The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Singing Loaves!!

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azaelia's picture
azaelia

Singing Loaves!!

So after a short hiatus from bread baking after discovering I am pregnant with our first child :-) I put my massive stack of library books to good use by making Maggie Glezer's ACME Rustic Baguettes from ABAA. I varied a little from the instructions because the dough didn't behave the way the books describes during kneading, so I ended up adding flour, which most likely contributed to my more closed crumb, as did the extended kneading I did to get the dough to behave :-/ I also formed them into batards. However, When I pulled these puppies out of the oven, the most glorious sound reached my ears...they were singing! This is the first time I've ever heard my loaves crackle like this! And as they cooled, tiny cracks appeared all over the crust! I kept beckoning my husband over to the loaves so we could listen together! :-D


 






 


I can only assume, after reading some posts here, that my use of AP flour contributed to this crackling phenomenon. I hope to try this one again, this time with no extra flour :-P

paulwendy's picture
paulwendy

Beautiful singing loaves. Nice cracks. Got some in my last cold oven experiment. I wonder why? I did notice a thinner crust than usual when this happens. Anyway what kind of bread does the baby like?


Paul

azaelia's picture
azaelia

Thank you! :-) So far baby REALLY likes the French bread, but I'm hoping to start eating more whole grain breads in order to manage my weight gain (and other things...) so hopefully baby will like that even more! ;-)

paulwendy's picture
paulwendy

Cheese sandwiches. My wife ate four or five of these a day when pregnant with our first son, In fact she ate like a pig. now she's a whopping one hundred two wet.


Paul

wally's picture
wally

I don't think that AP flour is what created the result.  The singing is most likely the outcome of what is called a 'bold' bake - full baking time and at a relatively high temperature. The caramelization and crackling on the crust in your photos is what I'd expect from this.  I think many, if not most of us, tend to underbake bread because of what we've been brought up on (store bought, that is).  But if you allow sufficient coloration to occur and the time for the bread to dry out, you get a symphony when you pull it from the oven.


Beautiful job!


Larry

wally's picture
wally

I don't think that AP flour is what created the result.  The singing is most likely the outcome of what is called a 'bold' bake - full baking time and at a relatively high temperature. The caramelization and crackling on the crust in your photos is what I'd expect from this.  I think many, if not most of us, tend to underbake bread because of what we've been brought up on (store bought, that is).  But if you allow sufficient coloration to occur and the time for the bread to dry out, you get a symphony when you pull it from the oven.

Beautiful job!

Larry

azaelia's picture
azaelia

Thanks! :-)


True enough, this is the first time I've really allowed the crust to brown thoroughly. It's only the second time I've used my baking stone, so I think that may have also contributed, as I likely underbaked the first time I used it because the bottom browned too much (I moved the rack up a notch this time).


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Congratulations, and best wishes for you and your baby!


I don't disagree with Larry that a thorough bake encourages the crackling, but the crackles (visual, not auditory) are influenced by other variables that impact the texture of the crust. In my experience, a lower gluten flour yields a thinner, crisper crust, all other things being equal. Higher gluten flour gives a thicker, chewier crust, all other things being equal, which is less likely to show those cracks.


David

wally's picture
wally

David.  I guess that's why we don't see crackly bagels generally.  Even using AP - usually KA's Sir Galahad - I'm surprised (most pleasantly) when my bake begins to show fissures to compliment the singing.

paulwendy's picture
paulwendy

Anyone with pictures as beautiful as you post must have all the answers, but I've used the same bread dough on all my bakes recently, I always stretch on cooking time.


My cracks came from a loaf baked with no preheat, dutch oven covered, not uncovered during any part of the bake.


Paul

LindyD's picture
LindyD

On the new family member and the lovely bread.


Bold is certainly beautiful!

Walden Pond's picture
Walden Pond

Call me a romanitic, but one of my favorite parts of baking bread is hearing it sing. I love to sit in the kitchen and listen to the bread crackle as it cools. It's one of those beauiful sounds which resonants through time...

bnom's picture
bnom

I have finally started getting wonderfully singing loaves and crust fissures on my batards.  The cause is easy to trace. I started using aluminum pans over my batards instead of my usual lava rocks in cast iron pan steaming routine.  My oven just doesn't hold the steam well enough. 

Anyway, I'm so thrilled I had to post these photos of the SD bread I just took from the oven:



dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

bnom's picture
bnom

I am flattered!  As you can tell I, like you, like a bold crust.