Saturday, June 7, 2008

Oh yeah,

and the first round of bread was only a partial success. I will possibly post the recipe and see if anyone else has better luck with it. It's tasty, it just came out very dense and heavy. I am wondering if I need to adjust the recipe for altitude. We are at about 4800 feet here.
I just found this and now I totally want to make another test batch tomorrow to see if it makes a difference:
  • Whole wheat and other "dark" flours require more liquid than white flour. To compensate for the higher evaporation rate, increase liquid content by 1 to 2 tablespoons at 3,000 feet, more for higher altitudes.
  • It is essential to use the finest quality flour when making bread -especially at high altitude. When choosing white flour, look for unbleached, unbromated flour that has at least 12 grams of protein per cup. This amount of protein will give you about the right amount of gluten to form an elastic dough. Whole grain flours (typically lower in protein) should be used in combination with good quality white flour.
  • At altitudes higher than 3500 feet reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees, but keep the baking time the same. Bread is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 190-200 degrees (use an instant read thermometer). Try to prevent overbaking as this will contribute to dryness.
  • Increase salt by 25%. The bread will rise slower and have less of a tendency to sink.
So: next try, more salt, more H2O, mix my flours and cook slightly cooler. And that's just for starters.

1 comment:

drwende said...

You used wheat flour without mixing it 50/50 with white flour? Ohhhh yeah -- that'll give you a dense little loaf.

The other tips will doubtless help (I've never lived high enough to try them), but mixing the flours is key. And if you try for rye bread, the rule-of-thumb is somewhere around 25% rye, 25% wheat, 50% white.