The Fresh Loaf

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Help needed with my Banneton formed bread!

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Jmarten's picture
Jmarten

Help needed with my Banneton formed bread!

Does anyone please have any advice on how to get a good looking loaf of bread using a Banneton. I bought some great shaped Bannetons from a manufacturer in Germany but I have never been able to get the great looking bread I see on this site. I flour the Banneton well before putting the dough in then when the dough has had it's second rise (in the Banneton) I very carefully tip the dough onto the baking sheet but within seconds of doing this the dough collapses, on one side usually. This also makes it impossible to score the dough. Could it be the dough has "over risen" making it too airy? I would really appreciate your help. Thank you.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Some suggestions:

Sounds like your dough may be overproofed. It shouldn't substantially collapse after you tip it out. Try proofing your dough less.

Also, you need to have a strong, tight gluten skin on the shaped loaf; if you're working with high hydration doughs, this is especially important, otherwise very difficult to score. To get that skin, you'll need to practice shaping techniques until you find one that works for you. 

Good luck!

Jmarten's picture
Jmarten

Thanks for your reply, I think your probably right about the over proofing that't what I thought it was too. About the tight skin on the dough, as I'm a reactively new bread baker, is the skin achieved when forming the dough into a ball with your hands around it whilst pulling it towards you, tightening the top layer?

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The best way I can describe it is to think of a blowing up a balloon. The more you blow, the more tension in the balloon's "skin". The stretch of the skin creates tension. You can't blow up a loaf, per se, but you can stretch the outer skin with your fingers and hands as you shape it. That's what you need to do, stretch the skin to create some tension. If you do it right, the loaf will mostly hold its shape.

(I think of it as "giving the skin a facelift or a tummy tuck", a tightening, so it holds its shape).

Also, yes, you're overproofing if the loaf is collapsing. Use the finger poke test to test for proofing "doneness". It's not an exact science, but...

  • ...poke it with 2 fingers: 
    • If the loaf holds the indentation, it's ready.
    • If the loaf springs back (doesn't hold the indentation), it needs more time.
Jmarten's picture
Jmarten

Thank you, I will do the 2 finger test on my next bake.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Thanks for your reply, I think your probably right about the over proofing that't what I thought it was too. About the tight skin on the dough, as I'm a reactively new bread baker, is the skin achieved when forming the dough into a ball with your hands around it whilst pulling it towards you, tightening the top layer?

In a word, yes.  :)

Brian

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Here's an excellent pictorial tutorial on creating a gluten sheath while shaping a boule.

My own experience is that a gluten sheath is not created all at once at any particular step, but rather every step contributes a little bit toward it.  In other words while what you do during shaping is important, it's not the only thing that's important. Specifically, I found that my gluten sheaths got a whole lot better when I started being more careful to always do my Stetch&Folds from the same side of the dough (by turning the dough over just before S&F, then turning it over again just after S&F and leaving the smooth side up); during shaping later, that "other" side became the gluten sheath.

Jmarten's picture
Jmarten

Thanks for that.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Once the brotforms age and dry out some, I find them much easier to work with than bannetons. (New brotforms are a holy terror!)

With bannetons, I'm always wondering if I floured it enough or too much, if my dough is too wet, if the linen is too old, etc.

Not so brotforms. They never seem to cause me the problems that bannetons do.

That's just me.

Your mileage may vary.

Jmarten's picture
Jmarten

I thought Banneton was just another name for Brotforms and were in fact the same thing! I haven't ever had a problem with the dough sticking to the Banneton it comes out easily if I have floured enough.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Ha ha. I thought so to for the longest time.

It's the flouring of the bannetons I don't like, but maybe I just use too much. Brotforms seem to require much less (or none at all after they've aged some).

I can recommend this vendor for brotforms: http://www.brotform.com/zencart/

They're currently having a sale, which I will resist. (Last time I partook, I ended up buying 20! (which I later sold here on TFL)).

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thomas,

I bought my first brotforms from the company whose link you posted and was disappointed in them as they were not made in Europe. The staples poked through to the interior and began to change color soon after being used....Made me a bit nervous to say the least.

After some research I found some made in Germany and Slovakia and sold on this site:

http://fantes.com/brotforms.html

They are pricier but the quality is much, much better than the ones posted above.  Staples hardly show and have not colored at all and I have been using them regularly for a year....

Janet

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The ones I bought from them were Kasskonnen, which I understood to be made in Germany. 

Quote:
Comply with German Food, Articles of Daily Use and Feed Code (LFGB), section 30 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. Comply with the general requirement (Article 3) in European Union Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

They were significantly more expensive than the ones now on their website (easily twice as much), so perhaps they changed manufacturers? Where was the one you bought from them made?

As for color change, that's normal. They go from light wood color to a weathered wood color, but that's to be expected.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Isn't it?

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

THomas,

I am going to try posting pictures of the two baskets - easier to show than describe.....maybe...will see what I can get to pop up.

This is one from the company you posted.  Rim shows 'nails' used.  They aren't staples so what is showing is a singular head of what it then pushed into the basket.  They started out silver in color and very quickly turned an orange color suggesting a metal that rusts...like a nail used in carpentry....

The one above is from Fantes and made in SLovakia.  Note the heads of the staples - clearly a staple.  The material they are made of is silver in color and the color hasn't changed at all.  I use them on almost a daily basis.

This is the inside of the one from the company you posted...note the nails protruding through the canes...Tis like that all the way around the basket.

The final picture is the inside of one from Fantes/Slovakia.  No staples showing.

I got the basket from your link maybe 1 1/2 years ago when I had just started baking.....Maybe they have changed suppliers due to complaints...I don't know.  I don't know where they were made but what they have posted on their site does suggest Germany..but that isn't written on the bottom of the basket and I don't recall seeing that when I ordered and I do think they were less expensive - but much has gone up in cost lately...The ones posted now look comparable in price to the ones on Fantes site.

The ones from SLovakia have someting written in handwriting on the bottom of each. I can't read it...

When I first ordered I assumed all Brotforms were equal....and thought all looked the same in terms of quality....what did I know? The first clue was when I ordered off of the Fantes  site - a basket in a size that your link didn't carry.  Quality difference was hugely apparent. That is when I started researching and learned the ones of better quality are from Germany or Slovakia...

Are the ones you have made with staples or nails?  Think that is a big difference and whether or not they protrude into the basket's center.

Janet

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Yikes!

Those aren't Kasskonnen at all.

The Kasskonnen ones I bought look just like the Slovokian ones you bought.

(Also, to those of you who bought one from me (I bought too many and sold them to people on TFL), know that you bought German ones, not the rusty-nail ones manufacturered who knows where).

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

THomas,

Glad to know you got the good ones too :-)

Luckily I only got 2 of the awful ones before finding out there is a huge difference in quality.  I only use the bad ones with linen liners if necessary but don't need them much so they just sit reminding me of where ignorance can lead :-)  

But good that I had them so I could post the photos for you and ease your mind - so they have come in handy after all :^)

Janet

Chuck's picture
Chuck

...I thought Banneton was just another name for Brotforms and were in fact the same thing!...

The "same idea" was developed independently in two different countries. The "banneton" was developed in France, was traditionally made of wicker and often had a linen liner. The "brotform" was developed in Germany, was traditionally made of cane and was lined less often.  So what are you supposed to call something that's made from plastic, optionally lined with nylon, bought from Mexico, and used in Canada? And what are you supposed to make of a product that's described as a "cane banneton"?

Nowadays some people use the two terms interchangeably  ...and some don't  ...and some do only on even days of the week:-). It isn't clear to me what the "correct" use of the two terms is (as if anybody cared anyway). The meaning seems to depend very much on the context and the speaker; there doesn't appear to be any "right" answer.

 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

brotform (somebody else already mentioned the vendor I got mine from) is the German version, banneton the French. The French ones are typically lined, which is why brotform.com also handily sells liners for them.

Other than that, I concur w/ the poster who mentioned overproofing. If they collapse, then you gave them too much time and they became like little balloons...

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Could you read the thread from Janet that starts "Thomas, I bought my first" where she post pictures of the bannetons she bought from http://www.brotform.com/zencart/

Do yours have nails? Mine don't.

If that's what they're selling now, I'll need to retract my recommendation. Bannetons don't have nails that rust. 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thomas,

I bought mine from them approx 1 2/2 years ago.  When did you buy yours from them?

I think anyone interesrted who is reading this thread should simply call them before purchasing to make sure they are the good ones. As I said the prices are higher now than when I bought mine so maybe they changed???  Everything written does suggest European made baskets and I do not recall reading that before on that site.

A mystery...

Janet

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You have gotten some good advice in the thread but there is something in your original post that makes me want to speak up here.

It sounds like you are fermenting in the banneton including the punch down.

I flour the Banneton well before putting the dough in then when the dough has had it's second rise (in the Banneton) I very carefully tip the dough onto the baking sheet but within seconds of doing this the dough collapses, on one side usually.

You should be doing your fermenting, pre shaping, shaping and tightening first. Then you load the dough into the Banneton and proof for a shorter time, depending on the formula and temperature. Typically for recipes using yeast, I proof until I have a 50-75% increase in volume which takes about one hour or maybe 1.5 hours. I find the poke test subjective and unreliable  but some swear by it.

Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I wish there was something more universal, as the poke test seems like it's lost in time.

Retarded doughs? Almost useless.

Enriched doughs? Less than useless.

I've recommended it twice in the past couple of weeks, but only because I don't really know of anything better.

I've sometimes wondered if an infared gun could be used, assuming that temperature increases through proofing and begins to decrease once it's done (or close to done). The temperature curve would be convex and doneness would be just after the temperature inflection point, where temperature flattens and just starts to decrease. This would be useless for retarded doughs, but I wonder if might be valuable for others. The poke test, however, has seen it's days and needs retirement. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Different strokes for different folks.  Different breads can have different tests!  How about the "float test?"  and then there is "how much over the rim test?"

The "poke test" has the least problems.   All the tests have to do with volume and mainly with wheat based breads!  Now think of a good volume test that also tests dough strength.  Dough strength varies with type of flour and dough recipe.   Different types?   Different tests, different results.  What are we really measuring with the poke test?  Gas pockets?  how much tickle is in the dough boy?  Size of gas pockets?  I don't know about you, but I can feel the approximate size of the gas bubbles when I (excuse the expression) lay hands on the dough.  (Hallelujah!)  A Poke should really be more than one finger, better three, even better -- rest the whole hand on the dough and nudge it... but how often do you want to wash your hands?  

Now why hasn't any techno gadget person come up with a dial type pressure gauge that can test a loaf of rising bread dough?  Something I can dial to say, 60% rye, poke the paste or drag it across the surface and it tells me my loaf is ready to go in the oven in 20 minutes?

How about a lie detector gizmo for bread?  One probe for moisture, a non-stick expandable strap around the middle of the loaf, and a temperature gauge somewhere on the probe and on the strap.  

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

...get his hands on you. He'll put you in a locked cell someplace in Bellevue, Washington and tweek you for every idea you have to offer (and then some). And then he'll patent every one of them!

(How I wish someone would pirate his Modernist Cuisine as recompense for his technology patent trolling. Oh, look! Someone has! Alas, only book 4, but still).

LindyD's picture
LindyD

In addition to Eric's excellent advice, if you use rice flour in your brotform (rubbing it into the spaces between the coils), your dough will easily release.  

I know people interchange the terms banneton and brotform, but I tend to stick with the definitions I've come across in my bread books because it's easier for me to visualize what is being used.  I.e:

"The linen-lined baskets are French-made bannetons, while the coiled reed models are German-made brotformen."  p 114, Bread Baking by Daniel T. DiMuzio.  In other words, to me "banneton" means linen-lined and "brotform" means all those pretty coil-marks.  But that's just my take...

I've not used rice flour in my bannetons because using regular AP on the liners (from SFBI) works.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi,

This movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4RiJs1a92U

gave me an idea how to turn out bannetons (I use brotforms - same idea)

I ruined a few bakes because I was too anxious.

The turning out sequence is only 10 seconds long, about two thirds into the movie.

Good Luck,

Juergen

 

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

When you watch it, however, you get a very uneasy feeling with regards to how toilsome and repetitive is the job of the production baker.