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Let's Experiment


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31 replies to this topic

#1 lpellegr

 
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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:19 PM

Last week I made a loaf of bread from a mix - I think it was Bob's Red Mill multigrain gluten-free or something - lots of seeds. When I put the yeast into the water it was very unenthusiastic and showed little sign of growth, but I went ahead and used it anyway. The bread came out normal height (for wheat bread), and hardly collapsed at all, and wasn't full of holes and tunnels. It even held up for sandwiches. Could it be that non-gluten bread works better with less yeast? Without as much force from the yeast growth pushing the bread to ridiculous heights once it hits the oven, there might be fewer large cavities inside and less pressure breaking apart the xanthan gum/gelatin/protein connections inside. Or maybe it's just that particular bread mix was good.

At any rate, I tried baking a loaf of Bette Hagman's four flour bean bread today and I used 1 teaspoon of yeast instead of 2-1/4 (which is the amount in a packet). This is a recipe where the yeast is added to the dry ingredients so you don't get to see the yeast growing and foaming before you add it. It seemed to help - the bread still rose to stupid heights, but not as much as usual. I baked it an extra 10 minutes to try to prevent the usual collapse, and between the lower yeast and the extra time, it held its shape pretty well. When I finally cut it, it had a very regular crumb with only a few oversize holes, compared to my usual mess.

Give it a try and let's hear what you find. I think I'm going to do this on a regular basis with my scratch recipes and see if it makes a difference. It doesn't seem to hurt and it might help. Tell us, bakers - does it work for your recipes?
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Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

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#2 mftnchn

 
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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:49 PM

Hmm, I am trying to get my bread to raise more, LOL!
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4/2007 Positive IGA, TTG Enterolab results, with severe malabsorption: Two DQ2 celiac genes--highest possible risk.

gluten-free since 4/22/07; SF since 7/07; 3/08 & 7/08 high sugar levels in stool (i.e. cannot break down carbs) digestive enzymes for carbs didn't help; 7/18/08 started SCD as prescribed by my physician (MD).

10/2000 dx LYME disease; 2008 clinical dx CELIAC; Other: hypothyroid, allergies, dupuytrens, high mercury levels

#3 ArtGirl

 
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Posted 03 February 2008 - 06:06 PM

An interesting theory. I'm willing to give it a try.

I did reduced the yeast slightly in a bread recipe that calls for 1 Tablespoon of yeast - I used one packet, which is slightly less. I saw no difference in the dough's ability to rise.

BUT.... the flavor was slightly off. I expect that, if your recipe is relying on the yeast to give it a bread-like flavor, then less yeast would affect the taste.

Still, I'd be interested to see just how much yeast is actually needed for the rising.
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Valda
Enterolab results: ...two genes for gluten intolerance ...casein intolerance
other sensitivities: corn, eggs, soy, potato, tapioca
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#4 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 03:58 AM

...I'd be interested to see just how much yeast is actually needed for the rising.

As I recall with wheat breads, the dough is allowed to rise for awhile, even overnight. Then the dough is "punched down", kneeded a little, put into the baking pan and allowed to rise again for a short time, then baked. It's foggy memory, so sorry if that's not accurate...

Anyway, given this, I would expect the amount of yeast to use would depend to some degree on how long you allow it to rise. The yeast, after all, grows. So the longer it rises, the more yeast there is, right? So I guess that's what the punching down bit is all about - to get the large pockets out, further blend in the yeast, and then the resting period allows it to rise the right amount. Perhaps the overnight rising is used when there is less yeast to start off with. I don't recall how much that was, but I do recall it was put in a cup of warm water, often with a pinch of sugar to feed the yeast.

Just what the benefits might be to starting with less, and letting it rise overnight, I don't claim to know. If I were to guess, I'd say maybe the yeast grows larger, creating more structural integrity, thereby making the bread hold it's shape better after baking. Then it wouldn't fall so easily, and also have a stretchier, more traditional texture.
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#5 lpellegr

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:16 AM

I used to make kneaded wheat bread on a regular basis. The only time I saw instructions for overnight rising was from very old recipes (where you might have been using a sourdough starter of unknown potency in a house without central heating) or for a breakfast bread where you let it rise in the fridge overnight. Generally it was an hour or so for the first rising, punch down, then put in the pan and let rise again until it was where you wanted it.

Yes, the yeast is doubling over and over and over, and so eventually after enough time you will get it to the point where there are the same number of yeast cells as if you started with more in the first place. Kneading and punching down wheat bread allows the gluten to develop and maxes the amount of yeast in your bread by reducing the gas volume and allowing growth to continue without the dough running over the edge of the pan. However, the gluten in those breads allows the gas pockets created by the yeast to stretch to large volumes without the walls of that gas pocket coming apart. The sides of my gluten-free loaves always look like the top pulled apart from the side during that first 10 minutes in the oven, which doesn't happen so dramatically with wheat breads. I suspect that the xanthan gum and proteins we add aren't as strong and stretchy as gluten, so when the gas bubbles form in our bread they don't stay in neat small bubbles, but break and merge to form larger bubbles that end up as holes and tunnels. At least in my disappointing breads. So maybe by starting with less yeast the gas pockets will be smaller and won't be able to merge into giant bubbles. It's worth checking out. I am a scientist so my training is to experiment to find out if my theory is correct or bogus. That's where all of you come in. I'm sure many of you have more experience with these breads than I do, and it could be I'm wrong, or I'm right but for the wrong reasons, or that it only works in my kitchen. I figure the worst that happens is I waste a little time and generate another bag of bread crumbs or croutons if the bread is no better than usual. I wonder what would happen if we let our bread rise, then beat it down with a wooden spoon and let it rise again? Experiment number 2.
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Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

#6 Darn210

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:49 AM

I wonder what would happen if we let our bread rise, then beat it down with a wooden spoon and let it rise again? Experiment number 2.


I've wondered this, too. But it makes for expensive experiments, doesn't it, when you experiment with gluten-free flours? Surely, a Bette Hagman or Annalise Roberts has tried this . . . we just don't know what happened.
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#7 dbmamaz

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:01 AM

I read somewhere that gluten-free grains are more delicate than gluten grains, and even for yeast breads, you shouldnt mix them much once the liquid is added - like quick breads. This is very confusing to a wheat-bread baker, because wheat-bread gets better and better the longer you knead it. But when/if I ever try to make another loaf of gluten-free bread (right now i'm off of rice and yeast), I will try to be very gentle with the mixing.

I only made 2 loaves before I quit rice. One of them was a focaccia from Annalise Robert's Gluten Free Baking Classics. The other was the miracle multi-grain flax bread, which was linked in this forum recently. Both breads failed to rise in the oven at all and fell and shrunk after being removed from the oven. I believe i let them rise too much b4 baking, but i'm not sure. The flax bread tasted awful to me . . .i'm suprised that everyone else said it tastes just like real bread. I have no idea what i did wrong, there. The focaccia tasted fantastic to me, totally like real bread - but of course that was before i realized that I cant tolerate tapioca, so maybe tapioca is the key in making decent breads.

Keep experimenting for me . .. I'm hoping to get back to it myself!
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Cara - 42, mom to dd 15, ds 12, ds 4
Off gluten and dairy (and tapioca ;-( ) since 11/07
A.L.C.A.T. test showed over 50 sensitive foods
Celiac panel came back negative.
Regular allergy testing reacted to every inhalant and all but 6 foods.
Slowly adding in foods, started w 19 and now have 25

#8 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:08 AM

I read somewhere that gluten-free grains are more delicate than gluten grains, and even for yeast breads, you shouldnt mix them much once the liquid is added - like quick breads. This is very confusing to a wheat-bread baker, because wheat-bread gets better and better the longer you knead it. But when/if I ever try to make another loaf of gluten-free bread (right now i'm off of rice and yeast), I will try to be very gentle with the mixing.

It is true that over-mixing quickbreads will reduce the rising big time. As for rice flours; I never use them. Not since I tried millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and just about every other flour I've tried. By comparison, rice flours are gritty, though I hadn't noticed much if at all until I tried the others.

I didn't get good results from tapioca, so I stopped using that. Of course, I like the whole grain types of breads, not the white "sandwich" type. There are a number of starchy flours that may yield a texture you like, so experiment.

To save money on experimenting, I do that in small amounts - like just enough to make a muffin or something. Just enough so there's something to cut with a knife and see the texture. Generally these turn out the size of an English muffin or bagel.
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#9 MNBeth

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:08 AM

As Lee pointed out, it is the gluten that gives wheat breads their structure. Mixing/kneading develops the gluten, making it stronger and stretchier. That's why quick breads should be mixed minimally - if you overhandle it, the gluten develops too much and you get a tough product.

Gluten-free grains are not, in themselves, somehow delicate, but they do produce a very delicate dough because they lack the strength of structure that the gluten provides. Xanthan gum is a helpful substitute, but it definitely does not behave just like gluten does, nor is it nearly as sturdy. A thorough initial mixing of a gluten-free dough will not harm it, because the air pockets have not begun to form yet. Once it starts rising, however, it needs to handled very carefully to prevent collapse. And everything I've read would seem to indicate that once it collapses it is not, like wheat bread, going to resurrect itself. It seems clear that once it's over, it's over. I'll be delighted if I get proven wrong on that, by the way. Long, slow rises give such character to the flavor of regular breads.

The idea of using less yeast is an intriguing one; I'll be playing around with that, too, and looking forward to hearing everyone else's results.
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#10 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:59 AM

The only time I saw instructions for overnight rising was from very old recipes...

Yeah, I think that's right, as my mother had a very old cookbook which was handed down a few times. I think yeast came in "cakes" or something, like little bars. Now the packets are like "triple active" or something, right? Not sure, as I don't use any yeast.

Yes, the yeast is doubling over and over and over, and so eventually after enough time you will get it to the point where there are the same number of yeast cells as if you started with more in the first place.

It occurs to me, that if you start with less yeast, and allow it to grow more, it would mean that the cells are connected together, and might therefore add some structure/strength to the bread. Whereas starting with more yeast, but not letting it grow as much would mean that the cells are less connected. So even though the total number of cells, and thus the amount of gas produced might be comparable, interconnected cells would provide additional strength, helping the bread stay risen. Does this sound right?

So maybe by starting with less yeast the gas pockets will be smaller and won't be able to merge into giant bubbles. It's worth checking out. I am a scientist so my training is to experiment to find out if my theory is correct or bogus.

Not sure, but I'm now thinking that if the dough is kneaded too much after the first rising, the yeast cell "links" might be pulled apart. I do try to think like a scientist too, and of course, cooking and baking is really a sort of chemistry. Only we get to eat the results.
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#11 mamatide

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:17 AM

Somewhat related - the very first loaf of gluten free bread I baked was taken from Carol Fenster's "Gluten Free 101" cookbook (you can visit her website at glutenfree101.com). In that book she has recipes for all sorts of basic bread, along with instructions for doubling the recipe.

Whenever she doubles the recipe for bread, the amount of yeast stays the same (as in the amount of yeast in the recipe for one loaf is the very same as the amount of yeast in the recipe for two loaves). I used to add raisins and cinnamon to the second loaf for a little variety and it never affected or changed the rise of the bread.

I asked a question about this on this board about a year ago but no one seemed to know what I was talking about.

I must try that bread again. It was actually quite good, especially the fennel seed option - toasted with butter.

mamatide
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#12 WW340

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:51 AM

I have been experimenting a lot with bread recipes lately. This is a recipe I found on the Delphi forums that sounds very interesting. It is on my list to try, but it will be a week or more before I will have a chance to try it. If you try it, let me know what you think.

It uses a scant 1/4 tsp of yeast, but is allowed to rise 12 - 18 hours. There are a lot of posts about this bread on Delphi - here is the link to one of them : Artisan Bread discussion thread


Gluten Free Artisan Loaf Bread Posted by Misha at Delphi Forums

2 cups gluten-free Flour Mix (I used: cup each: sorghum, cornstarch, potato starch, and tapioca starch/flour)
1 1⁄4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. yeast (seriously, just a quarter teaspoon! can be regular or rapid rise, as long as its fresh and not expired)
1 tbsp. olive oil (formerly 2 tsp but I found more to be better)
1 cup water (cold or lukewarm water is fine)

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Quickly add olive oil and water to the bowl; mix thoroughly by hand or with a mixer, whichever you find easier. Cover bowl with a light cloth or plastic wrap and let rise 12-18 hours at room temperature.

[optional step for even thicker crust:
Just before baking, sprinkle some gluten-free flour (I used the sorghum) onto a cotton (not terry cloth) towel and turn the dough out onto it. It is still very sticky at this point. Sprinkle a little flour over the top, and cover with the towel to rest another 30 minutes or so.]

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F with a cast iron dutch oven with lid (actually even a Pyrex casserole with lid will do) in the oven. After 30 minutes, take out the hot pan, add the dough and smooth out the top with a wet spatula. Put the lid on the pan, and put the entire thing in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and then bake 20 minutes more.
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Positive Bloodwork January 2007
Positive Biopsy Feb. 2007
Gluten Free since January 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (Subtype 2,9)

#13 VioletBlue

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:31 AM

Yes, it's been my understanding that a thorough mixing is a must. The first loaf of gluten-free bread I made, I made from a recipe and I did not use a mixer. No one told me. I'd been making wheat bread for years and had no idea. gluten-free bread has a different texture when you're mixing it. When I didn't use a mixer I got almost a monkey puzzle type texture to the dough which trasnalted when it baked. The second loaf I made was from a mix and it clearly stated in the directions USE A MIXER. I used a mixer and got a decent consistency to the bread, though it still tasted like crap, LOL.

By the way someone on another board asked about a yeast and gluten free bread. Is there a recipe out there I wonder? Something other than a flat bread?




As Lee pointed out, it is the gluten that gives wheat breads their structure. Mixing/kneading develops the gluten, making it stronger and stretchier. That's why quick breads should be mixed minimally - if you overhandle it, the gluten develops too much and you get a tough product.

Gluten-free grains are not, in themselves, somehow delicate, but they do produce a very delicate dough because they lack the strength of structure that the gluten provides. Xanthan gum is a helpful substitute, but it definitely does not behave just like gluten does, nor is it nearly as sturdy. A thorough initial mixing of a gluten-free dough will not harm it, because the air pockets have not begun to form yet. Once it starts rising, however, it needs to handled very carefully to prevent collapse. And everything I've read would seem to indicate that once it collapses it is not, like wheat bread, going to resurrect itself. It seems clear that once it's over, it's over. I'll be delighted if I get proven wrong on that, by the way. Long, slow rises give such character to the flavor of regular breads.

The idea of using less yeast is an intriguing one; I'll be playing around with that, too, and looking forward to hearing everyone else's results.


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#14 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:56 AM

By the way someone on another board asked about a yeast and gluten free bread. Is there a recipe out there I wonder? Something other than a flat bread?

Sure. The menu on the left side of the page has some quickbread recipes. I'd take a look at both the bread section, and the muffin section.
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A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

#15 ArtGirl

 
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:11 AM

Sure. The menu on the left side of the page has some quickbread recipes. I'd take a look at both the bread section, and the muffin section.


Where?? This list is so hard to read and all items seem to link to the Gluten-Free-Mall site. Once upon a time I was able to find the recipes through the "site index" but I don't see that now.

Edit
Okay - a little more searching and I discovered I had to exit the forum and enter the celiac.com home page and there, on the left-hand bar, I did find a link to recipes.
Here's the recipe index page:
Index of recipes
  • 0
Valda
Enterolab results: ...two genes for gluten intolerance ...casein intolerance
other sensitivities: corn, eggs, soy, potato, tapioca
Hypoglycemic
Sensitivity to high EMFs [electromagnetic frequency] (limits my time in front of the computer)
Living a healthier, happier life.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.Psalm 139: 9,10




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