The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

hard bottom crust

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ghazi's picture
ghazi

hard bottom crust

Hello all

I have been trying to find out for ages now why my bread keeps getting a hard crust on the bottom especially.

When I proceed to slice the loaf it is always very difficult to cut through the bottom almost need a saw!

Although I don't mind tough crusts I think its about time I learned how to get an even crust all around which is what it should be right?

Heres my recent recipe

250g AP flour

50g sourdough starter

300ml water

this sits comfortably for 24hrs

then I add 250g malted grain flour with 10g salt and 1/2 tsp yeast. I let this rise 1 time then proceed to shape for final prove 

I have layed few (bricks) as my baking stone which preheat for about an hour . Oven read 230c when I put the loves in to bake with steam. After 10 min I shuffle loves and turn down to around 200c for another 25 min

Could it be they are overbaked?

Ghazi

dosco's picture
dosco

I bake lean breads on a pizza stone heated to 550dF. Yes, the bottom crust is tough! It requires effort to cut, even with a nice bread knife.

 

So, I think you are doing things properly!!

 

Cheers-

Dave

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I made one loaf that I could not cut through on the bottom.  It was very hard to bite through as well.

Unfortunately, I can't remember why that happened. All I know is that since that time, I have not repeated the event, and my breads now cut much more easily.  I do not bake on a stone, I bake in the lodge combo cooker.  I suppose it is possible that the one time I made the tough bottom crust was when I put the combo cooker on top of my cast iron pizza pan.... but I don't know if that was the case.

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

ghazi,

When I was using a conventional 28" oven and baking on a "stone" I had the same results.  And after a while it dawned on me that the stone was pre-heated to 425ª f when I placed the baguettes in...... Duh, the bottoms were hard a bricks.... like you are talking about.

So,, I placed the stone on the very bottom of the oven, let it act as a "heat-sink" absorbing and holding heat which seemed to keep my oven temp swings a little more stable and used the middle rack to bake on.

I also used a terra-cotta fired large tile (not very thick).  My baguettes were placed on the tile which was at room temp then placed into the very hot oven... The tile had a scant sprinkle of cornmeal on it  so as to prevent sticking.

Most times I covered the baguettes with an inverted deep (8") SS hotel pan.  The terra-cotta was sprayed first for some moisture then the pan was lowered.  After about 15 minutes the pan was removed and the baking finished.

I had very good success doing all types of loafs back in that day...... My oven now is all brick and gas fired with misters.

Your crumb looks great and the outer curst is nice.  Actually, I enjoy the hard bottoms.  

 

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Thank you all so much for your input.

It seems hard bottoms are OK, since I don't really want to give away having a hot oven floor I will have to live with it.

Maybe as a guide I will turn down the temp just as I slide the loaves inside this might help a little.

I have to say this site has been so helpful throughout my bread baking years, I have been doing it  for 5 years now and still feel haven't even touched the surface of what flour, water and yeast can do going by the pictures on this site

 

Always a delight to talk to people who love making bread. Happy baking everybody

Ghazi

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Half way through bake, slip a sheet pan under the bread. 

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

David,

Now that's a great idea.  An insulated sheet would really do the trick.  Gotta try it.... Leave the oven up hot I'd guess....?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Just use the sheet half way and see what happens. Idea came from Hammelman's Bread. Suggested for breads with sugar in them when cooked on the hearth. But no reason it shouldn't work here. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the bread ti 96 C on the inside middle and no more? I preheat my top and bottom stone to 550 F regular bake and when the bread hits the bottom we turn it down to 475F  after 2 minutes and steam for a total of 12-15 minutes.  The the oven comes down to 425 F convection -and bake for another 12- 15 minutes depending on the size if the bread but it is done when the  middle hits 96C or 205 F on the inside.  Never have a problem with a hard bottom.

ghazi's picture
ghazi

David now that's a great idea. I will give that a shot on my next bake and let you know results

Wouldn't want to compromise heat as you say since bread baked in a moderate oven is not a good thing

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I sure hope it gives you what you want!

ghazi's picture
ghazi

the sheet pan half way through works wonders, great idea.

Ghazi

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

So glad you reported back.  Nobody should have to hurt their jaw or break a knife eating bread! :)