Liquids should be warm not hot. Rather than getting all technical and breaking out the thermometers. Test on inside of wrist as you would baby bottle milk. Proper temperature aids in the dough rising quickly. Overly hot will kill the yeast. Cold temperatures, and the yeast will not rise. On both Raise cycles the dough should double in volume. Your flour and other ingredients should all be at least room temperature. Make sure to oil the dough, and oil your rising bowl, or container. Cover and raise dough in a warm draft free location.
We use a bread machine to speed mixing the dough and the first rise. The benefit of a bread machine is consistent results. When baking multiple loaves you can keep producing a ready batch every 45 minutes, ready for the second rise in your bread pan.
This dough can be made using any traditional method including the old fashioned by hand method, or a mixer with a dough hook. By hand, the more you knead, the better the bread. Many people that get poor results when baking bread fail at the temperature, and or not enough kneading. Other yeast killers are combining your yeast and salt in the liquids. The salt will kill the yeast. Mix your yeast with warm liquids and allow it to “grow”. Combined ingredients as recipe indicates. With any tried and tested recipe you might be following pay particular attention to how and when the salt is added.
Just prior to placing in bowl or bread pan to raise, lightly coat all surfaces of the dough with olive or or vegetable oil. Loosely cover it with a light cloth towel and place in a warm place.
Rising works best in a warm moist environment. I use (2) stainless steamer trays. The 6 inch deep, half size steamer tray 10×12 inch.
Or full size if doing English muffins or multiple loaves. In the bottom tray, add a 1/2 inch of very hot tap water. A wire rack placed in that hot water (Rack should be slightly above the water level). Then place the bread pan with the oiled dough in it, on top of the rack. The second stainless tray placed inverted as a domed cover. This is placed on the top of the warm stove with the oven preheating. This warm, moist environment raises your dough quickly, usually in 30 minutes so. Standard size loaves have plenty of room to raise.
Full size steamer tray shown with English Muffins being raised.
Top inverted tray is removed to photograph the bottom.
There is a wire rack under the muffins (English Muffin Photo) that is foiled covered for this English muffin technique.
Trays and properly sized racks are available at restaurant supply places
Other options are foil type trays, Dutch Oven with a trivet inside, then set in the sun, etc. I have also used an ice chest with hot water and pans to lift the loaf pans above the water…no ice 🙂 Anything you have around the house that can trap the warmth and moisture. Also before starting the “raise” process, remember to coat the dough with vegetable oil or olive oil. Spray Pam works great and is easy to apply with no waste.
After removing the baked bread from the oven, and still hot, rub all surfaces with butter for a soft crust.
Note: Dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. See the link below for more details.
No…this bread does not taste like coconut.
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