The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

denser crumb in the center

Evrenbingol's picture
Evrenbingol

denser crumb in the center

I have been getting denser crumbs toward the center of the bread. First few slices are open and great. 
I get great oven spring , prefect bloom. But for some reason the center seems denser. 

Here is a picture of the bread.


Could it be shaping ? I do the stitching method that my friends do at Tartine.


Here is a link for shaping

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIIjV6s-0cA#t=3m10s

 
Or is it the steam? At home I use a oval dutch oven for batards. I do 30 min lid on. I used to 20 but I get better crust.
ALso in tartine book 3 chad suggests 30 minutes. 500F 20min and 475F 10min lid on and 20-25 min lid off. 

I have read a similar topic here but no one seemed to know what was going on. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

One of the signs of under proofing.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/troubleshoot-bad-bread-messed-up-loaf.html

But seriously, your bread looks lovely and when comparing your "dense" centre to the loaf on the website, yours looks way better.

From where I'm sitting I'd be very happy with your loaf.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I see a crumb that could use more deflating before shaping.  

The middle being ideal.  

Perhaps a tad more proofing before the bake.  A little more if you're big on holes.

c4lin's picture
c4lin

Hey Mini, one question, what do you mean deflating before shaping? All along I've practiced not to deflate, haha thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and crush the big bubbles formed in the bulk ferment.  The obvious ones.  Some of them squish to the surface while rolling up the dough.  Pop those biggies 'cause they just get bigger at the expense of the surrounding bubbles.  And those big bubbles are distracting.  They like to steal attention.   Look at the other bubbles.  Maybe they need time to get bigger.

Not deflating and total deflating...  somewhere in between.  Like always, deflate according to the effect you desire (and how much laundry you like to spot remove.  I hear there are good spot removing scissors available.)

I smell a Durian.  Someone dragged one in while I was napping.  Are Durian seeds edible?  Gotta go searching....  Have fun deflating!  (I always do.)  Maybe there's a video out there on popping dough bubbles...in slow motion with music!  Turn up the stereo and….

c4lin's picture
c4lin

 

Thanks Mini. I am also havin a de center and thought you guys could help. My bread is not as nice as the one shown here, and was thinking if it is shaping or under proof? Or lack of oven heat? Was baked in a le creuset, 250C 

 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Aaaggghhhh, if someone dragged a durian in while I was sleeping I'd probably gag and run away! Personally, I don't think any part of them is edible in the slightest. "King of fruits" indeed; hrmpphh  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the durian reminds me that my head cold isn't soooo bad.  I bagged it a few times and plan on opening later outside.  It does mean I have to look at other indicators when judging my starter other than aroma.  Everything in here now smells like durian.  Even the dog and elves.  

Yep, that loaf crumb looks similar.  Not enough degassing and needs a little more time on the final proof.  I might also guess that when those large bubbles are smaller, the outside of the loaf will not be as dark brown.  No huge bubbles to burn.  Even at the same temperature.

c4lin's picture
c4lin

Thanks Mini. I keep struggling with my doughs rising laterally instead of UP. Is it a shaping issue? not developing enough tension maybe? when I overdo it with high hydration i struggle and it can tear a bit, thoughts? I know its underproofed but want to focus on the lack of ear on the score and lack of oven rise upwards. thanks¡!

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or over-proofed.  It looks like a shaping issue or better said, more folding and then shaping.  You might also want to back down the hydration until the folding and short final proof is working for you.  

If you haven't already, try leaving your dough on the counter top for the last half of the bulk ferment and cover with a large bowl.   Check on the shape during the bulk rise often and when you see your dough rising more out than up, flip it over and give it a set of folds stoping just before it can tear.  Then flip it back over and tuck under any corners.  Cover.  You can always be ready to bake doing this.  If you keep track of the time between folds, you will notice them getting closer together.  When you have about 40 min between folds, turn on the oven.  You will want to put the loaf into the oven while it still has some springiness when poking it and not too long after tightening the skin.  Before it has the chance to rise sideways.

Try also a low score about an inch up from the bottom on a dusty dry surface (exposed to air after the last folding) before scoring and see what that does.

c4lin's picture
c4lin

Thanks Mini. I indratand by your recommendations that I may need more s&f's and leave it on the counter to observe the dough better. So this means no baske/banneton proofing??

You don't talk about shaping, I guess you recommend I do it just before baking with this method?

C

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with sourdoughs.  Use a banneton if you have one but only near the end of bulking when the dough has a good distribution of gas pockets,  still holds it shape well (it looses it as fermentation goes on) and has a nice aroma. (please disregard for refrigerator retarding of shaped loaves)

Maybe it helps to know that a banneton is called a fermenting basket in German.  It only holds the dough while it ferments to remind the dough of it's shape and to suck off moisture in the outer skin of the shaped dough.  This makes a firm surface to score on and control expansion during the oven springing.  

I recently made up a small white yeasted loaf (300g flour) and after bulk rise, did traditional shaping flatting out the loaf, popping every bubble I could feel or see and roll up into a log and pinching shut.   It proofed sitting in the cane banneton open to dry out the seam and bottom of the loaf.  (I had previously been covering with a damp towel.)  This resulted in better directed oven spring when the loaf was eventually scored and baked.  

Flouring, rubbing rye flour on the shaped loaf before placing into the banneton for a short rise, also helped develop a nice skin on the surface and prevent sticking.  This skin works like a container, an outer shell to hold the loaf while it heats up and expands forcing the sides of the score lines apart.

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

Mini Oven is never wrong. Degas a little more and let proof a little longer. A percentage point or two in hydration would also open up the crumb a bit. However, I think you've got just about perfection there.

Happy eating

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

sometimes.  I've seen her do it. Looks like yummy bread by the way.  :)

 

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

mini oven

you were the one the got me baking bread in my oblong romertopf. i am forever grateful for your patience in directing me to the correct information.

thank you, claudia

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If there is anything else you think I can help you with, just let me (and the others) know.  :)  

Evrenbingol's picture
Evrenbingol

I ll try to proof it a little longer. But recipe I am doing explicitly calls for not degasing, as that would proved regular distribution of CO2 after proofing(please correct me if I am wrong). I think degasing makes sense. I am going to do 2 batches next and one I am going to handle the shaping a lot more gentle and the other one I am going to degas and shape like lepainSamidie said and we see how it goes. 

 

Thanks for all the input. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

You'll undo all the good work your starter has done. A gentle de-gas to knock out the big bubbles and enough to work with for shaping but not completely.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Let me know what you find out.

Thank you.

Evrenbingol's picture
Evrenbingol

So I found the reason of my denser crumb. I was mixing it too strong in the second mix stage which resulted more regular crumb and the the large pockets closer to crust was because I have never popped them after shaping. 

Ru007's picture
Ru007

very well done! 

Do you mind sharing your recipe? 

Ru

c4lin's picture
c4lin

Hey, what do you mean by second mix? Thanks. 

Evrenbingol's picture
Evrenbingol

Ok so since this post I have worked at a few bakeries and have learned a ton. 
What I meant by second mix was the mix after autolyse to incorporate the levain and salt and maybe adjust water.    

To get a perfect crumb(if there is such a thing cuz bakers always try to achieve better) you have to think of each process. 


In my case I was building strong gluten development early on in the mixer and I I was further strengthening it by many folds which was yielding to dense crumb. 

Things I could have done :


1) Add more water after autolyse to weaken the dough

2) Slow mix and do only few Stretch and Folds. 

3) Maybe more gentle pre shape. 

4)More Gentle Final Shape

5) Longer Autolyse (helps extensibility)
There are more reasons 
Lack of steam, Cold water, under proofing. 

It is mostly just practice. 

 

c4lin's picture
c4lin

Thanks Evren, useful insights. I might be having similar issues (check out my pics, two look nice, other quite dense in center. Thinking it could be because of a bit under proofing plus too much mixing when incorporating salt, gluten developing too soon.

Im doing 4-5 S&F, maybe try gentler and fewer ones. I also think stitching is quite aggressive and may tighten center too much.

 

thoughts?

 

C

Evrenbingol's picture
Evrenbingol

I agree.  Did you try different shaping techniques ? if I push around 85+ hydro with around 10% whole wheat i stitch otherwise , I do not. When I stitch doughs around 80 to 85 it builds too much tension and it does not even relax in the basket  and stretch from one end of the basket to other. It is suppose to if you want open crumb.  If I do a regular blunted batard shaping it gives a much better crumb and also relaxes from one end of the basket to another.  
With 80+ hydration we do only 2 folds 45 min gaps. Dough does not look strong at all. Like if you look at it in the bulk tub you do not really see a slight dome in the center before we shape. Most developed doughs shows a but of a dome in the middle of the tub. But our country does not looked developed but there is crazy fermentation.
PS: I say 2 S&F but this is with a professional mixer.  Hand mixing might need 3 folds. I also reduce the water temp to compensate for that extra hour of fermentation. 
Your bread looks great. Looking at it and its oven spring and ears , that dough was stronggg.

c4lin's picture
c4lin

Yeah, similar scenario here with 85% vs 80%. I have tried cinching with good results. Thing is, I struggle for consistency with getting ears. Yesterday I did 82% hydro, 4 very soft s&f and barely preshaped, after bench rest dough was very slack, but with stitching it came back up, but sticky (sign of not so high development) but managed. I retarded for 10-12h and backed. Thing now is that when I retard that much time, I feel it overproofs and ear disappears... I like getting ears :)

So Im thinking lack of ear is either: 1. lack of gluten development 2. too much water, my flour can't handle that much 3. over proofing, so instead of ripping up, it seals... and forms a flat smile. So lower over rise leads to a lack of ear. So my challenges today are getting ear + open crumb in center... tough, cause I keep going from end to end...

Heres a pic of the usual lack of ear loaf (oven rise ok, but not enough to push up):

Evrenbingol's picture
Evrenbingol

The pic above shows different shaping techniques. Left one is stitched the other one is regular batard. 
You can  see the high of the stitched and the length of the relax non-stitched dough. You can see hoe much more relaxed the non-stitched is. 



interestingly the one on the right is stitched and has more oven spring but yes has better crumb. 
So Just to show there is always the human factor. Just because I was paying more attention the stitch dough I did better with stitched. Usually stitched is more dense with 81% hydration. 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

very nice crumb - well done

Leslie