The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Still trying to get a decent loaf

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Still trying to get a decent loaf

This week I have had another try at baking Trevor Wilson's Country Champlain bread (a Tartine style loaf).  As well as this I was making the 1:2:3 loaf with flour milled a week ago (ie aged 1 week as opposed to fresh) and the night before decided to make Champlain sourdough to see the difference between these two breads.

I won't go into detail of method as this was the same as last week, ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/55259/country-champlain-comparison ) the only difference being a slight drop of 1% in overall hydration and an unintentional smaller amount of levain in the Country Champlain and a corresponding increase in the Champlain.     I used the bran in the early stage of the build this time.

The results:

Country Champlain :  This dough has 24% spelt & 12 % rye

Part way through S & F

After some tension pulls (saw this on Trevor's instagram)

Then preshaped straight afterwards

The dough was left 30 minutes before shaping and it was really slack - better than last week, but still hard to get it  to hold some tension & shape. Retarded overnight in Fridge.  Bulk ferment was 5 hours.

Champlain: this dough has 8% spelt and 4% rye

After 1st set of stretch and folds

After tension pulls - you could really feel the dough firm up.

Preshape immediately after tension pulls

I was quite happy with this as it went into the banneton and into fridge overnight

1:2:3 repeat using flour I had milled a week ago to see if aging a bit made a difference. This dough is 20% spelt and 10% rye

After 1st Stretch & folds

After tension pulls

Preshaping - sticky and hard to shape into a boule

Retarded overnight.

This morning preheat oven and DOs.  Here are the 2 batards before unmoulding and scoring

Oh dear, a slow careful drop out of the bannetons, they had stuck slightly and this rarely happens for me.

Similarly, Here is the 1:2:3 loaf

All baked 15 minutes lid on at 250 deg C, 15 minutes lid off at 230 deg C

Final result

The country champlain pancaked again, Champlain SD was not too bad, it spread a bit.  The 123 a big pancake.  When I went to put it in the smaller reheated DO to bake, I realised it had spread too much so had to grab the now cooling bigger DO instead.  Darn!!

Here are crumb shots

Country Champlain

1:2:3

Champlain SD - this I am reasonably happy with, not as open as my first try in November though.

So, whereto from here - I really like and prefer the flavour of the Country Champlain but I need some help on what to try next.

Is it the breadflour - should I try a different one? Add more gluten?

More tension pulls?

Less autolyse? 

Shorter bulk ferment?

Help please

Disheartened Leslie 

 

 

Comments

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

They (esp. the Champlain) simply look overproofed.  A shorter and/or colder proof should probably be your next step.  This might sound so simple, but the timing and the determination of when something is ready for the next step is one of our biggest challenges.  When we do get it, the results speak for themselves (same as when we don't).  Keep at it...

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Perfectly put.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

it is definitely hard to judge when bulk ferment is done. Hard for me to do a colder proof, but I can do a shorter one.

it will be a week or ten days before I can try again, but I will cut BF back too.

Leslie

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Leslie

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

as well. That might help stretch out the time in the fridge. I keep my fridge at 37-38 F and 10 to 12 hours seem to be the sweet spot with 11-12% prefermented flour. 

The bake I have coming up this weekend is 17% prefermented flout but a big chunk of the dough is cornmeal and that doesn’t have any gluten at all. 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I am somewhat disheartened but thinking about it I think the folks above are right.  Using home milled grains has certainly changed the way my bakes are turning out and I am questioning everything.  I need to make some freezer space before I bake again and hope by then I will be feeling more positive.  I badly want this to succeed!!!!!!!

Leslie

AnotherLoaf's picture
AnotherLoaf

to suggest intentionally slightly under proofing? It's a learning thing. I tried this when I was having some difficulty judging when the dough was ready to bake. The thing is, once you have decided the dough is perfectly proofed, it's still another several minutes before you get that loaf into the oven. Those minutes can make a difference, in my opinion. Also, and hopefully this makes sense, sometimes you can't be sure how to do something right, until you've done it wrong. When I started slightly under proofing, I was surprised to find my loaves turning out better. There were however, a couple that were just plain under proofed. That's not much of a problem anymore, because now I know what that dough looks like/feels like. Keep trying, marybeth

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

deciding when bulk ferment is done.  In the past I used BF until doubled. Now it is obvious that when baking with home milled grains that what I thought was 50% increase in volume (and it is hard to judge that in a bowl) is too much.  Next bake will definitely be bulk fermenting a great deal less. 

thank you Marybeth

Leslie

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I don’t find a lot of difference really when I use all commercial flour or some home milled when it comes to oven spring.

I think you are on the right path when you are thinking about over proofing. Those loaves look really poofy for being in the fridge overnight. So you can either reduce the amount of prefermented flour to ~11-12% and/or set your fridge to a cooler temp. Try to set it to 37-38F if possible then aim for 10-12 hours of retardation for your loaves. They should have barely risen.

One more thing is to keep your hydration low. There are a few times that my loaves totally bombed and that was because the hydration was too high. When I redid the same recipe with less water, I got great loaves. 

Hope this helps!

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I am not sure I can get my fridge down to 37-38°F (this is about 3.5°C) but maybe I can get to 6°C. I was looking the other day, 1 shelf was 6°C and another was 10°C so I may need to play around.  I have an old fridge in the workshop so perhaps should check that one out as well. 

The prefermented flour was about 13 - 14% so I will also look at dropping that although the Champlain (which was ok) was about 6% I think.

Hydration is definitely an issue - the Country Champlain should be at 83% hydration but for this bake I thought I had dropped it to about 73% but I just now checked it manually and it was more like 78%. will have to check my spreadsheet formula because 78% is way too high for my flours.  and then it makes sense.

thank you Danni👍

Leslie

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

The safe maximum temperature for fridges is 4 C. Your fridge is way above that... there must be an adjustment somewhere to drop it down. And according to Siri, my fridge temperature is between 2.8 and 3.3 C. 

This temperature thing is probably your biggest issue. I also had problems with overproofing in the fridge when my fridge was set above 4 C. 

I hope you can figure out how to get it lower as your food is really not safe to eat at the temperature it is now set.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I have just turned it down as low as it will go and will see what it says.  I don’t have problems with food spoilage at all, but I will take this to heart. I will check each shelf and see what differences there are, it is an interesting wrinkle that I had never really considered because as I said I haven’t had problems with spoilage, and I am pretty careful about that. 

I will also check out the shed fridge as well.  Will report back later. 

Leslie

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I have been measuring temperatures on the different shelves, air comes in at the top so results are 

Top shelf:  3 - 3.5 deg Celcius

2nd shelf down: 5 deg C

3rd shelf down: 5 deg C

Bottom shelf above veg/fruit bins : 4 deg C

I will leave thermometer in overnight on 2nd shelf and see if it drops a bit more.  I think I will be leaving fridge on this setting.  Hubby won't let me change the temperature of the fridge in his shed!! :( so I didn't even measure it. 

Thanks Danni for the push to check.

Leslie

Wartface's picture
Wartface

I’ve been doing 50% flour preferments... a poolish. 

500g bread flour

500g water

 50g starter

How would my dough/bread differ if I reduced that from 50% to 12%? 

 

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Is there more to your recipe? Like what is the total amount of flour in the whole thing? If the above is the entire recipe, then you have only 10% prefermented flour. 

You also mentioned you did a poolish. I am probably wrong but I thought poolishes were made only with commercial yeast. Reducing the amount of poolish or yeast would affect the dough in two ways: flavour and the time it would take to bulk ferment. 

Hopefully, a bread guru will come along and supplement my answer. I did a poolish bread over 2 years ago and haven’t done one since so take what I said with a huge grain of salt. 

Wartface's picture
Wartface

The formula is...

1000g flour

 800g water

   50g starter

   20g salt

   20g olive oil

The poolish is...

500g flour

500g water

  50g starter

 

Wartface's picture
Wartface

Commercial yeast and a sourdough starter are both yeast.

A poolish is equal weights of flour and water and 1% of the weight of the flour of yeast. You’re trying to slow everything down and give the enzyme activity a head start. 

I just don’t use dry yeast unless I must. 

The 500/500/50 formula takes about 15 hours at 70°F. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I would think that at one point, the enzyme activity would start degrading the flour and you would end up with a soupy mess. You can slow down enzyme activity by refrigerating but I am not sure that the flavour would be that much better, or at least, I am sure my tastebuds wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. 

And yes I am aware that sourdough contains yeast. 😉

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

3-4 weeks.  1-2 weeks is the worst way to use fresh milled flour but I have never done it and always use it fresh..  I'm with everyone else.  The hardest thing to know in baking is when the dough is ready for the oven during proof and having the oven at temperature right then and there  With this much whole grain you want it to proof to 85% proof not 100% or the 125% like your loafs look to me.  All you have to do is get them in the oven much earlier and all your problems are solved!  You are almost there.  You can easily learn what your dough should look like when it is ready by getting a small straight sided glass and make a bit more dough than usual.  Put the extra dough ball into the glass and mark it.  when it has risen 85% the dough in the basket is ready for the.  You will soon see how over proofed it really is.  It is that easy to fix.

Happy baking

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I didn't really think it showed any difference after 1 week of aging and so I may leave it for another couple of weeks and see if it changes anything.

Yeah it does seem that overproofing is my main culprit, both at bulk ferment time and in the fridge.  Fridge temperatures now lowered, and bulk ferment will be shorter and we will see how I go next week some time.

Leslie