Reguli de brutarie pentru reusita painii de casa/ All the tips for making the perfect bread

English translation here

Sunt din ce in ce mai multe persoanele care au inceput sa isi prepare singure painea in casa. Multi dintre voi deja aveti experienta in domeniu si stiti deja cam toate secretele, dar sunt multe si persoanele care sunt la inceput de drum in ceea ce priveste brutaria, ca sa spun asa. Poate chiar ati incercat deja, de cateva ori, sa faceti paine, dar nu v-a iesit chiar cum va asteptati. De mai bine de 2 ani de zile, de cand ne-am mutat in Italia, eu fac painea in casa, zilnic. Deja o pot face cu ochii inchisi; nici nu mai am nevoie sa cantaresc ingredientele. Poate nu ati crede, dar este chiar foarte usor. Trebuie doar sa cunoasteti cateva informatii despre ingredientele folosite si sa respectati cateva reguli. Inainte, puteti urmari si reteta video pentru painea alba de casa , asa cum o prepar eu.

Reteta video
Paine alba simpla / Simple homemade white bread recipe

Apa

Probabil cel mai important ingredient si aceasta deoarece in prezenta ei particulele de faina se hidrateaza si se formeza glutenul. Este foarte importanta cantitatea de apa folosita, deoarece, daca este insuficienta, nu se asigura formarea completa a glutenului. In acest caz, aluatul va avea o consistenta tare si o elasticitate redusa, adica se va obtine o paine cu volum redus. In acelasi timp, prea putina apa in timpul framantirii, nu va permite ca amidonul din aluat sa se gelifieze in conditii optime in timpul coacerii, iar astfel painea va avea un miez sfaramicios si se va invechi mai repede. Nu este indicata nicio cantitate prea mare de apa, deoarece se va obtine un aluat moale si cu o rezistenta slaba, iar painea va fi aplatizata. In general, apa trebuie sa fie in procent de 70%, fata de cantitatea de faina. Veti gasi retete si cu un procent un pic mai mic; depinde si de tipul de faina folosit. In orice caz, acesta nu trebuie sa fie mai mic de 60%. Asa cum spuneam, eu nici nu mai cantaresc apa; imi dau seama dupa consistenta, cand am pus suficienta. La 1 kg faina tip 000, eu folosesc intre 610 si 630 ml apa.

Nu doar cantitatea apei este importanta, ci si temperatura acesteia. O apa rece nu va activa drojdia, iar o apa fierbinte o va distruge; apa trebuie sa fie calduta. De asemenea, nu este indicata apa care in prealabil a fost fiarta, pentru ca prin fierbere se elimina aerul din apa, ceea ce duce la reducerea activitatii drojdiei, care are nevoie de oxigen pentru a fermenta.

Drojdia

In prepararea painii puteti folosi atat drojdia proaspata, cat si cea uscata. Majoritatea persoanelor o prefera pe cea proaspata, pentru gustul specific pe care il da preparatelor. Eu am ajuns sa o prefer pe cea uscata, din mai multe motive. Unul este pentru ca o pot cumpara in cantitate mai mare, fara sa imi fac griji in privinta termenului de expirare. Al doilea motiv si probabil si principalul, este ca drojdia uscata nu are nevoie de nici o atentie speciala, nu trebuie decat sa o presari in apa calduta si sa te apuci de treaba. Cea proaspata, insa, trebuie activata inainte de a fi folosita, adica trebuie mai intai sfaramata cu furculita, apoi topita in apa calduta si lasata deoparte pentru 10 minute.

Multe persoane se intreaba ce cantitate de drojdie se foloseste la un kilogram de faina. Acest lucru depinde si de tipul de faina folosit, dar, in general drojdia este in procent de 0,7-0,9% fata de cantitatea de faina. Pentru o faina integrala cantitatea de drojdie necesara va fi usor mai mare decat la faina alba, tip 000. Eu prepar painea din acest ultim tip de faina, iar la 1kg faina folosesc 7g drojdie uscata sau 20-21 g drojdie proaspata. Tineti minte aceasta regula: 1g drojdie uscata=3g drojdie proaspata. Adica, pentru fiecare gram de drojdie uscata este nevoie de 3 grame din cea proaspata si invers. Deci, daca intr-o reteta se specifica sa puneti 5g drojdie uscata, iar voi vreti sa folositi din cea proaspata, veti inmulti cu 3, adica veti avea nevoie de 15 g de drojdie proaspata.

Sarea

Stiati ca pe vremuri, la noi, primirea cu “paine si sare” reprezenta simbolul supremei ospitalitati? Oare cum ar fi, in zilele noastre, sa-mi servesc un musafir cu cateva felii de paine si o farfurioara cu sare? Ma bufneste rasul numai gandindu-ma la reactia pe care ar avea-o.

Sarea este foarte utilizata in panificatie nu doar pentru a da gust preparatelor, dar si pentru a imbunatati proprietatile aluatului, facandu-l mai elastic. Acest lucru contribuie la obtinerea de produse bine crescute, cu coaja rumena, asa cum place tuturor si cu miezul moale, elastic. Aceasta actiune se datoreaza faptului ca sarea exercita un efect de deshidratare asupra glutenului, facandu-l mai rezistent si cu o stabilitate mai buna. Asta nu inseamna ca trebuie folosita multa sare sau ca trebuie sa va faceti in vreun fel griji pentru cata folositi. Am facut paine de sute de ori si am avut timp chiar si sa uit complet sa pun sare sau, dimpotriva, din graba si neatentie, sa dublez cantitatea. Deci, din experienta va spun ca sarea chiar nu e unul din ingredientele pentru care este nevoie de o cantarire exacta. In cazul painii, pentru 1 kg de faina, eu pun 2 lingurite de sare. Procentul de brutarie este de 2%, adica, pentru 1 kg de faina, se pun 20g sare. Adaugarea unei cantitati mai mici sau mai mari de sare modifica doar gustul. Nu afecteaza cu nimic procesul de crestere a painii. Un lucru important, insa, atunci cand puneti sarea, este ca aceasta sa nu intre in contact direct cu drojdia, deoarece ii va incetini mult procesul. Sarea se pune doar dupa ce ati pus cel putin jumatate din faina si nu se pune intr-un singur loc, ci se presara pe toata suprafata, pentru a se distribui cat mai omogen in aluat.

Framantarea si dospirea

Puteti framanta aluatul fie cu mana, fie cu robotul de bucatarie cu carlig. Eu inca prefer vechea varianta, cea a framantatului cu mana. Framantati mai intai in bol, pentru 2-3 minute, pana se omogenizeaza bine ingredientele, apoi mutati aluatul pe blatul de lucru. La anumite preparate sau tipuri de paine, acesta se infarineaza usor, dar in cazul painii albe dupa reteta si cantitatile date de mine, nu as prea sugera asta, deoarece va schimba textura ulterioara a acesteia. In loc sa presarati faina, ungeti usor si blatul si mainile cu ulei si continuati framantarea pentru alte cateva minute. In cazul in care considerati ca este nevoie, puteti reunge cu foarte putin ulei mainile sau blatul de lucru. Odata terminat framantatul, pentru a se forma reteaua de gluten, aluatul trebuie sa treaca printr-un proces de intindere si pliere. Acest lucru il faceti fie tragand de colturile aluatului si aducandu-le, pe rand, in centru, ca pe un plic, fie aducand o latura inspre cealalta, pana la 2/3 din aluat si facand apoi la fel si cu cealalta latura. Oricare dintre metode ati alege-o, trebuie sa faceti aceste intinderi pana cand simtiti ca nu va mai permite aluatul. Trebuie avut grija sa nu il rupeti. Se pune apoi la crescut, cu lipitura in jos, intr-un bol uns cu ulei si acoperit cu un prosop de bucatarie sau bagat tot castronul intr-o punga de platic. Dospirea se face in doua etape, mai intai pentru circa o ora, pana is dubleaza volumul, apoi pentru cam 30 de minute. De fiecare data trebuie sa stea pana isi dubleaza volumul, iar dupa fiecare dospire aluatul trebuie sa treaca prin procesul de intindere si pliere.

Stiu ca in majoritatea retetelor se spune sa se lase la crescut “la temperatura camerei”, lucru care mi se pare incomplet si destul de incorect. Aceasta temperatura a camerei depinde foarte mult, nu doar de la anotimp la anotimp, dar si de la casa la casa. In casa unde am locuit pana acum cateva luni, oricat de cald era afara, inauntru era tot timpul racoare. Va imaginati cum era iarna. Iarna, toamna si primavara, chiar si cu caldura pornita, din cauza izolatiei inexistente a casei, aerul din casa era rece, iar aluatul pur si simplu nu crestea, cel putin nu intr-o ora. Asa ca puneam mereu castronul pe calorifer. Si minune, crestea! De asemenea am mai intalnit specificatia „departe de sursele de caldura”. Din nou, vag. Nu se specifica faptul ca prin “sursele de caldura” se refera, de fapt, la caldurile puternice, cum ar fi chiar langa flacara aprinsa. Facand asa, aluatul, intr-adevar, se va usca la suprafata.

Deci, pentru a dospi asa cum trebuie, un aluat nu trebuie sa stea doar la temperatura camerei, ci la o temperatura calda, de 25°-35°C. Eu, orice preparat as face, care cere dospire, il las in cuptorul aprins la 30°. Asta, bineinteles, la cuptorul electric. Daca aveti cuptor pe gaz, il puteti preincalzi la flacara mica, dinainte sa pregatiti aluatul, iar cand acesta este gata, il lasati la dospit in cuptorul stins, dar deja cald. Inainte de a coace painea, trebuie sa ii faceti una, doua sau chiar si 3 taieturi. Acest lucru o ajuta sa se umfle si in acest fel, sa creasca frumos.

Preincalzirea cuptorului si timpul de coacere

Aceasta etapa este foarte de importanta. In momentul in care aluatul este introdus in cuptor, acesta trebuie sa fie foarte bine incins. In interior trebuie sa fie deja temperatura la care va coace painea. Asa ca asigurati-va ca aprindeti cuptorul cu 25-30 de minute inainte de introducerea painii. Odata cu aprinderea cuptorului, ar fi bine sa aveti in interiorul acestuia si o tava cu 2-3 degete de apa. Trebuie sa bagati tava inca de cand dati drumul la cuptor, pentru ca si aceasta sa fie fierbinte cand introduceti painea. Aburii formati nu vor lasa sa se formeze crusta prematura la suprafata painii, ceea ce ar impiedica cresterea acesteia. Puteti folosi tava cuptorului, pe care o veti aseza pe sina de sus. Daca faceti paine des, va sfatuiesc sa folositi o tava mai veche sau, oricum, nu una din tavile bune, deoarece se va uza din cauza calcarului lasat de apa. Daca nu doriti sa stricati tava, pentru ca exact asta se va intampla dupa multe folosiri in acest fel, in loc de tava cu apa pe sina de sus, puteti aseza o alta, mai mica, chiar pe fundul aragazului. Aburii se vor ridica oricum. Mai aveti si o a treia varianta. Sa nu folositi nicio tava, ci, chiar inainte de a baga painea in cuptor, o stropiti cu un spray cu apa pe toata suprafata. Cu vechiul meu aragaz, pe gaz, am folosit toate aceste trei variante si toate functioneaza la fel de bine. Atentie mare, insa, cand veti deschide usa cuptorului. Nu stati chiar in fata acestuia, deoarece aburii sunt extrem de fierbinti. Tot din graba si neatentie am facut-o si pe asta si credeti-ma ca nu va doriti.

Coacerea painii se face in doua etape. Mai intai se coace la 240°(static)/475°F/treapta 9 , pentru 20 de minute. Dupa acest timp, se scoate tava cu apa, se micsoreaza temperatura la 190° (ventilat)/200° (static)/treapta 6 si se mai lasa 25-30 de minute. Timpul de coacere depinde si de fiecare cuptor in parte. Asa ca, daca vi se pare ca se rumeneste prea repede la suprafata, treceti inapoi pe optiunea de static (daca era la ventilat) sau micsorati temperatura cuptorului. Painea este gata atunci cand, daca bateti un pic pe fundul acesteia, suna a gol. Odata coapta, painea trebuie scoasa din tava imediat si pusa pe un gratar, neacoperita, pana se raceste complet. Este absolut necesara acest pas, pentru a lasa sa treaca aburii fierbinti emanati de paine. In caz contrar, painea va „transpira” si se va umezi. Odata racita, se pastreaza in punga de hartie sau invelita intr-un prosop de bucatarie.

Poate a fost o lectura lunga, dar, cel putin acum, cred ca ati aflat cam tot ce vroiati sa stiti. Daca inca nu am raspuns la toate intrebarile pe care le aveati, lasati-mi un comentariu cu intrebarea voastra.


All the tips for making the perfect bread

There are more and more people making their own bread at home. A lot of you may already have experience, but there a lot of you who are new in this field, if I may say so. Maybe you have already tried to make bread, but it didn’t exactly came out the way you wanted to. For more than 2 years, since we’ve moved to Italy, I’ve been making daily my own bread. By now I can make it with my eyes closed; I don’t even have to weigh the ingredients anymore. You probably won’t believe, but it’s actually really easy to make a bread. You just need to know some things about the ingredients and respect a few rules. Before getting to those, you can also watch the video recipe for the Simple white bread, the way I’m making it everyday.

Simple white bread recipe

The water

Probably the most important ingredient, because in it’s presence the flour particles are hydrated and gluten is formed. The quantity of water we use is very important, because, if it is insufficient, the formation of gluten is not ensured. In this case, the dough will have a strong consistency and low elasticity, which results in a small bread. At the same time, not enough water while kneading, will not allow the starch in the dough to jellify in optimal conditions while baking and so the bread will be crumbly and will get stale faster. It’s not advisable to use too much water, either, because you will get a soft dough with poor strenght and the bread will be flattened. In general, the water must be 70% of the flour. You will find recipes with a little lower percent; it also depends on the type of flour used. In any case, this should not be lower than 60%. As I said, I don’t even weight the water anymore; I can tell when I put enough, by the consistency of the dough. For 8 1/3 cups all purpose flour I use between 2 3/5 and 2 1/2 cups of water.

Important is not only the quantity of water, but also it’s temperature. A cold water will not activate the yeast and hot water will destroy it; you need to use warm water. Also, you should not use boiled and cooled water, because boiling removes the air from the water and therefore reduces the activity of the yeast, which needs oxygen to ferment.

The yeast

In making the bread you can use dry yeast, as well as fresh yeast. Most people, at least in Europe, prefer fresh yeast, for the specific taste it has. I came to prefer the dry one, for several reasons. One of which is that I can buy it in larger quantitites, without having to worry about the expiration date. The second reason and probably the most important one, is that dry yeast doesn’t need any special attention; you just mix it with the warm water without having to wait 5-10 minutes. The fresh yeast, first has to be activated; which means dissolve it in warm water and let stand 10 minutes.

Many don’t know exactly how much yeast to use when making bread. This depends a little on the type of flour used, but in general the yeast is 0,7 – 0,9% of the flour. For the wholemeal flour, the amount of yeast required will be slightly higher than the white flour. I make my bread with white all purpose flour and for 8 1/3 cups flour I use 2 tsp dry yeast or 6 tsp fresh yeast. Remember this rule: dry yeast = 3* fresh yeast.

The salt

Salt is widely used in bakery not only to flavor products, but also to improve the properties of the dough, making it more elastic. This contributes to obtaining well rised bakery products, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This action is due to the fact that salt exerts a dehydrating effect on gluten, making it more durable and with better stability. This does not mean you have to use a lot of salt or that you even have to worry about it’s amount. I’ve made bread hundreds of time and I even had time to completely forget to put salt or, on the contrary, out of rush, doubling the amount. So, from the experience I’m telling you that salt is really not an ingredient that needs an exact amount. When it comes to bread, for 8 1/3 cups flour, I put 2 tsp salt. The bakery percentage is 2%. So for 35 oz flour, you need 0,7 oz salt. Using more or less salt only modifies the taste of the bread. It doesn’t affect the rising process. An important detail when you add the salt is that it shouldn’t come in direct contact with the yeast, because it will slow down the yeast growth. You add the salt only after adding at least half of the flour and you don’t put it all in one place, but sprinkle it all over the surface, in order to distribute it as evenly as possible into the dough.

Kneading and rising

I find that the best way to knead a bread is by hand, the old fashion way. After mixing all the ingredients, knead the dough for 2-3 minutes while still inside the bowl, then move the dough onto to the worktop. For some bread types you work the dough on floured surfaces. For the white bread, with the recipe and quantities I gave you, it’s not advisable, for it will change the bread’s consistency. Instead of sprinkle flour, just grease the worktop and your hands with some oil and continue kneading for another 3-4 minutes. If you find necessary, while kneading, grease again your hands. Once the kneading is complete, to form the gluten network, the dough must pass through a stretching and folding process. You do this either by pulling the corners of the dough and bring them together in the center, like an envelope, either by bringing one side to the other, to 2/3 of the dough and then doing the same with the other side. Whichever method you choose, you do this stretching until the dough is no longer elastic. Pay attention not to tear the dough. Put the dough in a greased or buttered bowl, turn the dough over so that the top of dough is greased. Cover and let the it rise. The rising of the dough takes place in 2 steps: first for about an hour and then for 30 minutes. Each time it has to double it’s volume and after each rising time, it has to go through a stretch and fold process.

So many recipes tell you to to let the dough at “room temperature”, which I find incomplete and kind of incorrect. This room temperature depends a lot, not only from season to season, but also from house to house. In the house we lived until some months ago, no matter how warm it was outside, inside it was always cool. You can imagine how cold it was in winter. In spring, autumn and winter, even with the heat on, do to the non-existent insulation of the house, the air inside was cold and the dough just didn’t rise; at least not in one hour. So I used to always put the bowl on the radiator. And guess what, the dough rose. You will also find “keep away from the heat sources”. Again, a bit vague. They don’t tell you that by heat sources they mean really strong heat, like next to the fire. By doing that, the dough, indeed, will dry to the surface.

So, in order for it to rise properly, the dough must not just be left at room temperature, but at a warm temperature , somewhere between 77-95°F. Everytime I prepare something that calls for rising, I leave it in the oven, at 86°F. This, of course, for electric ovens. If you have a gas oven, just preheated at low flame, right when you start making the dough. As soon as the dough is ready, turn off the oven and leave the dough rise inside.

Preheating the oven and baking time

This step is very important. When you put the bread into the oven, this must be very well heated. It must already have the temperature you will bake the bread at. So make sure you turn the oven on 25-30 minutes before putting the bread inside. When turning the oven on, it will be best if you’ll also put inside a tray with 1-1,5 inch of water. The steam formed will not allow the premature crust to form on the surface of the bread, which would not let the bread rise. You can either set the tray with water on the top rack or right on the bottom. Either way the steam will cover the bread. If you don’t want to use a tray with water, you can just spray the surface of the bread with water and immediately put in the oven. But if you do use the tray, be very very careful when opening the door to place the bread. Don’t stand right in front of the oven, because the steam is extremely hot and will burn your skin. Believe me, I did that, too.

Baking the bread takes place in 2 steps. First at 240°C(static)/475°F/gas mark 9 , for 20 minutes, then 30 minutes at 190°C (ventilated)/200° (static)/gas mark 6. The baking time also depends for every oven. So if you think that the bread gets brown at the surface too fast, set the oven back at the static option or turn the heat on a lower temperature. You’ll know the bread is done when it turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Once baked, remove it immediately from the tray and let cool completely on a wire rack. This will prevent the bread from “sweating”, due to the hot steam. You can store the bread in  a bread box or a paper bag. If your bread goes a bit stale, you can always use it to make croutons, bread pudding or french toast.

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