This batch of bread was to answer a couple of questions. Now that I have the dough whisk to get all the ingredients mixed enough to start kneading can I successfully knead a bit over 4 kilograms (almost 9 pounds) of dough? And after I produce that dough will my oven be up to the task of baking bread in four 9 by 5 pans at one time?
This photo answers both questions. The result was 4 nice loaves of Anadama Bread of about 34 ounces each.
8 Pound Anadama Bread Recipe
- Cornmeal, coarse grind 488 grams
- Water, at Room Temp 651 grams
- (total Soaker weighs 1139 grams)
- all the Soaker 1139 grams
- Water, 90 to 100 F. 651 grams
- Instant Yeast 18 grams
- Bread Flour 733 grams
- (total Sponge weighs 2541 grams)
- all of the sponge 2541 grams
- Molasses 326 grams
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 81 grams
- Bread Flour 1099 grams
- Salt 31 grams
This recipe is the same formula as the recipe in Anadama Bread. It is scaled up from that post and changed to use grams rather than ounces. It is also reorganized so that the ingredients for the three steps (soaker, sponge, final dough) in making the dough are separated for clarity. The final weights of the soaker and the sponge are listed, but if you’ve lost a few grams along the way the bread should still come out fine. The soaker should be made on the first day and allowed to sit covered at room temperature over night. The remaining steps in the recipe take place on the second day.
The left picture shows the soaker with the warm water added and the flour yeast mix. The soaker didn’t change it’s appearance over night and add the water added for the soaker hardly changed it’s appearance. The dough whisk is in the flour yeast mix and was a big improvement over a spoon mixing the sponge. The right picture shows the sponge before it began to ferment.
The sponge sat on the counter for almost 5 hours as I had to take care of some errands. It had expanded up to a little less than an inch from the top of the bowl.
The final dough is shown on the left after kneading by hand and before the bulk ferment. I added the molasses and the olive oil to the sponge and mixed them in with the dough hook before adding the flour salt mixture. I had added the dry ingredients first in previous batches and learned quickly that I was doing it backwards. The molasses and oil are liquid and it is a lot easier to mix them into the sponge than into the nearly finished dough with the flour already combined with the sponge. Mixing the liquids in first also makes it easier to add the flour.
With the dough whisk it is possible to get the ingredients mixed to the point where the flour is mostly hydrated. Then a bit of kneading in the bowl and the dough can be put onto the floured counter to complete kneading. Using flour on my hands and on the counter to keep the dough from sticking in eight or ten minutes of pretty good exercise the dough was smooth, supple, and I was able to stretch it out into a translucent membrane, passing the window pane test. I never added flour specifically to cut down on tackiness, just to keep the dough from sticking to my hands or the counter. When I was done kneading I was surprised to see that I had added 213 grams of flour to the dough.
The right picture shows the dough after the bulk ferment, about 90 minutes covered on the kitchen counter.
The dough on the counter, punched down after the bulk ferment to get the big bubbles of gas out of it. The 6 inch wide bench scraper is on top to show how much dough there is — over 9 pounds.
The dough was easy to handle and form into loaves. As the picture of the formed loaves above shows, the pans don’t all match. The white one is a bit wider than the two on the left that I usually use, and the one to the right of the white one is the widest of the four.
Here are the loaves after proofing for 70 minutes, ready to go into the oven.
I expected that the loaves would be done in 35 minutes at 350 F in the 9 by 5 pans. I checked the temperature of one at 35 minutes and it was not quite up to the 185 to 190 F in the center to be done. Back into the oven for another 5 minutes and it was up about 190 and done. This photo shows them after coming out of the oven. Compared to the previous image of the proofed loaves it can be seen that there was some oven spring, but not a lot.
Here are the loaves, out of the pans and cooling on the rack.
The loaves weighed 1048, 1040, 1038, and 1043 grams before proofing. After baking and cooling they weighed 984, 962, 967, and 968 grams. So, 4169 grams became 3881 grams after baking and cooling, a loss of 6.9%.
My oven was full with the four loaves of Anadama bread baking at one time. Three across the back, and one in the front. I could have fit another one across the front if the pans didn’t have the flatt handles on the ends. I used to think it would be great to have a bigger mixer that would mix ten or twelve pounds of dough at once, but now I realize that my oven is more of a bottleneck than my mixer.
I’d still like a bigger mixer, but I don’t have anywhere to keep it. The four loaves were enough to change the characteristics of the oven, since they needed 5 more minutes to bake than I projected after baking 2 at a time. A better way to up my capacity is getting 9 by 5 loaf pans that don’t have the handles projecting from the ends so that 5 pans will fit into the oven at once. Six of my 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 88 cent pans from Wal*Mart will fit, but they would bake fewer pounds of bread than I just made in the four 9 by 5 pans.