i keep trying to make soft and eatable bread?

My bread comes out hard and not able to eat. I let it rise then i push the air out and shape it lt it rise again then bake in the oven at 350 for about as long as it might take that the top is light brown. i tried using yeast let feed first then added to my flour. may be i am missing some thing frustrated on bread. i want to learn because i want to teach it to some kids. I use to make good bread learned it from the bread man of a restaurant called sabros. Help me please

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lizzyastro7 years ago
Have you tried using a starter (biga) rather than just yeast?

Also if you use the little sachets of yeast (easy mix or fast acting) designed for bread machines you don't need to "start" it in sweetened milk or water - just add it straight to the flour before adding the water. Traditional baker's yeast does need starting as does fresh yeast, or it needs a longer first rise to really get going.

In agreement with Steveastrouk I would recommend a bread flour rather than an all purpose flour if you can get hold of it easily. Also are you using a white flour or a wholemeal flour? Wholemeal flour tends to give a heavier loaf - I usually use 1/2 white bread flour, 1/2 wholemeal if I am after a higher fibre loaf.
Good point re staying with at least 50% white flour if you don't want it to get heavy.
CodeKid10017 years ago
leat the yeast sit in warm water for 10 mins then add 1/4 cup of sugar to it. let sit for 10-20 more mins. makes yeast produce more air bubbles
The right flour makes a lot of difference. You must use a strong bread flour.
I do fine with regular flour. Bread is very touch sensitive-over kneading it can make it tough, so can under-kneading it. Not having enough liquid in the dough or having too much humidity in the oven can be a problem. The size of the loaf can make a difference-and whether or not you use a pan with sides (how much water can get out when cooking).
Likewise, regular flour works for me.

There are multiple Instructables on the topic, as well as recipes all over the web... but following is an extremely compressed version of instructions I got from a friend [mumble] years ago. I'm leaving out a lot of detail since you say you've done this before, and focusing on the places where I think you might be making mistakes.

I do usually let the yeast have an initial wake-up and multiplication  (a half-cup or so of 105F water with a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of flour, covered), partly because I'm sometimes using old yeast and I've had cases where it died off before I could use it. Better to find that out in the measuring cup than in the dough. If it doesn't foam enthusiastically within half an hour, chuck it and try other yeast or a warmer place.

"After that initial multiplication, nothing should feel particularly warm and nothing should feel cold."

If making a basic bread by hand, as I usually do: kneed in flour until the dough is not sticky and shows stretch marks when you kneed it.  This may take a fair amount of flour (I start with 7 cups and may add up to 2 more, depending on how the dough is behaving), and may take up to 20 minutes depending on your kneeding speed.

Then kneed in a greased bowl at least five more minutes, preferably more; this builds both gluten and arm muscles. (Much easier if the counter is low enough that you can use your weight and full arm extension.)  Usually, more kneeding means the bread will be lighter and more even; I haven't run into problems from over-kneeding. (In fact, I've found that if I let the stand mixer do the kneeding, I tend to overshoot and get bread that's as light as the store-bought stuff; I prefer denser.)

Let rise an hour; the dough should roughly double in size. Punch/kneed back down. Ideally, give it another rising cycle and punch down again. Divide into greased bread pans, let rise again about 45 minutes or until a finger leaves an impression.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes. It's done when crust is brown (may be only a light brown), sides of loaf pull away from pan, and the loaf  "sounds hollow when tapped" (I can't describe it better than that; this comes with practice). Cool on a rack; don't wrap until cool.




dorotheabrown37 (author)  orksecurity7 years ago
I will try this i think i might be under kneading, it my also be the temp of the apartment. it may also be that the oven drys out the bread. it might be the yeast i just have to keep at it if i am going to teach this to children and would hate to look like a fool. When i was ten i started making bread of course a man from jail taught me as i was a bad child and sentenced to cooking class with Joe fuc... cooking class. could you image a large six foot tall muscle man teaching inter city kids how to cook. he did and he was good at getting up to prepare dinners and such. Now it is my time to give back thanks every one for your advice and i will use it Lots of Love. can't say LOL that means laugh out loud. so here is another one LSol lots of love.
A good idea to test the yeast to see if it is still alive, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have enough time to multiply. The yeast that you add to the dough does all the work, which is why it is important to see if your test batch bubbles enthusiastically, and you're not adding an amount of yeast in which half of the organisms are dead. I think it takes a few hours for the single celled organisms to divide (multiply). Please ignore or correct this if I am wrong.
(Y'know, I'd get more Best Answers if I posted more of my answers as top-level rather than as additions to someone else's answer. Not that I care a great deal, but...)
I wonder if American flour is usually stronger (higher in Gluten) than our conventional flour, because sure as heck it won't work here.
Could be. The standard American flour is marketed as "all-purpose flour"; specialized flours are also available but most recipes can get by without them.
Prfesser7 years ago
I have heard--and you probably know what that's worth--- that using about twice the normal amount of yeast, and somewhat less flour than usual, makes for a softer bread. A challenge is that less flour makes a weaker dough that is more likely to fall during baking. And of course, less flour means sticky dough. But I've not tried this, so don't take it as gospel. Good luck!