Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Another not very successful bread


I've lost my bread mojo.

First, I tried to make bagels. Using the same recipe as always, but MAN did they fail. They didn't rise, at all, and were just sad little things. Compact, hard - I threw the whole thing out, didn't even bother baking them, it wouldn't have worked. I'm guessing possibly my yeast was too old... even though I have no idea how, since I used dry yeast like I always do for those. It *did* come out of an open sachet though, so maybe that's why. Anyway. No bagels.

And then I tried this sourdough bread, which I *will* return to, but on this day it didn't rise properly either. I didn't get those large holes and the right texture. Still a good bread, but not what I wanted.

Maybe it's just too cold to bake right now? (Another reason to hope for spring - soon!) Or, I need a super-reliable recipe to bring me back. Wanna share your favorite? Leave a comment!


Katie said...

Sorry to hear the bread wasn't as you hoped, it still looks delicious to me. Sometimes recipes fail for no apparent reason. I have just posted about a new bread technique I have tried, It produced a lovely loaf, I would recommend it.

Pene said...

I've been warming a pottery bowl in the oven (60-80C) while I mix the yeast with sugar & warm water, & weigh the flour. Sometimes I give the dough more than an hour to rise.
My 'bread bowl' was a gift from Aussie friends who lived in Virginia for a while, so I thought I should use it while I could.

FoodTherapy4Me said...

I'm with Pene in trying to give it more time to rise...but maybe it is also just a bad batch of yeast? Another great way to speed up the rising process is to place the towel covered bowl on a baking rack over a baking sheet of warm water.

I'm a bread novice for sure, but if you see sometime you might like to try, just let me know and I'll shoot you the recipe.


Anne said...

It's actually been the second rise - after shaping - that's been the problem, I think. Oh well, I'll just get back on the horse and try again :)

Natasha said...

I've been making a lot of Swedish Limpa but this recipe never fails me...



Susanne said...

Jag tror du har rätt. Jag har misslyckats med de mest enkla bröd den senaste tiden.

David T. Macknet said...

If it's only the second rise, then it's too cold. What I do is try to get the dough up to a really warm temperature, and then stash it someplace warm: I heat my oven with the pizza stone in there & then turn it off & put the rising dough in there. It's got to be gentle heat, but that works for Scotland.

Erka Perka said...

Om jag misslyckas med bröd kan jag bli så sur att jag vill gråta som en bebis.
Jag tror jästen är boven i bröddramat.

Sanna said...

du har en liten blomma inne hos mig, som tack för all inspiration :)

Anonymous said...

Your loaves look like the "baguettes tradition" from the bakery near where I stay in Paris. Granted, these are not my favorite loaves in town, but to be in the same league? Not bad. The crust looks fantastic, which is the most important part as far as I'm concerned.

(given how cold it's been up your way, I'd follow the Scotsman's advice and use the oven to give the loaves a warmer place to rise)


Anonymous said...

Buy another packet of yeast, perhaps a different brand and look at the "use by date". I had problems like this several years ago using yeast I kept in the freezer. A new packet of yeast made all the difference. I let my bread rise in the oven with the light on.

Pene said...

Maybe you are kneading too much after the first rising. I usually just tip the dough onto a flat surface & flatten the dough out for pizza. If I'm making rolls I cut the dough into wedges & then shape the rolls. I read once that the dough only needs the air knocked out of it. If you have a good bread book, read the "Problems" section.

numberwitch said...

Sorry you've lost your mojo - the bread still looks good though. Try this soda bread for a change - it's VERY solid but yummy and keeps well (unlike most soda breads). You'll need a standard 2lb loaf tin
2 x 284ml pots buttermilk
420g wholemeal flour
3-4 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp linseed
150g oats
1 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Put one pot of buttermilk into a bowl. Add two-thirds of the wholemeal flour, and all the seeds. Now add the second pot of buttermilk, the remaining flour, the oats, sugar, salt and bicarb. Mix well. Grease a baking tin with butter. Scrape the mixture into the tin. Smooth the top and drop the tin on the table top a few times to make sure the mixture settles. Bake for an hour. Turn off the oven, turn out bread and leave it in the oven for a further 10 minutes

Anonymous said...

Hej Anne,
I baked this bread not very long ago, I have a tiny oven and it was also very cold. It worked fine. Maybe you'd like to give it a try? The fennel seeds didn't make a difference so I wouldn't bother with those if I were you.



Erka Perka said...

Jag diggar din blogg och har därför gett dig en Sunshine Award.

Anonymous said...

Have to say same happened to me yesterday... My no fail bread was a complete disaster. Something's in the air in the North ;)

Kinna said...

Try to use more yeast. Normally one can put less in during summer so it should be the oposite now during winter.