The Fresh Loaf

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Is this considered good rise?

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Juergen's picture
Juergen

Is this considered good rise?

First off, happy Easter to all of you!

Yesterday evening I baked my 2nd sourdough bread ever and even though it came at better than the first, I'm still not pleased. When you look at the pics below, you can see that the loaf was still pretty flat after proofing. It did have some oven spring but somehow I feel this is not a good rise. What do you think? Is this considered a good rise when it comes to sourdough baking? The dough was 65% hydration and 100% white wheat flour and bulk-fermented for two hours and then proofed for another hour, all at 21C/70F.

After proofing, just before baking;

 

After baking for 45 minutes at 245C/475F

Olof's picture
Olof

Happy Easter to you too!

I wouldn't know about average rise. I just baked my first sourdough-only regular loaf and it didn't rise this much. Yours looks great.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

If that's your second loaf ever, I can't imagine what your 100th will look like.

The cracks you see in the crust often occur when the crust sets before ovenspring is complete.

Did you steam the oven? Steaming the oven helps to delay crust formation, giving the loaf more time to gain volume from oven spring. (Just vent the steam from the oven at the end of the bake to allow the crust to harden up.)

What temperature did you start the bake? You might try starting the bake at a slightly lower temperature (try increments of -25 F degrees), as a lower initial temperature will also delay crust formation.

isand66's picture
isand66

I agree with Thomas, regarding the crust.

Also, did you use a baking stone?  I have one on the bottom shelf and on the top which helps provide the best environment to bake your bread.

Your rise looks pretty good to me.  You have to keep in mind with soudough breads you are not always going to get the same initial rise as you do in a typical yeast bread.  If your dough is made the right way, you will get a good oven spring.  Also, depending on how high a hydration you use for the dough, this can effect the overall height of the dough.

Keep baking and eventually this will be second nature to you.

Juergen's picture
Juergen

I baked this bread in a Ducth oven with the lid on at 245C/475F from the start. Since the Dutch oven was pre-heated, it was blazing hot when I put the dough in. Starting at a lower temp certainly seems to be a good suggestion, I will definitely try that next time. Since the pre-heated Dutch oven also affects the dough, I will bake my next loaf in a non-pre-heated Dutch oven as well. My oven is so small and has an oval shape, it's just not suited for baking stones. The Dutch oven is my best option at this moment. To give you an idea, here's a photo of my oven and Dutch oven combo, as you can see, it barely fits in there. 

kwonders's picture
kwonders

I am just a beginner, I haven't even baked what could be considers an artisan bread yet, although I make a mean bagel if I do say so myself. I find your bread outstanding and the picture of the unbaked bread simply "art". Good job!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

have a crumb shot?  That would help.  Still, the spring looks pretty good from the outside.  Why did you flour the boule if it was going in the DO?

That's some nice bread for a 2nd try at any bread much less SD.  As you starter gets older it will produce even better bread of all kinds.

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

That looks pretty good to me!  From the outside I would say that you have nothing to worry about but what was the crumb and - more importantly - the flavour like?

 

Juergen's picture
Juergen

The crumb was so-so, a bit tight still. Flavourwise it was less sour than I had anticipated but I guess this is due to the fact that my starter is still pretty young.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Sour and big holes.

I'm tempted to say that, once you can reliably control sour and consistently achieve big holes, you can call yourself a master baker.

That's how confounding they are.

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Don't forget - the large holes (in fact any holes) have absolutely no flavour whatsoever!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

...that the holes don't contribute much of anything to flavour, but people still think it's a sign of great bread.

Peter Reinhart almost accidentally lionized another one of these superficial qualities: the blistered or bubbled crust. Like the image of Syd's SF Sourdough currently on the home page:

He introduced it in Crust & Crumb, but I think he got so much push back from professional bakers that he hasn't mentioned it since: They didn't want him to create another superficial caregory for "great bread"!

(**I don't know the source of this story, but I'm certain I've read it somewhere, perhaps in one of his later books.)

Incidentally, I do think a blistered crust indicates better bread, at least more than big holes do. It proves that the bread has been retarded (or slow fermented). If you can get a blistered crust without retarding, I don't know how.

 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

I retard my doughs regularly, both as formed loaves and during bulk ferment, but don't get blistered crusts.  Hmmm, this bread baking lark is confusing :)

mwilson's picture
mwilson

 If you can get a blistered crust without retarding, I don't know how.

I know how! :P

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Lies, I say! :D

OK, I fold, tell us me how.

Please?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

:)

I'm liking the humour!

But honestly, I know how...

In two cases from memory:

Firstly by error: I made some rolls that were sluggish to rise for whatever reason. So I let them rise overnight (room temp). Consequently they were over proofed. But they hadn't collapsed and I baked them anyway. They had an overly yeasted flavour and were blistered as hell!

Secondly and more recently: I made a white spelt, straight dough loaf at 90% hydration which I kneaded to full development. Cooked with steam and this was nicely blistered.

I think any dough on the wetter side that has been kneaded to the max and cooked with steam has the potential to develop blisters.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

For the first, it could be the long fermentation leading to increased acidity, which is usually responsible for the blisters.

For the second, the spelt loaf, that flour is a mystery to me. Does it ferment faster than wheat flours?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

In the first case this dough was sluggish due to, too few available sugars hence the slow rise of my rolls. This matches FlourChild's observations. Please see my full response.

The second case: Spelt does not ferment faster. I believe I have discovered a second way to produce blisters which requires full development of a dough on the wet side.

I have a theory about what is actually happening in the dough to cause blisters to form, which I'll explain in due course.

Michael

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I can't produce them reliably.

With respect to full development at high hydration, would ciabatta count? I don't get the blisters with ciabatta, which is high hydration and fully developed; but, maybe I don't understand what you mean by "fully developed".

I'll await your post.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and then lightly using your finger to wipe the water into the dough until a thicker milky layer is formed - after shaping but before slashing.  This supposedly is the secret the French taught the Vietnamese to make baggies and other French breads correctly - who knows?  I read it on the Vietnamese Baggie thread.  You supposedly can get the crunchiest crumb effects this way - and blisters are the crunchiest no?.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I get some blistering if I spray the loaves with water before baking, e.g. with the straight baguette from Dan DiMuzio's book....

Juergen's picture
Juergen

No sorry, no crumb shot, I floured it just to make it look better. 

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

In my experience, the blistered crust comes from an overnight of the shaped loaf in the fridge.  I know this technique is popular right now, and I do use it sometimes, but I find that often it results in the yeast consuming all the residual sugars in the dough, which contributes to a more sour taste without actually triggering much increase in acid- that comes at warmer temps.  I know this is counter to current thinking, but it has been my experience.  I prefer the taste of bread that has some residual sugar.

I've read that in France, the blistered crust is considered a defect by consumers. 

I also like to bake boules in a DO, but I'm careful not to pre-heat the DO too long, maybe just 20 mintues or so (the oven can preheat an hour) and I leave the lid unheated to discourage the early formation of a top crust. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Yes, that's how I understand it too. That a cold, overnight fermentation leads to increased acidity, which itself is responsible for the blisters or "Bird's Eyes".

As for the French, and being the Francophile that I am, I'd have to say that, more often than not, if the French think something is a defect, then it is.

:D

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I agree with this in most regards.

A dough that has used up all available sugars takes ages to colour during the bake. If blisters come hand in hand with this condition, which they may well do, then I would agree that they are an error, where an error is an unplanned outcome.

However I have achieved blisters on straight doughs with no retarding with available sugars present.

Because of these observation I don't believe acity is the direct cause of the blisters.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

My day job (Brod & Taylor) includes a bit of recipe development, and I baked something like 23 boules in a row, each time changing just one thing.  Below are two crust pictures from this process, same exact recipe and technique, except for the final proof.  The smooth crust proofed for an hour at 78F, while the blistered crust proofed overnight in the fridge.  Maybe it was overproofing, but I think the cold temps also play a role.  I liked the flavor of the 78F proofed loaf much better, but the texture of the retarded crumb better- soft and feathery, more contrast with the crunchy crust.  This was a 71.5% hydration dough.

The two pictures below show the crusts, it's not a perfect illustration because they both have bran flakes coating the outside of the crusts, but hopefully there's something helpful there. 

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Once Brod & Taylor adds a retard feature to their neat little box, I'm there.

I'm still waiting for someone to manufacture an artisan oven that's approved for home use, can reach a temperature of 750 degrees F, with steam. I want to be able to plumb it to the water line and automatically produce steam, like an espresso machine. It should be wide enough for a 14" pizza and high enough for a 8" oven spring. And it should cost less than $500. ;D

I nominate Brod & Taylor to make it so.

Juergen's picture
Juergen

Made in Belgium, the Rofco D5 (EUR. 730,00) 

http://www.rofco.be/ovens.html#B5

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Almost, Juergen. It only goes to 572 F (300 C).

Here's the page translated from Dutch.

Thanks.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

thomaschacon, I'll pass your wishes along- they're mine, too!  Imagine not having to mess with all manner of steam contaptions and being able to cook a pizza crust at 750F, sigh. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I asked about just such an oven recently.

I was told (by a restaurant supply store sales rep.) that the reason you can't buy one is because they wouldn't be approved for home use and/or would dramatically increase your home owner's insurance premium (more risk = higher premium).

I should stop looking for a home appliance and start looking for something I can use outside on the patio.

 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Perhaps you should get a wood fired oven on the patio.  Temperatures above 750F - but no plumbed in steam injection in the designs that I have seen :)

kwonders's picture
kwonders

For what it's worth I have done extensive tests with a bagel recipe, and found that it is time in refrigeration not cold that promotes blistering. My tests were done under very controlled conditions and the results were that blistering occured if retardation lasted longer than 5 hours. Less than 5 hours no blistering, the longer beyound 5 hours the greater the blistering. Eight hours blistering was extensive, at sixteen hours it was rediculous. For bagels, I beleive retardation is a must, it just seems to produce a better bagel. But at this point I never retard more than 5 hours. Instead I use a bulk cold slow ferment to develope the flavor of the dough as apposed to a long retardation of the shaped bagel. I also tested no retardation and did not like the results. Not sure if my results will apply to all bread products, but thought I would share what I found to be true.

 

K.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you bake the retarded loaf straight out of th fridge or did you let it warm up before slashing and baking?  Interesting experiment flourchild.  I've been retarding one batard overnight while proofing and baking the other without retard.  I do let the bread sit for an hour on the counter after coming out of the fridge as the oven preheats.  Then slash and bake.  The retarded one usually tastes more sour but the spring, crust and crumb of the non retarded dough is slightly better from my recent trials but haven't done anywhere near 23 either - more like 3.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

I did let the retarded boule sit out to warm for a little while, but probably not long enough to come completely up to room temp as it looked like it was already at a full proof and I was worried about overproofing.  It's hard to tell from those pics, but you can see a little how the retarded/blistered loaf has slashes that didn't open up as fully as the room temp proof.