There are certain techniques that will help you when you are making bread, they are covered in my cookbook and in my bread making classes.
2 tsp. yeast (7 g)
1/2 c. water (120 g) temperature 110°F
3/4 c. hot water (178 g)
1/4 c honey (85 g)
1 1/4 c cold buttermilk (306 g)
5 1/2 c. hard red or white flour (770 g)
2 tsp. salt (11 g)
2 T. cold butter cut into small pieces (28 g) keep in refrigerator after cutting
Oven: Pre-heat 350°F
Bake: 45 minutes for loaves
20-30 minutes at 375°F for buns
Yields: 2 loaves
1 loaf and 12 hamburger buns
12 hamburger buns and 16 hot dog buns
Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water (110°F-114°F).
Mix 4 1/2 cups of the flour and salt in the bowl used with your mixer, reserving 1 cup to add later. Dissolve the honey in the 3/4 cups hot water. Then add the 1 1/4 c. cold buttermilk. Pour this mixture over the 4 1/2 cups of flour. Make sure the dough temperature is no more than 110°F, then add the yeast mixture. With your paddle attachment mix everything until just combined and let sit for 10 minutes (autolyse).
After the dough has rested, (autolyse) beat it with the paddle attachment until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and clings to the paddle, it will be about 2-3 minutes (dough will be very soft). Add the last cup of flour (total of 5 1/2 cups) to the bowl and now switch the paddle to the dough hook attachment. You will be kneading the dough a total of about 13 minutes, this will depend upon your mixer. (7qt. mixer will be less time about 6 minutes)
Stop the mixer the last 5 minutes to add the 2 tablespoons of cold butter cut into small pieces. Push the small pieces of cold butter into the dough, continue mixing and adding butter until all the butter is added and incorporated into the dough.
Check the dough to see if you can stretch it very thin without tearing it, if so the gluten has been developed enough, (window pane technique). Keep kneading until you can stretch it thinly, with a small piece of dough. This dough is quite soft, supple and elastic.
Form the dough into a smooth round ball and put it into an ungreased bowl to raise. Protect the dough from drying out by covering it, and place it in a warm draft free place (80° F) for the first raise. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Poke the dough with your finger if the hole stays open it's ready to deflate. When ready, deflate gently and remove from the bowl. Flatten into a disc and do the flower petal technique, then round the dough and let raise again. The second time is about 1/2 the amount of time, 20-30 minutes.
Again use the finger poke technique to determine when ready. Deflate gently and remove from the bowl. Flatten into a disc and do the flower petal technique, then round the dough and let it rest 5-10 minutes, cut in half and shape into loafs. (pg. 26) of my cook book.
Grease and dust the pans before putting the dough into them. Let the dough raise in pan until about 1/2 - 1 1/2 inches above the top of the 8" x 4" pan and the dough still has some spring when touched. Hint; put the pan in a plastic bag and blow it up, tie the end, this will keep it from drying out.
NOTE; Never add any more flour to the recipe, not even bench flour, if the dough is sticking to your hands use a small amount of vegetable oil or water on your hands and counter top.
These bread techniques are covered in my bread classes or my cookbook.
window pane technique
finger poke technique