell me your time, temp, and steam settings?

Thanks

The Sourdough Boule didn’t work for me as well. The first stage browns the bread to fast. Because of this the bread can’t rise enough. Take the first stage down to 160 for 20 minutes and bake after at 240 for 10 minutes. You might experience the bread getting softer after it cools down. There is still steam in the bread and that softens the crust somewhat. I just put it back in the oven for 8 minutes at 180 degrees.
Will be experimenting with less steam in the first stage. 60% in stead of 100%

I almost hate to bring it up, but if anyone has suggestions for baking gluten-free bread, I need them. Bread and gluten-free are almost oxymorons. I’ve been GF for almost 20 years and still miss good bread. Despite all the claims of “try this one; this one is really good”, there is no GF bread that tastes like good artisan bread. I’m not talking about Mrs. Baird’s white bread, which is barely bread. I want to be able to bite into a good chewy, yet crunchy flavorful slice of bread. I want to be able to dip dip my bread into flavored olive oil and savor the combined flavors. I want to slather good butter on a hot thick piece of aromatic warm bread, hold it in front of my mouth, and imagine the explosion of wonderful taste that awaits me. Kim and Jake’s Peasant Loaf comes close, but often has giant holes baked into the loaf.

I have done lots of reading, and have seen many videos regarding sour dough bread. Seems as though there are many different opinions on the steps to make the starter. I am at home for a day or so, then flat out go go busy for a few days, depending on the rotation schedule I have to follow. Therefore, I don’t have the time. I don’t want to insult fervent sour dough bread bakers, but I don’t have the time nor inclination to babysit a jar of starter. I don’t want to have to count the hours for when it needs to be fed, when I know I won’t be home. I see it as such a waste to get rid of part of it and feed it again! I have seen some alternatives here to achieve the end results that I am looking for. .

The temperature changes are very interesting because they are opposite to my bread baking to date. I tend to start hot and then reduce. I will give yours a try.