Frequently asked questions
Can any type of flour be used?
Yes, if you follow the standard recipe, you can use any type of flour. You can use whole wheat flour, pastry flour or flour designed for baking bread. If you want to experiment with fermentations in the fridge, we recommend you to use strength flour.
Can I use Masa Mater in a bread making machine?
Of course, mixing the envelopes of Masa Mater Secale with half a kilo of flour, a spoon of salt and 400 ml of water. You’ll select the basic programme of the bread making machine (4-5 hours). And that’s it!
Is it possible to make 100% wholemeal bread?
Yes, but with a modification. Wholemeal flours absorb more water, so the initial hydration should be greater. Increasing the amount of water from the original recipe by 50 ml is enough to achieve a proper consistency.
Is it necessary to knead during the first fermentation?
It is not necessary, but it is recommended. During kneading, greater elasticity and tenacity of the dough is achieved, resulting in a bread with a better crust and crumb. In this video, and this articlefrom our blog we show you how to knead. What are you waiting for?
My oven does not have the option: “only lower heating element”. What can I do?
During the first part of cooking it is important that the heat comes from the bottom, to avoid excessive roasting of the top. In case our oven does not have the resistance option only below, we can select the resistance up and down, and place a tray on top of the oven to prevent the heat from affecting directly on the bread.
How do we know how long we have to leave the first fermentation?
The rate at which bacteria and yeasts metabolize flour sugars is a function of temperature, so the time varies depending on the season. Generally, in summer, 1 hour is enough. Meanwhile, in winter, you should let it ferment for 1 hour more. We must observe that the dough almost doubles its size. We can mark the bowl when the fermentation starts. This way we can observe how the dough evolves.
The dough is too sticky. I can’t work it correctly. What can I do?
In the case of beginners, we recommend reducing the hydration of the dough, since the higher the water added, the more complicated it is to manage. To do this, we mantain the same amount of flour (500 g) and reduce the water (350 ml). In case of using 100% wholemeal flour, we would maintain the values of the standard recipe, since by the characteristics of this type of flour the absorption of water is greater. In any case, we recommend moistening your hands to knead.
Is it necessary to cover with a plastic film, or is it enough with a kitchen rag?
Plastic film is required. It’s necessary to cover with film to prevent the top of the dough from drying.
Can Masa Mater be used to generate our own sourdough?
Yes, a small amount of Masa Mater can be recycled to generate our own sourdough. However, the proportion of the different bacteria and yeasts of Masa Mater has been studied and optimised to obtain optimal organoleptic qualities. This proportion is altered during domestication: yeasts are imposed on lactic bacteria, and the results may be somewhat different depending on the flour you use.
Can I save part of the envelopes for another use?
It’s not recommended. Each envelope is packaged in a protective atmosphere, so opening it loses this method of preservation. The bacteria and yeasts that the envelopes contain could be affected by the presence of oxygen, so saving a part of the envelopes without the original conditions could affect the viability of the microorganisms.
I’m going on a trip and I won’t be able to keep the envelope cold. How long can it be at room temperature?
You can mantain the envelopes at a room-temperature if the conditions are not too hot. If it’s too hot it’s highly recommended to keep the envelopes refrigerated.
What if the first fermentation exceeds the required time?
When the time of the first fermentation is longer than required, the acidity of the bread will increase considerably. Also, if the dough is overfermented, it will be sticky and difficult to manage.
If it’s raw, can I put it back in a little bit more, even if I’ve already taken it out of the oven?
The cooking time depends on the size of the pieces. A baguette takes half an hour to cook, while a loaf can take almost an hour. If the original recipe is followed, including the times and the temperatures, adapting them to each oven, the bread will come out baked perfectly.
I don’t have any rack to let the bread cool down. What should I do?
It is important that the bread cools down avoiding the condensation of the steam at the bottom. If we don’t have a rack, we can place the ends of the bread on, for example, two cups.
What do I do if the dough is too soft and sticky? I can’t form any bread with it.
If the dough is very sticky and uncontrollable, it is better to make small pieces, because they will maintain better the shape during the second fermentation and the baking process.