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Onlooker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:50 PM
Original message
Bread baking question
I just made two loaves of "Sara's Oat Bread," following a recipe in the Sunday's at Moosewood cookbook. I've never made bread before. Although I followed the recipe to the letter, the loaves came out kind of low--only about 3" high, or occupying maybe 3/4ths of the bread pan.

I tasted the bread warm, and it tastes good--a little dense and maybe little moist. I'm having people over for dinner tonight. Do you think the bread will still be okay or will be gross once it cools down? Should I reheat the bread loaves before serving? Also, what do you think I did wrong that the bread didn't rise more?

Thanks.
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Z_I_Peevey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Is this a yeast bread?
Perhaps the liquid was either too hot or too cold when you mixed the yeast.
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Onlooker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes it is a yeast bread
Maybe your theory is correct. Maybe I had the yeast at the wrong temperature. I didn't realize that was so important.
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Z_I_Peevey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Here's my highly scientific method
for temperature testing: I heat the milk/water/whatever in a saucepan, trying to get that magic 110 or 115 degrees. If I can stick my finger in the liquid and touch the bottom of the pan without getting burned, it's just the right temperature.

Believe me, I baked bread-bricks for a couple of years before I got the hang of it.
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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Real hefty oatmeal bread stays low
Oatmeal apparently holds so much weight (moisture) that yeast can not produce enough "lift" to lighten it. Also, oatmeal may lack the right sugars to feed the yeast in order to thrive.

It is great toasted and great with butter (which kind of lessens the cholesterol lowering properties of oatmeal).

Enjoy!
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. It depends on the bread
but I think you should serve it. Since you just baked it I would serve it at room temperature. Homemade bread is such a treat it doesn't need to be warmed. I'm sure your guests will be impressed.

On bread - making bread is an intuitive process. Recipes are sort of a guideline. If you make bread often you will learn from the way it feels whether you have kneeded it enough. It should be elastic and you will be able to feel just the amount of flour to add while you're kneading it. Also if it is a very cold day it might take longer for the loaves to rise, so sometimes I put on the oven on warm, and rise the bread on top of the stove or nearby.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. Always proof your yeast.
put it in some warm water with a little sugar and give it ten minutes or so to make sure it's bubbling away nicely before you mix make the bread. Also, yeast bread normally goes through two risings -- did you do both of them?

But some breads are much denser than others and will not rise as much as others. Bread baking is fun, and if you do it regularly you'll get a real feel for it.

I used to bake more often than I do now and I kind of miss it.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. Check the date on your yeast
Your yeast may have expired.
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yeast problem, likely
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 05:13 PM by missb
The dense bread will probably be fine to serve. Warm it up before-hand. There really isn't anything wrong with dense bread. :shrug:

Always use wrist-temperature water (or milk if the recipe calls for it) when using yeast. That means you should be able to splash it against your wrist (or just use your finger - much easier) and it should feel warm, not hot.

Too hot and it'll destroy the yeast.

If it is a very cold day, I find it useful to put some warm water in my bowl as I'm heating the water that I use for the yeast. That way, my bowl is a bit warm too - I think it helps kick-start the rising process. Of course, I dump the warm water before I add the water or milk used for the recipe.

Never draw warm water from the tap.
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