Monday, May 02, 2011

A sad story about bread kits and a cry for help!

Guess how many bread kits I wasted before I realized what was wrong with them?
I thought I killed the yeast the first time.
The second time I thought I must've forgot to add enough flour when measuring them.
The third time I thought I was using old yeast that wasn't good anymore and wouldn't rise enough-- so I added more yeast, and a little more flour-- just in case.
The fourth time I decide it was my bread machine and must be flaking off bits of coating causing a reaction and killing my dough (which happened to me a few years ago with an old bread machine). So I decide to make that loaf by hand-- using the bread kit.
I ended up adding probably more than an additional cup of flour. It seemed very dense but seemed the right tackiness-- you know, smooth and elastic.
So I left it to rise in a lightly greased bowl in a warm spot (on top my preheated oven). 45 minutes later, no notable change. So I took it out, formed it, and put it in the loaf pan to rise.
More than 1 hour later it was barely as high as the top of the bread pan. I was fed up with it. I put it in the oven for 30 minutes expecting it would rise maybe a little more.

No, it shrank and baked into a hard anemic-looking brick.
The twins were most entertained by the looks of it (sitting on the cooling rack on the table) that when I was nursing Peach, they poked it with their fingers and a baby spoon. They even said betwixt giggles, "poking!"
Squdge (the instigator)
Tater (the follower in this occurrence)

The fifth time I used only 1 1/4 cups of water (versus 1 1/3 cups) that was barely tepid (so no chancing killing the yeast), an extra 2 tbsp. of gluten, an extra 1/2 cup of flour and an extra 1/2 tbsp. yeast.  It's in the bread machine right now.  Will it work?  *crossing my fingers*
What did I figure out the problem is?  After checking out my food storage and my wheat buckets, I determined that the wheat in my regular hard white wheat bucket is actually soft white wheat.  It explains why my soft white wheat bag is missing, why the wheat looked different when I ground it last week, and possibly why my bread will not cooperate!
The question for you, is what would you do with the remaining 11 bread kits? 
They were all made with the soft white wheat ground into flour. 
Do you throw them out and waste all those ingredients? 
Is there a save?


Pop said...

That is funny. Both Squadge and Tater look guilty by way of the giggles. As the the bread kits, start over again. Just my thoughts. Squeeze the little guys for me. Love ya.

Lisa said...

In my experience, the difference between hard white wheat and soft white wheat isn't that extreme. It shouldn't be making your bread not rise. You're sure you didn't add too much salt, or not enough sugar? In any case, here's my other suggestions: try adding some extra wheat gluten, which can be purchased in most specialty food stores. Also, double check that yeast one more time! Perhaps an egg yolk would help it hold up better, or ultimately, mix two bread kits--one with the right flour, one with the wrong--together and then make a double batch. perhaps diluting it like that would help. Who knows? good luck! :)

Nikki said...

Lisa- I guess I didn't mention that it also seemed like there wasn't nearly enough flour in there. It seemed liquidy and runny-- I'm guessing because soft white wheat has less gluten and is also softer and finer.

I like the idea of mixing a kit with another batch and making two loaves. Very smart thinking.

Laurie/Mom/Grandma said...

Soft White wheat is definitely not for bread. Is there already yeast in your kits? I don't know what you've put in there, but maybe you can use them for waffles or pancakes. I think adding gluten, or doubling up with the right kind of flour is a good idea.

Nikki said...


There's flour, sugar, nfd milk, gluten, dough enhancer, salt, and yeast in the kits. Everything that's dry for a loaf of bread.

I think I will double them up with the right kind of flour and increase the gluten for the kit with soft white wheat flour.


Sara said...

You could try using them for french bread or foccacia. Those types of breads use lower gluten content. Or you could add Bread Flour and/or Gluten to the mix. Do you know how much volume a bread kit usually takes? If it's significantly less you could add flour to make up the difference.

Julie V. said...

Good luck - I'm with Pops and would probably through it out and start over rather than waste even more ingredients and time experimenting.

Nikki said...

Thank you everyone for your great advice. I love hearing different opinions about the same thing!

So far, we've added gluten and yeast to the bread kits and that has saved them. I've been adding them as they're being used.

Last time I also added about 1/2 cup of rolled oats. What a soft loaf it made!


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