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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #1
Greendriver
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Default Bread Baking Failure (no pics)

I don't make pics if it turns out like crap. We planned to eat our grillades leftovers yesterday and I wanted to bake some bread to go with it. Searching the recipe books is always my first option and I found an old book that was all bread recipes and settled on a cheese bread. Our loaf pan had up and dissapeared and I said to myself "self" you can make them little balls it calls for and layer in a muffin pan instead of the loaf pan and that orta work just as good. So, off I went and made this huge mess in the kitchen which I blamed on trying to not rattle the pots and pans so as to not wake up the baby (we got to baby sit for them to go to the movie, which they must have wathed about 3 times). The book was calling for "fresh yeast cakes" and I just ignored that and figured one pack of quick rise yeat would be fine and all went really well on getting it mixed up and into a bowl for the rise, but it didn't rise hardly none in the ONE hour recommended but I went ahead and rolled out all them little balls and put em in the muffin pans with a spinklin of shredded cheese after each layer and covered for the 2nd rise. The bread reminded me of me as the first rise hardly happened and the second one didn't happen at all, "notta, nix, nil, zero". Well I baked the dam stuff anyway and wound up with chit hard as a brick bat. What happened I dunno! The recipe was for 2 cups flour and I didn't sift it and it was kinda hard to measure out of the bag as it was kinda packy and I used White Lily all pur-pose flour. It called for a cup of warm milk and tsp or tbs of suggie and I nuked the milk and disolved the yeast and suggie in it and it foamed up nice so I don't think it was the yeast conversion or a pack of bad yeast. The onliest thing that comes to mind is that it was being stuborn about that rising thing and I maybe should have given it more time. If this is a correct assumption, which I have no idear if it is or not, then there might be two lessons for this boy, one cooking and one not.
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Unread 07-20-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
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You probably didn't use enough yeast, or it was old. It would possibly just take a lot longer that way. Yeast cakes are mainly for pro bakers, and they're tough to store, I'm told. I use instant yeast, the kind you don't have to mix first, and it works well. But if yeast is too old, there may not be much alive in there, which means it will take a lot longer for the live stuff to multiple enough to do a good rise. You have to do it based on how much it rises, not time, just like doing bbq. :)
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Unread 07-20-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Tough to troubleshoot dough that doesn't rise. I use 2 packets of yeast for 5 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour for my bread, so 1 packet for 2 cups of flour should be plenty.
You're biggest mistake was going ahead with the recipe when you didn't get that first rise. If you don't get a double in volume on that first rise, something isn't right. Since the yeast foamed up, it wasn't dead, but it may have not been in a chippy enough mood. Instead of trying to figure out exactly what went wrong, I'll just include some tips I use when baking bread:

Always make sure your yeast isn't dead by either mixing in some water with some sugar, or making a "sponge" with flour, water and yeast. It should start bubbling within about 10 minutes.

Don't just shove a measuring cup down into a bag of flour when measuring flour. Spoon it into a measuring cup, then level off with a butter knife. This keeps the flour from compacting and you end up with too much flour. Better yet, invest in a digital scale and weigh flour by weight instead of volume. For instance, I know that one carefully measured cup of King Arthur whole wheat flour weighs 135 grams, so if I need 2 cups I just measure 270 grams of flour and I'm good to go.

All rising should take place in a warm area with no drafts. An oven with the oven light turned on is about the perfect temperature. Cover the bowl with a wet dish towel or plastic wrap. If you oven is still too cool, turn on the oven, then wait till you hear the burners come on, count to 5, then turn the oven off. That will warm up oven up to around 90 degrees or so.

Yeast doesn't need a warm environment to do it's job, it just does it faster. Dough will rise even if in a fridge, it will just take it about 24 hours. If you know your yeast isn't dead, just give it time. It may need two hours instead of one. First rise should usually double in volume.

All I can think of for now!
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Unread 07-20-2009, 09:42 AM   #4
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thanks you guys - sounds like I just didn't give it time.
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Unread 07-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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I like to let my dough rise in the oven, especially at this time of year. You don't want to know about the Thanksgiving that was warm enough to have the AC running. Needing room in the kitchen, the dough for the rolls went to the dining room to rise.....and didn't. We figured that it was the cool air from the AC close by. That evening, I made another batch with ingredients from the exact same packages etc. and it came out perfect. The difference was turning the oven on, as low as possible and then shutting it off before placing the dough in to rise. No draft, stable temp..... works for me.
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Unread 07-20-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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How warm was the nuked milk, too warm and the yeast whacks out. Also, like all baking, the recipe must be followed, sounds like you were in a less than precise mode for cooking. Any imbalance in bread making will have an effect of the end product.
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