fruit bread - goop experiment???????

COFFIN GIRL's picture

I have the science lab up and running again.
Still trying to get this fruit bread to work & had a "chemical reaction????? in my batch yesterday. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY! Mixed my normal brew, 4 cups starter, slug of water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp oil, and about 7 cups Bakers flour. I added 200 g of dried fruit. The fruit consisted of dried peaches, nectarines, sultanas and figs. ALL the fruit was home grown and dried - so no nasty chemicals. I decided not to add any spices until after the final proving. Kneaded it all up and it felt gorgeous. Sat it on the bench next to the dehydrator (lovely & warm) and when I came back a few hours later it had risen really nicely BUT had turned to goop. All sticky & totally unkneadable. Turned it out & had to add 2-3 cups flour to get it back to dough consistancy. I KNEW it wasnt going to be any good but decided to continue the procedure to see what happened. I then flattened out my dough, spiced it and rolled it. I placed it in a loaf pan (just in case it gooped again) & left it for 2-3 hours. IT ROSE beautifully. Into the oven & it Kept rising, pouring all over the bottom of the oven like an alien. BURNT FRUIT BREAD SMELL ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE..... NOT YUM. I retrieved the bread after 35 minutes, turned it out & left it on the bench overnight (disgusted) This morning I cut it and it is like a really bad cake inside. This is the second goop experiment I have had. Could it be something in my fruit combination? I have been trying to use all my own stuff as it is great but something is obviously wrong. My starter is fabulous so I dont believe it is the problem and all my other loaves are fine, but fruit bread..... MY NIGHTMARE> Any ideas will be appreciated.,

236 users have voted.


qahtan 2006 May 1

Hi Coffin Girl.. Yes I am a rank beginner with sourdough. I was curious about the recipe you posted, I quote
"my normal brew, 4 cups starter, slug of water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp oil, and about 7 cups Bakers flour. "
I was amazed at the amount of starter to that amount of flour, :-). I thought I was going over board with barely 2 cups starter to about 5-6 cups bakers flour. I also only use 1 tablespoon sugar but 2 teaspoons sea salt, and about 4 tablespoons soft butter.....

I was also amazed at you having enough figs to dry them, wonderful, did they take a long time even in the dehydrator....

COFFIN GIRL's picture
COFFIN GIRL 2006 May 1

figs - we have a fig tree that has been producing figs for weeks and weeks. I peel and slice the figs and they take about 6 hours to dry. I am also drying a heap of cherry tomatoes & sliced in half, they take about the same amount of time. I find the temperature of the room with the dehydrator going is fabulous for the bread to get it to rise. As to my recipe...... I am also fairly new to the whole business but the bread is turning out beautifully. Made more fruit bread last night (for brekky this morning) More spice in it this time - put in just before the second proving, with the figs. Even my commercial-white bread loving hubby has gone back for seconds, so I am rapt.

qahtan 2006 May 1

We had a fig tree some years ago, and although it was great to get nice fresh figs from it , it was a bit of a bind as we had to dig a trench and bend the tree over cover with straw and dirt until the spring.
We did this for several years then my husband got fed up with doing it and it didn't like the Canadian winter. :-(((.
But I never dried any, I put my dehydrator outside on the deck while it's working.
Glad your second lot of fruit bread turned out well. :-)))
Take care. qahtah............

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 April 28

I would suggest kneading your fruit in after the first rise. I think the warm temperature may have set off a rapid fermentation from the sugars in the fruit and you had a massive overproof. Sneaky little buggers these yeasts.

chembake 2006 April 28

I agree with the suggestion by Bill
but I have some other ideas using the knowledge of ingredient interactions
Coffin girl , what happened is that , the dried fig sap that may be present in the fig fruit that contains proteolytic enzymes called technically as FICIN,( related to the PAPAIN of papaya and BROMEIAIN of pineapple, )broke down the gluten resulting in the loss of structure ?What exacerbated the situation was the fruit sugars that are leached out from the dried fruit which reaches to the peak during the baking process allowing these to soften the mixture to the point that it will not firm up during the baking process.
Sugars and syrups are also responsible for the burnt effect and smell?reducing sugars such as fructose will promote formation of bitter tasting dark colored substances( called melanoidins) which are by product of the Maillard?s reaction.
Sugars will promote a softer crumb structure, usually moist as its binds moisture and as there is not enough gluten there is more of starches that binds with the sugars resulting in similar reaction in cakes where the sugars and starches form a gooey consistency.
> Any ideas will be appreciated.,

I think the figs are the cause of the problem.
Try not to add figs and see how it goes?.

COFFIN GIRL's picture
COFFIN GIRL 2006 April 28

thanks heaps for the suggestions chembake & Bill. Shame about the figs.... I have dried 100s of them.. Will give it a go with no figs & then maybe try putting them in after the first rising. BACK TO THE LAB....

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 April 28

[quote="COFFIN GIRL"]
Shame about the figs.... I have dried 100s of them..
Well, if you've got too many........

chembake 2006 April 28

Coffin girl, don't despair ...
if you dried the figs, cut then to required sizes and boil them in sugar syrup to denature the enzymes for several minutes and then draining them carefully on a sieve. Pour hot water to remove excess syrup and then dab with kitchen paper to dry, you can dredge with flour to absorb some of the remaining surface moisture .
Then you can use the figs for your bread dough .

There is another option,is to microwave dried figs to destabilize the enzymes before using them, but as I have not tried them in bread but only in cakes I cannot be sure if the effect will be the same.

Good Luck!

COFFIN GIRL's picture
COFFIN GIRL 2006 April 28

I will definetely try both methods chembake. Thanks again. I have two fruit loaves on the bench resting in their tins. One I have added a small amount of fig and spice to, the other just spice, so will see what happens with this batch. BILL sorry I dont think they like dried fruits whizzing around the country in the post!!!!

COFFIN GIRL's picture
COFFIN GIRL 2006 April 29

Yehah..... I am on the right road thanks to you guys. Both loaves I left in the tins while we went out socialising last night & when I came home they had proved beautifully. Baked them up & Hubby & I have just had fruit bread (with figs in it) for brekky. Needs some mixed peel (I ran out) and a bit more spice but the consistancy was spot on. As I said I was going to - I did one with, one without fig & now, baked up you cannot tell the diffence .
This beginners site is fabulous

Connie 2017 April 15

I make fruit bread with my potato sourdough all the time. I usually throw in a cupped hand full of each, craisens, golden raisens, chopped mango(food proccesser), currents, dates, or any other dried fruit I have. I put the fruit in before the flour into the wet mixture. I used bread flour and I have not had a problem with any goop.

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