The Fresh Loaf

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Flying Crust Yet Again...

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rowejd's picture
rowejd

Flying Crust Yet Again...

Please Help me with my flying crust problem!


I've posted on this before when I was using the sourdough recipe from Richard Bertinet's book CRUST.  I always had flying crusts and concluded that my home wasn't cool enough for the super-slow rising time, thus over-proofing.  Now I'm not so sure that was the problem and here's why...


I used the sourdough recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart and got a flying crust.  But the giant cavern wasn't at the top, it was smack in the middle.  The rest of the bread seemed dense with few holes and then there was the cavern in the middle with dense crumb on the top and bottom!  It was delicious, but ugly and a bit dense.


So can anyone help me diagnose why?  Here are the factors.  First, it's been super hot today and I may have let it rise a bit too long?  He says 3-4 hours and I let it rise 4.  The air conditioning is on in our house so it's not super hot.


Also, the dough was pretty hydrated.  I misted it with oil, so I'm relatively certain it didn't dry out.  I also covered it with a damp cloth.


Another factor, I'm not sure if this makes a difference...is that I put it in my linen-lined baskets.  I put plenty of flour to try to keep it from sticking, but it still stuck some, so I had to turn over the baskets super fast on top of the peel and kind of slam them down so the dough would drop out of the baskets in one piece.


The things I think I should try:


--1, proof it less time
--2, don't slam it ;-)   Maybe put an abundance of flour in the baskets, or do a batard or something and put it on a sheet tray rather than a basket
--3, try to get the dough a little drier, not so hydrated


Can any of you experts give me any advice so I don't keep having the problem?  What do you think's causing it and what of these solutions do you think are best???

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

So many things that are 'possible' here... realistically, your best bet for concise help would be:


A. Post complete recipe, including any changes you made, and how much actual time you had between each phase. Also include any folding techniques you might have used.


B. Pictures. These will be the best things we can use to start throwing ideas out there. Need pic of dough at autolyse or end of mix stage. Pic after first rise. Pic after shaping, after proofing, on the peel and out of the oven. For starters : )


I'm suspicious of the shaping, but for sure, overproofing and rough handling are going to contribute to negative outcomes.


- Keith

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Ditto ...


The PR book you describe has several sourdough recipes and I assume you're using the Basic Sourdough Bread recipe on pp 233 - 235.  In addition to the suggestion(s) already posted, please indicate your method of measuring ingredients (weight or volume) and, if by volume, how you fill your measuring vessels (sprinkle, dip/level/pour) etc.


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It could be the way the dough is folded, try not to trap air into the dough with a fold.  This is hard to discribe...   (think of the symbols as folding dough)  Instead of   () , try  )(  .  Fold so that the dough colapses from the fold first and then toward the edges, press with palms to seal before the next fold.


I've noticed that when rolling dough quickly on a flat surface to shape, large bubbles tend to create an uneven loaf with weak spots running just under the surface, the length of the dough, by continuing the rolling motion, the gas is forced to release or can be located to puncture.  It's a touchy feely thing.  If I find my dough has too many bubbles and I want a finer crumb, I may just knead to force out as many as possible before shaping.


Mini

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hello rowejd,


First off, you can't go wrong taking Mini's advice! Blowouts from the interior of a loaf usually mean the skin wasn't tight and the seam wasn't sealed.



So can anyone help me diagnose why?  Here are the factors.  First, ...I may have let it rise a bit too long?  He says 3-4 hours and I let it rise 4.



Was the 4-hour rise time bulk fermentation or proofing? Four hours of proofing always seems like too much to me, unless the dough was in the refrigerator beforehand, in which case most of the time wouldn't qualify as proofing or rising.



Also, the dough was pretty hydrated... I put it in my linen-lined baskets.  I put plenty of flour to try to keep it from sticking, but it still stuck some, so I had to turn over the baskets super fast on top of the peel and kind of slam them down so the dough would drop out of the baskets in one piece.



Really wet dough, in my experience, is better proofed in a couche, either as baguettes or batards. Others may disagree, but I find that the slackness of wet dough doesn't lend itself as well to the bulkiness that bannetons imply. Wet dough also needs to be treated very gently, because it's easier to deflate.


When using bannetons, as a transfer method, I recommend putting a piece of parchment over your banneton, placing your peel over the parchment, lifting the whole thing carefully, and in a smooth motion turning the assemblage over. Then put the peel down and remove the banneton. If you didn't use enough flour in the basket and it's stuck, you can gently work the basket free of the dough. This is less likely to deflate your dough than the slam-dunk-basket method. ;-)


HTH!


David

rowejd's picture
rowejd

Thanks to all.  Your advice was all helpful.  I did figure out by doing a few trials with other loaves--that it was indeed my "slam dunk" that was messing up the loaves.  I just took the time to rinse out my baskets & clean the linen with just water and then blow-dry it to remove all old hardened dough that could create snags/hangups.  it has helped immensely.  Also, as suggested, the baguettes / batards work much nicer with the more hydrated dough.


Thanks again.