The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Over Baking Sourdough

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Over Baking Sourdough

Hey all.  Just wondering if over baking such bread as a Tartine Country loaf would cause the crust to be TOO chewy.  My first and second attempts at the Tartine loaf made a nice crispy and perfectly chewy crust that one would expect from a sourdough type bread.  Last night's attempt produced quite a tough and chewy crust.  The only difference I can think of between the 3 attempts are that I did not use the internal temperature guage to determine doneness on the 3rd one and instead went by eye (nice dark brown exterior).  I know, I kicked myself.  The inside is ok, MAYBE a bit drier than the first 2.  But the main problem is the overly chewy crust.  And I have read enough posts to know that this bread is supposed to have the chewy crust but not THIS chewy.

Does this sound like a definite overbaking issue?

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

overnight, the crust should soften.   If the inside is dry and you think there is no moisture to soften the crust.  Cut up a large apple into many wedges and set inside the container but not touching the loaf.  If that doesn't work in a day, eat the apple and turn bread into croutons or altus.   :)

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi Mini.  Actually the crust got much worse overnight.  My jaw muscles hurt.  That's not good.  So do you think that over baking or over proofing could have been the culrpit?  Also, I forgot to mention that I baked it at 510 degrees for the first 2 mins then turned down to 450.  The recipe does not call for this (it calls for preheat to 500 then turn down immediately when the bread goes in oven to 450) and I have no idea why I tried that silly method.  Could this have been a factor?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for only 2 min..  The temp drops so fast from opening the door, a fast recovery?  Sorry, I don't think your oven is that good.

So your jaw got a good round of exercise.  Not bad if you don't break any teeth.  But I see where you're coming from.   Sounds like food for a soaker.  Slice with a hack saw into slices and let them dry out completely.  Save and use up in future breads.  Soak a slice or two in water and wring out.  Toss into your  elaborated starter, use the water in the starter or recipe.   

Hey!  Where did the idea of overproofing come from?  nay.  

It did occur to me there exists a posibility to make brass knuckles from slices.  Wicked crust, wicked ideas.  Poke out some finger holes and send a dried slice or two to your favorite bakery mystery murder series.    "The Baker"  "No guns, just scratched to death."  "Evidence of overworked jaw muscles and traces of flour in the wounds."  "The Tartine Tormentor"   "Evidence traced in the next bake." 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread unlike any other method we know.  We have begun to take the bread out of the DO 5 minutes after the lid comes off and finishing it on the stone with the temperature probe in the bread.  It usually hits 205 F after 5 minutes on the stone.  So, 20 minutes with lid on, 5 min with lid off and 5 minutes on the stone and it is done.  This bread we also stopped letting it sit on the stone with oven off and the door ajar for 10 minutes too.   It doesn't need any crust crisping :-)  

This where Wonder Bread is great.  Put your loaf in a plastic bag with a piece of wonder bread or some  other soft sandwich bread.  It should soften the crumb some.  Works for dried up and hard brown sugar too.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks dabrownman.  Yeah, I noticed that this crust forms like no other bread I have baked before.  And I love it, but this time it just got wayyy too chewy hard for my liking.  Almost like cardboard.  Thanks for the info, but I am not a big fan of techniques for 'fixing' the bread's problems after the bake.  I would rather find out why it happened and make sure I don't do that same mistake again in the future.  I have never bought a loaf of Wonder Bread in my life but thanks for the trick!

John

 

markwhiteff's picture
markwhiteff

Hello there,

When you say chewy, that sounds like it has too much moisture in it. Can I ask: did you use the same flour type AND brand for the third attempt that you used in the first two?

Mark White

www.foodforge.com



Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Yes, I used the same flour, and yes I believe the dough was too wet.  More like Ciabatta.  I THINK that was my main issue.

John

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Since I sell my breads, and want them to be perfect, I made a habit out of measing the temperature. The eyeball-measuring can be so way off! Especially denser breads can look perfectly brown, and register still under 190 F.

Did you ever check with an oven thermometer whether your oven display shows the right temperature?

Karin

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I second Karin's coments.  Until you intimately know the dough, the oven and the finished bread, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the loaf. 

Jeff

AdelK's picture
AdelK

I've had this problem with my artisan bread as well. I've since tried releasing the steam a few minutes earlier and leave the loaf in the oven after baking. This has definitely helped but the crust turned chewy again the next day, inevitably. Apparently this is not uncommon for artisan bread, especially those that are not shaped thinly like baguettes. Besides I've not really known anyone who eats sourdough bread without toasting it first, unlike normal supermarket white loaves.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I never toast bread, I detest crisp food altogether. I eat my sourdough bread just plain.

Acually I'm quite surprised. Do people really toast their sourdough bread so frequently?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Especially thin crust breads like baguettes have to be re-crisped the next day, if you can't eat them the same day. I think many Americans have a different concept of bread than Europeans. In German bakeries 1-day old bread is tagged as such and marked down. Here in Maine this is definitely not always the case. The crisp crust of a home made bread will never last for days, but I rather re-crisp a real artisan bread, than buy chewy, rubber crusted supermarket so-called artisan breads.

But always toasting sourdough breads, anyway? Seems like a strange idea to me. I sure would toast every supermarket bread!

Karin

AdelK's picture
AdelK

Aren't sourdough breads meant to have chewy crusts anyway? Well to be fair I'm no expert in this subject but having posted on another sub-forum about the sourdough I baked not long ago (www.thefreshloaf.com/node/32686/my-first-hybrid-sourdough-pain-rustique). It seems from the responses that I've got that it is normal for sourdough bread that has completely cooled down. I toast my sourdough slices for that reason so I can get a crisp crust.

Do enlighten me if you've been able to produce sourdough bread with crust that can stay crispy after it has completely cooled down. We learn something every day don't we?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Regards

Kong

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Kong, if you read my original post, my concern was not the chewiness.  I understand and enjoy a sourdough's chewy crust quality.  My concern was the extreme tough-like chewiness.  Quite inedible.

John

AdelK's picture
AdelK

Fair. Sorry for misinterpreting what you said in your original post.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

No sorry necessary.  Just want to make sure this forum post doesn't confuse future readers.  I agree with you that it is almost impossible to produce a sourdough loaf with a crispy crust that lingers past the 1st day.

John

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

John, I don't want to sound boring:-) but my bread baked in convection mode does keep the crust crispy for several days. I keep it in two bags: the innermost is made of  paper  and the outermost is made of plastic, both perfectly sealed.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Not boring at all!  I have to agree.  Convection produces a nicer crust.

Happy baking.

John

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you for your comments hanseata.  I also would never ALWAYS toast my sourdough breads but I have definitely learned to love 3 day + old sourdough toasted.  I have since made this loaf with better results.  Looks like I was over baking a bit.  Now I use a thermometer to gauge doneness if I am unsure or trying new recipes.

John