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Stilllearning

Bread making

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As a fairly regular bread maker, and not a fan of bread machines, one part of the process mystifies me : after kneading and leaving the dough to rise a second time, it is always stated that one should knock back, or briefly re-knead the dough before putting it in the loaf tin for baking. Since at that point one is going to let it rise again, in the tin, why knock the air out of the dough?

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12 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

As a fairly regular bread maker, and not a fan of bread machines, one part of the process mystifies me : after kneading and leaving the dough to rise a second time, it is always stated that one should knock back, or briefly re-knead the dough before putting it in the loaf tin for baking. Since at that point one is going to let it rise again, in the tin, why knock the air out of the dough?

The bubbles (carbon dioxide, not air) as they form "stretch" the proteins in the flour, and this is what gives bread it's texture.

If you just bung it in a tin without knocking back and letting it rise again you get worse bread - try it!

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The bubbles will be large, which is a sign of poorly made bread, which is why I don't like many alternative [no knead] recipes

Edited by LadyG

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24 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

The bubbles (carbon dioxide, not air) as they form "stretch" the proteins in the flour, and this is what gives bread it's texture.

If you just bung it in a tin without knocking back and letting it rise again you get worse bread - try it!

I know it’s CO2, I was being lazy with my wording. 

So it gets sort of “dry” and crumbly if it isn’t knocked back?

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4 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

So it gets sort of “dry” and crumbly if it isn’t knocked back?

I've been knocked back loads of times,and I am dry and crumbly.

  • Greenie 1

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35 minutes ago, LadyG said:

The bubbles will be large, which is a sign of poorly made bread, which is why I don't like many alternative [no knead] recipes

I always enjoy giving the dough a good punching when I knock it back, hugely satisfying. I've taken to raising the dough in the fridge overnight, much improved texture and allows the yeastiness to spread through the dough. But you need a good size fridge, of course.

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Yes it’s all about bubble size/ crumb texture. And flavour too, as a longer time proving improves the flavour.

Im a bread machine kind of guy, but you can see the difference with a rapid bake vs a normal bake - the former doesn’t do a knock-back and re-prove and consequently, the bread’s texture isn’t as good as the longer recipe.

Edited by nicknorman

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Sainsbury's so called crusty rolls are light as a feather, why?, because they're almost hollow with bubbles when you cut them in half. Proper really crusty top rolls are hard to find these days, they're mean with the egg wash, but I think they just use milk.   

I sometimes bake wholemeal bread, but with a savoury twist, lovely with cheese. I egg wash the crown and sprinkle it with Panch Phoran, an Indian sort of five spice. The aroma whilst baking it is wonderful.

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