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Re: bread

Postby Renee » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:11 pm

Thanks for the flatbread recipe EM. I'm looking forward to trying it!

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Re: bread

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:28 pm

Bringing this back to the top....

My attempt at making the (Nigella ) fool proof bread failed yesterday. Not entirely, as it still tastes nice, but it will serve me right for trying to be too ambitious with changing the recipe. In the past I have used 100% white, or 50/50 white and wholemeal, or more recently Allinson's Country Grain bread flour - all with great success.

At my last visit to Tesco I also bought Spelt and White Rye flour, so yesterday I used 50% of the Country Grain the equal parts spelt and white rye. Things didn't look right after the first hour prove - It was extremely sticky, but I carried on and attempted to do a bit of kneading to knock it back before the second prove in the bread tin. It was still so sticky that I barely managed to get it into the bread tin. It never rose any more but it was past the point of now return, so baked it.

It tastes really nice, but if this had been my first attempt, I wouldn't do it again. Any suggestions as to what went wrong ? I have never baked with (white) rye, or spelt before so I can only think one of those could have been the culprit, but expecting one of the bread makers on here will know ...

TIA as always

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Re: bread

Postby dennispc » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:35 pm

Both flours are low in gluten, not sure with white rye as I’ve ever used it. Made loaves 50/50 with white flour and spelt. That rose as normal, though OH described it as heavier than my normal loaf.

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Re: bread

Postby scullion » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:49 pm

actually, spelt is higher in gluten than ordinary wheat - according to an ethnobotanist friend who grows ancient grains. it's just a slightly different form of gluten that is more water soluble.

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Re: bread

Postby Gillthepainter » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:11 pm

It sounds like too much water.
When you change flours, you usually have to adapt the recipe water too. I don't know the recipe, but I'm happy to work with very wet sticky doughs.
It's the drier ones I don't like the results sometimes.

How much water and how much flour did you use?

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Re: bread

Postby slimpersoninside » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:12 pm

I agree with the above, rye is low in gluten and the gluten in spelt is "different", this needs to be taken into account when making bread.

I've often seen it written that one should make the recipe as is (all recipes not just bread) the first time then play around with it, this way should it go "wrong" it can be determined if it is the recipe or the variations at fault.

Hope you have more luck next time Patsy :thumbsup .

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Re: bread

Postby ZeroCook » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:20 pm

Old yeast? Have you checked your yeast PatsyMF?
Changing up flours will alter consistency and texture but shouldn't stop the dough from rising.
The only times Ive had non rising dough is when I've forgotten to add it (it has happened :D) or has been old.
Last edited by ZeroCook on Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: bread

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:22 pm

Gillthepainter wrote:It sounds like too much water.
When you change flours, you usually have to adapt the recipe water too. I don't know the recipe, but I'm happy to work with very wet sticky doughs.
It's the drier ones I don't like the results sometimes.

How much water and how much flour did you use?


You might be right Gill - it was mighty sticky. Nigella's recipe is 500g strong (white) flour and 375 ml of liquid (this is a mixture of soured milk and water - I use kefir in place of the sour milk - this does make and exceedingly crunchy crust and the bread toasts beautifully .. But getting back to the point, I use my old balance scales and just weighed out a 1lb of flour in total which is less than 500g, but not by much. I didn't think it would matter about there being a bit too much liquid, thought it might be one of the flours - perhaps I'm wrong.

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Re: bread

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:24 pm

ZeroCook wrote:Old yeast?
Changing up flours will alter consistency and texture but shouldn't stop the dough from rising.
Have you checked your yeast PatsyMF?


The recipe calls for instant yeast, so all in 7gm sachets and the box bought less than a month ago ..

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Re: bread

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:29 pm

slimpersoninside wrote:I agree with the above, rye is low in gluten and the gluten in spelt is "different", this needs to be taken into account when making bread.

I've often seen it written that one should make the recipe as is (all recipes not just bread) the first time then play around with it, this way should it go "wrong" it can be determined if it is the recipe or the variations at fault.

Hope you have more luck next time Patsy :thumbsup .


I have used the same recipe several times now .. in fact Nigella converted me back to foolproof/easy bread-making .. I started of with 100% strong white flour, then more than once have mixed with wholemeal and/or the country grain flour from Allinsons. And always before I have used my kefir in place of sour milk.

This is the first time I have used Spelt and white Rye in the same mix. I now understand that rye is low in gluten, but how is spelt 'different' ? In what way ? I do suspect though that is could have been the rye ...

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Re: bread

Postby ZeroCook » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:33 pm

Sainsbogs and similarly packaged sachets of yeast have sometimes been bad offenders even when not out of date. :?

Do you have a link to the recipe?

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Re: bread

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:40 pm


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Re: bread

Postby ZeroCook » Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:01 pm

The only other possible explanation I can think of other than yeast is that it needed a lot more time to rise ....

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Re: bread

Postby slimpersoninside » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:23 am

PatsyMFagan wrote:
slimpersoninside wrote:I agree with the above, rye is low in gluten and the gluten in spelt is "different", this needs to be taken into account when making bread.

I've often seen it written that one should make the recipe as is (all recipes not just bread) the first time then play around with it, this way should it go "wrong" it can be determined if it is the recipe or the variations at fault.

Hope you have more luck next time Patsy :thumbsup .


I have used the same recipe several times now .. in fact Nigella converted me back to foolproof/easy bread-making .. I started of with 100% strong white flour, then more than once have mixed with wholemeal and/or the country grain flour from Allinsons. And always before I have used my kefir in place of sour milk.

This is the first time I have used Spelt and white Rye in the same mix. I now understand that rye is low in gluten, but how is spelt 'different' ? In what way ? I do suspect though that is could have been the rye ...

Sorry, I misunderstood, I thought you were using this recipe for the first time.

I knew rye lacked gluten but needed a quick Google about spelt. It seems it's something to do with the gluten breaking down easier and producing a crumblier texture.

I was under the impression having a wetter dough produced a better rise. Don't take this as gospel as I'm no master bread maker.

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Re: bread

Postby Pampy » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:31 am

I've never really managed to get a good rise when I use rye flour, no matter what the proportion I use, nor what type of flour I use with it. Shame, as i really like rye bread but have given up trying to make it.

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Re: bread

Postby dennispc » Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:28 pm

I didn't know spelt had high levels of gluten and was different, nice to learn something new.

We’ve a gluten intolerant friend, who is fine with Spelt. Andrew Whitley describes the gluten as being weak, presumably its higher absorption of water reduces whatever it is that causes problems to some people. If anyone has more information please post.

There’s a baker in Bampton Devon who produces a bread from ancient grains. The pub grandson works at now as a shop section, which will be selling it, so we should be able to get a loaf some time. That’ll be interesting.

Aside from all that, for any dough that’s a bit on the wet side, I use an oil on hands and worktop for working it. Now that’s all I use, few drops of oil each time.

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Re: bread

Postby PatsyMFagan » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:01 pm

I think I will settle for the 'knowledge' that it was the rye wot dunnit .... I am certain I have used spelt before without any failure, and as others have said getting a good rise with that.

I have now rooted the bag from the recycling bin (I had a spare jar to fill) ... there is a recipe for herby rye scones, but no mention of bread .. I will give the scones a go and put the bread failure down to experience ;)

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Re: bread

Postby Renee » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:18 pm

I'm so sorry to hear of your experience Pat.

I rarely eat or bake bread these days, but I occasionally buy a very nice Rye, Spelt and Seed bread from Sainsbury. It doesn't contain any added yeast, but it does contain added wheat gluten. Maybe this is the solution?

https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/pro ... rence-400g
Last edited by Renee on Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: bread

Postby jeral » Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:23 pm

I read up on spelt in various sites and learned a couple of things. I didn't post as I wouldn't know to what extent the wheat and rye would cancel or mitigate the spelt characteristics.

Anyway, briefly:
- If using spelt only, find a recipe designed for it.
- Spelt mix will be watery loose; adding more flour will make it undesirably dry and crumbly. One reader's tip was to make the mix with a wooden spoon rather than using hands (didn't say why; perhaps not to overwork the gluten?).
- Spelt mix rises quickly - 45 mins in a warm place and that's about as much as it's going to rise.
- Don't punch it back or it'll flatten it never to rise again, because...
- ...spelt is a brief fold-and-stretch dough, not a knead it endlessly dough or two-rise dough.
- Spelt doesn't give a high loft, airy loaf, so is more suited to pizzas or pancakes, freeform round (Dutch oven) loaves.

As you can see, much is contrary to a wheat flour mix, plus I never read up on rye which might well have its own dos and don'ts just to make life easier ;)

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Re: bread

Postby Renee » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:11 pm

Sorry I meant to put wheat gluten and not yeast gluten above. I've just altered it.

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