The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finally a grin I can be happy about

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

Finally a grin I can be happy about

After almost a year away from sourdough baking, I am starting up again. I have been trying to get a good oven spring. Looking at notes from last year, I might have been slightly overproofing. I built a new starter that was bubbling up to twice its height reliably. The recipe I would like to perfect is Maurizio's Fifty-fifty Whole Wheat https://www.theperfectloaf.com/fifty-fifty-whole-wheat-sourdough-bread/ But, decided to start with a lower hydration and less whole grain recipe first and get a good grin, crust and crumb before moving on to the more difficult ones. So https://www.theperfectloaf.com/beginners-sourdough-bread/ it was. And here is the result. The loaf on the right is the tallest I've ever produced with sourdough. The fact that the one on the right retarded for about two hours less than the other seemed to support the overproofing theory. Also, my scoring on it was a little more confident than on the second. It was very heartening to get a good result with at least one of the goals accomplished. I still need to address issues of crust being thicker and chewier than I'd like. Will try baking on a sheet pan with a metal bowl over, instead of baking in an enameled dutch oven as I did here. Lastly, I have no idea how the crumb was on my tall loaf, because it was a gift for my child's teacher. :( The crumb on the left one was ever so slightly undercooked (or maybe it was a bit gummy as Maurizio points out it can be, using predominantly bread flour.)

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Great oven spring.  I had a problem with overproofing, and still do quite regularly, but you nailed it 

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

The real question is can I reliably repeat this? I want to learn to spot correctly proofed by feel rather than guessing based on time prescribed by recipe and my prior results with the recipe I suppose that will come with lots and lots of trial and error. :-) 

Ru007's picture
Ru007

Looks good :)

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

I don't like to give up on things and was just glad that coming back to sd baking after a year, I got encouraging results. Now I have the motivation to keep fiddling and try to fix some of my other issues. Thanks much for your encouragement, both last year and now.

Ru007's picture
Ru007

I've also just come back to SD baking, after more than a year away, so I can relate :) 

Just enjoy the process and bake on!! 

Looking forward to seeing more of your baking

Ru

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

in your kitchen with those lovely loaves! Are you going to show us the crumb? Stunning and I find boules are more difficult than batards..I started myself last autumn and starting with lower hydration and going up is a good strategy but we all have to find our own ways in our own kitchens with our own flours! That was a big lesson for me here when I used US formulas with UK flour and ended up with soup! Amazing bake! Kat

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

LOL! Yes, I punched my fist in the air a few times just like my 7 yr old. :-)

I make boules because I haven't bothered looking for a more rectangular container to proof in and because I've been baking in a round dutch oven. Since I am planning to go with a sheet pan next time, I might try a batard! How do you shape your batards? 

Crumb shots: I need to learn how to use my phone camera well. For some reason these are very blurry. I apologize for the poor quality. 

 

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

I would be very happy with a bake like that!!!! If you are on Instagram, I recommend TrevorJay Wilson's account and he has a lot of amazing shaping posts and great source of inspiration and learning.... I

Shaping depends on the nature of the loaf 'cinching' if stiffer dough and 'stitching' if wetter.....If you want to go deeper he analyses in his ebook what folds does what etc.....

sooooooo many variables...but alll fun!

https://www.instagram.com/trevorjaywilson/?hl=en

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

Kat, I have watched a few Trevor Wilson videos. Thanks for the reminder! Will check his batard shaping ones too. He makes everything look so easy. 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the  crumb. I think I would be dancing with joy too. well done

Leslie

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

Really appreciate your compliments. I was so close to asking the teacher whom that tall loaf went to, to send me a crumb shot when she cuts into it. Somehow managed not to. :-)

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

You did nail it! Just lovely! Both the crust and the crumb. 

By the way, I started adding yogurt to my bread to tenderize the crust. I put in about 30 g to a total of 1100 g of flour so it’s not a lot. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Batard shaping starts at about minute 6 in the video,  but watching the entire series is worth while.  Hamelman Shaping

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

I was hoping for a video. Thanks much!

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me your feedback. You all are such accomplished bread bakers! 

Danni, thanks for the yogurt tip! I will have to try that. What I would like to achieve is a thin crackly crust. I have achieved this in the past on top, but bottom has been thick and chewy on all my loaves. I suspect that the high heat retention of an enameled DO contributes to that.

Thanks to all of you, I can't wait to start my next batch of dough! :-)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is when the bread is proper;y proofed and ready to go into the heat of the oven.  When making different size loaves in different baskets using different recipes for breads that require different amount of proofs it takes a while to learn.  It is hard to know when your bread is at 90% proof in a basket that doesn't have straight sides.  I was always over proofing thinking it was just right until I posted a picture of my bread going into the basket and then right before it went into the oven.  I thought I was perfect and Mini Oven took one look at it and said it was 150% not 90%  Since then, and many loaves later not so many problems.

The easiest way to lean is to make a bit of extra dough and place it in a straight sided glass and mark it with a rubber band and note where the dough is in the basket.  When the jar is at 90% so is the basket.  Note what it looks like in the basket and never forget!  Eventually it will sink in how badly you were at judging proofs:-)

This one is spot on so don't forget it!  Well Done.

 

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

Yup, judging proper proof has to be the most elusive skill. One reason I've been going with time to estimate when I should end retarding and bake the loaf, is because I use kitchen towel lined mixing bowls as proofing baskets. It is very difficult to tell whether dough volume has changed at all with this set up. (Or perhaps I haven't been thinking/observing more carefully. My towels have a wide Madras plaid pattern. Hmm.. perhaps that will make it easier to note level and gauge change in volume? Will try with next batch.) I see from posts here that some people ditch the towel/liner completely and just go with a well floured container/basket. I then bag the entire thing and stick it in the fridge overnight. Would this work with unlined bowls, or would the dough stick? Thanks so much for your help!

I plan to try your trick for putting a small bit of dough in a glass jar and looking for 90% rise. 

I remember reading a response last year or two years ago where MiniOven suggested cutting the dough in half to check what is going on inside. Mini, I never did have the gumption to actually try it. :-) I am assuming that once I cut, the dough would have to be reshaped and that would likely be a sacrificial loaf at that point? 

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

"I remember reading a response last year or two years ago where MiniOven suggested cutting the dough in half to check what is going on inside."

Wasn't this with respect to bulk fermentation rather than proofing?  I do not recall that she ever suggested cutting into a loaf that was proofing, but it does make sense to do so during bulk fermentation.

By the way, I agree with the others about your bread from this bake, which looks spot on.

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

My bad! Thanks for pointing that out and for the compliment. :-)

GrinChaser's picture
GrinChaser

I got so carried away with the oven spring on those loaves that I forgot to mention and even think about what effects, if any, were the result of stashing my levain in the fridge for two days. Yup, I built the levain and then life intervened and I had to move everything back two days. So I was expecting quite sour tasting breads. But, they tasted pretty good - not noticeably sour, good complex flavor. I brought the levain out and put it in my oven with a light on while I scaled and mixed flour and water and let it sit an hour to autolyse. Then mixed everything for bulk as usual.

I am sure others must have done this too - had to refrigerate levain for a day or two. What were your experiences when you did this? Thanks!