The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cloche baking with cold dough

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

Cloche baking with cold dough

Hi guys

First time I tried putting the dough that was retarding in the fridge in a bannetone straight into the cloche for baking.

Cannot really call it a great outcome. Bottom did not rise well and there was about 5mm of a flattened dough on the bottom after it finished baking 

I am thinking its because dough was cold when it hit the cloche and cloche does not have enough thermal mass to absorb it, thus cooling the bottom of the cloche. I have only done 1 loaf so far, so will try experimenting with longer bake times before the lid is removed. 

Does anyone know what the issue is and how to overcome it? I have seen people using cast iron dutch ovens with cold doughs, but cast iron may have a better heat retention to the cloche

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the outcome had more to do with the fermentation stage of the dough itself.  How long was the Cloche heated, if heated?  How hot?  

A close picture of a slice of the bread showing the crumb might be helpful.

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

See below

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

I preheat the cloche for about 45 minutes (top and bottom) at the max my oven can produce (260C fan forced)

I then load the dough into the cloche and change oven to bottom heating only. Don't know what is wrong with my oven, but on that setting in 15 while the cloche cover is closed, it drops the oven temp to about 220. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It's only a matter of tweaking.

"... 5mm of a flattened dough on the bottom..."

Just up from the bottom edge, is a sign of over fermentation.  The dough was tired at the time it was baked and could no longer trap gas as it should.  The dough starts to collapse inside the loaf and makes a compacted area that is thick and more solid.  The elongated bubbles horizontal to the bottom show a down falling motion frozen in time.    

Might try shortening the room or warm phase of the fermentation before retarding or flattening out the dough before retarding so it cools faster in the fridge.  Another attempt might play with the final shaping the dough after some retardation to tighten the gluten strands.  

There is also an upward movement of bubbles (gas) toward the upper right tear or score of the loaf surface indicating there was some oven spring and the bubbles do look good in most of the crumb.  So it is jut a little bit over fermented.  I would expect more upward movement of the bubbles throughout the crumb.  Getting it baked sooner could be the right tweak, all other variables staying the same.  

Most of my baking is done between 200° and 220°C.  Keeping the lid on with the blower can help maintain higher heat if you think it is needed.  Then drop the temp while removing the lid, happens automatically when opening the oven door.

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

Thank you for such a detailed description!

This particular bread had its bulk ferment in the fridge over 36 or so hours. Did not even get to 2x mark.
It was only taken out of the fridge to shape, relax and form and then went back to fridge for about 10-11 hours to rise (while I was at work). After that it was baked direct from the fridge, without any warm up time

Given that bulk ferment did not fully finish, does it mean that 10-11 hours in the fridge for its final rise was too long? Fridge runs pretty cold - around 3C.

One more thing on its taste - the bread came out pretty sour. A bit too much for my liking. Do you think that maybe my levain was over fermented and that caused changes to the gluten structure?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and it probably slowed down the yeast but it brings up another concern and that would be the age of the dough itself.  The dough will still deteriorate as time goes by.  So you will be well advised to use a strong flour that can take the punishment.  Is this the same recipe using 90g of sourdough to 545g flour?  

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

This was actually a different one. There was a lot of poolish in this one (cannot remember exactly how much) - I was trying to save the 90% hydration dough that was too sour (my unsuccessful attempt to do 24 hour bread with 2% starter - was probably ready in 12). Was using Ken Forkish recipe for the dough

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in the process, the greater the eventual outcome in the dough/loaf.   A small tweak before the retarded bulk (like getting it half an hour sooner into the fridge could be all that is needed.  Long slow retards do make for a more sour loaf.  

I take it you are working around a work schedule with limited "hands on" time.

(I have to do chores, be back later on.)

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

Yeah, I am trying to fit at least 3 bakes a week to practice things like forming dough etc. During the week I cannot fit 4-5 hour bulk + final rise and bake in one evening, so have to either bulk ferment in the fridge or do a final rise in the fridge

I am still in a search of a perfect loaf (taste wise), so experimenting with flours/techniques/etc

I have tasted the bread that I love (in addition to the Poilâne miche that I don't really like) and I am trying to get to that in the end. It had a chocolate colored crust and it smelled of vanilla from Maillard reaction. How do you get a loaf super dark without getting it burned and not having a super thick crust? The bread that I like (2kg miche) they bake in a deck oven after it is switched off for about an hour. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

" How do you get a loaf super dark without getting it burned and not having a super thick crust?"

Answer:  Add some rye. I do pronounce Miche differently so it's a good thing you wrote it.  :)  Roasted flours will also give natural dark colour as well as roasted malt flour.  

To me a Miche is a very large loaf, I am a fan of the 4kg size with a maximum center height of about 12cm.  The bigger ones tend to taste better.  By my favourite baker, they are split into quarters.  Might also check into some bread spices typical of your favourite bread taste.  

SergeyAU's picture
SergeyAU

The one above does not have any rye, but has malted barley added. I am more interested in the temperature and time aspect... 

I run my oven to the max to get the maximum oven spring and then my oven naturally drops the temp to about 220C.
I only have the bottom element in the oven running by that time (when I take a lid off) and afraid to leave it at that temp for an hour =) 20 min with lid, take lid off, run top element for about 10 min to darken the crust and bottom element only for the next 20 min. Don't know what will happen if I leave my oven running just on the bottom element... will I get dark crust? Will it be pale? They say Maillard reaction occurs above 160C, so maybe it will get dark....