The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baguette that don't brown

restless baker's picture
restless baker

baguette that don't brown

hey everyone , i have looked in to the forum to see other peoples topics with same problem but i didn't really find a good answer , so i am asking this question here and i tell you my progress .

i have Gastroback 42812 Design Bistro Oven 

here is the picture of inside my oven 

i preheat the oven for 20 min , 230 degree Celsius . ( this oven wont go above 230 degree Celsius )

i must say , my baguette recipe doesn't have sugar in it .  

and as you can see i don't have so much space to put any boiled water inside my oven , to be honest i am also kinda afraid that something goes wrong since i have electric oven . also worried if i drop some water on my oven glass it might crack or explode or something .

i baked my breads for 45 min at 230 degree Celsius , my bread taste good , smells good , it look good but i don't see that awesome golden brown color on my baguette . 

so what should i do ? what is your suggestion ? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would smear some olive oil on hand palms and fingers and gently rub onto the shaped mini-baguettes before they rise up.  Most likely the oven is not as hot as it claims (tell me something new!)  and a little bit of oil will help.  So would just a teaspoon of sugar or malt in the dough per 500g flour but I skip the sugar every time.  Or oiling gently after the rise before slashing.  Play around.   I put my pan in upside down on the bottom shelf and then slide the bread onto the hot surface with parchment via sturdy piece of cardboard. 

Don't worry so much about the steam.  The small space seems to hold quite a bit of steam.  You might want to release any trapped steam after the oven spring so that the bread can dry out and start browning sooner.  

There may be other ideas forthcoming...

Mini Oven   :)

restless baker's picture
restless baker

ok this time , i added some sugar in my bread , preheat the oven a bit more and also sprayed the bread after 5 min and 10 min of baking . here is the results .

top of the bread

 

 

back of the bread

mid section

the bread smells good , taste awesome , the crust is thin , the bread is is flexible everything seems to be ok , back of the bread look golden . 

top of the bread still is not golden , i am not sure how to say it , its like gray , you might not notice it from the picture because of the kitchen lights .

i am thinking maybe spraying the bread wasn't such a good idea after all ... but the funny thing is in the link below , Chef John use the same Technic ( different recipe because i added sugar ) but his bread turned like super golden brown .

http://allrecipes.com/video/4089/how-to-make-french-baguettes/?internalSource=related_carousel&referringId=1109&referringContentType=video   

so any ideas ??

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

with that type of oven, but from what I have run in to, a greyish / pale crust is most often caused by over-fermentation (there isn't enough sugar left to caramelize for the colour), or too cool of baking temperature.

If you're using the Chef John no-knead recipe and bulk fermenting at "room temperature", just what is that?  He mentions in the video that his room is "cool", which likely means around 18-20 deg C.  If your kitchen is much warmer (25-30), then his 12 hour ferment might only be 6 to 8 hours for you.  You might need to decrease the  yeast, use cool / cold water, or refrigerate to allow for that long of a ferment.  Adding sugar (or roasted rye malt!) gives you a bit more time as well, since the yeast have those sugars to consume, too.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/264626#comment-264626

As for baking temperature - you are baking considerably cooler overall than the base recipe, so would have to bake longer for a darker crust.  With your last result, I suspect that the grey is from you spraying the water:  since your oven / loaf is not as hot as the video, opening the oven and spraying cold water on the loaf is actively cooling the crust where the water hits and basically stopping caramelizing in those spots.  In a hotter oven, the fine stream from the spray turns to steam right away, but you just don't have the heat to do the same.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/117359#comment-117359

Since your bottom crust came out so much better, I have to wonder if the placement of the loaf in relation to the elements might be playing a part.  You might find using just the top elements for a bit towards the end of the bake might give you the results that you want, or even flipping them upside down for a bit.

Also, as just a wild guess --- how tight of a skin are you getting when you are shaping?  If you don't have any tightness (whether from loose shaping or over-fermentation), then you won't be able to get as dark of a bake.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

you are definitely correct about my oven , because i believe its not hot enough at all .
i didn't use chef john recipe , because i added sugar and i just proofed my dough for around 5 hours
and i did put a cup of boiling water in my microwave in the last hour of fermentation , i guess you are also correct
about over fermentation since when i looked at my dough before putting it inside the oven it kinda looked saggy and flattened .
again you are correct , my room temperature is around 27 up to 31 deg C .

here is my recipe :

200 grams white flour
150 grams warm water
1 teaspoon of yeast
0.5 teaspoon of salt
0.5 teaspoon of sugar

as for the buttom of the bread , i did use an oiled baking sheet .
well i did knead the dough good enough , i might havent been able to tighten the dough as i expected
i was kinda stressed while doing it Lol , i was doing several things at the same time . 

what do you think ?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hits me too... oven is too cool. Here is another thread. My loaf look similar in colour?

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/51099/4-coffee-filter-banneton

And you're gonna have to work on that baguette scoring...  the yeast is relatively high so you will be fussing with the dough sooner.  Use a marked container for the rise and keep a sharp look out.  Don't let it more than double when it rises for bulking.  You will have something closer to a 45 minute bulk with a degassing.  Shape and don't let it proof more than double.  Better to get into the oven early and let it rise in the oven...   Now about that baking tray... is it shiny or dark?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

'dont let it proof more than double'. Have you ever seen someone post on facebook or wherever boasting about how powerful their yeast is and they take a snap of super puffed up dough - that might be a good thing for certain purposes like a spongy white bread but thats not the goal here - the opposote is true - slow activity. Commercial yeast is by nature really potent stuff - its concentrated lab grown cells that are ferocious eaters and multiply like mad. Just a dusting in a polish for examole and half a day later and the mix could almost slither away by itself. A good goal is 1.5 times for bulk (with room to approach double all of which is eyeballs anyway) heed this advice by mini oven !

restless baker's picture
restless baker

wow your loaf looks exactly like mine , grayish color on the top . 

ok from now on i will keep a closer look on my dough instead of just leaving it without care so just let the time pass me by . i will just let it rise to get doubled in size , and put it in oven as soon as i feel the dough is ready . 

baking tray is shiny one . i used oiled baking sheet on it . does that make any difference ? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I oil patted the shaped loaf before the final rise.  I heated the oven up to the max with the tray in the oven.  Then I turned on the lower heat with fan for the first 10 min.  Then turned on the upper and lower heat to finish the loaf turning down the temp to about 220°C for the rest of the bake of 35 minutes.  If I think the loaf is too pale, I give it 5 more minutes but ....and here is the "trick"... often 5 minutes is enough on the timer to get the coils hot again so I turn it up to 15 minutes and come check it in 5 minutes.  I think the oven likes to "coast" turning off the heat for the last 5 minutes.    

I had a nicely browned crust and bottom.  I have a black tray and I find it absorbs the heat better than a reflective tray to bake on.  At least for these small ovens.  A medium sized frying pan with no handle works nicely for rounds loaves instead of the tray.  I look for one that is black on the bottom outside and unscrew the grip.  

restless baker's picture
restless baker

ok here is the thing i feel if i use oil and get the golden crust that's kinda cheating , how come others can get that perfect golden brown crust without using any oil , so whats what i am trying for . i have to make adjustments every time . so i listened to you and changed the proofing time and because my room is warmer , i also preheated my oven much better , i also used a black tray and left my dough closer to the elements . 

the dough 

30 min later , still not large enough 

after one hour of proofing my dough was doubled in size and i used this tray 

shaped my dough in to a baguette left for rest for 30 more min 

baked it close to the element , 15 min at 235 degree C and then when it was a bit brownish i continued for 15 more min at 175 degree C .

here is the final product , as you can see its far more brownish that the last time , because it didn't over proofed , still its not like Chef John bread . 

here is the back of the baguette , its far more golden because its fried a little because of the oiled baking sheet , it looks good but i feel its cheating to make it golden by using oil . . . i want to make it perfect with the original recipe without oil .

here is a slice , its spongy and taste good , baked pretty good no smell of the dough .

what do you think ? any other tips ? 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Your dough looks a bit dry - what's the hydration percentage (didnt see any mention in the thread) - 70% is a good percentage for this type of loaf and the water is one of the things that helps the surface to brown

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Please ignore my question about hydration just now seeing you recipe (btw salt is low should be closer to 2%).  This dough looks really dry and or unkneaded - here's how it should appear and this is even lower than the hydration on that recipe.  This is 72% hydration 

 

It should form a window pane like this with little effort in this case mostly due to gravity - very subtle and elastic 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in the recipe and let it ferment longer for more flavour.  When I see that round dark pan I want to try it flipped over upside-down so the edges trap heat under the pan.  Oil is not cheating when the oven can't heat up to the temperature it says it can.  Oil helps to set the crust faster as it helps raise the crust temperature sooner.  

Scoring.  The basic idea of scoring is to let the dough expand where you want  as the "skin" of the loaf holds the dough.  So as the dough is rising, think of the surface of the dough, it will stretch if it stays moist.  Covering the skin to prevent it from drying is only the first part of the crust.  Letting it dry a little before baking or setting the crust in the oven is the next part.  A dry surface holds shape better but it will crack if the expansion in the dough pushes against it.  So that means we have to make some cuts thru that dry surface so the expanding dough can force the crust open. If not it will open where the weakest layers of the crust happen to be.  (sides and seams)    

Try first one score down the mini baguette from one end to the other.  The dough should still have a little bit of resistance and surface tension when ready to score.  (If not, you may have to flatten out the dough and reshape for a second proofing.)  Make the cut off centre and slant the knife or scissors to cut and at the same time trying to lift the skin a little bit.  

Use the blade at an angle (flat) and picture in your mind you're removing the skin off a fish cutting and lifting  half a centimetre under the fish scales.  Then get it quickly into the oven to finish expanding with the heat.  A slightly dry or oiled surface is easier to cut than a wet one so if the dough is covered in plastic for the rise, let a wet surface dry a few minutes before scoring.  :)

Another variation would be to first check with the oven directions and then cover the top of the loaf with a loose piece of aluminium foil to protect the top of the loaf from the top heat elements early in the bake,  they will set the scored opening before it is completely open.  Then remove after 10 to 15 minutes releasing steam from the oven at the same time.  The top will then brown up fast.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a micro-wave function?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Browning / caramelization in a home oven isn't always easy and give you an idea I bake at 550f which in reality ends up being about 480f after the door opens and prep time to dock the loaves so from the very start you are baking at a significantly lower temperature than recommended. That's not to say that adding time isn't allowed and doing so should eventually cause Browning. The problem with baguettes is that they need to cook quickly at higher temps since there is so much crust and much less interior to inflate them - this expansion all occur generally within the first 5 minutes of baking where the interior inflates the loaf before the crust hardens - another point about baguettes is they typically bake on a hearth which has already a lot of heat to transfer and assist that quick rise and spring action. Even at 550f in my oven if one thing is off (proofing times etc, dry crust etc) the loaf will suffer. Speaking of crust one tip is to try to make sure the final proof is not drying out your loaf - if you use a plastic garbage bag and cover while proofing and avoid dusting with too much flour , this keeps moisture at the surface which is important for caramelization. If you do mist your loaves try adding / dissolving some malt into the sprayer - its a very challenging loaf and anytime you see videos of bakers pulling out beautiful baguettes you can be assured it didn't happen first, second time so more than anything else it's just tons of practice but can be done !

restless baker's picture
restless baker

kendalm , 0.15 milliliter of warm water for 200 grams of white flour, well when I finish making the dough it seems sticky but not that much and it’s pretty dry. And you are right the bread was dry in the end. Do you think I might have made a mistake in measuring my ingredient? I have to be careful next time. I was wondering if this is right or not because unlike my pizza dough which turns out awesome, my baguettes turn out dry.  2% of slat for 100 grams of flour? I looked at this few days ago;

https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/salt-in-bread-baking-how-much-and-why/

And I tried to reduce the salt to something around 1.5% for 100 grams or even less because whenever I gave the bread to people to taste, they said it’s a bit salty, which I think they weren’t correct about it. But I didn’t agree with them. I guess as you said around 2% is a good choice for salt. Yeah you are also right about the bread being unkneaded , I have to knead it more next time .

If that’s 72% dehydration, then I must be doing something wrong. Because my dough is not even close to that consistency. Thanks for the pics , they explain a lot .

Do you use sugar and oil in your recipe? I want to make the original French recipe .

550f wow that’s almost 300 degree C, even if I force my oven I don’t think it goes above 225 degree C… but I am trying to make the best of it. Also I don’t have steam in the oven and since I have electronic oven I can steam directly inside the oven. Oh I see “cook quickly at higher temps” I got what you mean now, and yes it seems like in the first 5 min of the baking I see the most changes in shape of the bread inside the oven, in that 5 min all the insides inflate the bread before the curst gets hard, that’s interesting, I didn’t think about it like that. I will write a note for myself so I could keep it in mind. For last proofing what do you think if I make some steam in my microwave and put the dough inside it for it to rise?? (But I remember in one of my previous baking’s, a friend in the forum said, because I sprayed the dough 5 min through baking ,in the end my bread turned grayish ( my oven is not hot enough to vaporize the water fast enough ) ) . Yeah you are correct, I know they been practicing hard so they could make baguettes that awesome, and I will do it as well, I love it.

Mini Oven, “Oil is not cheating when the oven can't heat up to the temperature it says it can.” Good point, I will keep that in mind.  Yes top of my dough the crust seems to be dry so when it bakes, it gets hard and break from sides.  I can cut a dryer dough better , I will try to oil top of my dough so it doesn’t get as dry .I have an idea to keep the dough in the middle and in that wrong dark tray , so the top of the bread don’t get that dry . "When I see that round dark pan I want to try it flipped over upside-down so the edges trap heat under the pan” that’s a smart move, I will do that too. "A micro-wave function?" could you please explain what do you mean?

This is a simple recipe that I want to try. And then I tell you my approach.

200 grams of white flour

3.5 gram active dry yeast

150 grams of warm water

2 grams of salt

After shaping the dough. I will knead the dough for 5 min so everything combines well, then I let it rest in room temperature (25 to 30 degree Celsius) for one hour, so it doubles in size. Then I knead the dough again for 5 min and shape 2 small Baguette each one 100 grams and let it rest for 30 min the microwave which I have made some steam in it, after second proofing , I will bake it for 30 min at 230 degree C , in the middle of the oven .

After I am done, I will show you the results. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or 3.6g salt.  Not too salty, not too flat.  hydration is 75%    Kneading a second time is overkill.  Just knock the gas out of it, divide and pre-shap.  Rest for 10 min and do a final shape.  Don't know if it will take 30 minutes or longer, watch the dough not the clock.    Yes, leave the oven on high and don't turn down the temp.  You may want to rotate the positions of the loaves half way thru the bake to avoid burning or dark spots.  If you smell the loaf toasting, turn down the oven but only to 210° not lower.

You can also try mixing up the dough and divide it into two pieces.  Put only a pinch of the yeast into one half and knead it in.  Now put them away in the refrigerator for the night. Can use the same container.  When you are ready to bake, combine the two halves adding the rest of the recipe yeast softened with a few spoons of water.    When thoroughly kneaded together, divide the dough into two and rest 30 minutes to relax the dough.  Shape into baguettes and let rise, bake....  The longer wet time can bring out more flavour in the dough.   

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Sugar and / oil in my recipe and niether would any French baker as this would go against the recipe which is specified by French law. The only allowed ingredients are flour, water salt and yeast. The yeast may be sourdough or commercial yeast and some other minor flour types are allowed but at extremely low quantities it doesn't really matter for your purposes.

I understand you're using oil to make the dough manageable,when handling but that's what flour can be used for and will stop it from sticking to everything so just dust you surfaces lightly and presto. Btw mini oven suggested increasing proofing times but I thing she maybe didn't realize the high quantity if yeast - you should definitely fillowbher advice but also dramatically reduce your yeast - your bread is supercharged so as per some other responses 0.3% is about right and then you can increase the proofing times - definitely no sugar needed you want your yeast to act slowly and gently. Generally its best to start preparations a day ahead of time - this method you are usimg is more a quick bread technique. The two most common ways to make this loaf is with polish method or cold ferment. Bother require at minimum about 12 hours ideally 24 (especially with the cold fermentation which is my preferred way to bake)

restless baker's picture
restless baker

ok here is what i did this time and also the results 

200 grams of white flour 
150 gram of water ( 24 degree c ) 
4 grams of salt
4 grams of sugar
2 grams of active dry yeast 

mixed water , sugar and yeast , waited 10 min , added water to flour and mixed and just made the dough ball after 2 min of kneading , added the salt . the dough was really sticky , so hard to handle , stock all over my hand , i had to add some flour to shape the ball , after i shaped the ball , then i put it in a container and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour , until it was doubled in size , ( although the dough was doubled in size , but it looked flattened instead of that swollen ball look ) . i opened the container after an hour and it made a pop sound kinda thing . i divided my dough in equal parts and just kneaded it for 3 min with some flour because it was super sticky , i shaped the baguettes , then left them in a plastic bag on my cooking tray to rest . i sprayed inside that plastic bag several times to keep them moist and wet . after 30 min they were looking bigger almost 2 times bigger , so i sprayed them with some more water before putting them inside oven . i rotated my dark tray just like (Mini Oven) said and it trapped the heat , i baked them in mid section of oven for 15 min at 230 degree C then i decreased the temp to 210 degree C and baked for 10 more min . 

i wasn't able to put steam inside my oven because as you already know its electronic and i was worried that i might start a fire or something .

the taste is good , and bread crust turned out to be good , smell is nice as well .

here is how they looked like 5 min through baking 

 

they look golden , still kinda have that dry look , i don't know how to fix that , and also i wanted my bread to look better i don't know how to do that i mean how to cut them and when to add that flour dusting on top of my bread so they look awesome . 

 

here is a back view , it looks ok , i guess , let me know your expert opinion on that . 

sides are cracked , it doesn't look good , i guess that for lack of kneading , but i am not sure if i have to knead it more when i am making the the dough , or i have to knead it after the one hour rest before shaping the baguettes ?

i am not sure if there are enough holes in my bread slice , i mean have seen excellent breads have so many holes when we slice them from sides to see whats going on inside them . . .

 

please let me know what do you think . comments and critics would be appreciated  ... let me know what i am doing wrong and what i suppose to do . 

thank you all . 

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

It looks like you are getting a better result each time - nice job!

The next step is to start looking at how you are handling the dough, how you are shaping it, and then start trying some different methods for developing more flavour. 

While this recipe is for a sourdough version, the video gives some great tips on how to handle and shape the dough, and the article links to some other really good videos: http://www.breadwerx.com/easy-sourdough-baguettes-beginners-video/

Your last bread was cracking along the sides because that was the weakest point, and since it was actually rising in the oven (called oven-spring), it needed room to grow.  THAT is the reason for the cuts (also called scores) made in the tops of loaves: to make a weak point so that the loaf will grow in the direction that you want it to.

The correct handling and shaping and fermenting is what allows the inside of the bread (called the crumb) to build the larger holes and be more open and light.  The flour dusting that you see on some loaves is from the flour that was put on the couche or the banneton (the linen baker's cloth or the container that the dough is proofed in after it has been shaped) to keep the dough from sticking.

Once you feel that you are getting comfortable with your skills in handling the dough in the size that works with your current oven, then you can start looking at some of the other variables to a really great bread: different types of flour, different approaches to leavening (such as biga or poolish or sourdough), different timing (such as using the refrigerator to slow down - retard - the ferment or the proof), and all of the other fun options. 

At that point you should have a better idea as to what your priorities are for looking at different oven options.  Realistically, the physical size of the oven space and the maximum temperatures are likely to be the most important considerations (as well as the cost of operation --- so, if gas is cheaper then go gas).  There is always a way to deal with the need for steaming (such as using a cover over the bread for the first part of the bake).

Nice job, and well done on trying different things!

Note:  Kendalm does absolutely AMAZING baguettes, and can give you specific advice on doing authentic ones.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

here i am again .... drum role please ...

 

i have made several new adjustments and bought some new equipment as well . and now i get in to the details :

i got 3 new devices , Bosch electronic oven ( can go up to 300 C with convection system but no steam ) , next i have got my new mixer it has 10 types of speed with spiral mixer , lastly i got me a proof box , someone actually made it for me from steel ( i have a lot of problems with adjusting the right temp and humidity ) we get to all of them soon . i dont want to make it so long so you get bored .

 

here is the inside of my proof chamber :

since you all know i have been trying to make original french baguette ... for my newest baguette i used this formula :

350 grams of all-purpose flour ( 12.3 ounce )

5 grams active dry yeast ( 0.17 ounce )

7 grams of salt ( 0.24 ounce )

245 grams of water (8.6 ounce ) 

room temp = 21 C wheat temp = 24 C water temp = 31 C  friction factor temp = 5 to 6 C dough temp after mix = 28 C

here is my calculations to get the correct water temp :

Desired Dough Temperature = 27 * 3 = 81

81 - wheat temp 24 = 57
57 - room temp 21 = 36
36 - friction factor = 30

water temp should be = 30 c

i mixed my dough in the mixer for 3 min in slow so everything just combine and come together , then i increased the speed for around 4 min  i had to add some flour because i felt my dough is still sticky . i felt the dough is ready but i guess i should have gone for more mixing because it felt like the dough  ripped apart a bit easy and still it was kinda sticky , i think the gluten wasn't developed good enough . after mixing i left the dough rest in my mixing bowl for 15 min , then i shaped it in 2 baguettes ( i shouldn't have worked on wood , its not as clean as steel table and also working on wood specially if its scratched ) ( that amount of flour gave me 2 big baguettes and i feel my baguettes was a bit too big for my tray ) , 30 min before i left somewater in oven so i could have some steam inside the oven . 

i shaped my loaf and then let it rest for second time , 15 min under a plastic sheet . 

 

after resting for 15 min i put my dough in my proof box , so here is the tricky part , because it was my first time using this proof box i couldnt really understand the amount of humidity and the temp inside , i just have to work on that so i could read it better the next time . i left my dough inside the box for around 15 min , the dough looked almost doubled in size ( i might have been wrong about the size at that point because i was rushing things ) but the thing that worried me a lot was that it looked kinda wet . i used scoring method after i took my dough out of proofing chamber , but the blade would stock to the dough so i guess i should have score the dough before putting it in proof box , i took the water bowl out from oven and put the dough inside to bake 270 C ( 518 f ) for around 20 min here is the process :

after 3 min

after 9 min 

and here is how final product looks like :

here is the back view :

here is a slice (seems to be without any air pockets kinda dense ) :

 

that crust was good and crisp , i didnt smell the aroma of bread that much , the texture was kinda dense , the taste was ok but not that good . 

now that i have shown you all of it must first thank IceDemeter , i liked the way the guy in Breadwerx handled his dough , he makes it look so easy , when i was handling my dough i was worried too much about fermentation that i tried to speedup things and i messed up the shape , i must practice that more .  yes Kendalm is very good at baking , hope i could get in touch with him somehow so i could ask more questions from him or ask for his help . now that iam done i have some questions for you guys . 

do i need kneading after i mixed everthing in mixer ( around 10 min ) ?

am i correct or wrong that i think friction factor in dough mixing by hand and dough mixing by mixer is almost the same amount ?

what do you think about the size of my baguettes , i feel they have been a bit big for my tray ? 

do i need to be worried that my dough seems to be really wet after goin in to proof box ?

how do you think i must manage my fermentation steps , so i could get the taste , crust , texture and ... now that i have a proof box ?

any other suggestions ?

thank you all .

kendalm's picture
kendalm

1. No you don't need to knead after mixing.  Btw, a typical mix cycles goes as follows - 3 minutes on slow of just watner and flour.  Let it sit under plastic (just leave it in the mixing bowl) for about 30 minutes.  This is not critical you can leave it for 20 or 40 or even an hour, but stick with 30 because going 1hr or if you wanted, 2 hours that will change the subsequent steps because gluten formation is happening and you want to be consistent each time.  next Mix on slow with yeast and salt for 8 minutes.  The mix on high for 3 minutes or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl (which may end up being 6-7 minutes depending on your flour strength)

2. Friction factor ? not sure are you referring to the heat generated by mixing.  As mentioned in another reply, I suggest forgetting about temps at this point in your efforts, this is way too many variables to think about.  Unless you really understand your yeast and how it's multiplying, these temp will just serve to distract you from the basics.

3. First thought is your sizes vary from loaf to loaf.  Traditional baguettes should be 55-65cm in length and weight 350g before baking, however, you can make them shorter longer wider etc, there's no baguette police out there - more importantly try to make each of them consistently the same size.  

4. Generally wetter the dough the better.   unless they are too wet to handle, then they are probably fine

5. Proofing box is to keep dry air off the surface of the loaves and it sounds like you did a pre-final proof followed by a final proof int he box.  Steps should be Bulk ferment, shape, final proof, slash, bake.  Final proofing is usually about 35-45 minutes which you split up as a 15 minute pre-final, then 15 minutes final in the proofing chamber.  Just do all the final in the chamber.

 

restless baker's picture
restless baker

wow , no answers for me ??? Lol ok, here is my new baguette and I am not happy with it at all. 

350 grams of all-purpose flour ( 12.3 ounce )

5 grams active dry yeast ( 0.17 ounce )

7 grams of salt ( 0.24 ounce )

245 grams of water (8.6 ounce ) 

room temp = 24 C wheat temp = 26 C water temp = 26 C  friction factor temp = 5 to 6 C dough temp after mix = 28 C

I mixed everything in the mixer

 

but it was sticky so I tried to add flour but even when I added 4 pinches of flour the dough didn't come together as I expected to be like a ball. 

the dough after mixing 

I used some oil so I could shape it into a ball for bulk fermentation for 2 hours 

here is the dough after 2 hours 

I tried to shape them like oblong shape ... so I used more oil on my hands, then I left them to rest for 30 more min, second rest .

I shaped my loafs but they turn out really bad they kept stocking into my hands and I wasn't able to shape them the way I wanted 

here is the tricky part, I left the dough in my proofing box, for 40 min, and see what happened, my dough stock together, I also wasn't able to score at all. ( i can't know the exact temperature or humidity of my proof box ) 

Anyways, I backed my bread

and here is the final product, look dark and not so brown, I guess it because of over fermentation and also because of the oil I used to shape the dough. 

 

here is a slice 

here is the back 

and here is the inside of it 

to be honest, the aroma and taste were good, but I wasn't happy with how it looks outside at all. 

please guide me.

and besides here my questions from before : 

do I need kneading after I mixed everything in the mixer ( around 10 min )?

am I correct or wrong that I think friction factor in dough mixing by hand and dough mixing by the mixer is almost the same amount?

what do you think about the size of my baguettes, I feel they have been a bit big for my tray? 

do I need to be worried that my dough seems to be really wet after going into the proof box?

how do you think I must manage my fermentation steps, so I could get the taste, crust, texture and ... now that I have a proof box?

 thanks

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Same questions above have some answers in the former post.  Here's some more information

- About the fermentation steps, why don't you try an overnight cold ferment - this is in my opinion the best way to develop flavor.  Some people prefer a poolish (even Jeffrey Hamelman) but at least in my experience, a cold ferment gets the flavors that I prefer - a cold ferment is usually something like a 1.5 hour fermentation followed by 6-24 hours of cold frementation, then pre-shaping, shaping, final proof, scoring then baking.

- That brings up slashing and you say you preferred slashing before shaping - the truth is that when done right the slashing is the absolute final step before baking and it takes A LOT of practice....as in kind of ridiculous amount of practice as in 100 of slashes.  Btw, slashing is not just about how you hold the blade, it's really about every step that leads up to the slashing and blade angle, speed etc is just minor tehnicalities.

About yeast, you added 5g of dry yeast to 350g flour.  That's approaching 2% which is much more than needed.  This will get your dough rising incredibly fast and before you know it the yeast has run away out of control and producing that fluffy style crumb.  Additionally, you put yourself into over-proofing danger which I would say appears to have happened here - look at the cross section and noticed that your loaf is collapsing - it's sort of flattening out.  You may like to consider that 0.8% is the amount of fresh yeast - ie about 3g but you are using dry so divide again by 3. The ideal quantity is 1g for this dough.  Of course, since you are getting accustomed to higher levels of yeast (and you've also added sugar in prior bakes) so your expectations of rising times is to see quick rises.  For this loaf, slower is better and the recommended amount is about 0.3% of dry yeast.

As for shaping and dough sticking to hands, shape on the counter with a dusting of flour (check out as many videos on your tube for this part)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and then work up as your skills get better.  Drop to 210g water or 60% hydration and hand mix for now to get the feel of the dough.  

do I need kneading after I mixed everything in the mixer ( around 10 min )?  

No, but with high hydration, you may need to simply fold the dough during rising to maintain shape as the gluten stretches during fermentation.  

Kneading in fresh flour later on to correct hydration is not a good solution and may lead to strange lumps and thicknesses in the dough.  It would be better to lower the hydration during mixing letting the mixer pause for the flour to absorb the water (autolyse)  before continued mixing. 

am I correct or wrong that I think friction factor in dough mixing by hand and dough mixing by the mixer is almost the same amount?  

Friction factor is a concern with mixers and dough can be overheated and over worked.  Hand mixing friction is not a concern.   

what do you think about the size of my baguettes, I feel they have been a bit big for my tray? 

It isn't the size so much as the general shape.  More surface tension is needed, perhaps a folding and shaping with a short proofing and bake while the dough is still springy.  They may be over-proofed.  Leave some proofing for the oven spring.  Perhaps using containers that show when the dough has doubled in volume might be helpful.  Pinch off a small ping pong ball piece of deflated dough when shaping the baguettes and cram into the bottom of a tall narrow glass, mark level and "double" with tape.  Keep this dough gauge with the rising baguettes to keep them the same temperature.   When the dough is doubled in the gauge, bake the baguettes.  

do I need to be worried that my dough seems to be really wet after going into the proof box?

The dough will take on some of the moisture in the proofing box.  Try to match the humidity with the hydration of the dough and adjust from there.  Also remove baguettes early from the box letting the surface dry a bit before scoring or dust lightly with some flour.  Try both and see which you prefer.     

how do you think I must manage my fermentation steps, so I could get the taste, crust, texture and ... now that I have a proof box?  

Pretty fancy equipment for a beginner.  Slowing down fermentation brings out the flavour of the flour.  I don't use a proofing box which speeds up fermentation and should prevent the dough surface from drying out.  You will have to do more reading and experiments to get your answers.  I just look for warm or cool spots and cover my dough or not.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear Mini Oven I lowered my dough to 55 % dehydration and everything is ok now, I mean the dough is not shaggy or wet so that claps on itself, I am still trying to figure out my proofing chamber settings.
the thing is when making steam more than 10 min the dough get too wet and sticky and bread collapses and get dark skin as you have seen in my previous attempts , and anything under 10 seems have no effects
and dough stay hard inside even after 45 min of rest, here is my latest baguette just keep in mind in this attempt I was mostly was considering the way I am shaping my baguette and also my scoring the dough ,
and it feels like I am getting the hang of it , I am still having problem with sizing my baguettes that they don't turn out this small and also I could just make at least 4 of them in one tray ....
one thing is just making me wonder , some say the more hydration make a better bread , but if they go something like 75% not only the dough gets so sticky to handle but also if they put it in a proofing chamber with
some humidity the dough will get so wet that it claps on itself, so I am just wondering how they do it . I also heard from a baker that different flours need different amount of water to shape . and one more thing,
I have realized if I score the bread before final resting, the result will be better . I wanna ask more advanced questions later, regarding the looks of the baguette after I have been able to make a good version of it.
thank you for all your help and guidance I appreciate it . to be honest it might sound kinda silly or strange but I wanna become a baker and I am practicing for it, and I am a practical person so I learn by doing something a lot ,
so I learned about equipment necessary and I got them , yeah maybe it was a bit soon but still I am just trying my best and I hope I could go forward with your help .

second rest after shaping, I was rushing  stuff again, I didn't make them the same size, 

after 45 min resting in the proof chamber, I think my settings were a bit off, the temperature was around 30 but low humidity, the loafs might look big but actually, they are not, 

they looked good, not as baked as I wanted, the middle of the bread was dense because of my mistake in my final proof.

I guess this time because I shaped my baguettes better than before the sides didn't crack at all. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have no experience with the equipment you are proofing in.  It reads like your steaming in the proofer is much too long (10 minutes?)  so that the humidity is over 90%.  Have you got any way of reading the humidity in there?  I'd borrow the gauge from my  cigar box (long story) to check it until you figure out what's going on.  Try heating only half the time or use less water in the proofer.  I don't have the instructions so I'm not sure if the proofer can run "dry."  By reducing the hydration of the dough, the fermenting time will be longer.  Watch the dough and pinch the dough to feel how it is expanding during the proof. 

Another tip you might try is to weigh the dough and then divide trying to make each baguette the same weight.  It would be easier for you to tell differences and compare them to each other.  

Cracking the skin has a lot to do with the tension inside the loaf, degree of fermentation, and the dryness of the skin.  With tiny French Sticks, I might be tempted to do one long score down the middle with a 30° slant on the blade.  I especially like this size with skinny salami and pepperoni sliced ultra thin with folded over swiss cheese, A few cucumbers or pickles and finished!  Perfect sandwich.

I think that once you have control of 55% hydration for a few bakes and feel comfortable with it, you can up the hydration to 60% and work with that for awhile.  Sooner or later you will find the hydration that works best for you for the time being.  Change it as your skills improve.  I would suggest taking a baking course and get some text books to study and read.  There is a lot of education to being a skilled baker.

Took me awhile but figured out "claps" meant "collapse."  Dough temperature is also something to look into.  You want to learn to control the fermenting process in the dough.  Very important.  How the dough changes as it ferments and how to use the process to your advantage.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear Mini Oven, I finally got what was wrong with my proofing, Lol it wasn't my proof chamber, it was the temperature of my water for activating the yeast, I was using too cold of the water and because of that the yeast wouldn't active.
but now look what I have got this time. I also listen to you and managed to decrease the water in the recipe, something around 50% to 55% so I don't end up with a sticky or hard dough. this time I used steam for 15 min and 40 min final proofing in 45 degrees proof chamber and the result was satisfying but still can get better than this. this time I also measured my dough after mixing ingredients, and then divided it into 2 pieces, shaped it into baguettes. about the baking course  I must say I have actually passed a course like that, it took me 6 months of studying but that was very long ago, and to be honest, we were watching the entire time while teacher ( chef - baker ) was doing everything , so we practically didn't get enough practice , but since I know that I am a practical person I decided to start all over again on myself, I know its very hard but still with the internet ( forums - videos - and ... ) it could be possible . since my proof chamber is not advanced and controls for humidity and temperature is not controlled very well by the machine, I have to do everything manually and find the correct temperature and humidity of this machine by practice, but I have read that humidity must be 80% to 85% for dough while proofing.


so for now take a look at the pics and later on I have some questions.

aroma and the taste were very good, I still wanted to have better air holes, the dough needed a bit more rest, next time I will make it even better.  let me know what do you think this baguette, what about my dough scoring ?? now I have some questions to ask of you guys and I appreciate if you could guide me with it. 

I baked some bread a few days ago just to try artisan toppings on it, here is how my bread looked like :

besides the fact that the bread itself didn't turn out good, what was bothering the most of was that the toppings were coming off so easily even by moving the bread .... well maybe I am exaggerating. any suggestions to make them stick a bit better, or is it how they suppose to be? and it feels like it's better not to score the bread if I am using artisan toppings for it ??!!! 

and here is my next question, take a look at this pic and tell me how can I get that flour effect on the parts next to my scoring cuts :

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What could you be doing to get seeds to stick?  

Scoring.... try looking at the bands of dough between the scores as you score.  Focus on the dough skin, not the opening cut.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear Mini Oven I just dipped the dough into the toppings, I held the stretched dough like a big cable and touched the toppings with it, at that time, it looked perfectly attached to the dough and it looked right, but right after cooking, they kept falling off. I think it because the water that held the toppings is no longer present so ... it just falls off. I was wondering if a way to make them more stable ... I also really like to get that flour effect:  that would be awesome if you let me know how. dust the bread after baking or before baking and after my final proofing or what ???

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven
Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

If you are looking for a clear difference in color between the dough surface and the dough exposed by the slash, try dusting the loaf with rice flour before you proof.  Rice flour does not brown much and will leave the white look on the surface.

If you want to go the other way and have no surface flour, just brush the loaf with water before slashing and be sure to fully wet the surface.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

When you think about the mechanics of seeds sticking to the crust you have to ask what is the adhesive that sticks to the seed or if they are not sticking what is the coating that encloses them and holds them against the crust. Either mechanism will work. I would suggest that different seeds demand different approaches. Almonds or pumpkin seeds vs poppy seeds might be the extreme range.  At the large end of the spectrum you may have to use an egg wash and let the egg protein be your glue. For small seeds, a wet surface may free enough starch to do the job.  In between, if the seeds are wet and the surface is wet, you may get some help from flour proteins.  Oily seeds with smooth surfaces (think sesame) may need a different approach than the irregular surface and high local curvature of a poppy seed.  For challah I brush the surface with egg wash, then dip a thumb in egg wash, then dip the same thumb into a plate of seeds, then transfer the seeds to the loaf with a rolling motion. Done right, you pick up enough egg wash in the process of laying down the seeds that you don't need to re-dip your thumb into egg before you go back for more seeds. I don't see this as a good plan for bagel production, but perhaps a little dilute egg white protein sprayed on the surface before you dip might help.  Trial and success will get you there eventually.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Hello again and sorry for the delay been really busy with work etc but can see you are really serious especially all the new equipment - what in can see is some great progress and determination whichbisnexactlybwhat you need for this endeavor. I will read your latest more closely and reply - I do think you are getting a little ahead of yourself with technicalities especially the temperature calcs etc which are all very important but I will say that there are so many variables with bread that until you get start seeing consistency these will just be distractions for now. I would immediately recommend focusing on a few key points for a while and by that I mean getting a slew of bakes under your belt before even thinking about temps especially with the water temp. Just use room temp water as that is almost always pretty consistent. The purpose of temperature control is really to help with yeast development and until you have a benchmark these temps will only add variables to your bakes. You cpuld if course go with a particular water temp each time to develop benchmarks but again you are adding more steps that can distract from all the other basics so in my mind just using room temp water is 100% fine (unless you are in the arctic or Egypt where things are extreme) that way you can focus on shaping and mixing more closely. AGAIN temps are important for timing and come into play in commercial bakeries where you can't change plans like you would in a home kitchen. You're better off learning how dough develops that worry about things that are important commercial bakers. I will tell you this - I care about ambient temps to adjust proofing times and frankly doesn't matter if its 72f or 82f I just know that at 82f final proof is about 30 minutes vs 45 minutes at 72f.

I hope you get where I am going here - that is to thrown out some of these technicalities which may only serve to complocate a procedure that at the core is very simple but sensitive.

The key is to know your dough and that takes many many many repetitions and the simpler these repetitions are the faster you can get to read the dough. You want to be able to identify / avoid a problem early on and the fewer variables the better. Sooner or later you begin to realize that yeast activity can surprise you and that is difficult to write up so better to rely on your own repeated bakes to gauge this.

Well so much for a short reply! Its been awhile so I am eager to engage and hope to respond more to your efforts and points above but I am really excited for you - lets get these loaves to the next level ! More later ;)

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear Mini Oven thanks for the link, I looked into it and I got some new ideas of how to add those seeds, but I won't brush it with egg wash no matter what ... Lol, Call me crazy but I kinda feel its cheating to brush baguettes with egg wash, I guess its just my personal preference. I will find the way...

dear Doc.Dough so you think, they use rice flour on wheat flour on those fancy bakeries? to get that effect ??? well I might try what you said and see what will happen. thanks for the suggestion. Wow, I never thought about it that way, so I have to think about what sort of substance can act as a glue for each kind of seed and hold it to the dough. water or oil spray I think I can try them to see what will happen. I used Features flax, toasted sesame, black caraway, midget sunflower, poppy, and anise seeds as toppings.

dear kendalm , wow finally you are here, I was waiting for your post, welcome back. I see you are so busy too. my daily schedule is that I leave home 4.40 am, and come back home 3 pm ( i am a Sales Specialist in a food company ), then I go the gym and come back home 5 pm after an hour or so I start baking that's what I am doing almost these days, I don't like my current work , so I am trying to make a change by becoming a baker, as I said I am so practical , I mean i learn by doing . I am glad to hear it from you that I am on the right track. I know what you mean by saying that " a little ahead of yourself" and I believe that you are right, I guess it's because I passed a baking class before and I thought recently if I want to become good at baking I need all the right tools, to be honest, the only device I have that might be a bit unnecessary for me now is my final proofing chamber ... but hear me first, what I am trying to say is that, I have the final proofing chamber and I cant go back now that I have it, I cant sell it to someone else and ... so I guess it's better to use it to my advantage. I hope I could use your guidance along the way. well I wanna learn baking but I also want to learn how to do it the way they do it in bakeries and stuff, well maybe not that advanced, but maybe something in between. to the point that I could manage a shop. for now, I wanna learn as many as bread cakes cookies and ... as possible and I will do that by any means necessary. you recommended decreasing stuff that can be distractions while making the bread and by doing that making the process simpler, I understand what you are saying and I would like to that as well.if i user room temperature water it means that I have to rest my dough even more, because of my yeast won't active at room temp that easy and my bread always end up dense when I use room temp water, you can see the previous results above, since I started using 40 Degree C water to for my yeast now I have no problem to make my bread in almost 75 min ( 15 min first rest - 15 second rest after shaping - 45 min in proof chamber ) but if I use room temperature water ( 21 degrees c ), I have to wait a lot ... I have a lot to do so that's why I was trying to speed up the progress, well it doesn't mean that I don't want quality bread that's why I am trying my best to get things right. I believe we are on the same page, I want to set aside complications and make the progress way easier but also use my equipment to do things in a better way and also be able to speed up the prosses and increase the quality in any way possible, I agree with you ( fewer variables the better) . recently I have been able to read the dough far better than before, it was really hard in the beginning and now I am getting better by the help of everyone in here. thanks for your reply I wished I could be able to stay in touch with you out of this forum as well since baking your specialty. thanks for all the support and kind words.
" let's get these loaves to the next level" I am ready when you are ...

here are my latest baked goods, I was trying to get that rustic look and at the same time try resting my dough in the proof chamber once with steam and the other time without steam, the result was really interesting, I share in here and let me know what you think.

here are my first 2 baguettes, 90 min of resting in my proof chamber at 45-degree c temp but room humidity around 45 to 50 ( i didn't use steam ). The baguette on the top is the one I dusted with flour before I leave it for final proof and the one below that is the one I dusted with flour after final proof.  then baked them at 220 degrees C for 12 to 13 minutes. 

and here is a slice 

here are my first 2 baguettes, 60 min of resting in my proof chamber at 45-degree c temp steamed around 12 minutes 85 % humidity. The baguette on the top is the one I dusted with flour before I leave it for final proof and the one below that is the one I dusted with flour after final proof.  then baked them at 220 degrees C for 12 to 13 minutes. 

 

and here is a slice 

The taste and texture of both pieces of bread seem the same, except the baguettes the one I seemed didn't have cracks on the sides and also browned much better than the ones I gave a long time (90 min rest) and rested in normal humidity ... I can't decide about the looks yet and i wanna know whats your take on my lates test. please let me know what you think ?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Especially on the scoring which we see you figured I'd better to to cut more lengthwise. Btw I know you are reluctant to use just ambient water temps but I can tell you why the rise doesn't happen and thats because you've been adding a ton of yeast and then activating them with with warm water and your expectation has been skewed. That's all fine but here's the the results whichbare predictable - at 80f with 2% yeast you are going to be making plain white bread - ie the fluffy stuff as is seen in your crumb shots. - same formula at say 72% with same prodding times and the yeast will activate slower and hence dense bread. Here's are recommended protocol using .3% ADY at room temps. - mix your ingredients and rest for 1.5 hours if you use water around 72f the dough should end up more like 76-78f and btw I would bother measuring the temps - I will always stab the dough with a digital thermometer at this point just for fine ajustments but otherwise I will rest for 1 hour the stretch and fold then rest again for 30 minutes. At this point the dough should have risen about 1.5 times possibly even a little less. There should be a few small bubvles showing at the surface (also the hour mark should also show just a few bubbles developing) - put the dough on the refridgerator for at least 6 hours but up to 24 hours. The dough should be about double size by this point. - next day divide and preshape (typically 350g each). Rest the preshapes for 15-20 minutes. - shape the loaves and final proof for about 40 minutes. - score and bake at about 475f (as you have seen I boost my oven to 550 since heast is lost quickly as the door opens - usually about 80f is lost from 10 or seconds of opening the door. The above steps differ from what you are doing by slowing everything down and slowing processes to gradually act on the dough. Flavors will develop and the crumb should become more 'open' as there are fewer gas pockets competing for space. This all does not happen in a few bakes either btw - maybe set your expectations and consider that what you know now only increases each time and theres really no end to the learning.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear kendalm ,  thank you for the quick reply, more lengthwise I got it, ok I will listen to you and I will do as you say I set aside my expectations for now and focus on the quantity of the yeast and resting and proofing time. I have one of those thermometers for my dough temperature, so that not a problem.  next try would be without high temperature or humidity on the proof chamber, and instead, i go for slow room temperature and normal temp water. less yeast and more resting mean more taste and better texture, yet my previous attempts weren't so successful when I didn't use proof chamber, but this time I am gonna try this method and be more patient this time. so my recipe would be like : for 2 loafs :  100% flour350 grams of flour 7 grams active dry yeast  ----> 2%195 gram water ----> 57%7 gram salt ---> 2% well, whenever I go above 195 grams of water for 350 grams of flour my dough become wet and sticky.  then as you said I will rest it for one hour, then fold then rest again for 30 minutes, then refrigerate it for 6 to 24 hours then, divide and rest for 20 min and then shape and rest for 40 min, score and then bake.  my 3 questions :is this all good? how about my recipe?  can I use the same method to bread like challah bread or other massive bread which have wheat flour? 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Yes this is a good approach but first off the yeast quantity is very high - 2% is going to raise that dough way too quickly - you need about a 10th of that amount - 0.2% or a bit higher say up to 0.4% - lets call it 0.3g. A teaspoon weight 3g you need about 1/8 teaspoon for 350g of flour. I can't stress how powerful ADY yeast is - this is laboratory grown pure yeast with a few dead cells protecting the granuals it grows like crazy and this is one reason your loaves appear more like white bread so you should trust this process. You may want to stab the dough,with your thermometer after final mix and verify that it is around 25-26c then you can go ahead with the 1hr + 30 minute timing. If temperature of the dough is say around 29-30 then drop the times to about 50 minutes + 15-20 minutes and look out for the following

At the first stretch and fold the dough should have barely risen and should show a few small bubbles on the surface around 5mm in diameter - by a few I mean 1 or two barely noticeable little bubbles. Then do a simple letter fold and let it sit again for 30 minutes - you should see more rise at this point up to 1.5 times the original size possibly a bit less. Do another letter fold, dust the dough and refrigerate under a plastic cover to keep drafts off the dough. It should feel like a babies skin at this point - touch the dough with the back of your hand and notice how subtle it is - if it feels like described and looks about 1.5 times the original size then you are on the right track. By morning assuming youve prepped at night notice the dough has about doubled in size. If more than double then the yeast quantity is probably a bit high and means next bake requires an adjustment - this actually isp one reason I use fresh yeast as a measuring out such small quantitesl of active dry yeast is tricky and can easily result in a bit too much activity. Also just asna reminder theres plenty of baguette specialists here and you may like to check out for example alfanso as he blogs every bake and although taking the summer off he has a loy of good material. Also check out txfarmer who posted a great newbie tutorial both of,these guys a re wizards so keep it interesting a look at things from various points of view up to here I've provided my preferred method and happy to keep helping but each has their own specialty - good much and keep posting !

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Just a side note - most bakers here proof under a sheet of plastic of towell - the objective is really to keep drafts of the loaves so dont get too caught up on humidity settings etc - morr importantly stick to process and try not to fiddle with too many knobs and guages - the more consistency each time allows you to focus on 1 or 2 step imporvements. I would start by focusing on yeast quantity and proofing times right now ;)

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear kendalm I tried to follow this chart but then my scale wouldn't show me anything under a gram so it was impossible to measure those small amounts of yeast so I tried to go close to those numbers for long fermentation. I did what we talked about, please let me know what do you think : 

but then I used another formula from elsewhere that used sourdough and also some yeast, although my dough was so wet in the end and it was over fermented but still the result looks amazing, I think if I try it several times I might get it right.

they are light, the texture is amazing smell is nice, I haven't eaten any of it, until morning that I eat some at work. please could you tell me more about how to read the dough, it seems I have been distracted by technicalities too much that I haven't realized how much it's important to read the dough, maybe if you have a link or video or something that would help a lot. and you know what, you are right, I must find a way to make bread and perfect it and also be able to read the dough and bread and learn to adjust stuff, recipes make things easier. thank you so much

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That this batch is a massive improvement - now let me,get on your case just a little about size consistency - you've got a huge difference in size long ines sorties etc - this should not be too hard to get them all roughly the same length (not beong mean just having a bot of fun but seriously - get that under wraps they look so nice but the sizes are drivong me nutty)

As for the yeast at LESS than a couple grams you need to resort to teaspoons and 1/2 teaspoons - just knkw that a teaspoon of granulated yeast weighs jist shy of 3g then you can measure by taking 1/4 teaspoon to equal .7g etc. ,but immediately with the lower yeast content these loaves look way more in the direction you are heading.

Didn't you also notice that the cold dough is easier to,work - that's a huge advantage of the cold retard.

Its,quite hard to tell,from photos regarding the fermentation but at first glance and also knowing the dough was at 28c with probably a little high on the yeast (judging from the photo) it seems the first rest was a bit accelarated growth but still look at the improvemrnt ! Btw if I have punch down that tells me the yeast is working too fast - a simple sf should return the ball to its original size plus a tiny bit of volume - it appears a little voluminous but again that's hard to say - if,you view the photos I posted above of the dough in mixing,bowl that s the hour mark.

What kind of flour are you using (brand etc where are you locates) - looking really good !

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear kendalm , I used 2 different methods to bake the bread , first method was cold in refrigerator , as I said, at the end the dough didn't active, so the final result that you see in that picture is not the one i used cold fermentation , the second method i used was room temp fermentation and the final bread that you see is the result of that .


handeling cold dough was easier for sure , but even after 4 hours the dough didnt rise at all . iam not sure why ? the refiragrator temp was 6 degree so it was not that cold but the dough was so hard and didnt rise . you are also right about the size of my you are also right about the size of my dough, next time I will weigh my dough , I promise , this time my dough was so much fermented that Iwasn't able to handle it, too sticky and so hard to shape , I used some oil to shape it but it wasn'tenough, so that's why they are in different size and shapes .

Ok, so one teaspoon around 3 grams and 1/4 teaspoon is around 0.7 grams. your dough seems to be more dehydrated compare to my dough, when I go above 55% dehydration my dough become so sticky and Iwon't be able to handle it.I live in Iran and in here they sell flours usually without any brands,Iget bread flour from bread shops .

I am gonna use the other method again, because in the recipe it said, ferment your sourdough overnight ( 8 to 12 hours ) and I left it to ferment for 24 hours and I guess I rested my own dough a bit more and used around 5 to 10 grams more water and that's the reason my dough was a bit over fermented and hard to shape and size . 

thanks for the quick reply and you awesome honest critiques, I need that.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

Hey, guys, I used :

for poolish:
2 g fresh yeast or 1 g/¼ teaspoon dried/active dry yeast

125 g/125 ml/½ cup warm water

125 g/1 cup white/unbleached plain/all-purpose flour or French T55 flour

 for dough

300 g/2⅓ cups white/unbleached plain/all-purpose flour or French T55 flour

5 g/1 teaspoon salt
2 g fresh yeast or 1 g/¼ teaspoon dried/active dry yeast

140 g/140 ml/½ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water

my dough became so sticky . 1- could you please tell me what the hydration percentage for the recipe above?

I read that recipe inside a book and the dough inside the book looked like this :

here is how the dough ended up looking after 15 min of mixing in standup mixer ( 8 minutes of speed 4 ) :

2- please tell me how much I should knead a wet dough? my dough I guess I bit too wet, I am not sure. please guide me. 

i am so confused and i am kinda frustrated that I am not getting a good result with it, because I wanted my bread to be less dense, and have more air holes that's because i am trying to go toward wet dough. but i am not sure if that recipe is correct or not. please guide me ... i didn't make a bread out of this dough at all. 

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That's your hydration (125+140)/(125+300) which is actually not that high hydration its a good starting point especially if you want dough you can shape although too much of a challenge - its seems from the first picture you've over mixed your dough - 15 minutes on high speed is rather aggressive - as an example with a ap type flour a good mixing strategy is about 8 minutes on lowest speed then anywhere between 2-6 minutes on high (that will depend on the flour strength) Someone (Jeffrey hammelmen I think) said you need to treat dough forcibly and gently at the same time and it looks like too much force has been applied the gluten is forming strands in the top photograph and ideally the smoother the better (Here's yesterday's batch which I took a few photos - above is right after final mix and below shows 1hr of fermentation and first stretch and fold)

Maybe a good video recommendation would help - I have been meaning to make some vids bit in the meantime can look up some helpful videos.  The mixing part if you follow a set method should result in smooth dough - also not flour brands vary considerably the one i posted turns out a particularly smooth dough but other can show lumps to a degree).  Please dont be discouraged all bakers have good and bad days so its not all waste if you didnt bake - keep on going and you will learn something every time ! 

 

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

The dough that I added in the above post is 72% and you can see in the first photo is really gooey amd can almost pour out of the mixing bowl.  Almost any sticky dough can be controlled with a dusting,of flour on the work surface so don't worry it ever seems sticky - note the second photo same dough (actually 1.5 hours after misong and 2 stretch and folds )  this dough is / was ready to refrigerate - if using commercial yeast the visual things to look for are some inflation as mentioned about 1.5 times increase and also some surface bubbles (look closely at the second picture and you may notice some surface bubbles) in this case they were slightly under developed and so I added another 20 minutes before hitting the refrigerator - this gives an idea of what it might look like if previous steps have worked out ok.

 

This video is my favorite YouTube which shows each step that I will typically follow - note also this is a double hydration where 10% of water is held until the final mix - https://youtu.be/DkHsbchF2-g 

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear kendalm thanks for all the help, I tried again and again and again so,  I was finally able to handle 62% to 65%
and that was pretty hard, first time I didn't get enough air holes inside my bread so second time I gave the dough a little bit more rest and everything went perfectly. 27-degree dough, 1 hours bulk and 30 min 3 times folding and 2 hours final rest. I will show you the pics below. and after all this time I can say that I am finally happy with my baguette and I did it all thanks to you and other friends guidance in here. I would enjoy watching you bake. so here is the final result. btw the youtube link was helpful, thanks.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

As you can see I.proving each time looks so much better - these little points all happen gradually and ultimately you find a process that works for you and your particular conditions. The holes are showing and after more bakes you should begin seeing more and more larger holes and you'll figure out where in the process to wait and where to hurry (ie bulk being slow and final proof kind of quick and then bake really hot and fast) it all comes down to control of the development from start to finish and it becomea a sort of ritual in a way - looks fantastic great job !

restless baker's picture
restless baker

it's all coming together quite nicely all thanks to your guidance . next time I will try to bake with a bit higher temperature. bread baking ritual, I like the sound of that.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

I tried to add some toppings , but when I do I cant score the dough, I am not sure if it's right to score if I have toppings or not, and besides I couldn't make the toppings evenly distributed all over the dough, and when the dough expanded you can see that some parts have no toppings . what should I do? any ideas?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Before you proof your dough, but after shaping, roll the top of the bread (opposite the seam) on a moistened towel.  Paper or cloth, doesn't matter. Roll from one side to the other around the barrel of the dough.  

Then repeat the activity but this time in a tray long enough to accommodate the length of the shaped dough.  The tray will contain whatever topping you wish to have.  If this provides too dense a topping, figure out how to either sprinkle less onto the tray, or how to sprinkle on top of the now moistened dough, and then have it thoroughly stick to the surface of the dough.

As far as scoring, there should be no issue with scoring a dough with some type of seed, herb, etc.  Just score as you normally would.

A word about scoring based on the photos of the previous bake you have above this posting.  It is the start of getting there.  But the scores are too diagonal.  Try to employ only the top third of the dough and have the scores closer together, and overlapping by about 1/3.  This is the harder of the tasks and takes a lot of practice for the majority of us to do well.

Keep an eye on the way that Kendalm does it.  He pretty much adheres to what I just typed here.  Also watch the first 90 seconds of this video .

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Just to follow up with alans scoring advice (he's really good at scoring if th didnt already figure) what I discovered is that tension is more important than the scores themselves, if you get good tension and believe it takes a lot of repetition then suddenly clicks - just about any slice of the blade will burst the dough - the nuances of the cut then matter as they will burst with more character. But as with tension, repetition and trying different grips and directions help you to,settle on a style that works for you. Originally I would score on upward angles from left to right (like this ///// but more shallow) eventually tried down strokes (like this \\\\\ again but more shallow) and suddenly realized the downward motion was easier for my grip and gave more control. The point is try different techniques that follow general rules and realize there is no exact correct way but only guides to finding your own personal touch - its no wonder slashes are considered the baker's signature !