The Fresh Loaf

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Loaves appear overproofed, but are not -

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amolitor's picture
amolitor

Loaves appear overproofed, but are not -

Lately I'm having trouble with scoring. My loaves bake up with the classic underproofed look -- scoring opening up anemically and turning in to basically blond stripes on the top of the loaf. However, I know my dough isn't overproofed, if anything I'm putting it in a bit young (I get bursting out the bottom, stuff like that). Anyways, let's assume my dough isn't overproofed.


What else can cause this?


I think I've ruled out oversteaming (probably, but maybe not).


My current best guess is that maybe I've slacked off on the kneading lately, and my gluten isn't fully developed.


Could that cause it? Any other things that can cause this effect?

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Just a couple of thoughts on your scoring:



  • Are you score marks very shallow, just 1/4 inch deep at the most?

  • Are you scoring at a sharp angle relative to the top of the loaf?

  • Are you scoring immediately before baking?


Good luck.

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Yes, yes, and yes.


I note also that they are not "springing open" as I make them, at all. I am stretching the surface quite a lot as I form up loaves, so I'm pretty sure I'm ok there, but this is basically where I am getting my "underkneaded" theory.


 

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Mysterious....

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Amolitor, 


You say you're having problems lately.  That means you were happy with your scoring results before.  Can you think of anything you've changed? 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

I changed the way I steamed, so I changed BACK to the old way (without fixing the problem)


The climate has changed a bit, it's now about 5-10 degrees cooler in my kitchen with some sort of change in relative humidity, but I can't guess in what direction. Humidity is not radically different, however - things dry out at roughly the same rate. Of course, I am proofing longer -- I proof until the dough pokes right, not by time.


And then there's the possibility that I'm handling the dough differently. I work entirely by hand, so it's certainly possible that I am kneading more or less, for instance, but I wouldn't really know.


And that's it for changes that I have been able to think of, and Ive been thinking on this for a few weeks!


(I was SURE the new steaming method was the problem, but.. nope)

LindyD's picture
LindyD

While the temperature in your kitchen may change, you do have control over the temperature of your dough, Amolitor.  


If you are not doing the calculations to achieve a dough temp of 75-78F, I think you will find an improvement if you start.  Here are good instructions on how to do the calculations.  


Of course, since you are mixing by hand, you have no friction factor per se.  In that respect, are you doing any stretch and folds?  

amolitor's picture
amolitor

I think I am managing my dough temperature pretty well, but it may be running a trifle cooler now than previously.


One loaf I've been having this trouble with I have no altered my procedure at all in terms of degassing etc, although proofing times are up some because of cooler temps.


The other loaf I've been fine tuning my handling of, and have introduced some stretch and fold (it's a naturally leavened loaf, and one of the first changes I introduced to try to get better scoring and less bursting was to introduce the S&Fs, thinking I was getting uneven development due to uneven temperature distribution -- the result was No Real Change).


 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Do you have some specific thought you're trying to run down with your questions here? I'd be pleased to hear what you're thinking, even if you decide your theory wasn't applicable. Sometimes just hearing someone else's ideas can be very helpful!


 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Well, I paid close attention and kneaded thoroughly, and I cut more deeply. This is basically pain ordinaire, with somewhere around 15% rye flour instead of all white.


 



I'd have to guess that possibly undermixing CAN look a bit like overproofing.


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Amolitor - well, your photo is a start,  It's really hard to play guessing games without details such as the type of flour, hydration, and your steaming methods.


It looks like your score opened up nicely - is this the same recipe you've been baking and had been happy with before something changed?


Yeast or sourdough?  Gas or electric oven (am guessing electric)?  What's your steam setup?  Do you ever do the windowpane check for gluten development?  Finally, do you scale  your ingredients?


All nitty-gritty questions, I realize, but such info can be helpful.

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Are you going somewhere with this line of questioning? Could you sketch out how the answers to questions like 'do you scale your ingedients' might bear upon the problem of scoring not opening up, for instance?


As indicated, this was an example of success, not failure. However:


Yeast, electric, water poured onto the floor of the oven, yes, no, respectively.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The first few sentences, Amolitor states: "My loaves bake up with the classic underproofed look..."


So, you said it yourself.  A little more proofing is needed before scoring if the heavy crumb is not desired.  Maybe another fold of the dough until it rises more and puts up enough resistance.  One serious Q:  Is your starter up to snuff?


The crust in the above photo looks good and the split also.  The bread would certainly disappear in my kitchen authough I can understand that you might be aiming for a fluffier loaf.  Then, I might try a spelt substitution or using a water roux into the dough.  Both of these changes would add more risen volume.  Lightness in the splits is an appetizing "look" at least to me.


Mini


 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

I perhaps was not clear. The picture is of a loaf that worked out fine, possibly because I made some specific changes to my procedures. I haven't got any pictures of the loaves that did NOT bake up well.


 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

My original question should also have been phrased more simply:


     Can underkneading yield results which look like overproofing?


And my tentative answer thus far is:


     Yes.