The Fresh Loaf

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Tell Me Why the Baked Bread Sings...

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008cats's picture
008cats

Tell Me Why the Baked Bread Sings...

Over the months I have moved towards lower percentage hydration doughs, from around 83% to 76%.


It just struck me today that while upon removal from the oven the loaf does crackle and pop, I don't hear it "sing" anymore. So my question is, is singing a function of there being more steam to escape the loaf (and therefore tied to hydration), or is this a signal that I am overbaking?


Please give your thoughts...


Thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Bread "singing" is from the crust contracting as the bread cools. It occurs when the crust is hard/crisp. Soft crust is still elastic enough to contract without being noisy about it.


I'm surprised you are hearing more singing as you've increased dough hydration, as breads made with wetter doughs tend to have softer crusts, all other things being equal. Therefor, all other things are not equal.


What else have you changed? Baking temperature? Length of bake? Steaming method? Switching from conventional to convection baking? Type of flour used? 


David

008cats's picture
008cats

Maybe I misunderstand the term singing... I thought that when the crust contracts, you hear the crackle and pop which I DO get; when crust, crumb etc all favourably developed.


What I was wondering about is the WHISTLE sound that sounds like a tiny cicada singing, NOT the snap crackle pop of cooling crust. Is the whistling sound called something else? I used to get this back when I was first improving my method, probably @ 25 degrees F higher than I use now, and also back then no resting time in oven with heat off. Is this not a common sound, or did I bake the gremlins out of my oven that used to whistle just for me?


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yes, it is the whistle.  Why? or Why not?   I have no idea.  But it could have something to do with escaping steam and a contracting loaf hitting the cooler kitchen air.  The difference in temps could be the reason for it's decline. 


:)   Then again it is that time of year when the Gremlins face off the Elves in the World Soccer games and they might be otherwise busy.  Maybe we have a roving bake reporter from S.A. that might be noticing a higher noise level there.


Mini

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It's the vuvuzelas blasting from every direction.  It's hard to think with all this noise, much less hear a loaf of bread's dainty solo.


Paul, in SA

008cats's picture
008cats

Haha, you guys are pretty funny! No, my kitchen is real quiet - tho I did remember it was Cup Time when we went into my local for lunch... lads in the pub, just us two in the restaurant! Had our choice of seating!


Tried adjusting bake time (hotter, shorter) just to see if I could rekindle singing, but got distracted by the internet and went towards the dark side. Going to have to put on my serious cap and pay more attention tomorrow!

CoveredInFlour's picture
CoveredInFlour

I thought the snap and crackle was the bread "singing", darn it!


I was so excited as I heard it for the first time today as my pain ordinaire cooled in my kitchen.

008cats's picture
008cats

What better companion than a loaf that talks to you?

CoveredInFlour's picture
CoveredInFlour

Well, I am married, so I have to agree with you. :)