The Fresh Loaf

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Newbee asking the same old questions!

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Neddy's picture
Neddy

Newbee asking the same old questions!

Greeting fellow bakers.  

As at retirement project I have constructed a wood oven, brick by brick.  Simultaneously, I've been developing a very tasty artisan bread recipe.  This new found interest led me to this fascinating and informative forum both for education and problem solving.  

I don't mind boasting that my "project" bread's flavor (IMHO) is now nothing short of terrific.   So far, however, i've have not been able to keep proofed loafs from flattening 10-15% as they are transfered from lined wicker baskets to peel.  From readings in the forum, it would seem I needed either modified proofing, improvement of gluten structure, perhaps handle the dough less or all of the above.  I'm not writing of my successes here.

Currently I thoroughly mix/knead a poolish/ dough (@ 80 degrees) in a Magic Mill for 5 minutes then continue kneading for another 14 minutes.  The recipe has been a consistent 87% hydration.  Although, the latest batch was reduced to 77 % as an evolutionary step. The kneaded dough is bulk fermented in a rectangular tub with additional stretching/folded (by 1/4s) 2-3 times in the first hour. Increasing gluten structure?

Once the fermented dough has developed to  2-1/2 times original size (2- 2-1/2 hours @ 78 degrees) it is divided, folded again and shaped into balls using the pull/ rotate /pull method to further increased surface tension.  The shaped dough is proofed @ 78 degrees in lined 10" baskets from SFBI. Each basket is inside an individual non-perforated "tented"plastic bag for an hour or until the "dent" test indicates proofing completion.

The dough has a lovely domed shape until it is carefully transferred to either a peel or parchment paper at which time is spreads and significant height is lost.  Needless to say, scoring with a blade has done nothing positive to improve this condition.

Each batch of dough has received increased #s of folds, or increased kneading time or both.  

Non of the lost volume is reclaimed in the densely heated wood oven usually @550-600.  A solid oak door, pre-soaked in water seals the baking chamber with the steam created providing a great crust.  Unfortunately it  does not appreciably influence oven spring.

And it looks so easy on paper!

 

I thank you in advance for any consideration to my problem.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

can be less than satisfactory when proofing in a basket.  You want to put teh dough int eh oven at 85% proof not 100% which is what you get with the poke test most always.  87% hydration is also pretty high if the breads is not 85% whole grain - home milled.  Over proofing a too high a hydration loaf leads to loaves that don't spring and pancake out instead.  I'm not sure what your problem is without pictures and recipe but i'm guessing this is the problem.   One thing you can try is to refrigerate the bread at 80% proof for 45 minutes and then take it out, slash it and bake it immediately - . that my solve you your problem easy enough.

A WFO for a retirement project is the cat's meow too!

Hope this helps and happy baking

Neddy's picture
Neddy

dabrownman,

Very interesting response to my inquiry and I am excited to explore your suggestions. Fortunately the wood oven stays hot for days.  Attached (hopefully) is a cross section picture from a previous loaf which sums up the flatness.

My 87% hydration recipe includes:  Unbleached white= 73%, Whole Wheat= 7.5%, Rye= 7.5%,                mixed: Cracked Wheat, Cracked rye, wheat berry, wheat bran=12%.

ingredients are Bob's Red Mill with stone ground flours and PNW well water.

 

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Today I had one that tripled in the fridge after 18 hours - Yikes,  I didn't score it and put it cold into a DO to bake but, even though it deflated going in the DO it did manage to puff itself back up somewhat - baking overproofed dough cold is a good thing indeed!   It was ready to bake at the 12 hour mark but that was midnight when i checked and I'm not bkling at midnight with all the complaints that arise from doing so :-)

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/35293/20-whole-grain-9-grain-sourdough

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The poolish + warm proofing temps + waiting until 2 1/2 times volumized =  zinger for me.  

Generally in a bulk rise, the dough only doubles (on a mark)  before deflating the dough. The poolish part of the dough is already fermented so if you rush the bulk rise, a little bit under doubling, it's ok.  "Double" in a basket and bowl is always hard to guesstimate and the doubling is soon tripling.  Very important to save some gas for later and not deflate it all in the bulk rise. 

Try this...   a volume experiment:  

  • Fill a plastic bag (or sturdy balloon) with water (might have to play with the amount) and shape it to roughly the size of your shaped dough sitting it in the basket.
  • Now weigh the water filled bag and multiply by 1.8    Then add to the weight adding more water to the bag. 
  • Put it back in the basket shaped like a loaf.  Now glue that image in your memory and bake when the dough rises to that level.  That would be 80% risen.   Look at it closely how the volume fills the basket to the edges or not and how high up or below the edge the dough should be.  

The loaf in the picture still has nice shoulders and lift from the bottom and looks yummy. 

Neddy's picture
Neddy

Ah! I should have joined this forum sooner. My thanks both dabrownman and you Mini!  I am very energized with your feedback.

  Mini, your "zinger" regarding proofing has especially gotten may attention!   I'm beginning to see I have not been as thorough as needed.   My proofing box keeps a fairly consistent temp set at 78 degrees, but in a 2 to 2-1/2 hour bulk fermentation the dough more than doubles.  Fact is, I've not been critical at marking its growth and It may have been closer to tripling on occasion .  Although it looks and feels yummy, it may be spent!

When proofing in the baskets,  there has not been a significant increase in volume.  Perhaps as little as 50% or less!   I will adopt your water filled plastic bags for reference and will be more diligent with monitoring the bulk fermentation for my next batches.

You have guessed correctly on the flavor. It is terrific, especially as toast.  Each morning starts with a pot of hot dark roast coffee and a few well-browned slices.  Ah, free in America and wood oven fresh bread, life is good.

Thanks to all, it's very exciting.

 

Neddy's picture
Neddy

You told me so!

Dabrownman and Mini Oven, thank you, thank you.  I finally had the time to put your suggestions to work and am delighted with the success.  Your "overproofing analysis at the fermentation stage was spot on.  Although the loaves are not as physically attractive as many I find on The Fresh Loaf, they are non the less spectacular in my eyes.  I did not so much as loose a molecule of height throughout the proofing, cooking and cooing process.  I am impatiently waiting to cut into one and will take some pics to post.

Cheers,

Neddy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I like to snap a few pictures fresh from the oven before it looses a mm or two of height.  Some of us will even burn our fingers trying to get a good photo!  Lol!   

Crumb shots do look better when the loaf has cooled.  Must be cool by now???  There it goes snowing again!

Neddy's picture
Neddy

Here is the dough before and after the going in the oven.  The color is not accurate.You will notice I also slipped in a picture of my wood oven.  Quite a project for someone who has never laid a brick!The food produced exceeds our every expectation.Proofed.jpgIMG_1193.JPGProofing test.jpg

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And a pretty loaf!  You done gooood!  :)