The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How High Your Bread

  • Pin It
AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

How High Your Bread

Ok,  a mere beginner here, trying very hard, alas - the starter bubbles at the seams, the La Cloche at the ready, the dough has been folded, degassed, allowed to rise thrice its prerequisite double - and still, the resulting loaf cannot get above 3 1/2 inches at its highest point. The most flour used is 4-1/4 cups plus 1 cup starter.  Do these wonderful professional-looking artisan breads in here include more flour to give them more height ?


HELP !

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

do better in a loaf pan ?

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

it would help. It sounds like you are using a sourdough starter? If so, is it new? Has it fully developed?


Sometimes, if the dough is very slack (high hydration) is will appear very flat, but properly proofed you will have great oven spring.


Betty

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/paindeprovence


substituting the Poolish with 1 cup of my starter (1 cup water, 1-1/2 cup bread flour) and substituting the liqueur with a 1/4 cup water (in addition to the prescribed water amount of 1/2 cup). I increased the yeast to 2 teaspoons since my starter didn't have any and used 3 1/4 cups of bread flour.


Actually, not much left over from the original recipe, grin....  I went outside and snipped off a few rosemary needles, some sweet basil and fresh oregano.


Thanks all.


 


 

SourFlour's picture
SourFlour

It sounds like one issue you could be having is that your starter is not active enough.  What feeding schedule do you have it on? I'm currently feeding Blarf 9:4:5 (starter:flour:water) every 24 hours to keep 125% hydration; Dulce is on 4:4:5, which is a bit more food, but same otherwise.


Also, during proofing, you may want to give it more time.  How long are you currently proofing for?  Warmer temperatures could speed things up as well.


Hope this helps.


Danny - Sour Flour
http://www.sourflour.org

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

1 cup water to 1 1/2 cups of flour, and overnight it was overflowing its container on the counter. As far as letting the dough rise, I was following a recipe which called for letting it rise three times which it did.   :(

Susan's picture
Susan

Hi!  If you are a yeast-bread baker who's beginning to bake sourdough, you may be using the same techniques that you used for yeast bread, and some of them don't work well for sourdough.   For a loaf baked in a La Cloche, I'd recommend retaining as much gas as possible in the loaf, but assuring a tight shaping before the proofing.  Employ only two risings:  fermentation and proofing.  Sourdough, in my experience, doesn't take well to three risings.  Let us know how it goes.


Susan from San Diego

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Susan, you are on to something.  Yes, I actively knead after the first rise and degas (viciously, grin) after the second rise.

marieJ's picture
marieJ

Hello Anna!  My experiences with sourdough reflect what susan mentioned about only 2 proofing tiems per loaf.  I had a starter that was substantially more active and 'assertive' than my current darling (starter)and even she was sometimes unable to achieve 'height'.  After much experience and endless practice I found tight shaping to be a pretty good technique to achieve a better height and avoid a flatter, but still attractive, Italian style loaf.  I got to know my starter and her unique ways and found the best method was to proof for 1 hour, shape, then proof for a further 6 hours - sometimes 7 depending on the recipe. I have also found that I can only achieve oven spring if I bake loaves on a hot ceramic stone tile (non glazed).  the direct heat that comes up through the base of the loaf supports this kind of activity in the oven.  When I proof and bake on baking paper on a perforated pizza tray, I get very little oven spring, but the upside is I don't lose any hieght because I place the whole thing into the oven - as opposed to knocking some of the air out of the final loaf while I manhandle it off the bench and into the hot oven.  when proofing on a tray, the whole thing can be lifted into the oven without disturbing the loaf.  I hope some of this helps.


Be sure to read back through all the history of postings of the good people on this site.  by reading some of the older messages in this forum, you'll find alot of fabulous, articulate and pertinent advice from beginners and those very experienced - and all those in betwen.


 


Good luck and joyful baking!! ;-)

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I so appreciate your comments. Especially that you also preheat a stone. That is one thing I am not yet certain of. Do I dare to preheat the bottom of the La Cloche without anything on it ?  I can hear it shatter in the oven, argh....


I will try to do better at tightly folding and only do a two time-rising. Right now I am in the process of doing a very thick starter, I figure if this one bubbles, it will rise the bread dough as well  :)


Thanks much !  and yes, this is a wonderful community of helpful and very knowledgeable members, great to be a part of it.


anna

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I baked a loaf in my La Cloche last weekend by preheating the entire unit to 525F during the oven preheat.  I let it heat soak for about 15 minutes once the oven got up to temperature to get thoroughly heated all the way through.  Then I popped the oven open, the lid off (with heavy mitts) and got the bread into it.  I replaced the cover and shoved it all back in the oven as quickly as I could.  In about 4 minutes the oven spring was so good that the bread picked up the cover, which slid off center a bit!  I re-centered the lid and left it on for a total of 15 minutes, then removed it and turned down the heat to 450F and baked for 25 minutes more in just the bottom half of the baker.


I tried this on the strength of Daniel Wing's writing in "The Bread Builders" with Alan Scott.  There he reported that he had discussed this use with the inventor/manufacturer of the La Cloche and that they had thought it an acceptable use.  It sure worked for me, and I can't wait to try it on sourdough.


I would only worry about it shattering if I somehow subjected it to a sudden, massive thermal drain like throwing a big cup of cold water into the bottom of the hot oven, and missing.  That might not be a good thing.


Good Luck with your bread, and let us know how your La Cloche performs.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I have always heated my bottom and top of my La Cloche.  They go into a cold oven and pre heat with the oven.  I once read that a lot of bottom's have cracked because they are so much thinner than the tops.  So far mine is fine.  I also read can't remember exactly where..but that putting a cold La Cloche into a hot oven will crack it...so this is why I always pre-heat my bottoms...if being used.  Sometimes I just heat the oven stone and use the pre-heated top with the oven stone.  Also if you watch the videos on the Breadtopia site you will see he always pre-heats the whole LaCloche and then puts his no kneads breads onto the hot LaCloche bottom and covers with the pre-heated lid.  He says he has had his for 15 yrs!   I would like to add.  It is a little more difficult to slide your bread into the hot bottom.  I put mine onto parchment paper on my pizza paddle and side it into the bottom.  I have also read ' B.H. Bread Bible' instructions say that the top can be heated and the bread proofed on the bottom and then placed into the oven when ready and put the hot top onto the bottom!  I've never tried that method. 


Sylvia

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Thank you for the great imput.  Glad to hear, I am not alone in trying to master baking a "simple" bread, grin, grin.... What in the world did our ancestors do with out cloches, bannetons and parchment paper....

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Your welcome!  La Cloches bake up some wonderful loaves.  They just take a little care precaution in using them correctly.  I think our ancestors did actually use them in one form or another.  I would like to make a correction to my above author..it is in Rose L. Beranbaum's book 'the bread bible' she uses the cloche bottom for proofing and preheats the top for baking.


Sylvia

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

Note:  I don't have Le Cloche.  I have an "Apple Baker" with a fairly deep glazed bottom and a thinner unglazed dome.  But it works pretty much the same way. 


I just made RLB's Levy's Rye Bread for my husband (who said it was very good, but I don't like caraway so I didn't try it), and she does indeed recommend pre-heating the lid but allowing the dough to proof in the cold bottom. 


It worked great!  I have had a lot of difficulty putting the dough into the hot, hot base of the clay baker (even with parchment) because of its depth, so I was thrilled to see how well this worked.  I hope it doesn't put the base at risk, as I would like to use this method from now on.