The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Scoring and baking cold dough

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Dan Richer's picture
Dan Richer

Scoring and baking cold dough

Hi everyone.  I am in desperate need of some brilliant assistance by anyone who can truly help.  My dough is 68% hydration with 40% prefermented flour [fully active starter].  We bulk ferment for two hours then preshape and shape batards and baguettes.  The dough immediately goes into our walk-in refrigerator to proof for 17 hours.  Due to our production schedule and our need to immediately bake, we let the dough sit at room temp for 20 minutes before slashing and baking.  Since we are baking a full load of bread in our wood fired ovens, we do not introduce any further steam.  The temp of the oven is between 500 and 525 before loading the loaves.  The loaves are properly shaped and properly scored however the cuts do not form ears.  I'd love for the bread to look as good as it tastes!  It seems like the cut is filled in as oven spring occurs.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Dan,

A picture would be a huge help as I am not 100% certain what result you have now versus the result you are looking for.  If I understand correctly, after you score the bread, the oven spring and subsequent rise obliterate that scoring leaving a loaf that is what?  Poorly formed?  Flat?  Over risen?  or pretty much okay except that the finished loaf does not have the look you desire.  Assuming that the overall loaf looks okay,  I am guessing that your scoring is where the problem lies.  This could be not deep enough, improper angle on your scoring device (what is that device?)  or something along those lines.  A picture, more information or both would be helpful.

Jeff

Dan Richer's picture
Dan Richer

Any thoughts?  I know it's not the shaping technique, even though its not perfect. And we are using a double edge razor to score. Brand new and super sharp.  I just want more definition in the bloom. Anyone?

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Dan,

Watch this video on scoring baguettes and pay extremely close attention to every little detail of the scoring.

Jeff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaMpIy6s_Aw&feature=related

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

when you slash, you are not holding the razor at a 60 degree angle to the bread and slicing just under the skin favoring one side to force an ear?  It looks like the slash is 90 degrees?  Just a thought. I'm the worst slasher myself but that is what finished loaf looks like to me.  KA has a great video on how to do it right on youtube.  I still say slashing is by far the hardest thing to do in baking bread

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

very nice bread otherwise, I really wish iIcould slash correctly every time too.

Dan Richer's picture
Dan Richer

When I score and bake loaves at home, the cuts open beautifully.  I really think the problem is the lack of sufficient steam in the wood fired ovens.  Anyone else have these issues in a WFO?

kmrice's picture
kmrice

Depends on how full the oven is. With a full load in my WFO (Casa2G110 44" round), which is about 7.5 kilos of dough, no steaming is necessary. The dough generates plenty of steam. With significantly smaller loads, the dough does not produce enough steam and I use a pan with a towel, into which I pour boiling water. I find this to be more effective than spraying, which generates steam immeditately, but it mostly escapes before I can shut the door.

Karl

lbcheatham's picture
lbcheatham

My assistant too always seem to have problem with scoring. When scoring a baguette it is important that you remember the 1/3 theory. Always keep your slashes in the middle 1/3 of the top of the baguette. Always overlap each score by a 1/3 of the previous. Scoring should be no more than 1/2 inch deep. And try using a lame. You can buy them at sur la table or on amazon. If you score correctly you will get that great ear your are speaking of.

karenoftheplain's picture
karenoftheplain

  • How about sprinkling some flour over the score?
  • Skip the lame-- razor or serrated knife should be fine.