Your Questions About Rising Sourdough

Paul asks…

can you make pancakes with yoghurt instead of milk?

sourdough answers:

You sure can.

Yogurt (plain), milk, and buttermilk can usually be exchanged, in equal measure, in most recipes. The advantage of using yogurt instead of milk in your pancakes is that the pancakes will leaven (rise, “puff up”) even more than with plain milk…there’s additional acid in the yogurt, which will have a greater effect on the baking powder.

Also, the pancakes will have a slightly tart, sourdough-like flavor, which works really well with sweet toppings (syrup, fruit, etc).

James asks…

How long should bread rise for?

sourdough answers:

It depends…………………….
The best way to tell if the dough has risen enough is not by time—though it helps to set the timer so you don’t forget about your dough—but by look and feel. It will look soft and bloated. When you touch the dough, it will be soft and your finger will leave an indentation when lightly pressed against the dough. If it is not ripe, the dough will tend to slowly spring back.

If you want light, fluffy bread, the dough should rise until it is puffy. The more gas incorporated in the dough, the lighter it will be. Of course, if too much gas is captured in the dough, it may collapse. The trick is to let it rise until you get just to the edge and then bake it. In most cases, that means that the dough will double—or more—in volume. With a free-standing loaf, since the pan can’t support the loaf, you cannot let the bread rise as much…..

How long should it take? A lean, moist dough in a warm kitchen will probably rise in 45 minutes or less. A firmer dough with less moisture will take longer to rise. Yeast is very sensitive to temperature; even a few degrees less in the kitchen can extend the rise time significantly. A change of 17 degrees will cut the rise time in half. ….

It doesn’t hurt to let dough rise slowly. Bread that has risen slowly has a different flavor than fast risers, a more acidic flavor—hence the sourdough flavors in slow rising breads. Professional bakers use refrigeration to “retard” the rise. You can use a cool spot in the house or even a refrigerator to slow the rise….

Linda asks…

Can someone plese tell me how to bake french bread?

Mine tend to come out with more the consistency of sourdough. Very heavy. I usually use this recipe

http://baking.about.com/cs/yeastbreads/a/french.htm

sourdough answers:

Notably missing from this recipe is the kneading of the bread. This step is what stretches the gluten and enables those large air pockets to develop in your bread. Read up on kneading on the net and knead it well before you go to the 1st rise. Basically, you fold the dough toward you (on a floured board) and then push the dough away with the heel of your hand. Rotate 1/4 turn and do the same thing. Always rotate in the same direction. Knead about 50 times.

Also, You are probably working with too dry a dough. Try adding a bit less flour. The dough will be harder to work with in the beginning but will soften and be easier as you knead.

The oven heat and water pan are both good.

In summary, add less flour and knead, knead,, knead

Daniel asks…

what is gluten mesh in bread making?

sourdough answers:

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
yeast bread

Any bread that uses YEAST as the LEAVENING agent. As the YEAST ferments, it converts the flour’s starchy nutrients into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The gas bubbles trapped in the elastic GLUTEN mesh of the dough are what make it rise. Oven heat kills the YEAST and evaporates the alcohol. The gas expands in a final burst of energy and causes the bread to rise. Among the more well-known YEAST breads are BRIOCHE, CROISSANTS, FRENCH BREAD and SOURDOUGH BREAD.

Sandra asks…

could someone tell me please how a sourdough starter should look and smell like after 5 days please?

sourdough answers:

I’m going to guess that you’re looking at a starter that has ‘separated’ into something viscous and white (or off-white) and a brownish liquid. It smells sour.

The brownish liquid is mostly alcohol, and is a byproduct of the yeast’s growth (the same process that helps bread rise). Pour it off, add some more flour and water, and give it another day or two.

Some serious sourdough fans will tell you that you need to feed a start for several consecutive days (up to 11) before it will give you the taste you want.

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