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Basic Techniques - Mixing

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Mixing

The primary objective of mixing is to combine the basic ingredients into a soft, pliable consistency ready for kneading. The quantity of liquid required will often vary, depending on the type of flour used as well as the level of humidity and temperature on the day of breadmaking. A little less, or a little more, liquid than the recipe states may be required. Add extra liquid 1 tablespoon at a time; it is better to err on the side of too soft than too dry. Take note of the consistency of the dough described in each recipe, and add additional liquid accordingly. The sponge method adds a period of fermentation (specified in the recipe) to mixing. This results in a bread with a lighter crumb and a less yeasty flavor. Techniques for mixing added ingredients into the dough are illustrated in the recipe section.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Use a wooden spoon to form a well. Add the dissolved yeast and any starter to the well. If the recipe requires the ingredients to “sponge,” refer to the method illustrated in the sequence that follows.

Using a wooden spoon, draw in the flour from the sides of the bowl, a little at a time, to combine with the dissolved yeast in the well. Proceed to step 3.

Gradually pour in half of the remaining liquid while mixing in the flour from the sides of the bowl. As the water is added, the texture of the combined ingredients will change from a crumbly mixture to a shaggy, slightly sticky mass that will begin to come away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball . Add the rest of the water, as needed, to achieve the consistency specified in the recipe. The dough should remain soft and not too dry before it is transferred to a floured surface to knead.


Sponge method

Follow step 1, shown earlier, then draw enough of the flour from the sides of the bowl into the liquid to form a soft paste when mixed thoroughly.

Cover the bowl with a dish towel and leave for 20 minutes, or longer if specified in the recipe, until the paste is frothy and has expanded slightly in volume . Proceed to step 3.

Follow step 1, shown earlier, then draw enough of the flour from the sides of the bowl into the liquid to form a soft paste when mixed thoroughly.

Cover the bowl with a dish towel and leave for 20 minutes, or longer if specified in the recipe, until the paste is frothy and has expanded slightly in volume . Proceed to step 3.

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