The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking constructive criticism

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Looking constructive criticism

I have been making naturally leavened bread for a few years now for family and friends. I made my own starter and just kept studying on the internet.  My batards normally have great oven spring, crust and crumb. My boules are hit on oven spring. I think I just suck at shaping the boules and getting good tension. Crust and crumb are good though. I cook the batards on my stone and my boule in a combo cooker. I steam the oven with a cast iron skillet. I want to start cooking my loaves a little darker but wanted to break in my family and friends gradually.

 

 

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Sorry cannot figure how to load more then one picture.

 

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

sayersbrock's picture
sayersbrock

Tobias, 

Those are gorgeous loaves!  What temperature are you currently baking with?  Will you cover loaves at all when attempting a higher temperature?

Michael

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Thank you. I am preheating my oven, iron skillet and combo cooker at 500f for about an hour, that oven has always taken a long time to preheat. I have an 13 year old Frigidaire electric oven with speed bake (a convection assist that I can flip on when ever I want). I load my boule in the lodge combo cooker then load my batards and the combo cooker on the stone. I then pour 2 cups of hot water in the skillet and spritz the oven with a spray bottle. Cook for 5 mins and spritz some water in the oven and turn it down to 460. I take the lid off the combo cooker at the 20 min point and rotate batards around. With about 7-10 mins left I turn on the convection fan and will rotate again right before that. Usually baking for about 35-38 mins

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

the Last pic is the crumb from the previous boule. It had very good oven spring though it was cockeyed,lol. But the crumb had a huge pocket in it. Did I get good tension on my shaping but overproof it? I have tried the bread at my local farmers market and it is decent but my batards look way better and in my opinion mine taste better. They are selling theirs to some local farm to table restaurants and I may want to start doing the farmers market route but want to get my boules looking as good as my batards. Or just try to sell my batards and any boules that look good, lol. Thanks for any and all feedback 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It's hard to assess the crumb without knowing what formula you use, but it looks good for a mostly white flour, moderate hydration sourdough loaf.

Regarding getting a darker crust: I don't think the same oven temperatures will yield exactly the same result for your hearth-baked bâtards and your DO-baked boule. With the latter, I have had good results following Forkish's method - 30 minutes covered, then 20 minutes un-covered at 475ºF for a 900 g boule. 

For a 750 g bâtard, I generally bake at 460ºF, 15 minutes with steam then another 20-25 minutes in a dry oven. If you have convection, the last part of the bake is with convection at 25ºF cooler.

Last but not least, your oven steaming routine is contributing to you lighter crust. The oven temperature drops significantly every time you open the door and spray water. Steaming the oven right before loading your loaves with boiling water poured into a pre-heated pan, for example, then not opening the oven except to remove the pan, will give you better results, I think.

There are several better methods of steaming home ovens than the one you are using.

Happy baking!

David

Tobias39's picture
Tobias39

Thank you David.  Using a Tartine style recipe.

90% King arthur all purpose

10% spelt flour

75% hyrdration

20% levain

2.2% salt

I will definitely try the steaming routine you mention and see how it does.