The Fresh Loaf

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dark bottoms on my rye bread

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flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

dark bottoms on my rye bread

I make round loaves of dark rye bread and bake it on parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal on a sheet pan. The bottoms of the loaves are coming out too dark and hard. Any suggestions as to how I can prevent this? If I use a baking stone does it have to go into a cold oven and would this prevent the dark bottoms? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

generally, when i burn the bottoms of my loaves, it means that the stone is too hot, either because oven temp is too high or i have the stone down too close to the electric element. for rye breads, lower and slower is generally better than hotter and faster. try starting out at 425 or so for the first 10 minutes, with lots of steam to promote spring, and then turn it down to 325 and let it bake for another 2-3 hours. brush or spray the crust with water when you take the bread out of the oven and try not to cut into it for at least 24-48 hours for best texture and flavor.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

2-3 hours? Really? I have a gas stove.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

sorry, i was half awake when i read your post at about 5am local time and missed that you were making 50% rye. For that, I generally let it go for about 45-60 min at the lower temp, since it takes much less time for the gluten to set up and cook than for the rye polysaccharides.

as for gas/elec ... 325 is 325. the advantage to gas is that it throws off water vapor, with reduces the need for additional steaming.

Pablo's picture
Pablo

What percentage of rye flour is in your bread and what oven temperatures are you using?  Do you currently put your sheet pan into a cold oven or is it preheated?


:-Paul

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I use half  whole rye flour and half bread flour.  The loaf comes out great except for the bottom. I start it out in a preheated 375 degree oven for ten minutes and then go another 24 minutes at 325. I make two loaves at a time. I am thinking that the problem is with the sheet pan that I place the loaves on.

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

I'd recommend checking your oven's dial temp vs actual temp. If you don't have an oven thermometer, they can be purchased for quite cheap at most department stores for around $5-7. You might find that what you thought was a 375º oven may in fact be off by a fair bit, higher or lower. You might have to dial a few degrees higher or lower or it may be possible to adjust the temp - see your owner's manual if it turns out the oven isn't exactly right on.


As for the hot bottom, there's a couple of possible things to check out.


1) Use an "air baking" cookie sheet. These are just like regular baking sheet except they're made with two layers about 3mm apart so there's a tiny space of air in the middle. This helps keep the direct heat coming from the source below form hitting the bottom of the bread directly. This thin sheet of air will act as insulation.


2) Find a silicone cookie sheet liner. They are sort of the "fake" version of Silpat, are just a plain sheet of silicone and cost enormously less. This too, like the sheet of air above, will act as an insulator between the sheet and the bread. Of course if you have a Silpat, that would work too. With the plain silicone sheet at just a couple of bucks, however, you won't be so concerned if it starts to look a little beat up after a number of hot bakes where the $30 or so Silpat you might. AND they usually come in an array of bee-uuutiful colours too!


Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

What rack are you using in your oven? I always use the middle rack. If that is not an option, try baking on 2 sheet pans. 


Betty

Pablo's picture
Pablo

If you're happy with the rest of the bake, how about double panning to provide some insulation to the bottom of the loaf while it bakes.  Perhaps your oven heating the bottom of the thin pan is burning the loaves.


:-Paul

bwaddle's picture
bwaddle

I've had success with putting an upside down half sheet pan directly on the bottom of my commercial gas oven and putting my bread on the middle rack.


Bettie

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions. I just got my new oven and will try the bread in that one on a higher rack. I have tried double panning but that didn't seem to help, so hopefully this new oven will do the trick.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I used the airbake pans and no more dark bottoms! Thank you for the suggestion.