The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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sadears's picture
sadears

Too funny

At baking911.com there is a troubleshooting section.  One of the problems listed is 'large holes.'  I find it funny since everyone here, as far as I can tell, want large holes, or somewhat large.  It says the problem is underkneading or over rising.  The remedy is thorough kneading.  Anyway, thought I'd share.

 

Steph 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Steph,

I like to make a whole wheat round loaf kind of like the BBA miche recipe as a sandwich bread or for "melts" where I put some ham and cheese on and toast it. In that particular case, it's nice not to have a lot of great big holes in it, at least I prefer not to have such big holes. However, for ciabatta, it would be a failure to have no holes in it. It seems like it's harder to get the conditions just right to have lots of holes, which may explain the obsession with getting the holes just right.

I've enjoyed watching your high altitude adventure, by the way. Have you checked out Mike Avery's sourdough site? He's at high altitude and seems to have lots of clues about baking way up high.

Bill Wraith

sadears's picture
sadears

Website.  The group at Yahoo?  If not then no.  I haven't seen it.  If it's the same man, I've heard of him.

 

As for the holes, I just found it funny because I searched on sourdough bread. 

 

Glad you're enjoying my adventures. ;-D

Steph

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Steph,

http://www.sourdoughhome.com/ is Mike Avery's site. His site is a good resource on sourdough baking and has many tips for high altitude baking.

Bill

sadears's picture
sadears

but didn't realize it was his.  Also, didn't notice the troubleshooting for high altitude.  He's a thousand feet higher than I am.  My temp wasn't getting any higher than 180.  I didn't want the crust to get rock hard again so I took them out.  I'll cut one open in an hour or so.  I knew adjustments had to be made when baking at high altitudes, but if I had known bread was such a pain, I might not have tried.  But...I have had my successes with commercial yeast bread, I will be successful with starter breads.  Damn it!!  Picture Steph stomping her foot.... I will succeed. ;-D

 

Steph

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Steph,

For what it's worth, those loaves in your pictures looked sopping wet to me. Are you sure you have the right hydration? I would think that, depending on the flour, the ratio of total weight of water to total weight of flour in your recipe ought to be somewhere between 65 and 75%, notwithstanding the altitude, depending on what you're trying to accomplish (holes, no holes, that sort of thing). Also, if I understood Mike, you could measure the boiling point of water, and it should be the case that in a hot enough oven, your dough would be ready when the internal temperature is about 5 degrees below the boiling point? Like, I try to get my dough to reach about 207 deg F for a boiling point of 212,  whereas Mike tries to get a temp of about 195 for a boiling point of 198 or something like that. I like to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature to determine whether something is done. The Oxo one is good, or the KA digital is nice too.

Bill

sarah phillips's picture
sarah phillips

CEO and founder, http://www.baking911.com

Steph,

The Troubleshooting Section for Bread Baking on baking911.com http://www.baking911.com/bread/problems.htm you were reading from has to do with Pan Breads, such as white, whole wheat, etc, not sourdough bread. They are made from packaged yeast typically baked in a pan. Large holes in pan breads are a problem.

If you look lower down the page, there's a separate troubleshooting section for Bread Machine Breads, and then Artisan Breads. We are in the process of redesigning the site so information is easier to read and find.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Yes, there are all kinds of reasons to either want or not want holes, depending on the type of bread. I think Steph just meant there is humor in the irony that what is troubleshooting in one bread baking situation is just the opposite in another. We have parallel baking universes, one where great effort is spent to get rid of holes while at the same time in the other everyone is working overtime to create them. I felt no criticism whatsoever of baking911 in this thread, for what it's worth, if that was a concern. In fact, I visited the site as a result of the initial comment.

sadears's picture
sadears

You hit the nail on the head.  But, just to defend myself, I went back and clicked on everything to get to the troubleshooting.  Since I was in the section for sourdough, I thought I'd go directly to sourdough troubleshooting.  My bad for assuming. ;-D

 

But, really, can't you put sourdough in a pan and want big holes?  Lots of nooks and cranny for whatever your spreading on the bread.  Just like an English muffin.

 

Steph

sarah phillips's picture
sarah phillips

bwraith you wrote: "there is humor in the irony that what is troubleshooting in one bread baking situation is just the opposite in another. We have parallel baking universes, one where great effort is spent to get rid of holes while at the same time in the other everyone is working overtime to create them."

Thanks for your comments! It's so true, isn't it!?

CEO and founder, http://www.baking911.com

sarah phillips's picture
sarah phillips

I could see where there was some confusion, Steph. Thanks for checking out my site.

CEO and founder, http://www.baking911.com