The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Squid's picture
Squid

Feedback needed

I just baked my first loaves of sourdough bread using Nancy Silverton's starter method. It turned out very nice and I could taste the sourness of the bread. The crumb was very open, which really pleased me, being a beginning baker. However, when the loaves went into the oven, the bottoms of the loaves split open. It's a very rustic looking loaf, so all is not lost. It kinda gives it character, but I don't think I want to reproduce it. LOL

Any feedback on why this happened? I couldn't find any info about this when I did a search. The only thing I did differently was use Saltillo tiles that I just purchased and seasoned yesterday.

rose1234's picture
rose1234

It may have been underproofed.

Squid's picture
Squid

It definitely didn't look like it had doubled in size, but when I pressed on it, the dimple didn't spring back. I figured it didn't look like it had doubled b/c maybe my dough was a little more wet than called for. I guess I was wrong?

Srishti's picture
Srishti

You didn't close the seams tightly enough! and when the bread starts rising super fast in that heat of the oven, it starts expanding and the first place it explodes is at the weak surfaces, like the seams at the bottom, and the slashes on the top! Did you give nice deep slashes to the bread? Also make sure that the seams sre tightly pinched.

Squid's picture
Squid

I did slash the bread and I think they were deep enough. I thought I'd pinched the seam well, but I guess I didn't. I'll try and do better next time.

Thanks for your help.

Squid's picture
Squid

I finally got around to taking a picture. Here's the crumb if anyone wants to give me any pointers. There wasn't much else to take as the loaf was half eaten by the time I picked up my camera from the office.

This is my very first sourdough bread using Nancy Silverton's sourdough starter, my 5th bread-making attempt. It had a definite sour taste, but I don't have any personal experiece to compare it to (other that what I've bought). My next attempt will be with SourdoLady's starter and I also have an Italian starter that I can really compare my homemade starters to.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I have made breads for seven years now (as long as I've been a mom) and I was so frustrated with that loaf in particular, a seemingly simple loaf!  I proof mine in a basket, and I've had enough go-rounds with that loaf (I have two in my oven now, as a matter of fact) and this is how I determine if it's ready to go in the oven: If I press down with my finger, nail first so that I make a big indention, if it springs back not at all, it's ready.  If I don't proof it to the point that I think I've gone too far, I'll get very odd loaf shapes.  I don't know why this loaf in particular is such a problem for blow-outs or odd shapes, but it is.  Ideas, anyone?

ooifalu's picture
ooifalu

Ooifalu

Ooifalu

Your starter is not going to "keep bubbling" all the time...Only when you "feed" it...(add more flour and water to it when it is at room temp...either to replenish after using...or to restore when you haven't used it often...I use a 50-50 split).  After it quits bubbling, I stir it and store it in the refrigerator until the next use.  Be sure you do not put a tight lid on it, it needs to breath....It will form a nearly clear liquid on top and you should stir that down every so often.  You can use it and do it indefinitely.  I am still using the starter I started in 1990....I have never let it die.  After a while when it seems to not be "bubbling" anymore, you can add a teaspoon of yeast when you do your 50-50 at room temp and that will refresh it....This may not be the way everyone does it....but it is the way I was taught and it's worked for me for a long time now. 

mij.mac's picture
mij.mac

Be careful drawing conclusion about different starters used on different bakes. The exact same starter treated differently for a week or so can make two very different breads with very different flavor and characteristics. Similarly to very different starters can both make exactly the same bread with the same characteristics given different conditions. Without controlled tests it's very hard to make good conclusions. You really need to live and work with a starter for at least a year before beginning to draw any conclusions on it. In my experience and having said what I just have it isn't worth that much, most starters are very similar to each other, some are faster, some slower and so on, but the bread they make is really >95% what you do rather than the starter itself.
Having said all of that your bread looks very nice in deed, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that. : -)
mac