The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oops this didn't turn out right

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Littlebrooklyn's picture
Littlebrooklyn

Oops this didn't turn out right

I bought a banneton last week and tried it for the first time today.  I was pleased that the dough turned out of the banneton okay as I had expected it to stick, however I'm not sure why I have no oven spring, in fact when I slashed the top it was quite difficult as there seemed to be a crust on the top, maybe I didn't cut it deep enough or something, I'm not sure, but I don't think it's supposed to look like this.  I am sure it wasn't under or over proved so have no idea what I may have done wrong.

Lyn

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the rise in those cane bowls, any bowl for that matter.  Bowls can be tricky.  From your description, I'd say proof it less next time, just a little bit so it can expand more with heat.   Don't let it rise too big, leave room for the oven to have a little fun.  

Gotta get gutsy with the blade, yup, I agree, don't just scratch it but cut thru the thick skin formed during the proof.  (or not)  The thick skin holds the loaf while the bread expands where you cut it.   Endless designs you can play with...  crosses, pinwheels, palm leaves, geometric shapes, cookie cutters, spirals, etc..    ...snowflakes,  stripes,  one single "S" slash.  

Nice job on your first banneton loaf!   :)  

Littlebrooklyn's picture
Littlebrooklyn

Thanks for that I had no idea that the bowl could make it more difficult, I saw a picture online of the lovely swirls on the loaves made with them and decided to get one!  I do find that on the first proving my dough probably triples in size, although it's hard to know exactly, but on the second proving it only just about doubles.  I did buy a special knife for slashing the dough and I realised as soon as I had put the loaf in the oven that I had used the blunt side of it, so I took the bread out again to do it properly and made it worse.  

I've heard using a hot stone can help with oven spring so might get one of those.

Lyn

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and I have lots of them...

Use your phone, computer or digital camera to take a picture of the dough before it rises. Then compare to it as time goes by.  Also, when playing around, line your banneton with a plastic bag, pour in enough water to be about half.  now add the same amount of water, in effect doubling the volume.  Now take a picture or imprint it in your head.  Use as a guide. 

Another tip is to pinch of a small ball of dough and stuff into a small straight sided glass.  When it has doubled, degas the dough and the small ball.  Let rise again for the next rise.  Bake the dough before the sample gets to double.  Then you should have good oven spring.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You will not believe this, but, I can be so calm and collected when putting my loaves together and patiently watching them rise but when it comes time to slash, all calmness goes right out the window.  I panic slash without thinking.  It has happened too many times to be funny, too busy thinking about tipping out the dough I guess.  Trying to get the dough into the oven quickly.  Hop, hop, hop.

So, I play around with paper and pencil before that panic moment comes.  I draw a lot round flat objects (bread loaves?) on paper and then slash away with my pencil, focus on one or two of them and then when the time comes, slash with a bit more ... what's the word?  Fortitude?  Yes, fortitude; strength of mind, grit, true grit, and all those other words in the Thesaurus.  Helps me anyway.  

Littlebrooklyn's picture
Littlebrooklyn

Thanks so much for the advice, I will try and find a small straight sided glass as that sounds a very good idea.

Lyn