Discuss

light texture bread recipe

  • rosalba on Monday, 1st March 2010

    Dear all

    I have recently started buying light texture bread, such as nimble, white danish, and weight watchers malted. I much prefer this kind of bread, and wonder if i can some how recreate this texture at home. I have never made bread before, I know there are recipes on thoe board for bread, but if anyone could point me in the right direction for a recipe for a very light bread i would really appreciate it. I dont have a breadmaker.

    many thanks

  • Message 2. Posted by AlinaW on Monday, 1st March 2010 permalink

    I'm sorry to say that I don't think you can recreate these breads at home unless you add dough enhancers - if you want to try them, you can get them easily on eBay.
    If you don't, then the best advice would be to stick too white flour (not wholemeal) and use as wet a dough as you can manage by hand. That should give you a light loaf, but it won't be like the commercial ones.

  • Message 3. Posted by rosalba on Monday, 1st March 2010 permalink

    thanks Alina - I dont want to use enhancers so as you say I will try making as wet a dough as possible

  • Message 4. Posted by maisymuncher on Monday, 1st March 2010 permalink

    If you make a wet dough,...then when you have let it rise for the 1st time......when you come to knock it down in preparation to rising and baking don't knead it very much or not at all just shape and leave for the 2nd proving hopefully you will retain some bubbles ='s lighter bread

  • Message 5. Posted by Paulthebread on Monday, 1st March 2010 permalink

    What about making a ciabatta? To my mind this is the lightest bread you can make.

    I appreciate this sounds a little daunting for someone who's never made bread before, but it really is one of the easiest breads you can make!

    Have a look at this thread - it starts with a recommendation, to give you a bit of confidence, then there's a ciabatta recipe in msg nr 7

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    Cheers, Paul

  • Message 6. Posted by AZCook on Monday, 1st March 2010 permalink


    Rosalba, the type of bread you're after is commercially produced by a highly industrialised method. Same goes for that super light 100% whole wheat bread that you can buy

    Ciabatta, dee-vine as the real stuff truly is, is definitely not a light bread by any stretch of the imagination IMO. Ciabatta should be chewy, crusty and quite substantial and have plennty of large and irregular sized holes.

    I also don't agree about wet dough. I find that the stiffer the dough the lighter the bread. The wetter the dough, the larger the holes but the wetter the texture.

    The lightest type of bread to DIY is a white or mainly white flour loaf. The main thing is to get get it to rise well, but not too much so that bread collapses.

    If you want a really light bread with just the barest of crusts, you might want to invest in a pullman tin, which has a lid that goes on when you bake the bread.

    SE Asian countries like a very light textured type of white bread.

    This thread on Dan Lepard's site is the way I'd go if wanting a very light bread - the poster, Syd, is iin Taiwan and was trying to make a light sandwich loaf in a pullman tin:

    White Sandwich loaf
    www.danlepard.com/fo...

    How much dough do I need (for a pullman tin)?
    www.danlepard.com/fo...

    This is a Pullman tin:
    www.fantes.com/image...


  • Message 7. Posted by Paulthebread on Monday, 1st March 2010 permalink

    Hi Odette

    Ciabatta made to my recipe should, with a bit of luck, be a light, airy loaf, with a thin crust.

    I did a quick search for 'ciabatta' on DL's site. The first result it turned up was this one:

    65% water to flour in a tin loaf, 80% in a ciabatta loaf etc
    Now that's a wet dough, by any standard.

    Mine gives a 78% hydration.

    And if you google 'ciabatta', many responses agree that it should be 'a very light loaf'.

    We're going to have to agree to disagree on the merits of your argument
    I also don't agree about wet dough. I find that the stiffer the dough the lighter the bread. The wetter the dough, the larger the holes but the wetter the texture.
    since we've had this discussion before.

    All I can suggest is that the OP has a go at the ciabatta - you must agree it's a very easy loaf to make!

    Cheers, Paul

  • Message 8. Posted by Zeb on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    Hi all,

    spookily Paul, good ciabatta is for me the hardest of all breads to bake, it is so liquid that I find it almost impossible to shape or move around, and always end up with reams of uncooked flour inside the bottom of it. Do you shape yours at all or just cook it as one big thing? I also don't find it particuarly light, though it has an open crumb and extreme bubbles.

    What are the characteristics of the bread Rosalba is trying to get. Light soft airy? Is that right, without too strong a taste I guess as well. I would think something like Dan Lepard's soft white bap recipe which I think is on the Guardian's website as well as his own and would be well worth a try. It has a mix of plain and strong flour and produces perfect soft baps with a light even crumb. The lightest bread I have made this year and the most supermarket like! I know additives are frowned on, but a pinch of Vit C helps give you a lighter loaf apparently too. Use a warm bowl when you mix your dough and make sure all the ingredients are at least at room temperature as well. If you want to add say 50 grams of wholewheat flour to the mix to get a pale brown dough, just substitute that for some of the strong white flour. Other things that make bread soft and spongey are, potato flour or cooked potato, though too much will make your bread a bit heavy, a small quantity will help the bread to keep and add moisture and flavour as well. I would recommend looking around on the web at other specialist bread forums, the fresh loaf, which I just signed up to, is one, and there are plenty of others, as well as here, there are some very friendly knowledgeable people out there and it's always good to get a variety of view points, Good Luck with your bread making Rosalba!

  • Message 9. Posted by Zeb on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    PS here is a link to the bap recipe, you can always make it into a loaf too www.guardian.co.uk/l... - They freeze really well as well, so very useful for making lunch food to take to work... smiley - biggrin

  • Message 10. Posted by AlinaW on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    Hi Zeb,
    Nimble bread is fairly unique. It isn't like a spongey supermarket loaf, but has quite a dry texture. It started life as a slimmer's bread, and hence is extremely light per slice whilst having a bit of texture. I've never seen anything else like it. It is definitely baked in a lidded tin, thoiugh - I wonder is "flowerpot bread" might be close?

  • Message 11. Posted by rosalba on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    thanks for all the replies, and re Alina's comment, I am very interested to hear that maybe a lidded tin might be an idea

  • Message 12. Posted by Zeb on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    If you want a lidded tin, you can find them if you google 'pullman tin'. Not many people sell them in the uk. I know of one company that does, not sure if I can post a name here though. The good ones are expensive but cook the bread more evenly. I have used one, I didn't notice the bread was particularly nimble in it though. Sorry I have never eaten nimble so don't really have an idea of what it's like. But I would definitely try mixing plain flour with the bread flour and see what a difference it makes. I do that when I make pitta bread and it gives you a very tender not too chewy bread.

  • Message 13. Posted by kapow2002 on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    recently in Lakeland shop, they have a "lidded" tin by Mermaid for making milk loaf. If my memory serves me correctly its about £25. I don't buy bread anymore, I have resurrected my rather ancient breadmaker and use Hovis White Bread Mix, and use the "Large Dark Crust" setting, it seems to come out really open in texture, lush whilst hot with lashings of butter!!!!

  • Message 14. Posted by AlinaW on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    Lakeland's tin is the right one for Nimble as I know it, yes. Zeb it is (or was) a circular loaf in cross section, i.e., a cylinder-shaped loaf.

  • Message 15. Posted by Paulthebread on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    spookily Paul, good ciabatta is for me the hardest of all breads to bake, it is so liquid that I find it almost impossible to shape or move around, and always end up with reams of uncooked flour inside the bottom of it. Do you shape yours at all or just cook it as one big thing? I also don't find it particuarly light, though it has an open crumb and extreme bubbles.
    Hi again Zeb

    It was through making ciabatta many years ago that I realised that kneading plays no part in how a dough rises (It might have other virtues, but it has no effect on this.)

    Here’s a bread with 25% more water than your average loaf, but it rises just as much or more - without any kneading whatsoever.

    It was then that I realised that the more liquid you can get into a dough, the better it rises – up until then I’d reasoned that the more water in a dough, the heavier! (Makes sense, doesn’t it?smiley - erm)

    When I make a ciabatta, I tend to just make a small one, with 200g of flour. As I say in my recipe I beat it entirely in the bowl – and this is the tricky bit – just how sloppy or firm should the dough be?

    It’s by no means a precise art – or I don’t find it one any way.

    I call it a semi-batter – and I’ve been known to scrape it back in the bowl and add more flour if it spreads out too much. So now I err on the stiffer side.

    I tip the dough straight onto baking parchment – which can slide around as the dough heaps up on the paper and you’re trying to get it in the middle.

    When it’s on the paper, I’ll take my wet spatula and pat it into a low mound. Then I’ll let it recover and rise again, sprinkle with flour and put into the oven.

    (I’ll get back to you on DL’s forum when I get the chance!smiley - ok)

    Cheers, Paul

  • Message 16. Posted by Paulthebread on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    [Meant to include this on my last post!]

    I know additives are frowned on, but a pinch of Vit C helps give you a lighter loaf apparently too.
    When I want to use Vit C I use a splash of fruit juice. (You’ve always got some in the fridge!)

    I see DL does this occasionally, as well.

  • Message 17. Posted by Paulthebread on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    Nimble bread is fairly unique. It isn't like a spongey supermarket loaf, but has quite a dry texture. It started life as a slimmer's bread, and hence is extremely light per slice whilst having a bit of texture. I've never seen anything else like it. It is definitely baked in a lidded tin, thoiugh - I wonder is "flowerpot bread" might be close?
    I can’t agree with the lidded bit, Alina. I’ve got one here as we speak, and it’s definitely got a domed top.

    It’s a wholemeal loaf, and on the side it says “Hovis is the only major bread brand bakery using flour made with 100% British wheat”. Didn’t know that!

    Only 48 cals a slice!

    Only made flowerpot loaves once - never again! Too much faff - and I didn't see the point!

    Cheers, Paul

  • Message 18. Posted by AlinaW on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 permalink

    The Nimble I'm thinking of is the white, milk-loaf shaped loaf, Paul. I've not seen it for years, sp it's quite possible that they've changed the shape - I'm going back to the days of the Nimble balloon smiley - biggrin

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