The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine bread baking attempts

winestem's picture
winestem

Tartine bread baking attempts

Help, help, help, help! I'm ready to throw in the tea-towel! I've got a wonderful smelling and behaving wild yeast culture going and I've followed the procedures in Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread to what I think is a perfect "T". The problem is that I'm getting almost no rise from the dough once it goes into the oven. I do the autolyse for 45 minutes, I get a magnificent smooth and silky fermentation, but in the end, I get dense, good-tasting, but too dense loaves! Any suggestions as to what I can try and/or am doing wrong?

richawatt's picture
richawatt

how long are you proofing it for?  When I make any dough using a sourdough starter, it takes 6 hours mix to bake, about five of that is just fermenting and proofing.

winestem's picture
winestem

The bulk fermentation went for 6 hours! The final rise of the dough in the baskets for 4 hours

 

winestem's picture
winestem

First, the pre-leaven just mixed:

pre-leaven mix

Next, the leavening the next morning. Looks great!

next morning

After autolyse, dough is silky, easy to handle, looks textbook perfect.

after autolyse and salt addition

Then beautiful rising at 100 in the oven at proof mode rising

After six hours of bulk fermentation, dough is light and airy! And I bring it onto the bench for the bench rest bench rest

Then let rise in basket for 4 hours

rise

 

And finally, great-tasting, but disappointing bread that didn't do any rising once it baked! :- (

pancakes!

polo's picture
polo

An amatuer's guess here, but I would say your loaves are over proofed by the look of them. How long in the oven at 100?

Polo

yy's picture
yy

Did you leave it in the oven at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 hours, followed by 4 hours of room temperature proofing? That sounds like too much. How much had it expanded by the time you took it out of the oven after bulk fermentation (doubled/tripled)? Do you have photos of what it looked like after  bulk fermentation?  I'd suggest doing the whole procedure at room temperature instead of using the oven for bulk fermentation. Even at room temperature, 10 hours may be too long. 

winestem's picture
winestem

Thanks for the suggestions yy and polo! Can/Would overproofing be the cause of no rising in the oven? I could certainly try the bulk fermentation and loaf rise in my kitchen, whose temperature is probably about 70 F. I probably got about a 20% increase in the bulk fermentation. I've never gotten a doubling. Should I be able to expect that much? 

yy's picture
yy

2 Definitely don't expect a doubling - that would be way too much for this type of bread. I only said "doubling" to make it clear what I was asking. I understand the concept of overproofing to be similar to overinflating a balloon. When you blow up a balloon, its latex walls have enough structural integrity to support up to a certain volume of air. Beyond that, the material will be stretched beyond its capacity, and it will just pop. Similarly, when you overproof, gas in the dough builds up to the point where the gluten network formed in the dough no longer supports it. That's my layman's understanding of overproofing. 

polo's picture
polo

100 degrees for six hours would be too long. Try six hours at 70 to 72 degrees F. Yes, over proofing would certainly mean little or no oven spring. My first loaves were a bit under proofed and wanted to burst at the seams (so to speak).

Polo

winestem's picture
winestem

I'll give a try for the proofing in the kitchen without the oven 100 degree mode! Fingers are crossed! Many thanks for the suggestions. Do you think I may be using a wild yeast without enough "pep"? Or do you think it's my over-proofing that is the likely culprit?

pmccool's picture
pmccool

but I have made a lot of sourdoughs and pain au levains.  I agree with the others who have posited overproofing, particularly with the bulk ferment at 100F.

From the photos, it appears that the initial dough is very high hydration.  It still looks very wet at the end of the bulk rise, on the bench, and in the banneton.  Given the time and temperature of the two ferments, it is also possible that the dough is experiencing gluten breakdown from either enzymatic action or from acid attack.  Either of those frequently cause the dough to have a wet surface and a very sticky consistency, as well as a pancaked final shape.  Shorter, cooler fermentations (particularly the bulk ferment) should reduce the possiblity of that happening again.

The other consideration, and this is where my ignorance of the Tartine bread comes in, is whether or not there are any stretch and folds done during the bulk fermentation to help build dough strength.  The dough on the bench and in the banneton appears to be loose and unstructured.  Stretch and folds during the intial fermentation, plus better development of the gluten sheath across the surface of the shaped loaf, may also improve your outcome.  If you are already doing those steps, my apologies for belaboring the point.

Paul

winestem's picture
winestem

Great questions, PMcCool. Indeed, in lieu of working the dough, the Tartine book espouses periodic pulls after 20 or 30 minutes in order to work the dough a little and develop the strands of gluten. 

I'm going to try a shorter--and cooler (room temp!)--bulk fermentation and bread rise in the basket.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Using the Tartine recipe I overproof in three hours bulk fermentation and three hours proofing at 80 degrees. Leave it at room temp and you will be much closer.

Jay

winestem's picture
winestem

Are you saying that you only do bulk fermentation for 3 hours, and then the loaves proof at 80 for three more hours? Or are you saying that even in that 3 hours too much time has passed? Thanks!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

With my sourdough which is reliably slower than average I am using a 3 hour bulk fermentation counting the S&Fs to forming and about 2 1/2 hours after final forming (which is 1/2 hour after initial forming). So basically yes, but all of my times are at around 73 to 75 degrees F and not 80 so....This is why I am confident your dough was way overproofed. If you bulk ferment for 3 hours and have final proof of 2 1/2 to 3 hours at nominally 73 degrees F I am confident you will have a lot more oven spring and get loaves much closer to "right". That said you will still need to adjust but the proofing times in Tartine don't make sense for he suggests they are at 80 degrees but he talks about fog and ... I think his temps are colder than he admits.

As an aside you will go less wrong by underproofing than by overproofing IMO. So when striving to fine tune proofing I think it is wise to make jumps big enough you are confident you overdid it so you can interpolate back to what you think will be "right". It is a problem when you are badly overproofed in one experiemnet and less overproofed in another. You have a hard time estimating what the right time should be. Much better to be too far and thus have data on both sides of the "right answer".

Good Luck!

Jay

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

have you baked? Have you used your starter to make a very simple formula from this sight ? I suggest that you back up and start with a VERY simple 3 or 4 step formula that has been made by many folks on this forum. When you are really used to the whole procedure of handling and proofing and baking sourdough then it is time to advance to more complicated formulas with multiple steps.

If you have already had months/years of practice then by all means continue with the Tartine but if you have not then stop now and save the flour and begin with baby steps as we all have, c

winestem's picture
winestem

I didn't have time yesterday to do the full-on Tartine bread, so I tried the No-Knead bread recipe with my wild yeast sourdough as the leavening. 300 g of water, 400 grams of flour, about 25 grams of my starter, 8 g of salt and that was it. covered it with a towel at 7:30 in the morning and went to work. When I got home I shaped it into a loaf and let it rise for only 1 hour in the oven at 100 degrees. Then into the dutch oven with my fingers crossed. And the result was:

it worked

 

i'm trying it again today to see if lightning will strike twice. 

yy's picture
yy

that loaf looks like it's standing pretty tall and proud:-). I don't think you need to do any of the proofing at 100, unless you're in a rush and the dough is very underproofed. Search "poke test" on the forums - it's a simple way to roughly gauge whether your dough is underproofed, well-proofed, or overproofed. 

winestem's picture
winestem

It worked! Once more, the Jim Lahey recipe with my wild yeast starter produced this:

utah

winestem's picture
winestem

I did this:

 

first

 

and this second

 

and the insides look like this inside

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

And yes, you were over-proofing the Tartine dough. It's pretty impossible to call it back once it's gone too far, so try proofing at room temp (even cool room temp) for the same amount of time you were doing in the warm rise. You'll get a better result. Also, I am a very experienced baker of slack doughs, and it took me awhile to be comfortable with Robertson's directions for shaping and handling the dough. I finally got it, but it took some practice. Don't give up, you're on the right track!

Patricia

winestem's picture
winestem

i felt defeated, turned to this board, and amazing things have happened ever since! I just want to echo what people much more experienced than I am are telling you: don't overproof!

 

Have fun and good luck. Fortunately, even high quality flour isn't too expensive.

nikkiblum's picture
nikkiblum

My attempts are reminiscent of the nursery rhyme: "when they are good, they are very, very good, and when they are bad, they are horrid."

I have a hard time telling when the bulk fermentation is over. My kitchen is cooler, about 67-70 degrees, and this seems to take forever. 

Sometimes, I can't get the overnight refresh to pass the "float test." Is anyone else having this trouble?

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Interesting dough!  much wetter than I am used to - and in shaping, I can't get it to form a ball at all - oh well, I'll try short proof and bake and see what happens!