Help, my bread sucks!
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  1. #1
    Registered User acidcookie's Avatar
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    Default Help, my bread sucks!

    So I gave my first shot at making bread from scratch today. I used the Beginner's Bread recipe that had been posted somewhere on this board before.

    I followed the recipe exactly and everything worked find, except the bread just never seemed to bake throughly. The recipe says that if it sounds hollow when you tap it, it's done. It did sound hollow, so I sliced a bit off and it was still totally undercooked! So I put it back in the oven. I did this again and again and ended up baking it for well over an hour (the recipe says 30-40 minutes). The top was getting really hard (but not burnt), and the insides were still dense and gushy!

    What went wrong?

    BTW, I used whole wheat flour and honey.

  2. #2
    Member Darlene's Avatar
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    I'm not a baker but am sorry things didn't go well. I'm sure someone here can help.
    Love the title of this thread, you made me laugh. Short & sweet, I love it.
    Hope your next loaf doesn't suck, I'm betting it won't.




  3. #3
    Registered User foxxyroxie's Avatar
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    Sooo sorry your bread turned out bad. I have been contemplating making my own bread but now you have me scared!!!

    Can anyone help acidcookie or encourage me???!!!

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    Registered User ImEmile's Avatar
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    Just keep trying. And keep following the directions. How is your oven? A good way to test its temperature (if it runs hotter than what you think) is to take a can of refrigerator biscuits and set the timer as directed. If they're done early, your oven is warmer. If they're done later, then it's cooler. You might want to rule that out.

    Also, it could be worse. I have a gas oven that's too hot on the left and maybe right on the right, but no temp control that I can figure out. So everything goes on the right side. But I have to watch the times...the Italian bread I make can get too done in less than the 30 min. it's supposed to be in the oven. Since I can't use the whole oven I do one pan at a time...so by the time the second one goes in it's warmer than it was for the first. I forgot to figure that in when I set the timer today

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    Registered User wanderinggrandma's Avatar
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    Whole wheat bread is denser than say 1/2 white flour and 1/2 wheat. To soften the top crust, after baking lightly rub butter or oil on the top. It softens it right up.

    Bread is an "art" and it takes a little practice. Don't give up. If you don't like how it turned out make croutons out of it!! Once you get the technique down it will be a snap.

  7. #6
    Registered User acidcookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImEmile View Post
    Just keep trying. And keep following the directions. How is your oven? A good way to test its temperature (if it runs hotter than what you think) is to take a can of refrigerator biscuits and set the timer as directed. If they're done early, your oven is warmer. If they're done later, then it's cooler. You might want to rule that out.
    I haven't tested it officially, but I'm pretty sure my oven does run cold. Everything I've baked in it (pies, cakes) takes at least 15 minutes longer than instructed. But those things do bake eventually. This bread was just hopeless

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    I would also pursue checking your oven. If you find that it runs, for example, 25 degrees cool, you can just set the control 25 degrees hotter. Bread really needs to cook at the right temp. A longer time at a cooler temp just won't do.

    100% Wholewheat tends to be denser and heavier, but not 'gushy' as you describe. If you would like a lighter loaf, you can try 1/2 wholewheat, 1/2 white OR you can add Vital Wheat Gluten (aka Wheat Gluten aka Gluten Flour) to your Wholewheat. 1-2 Tablespoons of Vital Wheat Gluten per cup of Wholewheat flour will lighten it up quite a bit. Vital Wheat Gluten is the high-protein portion of wheat, and interacts well with the yeast.

    Here is an old thread that is the ONLY bread-baking instruction I've ever received. https://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/...read+challenge The recipe and detailed instructions are on the 3rd page.

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    my first loaf of bread could have been used to build a house with. it was so hard, if i had dropped it, it prob. could have done some serious damage. but the next time i tried it, it turned out great. now i love baking bread, thats all i did when we were hit with the ice storm. my freezer is so full i dont have room for anything else. like everything else, i think it just takes some practice.

  10. #9
    Registered User SewCrafty's Avatar
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    I have never worked with whole wheat flour so can't help you, but here is a great site for baking breads etc.... complete with finding your errors.

    http://www.preparedpantry.com/

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    acidcookie,

    I bake bread twice a week and I learned by trial and error to get an oven themometer. I have one that hangs on one of the racks. The tricks to fresh ground whole wheat bread are two things. #1 make a sponge #2 three risings.
    The temperature is vital when baking any bread but especially whole fresh wheat since it is alot denser. I always use a little white flour in my whole wheat and also a dough enhancer that I make from scratch.
    If you want any pointers email me directly. Barb
    [email protected]

  12. #11
    Registered User acidcookie's Avatar
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    Thanks so much everyone!

    I'll probably have to wait till next weekend to try again, but I plan to mix the wheat with some white flour for now, and give it more of a chance of rising (last time it started to touch the plastic, which I guess can inhibit it from rising completely?)

    Also, my roommate says she has an oven thermometer so I will check the oven temp next time I bake something.

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    Registered User kaykwilts's Avatar
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    lots of good tips here.

  14. #13
    Registered User foxxyroxie's Avatar
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    I used the beginning bread recipe too. Mine turned out YUCKY too!!

    This is the recipe I used for my second batch. I didn't use any wheat flour according to the recipe. All I had on hand was all-purpose flour. I really don't see why you would HAVE to put the herbs and stuff in it if you didn't want to. I served mine with soup so I wanted the herbs in it. Made two loaves (one was gone BEFORE dinner -- LOL so only had one for dinner, UGH!!). I also didn't have the green onion so I used dried chives instead and used dried Italian seasoning instead of the oregano (what's a few more herbs in herb bread).

    Before I baked it, I beat an egg and brushed it on the dough -- read it makes a nice crust. When it came out of the oven, I removed it from the pan and I brushed the loaves with butter -- makes the crust softer -- one thing I learned from my mom about baking bread eventhough she didn't make bread too often.

    I'm not sure what substituting honey for the sugar would do. You need the sugar to 'feed' the yeast.

    Good luck if you decide to try this.


    * * *

    HEARTY HERB BREAD

    3 1/2 - 4 c all-purpose flour
    2 c whole wheat flour
    1/2 c dry milk powder
    1/4 c sugar
    1 package (1/4 ounce or 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
    2 c water
    2 T vegetable oil
    2 T butter or margarine
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 c sliced green onions
    3 T minced fresh parsley or 1 T dried parsley flakes
    2 t dried oregano
    1 1/2 t salt

    In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, milk powder, sugar and yeast. In a saucepan, heat water, oil and butter to 120-130ºF and add to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for three minutes. Stir in eggs, onions, parsley, oregano, salt and enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Punch dough down; divide in half. Shape into loaves; place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until done.

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