The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Managing a high loaf from a brotform

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mattie405's picture
mattie405

Managing a high loaf from a brotform

Help!!! Everytime I try to get the dough out of my brotforms it manages to go flat, even tho it doesn't stick and comes out easy. I have tried making a firmer dough, letting the dough rise covered by the brotform so it doesn't have to be turned out,tried covering it again once out of the form and letting it rest to hopefully regain some of the loft, literally everything I can think of so far. The dough itself has never stuck to the forms which woud make it go flat but I just can't seem to manage getting that nicely risen dough out without it deflating and making a flat loaf. So how do all of you who use brotforms manage to get those nice high loaves, at this point I am ready to throw those expensive forms to the curb for the trashman.............I've been trying to get it right for months now and we probably have some of the fattest birds around from all the hockey pucks I throw out each week. Thanks, mattie

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I've only used mine for sourdough. When I retard them overnight I do not put them into the brotforms, until the next morning for the final rise. Usually, this is 6-7 hours.  I don't know if this helps at all. Good luck! 

mattie405's picture
mattie405

How do you actually take them out of the brotforms after they have risen? Do you turn them out onto your hand, or do you invert them onto a sheet pan or do you top them with a sheet pan and turn them over????? I can get them to rise beautifully but trying to take them out of the form causes them to deflate into pancake like frisbees. Thanks for your reply tho. mattie

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I top them with the sheet pan and parchment paper that I used to retard them in the fridge and then turn them over.

mattie405's picture
mattie405

Thats exactly the method I have tried several times and they still went kind of flat on me. When proofed do your loaves reach to the rim on the basket or over the rim? The other way I have tried is to just top the dough ball with the basket, making sure to cover the dough with lots of flour, unfortunately this to produced a somewhat flat loaf because the dough didn't quite reach the top when fully risen, the next time I tried it this way the dough over rose and lifted the basket........guess it was then overproofed because it fell as soon as it went into the oven.Is your dough a high hydration or fairly firm? I hate to be such a pest about it but as you can see by all my tries I am determined to get those beautiful loves that I see on the site, I just hate wasting so many loaves. Thanks again, I'll be trying again tomorrow

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

myself..that's it..no more bread fix!!

Usually, they are over the rim..1/2 to 1 inch. Have you had good luck baking them free form? or in a loaf pan? The boule in the picture above got the top kinda scraped off it because I hit it with the lip of the stainless steel pan I was putting over it to imitate a cloche. It deflated, but popped right back up. I baked it on a preheated stone (though I don't heat the stone more than the preheat time, 10-15 minutes). There was no steam with these.I Know you will get there, perservere.

Below is my very first successful sourdough, very sad looking in retrospect. I have seen such beautiful 1st loaves..20 x better than mine. Can't wait to see yours!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Has anyone found a good price on wicker brotforms? They are not terribly expensive at the source but in the states I have found them pricey. I would like to buy a couple oval shaped smaller ones.

I bought some of the fabric models from SF Baking Inst. that I haven't been able to get a decent loaf out of.

Eric

browndog's picture
browndog

Eric, I gave up posting a reply w/ photo because I just couldn't figure out how to do it, even with Bill's tech support to Tigressbakes...then I see that indeed it DID work but for God knows what glitch in the ether (could be me, could be...) it showed up as an independent post. ARRRGH. My kid's away for the week-end, see, and I'm muddling about in this computer quagmire all by meself. *sigh* I need a Peep...

pelosofamily's picture
pelosofamily

I bought my German brotforms from the same place.  They were about 16. to 17. Us funds compared to retail at 30. & 40. US.  I live in British Columbia, Canada.  Shipping was USPS 11.50.  I got them within a week.  Not sure about the lined basket thing.  I don't understand the purpose.  You can buy lined baskets at a dollar store.  Or you  can use any bowl you have at home to suit you needs.  Don't know maybe I'm missing something?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You wouldn't have an address from that place would you? That sounds about right. The linen lined baskets I have look like they would work but they seem to suck to much moisture out of the surface of the dough, making it thick and dry skin. Then if it falls flat when I flip it over I have to wait to refill the skin space.

 

Eric

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Truly, those are so beautiful.  You are quite the slasher!  I need so much help in that department.  I love the way you did those.  Gorgeous!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

It's taken me a year of practice to finally figure out a technique.

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey Mattie

I am going to take a stab in the dark at this.  If your forms are releasing well thats one thing out of the way.  It sounds to me like you are overproofing.  If you are waiting for your bread to reach a certain point before bake it may be too late.  I like to poke the dough to see how it bounces back.  If the dent pops right back I let it go longer.  If the dent takes 10 or more seconds to pop back or stays dented it is ready.  I have found that the same amount of dough in a form may take more or less time to rise and rise to to different heights for different batches.  I think that temp and strength of culture are the keys.  Maybe try making a double batch and demold and bake earlier than normal and see what happens?  Then do the second and compair.  Don't dispair you will get this figured out. 

Da Crumb Bum

PS Paddyscake, looking at those breads of yours makes me realize I have a long way to go.  Those are as good as any breads I have ever seen! 

mattie405's picture
mattie405

Maybe thats what is causing them to deflate, I will give your suggestion a try too. I have tried a high hydration and a low hydration dough so far and both of them reacted the same so maybe it does come down to overproofing. I have time before we have company Sunday to try a few more looaves so wish me luck..................off to mix up some more dough and retard overnight. Thanks again...........mattie

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hello Again Mattie

I was just thinking of a problem I have had with retarding and over proofing.  I have found that I have to be real careful when retarding large loaves.  I takes so long for them to cool completely by the time they come out of the fridge they are overdone even though they look fully risen.  I have found that letting these large loaves rise in a cool place over a long period works better for me than the overnight thing.  I keep trying the overnight thing because it allows me to bake without chewing up a whole day though.  If you are letting your dough rise allot before refridging try shortening that time.  Hope this helps.

Da Crumb Bum

mattie405's picture
mattie405

I mixed up enough dough for my large brotform and put it immediately into the fridge to retard overnight, I will take it out early tomorrow afternnon and try again to get that elusive high loaf............will keep you all posted. Thanks for everybodys input. mattie

pelosofamily's picture
pelosofamily

I just tried out my new brotforms today.  Sour dough or wild yeast starter is definitely something new for me.  I have taken a few artisan baking courses at a local college, but I seem to do better there,  than at home . Unlike comercial yeast, dough is more relaxed and tends to goo out.  the consistency is more wet and dense.  A new chalenge for sure.  Any support would be great. I just don't get the same rise as normal yeast.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Just a thought. You might take a look at one of the videos on french folding. This is a process where you are stretching the dough, rolling it and adding a small amount of flour each fold. It is a cross between kneading and folding. The end result is your dough gets to develop the gluten better and you can feel when it is ready. 

The most dramatic improvement in my baking came when I learned to feel when the dough was starting to develop the strings of gluten. Then during the primary ferment or bulk ferment, every 30 minutes or so for the first 90 minutes, dump the dough onto the counter and give it a good envelope fold in both directions and back into the bowl smooth side up. 3 folds then shape and final proof. Keep it covered and misted with oil so you don't get a skin. I'll bet you have better results. Let us know.

Eric

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

plagued me for a while with my sourdough. What I found made a big difference was to do a final fold right before shaping.

L_M's picture
L_M

Mattie405,

I really know how frustrating that is because it happens to me all the time...and so far I have only 1/2 solved it, so the good half is : if you think it is overproofing by the time you bake you can always put the shaped loaf (covered well) in the freezer for a few minutes to make sure the dough cools down very quickly, which will in turn slow down the yeast activity (I'm only talking about yeasted dough - not SD). In the summer I find that is the only remedy to keep the dough from over proofing in the fridge overnight.

Now comes the unsolved half... when I take the shaped dough out of the fridge and upturn it onto the baking pan/peel, everything feels fine and it keeps it shape - but - when it's slash, I realize that it was all a fake rise and there was actually just a huge air bubble under the surface and the the rest has still a long time to go before it'll be ready for the oven. Usually I just bake anyhow and it does pick itself up somewhat but it's far from being great bread. I know that I shape the loaf tightly enough so it isn't that, but what I'd like to know is if I should just pop the bubble/s with a toothpick and let it keep rising again? If so, doesn't that effect the outer tension that I've created during the shaping?

Thanks for any advise

L_M

  

mattie405's picture
mattie405

upturn it onto the baking pan/peel, everything feels fine and it keeps it shape - but - when it's slash, I realize that it was all a fake rise and there was actually just a huge air bubble under the surface and the the rest has still a long time to go before it'll be ready for the oven. Usually I just bake anyhow and it does pick itself up somewhat but it's far from being great bread.
...........................................................
This is exactly what has been happening to my dough, although mine usually starts to go flat as soon as I take it out of the brotform and the slashing just makes it go flatter. I have the dough I made up last night in the brotform now but it will probably be about 3 hours until it is fully risen, I am hoping that since this one has a lot of surface tension it may come out nicer, if not the birds will be feasting again. I made this dough with semolina and AP and it is heavier than what I have been trying so I have my fingers crossed. I will try to post a picture if this one comes out higher than all the others. Thanks to everyone for all the help I've been getting. mattie

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

http://www.fantes.com/brotforms.htm

if you scroll to the bottom of that page there are also some cleaning tips.

They were the best price I could find.

This is my first sourdough that I recently baked. I retarded it overnight in the fridge in the brotform with a plastic bag around it - tied shut. I took it out for final rise for about 2 hours before I baked it.

It rose pretty well but I think I could get more rise by working on my shaping a bit more. It came out of the brotform very easily - I made sure to put a lot of flour in the form beforeplacing the dough in it - and made sure that the flour got in all the cracks.

 

tigress bakes her first sourdough!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks for the link for the site. Great prices and a pretty good selection.

Eric

mattie405's picture
mattie405

I just removed the new loaf from the oven and while it did deflate a little when I took it out of the brotform it seems to have had a little more oven spring than usual so it is a little higher than the bricks I have been baking with the forms. I did take a few pics but they seem to wash out with the flash, so if I can manage to hide the loaf until tomorrow I will take some outside and then try to post them. I am wondering right now what the crumb of this loaf will be like as I made the dough much drier than what I have been doing lately, it does seem much heavier than my other loaves, but that could be the high amount of semolina flour in it too. Thank you all so much for your help with this, I am going to continue trying to get that one perfect loaf with this yet. Have a great weekend everyone, we are having a crowd here Sunday so I won't get too much more bread baking done...........have too much food to prepare for everyone. mattie

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I just bought some oval and round brotforms, linen-lined wicker bannetons and some of the linen liners that can go in your own basket or bowls from SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institute) - they have great pricing and great service.  I really liked the linen-lined wicker bannetons because they seemed to wick out some of the moisture and I was able to get good slash marks on my loaves, which I normally am not so good at doing. 

 

Interestingly, I baked 4 boules, 2 in the linen-lined wicker bannetons and 2 using the linen covers over a glass bowl and a stainless steel bowl.  The ones with the linen over glass and SS were much more slack and did not slash as well.  I had retarded all formed loaves in the fridge overnight.

 

Here is a photo to show you – this was my first time using these, btw.  These are the Thom Leonard boules:

 

  

Earlier in the week I’d used the brotforms for the first time and even though I felt my dough was way too slack they came out surprisingly well.  But I slashed quickly once and popped them into the oven.  I darn near tore one of the ovals and just knew it was going to deflate and why it did not I still don’t know.  They looked kind of like turtles when baked.  But I ended up making the recipe a couple days later and it all worked much better.  I love using these things.

 

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

your loaves look gorgeous.

I checked out the site: www.sfbi.com/baking_supplies.html

They have great prices! I will order the linen covers for the brotforms that I already have - and maybe a couple of the linen covered bannetons.

 

thanks for the info!