The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Daniel Leader's quintessential French sourdough with sesame seeds

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goodforbusiness's picture
goodforbusiness

Daniel Leader's quintessential French sourdough with sesame seeds

Long time lurker, first time poster. This was one of the very first breads I learned how to make, from the very first bread book I ever owned. It's been a long, slow learning curve, but I eventually figured out how many times to refresh my starter out of the fridge before a bake, how much steam to use, how to shape, how to score (I've produced many delicious but extremely ugly loaves over the past few years), etc. The one on the left is perfect, but the one on the right had a small blow out that broke the surface tension, ruining one of the scores and slightly reshaping the loaf itself. I suspect that I probably didn't degass well enough before I did the final shaping...  does anyone have any other ideas about what I might have done wrong here?

(Apologies for the bad pictures... I'm a terrible photog, and I only have the camera on my phone)

 

djeffsmith's picture
djeffsmith

They look great!

 

 

goodforbusiness's picture
goodforbusiness

Many thanks!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, and welcome!

your loaves look wonderful! As to the blow on the loaf , its probably beacuse this scoring pattern is not preferred for this loaf shape. Another reason would be that home ovens aren't perfect heat distributers. Therefore, the blow may have been a factor of excess heat in one area. Third reason is the scoring depth. If your score with even depth, your should get the scores to open up where you want them to.

 

goodforbusiness's picture
goodforbusiness

Thanks very much for these tips. It's entirely likely that my scores are not of uniform depth because my scoring, until yesterday, has been consistently and embarassingly bad for basically as long as I've been baking bread. And the heat distribution of my oven is definitely an issue... it gets way hotter in the back, so much so that the crust is significantly harder and crustier than in the front. I've  wondered about whether or not it's a good idea to turn loaves around at some point during the bake in order to get even heat distribution, but this seems like it could be a bad idea. Do you have any thoughts about this?

Thanks again!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi again
Is your oven fan assisted? (with convection?). If yes, then your problem is solved. If not, then your best bet would be to use the thickest, most reliable baking stone you could get your hands on, and preheat it sufficiently (upto 1 hour) and load your loaves onto it. Reduce the temperature of the oven once you load your loaf and allow the stone's radiant heat to evenly cook the loaf from the bottom up. This is one way to get even heat round your loaf. Some use two stones, one below the loaf, and the other above.

goodforbusiness's picture
goodforbusiness

Sadly, I have a crappy oven in a rental unit (I don't think the landlord is in any hurry to update the appliances in the near future) that is most definitely not fan assisted. I do use a stone, about 1 inch thick, and I let the oven preheat for an hour and a half at 500˚F (highest setting), lowering the temperature to 450˚F when I put them in, and then again to 400˚F after 15 minutes, as per the instructions in the recipe. Is it possible I preheated for too long?

Thank you very much for the helpful tips! I really appreciate it. :)

Zen's picture
Zen

How would this problem be solved with a convection oven? Do you bake all your breads with convection?

gerhard's picture
gerhard

Convection does solve some of the uneaven heat issues of the oven but I found ours still had cool spots in the rear corners of the top and bottom shelf.

Gerhard

Mebake's picture
Mebake

No, I wouldn' think that preheating longer would adveresly affect the score bloom. It is evident now that your oven has hot spots. Honestly, for an old oevn, your loaves look beautiful!

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

I rotate my loaves once, 180 degrees, after moderate browning of the crust, to get a more even crust, so you  might try that. Just try to be quick and don't leave the oven door open long. Your total bake time might increase slightly to compensate for the temporary heat loss. A good heavy oven stone and full preheat will help.