The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Getting a higher rise bread?

Clover23's picture
Clover23

Getting a higher rise bread?

Hello!

After getting a strong and consistent starter going (two feedings a day), I finally baked my bread. Overall, great outcome! Beautiful, crisp crust and delicious inside. My only wish is for the loaf to be higher. The first loaf had a center of about 4 inches, the second about 2-3 inches (see pictures.) I always see these beautiful, full, circular loaves on blogs and sites. Any suggestions on how I can get a higher risen (less dense) loaf? 

Thanks!

joc1954's picture
joc1954

 that influence the final shape of your loaf.

1.) Well developed gluten network will keep the shape of the loaf when you tip it out of proofing basket.

2.) How stiff is your dough - too wet and will spread like a pancake and you can forget about the height of your loaf.

3.) Preshape, bench rest and final shape are extremely crucial. With final shape you should build tension inside the loaf that will keep the shape of the loaf when you put it in the oven.

4.) Right time when to bake - overproofed is the worst situation. It is much better to bake slightly underproofed loaf then overproofed. Finger poke test is probably the most reliable here.

5.) Temperature of the dough - I usually bake direct from fridge after several up to 24 hours retard. Cooler dough is stiffer and will spread less. It is much easier to slash/score it.  It is also harder to overproof the dough in the fridge because proofing is much slower.

6.) Experience - after some time you will develop skills that are required to get the loaf of your dream. Some people are lucky and develop them earlier, some later. But after baking for a while I must say that there are times when I get kind of a flat loaf. There are many tiny variables that play the role and when they change you might have problems like change the flour type or just another batch of flour (different gluten content and flour humidity), temperature variations (summer/winter), air humidity, just to mention the most important.

With experience you will be able to see the signs of the dough as it develops and will not stick to the timing from the recipe. Watch the dough, not the clock. It takes a while to learn it, but you will get there for sure.

Hope this will give you an idea. I am sure that much more experienced members will give you more valuable advices.

Happy baking,

Joze

jameseng's picture
jameseng

As In the advice you give is pretty solid advice, Joze. Definitely hydration ratio affects how you end up shaping the dough. Stiff dough lets you make a more prominent bread shape but a wetter dough allows for a more open crumb structure. I like to think of bread baking as trying to achieve a good compromise between stiffness and moisture. Definitely keep practicing Clover! Rooting for you.

Clover23's picture
Clover23

Thanks! I did the Country loaf from Chad Robertson's Tartine which I think is known to be a wetter dough. Any suggestions for how to get a stiffer dough?

jameseng's picture
jameseng

As In the advice you give is pretty solid advice, Joze. Definitely hydration ratio affects how you end up shaping the dough. Stiff dough lets you make a more prominent bread shape but a wetter dough allows for a more open crumb structure. I like to think of bread baking as trying to achieve a good compromise between stiffness and moisture. Definitely keep practicing Clover! Rooting for you.

Clover23's picture
Clover23

Thanks for the information! 

I followed Chad RObertson's Tartine country loaf which I think is known to be a wetter dough. How can I get a stiffer dough? Less water? 

I did the final proof overnight in the fridge. 

joc1954's picture
joc1954

Yes, use less water and in case that flour you are using is not a "strong" bread flour I would suggest to use Trevor's  "stretch and scoop"  method in order to better develop the gluten after adding salt. I found this step extremely beneficial because I really can't get a strong bread flour here in Slovenia.

Happy baking, Joze

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What flour, what temperature and exactly how much starter to how much water and flour... How long does it take to reach a first peak or maximum expansion?

The crumb looks like it could ferment longer and needed another folding and more fermentation before shaping and final rise.  

Clover23's picture
Clover23

I followed Chad Robertson's Country loaf from Tartine, which I have heard is a wetter dough.

I used 50/50 white/whole wheat King Arthur flour. I used 200g leaven, 700 (+50) g water, 900 g white flour, 100g wheat flour. I did a bulk fermentation in the oven (had it heated a bit before hand) where I did several turns for 4 hours. Then I shaped and placed in the fridge for the overnight proof. 

Any suggestions?

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I got better rise once I started to use the letterfold method. I pre shaped using that, let rest for 15 or so minutes, then shape again using the letterfold method. Then I put my loaves in the baskets seam side down so I don't lose the tension and do a cold retard. I bake right out of the fridge.