The Fresh Loaf

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Problems Help

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bobku's picture
bobku

Problems Help

I have been baking sourdough using basic sourdough bread recipe from Teresa Greenway' DiscoveringSourdough. I made a proofing box and bulkrise at 80 temp and 65 humidity for 4-6 hours using the proofing box I rise for 4 hours, shape boules  and then overnight in refrigerator, when I shape them I can already see some large bubbles under the skin, last time I deflated some of them don't know if it was a good idea or if it's a sign of over proofing. Take them out of refrigerator let sit for about an hour to get to room temp then proof in proofing box hour or so, try to judge if its done by poking side of dough. Last loaves I made I thought were over proofed so I reshaped and proofed again don't know if that was a good idea or not Even before using the proofing box bread usually comes out pale with uneven browning. If I bake longer crust is to hard and still uneven browning. also have problem with flying crust. Sorry no pictures. I know It depends on a lot of factors but If anyone knows if these are some common problems that can be fixed I would appreciate any advice, Thanks

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi,

I am not familiar with your book or recipe so my comments are general in nature.  I believe that your proof is too warm and too long.  A slower cooler proof will produce better flavor.  A heated humid proving box is designed to control a faster proof and not needed in a home situation.

When the loaves leave the refigerator, they may be fully proved at that point and if so can go directly into the oven.  If they are not ready then I would leave them at room temperature until putting them in the oven.  There is simply no reason to go into a warm proving environment at this point unless you are trying to speed the process.  Also there is no reason to warm the proving loaves when they leave the refrigerator, the oven will do that.  A warm environment at this point will not raise the internal temperature of the loaf but will affect the outer dough and give you your flying crust.

If you use a proving box of any sort, do not add heat unless the ambient temperature is exceptionally cold.  Bulk ferment, shape and either go directly to refrigeration or give the shaped loaves some time at room temperature.  Always cover the dough to control moisture loss.

I hope that this helps,

Jeff

bobku's picture
bobku

I should probably just pay more attention to the dough and what it looks and feels like, but even before I used a proofing box I had the same problems, pale color uneven browning flying crust. Do you think it could be from to long bulk or to long proofing? Both?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The pale crust after the 4 hour warm fermentation tells me that your yeasties have eaten all the sugars that would carmelize, thus yielding the pale crust and taking forever to proof. It seems to me that you may be more successful using a different sequence.

How about this:

After mixing/short knead put in covered,oiled container and retard overnight in refrigerator.(8-12 hours).

Next day, remove container from refrigerator,allow to continue rise at room temp to not quite double. (should have risen at least slightly or up t0 fully double,depending on the activity of your starter).

Shape,proof (short time-40min to 90 min depending on room temp. This is a good time to use the proofer at 72F and some humidity.

Bake.

Enjoy!

 

bobku's picture
bobku

Thanks I think I might try this. I think my timing is off the other way. How long can sourdough sucessfully be left in refrigerator to ferment before dough breaks down. Do you think it could possibly be strectched to 24 hours. Trying to work it into my schedule for during the week.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mix your ingredients cold and then chill at once.  The cold temps should hold back most of the yeast action until you want it.  When you want to start the rise, remove and fold dough warming with your hands.  Shape into a ball and let rest possibly moving dough to a warmer bowl.  When it starts to rise, fold again and shape, maybe use your proofer.  Stretch and folding the dough as it warms up will help distribute the temps and help the surface tension.  Any large bubbles will then be popped or pressed into smaller ones.  As fermenting progresses the sourdough becomes wetter but your folds give it strength.  The trick to this is knowing when to stop folding.  Pay a lot of attention to the surface, if you feel your dough is starting to tear when doing a round of folding, stop, you are coming close to final shaping so let the dough rest about 10 minutes, shape into loaf and let rise short of double (from original flat dough size) score and bake.    Check the stretch & fold video on site.   

Davo's picture
Davo

My sequence is a little different. My Bulk ferment is only about 2.5 hrs - maybe 3, and I keep it cool - if it's over 23-25 C in the house I cycle the dough (in a bowl) in and out of the fridge to keep it cool. I scale into 4 loaves and like to see just the start of some very small holes, and it's nowhere near double. If it's got big holes and anything like double, it ends up overproved (for me, not saying others have this problem). So after shaping I put the loaves in banettons in plastic bags and in the fridge till the next night (about 22 hours). I find they nearly rise to baking stage in the fridge, but can take up to 1 hour or rarely 2 hours of warming on the bench, before baking. Works for me and means all the dealing with dough, shaping etc is done on the one night - next night is just baking, so pretty clean in the kitchen.

Davo's picture
Davo

I should add I would be very reluctant to leave in fridge 22 or so hours and THEN shape loaves - they will likely be exhausted - or close to - by that time and will almost certainly not rise well after shaping...

I also noted a comment about not needing to warm up out of the fridge. Well, it depends! If they have risen fully in the firdge - fine - bake them cold, but ideally I like it when they need about an hour to come up "ripe" and that way are close to room temp when baked. If they need this hour out and you don't give it to them, they will be underproved. They'll rise and burst spectacularly, but will be dense.

bobku's picture
bobku

Still Having some problems with pale loaves uneven browning, the most frustrating is the large holes in the middle of bread please excuse the poor quality of pictures but you can still see the holes  I'm talking about.

 

Think the color is still to pale here

Im doing stretch and fold trying not to trap air bubbles. When I shape loaves I can see some large air pockets and I deflate them. I have tryed 2,4 and 6 hr bulk fermentations. I was using 100% hydration starter that I would take from refrigerator feed it every 8 hours while converting it yo 166%, I thought maybe starter was to weak, couldn't reallty see it double at that hydration so changed back to 100% and just adjusting to amount of water in recipe making sure starter would double after feeding it looked fine doubling in 4 hours. I think it must be shaping,  but I have watch some shaping videos and feel my technique not really trapping any air. Don't know what else could be causing it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

 

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Hi Bobku,

Could it be that when you do the final bread shaping there is too much flour on the table?  The reason behind this is that when you do the final shaping, there is some flour on the bread dough and when you fold it over, the dough is not making good surface contact with the other end of the dough.  Because there is a dusting of flour between the layers of dough, it might be contributing to the "hole" effect?  Maybe you could try to use very little dusting of flour on the table as possible.  Just an idea.

Carl

bobku's picture
bobku

I don't think so but I'll keep that in mind. I almost feel like the a pockets are there from the start although I'm careful to fold without creating air pockets. when I shape do you think I should try degassing. I am just taking dough from bulk ferment and loosely shaping into loaves letting it rest then shaping by twisting clockwise pushing sides down while shaping with my hands for a boule. This happens with a boule or a batard

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

It sounds like you are being too careful when you're shaping the final bread.  It's ok too degass the pre-shaped dough, but don't degass it to death!  Infact, the next time you make bread and if you are making 2 or more loaves, try degassing one of the pre-shaped pieces to see if there's a difference.  For the other loaf, you can treat it as you always had been doing.  When the 2 loaves are baked, see if there's a noticable difference!  Make sure you know which loaf was degassed and remember to take notes! 

By the way....maybe you might want to view the baking videos from King Arthur.  Maybe it might give you an idea of how to approach this problem.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/videos.html

Carl

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The large holes are caused by the way you are kneading or folding the dough. As suggested above, just a small amount of bench flour if any is all that should be needed when kneading and shaping.

Where are you located in the World? What kind of flour are you using? What is the formula/recipe you are using specifically?

With these questions answered, we can offer you informed assistance. In general, I think it is hard to get good results with sourdough when the dough is refrigerated prior to proofing. It can be done but I consider that an advanced procedure. I have baked a proofed loaf that was chilled overnight in a proofing basket, right out of the oven, with good results. The key is in watching the proofing volume closely. You want about 3/4 proof before chilling. The expansion will continue for some time as it cools.

Eric

bobku's picture
bobku

 I have been using recipe from http://www.northwestsourdough.com/techniques/baking/.   The only difference is I now use starter at 100% adjusting water for 166%. and  am not using proofing baskets just baking on a cookie sheet. I live on East Coast on Long Island NY. If anyone can take  look at recipe and see what i might be doing wrong please ket me know

bobku's picture
bobku

When I fold I am not using any flour. and I'm careful when I fold to do it as  ) ( instead of ( )

ehanner's picture
ehanner

bobku,

I suggest going to the Back Home Bakery web site and watching Marks Videos. Take a look at the Shaping video first. Notice early on when he cuts the dough with a knife how porous it is. It's just a quick second where you can see the inside of the dough as it is cut. That is what properly fermented dough looks like. Then continue with the rest of that video. When he gets into the batard shaping, you see how he puts tension on the outer layer and yet handles the dough so gently. Mark is a master at this craft.

Then take a look at the newest shaping video at the bottom called "More Shaping".  There is a lot to learn on the Tutorials he has provided for free and also the training DVD's he sells.

Eric