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by Steve

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Made pizza and bread last night, it was good. Still not managed to
make my loafs fluffy and light, maybe I need to use butter instead of
29th Mar 2007, 10:13   | tags:

nalsa says:

Fluffy & light requires a lot of kneading and yeast which isn't too old, and leaving it in a warmish place to prove. I normally leave loaves on top of the cooker with the oven on during winter, just to get them to rise enough.

Also: you don't need to cover the dough ball with clingfilm, just cover the top of the bowl.

29th Mar 2007, 10:46

Steve says:

I knead it for quite a while and but a lot of effort into it. The cling film sits loosely on top and expands with the dough, it does double its size so I don't think that it is temperature.

So maybe I'm not using enough yeast?

29th Mar 2007, 10:50

nalsa says:

More yeast means it'll rise quicker, but it'll make it taste yeasty. If it's rising then it is getting enough yeast, so the only thing left is liquid content and beating it up. The recipe books say 10 minutes keanding should be enough, but I normally knead until I can see little bubbles forming underneath the surface and it's a bit stretchy and shiny, which takes about 20 minutes or so. You could use 50/50 bread flour and 00 flour, which would make the dough a lot lighter to use, but 00 flour isn't cheap.

Using oil is fine, by the way.

29th Mar 2007, 10:57

Steve says:

Thanks for the advice, at the moment I use "Strong Bread flour" but I don't really know what that means. Maybe I'm over cooking the loaf?

I will look out for the bubbles!

29th Mar 2007, 11:00

nalsa says:

Ok, here's a baking 101 :)

Basically you want to get the gluten in flour to work it's way through the dough, and get long and stretchy so that the little bubbles of CO2 produced by yeast can move about. The stretchier the gluten, the bigger the bubbles get and the fluffier the bread gets.

So, you need flour which has a lot of gluten in. This is where the "strong" comes in. Normal flour doesn't have enough gluten for bread (but it does have enough for cakes, or non-yeast risen things... but I'm digressing). Strong flour does have a lot of gluten in, so as you knead it releases more gluten into the dough. So, the more you knead it, the more gluten you get, so the stretchier the dough gets and the more bubbles can be made by the CO2 which comes from the yeast.

(I used to work in a bakery :) I can bore people for hours on this sort of thing!)

29th Mar 2007, 11:16

Steve says:

Guess I just Knead (sic) to work on my technique

29th Mar 2007, 11:18

Helen says:

Will there be pictures of the pizza?

29th Mar 2007, 17:45

Joe says:

00 flour makes a big difference to how light the bread is, though as nalsa points out it's not cheap (I keep it in the house for making pasta) Oven temperature is another variable that makes a big difference, I can't do bread properly in our current oven as the door seal isn't brilliant so the heat tends to be inconsistent....

29th Mar 2007, 18:10

Steve says:

There are other pictures of pizza on here, I think Joe might be right.

Maybe a pizza stone is needed!

30th Mar 2007, 01:10