15 April 2009

17 hr low-temperature pre-ferment - 2nd attempt

I'm feeling gloomy now. This is another of those days which things don't turn out according to what you want them to be.

Tried the 17 hr low-temperature pre-ferment way of bread making again today. This time round, I did a pumpkin bread, full recipe. I followed all the measurements, except for the yeast which was changed to instant yeast (1/3 the stated amount, as advised by the author who uses fresh yeast).

I thought the last black sesame bread dough was wet due to my miscalculation or measurement. So I wanted to try another time since I was quite sure the correct dough should be manageable. But I was wrong again this time. History repeated itself. I got an extremely wet dough again!

I was determined not to add any extra flour this time round. It was tough as I was using hand kneading. That little mixer of mine sounded like it was ready to give way anytime when I started kneading the dough today. So no choice, had to exercise my long rested hand muscles.

After half an hour of kneading the stubborn dough, I discovered I had forgotten to add in the butter! Gosh! What was I doing all along? Quickly added the butter and shredded pumpkin in and continue kneading. After about 15 minutes, the dough remained just as wet. I gave up and dumped the whole chunk of flabby dough into the bowl for first proofing.

After the first rise, I filled the greased bread tin half full, couldn't even roll out the dough for shaping. The remaining dough I scoop it into my silicon cups. These are the end results.

The cup-a-breads turned out quite all right, the loaf, a disaster. It was a little undercooked. After some struggle to remove it from the tin (probably because it was undercooked), the bread collapsed as it could not support its own weight. It still tasted like bread, just not a nice loaf as I would very much want it to be. I wonder if I have over proofed it a little.

It's been a lousy experience. My bread making skills must have rusted after the long break. I feel guilty, not supervising DS of his work today and ended up with a failed product, totally unjustifiable. Ok, enough grumbling. The day will pass very soon and tomorrow will be better...hopefully...

Mood: gloomy


Anonymous said...

Hi, me again. I tried the orange choc bread and the dough was extremely sticky. The bread was also difficult to shape and the result was a very heavy bread. I read other blog and this seems to be the common complaint. I guess using a mixer would make life alot easier.
Anyway, cheer up !


Jackie said...

go ahead, try knititng socks, i will be looking forward to see the socks just like to see your bake.

KWF said...

Sukub, I'm so relieved to see your comments. At least I know I didn't interpret the recipe wrongly. I've just read from another blogger that she has reduced the amount of water used for hand kneading. I'm going to try that later, probably after DS's oral exams.

Jackie, thanks for dropping by. Socks is on my to-do-list (getting very long). I haven't been knitting but I will, one of these days, again.

Afternoontea said...

Hi, Just to share a few thoughts on baking these 17hrs bread.
1.Due to different brands of flour used, you might not need to used up all liquid required,try retain 20~30% then adding by tbsp if you feel the dough is too dry.
2.Due to our warm climates, u might want to try using ice water for you dough.
3. use maximum 300g bread flour recipe as a start for handkneading for a more manageable dough,if the final dough is "tacky"(not sticky),rub a thin layer of olive oil on your palm rather than flour.
6. I've used ratio 50% of instant yeast :fresh yeast .

Hope the above helps.

KWF said...

Afternoon tea, thanks for the great tips! Will come in handy when I try it again. You bake fabulous breads!

Cookie said...


I had the same problem... very wet dough... and I was trying to find out what's wrong!

As for the pre-ferment, mine was too dry. What an extreme problem I have!


KWF said...

Cookie, I didn't get to try this again. But if you're doing hand kneading like I did, reduce the liquid in trhe recipe. Should be much better. My pre-ferment was ok though.