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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Yeast/Rising Breads for Newbies
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    Yeast/Rising Breads for Newbies

    Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:28 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    There are tons of tips out there to help with texture, but what you may not find is the importance of sifting your flour!

    It seems that in my mid-thirties this isn't something that I was taught growing up, in fact if you ask my mother today (NOT a BAKER- terrific COOK) she'll tell you it's not all that important or neccessary.

    Flour should ALWAYS be sifted. You can get by unnoticed on most occasions, as no one will know the difference. This completely falls apart in a bread that needs to rise! With the widespread availabilty of breads in the supermarkets and bakeries we aren't taught any more how to make bread, and it's generally quite simple.

    I came to this conclusion after the application of laziness. I knew better. I didn't want to apply the effort. My breads turned out terrifically tasty- but extremely dense. I could make my banana breads, etc sufficiently moist so that the density wasn't so bothersome, but all of my rising breads- in the machine, or my preferred, by hand was always dense.

    My number one tip? Sift at least TWICE.

    My #2? PATIENCE. Allow time to rise. A second rise should be roughly half the time as the first.

    Lastly for you beginners- use one of those nifty digital thermometers (think Pamperd Chef style) to keep on eye on your rising climate. I put mine in the microwave with the temp gauge outside the microwave. I keep my temp 75-80. If it dips below, I take the rising dough out for 2 minutes and microwave a cup of water for 2 minutes, then put the dough back in. I recheck the temp just in case, but this usually creates the perfect temp/humidity for a small batch. You can leave the water cup in if you want- I don't, but not for any particular reason. I find the humidity in there good enough for most recipies at most times of the year.

    A side note- MOST of my rises are 3/4-12hrs. I haven't seen much difference in these tips for other recipies, in fact, the shorter the rise the more critical these tips are to your results.
    Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:34 pm
    Forum Host
    I never sift flour for bread. I do for tortes, since the amount of flour is more critical. For breads, I don't see that it makes a difference, at least not for me. Especially if you weigh your flour. Mother never sifted flour for bread either - she would be 93 if she were still alive. But she did for tortes and for some cookies.

    Too much flour is probably the biggest source of dense bread. With breads, because you use so much, you can be adding an awful lot of flour if you scoop your flour from the flour bin, rather than spooning in - up to 25% more. If sifting helps you measure it more accurately, then go with it!

    Interesting to read your perspective.
    Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:17 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for the great comments! Very usefull and accurate!

    That said- my aim for this post is baking newbies. I have since learned that with the Las Vegas hot/dry climate, combined with 'basics' like spooning are not scooping are important and that certain accomadations need to be made almost always. My Grandmother, in her very late 70s has her own version of 'sifting' (which I couldn't replicate, let alone describe!)- using the same recipie for 60+ years in the exact same location will that to you ya!

    My future posts will try to keep in mind the user that has little to no experience in baking, perhaps cooking if I start to branch out. Not to be TMI, I recently became temorarily (I Hope!) disabled, and I desperately need something to do! So my hobby is going to become my 'job'.

    ANY AND ALL COMMENTS are not just encouraged, but very much appreciated!! Learning more is part of all of our journeys- and if a comment goes over someone's head it encourages further research and discussion!!

    Muah! to all my fellow bakers/bakers to be!
    Red Apple Guy
    Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:30 pm
    Forum Host
    Hey Samantha. I find that weighing ingredients reduces variations in breads from bake to bake.

    Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:52 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Hi i'm a new 'baker' , more a cook actually.. do you measure the amount of flour the recipe calls for and then sift the first time, or sift the first time until you reach the amount that is needed? Ive read both ways..
    Thanks so much.
    Red Apple Guy
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:13 am
    Forum Host
    That's one of the problems with using volume measurements. If the author of the recipe doesn't specify, there is really no way to know. If it's a recipe here, we can contact the person posting the recipe or perhaps reading the reviews will give us a clue. What is the recipe?

    Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:53 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I guess I was speaking more in 'general' terms. There isn't a recipe here I was referring to, more ones I've seen elsewhere as I looked for recipes..
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