Monday, November 24, 2008

The Power of Exploding Dough

After posting my initial recipe for Pullman Bread, my friend Carrie asked a very relevant question:
What happens if you fill a pan with too much dough and it tries to ooze out from under the lid while baking?I'm only asking because I KNOW that would happen to me since I'm such an amateur!

Of course I had the arrogance to ignore that question. After all, I've been baking for years and such a thing would never happen to me. Until I checked the oven to discover that the dough had risen so much as to blow the lid off the Pullman pan and turn the whole loaf on to its side.

So Carrie, to answer your question, the dough does not gently ooze - it explodes. And why did it explode this time for me? I used the same recipe, but I ended up with more dough since I decided to use the full amount of flour and use extra water. (The seasoned readers of my blog know that I'm very obsessive about adding too much flour. I think due to our dry climate, I almost always hold back the full amount of flour and see first how the dough comes together.)

I did not think that the extra dough would be that significant, but note that this recipe also calls for a higher percentage of yeast than the wheat Pullman bread. Oddly, the wheat Pullman can take about 3 lbs 3 oz of dough per pan. The white Pullman exploded using about 2 lbs of dough and change.

For future reference, I will not double the amount of yeast when doubling the recipe (more like 1.5 times). And, I will add full amounts of all ingredients and hold back a little flour as usual.
Happily, the dough lids were not damaged and the bread, although slightly underbaked, tasted fine, supporting my theory that even bad homemade bread is good.


Carrie said...

ha ha ha! I love it!!!
Arrogance in cooking will always lead to humility later on! You can quote me on that!

Jessica said...

Yes well...have you ever tasted my bad homemade bread?? It just might prove your theory wrong. I really need to practice. But I always have so much more fun making really fattening dinner dishes.

Mom to Many said...

Oh, wow!