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I have been making our own French bread for a long time.  People have told me Bollio bread is just French bread made into smaller rolls.

 

However, my bread always turns out a little heavy/thick.  How can I make it light & soft, like what you can get in the store?

 

Plus, I only use unbleached flour.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

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Are you having problems with the bread being dense or the rolls with the dough or both?  Are you using a bread maker or by hand?

 

I'm assuming you mean the bread, so possible problems in order of likelihood:

1.  Too much flour.  Sift it with a sifter or fluff with a spoon before you measure.    Be careful adding more flour when you kneed.  

2.  Over or under kneading the dough.   Risen but dense over, flatter but dense is under.

3.  Rising --is the yeast good?  Are you letting it rise at a good temperature for the correct amount of time?  It may be too cold in your house for it.  Turn on your oven to 200F.  Turn it off.  Let it rise in the oven that is off.    It needs time to rise properly, but if it overrises, it will collapse and be dense and slightly flatter but still risen.  

 

Bolillo recipes are very similar to traditional French recipes.  No added oil or fat.  Is the French bread recipe you are using truly French or does it have added milk/sugar like Italian?  Make sure it is just flour, salt, water, yeast and just enough sugar/honey to rise the yeast for a true French or bolillo recipe.  

 

Also, you want steam to create that expected crispy crust with French or bolillo, so put a pan with a few ice cubes into the oven on a lower shelf or beside it if you have to when you bake it.  

 

 

Basic French

scant cup water

1 T sugar

3/4 t salt

2 1/4 c flour

1 1/2 t yeast

 

Basic Italian

1 1/2 T oil

scant cup water *

1 T sugar

1 t salt

1 T dry milk*

2 1/4 c flour

1 1/2 t yeast

herbs to taste

(*can use warm milk instead of water and dry milk)

 

**a scant cup means take out about a T or 2.

 

Sometimes I cheat and add 1 T oil to the French.  It comes out with the crispy crust, but the inside is slightly softer and I like it better that way.  

Edited by euphrasyne
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Great suggestions, Euphrasyne, some I was going to make myself.  In addition to those the type of flour can make a difference. Higher gluten flour will raise better.  Also sometimes an extra rise helps make the bread less dense.  

 

The last few years I've had to deal with gluten free bread so am a bit rusty at making bread regular bread. :bounce: 

 

 

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I have been using my bread maker for so long now that I need to start making it by hand again. I am going to get into practicing doing that and baking in the oven. It is not like letting a machine do all the work for you. With my arthritic hands before my surgery, I had a hard time kneading the dough. I think I am going to try to do that again. 

 

euphrasyne, I am going to try your recipe. Sounds good.

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Thank you, thank you!  I will try your suggestions next time I make bread.  I use my Kitchen Aid, for mixing and kneading.  Arthritic hands makes it difficult to knead for 6-8 minutes.  Meh, I improvise. Lol

 

One time, I forgot I was using a 1/2 cup measure, and had to add extra flour, but the bread came out a lot softer....  lol.  
 

Oh, Mommato3, thank you.  I will try that recipe too.  DH & MIL love Bolillo. 

eupphrasyne, thank you for the tips.  It kinda explains, why my bread is dense.  Kinda like me, so says DH..... :shakinghead:

 

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