The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I can't take it any more!!! Boules will not behave!

miamaria's picture
miamaria

I can't take it any more!!! Boules will not behave!

Hello Everyone!


I apologize for posting yet another question about blowouts, but I desperately need help.


This is pain au levain, 60% hydration, that's made in a 45 qt food processor.  The dough is mixed for 45 seconds and ferments at room temp (about 78F) for 3 hours before diving, etc.  These boules are scaled at 600g and proofed for 1.5hrs-2hrs before baking - 470F for about 40 minutes.  I am using a gas deck oven with steam injection.  I pre-steam for one second and steam for one more second after loading.  The water pressure is double what the manufactur recommends which is why I'm not steaming too much.


I'm slashing about 1/4'' deep with a curved lame, held at 90 degrees.


I'm guessing I need to proof even longer, but wondered if I have too much surface tension which, along with underproofing, could lead to a blowout and/or an irregular shape.  Is there a better way to slash this size boule?


I greatly, greatly appreciate any advice.


 


 


 


ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Miamaria,


Your process has 2 areas I would investigate further.


Firstly the hydration is low.   Whilst I scarcely profess to be part of the wetter is better school, I am sure you could find ways and means to try and incorporate more than 60%.   Increase in small measures if you like; adopt autolyse if possible.   Target hydration has to be 63 minimum, preferably into the higher 60s.


Second, and paricularly pertinent for the low hydration is your mix time.   Forty-five seconds is scarcely long enough to hydrate the flour, let alone develop any gluten.   Try a minimum of 6 minutes on first speed!


These loaves look under proved; they are.   Even after 3 hours.   Under-hydration, and insufficient mixing mean minimal dough rheology [change in structure] to give the extensibility you need.


2 simple principles to look at here.   Addressing these should iron out the explosions in the dough.


Hope this helps


Best wishes


Andy

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

I agree with Andy...  I recently made some pain au levain boules that turned out relatively well, except I had the same blow-outs.  Mine were at about 66% hydration.  I proofed mine for about 2 hours, but could have pushed 2 1/2 to 3 hours...  When you do the poke test, it should spring back slowly, but the impression should remain slightly...


Also, regarding slashing, there are a few different ways to slash.  You can do the # pattern, or you can do the square where the corners do not connect.  Either will work, provided you have proofed the boules long enough...  


Hope this all helps...  Also, check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4RiJs1a92U


This is a video about Max Poilane.  You will notice that they are not particulary careful when they slash, and they are very quick...  When they are baked, none of the loaves are absolutely perfect either...


Tim

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Tim,


Thanks for your comments.   Don't you also think that under-mixing is of equal importance, given the relatively low hydration?


BW


Andy

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

I hadn't even thought of undermixing as I usually mix a wetter dough by hand, using autolyse and turning the dough periodically, but that could be a problem given the low hydration... 


Eric Kayser's Baguette Monge have a relatively low hydration around 58% to 60%, but even those are kneaded 8-10 minutes by hand...  I also have a professional french bread baking book, and I noticed that for their baguette recipes, using a fork mixer they mix for 10 minutes on speed 1, and another 2 minutes on speed 2...


Here are the sources that I am referencing...


http://www.danlepard.com/reviews/2010/02/951/le-pain-lenvers-du-decor/


http://www.applepiepatispate.com/bread/eric-kayser-baguettes-monge/


But again, I am but a home baker, and don't know much about professional baking and using machinery to mix, especially a food processor...


Tim

miamaria's picture
miamaria

Is my hydration still 60% if I'm using a starter (100% hydration) - it's 40% of my recipe?  Also, if I mix any longer my final dough temp will skyrocket.  Right now my base temp before mixing is 130F, final temp is 80 after 45 seconds.  Does anyone have experience using this type of machine to mix dough?


I thought about doing a fold during the bulk ferment to increase the strength of the dough. 


Thank you again for your help


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hmmm


Assumming your recipe reads something like this:


100% Flour


60% Water


2% Salt


40% Liquid Levain (100% hydr)


If you break down this to the following


120% Flour


80% Water


2% Salt


Then divide 80/120 = 67% total hydration...


I have not used a food processor to mix anything, but I think you would want to pulse the food processor instead of letting it run for 45 seconds straight...  You might want to pulse the processor for a few seconds until you get a shaggy dough, let that rest (autolyse) 30 minutes or so, and then come back and pulse it again until you get your final dough temp...  Then fold again halfway through your bulk ferment...


Andy, does this sound reasonable?


Tim


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Do you happen to have crumbshot?

miamaria's picture
miamaria

Is it possible that weak gluten development could cause ruptures during baking?  I'm working in a professional kitchen, but I've only been baking bread for about a month so I have a lot to learn.


 


Thanks! 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hmmm...  Well you have some amazing oven spring, so I don't think your gluten strength is all that weak...  I still think it's more underproofing than anything...


How do they taste?  What does the crumb structure look like?

emmsf's picture
emmsf

I don't think underproofing alone would explain this.  These sure look like loaves that have also been scored too early, and/or too deeply.   It may be underproofing too, since that will have a similar effect, but since you're already proofing for up to 2 hours, that can't be the whole story.  Maybe it goes without saying, but here's my 2 cents: only score the loaves immediately before loading them into the oven, and make sure to keep the scoring quick and shallow. 

LindyD's picture
LindyD


These sure look like loaves that have also been scored too early, and/or too deeply



I'm curious how you can tell when they were scored. 

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Good question.  These loaves look like they were scored before they were proofed because the score marks have become big, flat and wide.  If you score the bread before it's proofed, the score marks just open up completely as the bread proofs, which sort of defeats the purpose of scoring.  Scoring is decorative, but the real purpose is to give bread a chance to rise fully and evenly when it hits the hot oven.  By scoring right before baking, you give the bread a way to rise more  easily before the crust begins to form.  The score marks should be well defined, with crisp edges called "ears."

spacey's picture
spacey

When I under-proof (I'm a home cook, it happens when I need to ge the loaf in so I can get to sleep) slashing just prior to popping the dough in the oven can cause the same flat looking scores.  I don't profess to have the experience of you or anyone else in this thread, I'm just sharing some of my recent experience.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi miamaria


Thanks Tim, for doing the calculations. So 100 flour, 67 water and 1.67 salt in the overall formula.   That seems good to me.


It's a good point about when to choose to score your loaves, but they would most likely erupt to some extent whether or not.


Additionally, your formula does indeed afford generous proof times, for both the bulk and final stages.


However, the loaves erupt because there is still 1] excess unused yeast activity and 2] insufficient dough extensibility brought about by essential change to dough structure over time.   So, the loaves are underproved.


You can look at the following:


1] Is your leaven sufficiently ripened?   Is there a sufficient amount of pre-fermented flour in the formula?


2] Your dough is under-mixed.   I'm pretty sure that is the major cause of your problems.   Tim you are right that the gluten in the dough is strong.   But if it is not properly developed, then it will still rupture if the dough is under-fermented.   This is still, effectively under-proof, as you say.   Better mixing will engender quicker ripening in the dough.   However, I have never used food processors to mix dough.   If the frictional heat rise is as rapid as you suggest, then I would recommend you find an alternative means to mix the dough.   Tim's idea for an autolyse [hold back the salt at this stage] is a good one.   But I would be looking for some more hand mixing once the salt has been added and the dough more fully formed.   S&F might help, but you may need to increase the hydration a little if you want to make full use of this technique.   Out of interest, how strong is the flour that you are using?   This is probably a critical factor.   You could consider adding a touchof diastatic malt flour @ say 1/2% on total flour to encourage more amylase activity.


BW


Andy


 

leucadian's picture
leucadian

Is it possible that the starter is not getting evenly distributed in the final dough? If all the ingredients are mixed at the same time, and for only 45 seconds, I think it's possible that some parts of the dough don't get much yeast, and others get a lot. A crumb shot might help to diagnose this. You don't say how the starter is incorporated, but I would advocate mixing the starter and the water first, then add the flour and salt once the starter is dissolved in the water. And is a 45 quart food processor really a big brother to our little home kitchen processors, with a sharp double blade? Or is it a big mixer?

ananda's picture
ananda

Agreed with leucadian on incorporating the leaven.   This is a part of the "under-mixing" issue, although maybe I should have been more specific about that.


BW


Andy

amolitor's picture
amolitor

A problem I have is too much proofing time after shaping. One of the loaves I am working on tends to develop unevenly, I think because I am proofing the shaped loaf so long. The inside is underproofed when the outside is fully developed, so I get a sort of explosion from the inside. This seems to turn up with a characteristic muffin-like shape, and sometimes a blowout on the side somewhere.


This is a work in progress for me, but my plan is to extend the bulk rise with a couple stretch and folds, and shape later.


My problem is made worse by the fact that I have, on occasion, made up my dough too soon, so my levain doesn't have enough push. Which leads to longer proofing times, which leads to.. etc.


 

miamaria's picture
miamaria

Hi everyone!  Thank you again for all of your feedback!!  My pain au levain boules came out much better last night.  I fermented for 3.75hrs, let them proof for an additional hour (2.5hrs total) and gave them about 3 seconds of steam (the plumber finally lowered the water pressure earlier that day).  The dough was 78F went it came out of the mixer.


I will definitely begin combining the starter and water when I mix.  Currently, I put all the dry in first (I'm using KA AP 11.7%), then I add the starter, then the water.  Sometimes the starter is cold when I scale it out, is that ok?  We feed it once in the morning and once at night and keep it in the fridge after the second feeding.


I'm using a Hobart VCM (vertical cutting machine) with a super sharp double blade (cut myself on the my second day).  It runs at 1700rpm.


Thanks again! 


 


 


 


 


 


 


breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Nice!  I'd like to see a crumbshot...  How do they taste?


When you are using a liquid starter, you should add it in the beginning of the mixing process...  What I do, is measure out the water, put it in the mixing bowl, then add the levain (liquid or stiff), then the flour, and lastly the salt.  This way you are mixing the liquid up from the bottom so there is less chance of dry clumps on the bottom...


Also when I am preparing my starter for the dough the night before, I mix all the ingredients, leave it on the counter for 1 hr and refrigerate it for up to 24 hrs until I am ready to use.  I just take it out when I am ready while I am measuring out all the ingredients...


Tim

miamaria's picture
miamaria

I will try to get a crumb shot up soon...


Also, I'm going to score with a straight razor next time instead of the curved lame to see if that makes any difference.