5.0 from 4 reviews Sandwich Bread Author: Brenda Winiarski Nutrition Information Yield: 1 loaf, 18 slices Serving size: 1 slice Phe Per Serving: 21 mg Calories Per Serving: 110 kcal Phe Per Recipe: 381 mg Calories Per Recipe: 1980 kcal Recipe type: Breads Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 60 mins Total time: 1 hour 30 mins Print Could my quest finally […]
Yeast: First, make sure your yeast has not expired. Once a package of yeast is open, it will begin to absorb the moisture from the air and slowly come to life. It loses its strength as it sits, unless you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. (I keep yeast up to year in the freezer).
Water temperature: If the yeast is fine, make sure your water is not too hot – that will kill the yeast. The ideal temperature is 110 degrees. (I do not use a thermometer; it should be warm to the touch like a baby’s bath). If you are making the CFL loaf and doing the starter that will be in the fridge overnight, then your water can be cold since it is going in the fridge. If you take your starter straight from the fridge instead of allowing it to come to room temperature, your dough will be colder and it will not rise as well. If you are working with a quicker starter, then use warm water and let it sit on your counter for at least 30 minutes.
The temperature of your other wet ingredients is also important, as yeast works quicker in warmer environments. Your rice milk, butter and honey should be warmed slightly as well (110 degrees is ideal). Again if it is too hot, it will kill your yeast.
Low protein bread is much less forgiving than high protein. In high protein bread, if the kitchen is a little colder, it just takes longer for the bread to rise. In fact many bakeries purposely slow down the rise by putting the loaves in the fridge so that the flavors develop more slowly. Temperature and environment for rising seems to be more crucial in low protein baking. My theory (keep in mind I am not a food scientist, I just play one in my kitchen sometimes) is that the starch becomes too binding, not allowing the gas to expand. Think of when you mix corn starch and water – it is a liquid, but if you leave it sitting for a little while it becomes more of a solid. Flour does not do that – if you mix it together with water it stays nice and foamy. I think that if too much time go by, the dough just will not rise as it becomes too solid and binding, making the environment for rising even more crucial.
In professional bakeries, they have atmosphere-controlled proof boxes that control temperature and humidity to allow the baker to predict proofing time accurately. They are set at 90 degrees F and 80 percent humidity. That is like the rain forest and very unlike my kitchen. If you just cannot get the bread to rise with the tips above, consider getting a Brod & Taylor bread proofer. I have one and love it.
I think we all know that the bread needs a warmer place to rise, but do not think of the humidity. Humidity is important because if the surface of the dough develops a skin, it will restrict the ability of the dough to rise. Moist air keeps the surface soft and supple.
There are a few ways I try to coax my loaf to rise. I cover the dough with plastic wrap to protect the surface, but am careful that it is not on too tight or it will restrict the growth of the dough. I place it loosely on top and then cover that with a warm damp kitchen towel.
I do not have as much success with just placing the rising dough on the stove top while the oven is preheating. I am not sure if it has to do with the lack of moisture or that my house is pretty darn cold most of the time.
Microwaving a cup of water on high for 1 minute (this time can vary depending upon the strength of your microwave, but the water should be almost boiling), and placing the covered dough inside and closing the door is a bit like a proof box. The hot water not only creates moisture but also keeps the microwave oven at the proper temperature. The problem is we often open the door and “peek” which causes all of the nice warm, moist air to cool down dramatically.
On really cold days, you can run a short cycle (without soap) of your dishwasher and create a steam cabinet. Place your covered loaf inside and close the door. Again, no peeking.
I have done the heating your oven trick where you heat your oven for a few minutes to 200 degrees and then turn it off. I boil the kettle while it is heating and place the water in an empty bread pan or skillet in the oven to create the moisture. Place the covered dough inside and close the door. The problem I have with this is that the oven then needs to be preheated for the bread. If I take it out after it has risen to the desired height, then I need to wait until the oven is preheated. This extra time can cause the dough to over rise and then it deflates a bit. If I am doing this, I will allow the loaf to rise for 30 minutes in the warm oven and then move it to the stove top as the oven preheats.
You can also place a medium pot of water on top of the stove and bring it to a boil. Turn it off and then place the covered bread pan on top. (Again there will be moisture and heat from the steam). If after 30 minutes, it is not rising as much as it should, your kitchen could just be that little bit too cold, so reheat the water on low for a minute or two (making sure you do not set fire to the kitchen towel).
Did the loaf sink when it went into the oven or after it came out? If it was while in the oven, then the dough probably over rose -- next time get it in the oven 15 minutes sooner. If it sank after it came out of the oven, it was likely slightly undercooked -- try giving them 5 to 10 more minutes. There is very little structure holding the bread up – no gluten, no eggs. (Think of your typical bread as having the structure of a tire and low protein as a balloon).
In the meantime, try making rolls instead. The smaller the baked good, the less structure it needs. I never have a problem with them deflating (although I probably just jinxed myself). Look under burger buns for exact instructions. Sorry about the recipe not working for you -- it is so frustrating to put the time and energy into it and have it flop.