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Thread: Soft, white bread

  1. #1

    Soft, white bread

    How do I do it. I like the soft white loaves of bread you buy in the store but I can't seem to emulate it at home. All of my breads have been edible but nothing close to being soft like the loaves you buy in the stores. I also can't seem to get it to rise above the loaf pan either. I have been using my KA stand mixer when I do this but I don't think this is the problem. I have tried insant yeast and quick rise yeast(fleishman's-not past the expiration date either). Should I use a biga (what is this, I seen it mentioned somewhere--is it a starter?) I hope someone can help me so I can enjoy a loaf of Wonderful bread!

  2. #2
    Mamasue posted this a long time ago but I still haven't tried it yet. Also, it's for a bread machine but maybe you can adapt it? I add vital wheat gluten to my bread machine recipes. Maybe you could try that. And this is how Beth describes vwg on another thread in case you're wondering what it is..."Vital wheat gluten is a powder that gives flours an elasticity boost, especially ones that might tend to be soft or need help in stretching and rising. Since bread machine breads tend to be a little heavier, the vital wheat gluten may be added to help give the bread a lighter texture.

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    ABM White Wonder Bread

    Recipe By :mamasue
    Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Bread Machine

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    3/4 c. milk
    1 egg -- beaten
    1 Tbl. unsalted butter -- melted
    3 Tbl. sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 c. King Arthur bread flour
    1 1/2 tsp. yeast

    Use 1 1/2 lb. setting, light crust, white bread setting. Add ingredients according to manufacturer's directions.and bake as directed.

  3. #3
    Thank you I will have to go look for the VWG now before I try this.

  4. #4
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    Earlier in the year, I made a LOT of recipes from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible, and found that, in a general way, the doughs were MUCH moister than those I'd used previously.

    I get the most satisfying results using my KA mixer to do all the mixing and kneading, since it can knead very soft doughs quite easily. (kneading soft doughs by hand it's so tempting to keep adding flour, which is not a good thing, texture-wise.)
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  5. #5
    Little bit, I want that book but don't have the room for anymore. Here is a list of what I would like to get:

    The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
    by Peter Reinhart, Ron Manville

    The Bread Bible
    by Rose Levy Beranbaum

    Crust & Crumb: Master Formulas For Serious Bakers
    by Peter Reinhart

    Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads 30th Anniversary Edition
    by Bernard, Jr. Clayton, Donnie Cameron

    There are more that I want but they are not specific to just bread baking.

  6. #6
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    Thank you Linda for reposting this recipe for cinnabun.

    cinnabun....this recipe is one that I think you are looking for. To me it has that texture and taste like the "wonder" bread that DH so loved.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by cinnabun
    ... I want that book but don't have the room for anymore.
    No room? Time to get a bigger house!!!

    Just kidding. If you just want to play, check the public library, or if they don't have them, request an 'inter-library loan.' Most libraries work hard to do this sort of thing, so long as the book isn't new.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  8. #8
    Mamasue, I will try it as soon as I get the VWG.
    Littlebit, not a bad idea about the library and I never knew they did that kind of thing.

  9. #9
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    Hi again cinnabun,

    Just thought I'd say 'thanks' for inspiring me to get baking today. Years ago, I had my first real success making soft white bread at home using the "Swedish Bread" recipe from "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook." I started a thread about it earlier.

    I just thought I'd suggest it as a possibility, if you're still searching for a recipe to try. This one is not a bread machine recipe, if that's any use.

    If you don't have that cookbook, I can type the recipe up for you tomorrow, if you'd like it.

    Thanks again for the inspiration. Something about this hot weather discourages me from baking bread, so it's nice to get baking again.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  10. #10
    Your welcome. I read the thread, I will have to go see if that recipe is in my copy and try that recipe as I could not get VWG today, at least I couldn't find it at the store I went to today will look more later this week and if all else fails, will order it online. I know how you feel about the hot weather and baking. I have been using the oven a lot in the past couple of days and suffered through all the heat to enjoy muffins and other things.
    Just a short question on the VWG, how much would you use in the recipe? It is something new to me and would like to know before I find it so when I do get it I can try right away without asking after I find it.

  11. #11
    Found it, it is made into a braid and ring (tea ring). Will probably omit the almond extract because I don't have any. Thanks for the suggestion.

  12. #12
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    Hi cinnabun,

    About the vital wheat gluten, I've only used it a time or two, in recipes where it's important to create a chewy loaf. I don't think you want that with this bread.

    When I make the Swedish Bread recipe, I just use Gold Medal all-purpose flour, nothing fancy.

    When I made mine the other day, I don't think I used the full measure of flour. I made it in my KitchenAid mixer, and the dough was only just firm enough to form a dough. My memory's a little vague on this point, but I think I mixed the liquid ingredients with about three cups of flour, beat that together, then changed to the dough hook and slowly added flour a cup, then a half cup at a time until it began to come together. It was still really soft. I kneaded it about 10 minutes, and by the end of that time, it was ~just~ firm enough to come completely clean from the bowl. I added just a bit more flour when shaping the loaves (after the first rise). I don't think I used more than about 6 1/4 cups of flour, but I could be wrong. (Working with the Beranbaum book has made me braver about using very moist doughs, lol!)

    I think the thing I like about this Swedish bread recipe is that it's still pretty soft even if you use the full 7 cups of flour.

    One other suggestion, I think I might divide mine into three loaves next time, and use three smaller (8x4) pans instead of two 9x5's. The yeast in mine was VERY happy, so my loaves were HUGE. Great, but I was a little worried they might be a bit too big. And I baked them at about 325 for 30 minutes, not the full 40-50 minutes at 375. (I have a convection oven, so have to fiddle with the temperatures to keep from burning stuff.) When I took the loaves out, the internal temperature was about 200 degrees with my instant read thermometer. Hope this helps.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  13. #13
    Originally posted by cinnabun

    Just a short question on the VWG, how much would you use in the recipe? It is something new to me and would like to know before I find it so when I do get it I can try right away without asking after I find it.
    Here's what baking911.com has to say...

    Use 1 teaspoon per cup of all-purpose or 1- 2 teaspoons per cup of bread flour; 1-1/2 to 3 teaspoons for every cup of whole grain or rye flours.

    Vital wheat gluten occurs naturally in all wheat and wheat derived white flours. Some white flours have more or less than others. In a dry form, it is used to give the yeast a boost because it contains a high amount of gluten forming proteins. Vital wheat gluten only does one thing, it helps improve the rise and texture of bread. With out it you have a rock, door stop, paper weight.

    Use it in your heavier breads that rise slowly, such as rye, whole grains, or ones loaded with sugar, dried fruit and nuts. Do not add it to regular bread recipes. Some people use it all the time when using a Bread Machine especially when using whole grain or all-purpose flour.

    Generally, if you are using white bread flour you don't need to add any. However, all-purpose or whole grain flours need Vital Wheat Gluten.

  14. #14
    Little bit, thanks all-purpose flour I have. I will probably try the swedish bread this weekend because I don't think I am going to find the vwg. Never thought of using an instant read thermometer, I always just listened for that hollow sound of the loaf. Is that something you learned from Beranbaum? I will have to remember to try this when I make the bread.

    Linda, thank you for the information, I appreciate it.

  15. #15
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    cinnabun,

    Yes, RWB mentions various temperatures for the breads in her cookbook. I don't know that I've always baked things to the temperature she lists, though. Not sure what that's about.

    One thing I have learned to do as well, since she mentions it in most of her recipes, is to put a baking pan on the bottom rack of the oven as I preheat it, and toss in a cup of ice cubes just as you put in the bread. They melt and make the oven nice and steamy, which I gather is a good thing for some breads. (I'm not sure when/why it's essential, though.)

    I mentioned the 200 degrees, because that's the reading I got, and the bread seemed done, but not overbaked, definitely soft and good.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  16. #16
    I would do the pan and ice cubes but can't because I only have one rack. I guess I could buy a mister and do it that way.

  17. #17
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    I don't have time to look up the recipe right now, but my favorite (and easy) bread that sounds like what you're looking for is "Wondrous Bread". I got the recipe here from the boards, and am not known for my bread baking talents. Which means, if I can make it and it turns out great, anyone can!

    If someone doesn't post it after me I'll look for it later and offer it up. Work is calling...

    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  18. #18
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    Here's a link to the Wonderous Bread.

    I hope which ever recipe you choose turns out well.
    Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard all the bull before.

    Cheryl

  19. #19
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    Thanks Cheryl!

    That Wondrous bread is soooo good and sooooo easy. I usually have a loaf or two on hand or in the freezer on any given day...



    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  20. #20
    Kind of funny, I started that thread and forgotten all about it. Thank you for posting the link.

  21. #21

    Thumbs up

    Originally posted by ellery
    my favorite (and easy) bread that sounds like what you're looking for is "Wondrous Bread".
    cinnabun, I think this is the recipe for you! I made this today and it is so good and so soft. I omitted the last T. of butter that you brush the loaf with and also I don't have semolina, but otherwise followed the recipe. I think I had to bake it a tad longer also. It rose beautifully in the pan and rose even further after being in the oven.
    And for what it's worth, I try to bake my bread until it's 190 to 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

  22. #22
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    I like dense grainy breads but for some reason love soft buns, (hamburg & hot dog, I have my own soft buns which I don't like)
    Has anyone made the Wondrous bread into buns? If so, how does it compare to moomie's buns?
    Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard all the bull before.

    Cheryl

  23. #23

    Proofing yeast?

    I am thinking that maybe this was another one of my problems also. I seen within the past week or so somewhere on tv, proofing yeast in the microwave, I know they said something about 30 seconds adding the yeast and sugar and microwaving, stirring and then sitting it in the microwave for a certain amount of time (I am thinking it was 5 minutes). The reason why it was put back in the microwave was because it was warm. Does anyone have more "exact" directions for doing this and does it work? I don't ever remember seeing my yeast develop the way it did when I seen it on this tv program.
    Do you think the yeast proofing could be one of my faults here. I am still going to try the swedish bread and maybe the wonderous bread recipe.

  24. #24
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    I don't do the microwave thing, I guess I'd be afraid of getting things too hot.

    If you want to proof your yeast, all you need to do is mix a teaspoon of sugar in 1/4 cup of slightly warm water, then add the yeast, and let it sit there for a while. Eventually, it gets wonderfully bubbly and active. If it doesn't, either the yeast was too old or the water was too hot. (I use just barely warm tap water, to be on the safe side) I usually do this proofing in a pyrex measuring cup. If you let it sit too long, it'll bubble up over the top of the cup, so do keep an eye out.

    If your recipe doesn't call for proofing the recipe in this way, just make sure to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup, to take the water into account. (Otherwise, your dough may be too moist, and you'll have to add more flour, which can get frustrating.)

    Another thing to do is to check the expiration date on your yeast. It does keep a fairly long time, but doesn't last forever. From time to time, over the years, I'd occasionally try proofing an 'expired' batch of yeast, just to see if it was useable, and found that sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Guess you just have to experiment and see what happens.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  25. #25
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    I made the Wondrous Bread yesterday and MAN IS IT GOOD! love love love this bread...it IS very soft and pillow-y for lack of a better way to describe it. I usually make my Amish Bread recipe for white bread (which is more of a dense loaf), but i was soooo tempted by this that i HAD to try it. so glad i did...it is probably exactly what you are looking for as far as a soft homemade bread. Thanks for the recipe--it will def. be repeated in this house!

  26. #26
    I give up on finding the VWG in the stores. May be here in a few weeks I will order it online, just have to figure out how to store it and everything. This weekend if I have the time I am going to try the wondrous bread or the swedish bread from Fannie farmer.

  27. #27
    I am usually a wheat bread kinda gal but the descriptions of the Wonderous Bread were too much for me to handle...I caved in last night and made it.

    It is the softest homemade white bread I have ever made. Cinnabun...this is probably what you are looking for. It is very soft and fluffy.

    I made it in my KitchenAid mixer and followed the advice here:Wonderous Bread I followed Maureen's instructions exactly. The dough was still sticky. It doubled nicely...it actually almost tripled each rise. It slices easily. There are no holes in the slices...this has always been a problem for me and homemade white bread.

    Let us know if you try it!
    Life is Good

  28. #28
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    Originally posted by cinnabun
    I give up on finding the VWG in the stores. May be here in a few weeks I will order it online, just have to figure out how to store it and everything. This weekend if I have the time I am going to try the wondrous bread or the swedish bread from Fannie farmer.
    For what it's worth, I've found vital wheat gluten in the part of the store I wouldn't have considered. Not sure why, (SugarBusters diet maybe? it's popular in this area) but there's a section with lots of fairly unusual whole grain/whole wheat type products. I found vital wheat gluten there, rather than with the rest of the regular baking/flour supplies. Go figure.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  29. #29
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    I use the white sandwich bread recipe from Crust & Crumb frequently, although I have found it works better if you use all of the biga instead of just the amount called for. It rises beautifully, and freezes well, too. I get up on a weekend morning and start it, it is an all day thing because of the rising time. The other one I use a lot really comes out very close to Wonder Bread, as the recipe claims to, and is a great one to use because it is so quickly made, is in the Betterbaking.com cookbook, a great all purpose baking book. If anyone wants the recipe, I can type it in.

  30. #30
    Start typin', I don't have that book. TIA.

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