Flicker’s Lair Blog

Bread baking experiment

by Steve on March 23rd, 2010
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Over the last few weeks I have been experimenting with some bread recipes from Heidi’s cook books. Now I have been offered help in my bread making experiments.

Elizabeth has come up trumps. Last week Heidi spent a day with Elizabeth and Cheryl and came home with a tub full of dough. It was a wet dough; no I had never heard of that term either. Heidi had come home with the white dough, where as Cheryl had taken the wholemeal version.

Both doughs had been made based on recipes from a book about making Artisan bread. The dough can be stored in it’s tub for up to about 14 days and used over this period of time as required. When refrigerated the tub should be covered but not sealed.

Dough ready for the oven

We stored our dough over night in the refrigerator. The following morning I removed about 1½ pounds of the dough and shaped this into an oval. This was placed into a lightly greased 9x4x3 loaf tin and allowed to rest for about 90 minutes. Then into the a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Place the loaf tin on the middle rack. Something that I had not done previously was to “steam cook” the bread. To do this I placed a cup and a half of hot water into the broiler pan that is placed on the top rack at the same time the dough goes into the oven.

The finished article Bread rolls

From our tub of dough (which was about 5 quarts) we managed to get 1 loaf from a loaf tin, 3 largish rolls and 1 smaller loaf. All had a similar texture – I would describe as a something similar to ciabatta although the crust was not as hard.

Something that you can not tell from the picture of the loaf is that when it was in the oven it rose into the oven shelf above it! This in no way affected the taste. :-)


White Bread

  • 3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1½ tbsp of granulated yeast
  • 1½ tbsp of kosher or coarse salt
  • 6½ cups of unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour
  1. Warm the water to about 100°F. This should be warm enough to allow the dough to rise in about 2 hours. Using cold water will just mean it takes longer to rise.
  2. Pour the water yeast and salt into the 5 quart container. Leave for a few minutes to allow to dissolve a little.
  3. Mix in the flour. There are choices here – a high capacity food processor or stand mixer using a dough hook or hand mixing with a spoon.
  4. Stir the ingredients until the mixture and uniform. Do not knead the dough. The dough should be uniformly moist with no dry patches.
  5. Allow the dough to rise. Cover the dough with a lid that will fit the container – however do not make this airtight, The gases need to be able to expand.
  6. Once the dough has risen and starts to collapse a little (or flatten off), you can use a portion straight way or at this point place the container in the refrigerator for another day
  7. When you are ready to use the dough; you will need to sprinkle the surface with some flour – Pull off about a pound of the dough. Hold the dough and add a little more flour to the surface.
  8. Initially shape into a ball the proceed to wrap the dough under itself
  9. Proceed to shape the dough into an oval or rectangular shape – about the size of a loaf tin if using one. Place the dough in the loaf tin and allow to rest to an hour and 40 minutes (if taken from the fridge). 40 minutes if fresh.
  10. Place the loaf in a preheated oven at 450°F. At the same time add a cup and a half of hot water to the broiler pan and place this on the top rack of the oven. Remove after 30 minutes and allow to cool completely.

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  1. I have done alot of experimenting with the “wet” dough method. I first saw it in Mother Earth News. Your bread is beautiful – pretty funny how tall the one rose!

    Comment by Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS — March 23, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  2. If you want to get really technical the term is “high hydration dough”. They apparently keep better as dough than lower hydration types, and often rise higher and are lighter textured. The steam water makes a harder crust when the loaves are baked on a sheet pan or stone as a ciabatta or baguette would be. It isn’t necessary when using a loaf tin. And, since I have your attention, I have 2 books worth (Artisan Breads in 5 minutes a Day and Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com)of similar recipes for you to test out for me… Though unfortunately without Ash’s able assistance (though I suspect he’ll be helping me at my house!)

    Comment by Elizabeth — March 23, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

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