006 - Basic White #4

Basic White Bread
January 20, 2011

4th basic white attempt. Used some newly acquired Leckford Estate flour. Tweaked the basic ratio, adding even more water than last time. Used hot/warm water for the first time to some success. Dough was noticeably stickier than usual but kneaded well, stretching very thinly after ~10 minutes of kneading and losing some of it's stickiness. First raise was 3 hours, second raise was 2 hours or so - nearly tripled in size with noticeable air bubbles after second rising. Knocked back, folded into stubby cylinder and left to prove for 30 minutes, dough roughly doubled again. One shallow slash (.5cm?) lengthwise, with the dough quickly filling the space. Slashing deeper might have let more gas escape, perhaps yielding a more manageable loaf. Sprayed with water and poured water in bottom pan for moisture (didn't steam as much - bottom pan was not hot enough). 

Seems obvious that the slash was not effective - baked loaf hardly had a ridge where it was slashed as it expanded more than twice the size of the proved dough. However, loaf did not crack elsewhere. For the first time, the inside of the dough was wonderfully light and airy while still maintaining a nice texture. There were sizable air bubbles. Bread tasted much better than previous whites, perhaps due to Leckford Estate. Unfortunately the crust that formed was, for the first time, very thin and soft - even though part of the loaf nearly burned and the bread was fully cooked. Overall, the loaf feels airy as if holes can be poked into it. Disappointing as a whole but excited about the new developments. 


  1. The flour I bought (Bacheldre wholemeal stoneground) was okay - bread tastes nice and good crust, crumb is even but quite dense. I noticed that when I first mixed the dough, it felt really gritty, and I remembered what we read about stoneground bread not being milled finely enough. Dough did become more silky after 10mins of kneading.

    Only raised once for around 2 hours (was getting close to bed time) so maybe the density problem could be to do with that, but the whole dough was quite heavy and solid from the beginning, so I think I can attribute it at least partially to the flour. Not sure I will buy it again, or at least will try out different wholemeal brands first..

    I think big holes come from over kneading or leaving it to raise for too long (and 5 hours of raising time does seem like a lot..).