The Fresh Loaf

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Could use some crust help

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SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Could use some crust help

OK, back in the saddle in my own kitchen again..getting some of the same results with BBA baguette.  Problem: Anemic crust, very little color, and not crispy at all.  Taste is fine.

Used an overight pate-fermente and non-rushed rise, steam pan, atomizer on walls in accordance with BBA intructions.  Used a mixer, not sure if that matters.  It is interesting to note the crumb was more of a sandwich bread, consistent small holes.  Oven temp is right on, used  a stone on lower 1/3.  Of note, internal temperature was above the final temp before the time called for in the recipe, and crust did not seem very developed. Dough interior might be on the moist side, but pulled it out when the interior temp got high.  Did get a respectable oven spring, not great, but did some.

 Thoughts? Thanks,

 SDbaker

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I know that with lower protein flours, they tend to brown lighter, maybe leaving the loafs in just a minute or two longer would help.  Your temp readings sound like you could go to a slightly higher oven temp, that way the crust could get darker before inside temp is reached.  Just a thought,  Mini Oven

JIP's picture
JIP

2 thoughts I might have would be did you over-mix or handle the dough too much and de-gass it.  Also how long did you pre-heat the oven if it was not hot enough that may be responsible for alot of things.  Personally when I do baguettes and I am far from an expert I have finally figured out how to shape them properlt with popping as few bubbles as possible.  I also will pre-heat my oven around 45 min to an hour before baking.

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

Hi JIP

you seem to have missed the many people telling about how they haven't noticed any or much difference after switching to not preheating the oven.  I did preheat my oven for years. Now I have a new one which is so super efficient it's untrue it stays hot for ages after being switched off and you can't feel any heat coming out of it when it's on the highest setting. Since it also heats up in just a couple of minutes and beeps to tell me when it's ready I do preheat now.  

Sourdough-guy

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

I'm very interested to know what make your oven is. Thanks!!

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

JIP you haven't heard of global warming then I guess. I really don't think any of us can afford to be wasting energy so decadently as that. So many people are putting such effort and money into reducing energy wastage, preheating for a whole hour is ludicrous. I know I'm going to get a bashing here but frankly I think this needs to be said.

Sourdough-guy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When I started baking 3-4 times a week in my quest to reproduce the French Baguette I was using a stone and preheating for an hour, at least. Then I got my electric bill. Ouch, I could purchase a round trip to Paris for what my oven costs were that Month. Never again. I have learned to bake most breads from a cold oven on a steel sheet pan. Once I got a feel for it you would be hard pressed to tell the differance from the old way.

I don't know if I buy the Global warming hype today any more than the Global freezing hype of 30 years ago. It doesn't make sense however to waste precious energy and needlessly consume excessive energy.

Eric

browndog's picture
browndog

I have to jump in because it breaks my heart what's happening to the planet whether it's me or my kid's kid who sees the worst of it. Those of us lucky enough to have choices should have our eyes wide open when we make them, and unhappily as bakers we're in the thick of the issue, getting pissed off doesn't change it. Long and long I've fretted over this preheat/stone issue, during the heating season I took to leaving the stone on the woodstove which I thought brilliant though I say it myself, but it timed out. Now I don't use it much. And it seems rational to me if you won't leave off the preheat, get a good oven thermometer and let it decide when it's ready, instead of a blanket more-is-better approach. Look, I love a singing dark crust too, but I have to ask myself what's in the balance. Can't deny that sometimes I'm so invested in a particular outcome that I firehose the conscience and crank up the gas, but I can make very nice bread with no or minimal preheat, that includes loaves with dark, crackly crust. Not always, but when I don't it seems to me that my dough quality is the liklier culprit, not preheat. I would recommend this thread to those who haven't seen it: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2287/unheated-oven

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

SOurdough guy,

I want your oven!!!!!

 

We rent and our oven takes 15 mins to 45 mins to preheat depending on the temperature. We are greenies as much as we can be in the city. We recycle, reduse our water usage, avoid plastics, buy organic when budget allows and where it matters most like meat and dairy and grains, we avoid buying fish, we also pay more for our electricity as we have opted for a green tarrif. All our energy is replaced by green energy.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about that needing to be said. Some people dont believe global warming is happening or that it is our fault, maybe so, but, if there is a chance there is then isnt it better to treat the planet with some respect?

After all, it DOES support and sustain us. It is the biggest most important parent of them all and we, a bunch of middle aged moocher children!

well, it feels like that now a days.

 

*gets off soap box*

ramble over.

 

thegreenbaker 

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Thanks JIP - I might have degassed too much with might account for the small holed crumb.  BBA says to be careful not to degas when shaping, but the Julia Childs video clip floating around on baguettes.. the guest baker beats the living daylights out of the dough!

SDbaker

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

 SDB you probably have over proofed leaving no sugars to brown the crust. I'm not saying add sugar by the way. Pix would be good but I think from what you've said over fermenting is your problem.

Sourdough-guy

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

SDG, that's what I thought but I used a cylindrical proofing container and shaped at exactly double original size just to eliminate that variable. 

 Will try another batch.

Thanks for the ideas everyone.

 SDbaker

Susan's picture
Susan

Don't push too hard; like most good things in life, if you relax and enjoy it, success will follow. Breathe deeply! On the other hand, it IS terribly frustrating when your loaves don't do what you want them to. Has your starter had long enough to get good and happy? Oh, you said you were using old dough. Just keep baking.

Susan

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Hi Suan, thank your for the welocme home! It's good to be back from deployment.

I also did a sourdough from a starter from KA.  Pretty decent flavor, but same problem.  Small holes, anemic, soft crust.  Tastes good though..

I think my switch to bottled water has helped.

 SDbaker

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

This thread is really thought provoking.  I love wood stoves but don't have one in the house where I do most of my baking. I'm thinking that the no knead in a Dutch Oven is a perfect technique for omitting the preheat. Just heat the pot for a couple of minutes on the gas range and put the bread-in-hot-pot into a cold oven. I'm guessing that consumes less resource. I'll give it a try. The enamel may pop on LeCruset if you heat it this way. I use vintage cast iron.

I'm getting the crackle crust I coveted, but should it require a chain saw to slice?

Susan's picture
Susan

Red, that is a great idea! Let us know how it works for you.

Susan

browndog's picture
browndog

I like it too--God help me. I go swimming entirely too much for someone who hates to get wet.

T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

A hearty handshake and a grateful hug......I'm assuming that by deployment you meant time in the sandbox.     THANK YOU for your service!!!!!!!!!   I'm glad you made it home safely.

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Thank you for the thoughtful words.  They mean a lot.  I am glad to be home, covering my kitchen with a fine layer of flour!

SDbaker