The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough batard

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00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Sourdough batard

This was quite an experience.


Today's plan of making Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough was a bit out of sorts from the beginning. 


I nearly forgot the salt after the autolyse, but thankfully remembered that.  But it bothered me that my dough was so slack.  I just let it go and made the adjustment, although I didn't do too much for fear of making too dry (I haven't gotten the feel for the dough yet), so the dough was still pretty slack.  Then I realized about an hour into the bulk fermentation that I forgot the rye! Ah ha! Mystery of the slack dough solved. I guess I just glazed right over that part of the recipe.  


I guess sven (my starter) might still be a bit too new because it took 4 hours to finish bulk fermentation rather than the 2.5 hours.


The crumb is pretty nice but I have the hardest time with scoring.  It seems like it opens up to the point where the gringe disappears.  I could have under proofed.  Under steaming is a possibility, but I steam with lava rocks and cast iron with 1c water for 10 min.  I could be simply scoring incorrectly.  There are so many variables.


The flavor, is nice.  It is mildly sour and the "sour" appears when you are just about finished chewing.  I've not had much sourdough so I'm not sure if that's common to sourdough breads.


Ok, sorry for rambling.  Here's the photos.  


I didn't have a good light source, so I brought the bread to the light source (the front door), hence the wooden chair. lol





 

wally's picture
wally

The crumb says to me that sven is alive and kicking, and I don't see any indication of underproofing.  The color of the crust, however, seems to point to either underbaking or baking at too low a temp.  Did you bake this in an electric or a gas oven, and at what temp and for how long?


The scoring not opening could be caused by any of the factors you listed.  But I'd guess given your description that a too-slack dough might be the culprit.


Looks very tasty, however, and that's the most important thing!


Larry


 

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Hi Larry,


I noticed this about my crust also.  The bread was baked in an electric oven at 460 F for 20 min.  Each loaf was approximately 378g and was baked until the internal temp was 205 F.  


Do you think that the steam could have dropped the temp of the oven?  Also, I have to rotate my loaves because of the incredible difference in heat from the front to the back.  By doing this, I had the door open a little longer than I should because it was awkward to juggle two loaves on a 12" stone.  I really should have done one at a time. Perhaps this caused a drop in temp?  


Thank you for your help and I'm glad that Sven is doing what he's supposed to. :)

wally's picture
wally

Your loaves are about 13 oz apiece.  I bake 10 oz baguettes usually at 460 for about 22 - 24 minutes - and they are about 16" in length. I'm not sure that a 20 minute bake is sufficient at that temp, especially if you're baking 12" loaves and  have two on a 12" stone, which most definitely could contribute to the paleness of the sides of the loaves. The internal temperature is fine, but I think to achieve a nicer crust you might consider extending the bake by a good 5 - 10 minutes - and either a single loaf at a time, or spacing them so that they are at the edges of the stone.


Larry


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, 00Eve00.


It looks like your cuts did open up, but the edges then sealed to the surface without forming ears. I don't think the problem is with your scoring, but I haven't totally eliminated that as a contributing factor.


Second, the crust looks pretty shiny, although that could be your lighting.


These make me wonder if you over-steamed the oven. Did you also spray water on the loaves?


Third, the loaf pictured is very pale on the sides compared to the top. This is most often due to loaves that are placed too close together. Evaporating water gets trapped in a narrow space and cools the surface of the loaves below the temperature needed for browning of the crust.


Hope this helps.


David

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Both of your assessment skills are impeccable.  Being a new baker, it's seems like the difference between being in kindergarten and having a PhD. hehe. One day I'll get there.


David, I did spray water on my loaves.  What you are saying is interesting, because, the times I haven't (forgot) sprayed, the cuts didn't open up as much (I didn't use 1c water back then) but they had more "definition".  Steaming is very hit and miss with me at the moment.  It's a variable that I've not been able to control.  I would love to bake under a lid, but my roaster lids don't make a seal over the 12" stone. 


The shine of the crust is partially due to lighting.  There is a reflection, but not quite to that level.


As for the loaves' placement, lol, they were too close together now that I think of it.  I never gave it a thought that it would be an issue.  


Larry, if I would like to extend my bake but prevent my crust from browning too much, I can always put foil over the baguette?  I have a bad habit of turning down the temp (not this time though).  I'm thinking it might be better to  cover the bread?  I'll scale down the size of the baguettes also and see how that goes.


I really appreciate all the help the both of you have given me.  

wally's picture
wally

OOEve00 - I really like a dark brown crust, but if you want something lighter, then yes, I'd just cover loosely with foil once you've achieved the coloration you want. I'd take that route versus lowering the temperature which will have an adverse affect upon achieving a crunchy crust.


As for scaling down the size of your baguettes: baguettes made in this country tend to be more plump than those in France. That said, if your baking stone is only 12" long, then your baguette dough should probably weigh in at around 8 - 9oz (227 - 255 grams).


Larry

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

I think I have to get into my head that a brown crust is not always burnt crust.  I made Gosselin baguettes and they were much darker than I have normally eaten but were quite good.  But I was panicking the entire time hehe.


But I'll do that with the foil and maybe force myself to leave it off a little longer.


I noticed that I kept saying I have a 12" stone.  I'm not sure why I was saying that.  I actually have a 14" stone (round) and try to make my baguettes 12".  I must have been having major brain fog yesterday.


Thanks again.  I'll be looking forward to trying this out.

leucadian's picture
leucadian

Disposable oven pans make great cloches. I have one that measures 10x12 inches, costs a couple of dollars. It's only 3 inches deep, though, so I pushed out the bottom to make it tall enough for a boule. Think of the pan as a big sheet of aluminum that you can shape any way you want. Bend the outline from a rectangle to a circle to fit your tile if that suits you.


Another thing you might try is to put aluminum foil on the rack, then place the stone, and finally the cover, but now it doesn't have to seal to the stone, just the area that is covered with the aluminum foil. So you could use the largest size disposable pan, and not be concerned about the size of your stone. The stone is there just for thermal mass, and the aluminum foil/pan holds the humidity.


The crumb looks great, and you did well to move to the good light for the photo.

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Those are fantastic ideas!  I never thought of either of those things.  Thank you very much.

Prairie19's picture
Prairie19

Hi OOeveOO,


 


I envy the crumb of your loaf.  I also bake Hammelman's Vermont Sourdough recipe, however I've reduced it by half and bake one loaf at a time.  That way I can have fresh bread and feed my starter more often.


I've never had good luck trying to steam my oven with a cast iron pan and hot rocks, so instead I've used a large aluminum foil roasting pan as a cloche.  I preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, place the proofed and slashed loaf on a baking stone and cover it with the foil pan for the first 25 minutes of baking.  Then I remove the cover, rotate the loaf 180 degrees (for even baking) and let it bake another 20 minutes.


You should get super oven spring and grigne using this method.


Prairie19


 

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Hi Prairie :)


Thank you very much for the complement.  I was actually surprised by my crumb as I don't usually get it like that.  I think my shaping, or rather, my handling is getting better.


I usually half most of my recipes (this one included) unless I bake something for both myself and my family.


Do you refrigerate your starter, or is it at room temp constantly?  Both my starters are new so I'm keeping at room temp for a while before I decide to refrigerate.  


I've seen really nice bread come from using a cloche.  I need to find something that will fit over my stone, and high enough for boules.  I haven't found anything yet that is high enough for such a small area.  I'm looking into getting tile though.


Thank you :)

Prairie19's picture
Prairie19

I use a liquid starter at 125% hydration which I keep in the refrigerator between bakings.  I feed it about 8 hours before I mix the dough, making enough for the recipe, and about 75 grams extra to store for the next baking.  I usually bake every 4 to 5 days, but I've gone as long as 14 days and the starter still performed well.


Prairie19

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

That makes a good bit of sense to me now that you've explained it. I never really quite got that concept until now.


Thank you.