Friday, November 18, 2016

I tried to fly before I could walk

After my last bread, I became impatient to make another one. This time I wanted something fancier. I used this recipe, sort of, scaled down a bit. This recipe uses some butter and milk unlike the previous bread which is very plain, no fats at all. I watched a few youtube videos and these from King Arthur flour: mixing & folding, dividing and shaping and shaping.

My intention was to bake a loaf of buns and some fancy braided bread. I think my loaf of buns is recognizable but the braided bread? You probably think they are some mutant species.

The ingredients. p.s. I stuck to my old way of baking on a messy table. Don't worry, I didn't forget anything.

I noticed my mixer had hooks so this time, I decided to use the machine to mix my dough. Wow. What a mistake. The Philips HR1565 is in no way equipped to mix any dough. Sure I tried. I only used low speed. Any higher, the hooks would have been flung out. Even at a low speed, I could smell metal burning and the machine rattled like it was gonna blow apart.

 When I felt the machine needed a break, I did some of the work by hand.

After adding the butter, I used the machine again because you know, gooey. Then it was back to hand kneading because I was scared the mixer would catch fire or something.

Here I was just pretending to look for a window pane. I really had no idea what I was doing.

I'm always amazed at dough that has risen. This one took around 1.5 hours.

I made these into balls for the bun loaf. The shaping was harder than I expected. Was I doing it right? When do I stop? I placed one ball seam side up by mistake. Also I should have used a larger pan because I literally pushed all the balls in to fit.

The braids (similar tute here) was a fail. As I was shaping the strands, they got puffier and puffier.

Finally I managed to get this mummy. It looked horrible but I stopped caring.

It looked even worse after the final proof and had egg wash applied. Like the dough was in a car accident.

I baked the bun loaf first at 190 deg C for 25 min. This was what it looked like fresh out of the oven. The really ugly bun was the one I placed seam side up.

I couldn't wait to try the bun and only waited 30 min before I tore one off. It was nice and fluffy and tasted good.

The loaf doesn't look pretty and I think there might be some issue going on with the top hanging out so much.

But inside it's good.

I baked the braided bread at the same 190 deg C for 25min as well. I wasn't looking forward to it because I was expecting it to look hideous. And it was. This photo was taken around 30 min after coming out of the oven.

The back looks ugly too.

The inside didn't look or taste too bad though. The loaf bun is definitely fluffier.

This morning I cut a slice for myself and it doesn't look so bad after you sliced it up.

Clearly I need to go back to baking school for my bread course. There's nothing like someone yelling at you to make you learn. Meanwhile I should continue with my self learning. The only problem? My family is not a fan of bread. I wonder who's going to eat all the bread I just made? This morning I ran 5km and that was to make up for eating that one chocolate muffin. If I eat all the bread, I'm afraid I will have to run every day and I'm not that crazy about running.


Ely said...

Yum! You know bread freezes well, if that helps, so you can enjoy your bread over time.

It looks like your strands were proofing/rising as you tried to braid. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, and how much time it took you to do those buns, that second half of the dough began to rise again.

Sure, take a bread course for the knowledge but you're doing well on your own. Keep practicing!

Ely said...

Oh, and another good resource is America's Test Kitchen. And the book The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Jane McLellan said...

You're being hard on yourself, those look really good! I've had that experience with dough hooks too, a handmixer isn't up to the job. Luckily I like kneading bread. I think it would be interesting to do the bread course, learn from an expert.

Projects By Jane said...

Thanks for the recommendations Ely. Singapore is hot and room temperature is around 28 deg C at night, sometimes lower. I notice my dough rises fast. I tend to bake at night as it's cooler. During the day, it's around 30 deg C or above. I think I think to work faster next time.

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Jane, I'm starting to like to knead bread by hand. The problem with self learning is you don't really know if you're doing it right. The bread course is practically free so... Plus, there are other courses which I'm keen on and the basic bread course is a per-requisite.

Ely said...

Jane, you may also consider doing the rise in the fridge! I know this sounds crazy, but in a greased, CLOSED, quart/gallon size ziplock bag dough will rise slowly (because you're still creating a warm environment even though the air around the bag is cold). I have done this successfully overnight, or you can do it in the morning in anticipation for baking in the evening, but you just have to make sure to punch the dough down when ready to use, shape, and then let the dough come to room temperature (it will also rise again).

I know this works for a general all purpose type bread, but there's no reason this shouldn't work for all doughs. One thing though, you just have to make sure to burp the bag at least once to release the air which builds up.

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Ely,

Yes, doing the rise in the fridge does sound crazy but I will keep it in mind the next time I bake. And burping the bag sounds like fun!

Chris H said...

I think your bread looks amazing. And I bet it tasted just a good. Don't be so hard on yourself, you did good.

Tammy said...

Your breads look amazing. Seriously. I don't think you need to go back to school, just keep making bread all the time. But I know what you mean - if nobody eats it, then it's a problem. Sometimes I bring bread to work, or make bread pudding because once I add sugar and milk, then everyone likes it.

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