The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Really Struggling!

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mattprince's picture
mattprince

Really Struggling!

Really Struggling with baking. Not sure if its my recipe, my oven or my loaf tin?

 

Recipe is...500g bread flour, 7g yeast, 10g salt, 360ml water, drop of olive oil and then kneading for 10 mins. Dough feels lovely and stretchy and elastic. Im then letting it prove for an hour or so until doubled. Then I knock it back and shape it with a bit of flour and then put it in the pan and let it prove again until its risen a lot. I preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and then bake for 25 mins.

The bread isn't cooking inside the pan very good but the top is browing very dark, almost black. Im using a new tin that isn't non stick and is silver in colour.

 

Any help really appreciated

Matt

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

You have too much water in the formula for the type of bread you are trying to make.   Use 315g for 500g of flour, and weigh it.   315ml is just a line on a jug!

I am concerned about your oven.   Do you have an oven thermometer so you can verify that it really is running at 200*C?   If I were baking this type of loaf in a commercial deck oven, I would load them at 235*C, and turn the heat down to 200 - 210*C some time into the bake.   I know fan ovens can run hotter than ordinary home ovens, but your description suggests something is not right to me.   25 minutes at 200*C just does not produce a burnt loaf; not of this type and weight, for sure.

There are plenty of cheap oven thermometers out there for you to use to callibrate your oven temperature.   That would be my first course of action.

Best wishes

Andy

Grob's picture
Grob

What kind of yeast?  Fresh or dry? 

I assume the bread is cresting over the sides of the pan in which case if it is getting dark too quickly you can try putting foil on top once it starts to take on a bit of color.

But like Andy said, your biggest problem is that 200 C shouldn't burn bread in 25 minutes.  Check the temp on your oven, it is likely running much hotter than you think.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

I don't think that there is too much water in your recipe, if anything it is slightly less than the recipe that I use. 

Were you having the same problems with your old tin? Was it you that bought a bigger tin to try to get a better shape, I can't remember? I know someone did, because they were having problems with what Grob describes as 'cresting', if it was you then I am guessing it is no longer doing that?

I think it is either your new tin, although I would be really surprised it would cause such a big problem or more likely as the others suggested, your oven. 

ananda's picture
ananda

Just to explain the context of my advice to reduce hydration:

I believe this is what the OP is looking to emulate, from an earlier thread he started: http://staffoflife.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/commercial-style-white-loaf/

This formula uses Very Strong Canadian flour and hydration is 68%.   Success is based on intensive mixing.

For a typical UK bread flour, which is less strong than Canadian equivalents, to replicate this type of loaf, hydration needs to be at least a couple of % points below the 68 used by Michael.

Best wishes

Andy

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Hi, sorry Andy, I was thinking more about the burning issue than the dough, all I meant was that the amount of water in the OP recipe was unlikely to be causing the under baked middle and burned top. But I see Matt has solved his problem now anyway. It is so easy to get wires crossed chatting on the net. I hope I did not cause offense.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

container or a piece of aluminum foil a bit tented.  Leave that on the dough for 1/2 of the baking time so it won't burn the top.

mattprince's picture
mattprince

OMG after thoroughly checking my oven and its settings I've discovered something alarming and quite embarrasing. It seems i thought the oven and grill was the oven so no wonder i was burning loaves hahahaha. I've been using that setting for approx 3yrs for various things. Will try a different loaf later and report back. I feel so silly now.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

another suggestion,  

when you do change the setting,  adjust shelf so that the top edge of the pan is dead center of the oven.  Shiny pans are great for breads that contain a lot of sugar, if your loaf doesn't contain more than a spoon or two of sugar, move it down another shelf so that you get more heat under the loaf.  If later on your tops are brown and the bottoms not, put the loaf back into the oven, naked on the rack and watch it carefully to brown.  

Darker pans or glass brown more evenly during baking for regular loaves as they absorb heat.  Shiny light coloured pans reflect the heat away from the dough.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Well, I confess I only discovered that I had a self cleaning option on my oven the other day, and also that my combi oven goes as low as 20c, and I have had them both for ten years!

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Hi,

To update ive had a new tin and it seems to have made it easier. Can you look at the photo below of my loaf today and offer any critique? It tastes gorgeous and only thing I can see that could be improved is the top almost looks like its a hat on top of it. I always struggle to get that whiter part the same colour.

Matt

dosco's picture
dosco

... is the result of "oven spring" and will always be a bit lighter than the rest of the crust. It's fine and normal, and BTW it looks as if you have quite a bit of spring which is excellent. If you score the top of the loaf you can control (to some extent) where the spring will occur.

The only think I'd change is to brown it up a bit more, but that's how I like my bread.

Well done!

Regards-
Dave