The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Thank you to everyone (regardless if you directly helped or didn't at all)

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Niashi's picture
Niashi

Thank you to everyone (regardless if you directly helped or didn't at all)

Thank you, she says.. why?


 


After various threads, some I posted and some I just directly read, it seems I have finally successfully made my first real loaf of Sourdough in my clay baker! Hurray!


In other threads I pointed out what I was doing and the results. I was very frustrated and my confidence was completely blown on all types of bread baking.  I kept trying new breads and kept shying away from sourdough loaves. I did research, I bought 3 Peter Reinhart books and read up on formulas (Wow, I TOTALLY LOVE these books!)..


 


I found the source of my problem. My over cooked crust and undercooked crumb was because I was pre soaking my clay baker. Although I read quite a few people soaking, I think that due to the recipe I am using is so wet, that I was essentially giving it too much water. I have to work on my scoring, but I will post a picture soon.


I am but a young grasshopper in the world of bread baking, so this is actually a big deal to me.

Niashi's picture
Niashi

Sourdough


 


(Won't let me edit my post to insert there)

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Looks good. Glad you were able to figure it out.


Just so you'll know, to edit one of your original topics, the edit tab is at the top of your original post.

Niashi's picture
Niashi

I see it, oops didn't look there. Thank you for the tip off =.)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sorry, I don't believe it.   Even in a steamer, you will not get an overcooked crust.



"My over cooked crust and undercooked crumb was because I was pre soaking my clay baker."



Did you mean something else?  Nice looking loaf by the way.


Mini

Niashi's picture
Niashi

I have a picture, but you can't really see the undercooked crumb with it, but can see the burnt crust. It's on my cell phone, I'll see about putting it up so I can show you at least.


It was gooey (dough gooey) especially at the scored areas and parts of the crumb was wet. It had this super flakey crust. I didn't take extensive pictures due to my frustration levels.


Also, thank you for the compliments on the loaf. I'm being a good girl and I haven't cut it yet. We've decided to wait until tomorrow.


 



Bad bread


 


*EDIT* here we go.


The lid was on the entire time, the crust developed fully while the lid was on. I don't think you can really see it, but there's a little glistening shown on the scored area in the upper right hand side and you can't see the wet texture of the crumb (which is what I was trying to capture with that squared cut area, but I failed).


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Was the crumb also compacted where it wasn't doughy?  


What is your room temp in the kitchen? 


What temp oven did you use, how long did it bake and when did you turn the temp down?


From the subtle title, I take it you wanted more help.  So I read over your threads, they were all new to me but you had very good suggestions given for the amount of information supplied.  Charging ahead into sourdough when the yeasted dough problem seems unsolved takes guts.  


Your technique must lend itself better to sourdoughs.   :)


Mini

Niashi's picture
Niashi

The bottom was burnt to a crisp on the example shown above. I actually went through several tries. I really regret not fully photo-documenting each of them now, but hindsight is 20/20.


All attempts were done with this recipe: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/


In some examples, the dough was dense with even holes and some were not. I tried with various temperatures. In all examples, I used a thermometer to check if the crumb was done. In all examples I state here, both the bottom and top were pre soaked and all with a cold start. Except for 1 loaf, I never had to take the lid off for crust development (the one cooked at 450 did)


I tried 500F without turning it down (this one was my first ever try, so I wasn't totally put off.). This one went well over an hour and the crumb was never fully cooked per the temp readings.


I also tried: 500, then turn down to 475, I tried 475, turning it down to 450, 475 turning down to 420. In all examples, the crumb had a hard time making it psat 175 - 180 and I cooked far longer than I should need to. In one example I took it out after 45 minutes to see if maybe leaving it out would finish it up, but it did not help.


At 500 and 475, you could see the steam escape from the oven while it cooked, Lower, you did not.


 


Last nights example, none of it was presoaked, did a cold start, started at 450 and turned down to 420.  I am not done though. Today I will further experiment. Even though the crust was overcooked in almost every example of the clay baker being presoaked, the crust had this amazing flakey and buttery flavor in the areas were it was not overcooked. Last nights loaves only had a little hint of that flakey texture. So today, I'm going to use the same method, but the difference being, I am going to try presoaking the lid and seeing what happens.


At this point I am not worried about the turnout of future loaves, because I actually baked multiple loaves last night and all came across just like the first picture above.


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Cold oven takes anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to heat up (some longer) so that 45 minutes is too short.  Then 15 for the rise, and depending on the size of the loaf another 30 to 45 minutes to finish.  I think when you start out with the cold oven turn it up high 450°F for the first 30 minutes and then rotate the dish and drop the temp down to 410°F for 40 minutes.  Try it and see. 


Submerge both sides of the clay pot 15 minutes in water and let drip off.  Lightly olive oil the bottom or use parchment.  If you smell the crust burning, then check the loaf and not before.  If it hasn't reached temp, then set the naked loaf on the oven rack and bake at 410°F for another 7-10 minutes or until the center reaches temperature 205°F.


Mini

Niashi's picture
Niashi

I'll give that a try next weekend, see how it turns out. Thank you for the suggestion!

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

i cook most all my breads in a clay pot. a few are cooked in silicone bakeware.


when i use my clay pot i adhere to the following format (thank you to 'mini oven").


i soak the top & bottom of my claypot for 15 min. it is totally submerged in water. i let the pot drip dry for a few minutes & then spray the inside with olive oil spray. i use a piece of parchment in the bottom of the pot & place my formed loaf on the parchment. i always start the claypot (with shaped loaf) in a cold oven. it takes ~ 15 - 17 min in my oven to reach 450 F. i then bake for the required amount of time; usu. 45-50 min.


i live in phoenix, az & it was 84 F @ our house today. we decided to bake the bread in the claypot on our gas grill. we started with a cold grill & let it rise to 400 F (bread recipe recommended temp). after the gas grill reached 400F, i timed the bread for 45 min ( i removed the lid during the last 10 min). i always let the bread cool on a rack (outside of the claypot) after baking for ~ 30-45 min b4 slicing. it came out great.


if you want to learn about claypot cooking, start with 'mini ovens' recipes. these are wonderful; just search mini oven & you can find them.


hope this helps


happy easter, claudia