The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Well, we'll see how these go...

sadears's picture
sadears

Well, we'll see how these go...

I didn't bother with pics from my last failure.  I cut one open and tossed the whole lot in the trash.

These were not as wet as the last attempt.  Folding was alot easier, but shaping sucked.  As you can see, as they rose a bit, they began to touch.  Oh well.  One thing I learned is not to make enough dough for two large loaves.  I do not have the room, on my cutting board, peel, or bread stone.  The bowl I used to let it rise was almost too small.  And it was difficult to handle the whole mass.  It turned out to be just shy of 70% hydration.  I might try a bit less next time.  Using a smaller recipe of course. 

I put them in at 400F for 35 minutes, turning after 15.  I may not post pics (depends on how they turn out), but I will post results.

I find it interesting that of all the things I've read on the Internet, most people give up baking bread at high altitude.  I'm nothing if not persistent.

Steph

sadears's picture
sadears

Looking good so far.  However, at the point of connection (remember they became joined as they rose?) was raw.  I disconnected the two, turned them, and left them in there for another ten minutes.  I left them in for another five minutes.  Just now they both read low 190s F.  I put them back in for ten minutes.  I looked through my previous posts regarding this and if they're still not at 200F then I'll cover them with foil so they don't burn, as Jim suggested.  I'll update again soon.

Steph

Wayne's picture
Wayne

Don't give up the ship..............you getting closer and the altitude makes it even worse of course.  Think you need to preheat your oven to 475 degrees for so for about an hour before you are ready to put in your loaves (Stone in the oven of course).  Then drop the temp down to 425 degrees after 15 minutes, and cook for an additional 25 minutes or so.  It appears from your posting that you are starting out with too cool an oven for free formed loaves. From the appearance of the dough in your picture,  I would say they are still a little too wet and not enough turns.  Keep trying though.

sadears's picture
sadears

Wayne,

 

I GOT HOLES!!!!  ;-D

 

I am nothing if not persistent.  I agree that it was still a bit too wet.  I started with 65% (which I knew was too little) with the other 5% standing by.  I added a bit at a time.  I am quite proud of myself that I didn't add it all (which caused me to get such a wet dough on the last failure), considering how dry the dough looked after the 65% hydration.  I had to hold myself back.  Next time, I think I'll do one tablespoon at a time.  As you can see, shaping them was horrendous, but handling (especially after moistening my hands and scraper) improved greatly especially after folding several times.

 

This time I preheated, but without the bread stone.  I had to put the loaves on it.  Even then, it was too small.  Notice that my loaves grew together in the post-shape rise.  My peel and cutting board were too small.  My sister asked, "Why didn't you bake one loaf at a time?"  It would have taken longer, of course!! ;-D

 

I do fear preheating at a high temp then turning it down.  Last time, and only time, I did that, I forgot and burned the outside and it was hard as a rock all the way through.  Of course, aside from that, I believe (there have been oh so many), it was another of my many failures.  Of course, I could be wrong.  Had I turned down the temp, they/it may have turned out fine.  I forget how many loaves I made.

 

Also, my sister has a high-altitude cookbook that says for high-altitude sourdough white bread, bake at 375F for 45-55 minutes.  Today, I baked at 400 (after preheating without the stone) for 35 minutes, then added 10 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, all while maintaining the 400F temp.  On and on it went.  I even left them in the oven while turning the oven off for over 10 minutes.  Never got higher than 198F.

 

No matter where I look (no matter high altitude or sea level), I find various temps and various (if any) times.  So I wonder, high temp, short times?  Or, lower temps, longer times.  This is so different that other types of cooking.  Cook a piece of meat at low temp for longer times, it comes out moist and tender.

 

I did learn one thing.  I CAN NOT attempt a recipe for two large loaves (using quantities of 1000g of flour… sorry Jim).  It is too much to handle, and I don't have a peel or bread stone large enough to handle them.  But, then, I could always bake them one at a time. ;-D  But, just the handling of the dough is too much for me.

 Here are pic of the post-baking: 

 

 

Well, they looked good, but I wondered if they would have been better had they gotten to over 200F instead of 198 or the temp/time had been different.

 

They're moist, but I wonder if they're too moist.  They smell like sourdough.  All in all, I am quite happy with them.  If I could just figure out the time/temnp issue.  I think I've figured out the hydration.  Now for the taste test:

 

Well, they taste okay, way too crunchy on the outside, and a bit just inside the crust, then kind of doughy (but edible) on the inside.

 

Did I get it backwards?  I have a pan of water on the lower rack, then sprayed the top of the loaves with water.  I thought that made it less crusty.  Or is it more crusty.

 

Anyway,  I need to figure out the heat/temp.  Even though the dough was a bit too wet, the result was okay, but will be better when I work with a more manageable amount of dough, and, of course, figure out the temp/time issue.

 

Thank's for everyone's support

 

Steph

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

loaves on your stone? You say your peel and cutting board aren't big enough, so you needed to use your stone. If you would take a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan (turned over), put a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle with semolina and put your loaves on that. Then you can preheat your stone and just slide paper and loaf right onto your hot stone. After about 15 minutes you can pull the paper out with no problem. By the way..your holes are looking good!

sadears's picture
sadears

Someone posted something similar before I bought the stone or my peel!  I don't know if it's big enough.  Probably not; I'm guessing that it's the size of the stone.  Anyway...I didn't even think about it.  Thanks.

 

Steph

Wayne's picture
Wayne

Steph:

 Look's like you are on the right path.......crumb and crust look great.  By the way, spraying the loaves while in the oven will increase the "crustiness" of the loaf.  But, all things considered, the loaves crust will soften in a couple of hours anyhow.  Keep up the good work and your persistance.

Wayne

sadears's picture
sadears

I always get stuff like that mixed up.  It's an ADD thing.  I just wrote it down, so hopefully I won't forget...to look at my note.  ;-D  Does that mean I shouldn't put a pan containing water in the oven?

I'm tossing around something Jim said about using less starter.  Right now I'm using about 30%.  and having a longer rise time.  As it is at this altitude, rise time is shorter.

I really need to figure out the time/temp thing.  I think now that I understand my hydration issue and, thanks to you, my crust issue (crust is nice, but I think I like softer crusts), maybe next time will be better.  I have some Camembert in the frig.  I'm going to cut off my thick hard crusts and eat the insides with the cheese.  Yumm.

Might being trying again tomorrow.  Using 30% starter, I've been using the majority of my starter, so the next morning, it's good to go.

Wayne, got any idea about time/temp at high altitude?

Steph

Wayne's picture
Wayne

Steph:

Yes, you should always have the pan in the oven that you pour the hot or boiling water into just as soon as you put in your loaves.  Unfortunately,  I have little or no experience in baking at high altitudes.  But, for what it's worth, I would have my oven at or around 450 degrees when you put the bread in, bake for 10-15 minutes and lower to 400 degrees or so. 

Wayne

gt's picture
gt

Nice job Steph. Don't change too much at once, you're on the right track.

 

Gary

sadears's picture
sadears

I know that I need to use just a bit less water.  Not much, a couple, three tablespoon fulls.  I know if I don't want a crusty crust to not spray with water.  Not sure if I should put the pan of water on the bottom rack, but I think not.

 

My only problem is that I don't know how hot for how long.  My sister's book says 375F for 45-55 minutes.  It's a pretty recent book for high-altitude baking.  I baked this batch at 400 and it took about an hour.  I seem to remember reading somewhere baking at plus 25 degrees which would put it at 375 from where I originally started.  However, this last time, I set my oven at 400.  Maybe my oven doesn't like multiple loves.  Kind of like cooking a turkey with other Thanksgiving goodies.  It's takes the bird longer to cook.  Next time, I'll try two small loaves (aka recipe for one loaf) and put it at 425-450. See what happens.

 

Steph

gt's picture
gt

I don't have any experience or knowledge of high-altitude baking but you are doing a lot of things right - Gary

sadears's picture
sadears

Thanks, Gary.  It always helps to be told that I'm headed in the right direction.

 

Steph

sadears's picture
sadears

I preheated at 475.  Baked for 15 minutes then lowered the temp to 425 for 25 more minutes.  The temp registered 195.  I left it in there for another 10 minutes, with no change in the temp.  I turned the stove off and left them in their for another 10 minutes.  Still no change.  Their still in there, but I fear the temp isn't going to change.  I just turned the heat back on at 350 for ten minutes.  I wonder if I should preheat at 500, bake for 10-15 minutes, the lower it to 450-475. 

 

Last time I left them in there for a long period of time, the crust was insanely crunchy.

 

Steph

Wayne's picture
Wayne

Steph:

Seem's like you are almost there...............I think it is a good idea that you try 500 degrees and then lower to 450, you are very close.  I would reccomend that you do not omit the water pan.  The water vapor helps the loaf to not develop a top crust too fast when your free form loat hits the hot stone.  It is my belief that you get a much better oven spring with the water pan. I think if you put loaves into a pan like for regular sandwitch bread you probably would not need the water pan. 

Wayne

sadears's picture
sadears

I'm going to try preheat 500 lower to 450.  I put a pan under the rack my bread goes on fill it water when I turn the oven on.  Last time I put the bread in at 450-475 for 15 minutes, then lowered it to 425.  Should I that next time?  15 minutes at 500 then lower to 450?

 

Steph

Wayne's picture
Wayne

Steph:

First, do not add the water until you are ready to put in your bread.  Put in the pan and let it heat up along with your stone.  When oven is ready (preheat at least 45 min) put your bread on the stone and then pour boiling water into your preheated pan.  Quickly close the door and let cook for 15 min. or so.  Starting at 500 degrees, lower the temp to 450 after your 15 minutes.  Cook for an additional 30 to 35 minutes or so.  Check internal temp. with an instant read thermometer.  Should be closer to the desired 200 - 205 degrees you are looking.  Good luck.  Let me know how this turns out.

Wayne

sadears's picture
sadears

OK.  I'll try that.  I'm making beef jerkey today so my oven is occupied.  I'll make some dough tonight and let it rise overnight.  We'll see ;-D

 

Oh, BTW, my last loaves turned out OK.  Too crusty, and I think a tad underdone on the inside, but edible,  I've made a lot worse.

 

Steph