Help getting a more airy bread

All about bread

Help getting a more airy bread

Postby jlijoi » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:58 pm

I have made my first bread this past weekend using a biga starter that fermented overninght. The bread came out tasting good, but it was dense. How do I acheive making an airy bread loaf?
jlijoi
Registered Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:50 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Postby Ianinfrance » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:22 pm

Forgive my ignorance, but what's a biga starter?

What we do is to use a modified Dan Lepard (no knead) method.

Unfortunately, Jacquie hasn't written down exactly what she does, so all I can say is that she uses more water than you might expect, and adds all of that into half the flour, the sponged yeast (with its 1/2 tsp to help it get going) and the fat to make a right sloppy gloop. She covers that, and leaves it in a large bowl overnight. The next morning, she adds the rest of the flour, the goodies (sujnflower seeds, fried onion, sun dried tomato - or whatever. She kneads that about 2 minutes in the kenwood and after dividing it into two, shapes it and lets is rise in two bread tins loosely covered by big light poly bags so that they can't touch the dough even when risen.

When it's got right to the top of the tins (the middle will be well above) she will have preheated the oven on to a very hot 220C, and pops the bread in for 15 mins and then a further 25 mins at 200C till it sounds hollow when tapped.

The important thing to a light loaf is the thorough hydration of the flour. Using enough water and long contact.
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
Ianinfrance
Registered Member
 
Posts: 730
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Postby wheels » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:30 pm

Ianinfrance wrote:Forgive my ignorance, but what's a biga starter?



It's a pre-ferment also known as a Poolish.

HTH

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12185
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Postby wheels » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:32 pm

Oops, I forgot to answer the initial question.

It may be that you used too little liquid - if you post the recipe it will help members to advise.

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12185
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Postby NCPaul » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:20 pm

Did you split the yeast with only a small part going into the biga?
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby jlijoi » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:29 am

Yes, I split the yeast with some going into the biga then the actual dough. I am going to try to make the recipe again but use less flour ande see what happens.
jlijoi
Registered Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:50 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Postby Richierich » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:59 am

jlijoi wrote:Yes, I split the yeast with some going into the biga then the actual dough. I am going to try to make the recipe again but use less flour ande see what happens.


I am sure the last time I made bread with a biga starter there was no more yeast in the recipe, just want went in to the biga, mind I left mine for 3 days before making the bread
User avatar
Richierich
Registered Member
 
Posts: 879
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:55 am
Location: Bicester, Oxfordshire, UK

Postby Ianinfrance » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:31 pm

Hi Phil,
wheels wrote:
Ianinfrance wrote:Forgive my ignorance, but what's a biga starter?



It's a pre-ferment also known as a Poolish.

HTH


Thanks very much. Does it give better results than using ordinary baker's yeast? (We use dried yeast in fact, starting it frothing as usual with some of the measured lukewarm water and 1/2 tsp sugar.)
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
Ianinfrance
Registered Member
 
Posts: 730
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Postby wheels » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:03 pm

Ian

It allows flavour to develop and is generally used with sourdough (no addded yeast) breads and 'artisan' breads. I presume that it stems from the days of saving some dough from a previous batch to use as a starter for the next.

For some reason, I find high hydration doughs such as ciabatta easier to handle when made this way.

I don't do it often though as I'm not that organised!

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12185
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Postby Ruralidle » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:06 pm

Hi Ian

I use Richard Bertinet's method of making and working dough. He originates from France and recommends 350g of water to 500g flour. Because of issues following a stroke I find that a bit too difficult to use. I mix 500g flour with about 310g of water (and I do mean g). The dough is comparatively wet and is worked by throwing it about, not kneading it.

His method is demonstrated at: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2 ... sweetdough and although the example is a sweetdough it works the same for ordinary dough. I use an electric mixer to help me with forming the dough and then start throwing it about.

If I am using a biga (or poolish) I use the same amount of water - or slightly less - than the standard dough but form the biga with 250g flour and 200g water, then add the rest of the water when I am making the dough. Also, I find fresh yeast better than dried. You can usually buy small quantities from the baking counter at Sainsburys or Tesco (but NOT Waitrose). Hope this helps.

Richard
Ruralidle
Registered Member
 
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Shropshire, UK

Postby Ianinfrance » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:50 pm

Hi there, both of you.

Thanks for your replies.

We've (I lie, it's Jacquie whio makes it and I eat it) been making bread for many years now. When we lived in the UK, we used fresh yeast, but since we moved to France, we've found that Active Dried Yeast works better for us. I'm not saying it's "better" but that Jacquie prefers usiing it. I'm merely an "eat". I much prefer English type tin brown bread to French bread, so since we moved here, Jacquie's always made the bread for my lunch time sarnies. (One baking roughly every ten days for the last 20 years).

Until about four years ago, we used a fairly classical recipe, - sponge, knead, prove, knock down. rise, bake. However, following discussions on the BBC food board, we experimented with a "no knead" method, based on hydration. However it didn't suit our lifestyle to stir the dough for a minute four times or so over 30 minutes, so we've sort of adapted it using another method. It's a half way house between no-knead and kneading and it suits us perfectly.

We start the yeast as usual with water, when frothing, we mix it in with half the flour, the water and some salt, stir the resulting glop till it's reasonably homogeneous and, covering with a cloth, leave to work overnight. I guess this is pretty close to the poolish you describe.

The next day, we add fat, the rest of the flour knead in the kenwood with the dough hook for about 2 minutes, and then add any other goodies. Mix/knead and shape into tins. We have found that the dough rises VERY quickly and reliably this way and in fact, since adopting this method, have never had a heavy or misbehaving loaf (in all the previous, for "we" read "she"). The flavour is excellent.

I would give you the quantities we use, but unfortunately the recipe is lodged in Jacquie's head and not written down anywhere. As a dedicated recipe sharer, this is frustrating to me, and I've asked her a couple of times to put finger to keyboard. One day..... perhaps. Certainly we've learned that the secret to a well risen loaf, if there is one, is to use much more water than one might think.

Thanks for your comments btw.
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
Ianinfrance
Registered Member
 
Posts: 730
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Postby Ruralidle » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:33 am

Sorry if I came over as patronising.

Bread Making is governed by science (as is everything in the physical world) but the mechanics of making the bread is more of an art, you get to know what a good dough looks and feels like (and make the necessary adjustments to achieve it) and that is very difficult to convey (impossible?) in a recipe. I've been baking regularly for over two years now and, with five of us in the house, that can mean several loaves a week! I now make a variety of bread, including my favourite "toastie" of sourdough spelt, by instict rather than recipe - but I occasionally have a senior moment and forget something or use an incorrect quantity - particularly if I an scaling up to meet demand.

Sorry for my daft comment about the supermarkets, I forgot you live in France - still it may assist others.

Richard
Ruralidle
Registered Member
 
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Shropshire, UK


Return to Bread Making

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests