Why aren't my pretzel rolls shiny?

Discussion in 'Bread' started by Eider, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Eider

    Eider New Member

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    So, in total, I've made these pretzel rolls about four times (not all at once!). There's some in the oven now. They aren't shiny. They never are. All four of the times I've made pretzel rolls, they have no shine to them whatsoever. I boil them in water with 3tbsp of bicarbonate of soda before putting them in the oven, like the recipe says. They are always rough and bumpy and don't go shiny at all, just matt. I've watched videos and when they roll them into balls they are always so smooth with literally no cracks, yet mine are bumpy and cracked and not round and smooth. I don't understand! What am I doing wrong?? This is the recipe I use:

    https://leitesculinaria.com/106433/recipes-pretzel-rolls.html

    The changes I make are that I use olive oil instead of butter (because I'm vegan) and I use whole spelt flour instead of white (?) spelt. Could this affect it? It's getting so frustrating. Why can everyone else do it but I can't? Things never turn out how they should. I just feel like an absolute failure.

    Thanks.
     
    Eider, Jul 16, 2019
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  2. Eider

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I can’t look at the recipe because I have an ad blocker, So the site won’t let me view the recipe unless I disable my ad blocker. Of which I will not do.

    But in general..,Baking is all science. It is the result of chemical reaction all the ingredients based on the ratio of the ingredients to the flour.

    And every flour is different in protein and ash. Ash is the mineral content.

    When you change from one type of flour to another you are changing the type and amount of protein and minerals. Spelt is a subspecies of wheat. So when you make substitutions in flour you are in fact changing the ratio of Protein and ash and in effect changing the chemistry of the dough.

    Spelt is a sub species of wheat. While it is high in protein and develops gluten, it is not as strong. It has a different absorption rate. Your shaping and cracking problems is the weaker gluten in spelt.

    I would recommend you make the recipe first as written with the type of flour stated in the recipe. If you do not have the same issues, then make the recipe with spelt, but mix the spelt with about 20% unbleached bread flour.


    Olive oil is 100% fat. However butter is 80%-82% milk fat, 16% - 17% water. So when you substitute olive oil, you remove water that is in the butter. Try reducing the olive oil by a teaspoon of and adding 2 tsp of water.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 17, 2019
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  3. Eider

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered using a recipe for vegan pretzel rolls so you don't have to make those substitutions? This one allows for spelt flour, too. That way, you don't have to experiment—the recipe makers have done all the work for you (one hopes); shiny-ness included.

    Here's one: http://www.thetastyk.com/2019/05/07/vegan-pretzel-buns/
     
    J13, Jul 18, 2019
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  4. Eider

    Eider New Member

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    Norcalbaker59 Wow. I didn't realise it was that complicated! I think I'll probably try the same recipe but reduce the salt and add a tad more water, like you suggested, but... I'm hesitant to use white flour... I'm still not fully mentally recovered from anorexia, and I'm scared of things that aren't whole grain and I'm scared of vegan butter :/ . Maybe I'll never get my nice shiny rolls :rolleyes: .

    J13 I might have a go at the recipe you suggested, but again, I'm scared of white flour and white bread because it's got no nutrients in it :( .

    Maybe I'll just stick to normal wholewheat breadcakes (from my part of the UK, that's what they're called!) that don't require shinyness or pretzelyness or to look perfect.

    Thanks anyway :)
     
    Eider, Jul 18, 2019
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  5. Eider

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I certainly understand your concerns regarding ingredients. In using a weaker gluten flour, you can add a gluten supplement. Its called vital gluten. You can buy it online in the UK at Bakery Bits.

    https://www.bakerybits.co.uk/bakery...lour-ingredients/rise/vital-wheat-gluten.html

    Just a bit of clarification of the term "white flour"...it is a general term that is misapplied to plain wheat flour in general. There is a misconception that a flour of any other variety is whole grain. Not all spelt flours are whole grain. White spelt flour is not a whole grain flour as it has the bran and germ extracted. Pretzel recipes generally specify white spelt flour. The reason being is whole grain flours do not rise much at all due to the bran and germ. Plus the bran in the flour cuts the the gluten network during shaping, which causes more problems in rising. If a 100% whole grain flour is used, the end product would be heavy and very dense. So when whole grain flours are used, they are normally blended 50/50 with all purpose flour because a whole grain flour simply does not rise enough to produced a quality baked good. If your flour is labeled "white spelt" it is not whole grain.

    I have an ad blocker on my phone and computer, and the web site you linked with the recipe won't let me view the recipe without disabling my ad blocker. But I've gotten viruses in the past, so I keep my ad blocker on at all times. So I don't know what kind of flour the recipe specifies.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 18, 2019
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  6. Eider

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    So, how much of a difference in rise would there be between a bread using white bread flour (no bran or germ) and bread using 50/50, a whole wheat (bran and germ) and bread flour?
     
    J13, Jul 19, 2019
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  7. Eider

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    White flour is a misleading term. I think a more accurate term is high extraction flour versus low extraction flour.

    High extraction flour Has more bran and germ left in it. So it will have more minerals. So the ash content will be higher. These flours will be whole wheat or whole grain flours. Extraction rate of whole wheat flour is 100%.

    Low extraction flours will have more of the bran and germ removed. The contain less minerals, so, the ash content will also be lower. These flours will be the all purpose, pastry, and cake flours. The extraction rate of an all purpose flour is about 70%. Extraction rate of pastry and cake flour is about 45%-50%.

    You can’t say specifically, 20% or 15% difference in rise. There’s so many different factors that come into play, The absorption rate of the two flours and the amount of water. The main cause of difference in rise of whole wheat flour to low extraction flour is because the bran and germ absorbs water and weighs down the dough.

    The other issue is the bran cuts through the gluten network as the dough is handled and shaped. The less the dough is handled the better. So a more experienced baker gets a better rise in part not just in building better tension in shaping the dough, but ii handling the dough less overall they aren’t cutting up the gluten network by crisscrossing that bran through the dough.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 19, 2019
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  8. Eider

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Well, now I'm a little confused. Are you saying that if bread has high extraction flour in it, the less handled the better? But if that's so, how can you make sure the bread is, um, glutenized? Won't a lack of kneading/stretch-folds mean too little gluten and that will inhibit the rise?
     
    J13, Jul 19, 2019
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  9. Eider

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    You definitely need to build gluten in your dough. You just need to be careful to not overdo it. That’s why it’s important to recognize when a dough has enough gluten development. There’s a lot of different techniques to build gluten. The two techniques that are used most often for high hydration are the stretch and fold and slap and fold. I’ve used both. I would not recommend a slap and fold for whole wheat.

    When you stretch and fold the dough over on itself over and over, the bran get pushed through the dough. And when you pre-shape and shape the dough, the bran gets pushed into the dough. With high hydration the dough is lax. The bran is like little tiny blades that cut the gluten network. So you don’t want to work whole grain doughs a lot because the bran will damage the dough.

    If you used slap and fold, Richard Bertinet’s method, just slam that dough down on the counter, you be really pushing that bran through the dough. People do use that method with whole wheat blends, but IMO, I don’t think it’s a good technique for high extraction.

    You also need to be very careful when adding seeds, dried fruit or any add-ins to your bread for the same reason, it will damage your deal if not added in carefully.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 19, 2019
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