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Author Topic: Baking Prosphora bread tips anyone??  (Read 2311 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timos
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« on: September 03, 2005, 07:50:15 PM »

Hello everyone. For the past few years I have been trying to bake prosphora but have failed miserably almost every time.
I made 3 separate loaves today and two of them went in the garbage because they were as hard as rocks. I checked out prosphora.org but all the recipes (naturallu) offer a different method of baking it.

My last prosphora (which I consider a  break through)  Shocked was soft and not burnt but it did not rise practicaly at all. I put about a full teaspoon of yeast...maybe I should've added two teaspoons instead of one?? Besides I estimate that it was a teaspoon because it was one of those small square packages that you just empty.

So what did I do wrong? My dough was smooth and ready for baking...it has to do with either the yeast amount or the time and degree of baking.

For how long and what tempterature should I put it in?

My last time I baked it for 15 minutes on 375 degress F*

Thanks in advance for any tips etc.

                                           Timos
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2005, 08:33:58 PM »

TIP No. 1:ÂÂ  For every four cups of flour use 7 grams (I have no idea what that is in imperial measurement) of dried yeast- most of the prepackaged dried yeasts come in 7gram satchets.ÂÂ  And here's where it gets complicated: Add 1/4 teaspoon salt for every three cups of flour. The easiest way to do this is to use 12 cups of flour, 21grams (3 satchets) of yeast and 1 level teaspoon of salt.

TIP No. 2: Too much salt retards the yeast.

TIP No. 3: If you live at a high altitude, (like me), you need to either use a little less yeast or a little more salt.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2005, 08:35:46 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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ThomasWW
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 04:34:52 AM »

Okie Dokie!

So I have a couple pointers for you.
Let's kick the proverbial tires. If your Prosphora is coming out of the oven with the density of a brick it can be narrowed down to just a few variables!

On the yeast...
First off although there is a set amount of yeast in most Prosphora recipes however that is just coincidental. Any amount of yeast will do just dandy. Accordingly if you add less yeast than the suggestion you will get a slow rise. I would not suggest adding more than the amount of yeast in the recipe though, otherwise the dough will ferment way too fast and it will just taste like you pulled it out of a bottle of vodka. Now... Make sure that your yeast is active, if you put it in some LUKEWARM water it should foam after about 10-15 mins. Otherwise without the foaming your yeast is dead! That's right! DED dead.

On the water...
Most Prosphora recipes specify adding a quantity of boiling water to half the quantity of flour. Now you make sure that you don't add that yeast slurry to the mixture until the combined temperature of the mixture cools down to that Lukewarm temperature. Otherwise your killing that yeast again! it's not going to rise. Also (although I highly doubt that you are having this problem) make sure you've got the quantity of water correct in the addition of boiling water, AND the second addition of water once the "unboiled" flour has been added.

On the salt...
Again I doubt you are having this problem but don't mix the yeast directly with the salt. Dead! Mix the salt in during the kneading, safely after there is a danger of direct contact with the yeast.

On the rising periods.
There should be three rising periods (even if it's not written in the recipe) The first rising period establishes the flavor, after the first rise, punch it down in the bowl briefly and let it rise for at least 1/3 the time of the first rise. After you have stamped and assembled the Prosphora with the seal those gluten molecules have tensed up so let it have another rising period of 1/3 the initial rising time. Also if you would like a really fluffy Prosphora with a nice crumb, let it sit on the baking sheet in the oven WHILE the oven reaches temperature... Although I wouldn't do this unless you are very familiar with how bread cooks as it will mess with the cooking time a little.

If you would like post the recipe and I'll take a look.
I'm a chef!

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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 02:31:16 PM »

Hello everyone. For the past few years I have been trying to bake prosphora but have failed miserably almost every time.
I made 3 separate loaves today and two of them went in the garbage because they were as hard as rocks. I checked out prosphora.org but all the recipes (naturallu) offer a different method of baking it.

My last prosphora (which I consider a  break through)  Shocked was soft and not burnt but it did not rise practicaly at all. I put about a full teaspoon of yeast...maybe I should've added two teaspoons instead of one?? Besides I estimate that it was a teaspoon because it was one of those small square packages that you just empty.

So what did I do wrong? My dough was smooth and ready for baking...it has to do with either the yeast amount or the time and degree of baking.

For how long and what tempterature should I put it in?

My last time I baked it for 15 minutes on 375 degress F*

Thanks in advance for any tips etc.

                                           Timos

Be sure to post which type you are making.  In an OCA church I once attended, during great lent, it was hard wheat that was used in the bread.  Every other time it was a white bread.  However, they only used hodgson mill flour that was not bleached or enriched (I don't know if that is tradition but it was the way they did it).  Apparently it has more proteins that make the elasticity better.    Also it will hold the seal better.

I would also suggest baking slower and longer.  Be sure to let the bread rise for 1.5 hours.  Bake at 350F for 30-40 mins.  Do NOT preheat.  Put the dough in the oven and start it.  It allows for a bit more rising time in the warming up oven as it cooks.
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 02:43:29 PM »

Take a look and see if this helps

http://www.stgeorgegreenville.org/OurFaith/Sacraments/Prosfora/Prosphora.html
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elephant
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 02:57:36 PM »

Dear Timos,

I use a baking thermometer to test the interior temperature of bread.  Once a loaf reaches 195F it should be fully cooked. 
Basic thermometers cost less than $10.

love, elephant
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