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Bread making problem

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:49 pm
by Ader1
I'm a recent newcomer to baking my own bread. I've made 3 batches so far. For the first two, I followed the recipe and directions included with a Kenwood Chef Mixer I recently bought. Today, I followed a recipe from a Le Cordon Bleu book. My problem is that I'm finding that the bread doesn't really rise enough and is a little too solid/dry. I've been using Hovis bread flour and dried yeast. All quantities and times are kept as close as possible to the directions in the above mentioned 'guides'. Anybody have any suggestions?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:32 pm
by Wunderdave
probably let it rise longer.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:03 pm
by Ader1
I did leave it rise for 1.5 hours and it must have double in size. I then kneaded it a little as the recipes I mentioned told me and halved and put it into two tins and then allowed it to rise again in a warm place and covered with cloth for a good 45 minutes. It had risen but maybe not as much I would have liked it to. I then put into the oven and hoped it would rise some more which I don't think it did much at all. I used Allinson Dried Active Yeat and I've just been looking at their web site and here is the recipe:

How to make Very Simple White Loaf

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter or stir in the oil. Stir in the yeast. method tip
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the warm water. Mix together until a soft dough starts to form. This will take a couple of minutes.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, this can take up to 10 minutes. method tip
Shape into a loaf and drop into a lightly greased 900gram (2lb) loaf tin, or shape into a round on a baking tray. To make rolls, divide the dough in to 50grams-75grams pieces, shape into balls and place on a warm baking sheet. method tip
Cover the dough with oiled cling film or a damp tea cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes- 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. method tip
Pre-heat your oven to 230°C, 210°C Fan / 450°F / Gas Mark 8. method tip
Sprinkle the dough with a little flour to create a crisp, rustic coating on top of the bread. Place in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 200°c, (180°C fan),400°F / Gas Mark 6 and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the bread is risen and golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. method tip
For rolls, bake just for 15-20 minutes at 230C, 210 Fan/450F/Gas Mark Turn out the bread and cool on a wire rack.

What I find jumps out at me here is that they don't tell me to knead a second time after the first doubling in size. My recipes did and it's after the second knead, which I don't think was too much on my part, I found the dough to be reluctant to rise. Maybe I shouldn't knead a second time as this recipe suggests but my mum said that she's never heard or not kneading a second time. She would have made bread and watched her mum before they had mixers. What do you think and thanks for the reply Wunderdave.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:05 pm
by Wunderdave
The second rise is crucial. It has been my experience that you get much less oven spring than you might hope, so you have to make sure that the bread is the size you want before baking it.

I knead my dough a second time before letting it proof/rise before baking and it works out.

Knead dough initially, let rise, punch down, knead and form into loaves or rolls, let rise, bake.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:16 pm
by wheels
FWIW, here's a simple recipe with instructions, it may help:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:07 pm
by denty632
Ader, I had never made successful bread before I came here, but as some of my posts will attest, I have since!

The link wheels supplied is the one I use for all of my bread, I do not buy shop bread anymore and make all dinner rolls etc from this or the famous soft rolls recipe, I think it is a sticky above.

My hints,
Check dates of flour and yeast
Ignore timings, look at your bread, there are so many variables such as flour, oven, air temp etc etc you will eventually get a feel for it.

I still have disasters, I think we all do, but read loads and experiment more.. Good luck.



PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:17 pm
by Ader1
Thank you both.


I notice that in your recipe, the dried yeast isn't soaked and allowed to bubble etc before adding to the flour. First time I've seen that. Just one question if I may? I've got quite a bit of dried yeast already. Two small tins. Would a sachet be around 1 table spoon full? Thanks.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:53 pm
by wheels

You don't say where you are in the world?
Here in the UK we have various brands of instant dried yeast that often come in 7g sachets. They are different from the normal dried yeast that comes in tins.

You can of course use the yeast in tins, but you need to activate it in some of the water (at blood temperature) and then (say) add it to a proportion of the flour (maybe half) and leave it to make 'a sponge'. You would then add that to the main ingredients.

That said, if you're not in the back of beyond, I suggest that you try the instant yeast (or fresh yeast).

One way or the other, stick around and we'll have you making decent bread in no time!


PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:36 am
by Ader1
I just noticed your post denty632. Thanks for the tips and encouragement.


I am in in the UK in S W Wales. I'll buy some instant or fresh as you suggest and see how it goes. Thanks for the advice and encouragement. This is what I was using:


PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:51 pm
by wheels
This is the stuff you could use - it's easier:




PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:14 pm
by denty632

I have used a similar tin before, I have gone back to the easy baky yeast.

With the tinned, I didn't make a sponge, but will try that, thanks Wheels, but measured my warm fluid first and then added the yeast. I then went on to measure the rest of the dry ingredients. Once I had done that, the mix was bubbling well and ready to add to the dry. I sometimes added my sugars to the yeast/fluid mix to get things moving.

Probably not the 'right' way to do it but it always worked for me ;)

As for measuring, I bought a cheap set of digital scales on eBay when I first got into sausages, I have since upgraded. When you are measuring 7g of something they are INVALUABLE.

Have a go at a sponge, try my method, it might work for you, keep in touch with the board and good luck!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:53 pm
by yotmon
Hi Ader1, I use the same yeast as yourself and find it quite suitable for breadmaking. There are so may variables involved in making bread - such as moisture, temperature etc. I've found that my loaves haven't been rising as much this week, but i put it down to a drop in temperature. Once you have made enough bread loaves you will get a feel for things going right/wrong and will be able to act accordingly. Don't forget that salt inhibits yeast growth, so this could be a factor in your bread rising. You could try and allow the yeast to activate in a glass of warm water and add a few pinches of sugar that the yeast can feed on, this will give it a good start so it can hit the ground running, so to speak.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:01 pm
by Snags
My water pump broke and I had to switch to town water for a week
My bread didn't rise.
Town water is full of chlorine that kills yeast
My tank water is pure rain water.
Pump fixed back to tank and the bread rose again.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:04 am
by tomwal
FWIW. I have found the better the flour the better the bread, cheap supermarket own brand flours not very good. IMHO

Re: Bread making problem

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:03 am
by Gill
Ader1 wrote:... I followed a recipe from a Le Cordon Bleu book...

If the book has been produced by the French, it's quite possible they are using French flour which has different properties from English flour. That could be worth checking.