The Fresh Loaf

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Test Tube Baking [2]: Bulk fermentation, doubling in size

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Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Test Tube Baking [2]: Bulk fermentation, doubling in size

Hi,


The famous "proof until double in size" is present in almost every recipe.


I remember seeing some photos somewhere, but I can't remember.


So, here is my experiment.


I made a white dough according to RB "Crumb" (100% Flour, 70% water, 2% salt, 2% yeast), divided it after gluten development and proofed one half in a cylindrical measuring cup, the other half in a transparent pudding bowl.


This way you can see what a doubling in size looks like in a non-cylindrical bowl.


Ambient temperature was between 22C and 24C, it took about 90 minutes to get the doubling in size.


Here are the pictures.


doubling 1


doubling 2


 


In this picture I simply combined the previous two, for comparison.



 


Thanks,


Juergen

Comments

totels's picture
totels

Excellent idea. I love the overlaid photos to show the effect. And putting the cylindrical next to a more commonly used bowl just enhances the understanding. Thanks!

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you totels,


I'm glad you find it useful.


Juergen

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Your experiments are showing how hard it is to evaluate what doubling looks like. Notice the bubble structure in the straight sided container. If you are looking for a open structure in a French type straight dough, I would say the fermenting could go a little longer. You might do a gentle stretch and fold and watch it for gas development. The second rise after the stretch and fold will go faster and produce more gas bubbles.


Eric

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Eric,


Thank you for your ever so inspiring comments.


When I watched my samples expand I noticed far less bubbles than I expected.


I have a feeling that the dough sticks to plastic, where it would sort of slide along on glass.


I'll try this out when I've got time.


Juergen

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Juergen,


I don't know if one container or another would matter. I always spray a light coat of oil in the bowl I use or the tub used for fermenting. It makes it much easier to remove the dough for folding without degassing.


One thing for you to try. If you increase the hydration slightly, say 2% more at first, and only mix the dough enough to combine the ingredients, then do stretch and folds every 45-60 minutes right in the ferment bowl. Wet your hands and reach into the dough to pull it up and fold it over on itself. Turn and repeat so you get all the dough turned over. Wet hands will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. After 2 or 3 cycles of the S&F the dough will start to feel puffy and you will begin to see the bubbles on the sides. This all is in preparation for a nice open aeration in the crumb structure. When the dough has expanded well and the bubbles are getting larger, gently tip the dough out onto a well floured counter and divide it.


You should look at the dough sitting on the counter and only touch the floured (bottom) side. The sticky top side is folded onto itself and tightened. I hope that makes sense.  With just a little practice you can manage dough with up to 80% hydration in this way. Start below that. French bread is usually around 65-68% as a rule. Try 70% hydration once. It will fold much easier.


Eric

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Dear Eric and Akiko, thanks for your inspiring input -


My white bread gets lighter, my proofing, dough handling and baking are a different story now, thanks to you.


I still get this fairly even crumb, even when using low protein flours (I'll have pictures up shortly). I think, my oven just isn't hot enough.


Eric, I'll give your detailed no-knead recipe a go on Wednesday.


By the way, great baguette flower, Eric.!


Juergen

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Eric,


I followed your no-knead instructions (75% hydration), put some bricks in the oven, preheated for 2 hours and used a towel in a baking tray to steam.


It is quite amazing how the dough transforms with a few folds.


The crumb is slightly more open than I'm used to, I'll certainly explore this process in more depth.


However, I think the oven doesn't get hot enough - 190C seems to be the limit near the bottom.


Here a picture of my result.


 


no-knead


 


Thanks,


Juergen

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi, Juergen


I have seen your breads that you baked, I also noticed that these bottom of your breads are not browned enough. one of them was good, though.  These bottom are soft too?  If it is, It will may be helpful.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4119/why-my-bottom-so-soft#comment-22149


I also think that you better use a pan not a baking tray may block the heat from the bottom.. That is my guess...  


Cheers,


Akiko

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Akiko,


Yes, my bread's bottoms are usually too soft.


The good ones are a bit random - depending on how I load the oven.


The oven has no bottom coil - all heat comes from the fan :-((


Depending on the number and position of trays and breads I put in the internal "oven-aerodynamics" works for or against me. Sometimes there is enough airflow to the bottom of the oven to make a nice crust, most often there is not.


I will work on the idea to get a new oven...


Next week we are going to visit my parents in Germany, they have a more sophisticated oven - I'll give it a go there (they'll be grateful), and let you know.


Thanks a lot for your thoughts,


Jürgen


 


 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Eric,


There was a lot going on between Akiko and you, and I studied your posts about the flower bread (Cherries have 5 petals: bread with cherry yeast water might be an idea: Sakura bread) and Akiko's attempts to get that amazing crumb.


This all inspired me to go back to Richard Bertinet's original recipe using T55 flour, and watch the bubbles during the proof, folding, etc.


The bulk proof took almost 4 hours at 22C (as opposed to 1 hour in the book, maybe my yeast is dead?).


I degassed the dough before shaping while always handling it with care,


Voila:



 


Slightly underbaked in the middle, but the ends were starting to get burnt (did I complain about my oven yet?)


I am very satisfied - I think I am on the right track now.


Eric, Akiko, Thanks again.


Juergen

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Looks great crumb, Juergen!!  I am so glad that your bread was browned well ehough to satisfied you!!!    You made it, Juergen!!


I have to tell you one thing. Where did you put your bricks in your oven?  When I put the bricks that were wrapped with foil on the bottom, not on the oven rack,  The bottom was dent a bit because of the brick's weight. I realized it when I was cleaning the oven today.    I don't care about it, anyway.  So I just let you know about it.   If you bake some bread except french bread, you might like to try a dutch oven method.  


Your hand skill is improving a lot as I see.


Cheers,


Akiko

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thanks Akiko,


I had put the bricks on a wire rack, not the bottom (I would be scared of overheating if I had a bottom coil), this way I had a bit of airflow around the bricks. I am sorry to hear about your oven.


But for this baguette I went back to something which seems to be a bit more reliable in my oven: I have a baking stone on a wire rack right in the middle of the oven, this is where I put the bread for baking. I measured 250C on that rack.


But temperatures depend a lot on the shape and orientation of the bread (truly esoteric stuff here, didn't yet figure out the moon's influence ;-))


This position for the baking stone diverts some of the hot air downwards.


On the wire rack near the bottom I have a baking tin in which I pour boiling water for steaming.


The one good thing about my oven - it is an airtight box and won't let any steam out.


Thanks again,


Juergen


 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I have really been interested in your experiment that is very helpful,Juergen!   I also thank  Eric's expert comments. 


Thank you, Juergen and Eric


Akiko

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I see you are a student of the craft, as I am. I am envious of your selection of Calvel's "The Taste of Bread". I have several of his old videos which are very helpful. Hamelman's work is also very well written and inspirational for home bakers to understand how things work.


Juergen is to be complimented for his curiosity and thorough research of fermentation. This thread has many good nuggets of information that can be absorbed.


Eric

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I looked up Professor Calvel's video, I found the post that you left a comment.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6557/calvel-baguette-video


I have Hamelman's book too. It is another great bread book,too.  


Juergen has been very generous to share his great experiments.  I am waiting for her "Okay" permission to post her recipe.  To get the light crumb like hers, I am wondering that I should wait until the dough rises 2.5-3 times in bulk.   The main problem is the shaping...  I don't know if I better degas the dough a lot or not before shaping....  Hmmmm


 Best wishes,


Akiko


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

There are two schools of thought on the degassing during shaping. The "Best Baguette in Paris" baker named Anis Bouabsa says to flatten it out first and be firm with sealing the seams. Many others have found gentle handling preserves the gas pockets from fermentation.


Personally, I think the higher hydration of the Bouabsa baguettes works for his style of shaping. Since the baguette has so much crust surface, the crumb is expanding rapidly and will overcome the heavy handling. That's my guess anyway.


Eric

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I really appreciate your comment, Eric.  I have thought about degassing for a week.  I am testing the way of degassing like you mentioned:  one is  flatten out, the other is gentle handling.  



 Personally, I think the higher hydration of the Bouabsa baguettes works for his style of shaping.



That makes sense.     Many other bakers who make great airy baguettes with high hydration dough  flatten the dough out completely.  I will test the 2 different ways of degassing tomorrow for interest. 


Best wishes,


Akiko

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If you would have asked showing the 2nd pic,  Which is doubled?  The right side would get most of the answers as compared to "both" and the left bowl would get comments like...  "it went flat" or "spread out a little" as opposed to "doubled."

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Mini,


Thanks for your reply. Shapes of bowles and doughbals, dough doubling and spreading - it can be quite confusing to our "common sense".


I felt - after reading your reply - that a picture is missing here - the simple comparison of liquids in the bowl and measuring cup.


Here it is - using water with a few drops of milk.


Regards,


Juergen


liquids

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Look at the Gaggenau on your trip


Pam

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thanks Pam,


I know they are great. I did a bit of kitchen fitting some years ago - mainly Miele products.


We are looking to move house this year, that means that a good oven can be in my dreams for now.


But there is always a chance for a garden with a brick oven in one corner ...


Juergen

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm a little confused about your oven. I have never heard of an oven that does not have lower coils for baking. I know some professional baking ovens have the heat coils on the side and the air blows across them for convection heat. But in a home oven if that's the way it is it is a first for me. I'm not at all familiar with European ovens now so take this all with a grain of salt please.


The steaming advice you see on these pages and elsewhere assumes there is a heat source on the bottom of the oven. So, we place a pan with stones, hardware, lava rocks etc. in it and pour some hot water in. If you really have an oven with no bottom heat, that procedure won't work as well. Normally the raw heat just above the coils is the perfect place for a steam pan. I don't know where you would put a pan with no lower heat. It wouldn't be the lowest place in the oven. Maybe the top shelf in a sheet pan.


I suggest you look up your oven or talk to a repair shop and ask about lower heating coils. There are some ovens that have coils below the bottom floor level to make clean up easier. Those coils are harder to change but it can be done. I would bet that either your lower heating coil is dead or dying and be amazed if you don't have one. Looking at your bottom crust, there is little heat on the bottom.


Eric

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Eric,


My oven is indeed lacking a bottom coil - I checked the manuals.


It's a BEKO, a turkish brand. BEKO is becoming quite popular in europe because of the price. The quality is reasonable.


I got this one when our funds were low and I needed an immediate replacement, about a year ago.


I was baking a lot already, mainly loaves in tins, and was happy with my result.


Of course, diving into the world of sourdoughs and TFL changed my requirements...


I'll try out your idea putting the dish for the water on the top shelf.


What I found out so far is that I have to be careful with the air flow.


When the oven is empty the hottest point seems to be along the top left corner, the difference to the bottom right corner being almost 100C.


A baking tray or a stone right in the middle seems to even out temperatures quite a bit, and the bottom crust of my loaves looks a bit better.


Just now I am trying out the magic bowl method. (Of course nor for a baguette)


That bread will be ready in 10 minutes.


Thanks for your thoughts,


Juergen

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Juergen,


Does the manual have anything to say about the best place to bake for the most even heat? I'm wondering if you wouldn't be better off not baking on a stone. The stone on the bottom configuration works well when there is a heat source under it. The stone buffers the heat and the heat is balance between the top and bottom. It takes an incredible amount of heat and time to bring the stone up to the oven setting. Without the radiant heat from below, the warm up time would be at least 1-2 hours to warm the stone. In my own oven with a red hot coil, it takes an hour to get the stone to 460F. That would be 45 minutes after the oven temp bell goes off.


Try baking on a sheet pan with parchment paper on the highest shelf possible one time. Put a small sheet pan with 1 cup of hot water just below. Let me know how it goes.


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so I inverted one of the oven's black baking sheets on the bottom of the oven and parked a trivet on top of that to bake.  The black sheet absorbed heat as it is black and the insulating space (1/2") from the bottom kept any heat from sinking out.  Made an amazing difference getting some heat under the loaf.  

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Eric, Mini,


Great ideas.


This morning I tried out Mini's approach and this evened out the oven temperature: I seem to have now 230C everywhere.


I was making an English Bloomer according to Elizabeth David (it's for a colleague at work - no crumbshot).


The oven performance is much better like this, although the bottom could have got some more heat.


Bloomer Top


 


Bloomer Bottom


I'll lmake more bloomers when I come back from holiday, and will then try out your suggestions, Eric.


It feels like I'm getting there, even with a strange oven, thanks to your support,


Juergen

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Nice looking, Bread, Juergen!


WOW, that is really good looking loaf! Nice  scoring job, too!! I can see that the bottom needs more heat as you said.   Japanese oven didn't have coil on the bottom, either when I had it in Japan 7 years ago. That was a combination of microwave  and oven. It looks like a microwave oven but I could use as a oven to bake.  Yours looks bigger than that.  When I looked up " Small stones steaming method" that is very popular in Japan, They bake nice open crumb baguettes.


http://soramama315.blog84.fc2.com/blog-entry-480.html


They put the baking pan on the top, and put the small stones in the tray then pour hot water  ( 30-50cc)in the stones to make steam.  Putting the baking pan on the bottom, and  the stones in the tray on the top will work, too according to the home bakers. Aki who I posted her airly holey baguettes used to use the method before she bought the oven with steam system. But you have to be careful when you use the water!  Use gloves and a bath towel to protect your hands and oven.


Happy baking


Akiko

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you, Akiko.


I'll try the pebble steam method when I'm back.


As fro the bread - it was my second attempt of a Elizabeth David recipe.


The first try was crumpets, and what I got wasn't quite right.


But this bloomer ( the second bloomer recipe in her book) is just great.


I adjusted the salt (recipe is 20g on 570g flour). The dough is rather stiff, but as a straight dough with a total proof of (in my case) over 12 hours at temperatures of 14C to 20C the taste is just great.


I'll play more with this recipe.


When I moved to England I wondered about the traditional breads. The supermarkets and bakeries sell the different shapes (bloomer, cottage loaf, country loaf...) with little noticeable difference in taste or texture.


I think, Elizabeth David gives me the answers (in English Bread and Yeast Cookery).


Juergen

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That looks good Juergen. And, you are getting some better color on the bottom, indicating better heat distribution. You can count on Mini to come up with a way to get things done. I look forward to seeing your next bake.


Eric

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi,


We are on holiday now staying with my parents in southwest Germany (Black Forest).


We brought some artisan cheeses from England and my parents loved to have them with some of my bread.


So I got some Type 550 wheat flour (9.8% protein), some Type 1050 wheat flour (11.2% protein), and made some poolish baguettes / bread according to Hamelman's formula.


Whith the soft water here (it's all granite around here and the tap water comes right out of the mountains) and the flour I used for this batch (only Type 550) the dough felt and tasted very different from what I am used to from Brighton.


My parents have an oven where you can switch off the fan, and I used this setting to bake my bread.


For the baguettes I used a baking tray near the bottom for steaming, and tat seemed to ave blocked a lot of heat, that's why the bottom of the baguettes is a bit pale.


I am learning more oven lessons here. Thanks Eric, Mini, Akiko, I can see now how far I have come with my equipment at home thanks to your shared knowledge.


For the batards I removed the baking tray and replaced it with a smallish metal bowl for steaming.
 There seems to be one oddity with this oven: On the highest setting, once the thermostat switched the heat elements off, the oven tempeature drops by almost 80 degrees (according to the dial)  until the heat kicks in again.


Anyway, I got very tasty bread with more open crumb using German Type 550 flour, soft Black Forest water and my parents' oven.


Here some pictures:


 


Batard


batard-crumb


baguette


 


Thanks,


Juergen

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Wow, Juergen


It looks very nice!


Akiko

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Dear Eric, Mini, Akiko,


Just to say Thank You,


After ingesting a lot of your valuable input I feel a lot more in control, both of fermentation and of my oven.


I baked a lot of things recently, with a lot of satisfaction (and even more space for improvement). The horizon grows.


It wasn't baguettes, but here a few pictures of my recent Challah and Levain. (Hamelman formulas)


Challah


levain 1


Levain 2


Best Wishes,


Juergen

teketeke's picture
teketeke

You have been really doing great jobs on your baking! Your shaping and scoring is remarkable, too.  Look at the crumb! That is awesome!!


Very best wishes,


Akiko