The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wet and doughy

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DerekL's picture
DerekL

Wet and doughy

To date, I've amassed a pretty foolish looking catalog of failures - I've set the oven too low, forgot to slash, etc. etc. But one constant problem I've encountered is the interior of the loaf ends up damp and doughy, even when I get a good hollow 'thump' and the interior temperature reads 180°F+. Given both of these the loaf should be properly cooked, but no dice. Any ideas what is going wrong here?

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Sorry... couldn't come up with a cute title this time.

 

There are SO many possibilities here, we'll just start at the beginning (that's a very good place to start) and go from there.

 

Your dough should be properly hydrated - dense doughs take longer to bake, properly developed - did it pass a windowpane test, and fully risen.

 

Once there, you need to put the bread into a pre-heated oven (some people like cold start bakes, but I am less thrilled with them.  If you are having problems baking bread, drop the cold start until the problems are resolved, then try cold start again), and baked long enough at the right temperature.

 

Many oven thermostats  are inaccurate, so I like to have an oven thermometer so I know that the oven is REALLY at 375, 425, 550 or whatever I am shooting for.  If I am using tiles, I let the oven heat for at least 30 minutes.  45 minutes to an hour are better.

 

Next, the internal temperature is very important.  And I'd start by shooting for 205 at sea level and reasonable altitudes.  180 is decidedly low.  I've also never had luck with the sounds hollow thing.  Next, it is important to understand that chef thermometers are notorious for getting out of alignment.  So, check them in boiling water to make sure they read 212F (100C) at sea level.  Adjust the thermometer as needed to make sure it reads correctly.

 

So... try again, and shoot for 205 with an accurate thermometer.

Mike

 

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Did you let the loaves cool completely?  Because bread continues to cook on the countertop, and if you cut into them before they've had a chance to cool, you'll find doughy unpleasantness waiting for you (I learned this the hard way on my first bread-baking excursion).

And regarding Mike's comment, yeah, 180F does seem a bit low... here in Edmonton I shoot for 190-195F.

holds99's picture
holds99

Derek,

You should looking for 205-210 deg. internal temp.  Mike's giving you excelleent guidance on all points. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL