Bread temperature - rubbery texture
I've been experimenting for the past 6 months in making bread in tropical climate (Bangkok). My favorite is baguette, made with 35% starter at 1:1 hydration, and overall 65 to 70% dough hydration. So far so good, bread has nice oven spring, good crust look and tastes good - but it's not sour at all, and the inner crumb has a much more rubbery texture than an average baguette "made in France".
I suspected that the "rubbery texture" was actually gelatinised starch rather than "normal bread", and decided to stick my digital thermometer probe inside a baguette just before cooking was done. To my great surprise, it read 99.9C (211++F). I've read in a number of places that bread is "done" when inner temperature reaches around 205-210F (96-99C), while stopping earlier around 194-205F (90-96C) would produce a rubbery texture...?
I've tried several experiments, and each time the inner temperature reaches 99C (211F) very quickly - less than 10 minutes into the baking, crust is not even colored yet. This means my dough is boiling rather than baking, which seems odd - but it would explain the gelatinised texture.
In my next experiment, I dramatically lowered the over temperature to 190C (375), attempting to compensate with a longer baking time. Bread inner temperature was already 99C within 18 minutes, while outer crust was barely shading into yellow tones. I took out the baguette after 32 minutes, crust still not quite golden brown - but the inner crumb was much nicer, springy and light, without the rubbery texture.
And yes, my thermometer is calibrated, and no I don't measure oven temperature by mistake - I take the bread out of the oven to measure it's temperature. Temp stabilizes within 5 seconds and doesn't move after that.
I would be really interested in feedback from those of you with an inclination for a scientific approach to baking:
- have you tried measuring your bread 50% into the baking? What temp do you get?
- do you see any difference between baking a thin baguette and a large loaf? (I imagine inner temperature will be lower for a loaf - but by how much?)
- if you do have a "boiling dough", do you also obtain a rubbery texture like me? (perhaps some of you like this - but it's not how bread is normally made in France...)
- if you are able to obtain a nice springy/light baguette texture, what is the inner temp at the end of the baking?
Thanks for any suggestions and advice!