Old 05-04-2007, 03:12 PM
CanuckJim's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Prince Albert, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,480
Default Re: 1st Bread Attempt - please critque


Lots and lots of factors here. With a commercial yeast boule, the general rule is that the bulk rise should be about 2 hours. At that point, the dough is divided, let rest, then shaped and put into baskets. If you want a one day bread, the secondary rise, covered, is usually in the 1 1/2 to 2 hour range, depending on temperature in your rising area. For a retarded bread, the covered baskets are put in the fridge overnight directly after the dough is put in, then taken out about an hour before the bake. Generally, the amount of yeast is reduced somewhat if retardation is used. Sourdoughs are another matter.

The folding technique is commonly used during bulk fermentation, not after, except for high hydration doughs like Ciabatta, etc.

You can go to an interior temp of about 210 without risk. What I generally do is bake to about 205-206, and if I'm not satisfied with the color, I'll return the loaves for about 3 minutes until I have the color I'm after. You should reach at least 205 interior, at that point the temp of the crust will be about 212.

You'll find IDY much more predictable and easier to use than ADY, which is much more sensitive to age and handling. Store all your commercial yeasts in the freezer in an airtight container, such as a LocknLock.

Your dry sourdough will be taken over by the dominant yeast in your location after about three feedings. This is a good thing.

Ideal rising temperature is about 76 F, with humidity in the 50 per cent range. For retardation, your fridge should be at 40 F, although an hour won't do a heck of a lot, other than to prevent over-fermentation.

What formula are you using? Why don't you point me to it or send it to me by email, then I could give you more specific answers.

Everybody, it seems, has an Exacto knife handle kicking around. Try that, with a brand new blade. I've seen French bakers use them to great effect. The trick is to use the point of the blade only, not the full length. Be quick, and don't worry about artistic effect at first. From what I see, you'll get the feel fast enough. You want to dock deep enough that max spring takes place.

Again, you're doing fine. Just keep it up, notice what works, practise, and try to be consistent. Bread can be ornery at times. As I've said before, one of these days I'll bake a perfect loaf. Hasn't happened yet.

"Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827
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