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Thread: Humidity and Baking Bread

  1. #1
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    Humidity and Baking Bread

    Hi guys. I did a google search on this topic and found that humidity can cause bread to not bake correctly. It is raining here, and should be all day. I wanted to try Pete's Whole Wheat Bread, suggested by RecipeGirl. Should I wait until later in the weekend? Sorry if this is a silly questions, but I am very new to bread making . Any advice would be wonderful!

    -Heather

    Pete's Whole Wheat Bread


    2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
    4 cups bread flour, sifted (4 to 5)
    2 Tbs granulated sugar
    5 1/2 tsp salt
    1 Tb yeast (a rounded Tablespoon)
    2 ounces honey
    1 2/3 cups water
    2/3 cup milk
    1/2 stick unsalted butter

    1. In a large mixer bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt and yeast.

    2. In a medium bowl, combine honey, milk, water and butter, and heat to 105 degrees in the microwave.

    3. Stir liquids to melt the butter and add, all at once, to the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl.

    4. With the dough hook installed on your stand mixer, mix dough. Add more flour by the Tablespoon, as needed, until the dough comes together and clears the bowl. Mix for 5 minutes with the dough hook and remove to counter surface.

    5. Knead by hand until no longer sticky, adding flour as necessary.

    6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Remove from bowl and divide dough in half. Make each half into a 10 x 12 rectangle and roll each up like a cigar. Pinch the seams. Roll on the countertop to make a uniform log and place in an oiled breadpan seam-side up. Shake the roll to oil the bottom, turn the pan over, catch the dough and reinsert it into the pan, seam-side-down.

    7. Return to warm place and let rise an additional 30 minutes or until at least 1 inch above the pan top. Bake in a preheated 400F. oven for 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on rack.
    Finally blogging again at http://www.heathersblissfuljourney.blogspot.com/ Updated 1/4/12

  2. #2
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    Hi Heather,
    You can try making the bread but I would start out with less liquid (most recipe I use that have 6 cups of flour only have 2 cups total of liquid, your has 2 1/3 cup). I'd start with 1 cup of the water and the 2/3 cup of the milk. Then add some of the remaining water as needed. One of the other things is that the crust will not be crusty after awhile. Usually not a big deal with non-artisan or non-French type breads.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much Susan. What would I do without you!? Have a great weekend !

    -Heather
    Finally blogging again at http://www.heathersblissfuljourney.blogspot.com/ Updated 1/4/12

  4. #4
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    Another question here! Sorry I am such a novice when it comes to all of this. My loaves are on their second rise and the recipe says they should rise a whole inch above the top of the pan. Is that right? They have risen a lot, but they are no where near the that high.

    I have already let them rise for the second time for the full 30 minutes, should I let them keep rising?

    TIA!!!

    -Heather
    Finally blogging again at http://www.heathersblissfuljourney.blogspot.com/ Updated 1/4/12

  5. #5
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    The times stated for rising in a bread recipe are guidelines. You should allow it to rise to the height or volume the recipe states because the temperature of your house, strength of your yeast, etc. can affect the actual amount of time it takes. As a baking instructor of mine once said, "Bread will rise in its own time. Don't try to rush it."

    Happy Baking!

  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for your advice kgraham. I will give the loaves as much time as they need to rise. Is that typical though, to have sandwich bread dough rise to an inch above the top of the pan?

    TIA!

    -Heather
    Finally blogging again at http://www.heathersblissfuljourney.blogspot.com/ Updated 1/4/12

  7. #7
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    It depends on the recipe and what size bread pan you are actually using. If you are using a recipe that fills a smaller bread pan and you are using a larger one, it may not reach that full inch. To tell when it has risen enough, gently poke your finger in the side (I usually use a corner) - if the indent stays, it should be ready, if the indent fills back in, it needs more time.
    Joe

    Pictures and recipes of our Cooking and Baking!
    http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/

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  8. #8
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    Thanks for that tip Joe! I finally started baking the loaves, they had risen for well over 2 hours. I will check back in and let you guys know if my first attempt at sandwich bread was a success .

    -Heather
    Finally blogging again at http://www.heathersblissfuljourney.blogspot.com/ Updated 1/4/12

  9. #9
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    BOOO!!!:mad::mad: I am so mad at myself. I waited for SO long and finally the bread rose to the specified height in my oven. I tool the tip of turning it on for one minute to create a warm place for the dough to rise. I took it out so I could preheat the oven to 400 and it deflated several inches . I guess I should just chock it up to me being a bread newbie, but I am disappointed.

    It still looks like it will taste good, but it is a lot shorter of a loaf than I was hoping for.

    I think next time I will just leave the dough in the oven as it preheats and maybe reduce the cooking time a tiny bit.

    It's time for a glass of wine.

    -Heather
    Finally blogging again at http://www.heathersblissfuljourney.blogspot.com/ Updated 1/4/12

  10. #10
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    Sorry Heather, I went and took a nap...

    Sounds like your dough was over-proofed. While the times listed as just a guideline it really shouldn't take 2 hours. So your humidity probably played a roll in the rising as well. At one hour I would have used the poke test...if you poke the dough and it stays indented then it's ready, if it springs back it needs more time.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  11. #11
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    Please don't leave your rising dough in the oven while preheating unless the recipe is written to do so. It's not likely to be a good result.

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