The Fresh Loaf

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Oil board = soft crust? Tartine and ABED

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Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

Oil board = soft crust? Tartine and ABED

Howdy!  Been baking some pretty decent Tartine loaves, with one problem, the crust isn't crackling crisp.  I've been using the whole leaven to bake a double recipe of four loaves... Typically I shape and bake two and shape and retard the other two and bake after 8 or 9 hours. I've been following the baking directions in Tartine 3 - 20 min preheat at 500, 20 min bake at 500, 10 min at 450, uncover, and bake for 20-25 min more. I could probably leave them in for a few minutes longer for a darker color.  I also haven't tried the recipe from Tartine 3, which calls for a much longer autolyse.

So I've been cheating a little on the shaping - Peter Reinhart describes in ABED and in a video how he uses about a tablespoon of olive oil on his wooden board so that his high hydration dough doesn't stick.  I've used his technique, but I wonder if that little bit of oil is softening the crusts.

Thanks!

Eli

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I am still on the first Tartine. Read book. I wonder--how does the bake differ from preheat to 500, bake 20 min covered at 450 and 20 min uncovered at 450?  I feel lie I get a good crust that way. 

My turns are done in a Tupperware tub, and the dough does not stick. Is it easier to do the turns on a cutting board? I'd try in a tub without the oil to see how it comes out. I note you have a very large hole in the bread. Don't know what it means but there is something not quite right about that. 

tchism's picture
tchism

I would think its possible the oil could contribute to the softness. Everything I've ever read indicated that oil or fat increases softness.

tchism's picture
tchism

I would think its possible the oil could contribute to the softness. Everything I've ever read indicated that oil or fat increases softness.

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Reading David's blog post "Consistent Crackly Crust Conundrum Conquered" and the comments following will be useful for you. You have already recognized a bit longer in the oven will help, to prop the oven open the last 5~10 minutes I use a wooden spoon.

Using a little oil on the bench when shaping won't be significant. Over time as your hands get more used to shaping, you'll work more quickly and lightly and will find you that you won't need that little bit of oil any more, but for now it's a good aid for building your confidence.

 
Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

Thanks, Robyn, reading David's post was really helpful.  I'll try that next time with loaves 2&4, and I'll be able to compare their crusts with loaves 1&3.  After loaves 1&3 I'll take the bread out and reheat the dutch oven, but loaves 2&4 are my last loaves so I can prop open the oven door without sacrificing all that energy.

I think I could work a bit quicker and lighter if my board werent so crowded - shaping nearly 4kg of wet dough into 4 boules on a regular sized wooden board is tricky! Maybe I should buy a bigger board.

@DavidEsq, I'm not doing my turns on the board - I'm doing my preshaping, bench rest and final shaping.  I used to bake Tartine loaves at the lower temp for shorter times, but didn't get as dark a crust. I'm surprised I got that hole, I think it's called tunneling. On the other loaves from this bake it wasn't there.

Thanks, all!