The Fresh Loaf

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My breif (but evolving bread journey): A pictoral history

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Shutzie27's picture
Shutzie27

My breif (but evolving bread journey): A pictoral history

The following are some photos of breads I've bakes since last winter. It's fairly obvious I'm just learning and a bit timid (i.e., I could stand to leave the bread in longer for browning, but I'm always gripped by this abject terror that the bread will burn). I'm mostly posting these so I have a kind of pictoral catalougue of my attempts and can see how I'm (hopefully) improving with practice and over tiime.


This was my first loaf of sourdough bread. A bit pale, and not particularly crusty, but it was actually shockingly good and had a definate sourdough taste.


 


 This is an Italian bread I made about two weeks ago. I was happy with the taste and the way the Rosemary stuck to the crust, but again, it went soft and seemed a bit pale.



 


This is a fresh honey wheat loaf I made. It's a bit darker than the picture shows (I have my Blackberry set to auto flash). I would have liked much, much, much more honey taste in it, but the recipie already called for 1/3 of a cup. Also, I was a bit disappointed with the wrinkle on top. Still, though, not awful at any rate.


 


 


My other pictures apparently are bmps, so I can't seem to upload them.

Comments

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Shutzie,


Welcome to TFL. Good to see your bread making journey - thanks for sharing!


It's good to hear that you are getting some great tasting loaves - that is the most important thing :-)


If it's any reassurance, unless you do a King Alfred and fall asleep on the job, it's incredibly difficult to burn a homemade loaf in a domestic oven. I'm sure there are people out there who have done so but you have to be going it some.


Dough is a very resiliant substance and can take very high heat, albeit briefly. The average home oven doesn't come close to generating the heat of a wood fired oven or commercial pizza oven.


Also, when cooking a loaf the inside of the bread is self-regulating to some degree. Theory has it that it peaks at F210/12 and doesn't go any higher. It is useful to get a probe to take the internal temperature of the types of loaves you are baking here because they need to get towards and sometimes beyond F200 to cook through adequately. Some recipes will even suggest the internal temperature that the loaf needs to reach.


After F210 what is called the 'Maillard' effect takes hold and causes crust colouration. Although the bread can sometimes caramelize rapidly at this point (say 10-12 minutes, perhaps more) the temperature of the crust can continue to rise to F300-400. The process  is described in more detail on this link http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/maillard-effect


If you test your bread with a probe and find it is around or over F200 you could try timing it for another 10 or so minutes, then check the development of the crust colour. After this if the crust is not sufficiently coloured I would normally check in intervals of 3-5 minutes. It does look as though your bread could do with more colour and you are unlikely to burn it if you are taking the temperature and observing it closely.


There are many posts on TFL about development of a crunchy crust! A quick search will bring most of these up. A good crust relies on a lot of factors, good flour, in some cases the application of steam in the early stages of the bake and good management at the end. Don't fret though as it should all come in time. I can safely say that I can now get a reliably crunchy crust just about every time I bake but it took a while to get the steaming technique right!


Wishing you all the best with the ongoing journey.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I did mine and found out its 20 degrees cooler thant he dial says. So once I started upping the temp by 20 it bakes wonderfully decent bread.

Shutzie27's picture
Shutzie27

Hi Daisy_A--I read your post several days ago, but since I had family in town I haven't had much time to sit and respond to posts here in-depth.


First of all, let me say thank you so much Daisy_A! The fact that the bread is mostly self-regulating, as you put it, is immensely reassuring and has done quite a bit to make me feel less paranoid about burning the bread. I read the thread you posted as well and got quite distracted with it and similar posts on King Arthur. Knowing more about the process of baking certainly does a lot to instill more confidence in the baker! Thank you again for taking the time to help me out.


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Shutzie,


I'm glad this was of help. I'm quite new to baking also and have learnt a lot from people on TFL, particularly about how to improve the crust. Still working on other aspects of baking though, like shaping loaves!


Wishing you further Happy Baking,  Daisy_A