The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A couple of questions

loafsniffer's picture
loafsniffer

A couple of questions

1. Could I have pushed for an even longer proof for a more open crumb? The dough still felt pretty strong to me when I took them out of the fridge but I had to rush off. These are about 69% hydration with 20% dark rye, 80% bread flour. The slashes also didn't open up very much. Here's a shot of the 11h followed by the 13h proofed dough:

 

(I really need a lame...)

2. Why is there no noticeable difference in crumb openness between the 11h and 13h proof? Should I add a short proof at room temperature after the cold overnight retard? Or should I push bulk fermentation further? What's the difference in outcome between a longer first rise (bulk ferment) versus a longer proof (second rise)?

3. The ends of the loaf are more open while the middle is a bit tighter. Why is this so?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

1. One can do a single rise and bake at the optimal time.

2. In order to improve flavour, texture and crumb a bulk ferment is done. After which the dough is shaped and proofed once again (final proof) to optimal time. 

3. One has more freedom of expression with the bulk ferment but with the final proofing you're at the doughs mercy.

4. As long as you complete both before the yeasts run out of gas you're fine. 

5. Over proofing doesn't mean over fermenting it just means the dough has risen too much and the gluten won't hold the gas. This doesn't 'necessarily' mean that it has over fermented '(he yeast running out of fuel). So one can knock back, re-shape and proof again. As long as all this is done within the time limit (see #4). 

6. Lots of things affect the crumb from the flour, hydration, the way the dough is handled, bulk ferment and getting the final proofing just right.

7. Slashes opening up has to do with getting everything right. From getting good tension in the dough when shaped, proofing till just right and scoring well. You get better oven spring from a cold dough then a warm dough (as long as it's proofed ok in the fridge and then other can bake straight away). Crusting over too quickly will prevent oven spring too so steam is needed. 

After all that... Those loaves look amazing!! 

loafsniffer's picture
loafsniffer

Hm... thank you for your input again!! I think next time I'll try a short proof out of the fridge and a longer cold proof separately, just to test. The amount of levain I used for this bake was really low (about 7% so I think it would be quite safe?)

Also I was wondering what the purpose of gluten development was. Some bakers do A LOT of gluten development (theperfectloaf does like 6? for a 75% hydration dough and he's mentioned it has the pass the windowpane test) Would more gluten development lead to a tighter or more open crumb?

Another thing... I see a lot of bakers on instagram having super bubbly doughs after bulk ferment like GIANT bubbles and I maaaaybe see one or two tiny ones. Why is this so? Is it because of the kinda low hydration of this dough? Or am I not fermenting for long enough? (still pretty bad at determining whether it's done so I've decided to stop it early and let it bench rest after shaping longer until I see a couple more bubbles under the surface. Should also invest in a transparent bulk container so I can measure the rise and see the bubbles too...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

GIANT bubbles and I maaaaybe see one or two tiny ones. Why?   

Most likely they haven't fermented enough and deflated the dough to release those large collections of gas.  Can also be lack of salt in a high % rye bread with break down of gas trapping matrix early in fermentation and a few other causes.  

Important is to look between the bubbles for gas distribution.  (I never tire of saying it.)   Play around and have fun!   

loafsniffer's picture
loafsniffer

Hmmm what do you mean "look between the bubbles"? As in, my dough has very few small bubbles while I see many bakers on instagram having dough with many giant bubbles. Could you please clarify? Sorry I'm kind of slow hahah

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

like this:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/36995/big-bubbles-middle-loaf-and-overall-inconsistnt-texture

When I look between the bubbles on your loaf, the cell walls are consistent regardless of bubble size and not thick or dense.  

loafsniffer's picture
loafsniffer

Oh, no, I meant that many bakers' dough after bulk ferment (before the bake) looks super bubbly, like this:

https://2cv80798eul3adeda3i2a22v-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/theperfectloaf-beginners-sourdough-bread-2.jpg

(It's a 76% hydration dough compared to my 69% dough... could that be why?)

I'm quite happy with the crumb structure of my bread but I'm always pushing for more hahaha. Do you think the loaves look (even the teeniest bit) underproofed? Could I push it longer next time and get it even more open?

Breadwerx can produce some mind-blowing loaves with such low hydration...He got this crumb at a similar hydration (though a sliiightly lower whole wheat percentage, like 8% less) http://cdn4.breadwerx.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Champlain-Sourdough-Pieces.jpg shjdfkjlasfdkjad I really wish I could get that. I might try his methods for the next bake.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in the dough so you can push the fermenting limits quite a ways along your time line for this loaf.  Put a star by this loaf recipe and method and then start pushing your final ferment for larger bubbles.  If you do loose shape, gently fold and let it rise some more.  I have nothing against finding the outer limits to your dough.  It's good education to find out.  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Perfect.

Even colour crust all around.  Slight swirl and variety of bubble sizes, pleasant to look at with no dense areas.  Appeasing colour and the crumb moisture looks good from here.

Do we get to see the outsides?

HansB's picture
HansB

I was thinking the same thing. I want to see how the design looked post bake.

loafsniffer's picture
loafsniffer

 

The rice flour sort of blew off and I think I didn't score deeply enough HAHA 

HansB's picture
HansB

I think they look nice!

loafsniffer's picture
loafsniffer

Both of you are too kind!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

This calls for a song.... "You've got the whole world, in your hands..."     :)   Nice photography too.

I see deep scoring, like the ones that opened up, and I see shallow scoring that didn't pierce the dough "skin" but are more decorative.  Reminds me of "Pumpkin scratching."  

(Ever do that?   When the skin of gourds or pumpkins while growing are lightly scratched, the squash will repair itself and fill in the scratches with new skin.  Patterns or writing grow with the squash.  Cut deep, whoops, the squash will rot as bacteria will infect the squash.)   

Martin from KAF's picture
Martin from KAF

The loaves look nice!

1. When structure is tight I look to hydration and development, first. That's where the stage is set.

2. At 11 and 13 hours of cold fermentation the dough (assuming you are using a fridge?) is moving at a rate which is very, very slow--the resultant differences are minimized.

3. Those larger bubbles in the structure *may* relate to shaping.

Regarding the cuts, cold-fermented doughs require a more aggressive cut than loaves that are proofed at room temperature. I do cut with a mix of deep cuts to release the loaf and then, "etching" cuts for decorative effect. To heighten the effect, hit them with a gentle amount of dusting flour (from a sifter) then smooth with a hand to distribute as evenly as possible. Then score.

Happy Baking!

Martin (www.breadwright.com)