The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ugly bread

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SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

Ugly bread

Hello,

Hopefully someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong to make such ugly bread.This happens whether I use a light coating of oil on the counter or flour. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks Sharon

This is the recipe I use:

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)         

1 tablespoon active dry yeast                                          

1 tablespoon salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon white sugar

suave's picture
suave

With this much yeast and warm water your dough rises, in what, an hour?   This requires you to knead the hell out of it.  It does not look like you did.

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

It took about 1 1/2 hrs. to rise. I kneaded it for approximately 10 minutes.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Sharon, I think suave is right. It does look like your dough needs to be kneaded more. Did you do a Windowpane test? You should be able to stretch the dough so thin, you can see through it, when it is kneaded enough.

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

Basically, I was eager to test the Bosch and I forgot to do a windowpane test..

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

I should clarify myself. I just got a Bosch Universal Plus. The bread was made in that and kneaded in the machine for 15 minutes. Then I kneaded it by hand for another 10 minutes.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Just after machine kneading?  Just after hand kneading?  After shaping?

Although I don't own the Bosch, everything I've seen posted here would suggest that 15 minutes in the mixer would be plenty of kneading.  Another 10 minutes by hand should produce a very smooth dough, with a couple of caveats.

The first is that I don't know how you measure a cup of flour.  If we assume that a cup of flour, as you fill it, is 140g in weight, your dough is approaching 70% hydration.  With the combination of AP and bread flours, I would anticipate that the dough would be somewhere in the tacky to sticky range and rather slack.  Yours seems to be holding its shape well; probably the effect of all that kneading. 

The second is that you haven't mentioned what hand kneading method you use. Different kneading styles can produce different textures in the dough, although I'm in the habit of rounding the dough up into a smooth ball at the end of kneading if it isn't too goopy.  Yours displays a surface texture that I haven't seen previously.

If the dough that we are seeing in the photograph is after shaping, then some instruction on shaping may be of help.  You can click on the Handbook and Videos links at the top of the page to find some useful resources.

Paul

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

I let the dough rest in the mixer for 10-15 minutes before hand kneading. I don't know the names of the different methods of hand kneading. I just used the heal of my hand to form it into a ball. I weighed the ingredients in grams. The picture was taken just after hand kneading.

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Maybe allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes before shaping. 

Here's a youtube video on shaping bread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUeS2PSXtP8

 

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

Thank you for the link. Next time I make bread I will let it rest longer.

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

I should say that I didn't feel the dough was smooth enough that's why I also hand kneaded it.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I have so many questions.

I see your ingredients but sometimes what affects bread the most is how it is made. With bread, it is not sufficient to list the ingredients. The technique is almost more important than the ingredients-or at least AS important.

So-more questions-Did you put it all in the bowl and mix it all up at once? Did you mix the flour and water and let it sit for a while? Did you mix it first and then add the salt once it was mixed and kneaded? Don't worry about using fancy word-just describe what you did and let us ask more questions. Fancy words come with time and many conversations. In the meantime, maybe you can get an answer here for what you want to accomplish.

Did the dough show any oven spring? What did the crumb look like? A picture of the crust and crumb tells us a lot about how it was handled, proofed and baked.

Is your AP flour bleached or unbleached?

1 tbsp. of salt seems like it would be a very salty dough. That can definitely affect the texture,also.

Was the dough stiff? Soft? Sticky? Did the loaf tear when it was proofing or afterwards when it was in the oven? Did you slash it?

The moisture level in the dough can affect the shaping and the ability to get a "gluten cloak" or a "tight skin" on the outside of the loaf-hence the wrinkly look. It looks like a ciabotta to me-not bad.

I'd love to see a pic of the baked loaf and crumb.

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

I put the water in the mixer with the yeast and let it proof. I added the flour 1/2 c. at a time. The salt was added when half the flour was mixed in. I'm using King Arthur's unbleached AP and Bread Flour. The bread had great oven spring. It actually isn't salty. The dough wasn't too stiff, soft, or sticky. No, the loaf did not tear. Yes, I slashed it. It wasn't wrinkled. It looked kind of nice except for the rough spots.A s far as crumb, I'm trying to insert a picture. Not sure if it'll work.This is the exact recipe:

 

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45

degrees C)

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 c. Bread flour

 

Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water and let proof.

Stir in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Beat in the salt and then add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead until as soft and smooth as a bambino's behind. Turn in a greased bowl, cover, and let double in size. (I put it in the oven with the light on - perfect rising temperature.)

Once doubled, punch down and divide into three. Place back in the bowl, cover, and let rise.

Once doubled again, punch down and form into three fat "footballs." Grease heavy cookie sheets and sprinkle with corn meal. Place the bread on the sheets, cover with a towel, and let rise.

Once risen, mist with water and place in a preheated 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) oven. Mist loaves with water and turn occasionally while they bake. Bread is done when golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
clazar123's picture
clazar123

I don't think that looks too bad at all.I'd be proud of that loaf. If anything, I think you may need to work on handling and shaping and that is just practice, observation and more experience. That will also help with a little more even distribution of the larger holes which are all near the top in this picture.

I learned best by going on youtube and her and watching videos of bakers shaping their loaves- not necessarily instructional videos. Some methods I just couldn't emulate but I have found ways that work for me fairly well. I, too, am always learning. My loaves have just gotten better over time but I first had to UNLEARN a lot before I LEARNED what I know now.

Keep baking delicious things and keep trying different methods to get there.

SharonZ's picture
SharonZ

Thank you for the kind words and help.

I will look for the videos at you tube and work on my technique.