why does my bread smell like alcohol
I know there are a lot of bread makers on MDC, so I'm hoping someone can shine some light on this for me. I made a couple loaves of white bread on Friday. Just unbleached bread flour, water, milk, a little bit of sugar and salt, and yeast. I used a tablespoon of yeast for two loaves worth of dough, and I let it rise a pretty long time (I didn't time it, but probably two hours for each rising). Here's the thing. The bread was delicious on Friday, very mild flavoured and just a bit yeasty. Saturday, it still tasted fine. today (Sunday), when I went to make toast with it this morning, I noticed that the bread smells noticeably like alcohol. I wrapped it up tightly in plastic bags so it was still somewhat moist today, I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. So, what would make a bread that smells like bread, suddenly smell like alcohol? I know that yeast produces alcohol but I thought that the baking process killed all the yeast?
Maybe the bread wasn't fully cooked enough? Any thoughts would be appreciated--I'm still quite a novice when it comes to bread making.
As you might already know, alcohol is one of the two major by-products of yeast fermentation in bread dough. P The other one is CO2. P For some reason, not all of the alcohol produced is being released before bagging. Most people don't think much about the alcohol side of it because it usually burns off successfully during the baking process. P Sometimes if you cut into a loaf when it is fresh out of the oven (especially one with a large diameter), you'll detect the alcohol that may not have burned off just yet. P When you're using a good combination of baking temperature with baking time, any alcohol that might remain will usually evaporate during the cooling process, which could take an hour or more, depending upon loaf shape and size.
If you bag a loaf before it has cooled completely, you may still find some residue of alcohol later when you open the bag. It is still possible, theoretically, for some alcohol to remain in a loaf even after it has cooled. P If the loaf was completely cool before bagging, and the alcohol smell still remains, then you might want to bake an additional 5 or more minutes, lowering the bake temp by 10 degrees or so to allow longer baking without burning the crust. I guess it's also possible that if you use a lot of yeast in your formula, there could be so much alcohol in the dough that there just isn't enough time in the oven to burn or evaporate all of it during baking and cooling. P If you use instant dry yeast, then divide the weight of dry yeast by the weight of the flour you use in the dough. P Anything higher than around 0. 7% instant yeast is almost certainly more than you need, even for a short 1-hour fermentation.
P Anything more than about 1% active dry yeast would also be too much, I think. Or it may be that your thermometer is out of calibration and needs adjustment. P Spring-type thermometers are especially susceptible to losing their calibration, but even digital types can be off by a bit. P There are searchable threads here at TFL, I think, which can direct you in correcting that. And one more thing -- if you use a thermometer to judge doneness in a loaf, be certain that the very tip of the probe ends up dead-center in the loaf, where the area is that is "cooked" last of all. P The interior of a loaf does not bake at a similar rate throughout the entire loaf. P Since it takes longer for the heat to rise enough at the center, then that's where you want the end of the probe to be. Let us know if you get your issue solved. P Good luck with it.
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