baking bread with the batter and dough method
That is a nice loaf of bread in the picture on the left. It is homemade bread loaf made with the Batter and Dough Method. Honestly it was delicious and I will show you how easy it is to make this type of bread.
I tell you that once you have tried this recipe and found out how easy it is to make home made bread, you will never buy the bread they are selling in the shops. Much of those breads, that are in the shops, are disgusting to eat. Shameful accountants are ruining the bread recipes in Malaysia. They cut cost here and then they cut cost there and come out with horrible tasting bread that unsuspecting Malaysians are forced to eat. Yuk!
My experiments on bread making at home
Many of you, who have been following this blog, will remember that I developed the Batter and Dough Method at home towards the end of 2012 after about one and a half years of experimenting. You can view the early home made bread recipe here. Eventually, I began to classify the dough into at least two categories.
Two types of dough for bread making
After running many experiments over they years I noticed that there are two types of dough. They are:-
- The Wet Dough
- The Dry Dough
The Wet Dough is very moist and very sticky. It needs to be sprinkled with additional flour to stop it sticking to surfaces. Its best used when you are proofing in the baking tin as it cannot holds its shape and will collapse to fill the tin.
The Dry Dough is easy and beautiful to handle as it does not stick to anything. Can be shaped easily and keeps its shaped structure even when the dough is rising.
As for the bread flour imported into Malaysia I have noticed that the dough made with 66% water will form a wet dough and dough made with 55% water will form a dry dough, provided you have 7% oil in the recipe.
This means that if you have 400g of bread flour adding 0.66*400 = 264g of water will make a wet dough, provided you have 7% oil in the recipe. Likewise if you had 400g of bread flour and added 0.55*400 = 220g of water will make a dry dough, provided you have 7% oil in the recipe.
If you are using plain flour, drop the water content by 6% to 60% and if you are using strong flour add 6% extra water (72% or more of water) to the dough mix. Plain flour cannot hold as much water as bread flour and strong bread flour is more absorbent then bread flour. These are approximate measures and you may need to adjust depending on the quality of the flour and the amount and type of additives in the flour.
The best bread improver for homemade bread recipe
Over the years I have had much difficulty getting bread improvers and enhancers as I thought my breads were not good enough. I became very frustrated with the situation as many suppliers were selling old dead stuff. Then one day I decided to sit down and ponder this situation. I asked myself what is it this bread improver enhancer was achieving? Basically it made the dough soft and rise a lot more so that the bread had a wonderful soft mouth feel. It was then that I realized that I should try adding a lubricant into the dough. I began to use palm oil as it was odourless and had a neutral flavour. This meant it would not interfere with my bread recipes. Eventually I found that about 7% palm oil did wonders to the dough rise and original wheat flour flavour is delicious. You can use soft or almost melted butter and the bread comes out delicious. I do not add any chemicals. If there are any chemicals it was supplied in the bread flour.
No kneading required with the Batter and Dough Method
When we knead bread, the bread proteins come in contact with water and gluten polymers are formed within the dough. These polymer networks trap the gasses created by the yeast and cause the bread to rise. Kneading bread can take as long as 45 minutes or longer. (I used to knead the dough for 45 minutes.) The Batter and Dough Method creates a batter with some bread flour and water. In the presence of excess water, gluten will form. That is why we rest the batter for some time, say half hour to one hour, to allow the gluten to form. Once sufficient gluten is formed you do not need to knead the dough. This is the reason you can make bread from self raising flour with the Batter and Dough method.
Additional benefits of the Batter and Dough method
It was by accident I noticed a few benefits of the batter and dough method of making bread.
1. Less prone to fungal growth. On several occasions I noticed that it takes about one day longer to show fungal growth compared to bread made with the straight dough method or the sponge and dough method.
2. Takes a day longer to go stale. I have noticed that it does not go stale as fast as using the straight dough method or the sponge and dough method.
Bread without kneading looks different
When you use the batter and dough method without any kneading you will notice that the top surface of the bread has lots of clumps. It looks almost like a lava bun. As China was hacking my sites and I could not look into this to improve this technique. I could not blog or run more experiments for 2 years as I had to protect my websites from China. It took me 2 years to develop anti hacking software to protect my websites against hackers. Over last few weeks I had succeed in solving this problem and now my loafs of bread have smooth brown crust on the top.
This year, 2015, after running many experiments I realised that the gluten polymer networks were in clumps and that was the reason that the baked buns and bread showed lots of clumps on the top, on the crust. As the bread was not kneaded to spread out the gluten networks the baked bread showed clumps.
From here with can gather that kneading bread has two primary functions:-
1. It brings water and proteins to form gluten polymer networks
2. It distributes the gluten networks uniformly within the dough.
With the Batter and Dough method there is no kneading required. How did I redistribute the gluten polymers? I used a rolling pin to stretch out the dough. Only 3 minutes of rolling was sufficient. Best of all I noticed that
1. All the gas tunnels disappeared. Do watch the video in the previous article on making bread without a bread improver where I show the gas tunnels. Gas tunnels prevents the bread rising to its full potential because they allow the gasses created by the yeast to escape.
2. The dough rose a lot more because the gases could not escape as the gluten network was spread out across the entire dough.
3. Less time stretching the dough with the rolling pin meant less rise and longer bake time. More time stretching the dough with a rolling pin meant better rise and shorter bake times. Personally I saw 1 minute or less rolling pin time made bake time 25 minutes. 3 minutes stretching the dough with a rolling pin dropped the bake time to 18 to 20 minutes. From the video below you will see that I am a bit slow with the rolling pin though.
The recipe for making bread
In the early days I was using 10% of the bread flour to make the batter and I noticed that if I had used more and had allowed the batter to soak for more then half hour the bread would have a rough mouth feel. My supplier changed his formulation and packaging and I noticed that I could use more flour in the batter and soak for a longer period. That means that you have to be careful as to whether your flour has too many additives, enzymes and chemicals.
|Batter & Dough Method|
Bake for 20 minutes at 230C (446F)
The bread making video
I accidentally poured too much water as my weighing scale switched off. So I poured the water out and re-weighed it. Watch the video and you will see how easy it is to make bread at home.
Keeping bread fresh for longer period
Over the last few weeks I have been trying to slow the bread from going dry by using both sides of the crust / ends of the bread to cover the slices in between to reduce the moisture loss.
Furthermore I have been covering the bread with a cloth. This is to prevent too much moisture evaporating from the bread. Unlike a plastic bag that condenses water a towel will keep the moisture within its self.
This article “easy homemade recipe for baking bread loaf batter and dough method” was researched and written by Peter Achutha, 20 March 2015.