The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Doughy Bread by a Greenhorn at High Altitude

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Bread Into Thin Air's picture
Bread Into Thin Air

Doughy Bread by a Greenhorn at High Altitude

Hello!

I am new to the forum, and the loaf I will write about was my first ever.  It is a simple, conventional kind of recipe, for Italian bread from the Brown-Eyed Baker blog.

Recipe here: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2008/08/11/italian-bread/

I live at 7,100 ft.

I did about 75% of the dry active yeast called for in the recipe.

I let the bread do 10 minutes of its first rise in the room, at about 70 degrees F.  I then put it in the refrigerator overnight.  I think that after it had been rising for about 1-1/2 hrs. total, I punched it, and then let it continue in the fridge.

About 13 hrs. later I took it out, punched it down, and let it rise on the counter for 15 minutes at about 70 degrees F. Then, I put it in front of the electric gas stove fireplace (probably 74? degrees F), for another 15 minutes.

I baked it on an inverted cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes total.  I opened the oven and loosely shaped foil over the loaf after the first 5 minutes of baking because the top had burned.

I had put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack, preheated it, then filled it with 10 oz. water 3 minutes before I put the dough in.

The oven does not have much height; only a few inches from the top of the loaf to the top of the oven when the loaf had finished baking.

The finished bread had a nice crust: thin, crispy, cracked into 3 cm.x 3cm. little cracks when you bit into it kind of deal.

The crumb was a dense structure, very small holes, which I enjoyed just fine, but the center of the loaf was DOUGHY, wet, like smashed up banana bread.  What is this the result of?  What should I try changing first?

 

Thank you so much in advance.

Francesca

 

A note about the image: The bread is not blue, or green, but those colored areas are where the bread is moist and dense.

And, yes, that is a fruit fly that managed to make it onto my loaf and for this shot, at that!

 

mcs's picture
mcs

..the bread hadn't risen enough before it went in the fridge so it was too dense.  Then when you baked it, it was too cold, leading to dense cold bread in the middle that didn't bake through. 

As for the recipe, I haven't made it, but I would not add more than the 5 cups of flour that she calls for.  Plus, that's a lot of dough for one loaf, so I would split it into two loaves and bake them side by side (at the same time) in your oven. 

-Mark

PS I hope you punished that fruit fly for landing on your bread.

Bread Into Thin Air's picture
Bread Into Thin Air

That fruit fly got the capital punishment, I believe. :/

Thank you so much for these suggestions.  When I get into a routine of making time for making bread (starting that now!) I will try this loaf again, with your suggestions!