The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crumb explosion...

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Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

Crumb explosion...

So I moved into a new house recently with a much newer oven than I'm used to, it's a Frigidaire electric oven, and I've gotten a few great breads out of it the first couple of months of living here...until recently.   I have a serious problem happening and I don't understand what's causing it, this dough was made from mostly Heartland Mills All Purpose Flour, King Arthur Organic All Purpose, and a small bit of King Arthur Whole Wheat.  The leaven was made from my whole wheat starter, it contained 60 grams of starter, 300 grams water, 125 grams all purpose, and 125 grams whole wheat.  It ripened for about 6 hours and floated immediately when placed in a bowl of warm water.  I used about 13 percent of this leaven in my dough, heated the water up to about 85 degrees and bulk fermented for 3 and 1/2 hours then divided, rested, and shaped.   The dough is behaving beautifully, as usual, I've used this same formula many times with excellent results, but the past two batches I've been getting this ridiculous crumb.  I don't think they were underproofed, they sat in my fridge for about 17 hours and seemed fine after poking and examining the proofed dough.

 

 

Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

Forgot to put the formula up for this that I've been using.   It's 850 grams of water, 250 grams leaven, 100 grams whole wheat flour, and 1050 grams of all purpose flour.  This is for two loaves.   Also the oven spring is very strange lately.  I remove the lid to the la cloche after 12 to 15 minutes and the loaf is still flat, then it rises slowly over the next fifteen minutes finally ballooning into a round shape.   In the past I've had a fairly quick oven spring with the dough being fully risen after uncovering the top of the la cloche.  

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I have a Fridgidaire oven that worked beautifully for about 4 years.  Have you got an oven thermometer?  The temperatures in mine just went crazy one night and I haven't been able to use that oven since then.

Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

I actually did go get an oven thermometer the other day to test it, but it's right on.  Now I'm thinking the oven that I was used to before may have ran hot and maybe the slow oven spring could be solved by starting at a higher temperature.  Anyone ever put the oven on broil to get it to 550 and then take it down when loading the bread?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

First Question that pops into my mind is...  Did you happen to forget the salt?

Next one is....  Did you happen to forget the salt?

and the third thing is.  Why doesn't this happen when you want bread bowls?

My guess would be dried out top crusts and over-proofed gasses got caught inside under a heat top crust.  Maybe the fermentation was too far along when the dough got chilled.  Something made all the bubbles pop inside to join into large bubbles just under the crust. Did you do a good degassing before chilling?

This so reminds me of pita bread ballooning up (lightly dry surface) and baking only to collapse when cooling.

adri's picture
adri

I'd just like to say, I like your post, Mini!

Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

Haha, I know....I was thinking these would be perfect for stuffing with other things, if that's what I was going for.  But yeah, I did put 20 grams of salt in, I even dissolved it with the remaining 50 grams of water so it was more evenly distributed.  This is the third time in a row this has happened so this time around I was extra careful when handling the dough during shaping and even tried to get any large bubbles out in the process as well.  I've got another batch proofing in the fridge right now and am attempting to start the bake at a higher temperature this time, I'll put up more pictures of the results when I can.  Thanks for the posts!  

Baker Bill's picture
Baker Bill

We used to have this problem alot at the bakery when we made stirato squares. Generally it was always one of three things-

1) gluten under developed, if my team undermixed or didnt fold properly the air bubbles would often congregate on the top creating almost two different breads- dense bottom and over bubbled top.

2) Retarding environment- It may seem silly but when my team stacked trays to close to the top of another tray we got this effect as well- essentially keeping in heat near the top and causing a dual fermented environment.

3) poor flour- flour can change and I notice you are using AP- this is not the best when going for that fantastic crumb, switch one batch for bread flour and see the difference. In our case the protein dropped and we had to adjust our mix.

Especially since you say the rising rate is not the same it tells me you are not getting great oven spring from the start which is why I think points 1 and 3 are your best focus points.

Good luck ad Happy baking!

 

 

Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

Good advice bill.  I think undermixing the dough and poor gluten development was my problem.  During my last two bakes I took extra care in making sure the dough was a consistent temperature during the bulk ferment and was a little more vigorous during the first couple of stretch and folds.  I could feel a difference during the shaping too, the dough was definitely more elastic and was actually way easier to shape altogether.  Got these results but unfortunately couldn't cut into any of these for a crumb shot because they were sold to co-workers (but I hear they're good, haha.)

I'm also thinking that a longer steam time is needed in this oven for some reason.  In the past I've only steamed for 12 minutes or so with the la cloche and then taken off the lid.  For these I did about 18 minutes with the lid on.  Unfotunately, with this method I can't tell how quickly the oven spring is happening, but the nice crust and gringe tell me that it probably rose nicely in the oven.  But...does a loaf have to spring up within the first ten minutes to come out good?   Or do loaves sometimes take 12 or 15 minutes to fully rise in the oven?   Thanks again for the advice!   

 

PetraR's picture
PetraR

i had this happen when I started Baking a year ago. I was using AP flour and Wholemeal flour.

When I changed to a High Protein Bread flour my bread turned out beautiful with a lovely crumb.

 

When I bake in my Dutch Oven I leave the lid on for 30 Minutes on the highest Temperature that my Oven has, 250C.

Than I take the Lid of and turn the heat down to 200C and bake for a further 15 Minutes.

I find the longer time with the Lid on * steaming * on such a high Temperature gives a great Oven Spring.

Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

Ok so I've now come to the conclusion that steam time is what is affecting these loaves the most.  I did one with about 11 minutes of la cloche, lid on, steaming...and the other two were left with the lid on the first 20 minutes....HUGE difference, and since they're the same batch of dough, I don't think it's the bulk fermentation or shaping techniques.  Both loaves with longer steam time came out with that pronounced ear and gringe that everyone is looking for these days.  I thought it was under-developed dough at first, but again I've been doing this recipe for quite sometime with successful results until switching ovens.  Maybe this oven dries them out more somehow?   It seems if there's not enough steam time it's only the outer crust that expands and the inside is left lifeless.....any thoughts?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

describe or photograph your new oven cold and empty showing the shelf you bake on and the setting you use on the dial.   

Now for a check, turn on the oven and see where the heat is coming from.