The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman Vermont Sourdough lacking crunch

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mizrachi's picture
mizrachi

Hamelman Vermont Sourdough lacking crunch

Made a few loaves of Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough in a la cloche and the crust was not crunchy at all.  What could explain?  Or, better yet, this what to do to make sure my loaves have the kind of crunchy crust I adore?

 

 

mizrachi's picture
mizrachi

I baked in the cloche for around 30 minutes and removed the lid for the last 15.  Temperature kept at recipe spec: 460. Did not steam oven.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How odd...  

Maybe leave it in the oven longer or remove not only the lid but the base as well and finish the bake on the rack.  

How was the crumb?

mizrachi's picture
mizrachi

460 is the temperature indicated in the recipe.  crumb was good, but not as hole-y as other breads I've made

Dhull100's picture
Dhull100

This is my go-to bread, and I use a La Cloche as well. I typically preheat the La Cloche, bake under dome for 12-15 minutes, then place the bread directly on a baking stone. As long as the steps prior to baking have been adequate, it gives a nice crunchy crust. Maybe 30 minutes under the dome is too long? 

mizrachi's picture
mizrachi

that's what I thought -- that i'd kept the bread under the cloche for too long.  in general, is the cloche to be removed after about 15 minutes?   i think i remember reading a recipe in crust and crumb that suggested leaving the cloche on for the entire bake.  and considering a cloche is supposed to replicate a hearth oven environment, i'm not sure why it'd be removed at all?

jcking's picture
jcking

Removing the lid allows the release of steam/ water so a good crust can form. I pre-heat Cloche, bake 450°F for 20 mins, remove lid, lower temp 400°F, bake an additional 10 mins, oven off, leave in oven another 15 mins. This is with a gas oven. An electric oven would need some venting along the way.

Jim

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Fifteen minutes is enough in the cloche if it is hot (say 450 or so) before you load it. Twenty minutes seems to be better if the cloche is cool or under temp. Don't be afraid to bake the bread "hard" to an internal temp of at least 210 or even 211.

Good Luck!

Jay

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I would say that you should definitely remove the cover to finish baking. I don't think you need to remove the cloche completely, but just the cover. It is the same as venting out the steam when you use other steaming methods. The crust will not get a crunch if it is being steamed (i.e. covered) the whole time. By the way, I have read that several people have experimented with the heating of the cloche vs putting it in cold. Most of the people seem to get the best results by pre-heating the cover, but leaving the base cold. Just something to try.

Dhull100's picture
Dhull100

Cold object in hot oven prone to cracking. It's happened to me and others