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Big holes - how to get rid of them?

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ChristineB's picture
ChristineB

Big holes - how to get rid of them?

This is a picture of my organic wholemeal spelt sourdough. My first two loaves were BEAUTIFUL. I took pictures of them and sent them proudly to my family... And then this happened, and it keeps happening, and I don't know why because I haven't changed what I'm doing (And I feel like his little smile is mocking me).

I buy organic wholemeal spelt flour from the supermarket. 500g flour with 1 tsp salt, and 225mL tepid water mixed with my starter, knead until springy, rise until doubled, punch down, prove in the loaf pan overnight. I start it in a cold oven with 1/4 cup of water in a tray at the bottom and cook it for 20 minutes (oven temp 220 deg Celsius)  then take it out of the pan, turn it upside down and cook it for another 5 minutes.  

I've done some reading on it and now know that spelt doesn't have as strong as gluten as wheat, so I don't knead it as long or let it rise as long (go until it's doubled now, no longer all day as before). I know that oil can interfere so I had started greasing the pan for the first rise to avoid it sticking and no longer do this. Neither of these changes have fixed the problem.

The starter I use is called Herman :-) I didn't make it from the directions given in the link below, I was given it at Christmas - my Herman is 3 months "old" but I don't know how "old" it was when I got it. I feed it every 4 days and make bread the day after I've fed it when it's most active.

http://www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com/the-perfect-herman-bread/

That's all I can think might be relevant, would greatly appreciate your experience in solving this. Thanks.

 

 

BobS's picture
BobS

Sure looks like just a shaping problem.  Or maybe you need to degas the dough a bit more carefully before final shaping. Or both. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Since you are doing the final rise in a pan, that allows you to man handle the dough during shaping.  Be firmer when you pre-shape and then again when you shape.  I'm thinking like Bob, a little firmer touch on pre shaping and shaping and the the big holes will be gone forever.  Some overlook how important the pre-shape is 10 minutes before the final shape and just don't do it.  But then they get big holes sometimes.

Happy Baking

ChristineB's picture
ChristineB

Thanks BobS and dabrownman... I'm not sure about shaping... is this like a knead after the first rise? I notice my dough seems to get a "skin" on it after the first rise, so when I knead it before the second rise, it's not the same smooth dough I started with. 

PeacockSwag's picture
PeacockSwag

See a cute smiling slice of bread

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

(And I feel like his little smile is mocking me).

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I think it is overproofed. Even though the recipe says you can, I would not let a shaped spelt bread ripen in the fridge overnight. Next time try fermenting the dough in the fridge overnight, and shape it the next morning, when it has come to room temperature.

Karin

ChristineB's picture
ChristineB

Hi Karin, thanks for your comment... But I'm a bit confused by it...are you suggesting I should or shouldn't put the dough in the fridge? We are just coming into autumn now and the house is already cool at night when it does it's last rise. I noticed it's not rising as much as it did in the summer months just past. Also, I'm not sure what recipe you're referring to - do you have a sure fire recipe you would share? 

Thanks, Christine

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I mean the recipe from the Hermann link, you said that was the one you used. I would rather do the first rise (bulk rise) in the fridge, but not the second rise of the shaped loaf in the pan.

I just had same issue, not quite as pronounced as yours, by letting a shaped levain proof a bit too long in the basket. Larger, irregular holes in one area, just borderline of overproofed.

Karin

ChristineB's picture
ChristineB

I'm sorry... I've read and reread the recipe in the link I posted and I can't find any reference in it to putting the dough in the fridge to rise.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Sorry, I must have mistaken the suggestion for letting the bread rise overnight to be baked the next morning, assuming it was place in the fridge.

But your experience of getting no holes when baking the bread at falling temperatures, in a preheated oven, could also support the idea that it was overproofing that caused the holes. If your bread heats up together with the oven, it proofs quite a bit longer at a rising temperature, so that might well account for it.

Karin

ChristineB's picture
ChristineB

Didn't change anything EXCEPT how I cooked it... Preheated the oven to 220 deg C, fan forced, with some water in the bottom of the oven to make some steam, then turn it down to 210 deg C after 10 minutes, then 200 deg C after another 10 minutes, then 5 minutes upside down out of the tin. Learnt the hard way not to start with a cold oven.

Now we are enjoying dinkelbrot of consistent quality every day, beautifully risen with even holes throughout.

Thanks to all for your suggestions :-)

PetraR's picture
PetraR

So you bake the bread for 10 minutes on 220, than 10 Minutes on 210 and than you say 5 minutes upside down. Do you mean you take it out of the pan and put it upside down back in the Oven on 210 for 5 minutes OR take it out of the Oven and put it upside down to cool?

I wonder if the baking time is to short and when you put it upside down * why? * this hole  things happens.

ChristineB's picture
ChristineB

I did a lot of reading when I was trying to work out what was causing the large hole in my bread.

One of the articles talked about how bread was traditionally baked in a cooling oven, ie, one that had been used to cook in the village all day, and the bread was put in last. So I thought I'd try that principle to see how my bread turned out - I preheated the oven to 220 degree Celsius, then dropped the temperature by 10 degree Celsius every 10 minutes: 10 minutes at 220, 10 minutes at 210, 10 minutes at 200 (you missed this 10 minutes), a total of 30 minutes cooking time. After that, I turn the bread out of the pan and give it 5 minutes upside down in the oven (200 deg Celsius) so it has a lovely golden crunchy crust all over. There has been no hole when I cook it this way.

The hole occurs when I was starting the baking of the bread in a cold oven, which I got from this link (I don't do this any more)... http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2828/marcels-grandmothers-spelt-bread