Please...Help me make bread ! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 11 Old 11-11-2006, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe it's the recipes that I have, but my loaves never come out as "tall" as I want. I do two rises just as the recipes call for and my loaves do spring in the oven, but the loaves don't come out tall enough! Am I doing something wrong? The second rise usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place. So far I've used Beth Hensperger's [U]Bread Made Easy[U], but I guess I'm a dunce, unless I'm supposed to end up with a short loaf of bread.

I want my bread to be tall enough so that I can make a decent sandwich. I've even added vital wheat gluten to my whole wheat bread to give it more lift, but I was dissapointed with the results. Help....anyone...please. So far I have four perfectly edible but short loaves. :
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#2 of 11 Old 11-11-2006, 05:44 AM
 
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make sure your yeast is fresh, meaning not old........i use the instant yeast from Sam's club.
Make sure your flour is fresh, I use the best for bread flour mostly but if that is not on sale I use any unbleached flour.
Make sure you add enough sugar, it helps the yeast rise (sugar is yeast food)
Perhaps you are rising it too long the second time. Sometimes it might collapse on you. Try rising it just a few minutes less next time.

Are you adding a lot of heavy stuff like whole wheat flour, seeds, oatmeal? stuff like that? that will weigh down the loaf and it wont rise so high.

Is your water too hot? I use very warm tap water to make bread, not too hot, not too cool.

Perhaps your pan it too wide? try a narrower pan or make a free form bread loaf on a cookie sheet.

Not sure, sometimes my loaves are short too but I would say at least 75% of the time they are just right.

Good Luck

Tammy
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#3 of 11 Old 11-11-2006, 05:47 AM
 
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oh, I re-read it and are you using all whole wheat flour?
Try mixing your whole wheat with white flour and then add some whole grains too. I never mix more then 1/3 wheat with 2/3 white so it rises better but still get lots of good healthy stuff by adding things like wheat germ or flax seed, oatmeal.....etc.


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#4 of 11 Old 11-11-2006, 09:27 AM
 
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Tammy gave you some good advice, so you've lots of things to experiment with, but I just wanted to say "I feel your pain." Same thing happens to me much of the time, and I have mostly learned to live with it and eat short squat sandwiches. Oh, and you also might want to poke around at www.baking911.com -- lots of good information there.
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#5 of 11 Old 11-11-2006, 09:37 AM
 
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If you haven't read it yet, borrow Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book from the library. It's all about whole grain baking and it's a fantastic reference. Lots of tips and she explains in details everything there is to know about whole grain bread making.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-11-2006, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the advice and support. I'm off to the kitchen...again [sigh]. Wish me luck!
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#7 of 11 Old 11-14-2006, 01:12 AM
 
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I like nice high loaves too and here are two things that have worked for me. Using the 1.5 quart Pyrex bread pan and the shaping instructions from the Tassajara Bread Book. I've bought the book used from Amazon for about 6 bucks shipped. Good luck!
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#8 of 11 Old 11-14-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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My two favorite bread books have already been mentioned above: Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book and Tassajara Bread Book.

The technigues that are taught in Laurel's kitchen will work well whether the loaf is whole grain or not. I like the recipe in the Tassajara Bread Book best for every day bread.

The only thing I would add to what Tammy mentioned is make sure that you oven is preheated for the highest loaf.

Have fun.
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#9 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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Ok, I've just made some more bread on weds. I reread the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book(can also be had on Amazon super cheap used), I paid especially good attention to the Proofing section. I used my heating pad for the rises and the proofing and let the loaves rise much higher than I usually do before putting them in the oven. Hope your bread comes out to your satisfaction!
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#10 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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This recipe works well in all weather Makes 4 lovely loaves.

1kg Organic Spelt flour
400g Organic wheat flour
1 tbsp Sea Salt
200g Coconut

Luke warm tap water 300mls( with yeast,half cup raw honey,and 150gm butter)
400mls luke warm kefir add to the above after 10 mins.

Mix together then Knead for 10mins,add soaked nuts,Pumpkin,sunflower,chia,and then cut into 700gm peices and mold.Cover with Glad wrap and wait till double the size,About 130mins.Then mold and place in tins and sit at room temp covered with glad wrap for at least 2hrs.
Then bake,lovely
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#11 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 02:48 AM
 
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I'd say be sure to use warm-enough water. I used to be afraid of killing my yeast with too hot water so I didn't use warm-enough and it didn't rise very well. Then I realized that optimum temp for yeast is about 105ºF and that's about as hot as I can possibly get it from my tap. Some people DO set their water heaters up hotter though. Think hot tubs, they're usually 104-105ºF max and they feel pretty darn hot to the touch.
Keeping wheat flour in the fridge (like the package recomends) makes your dough cold too. When I use white flour from the pantry the dough stays warm. I usually rise my bread in the warmed oven (lowest setting, then turn it off) with a big glass of hot water in the bottom.
I'm still experimenting with wheat bread though, so take my advice with a grain of salt
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