Thread: A Question about Baking Bread

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  1. #1 A Question about Baking Bread 
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    Yesterday evening I decided that I would make my first attempt at baking bread, as I really wanted some Olive Bread like we had in France, but couldn't find any here in the sticks. So, I found an olive bread recipe and baked it. It came out a bit heavy, i.e., the crust was perfect, but the inside was not light and fluffy enough. I suspect this could be for one of three reasons, or a combination of all three:

    1. I used baking soda, and not yeast as the recipe called for. I couldn't find any yeast in the supermarket (I used to get it all the time in Saudi, but not to bake bread :D). I used the same measure of baking soda as was called for of yeast

    2. The (black) olives were damp and could have contributed to the heaviness

    3. My girlfriend, who can't open a can, says I didn't knead the dough enough

    Any ideas from those of you who have baked bread?

    I chose my apparel, I wore a beer barrel
    And they rolled me to the very first row
    I held a big sign that said, 'Kiss me I'm a baker
    And Monty I sure need the dough'
    Then I grabbed that sucker by the throat until he called on me
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  2. #2  
    Super Moderator bijou's Avatar
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    It was the lack of yeast which was the problem. There would be natural yeasts in any wheat flour but to get it to rise substantially you'd need to add yeast, otherwise you end up with something of the texture of either a flatbread or a German style rye bread.

    The damp olives are unlikely to have much effect as you would have liquid in the form of water and/or olive oil depending on what basic bread recipe you followed.
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  3. #3  
    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    I don't bake. I just wanted to defend your girlfriend and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with not being able to open a can.:mad:
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    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Bijou's Right CW. Gotta have yeast. Would you care to post that recipe? Sounds good.

    And Shannon is also right because...she's Shannon.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    Bijou's Right CW. Gotta have yeast. Would you care to post that recipe? Sounds good.

    And Shannon is also right because...she's Shannon.
    Here ya' go...

    Mediterranean Black Olive Bread

    INGREDIENTS
    3 cups bread flour
    2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup chopped black olives
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    1 tablespoon cornmeal

    DIRECTIONS
    1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, black olives, olive oil, and water.
    2. Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside, and let rise about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size. Punch down. Knead well again, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size.
    3. Round the dough on kneading board. Place upside down in a bowl lined with a lint-free, well floured towel. Let rise until double in size.
    4. While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
    5. Gently turn loaf out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal.
    6. Bake loaf at 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.
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  6. #6  
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    When you buy yeast, make sure you check the expiration date. Try to get the freshest you can find. If the yeast is dead, you're going to have the same problem.

    Also make sure to proof the yeast in some warm water before you mix it in.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    Here ya' go...
    Thanks. Sounds good.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    Yesterday evening I decided that I would make my first attempt at baking bread, as I really wanted some Olive Bread like we had in France, but couldn't find any here in the sticks. So, I found an olive bread recipe and baked it. It came out a bit heavy, i.e., the crust was perfect, but the inside was not light and fluffy enough. I suspect this could be for one of three reasons, or a combination of all three:

    1. I used baking soda, and not yeast as the recipe called for. I couldn't find any yeast in the supermarket (I used to get it all the time in Saudi, but not to bake bread :D). I used the same measure of baking soda as was called for of yeast

    2. The (black) olives were damp and could have contributed to the heaviness

    3. My girlfriend, who can't open a can, says I didn't knead the dough enough

    Any ideas from those of you who have baked bread?
    Make sure the olives are drained of any liquid and if you decide that you would like to try sourdough give me a shout !
    Baking soda is used to neutralize the acid in the other ingredients like milk.For Bread its either natural leavening or yeast only .Soda bread is for the poor Irish !
    Give this a try and don't give up .Baking bread is an acquired art form the more often you bake the better you get.

    Sourdough Olive Bread

    14 oz. cold water
    2 tbls dry yeast (look around in the bread isle in any super market look for a small jar of fleishmans yeast)
    10 oz sourdough starter (If you dont want sourdough omit )
    1 lb. 10 oz. bread flour
    1 T. fine sea salt
    1 1/2 C pitted kalamata olives (I prefer them chopped)
    2 t. chili flakes (Mike says, "I use chili pequin flakes")
    2 T. chopped fresh rosemary

    Combine water and starter in mixing bowl and mix to break up starter. Add flour and water until mix comes together but does not clear sides of bowl (4-5 minutes). Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes.

    Remove wrap and add the salt. Mix well on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn mixer speed to medium and mix 6-8 minutes more until dough snaps back quickly. (Dough temperature should be between 68-74 degrees F). Add in remaining ingredients to blend. (Some people think the chili pepper and rosemary are optional. I think they are an essential part of the flavor balance of the bread. Even if you're a total wuss when it comes to spicy foods, give the chili pepper and rosemary a try.)

    Cover dough and let ferment at room temperature until not quite doubled. "A Better way is to place in a warm oven (about 100 f )on a cookie sheet covered with a slightly damp towel not touching the dough and let it rise until doubled ."

    Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape gently into two balls. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Form into rounds, or batards and place on a cornmeal dusted baking sheet (or use willow baskets) and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator and chill 12-18 hours.
    (all this does is allow the dough to 'poof' that is rise slowly.Try omiting this step if you are in a hurry .)

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Let bread dough come to room temperature - 2 to 3 hours. Uncover loaf, remove from baskets if using and slash a decorative pattern on top.

    (Use a single edge razor blade) Spray oven with water and close door quickly. (If you have an electric oven all of this spraying crap will or could cause problems down the road )(Just mop the top of the loves with water whan you put them in the oven and again about half way done,about ten minutes .That will make them crusty )

    Open door and place bread inside and spray again. Let bake 3 minutes and spray again. Repeat spraying 2 more times then let bread bake for 10 minutes undisturbed. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees F. and bake until deep golden brown and loaf temperature registers 190 degrees F.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post
    Make sure the olives are drained of any liquid and if you decide that you would like to try sourdough give me a shout !
    Baking soda is used to neutralize the acid in the other ingredients like milk.For Bread its either natural leavening or yeast only .Soda bread is for the poor Irish !
    Give this a try and don't give up .Baking bread is an acquired art form the more often you bake the better you get.
    ...
    Thanks, Megs! I certainly won't give up as I like to cook very much. This was, however, my first foray with any pastry/bread. I'll give yours a shot next weekend and let you know. :D
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  10. #10  
    Moderator lurkalot's Avatar
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    don't put the yeast in too hot of water, use a thermometer if necessary until you learn the correct feel..or you will kill all the little buggers the eat the dough, fart and give off enough gas to make your bread fluffy...
    (and people wonder why my did quit eating bread?)
    i have a great sourdough starter recipe and a KITCHEN FULL of sourdough if you are so inclined..
    I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.
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