This was the Hamelman Oatmeal Bread using KA Bread Flour and Gold Medal Whole Wheat. I was suprised how much spring I got on the scalloping.
This is a lovely boule and I bet it tastes wonderful! I love oatmeal anything!!
Steve, your boule looks very nice, esp. the scoring.
Thanks! The taste of this bread was pretty good, although I'm not so sure about the texture. I think I would have done better making it in a bread pan for sandwiches. The crust was much better than anything I've bought in the store with a similar formulation, though.
Maybe I can convert the recipe to a sourdough...
Thank you for the scoring comments. This kind of scoring seems to be the only one I can get to work quite like I want. Any time I go for an ear, It completely pushes out.
Then again, I found this clay sculpting tool that I think will be perfect for scoring bread and let me get really deep and accurate on the angle and whatnot.
Steve, great looking Boule. What is the secret to scoring like that. Is the Oatmeal Bread recipe from Hamelman's book, Bread?
Yes, its from the Hamelman book, Bread. It is a pretty basic loaf. Very close to ones I've eyeballed in the past. Some white flour, some whole wheat flour, some water, some yeast, then a bit of honey and olive oil. Overnight in the fridge is supposed to improve it, but if there's a difference I'm not sure I notice it.
I scored this one with a double-edge razor, held in my hand. Cut about 1/4"-1/2" deep more or less straight down. Just made a criss-cross pattern. The razor catches a bit on the dough when going across in the second direction, but not badly enough to cause issues. The rest was oven spring from an initial temp of 480F onto a hot baking stone.
Next time I am going to use a clay sculpting knife which looks to be perfect for the job.
I made an oval loaf using an angled cut and the score completely pulled out, but you can still see the pattern of the underlying dough kinda stretching out.
I don't understand the problem you are having with "angled" cuts. What do you mean by "completely pulled out?" I can't picture it.
Maybe if you describe it more or, better yet, post a photo, we can help you get your ears up.
Thanks for the complement! What I mean to say is the score has completely flattened due to the expansion of the bread.
Here is a pic of the oval loaf I put in...
Another picture of a sourdough shows a big misshapen lump which I guess means I underscored... But also shows the very flat features (no ears)...
Okay. The pictures help a lot.
In the first place, if it matters to you, the technique that results in ears is not traditionally used for boules. It is used for long loaves like baguettes and bâtards. Please understand, if you want to use it for boules, it is not a crime in any of the 50 States, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.
Second, the "blow out" is not due to scoring. It is due to under-proofing. Some like this effect. Some don't.
Third, assuming you are making your cuts holding the blade at a shallow angle, obliteration of the ears is likely due to some combination of cutting too deep and imperfect steaming.
Now, the steaming part is complex and somewhat confusing. If you under-steam, the ears may never have a chance to form. If you over-steam, the blooming can stretch out the surface to the point it wipes out the ear.
I have the notion that, to get the most pronounced ear and grigne, you want a prolonged (not explosive) oven spring. Watching my own loaves through the oven window, my batârds are continuing to expand 15 minutes into a 30 minute bake. And I remove my steaming hardware after 10-12 minutes, almost always.
I have had more success getting cuts to behave as intended using water poured over lava rocks in a hot skillet than covering the loaves. This suggests that you want maximum steam right at the start of the bake. Covering the loaves must give a different "steam curve," with less steam at the start and increasing steam over at least the first 10 minutes.
Please note that some of this is speculative, but I'm sharing my current thinking.
I'll post comparison examples of the same bread baked with a cover compare to baked with the skillet method described. Hang on .....
Baked with a cover for 12 minutes
Steamed by water poured over hot lava rocks
Please don't conclude I categorically prefer the lava rocks in the skillet to covering the loaves. I have gotten outstanding results covering boules with a bowl. It just hasn't worked as well for me with batârds. I'm still working on it.
I've been using the lava rocks and getting good bread, nice crust, etc., but I still never get the kind of ears you get. It must be the deepness of the cut or the angle of the blade. Also, I wonder if I'm doing the steaming right. I have my lava rocks in a jelly roll pan set on the bottom of the oven, and I pull it out a couple of inches and dump the water in. I get a big burst of steam, so much that I can't imagine pouring the water all over the rocks without scalding myself. So, can you describe exactly what you for those like me, who lack imagination?
My steaming method (when I don't use Susan's Magic Bowl) is as follows:
One hour before baking, I put a baking stone on the middle shelf of the oven. On the bottom shelf, I put a metal loaf pan and a 7 inch cast iron skillet. In the skillet is a heaping mound of lava rocks. (The skillet will get pretty ugly over time, if your water is hard. I don't use this skillet for anything else.)
Note: I'm right handed. I push the stone almost all the way to the left side of the oven. The skillet is placed all the way on the right side at the front of the oven. (You will see why.)
I turn the oven to 500F/convection.
When the loaves are proofed and ready to bake, I do the following:
1. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Throw a handfule (about 4 or 5) ice cubes in the loaf pan. Shut the oven door.
3. Dump the loaves onto my peel (or equivalent transfer tool), score them and load them in the oven.
4. Without moving anything in the oven, I put on an oven mitt and pour about a cup of boiling water over the lava rocks. Fast! Close the door before the steam can get out.
5. Turn the oven down to the proper baking temperature.
6. After 10-15 minutes, I quickly remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven and put them on the stove. Close the door, warn my wife there is a very hot skillet on the stove and finish baking.
I hope that helps.
I always leave a pot holder on the handle of the hot skillet after it comes out of the oven. That is the universal warning signal here. So far, so mishaps.
I am curious why you use both ice cubes and rocks. Would you mind elaborating on your reasoning there?
This is based on Hamelman's procedure. The cubes pre-humidify the oven before loading. The rocks steam it after loading. Does it make a difference? I've never tested it systematically.
Thanks, David. That makes sense. I didn't think about pre-humidfying the oven.
I'm always willing to try something to get better bread. The reason that I pull my steam tray out is because I got a Fibrament stone that covers the entire area of my rack with a gap around the edges. It works great, and I'm used to it now, but it makes it hard to get the water poured in without manipulating the bottom pan...as a plus, I don't have as many problems loading bread as I used to.
I've been learning about bread baking for the last 6 months … taking classes, reading books, gathering info from websites/blogs, and experimenting. One recipe I had tagged was Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread … and there it was, beautifully baked, in your post. I was inspired! Thank you. I am pleased with today’s results … still so much to learn but it is quite encouraging as a newbie when product turns out well. I appreciate all the interesting and informative posts this site has to offer!
you have there. Thanks for sharing the pic with us
Thanks for the feedback!