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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Bread Baking Newbie Needs Help :)
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    Bread Baking Newbie Needs Help :)

    K9 Owned
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:29 am
    Forum Host
    wave.gif
    Although I have been making bread for the past year with your help and encouragement I have never made a loaf with a starter. I'm going to give French Hearth Bread a shot today but want to double the recipe.

    The question is does one double the starter as well?
    Sounds dumb but I really don't know. icon_redface.gif icon_redface.gif
    duonyte
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:05 pm
    Forum Host
    Yes, you would. You could make just one batch of the sponge, but then adjusting the rest of the recipe to get enough dough would be necessary plus it would take longer to rise, which might throw your timing off. Easiest to just double everything. That's a lot of dough to handle, you might want to make it in two separate bowls.
    K9 Owned
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:30 pm
    Forum Host
    Thanks duonyte!
    Hum. I missed the part about 2 bowls. Shouldn't be a problem as I just put the starter in a stock pot and planned to use a larger stock pot instead of a bowl when I combine the two. Mixing I now realize could be a real problem in one bowl or stock pot. I'll split the starter when ready in to two batches.

    All this because I went to a cool kitchen shop and bought some great pans. icon_lol.gif One was/is an Italian loaf pan which is 12" long, 7" wide at the top but has curved sides. Looks like I will have enough dough to make a second smaller loaf or some cool buns.

    Thanks as always for your help!
    duonyte
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:06 pm
    Forum Host
    That pan sounds very interesting - looking forward to some photos.
    K9 Owned
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:45 pm
    Forum Host
    This is a picture of the pan. I was delighted that it was made in North America and this baby has a 25 year warranty on it!! It is made by US Pan.
    The measurements on their website say 12 x 5 1/2 but I don't know where they are taking that from as when I measure it across the top it is 7".

    This may not have been the best recipe for me to have chosen. Four rises! It is shaped and in the pan now and I will try to get a picture of the finished product.

    [/img]
    Donna M.
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:27 pm
    Forum Host
    Oooo, I love that pan! That is going to make some classy looking slices for sandwiches. I can't wait to see your finished bread. I hope you will post pics. I'd love to see it sliced, too.
    K9 Owned
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:00 pm
    Forum Host
    Donna, nothing would have tickled me more than to have a picture worthy loaf. This was not the one. icon_smile.gif

    It is cooling as I type this and I nicked a piece off the heel. The taste is nice but the adage 'Don't run before you can walk' comes to mind. This was my first shot at making bread with a starter. I believe I will give myself an A for effort and an F for results. icon_lol.gif All went according to plan until the rising in the pan thing. I think it was one too many rises for this poor loaf.

    The starter did what I assume starters are supposed to. It darn near crept out of the pot and on to the counter. The first real rise doubled in size nicely as did the next. Once shaped and in the pan it just sat there doing nothing. I left it for 90 minutes and it had risen maybe 25%. I stuck it in the oven anyway and it came out exactly the size and shape it went in. I'm sure it will be edible but not for sandwiches. icon_sad.gif

    I promise I will try again with an easier (for me) recipe and post a pic of the pan and the sliced, beautifully risen bread that I am determined will happen. icon_lol.gif
    Donna M.
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:25 pm
    Forum Host
    Well, dang! Sorry it didn't turn out better for you. Keep trying and I'm sure you will master it. You can do it!!

    I didn't do much baking during the summer and I have noticed that the few loaves I have made lately have turned out less than stellar, also. I think you need to bake bread regularly, two or three times a week to keep in the groove and be really consistently good at it.
    duonyte
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:57 pm
    Forum Host
    Yes, please don't be discouraged. Like anything, it takes a little time to get into the zone, as it were.
    K9 Owned
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:12 pm
    Forum Host
    I just had a slice with a piece of Kerry Gold Cheddar. There is a lot of great chew to this bread and a nice taste.

    What do you think would happen if I did it again but cutting out one of the three non starter rises? I really do think if I had not made it quite so dense it would be lovely.
    Donna M.
    Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:25 am
    Forum Host
    Yes you could do that. How long did you let the starter rise? I noticed the recipe says 1 to 4 hours. You can cut this time to the minimum, also. Was your room temperature quite warm? That can make the yeast grow much faster, so you really can't pay much attention to a recipe that says to "let dough rise for x number of hours". You should just keep an eye on the dough and let it rise until double or slightly less.
    Red Apple Guy
    Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:54 pm
    Forum Host
    Hey K9 Owned

    Be of good cheer, and keep trying recipes with starters (sponges or pre-ferments). I think this is a difficult recipe due to its wetness and the extra rise called for. The sponge is likely not the main issue.

    Your experience reminds me of my first sandwich loaf. I picked a recipe with a dough so wet, I spread it all over the kitchen and all over me. And the resulting loaf sucked to boot.

    The sponge appears to be a Rose Levy Beranbaum type as used extensively in her "Bread Bible". on page 34, she tells how to convert most any recipe to a sponge recipe by dividing the flour by 2.5 (that's 40% of the flour), mixing it with all of the water in the recipe, and 1/2 (or slightly less) of the yeast. Allow this to stand covered at room temperature for 1 to 4 hours. Even better is letting it stand 1 hour and then overnight in the fridge to develop lots of flavor. Even 1 hour and using it right away improves flavor. After that, mix the remaining ingredients with the sponge and proceed as usual with the recipe. I've done this many times with standard recipes with good success.

    Why don't you try this with your favorite recipe until you develop confidence and familiarity with the sponge or starter method?

    Red
    K9 Owned
    Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:05 am
    Forum Host
    Red Apple Guy wrote:
    Hey K9 Owned

    Be of good cheer, and keep trying recipes with starters (sponges or pre-ferments). I think this is a difficult recipe due to its wetness and the extra rise called for. The sponge is likely not the main issue.

    Your experience reminds me of my first sandwich loaf. I picked a recipe with a dough so wet, I spread it all over the kitchen and all over me. And the resulting loaf sucked to boot.

    The sponge appears to be a Rose Levy Beranbaum type as used extensively in her "Bread Bible". on page 34, she tells how to convert most any recipe to a sponge recipe by dividing the flour by 2.5 (that's 40% of the flour), mixing it with all of the water in the recipe, and 1/2 (or slightly less) of the yeast. Allow this to stand covered at room temperature for 1 to 4 hours. Even better is letting it stand 1 hour and then overnight in the fridge to develop lots of flavor. Even 1 hour and using it right away improves flavor. After that, mix the remaining ingredients with the sponge and proceed as usual with the recipe. I've done this many times with standard recipes with good success.

    Why don't you try this with your favorite recipe until you develop confidence and familiarity with the sponge or starter method?

    Red

    Hey Red, Thanks for the comments and advice.
    You are right. It didn't take long to realize that I was in over my head. Running before walking I know.

    The chef did mention that the recipe came from The Bread Bible and I'm really happy to have the 'formula' for a starter. I had no idea I could just do that with any bread. You see, I just love Bird Seed Bread (Abm) but wanted it a bit chewier for lack of a better word. Do you think I could take this recipe and use the formula provided? I guess what I mean is would you take a peek at the recipe and see if you think it's doable? I'll do cartwheels if so! icon_cool.gif
    Red Apple Guy
    Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:37 am
    Forum Host
    To make a starter for that recipe, place all wet ingredients in a large bowl or the pan of the bread machine. Add 1 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 scant teaspoon of instant yeast. Mix well (you can use the bread machine to mix and unplug afterwards). Then sit out covered for up to 4 hours and mix in rest of yeast, flours and salt and follow the normal instructions. The starter can also be refrigerated after 1 hour of fermentation. Just let it warm before proceeding.

    Red
    K9 Owned
    Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:01 am
    Forum Host
    Thanks so much Red! I'm going to make this today. icon_smile.gif

    I did say cartwheels right?

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