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How can I adapt my recipe for Chestnut loaf?

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Question

I was trying to make a chestnut loaf, by modifying another recipe. Also, I was trying to do it the easy way by making the dough in the breadmaker. The recipe I used was basically 1 tsp yeast, 320 g of strong white flour, 80g of chestnut flour, 15g of butter, 1 tsp salt, 290 ml of water. But the dough when it came out was incredibly wet and sticky. I rescued it by kneading in some extra strong white flour until the consistency seemed more normal, then let it rise in a bread tin. Can you suggest how best to adapt the above recipe?

Answer

Well done for having a go, this is how some of the best breads have been invented.

I have produced chestnut bread using the conventional methods of bread making and I have found that 20% of the base flour weight is as much as I can add to the recipe before I start to reduce the overall volume of the loaf.  The best results that I have achieved was by hydrating the chestnut flour with all of the yeast and enough water to make a creamy batter. Letting that stand for 30 mins, then adding it to the remainder of the ingredients before developing it to a full dough.

I also run a chestnut Mother to add to my doughs.  Not purely as a natural yeast, as you would normally but as a flavour addition.

Bread machines are all different and I would normally use 500 grams of white flour, 10 grams of salt, 7 grams of dried quick acting yeast and 320 grams of water. I wouldn't add the butter. Yes it has a place in enriched doughs, but it can reduce the tolerance of the proteins in breads if added to early.

For wholemeal flours I would add 10% more water.

So lets try -

White flour 420 grams
Chestnut flour 80 grams
Salt 10 grams
Dried quick acting yeast 7 grams
Water 320 grams

Put the chestnut flour and the yeast into a basin with the dried yeast and enough of the water to make a creamy batter. Put it to one side for 30 mins, this should get the yeast activated and hydrate the chestnut flour.

Place all the other ingredients into the bread machine, including the balance of the water.

When the sponge has had its time, put the two together and start the process on a rapid program if this is an option.

Hope this helps. Let me know how you get on.

Happy Baking!

Folllow up

I just wanted to say that the chestnut bread recipe worked extremely well. It rose well, with a nice rounded top, tasted very good, and made excellent toast. So we were very pleased, and the recipe goes on our favourites list.

I've never strayed so far from the bread machine instruction book before, but this might encourage me to experiment further.

Added by: clivemellum

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