Can I use different flours? I don’t have bread flour.
- For best results, use a combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour as listed in this recipe. I use a AP Flour with a protein content of 11.7% and a Bread Flour with 12.7% protein content.
- If you don’t have bread flour, use all-purpose flour for the entire recipe.
- DO NOT use whole wheat flour. You will have to adjust the amount of milk in the recipe.
- DO NOT use self-rising flour. That flour contains baking powder and salt.
Can I use water instead of milk?
- Yes, you use water in place of milk. However, milk provides more flavor. Milk also produces a softer crust.
- Instead of whole milk, you may also use low-fat or reduced-fat milk. In a pinch, you can also use 1/2 canned evaporated milk and 1/2 water.
Can I use a different salt?
- Not all salt is created equal. Some salts are saltier than others.
- For consistency, I only use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
- Diamond Crystal is less salty than Morton’s kosher salt, table salt, and fine sea salt.
Why is my dough dense? Why didn’t the dough rise?
- When the yeast is mixed with warm milk and sugar, it should smell fragrant like beer after 5 minutes. It should bubble and expand. If not, throw out your yeast. It is no longer suitable for baking.
- Check the “best by” date or “expiration date” on your yeast package. Better yet, try this Yeast Freshness Test.
- Dough will rise slowly in a cold environment. As such, it will need more time to proof and rest. Instead of relying on the listed proofing times, check the volume and appearance of the dough.
Why doesn’t the breadcrumb stick to the dough?
- It’s important to keep the dough soft and moist. Keep the dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying out during scaling/portioning, resting, and proofing.
- If dough is exposed, it will create an “elephant skin” outer shell. This will prevent the breadcrumbs from sticking to the dough.
Why is my baked bread so dense? Why isn’t the bread soft and fluffy?
- For best results, use the weighted measurements in the recipe. Work in a room with an ambient temperature of 72-75 degrees F.
- The two most common problems: 1.) overworked dough and 2.) overproofed or underproofed dough.
- Overworked dough has been mixed too much or handled too much. This creates too much gluten. The overdevelopment of gluten makes the dough tight and elastic. Overworked dough needs more resting time to relax and loosen up.
- Overproofed dough has risen past its optimal point. It will rise too much and then sink. The sunken dough will bake dense. It will no longer have the energy to rise in the oven. Underproof dough hasn’t been given enough time to rise and expand. This, too, will cause the bread to bake up dense.