The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

artisan try - very slack dough

  • Pin It
chas6000's picture
chas6000

artisan try - very slack dough

 Hi Everyone --

im new here - and pleased i just found this forum -- seems pretty active and sophisticated.  

i have been trying for the last few weekends to work with slacker and slacker doughs.  this was so slack that while i have learned to knead this type (using a technique i learned from Michael Jubinsky), i am still not good enough with the further downstream handling and this did not have as much oven spring as it should have had.  i had to be too rough getting it from the couche to the peel and then scoring was way too rough in that my lame kept dragging.

this open irregular crumb is pretty much what i am looking for, but im looking for the rest of it.

this was a pretty traditional poolish baguette recipe (Reinhart), from pooilsh at room temp for @12 hrs, initial machine mixing and development, finished kneading by hand.

any suggestions for how i keep improving things?  comments?

thanks!

 

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

That looks great!! Excellent open crumb and good crust colour. What is the relative percentages of flour / water? It is a fantastic effort.

Andrew

chas6000's picture
chas6000

thansk for your kind comments.   this was about 72% hydration.

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

What was the dough like?

 

I am dealing with a dough that is batter-like. It just coheres into a dough but only barely. Was it like that? 

chas6000's picture
chas6000

well it was batter like when i started to develop it. but after kneading, it had developed a very strong but still slack texture after 3 turns on the bench. 

 

i think one of my problems is that i am still just too rough and have not yet developed the skill to manipulate it without too much degassing.  it was so sticky, that i just dont know how to work with it yet.  

 

for those of you who work with these kind of slack doughs, how do you form, transfer and score so that it is not so man-handled?

ross's picture
ross

firstly, if i make a dough/bread that's at much more than 70% hydratation i don't bother with scoring, it's so wet that it's able to spring without tearing/breaking/cracking, not to mention your aforementioned woes (knife dragging). however, if you really want to score it, i'd make sure the outer layer of dough is relatively dried out to facilitate scoring.

 

secondly, when handling/turning/moving doughs this wet it's important to use the 'right' amount of flour. i always wonder what the point of being so fussy about making a really wet ciabatta/rustic dough is if you're going to have to use soooo much flour when actually working with the dough. that aside, i prefer to use a cheap, plastic bowl -scraper and a bit of flour to release dough that's stuck to bench, and if i'm turning the dough i won't flour the top, just fold the sides over the top (not floured). and don't use your fingers, use your hands, keep the fingers together and work quickly and gently.

 

with a hydration of 72% you should have a substantial enough gluten profile that once scaled, and lightly floured, the dough can be 'easily' handled and moved to the couche. moving from couche to peel/parchment takes practice, oftentimes i flip the dough over on the couche once and then again onto the peel/parch. because a long time on the couche can (in my experience) over-flour the 'bottom' and make for an ugly crust. regardless of how you choose to do it, one flip or two, i like to slide my arm under the couche and dough and in one smooth and quick motion flip the dough over, onto the couche again or the peel etc. if you've gotten your proofing times right and gluten well developed, there is usually no degassing.

 

and one last word on scoring these doughs, in my opinion, something as irregular on the inside, and springy, is just fine being irregular on the outside too. this isn't a traditional french baguette, they just aren't typically this wet. however, don't let my silly opinion keep you from trying for that classic baguette look, which is what i think you're going for. heck, someday i might even try too.

 

ps. very nice looking crumb

chas6000's picture
chas6000

Thanks for the suggestions!   I think you are right about not bothering to score when this slack.  and your suggestions about handling and moving sound good and i will try them!

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Chas6000,

Wow, beautiful crumb!  I'm focusing on ciabatta these days as well, and using the BBA recipe as my guide.  I don't score the bread. To get maximum oven spring, I try to give loaves ample time for that final proof, and then make sure I'm getting them into a really hot, steamy oven.  I toss 1-2 cups of hot water into a cast iron skillet at the bottom of my gas oven.

I also feel "all thumbs" when I have to move the loaves from from couche to parchment/peel. I'm tinking of getting a long, thin wooden board to help with this task.  Is there anyone out there using one of these?

Sylvia

In search of the perfect crust & crumb

chas6000's picture
chas6000

thanks Sylvia!    i think i have to try just not scoring these.    and i agree the water in the hot iron skillet is the best way ive found too to get steam.   i bought a cheap slender long wooden bread board (made for cutting and serving) to use for transfers and it works very well except for these slack doughs.   i have heard of putting a pantyhose on a board to keep from sticking - but havnt tried this yet.   i cant seem to flour the board enough to work.

chas6000's picture
chas6000

Hi Sylvia --

Here is the board i use - i think i got it from king arthur - but it is just a bread board for cutting and serving bread (could find lots of places?).  as long as i flour it pretty well, the slack dough i was working with yesterday worked without sticking (~74% hydration).

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I know the secret is using a real pile of semolina or cornmeal and making sure that *no* portion of the dough is *not* on the semolina or cornmeal. 

 

Today I had to move a big slack baguette into the oven and I had let it overproof and spill over an area that was not covered in semolina, so I just had to put the whole cookie sheet/parchment paper into the oven onto the stone. I don't like doing this. But most of it would have slid right onto the stone, except for one part that was stuck. Next time I'll try to get it right! 

chas6000's picture
chas6000

thanks for the suggestions.

 

i have kind of gotten away from cornmeal or semolina.   i cheat now and use parchment paper to slide off the peel directly onto the baking stone.  i figure the paper transfers the heat efficiently enough that its not like a baking pan.   am i fooling myself here?

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I find parchment paper seals the bottom too much and doesn't let the steam escape as well, so the bottoms of my bread aren't as good as when the bread is baked directly on the stone.

chas6000's picture
chas6000

thats an interesting observation - ill have to try both ways in a baking and see how big the diff is. thanks

dulke's picture
dulke

I often use parchment now, especially when I am making a lot of bread and have multiple loaves rising. I slide it in with the parchment, and then pull the paper out after about 10 or 15 minutes. It comes right out, and the bread then finishes baking on the stone.

chas6000's picture
chas6000

thats a cool idea -  thanks

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Chas,

Thanks for the photo of the flip board.  It looks like just the ticket. As far as parchment paper goes, I use it every time and find that the bottoms of my loaves are crisp.  I  remove the parchment, and reposition the loaves (for even baking) ,after the first 15 minutes.

Sylvia

In search of the perfect crust & crumb

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

thank you, I am trying that now! (Removing the parchment midway through baking after the release has happened.)

 

(a few minutes later)

 

worked great! I am getting some good bottom browning that I *didn't* get before. Thanks! 

gtbehary's picture
gtbehary

Your bread looks absolutely delicious!

 

 

Still Trying to find a good loaf of bread in South Florida!