Am I doing it right [Baking Bread]

Hi all. I am a bit of a bread baking novice. I've baked a few loaves over the past few weeks - generally following the recipes on the flour packet.
Although the loafs I am producing are tasty and have risen the appropriate amount in the tin (i.e. the dough has doubled in size) they are much denser than loaves one might buy at the bakers.
The 2lb loaf tins I have produce loaves that are similar in size to the small loaves from the supermarket.
I baked a white loaf the other day using one of my 2lb loaf tins - the dough doubled in size but this meant it kind of spilled over the edges of the tin and while delicious - it looks a bit odd. But it is still quite dense in texture.
Any advice on how a properly baked wholemeal or white loaf should look/ feel and what texture one should expect - would be greatly appreciated.
Reply to
Steve
@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com:
First off, if you're serious about baking bread at home, drop the volume (cups) measures you'll find on the bags of flour and get a scale. Then check out the alt.bread.recipes newsgroup. The FAQ for that group at
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has helpful info and links as well.
Reply to
M. Halbrook
wrote:
Although I heartily endorse alt.bread.recipes and its wonderful FAQ, as well as Barry's site and Carl's for sourdough (links below) try to remember that people have been baking bread without scales for a long, long time. Although weight or even measuring cups are interesting and often simple ways to convey proportions, the flours and grains one uses can also affect the results quite a bit, as can temperature in the kitchen, temp of the mixed dough and a huge number of other variables..
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by weight is fun for some, necessary for others and inusual in most commercial bakeries, but it is by no means the only wayto bake bread.
The bread in this picture was baked without the use of scales or measuring devices. I am a big believer in getting to know which ingredients, dough hydrations, fermentations and baking time, temp and method will produce the loaves one seeks. Does it take practice? Of course it does, and this is true whether or not one uses scales.
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answer to the original poster, how a loaf should look and whattexture it should have are up to you. If you seek a crispy crust anda fine crumb there are techniques and ingredients that will help youachieve it, just as there are some to achieve an "artisan" style crustand holey inner texture, or a soft outside and inside. What is it you seek in your breads?
Boron
Reply to
Boron Elgar
Boron Elgar wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
Yeah, I don't measure either, but for someone starting out, I think it's best to measure to get a feel for how things work, and weight is the best way to ensure consistancy. That's they only reason I weigh out the ingredients for the pizza dough we make @ church now, is for consistancy.
As to temperature, King Arthur Flour has a document about how to guage the temperatures and calculate the best temp for the water.
Reply to
M. Halbrook
wrote:
Cooking for large groups falls into the commercial end of it, even if there is no money involved.
One of the nice things to do is watch a whole bunch of pros (either advanced home bakers or "real" ones) baking. Each will have a different technique, but there is still a lot to learn after seeing them, and then reading books such as Reinhart's or similar will make more sense.
I recommend these videos, using "bread" as a search term. Lots of fun to watch. I recommend them to beginners or to seasoned bakers.
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Reply to
Boron Elgar
wrote:
I have never tagged them back to the series, so I do not know. There are a lot of videos that cover much more than baking on that site.
Boron
Reply to
Boron Elgar
Boron Elgar wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
I answered my own question, they are. The "Baking With Julia" cookbook was written at the same time the baking portions of what is on that site were made, the book is kinda like a companion to the show they were from. I think there was a general cooking book as well.
Reply to
M. Halbrook

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