The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Bottoms - looking at the underside

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Bread Bottoms - looking at the underside

Bread Bottoms   What do they tell us?  Lots of information there yet we tend not to show them.  Yet we flip over a loaf as soon as we have it in our hands, many times before it lands on the cooling rack.   Some bottoms we don't see, others we do.  Dark, they speak of a hot oven; pale, a cooler one.   The hallmark of an English muffin > two bottoms.  They also leave clues as to what surface the loaf was baked.


In a discussion on evidence of the use of baking parchment, the subject of wrinkles came up.


Parchment Wrinkles.  I'm guessing the wrinkles come from moisture from the bread going into the parchment and deforming it where the dough lies, the outside edges being dry.  In the oven, the paper dries out shrinking & releasing steam which escapes in channels forming wrinkles where the still impressional  dough is touching it.  It marks the bottom like a fingerprint.  No two bottoms are alike.  :)  It's great when the bread doesn't stick and clean up is made easy.


Paper wrinkles like paper does.  With wall paper, one wets the paper with watery glue and lets it "size" until the paper has stabilized before hanging it or risk wrinkles as it dries.  I have not yet bothered to wet the parchment first, let it "size", and stretch it flat to park my dough on it to rise.  There might be a difference, less wrinkles or more.   Hasn't  bothered me enough to test it... yet.  Someone who is about to bake two loaves with parchment, might want to try it and report back.


Playing with those thoughts, it also might be interesting to create a pattern in the parchment that would show up in the baked dough, the bottom of the loaf becomming the top or loaves with signature bottoms.  We've lightly touched the subject before on TFL.  Orgami cranes pops into my head set under the wet dough... or folded rows for a rilled effect.  Cut paper?  Pizza with patterned bottoms?  What could I do with a cool iron and parchment?  So, I started this new thread...  "Bread Bottoms"  What do they tell us?


Dreaming of baking on the surface of relief tiles?  Does your wfo oven leave brick marks on the bottoms of loaves?    What does the bottom of a grilled loaf look like?  What does a bottom look like baked on Iron?  Bamboo?  Perforated pans?  Or baked on seeds?


Show us your bottoms!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

flat bottom wok.   High % Rye baked in lightly oiled non-stick pan.   The outside of the pan was dark.  The bubble formations occurred during the rise and then trapped during the bake looking much like the bubbles seen thru bottom and sides of a glass or plastic container of rising dough.  The longer lines are seams or folds that came partially together.



The crust has a flat pebble glossy surface.



Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4996/baker039s-mark-or-bread-stamps


Finding bottoms can be tricky.  I went thru the photos I've made in the last few years and found only 4 different bread bottoms.  Seems I'm shy too about capturing the undersides.  :)


 


 


 

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I wonder if anyone manufactures these anymore? This would be a very neat gift for the baker who has everything or just for those of us who can't seem to have enough gadgets in our breadbaking adventures.


Trish

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have some state medals as key chains, I wonder what they would look like after being cleaned up and tossed under a loaf?   Olympic metals anyone?  Awards?  Large coins?  Hood ornaments?  Cookie cutters or dough rest pieces.  I have a decorative tin plate somewhere...

clazar123's picture
clazar123

This site talks about the physics of bread stamps and how to get a clear picture using a bread stamp. It specifically talks about the Russian and Byzantine bread stamps of years ago.


One interesting idea for bread bottoms.


http://www.prosphora.org/page37.html


My bread bottoms are dotted with oatmeal as I use it as a loaf pan release. It is softer than cornmeal but burns easier.Sometimes the smell of the oatmeal toasting dark brown reminds me to check the bread before the loaf gets too brown. Anything to help.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


The letters (A,B,G) are cut outs of white bread placed under each third to label.  One way to send a note.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Love those bottoms!  I'm always looking at my pizza bottoms.  They tell me how hot my wfo hearth is without using the lazer to check.  I love the Bstamps!


Sylvia

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I baked some baguettes yesterday for a Stinky Cheese party, I baked them off on parchment (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't) and when I took them out I noticed the bottom of 1 was split almost all the way down its length.


My scoring was good, and had great expansion. I would have taken pictures but the party was in full swing and it went fast.


Is this just a case of under proofing?


Was using Bouabsa's formula


allan

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have one for you.  Parchment paper.  See the ripples from paper?  Like little waves around the edges.  Individual challahs, egg wash can make an edge that browns faster...


alabubba's picture
alabubba

Of course it was the seam. I didn't even think of that. The guests were here, and I was in a hurry to form the last of the loaves. I am sure that's what it was.


Party was grand and no one but me noticed.


Thank you mini.  (We should start calling you Maxi for all this knowledge)


allan

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I wish someone would invite me to a stinky cheese party - I adore it! My family and close friends are so picky they'd probably turn up their noses but not husband and me!

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I will be sure to invite you to the next one Trish.


allan