The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Caves that I don't want

gillpugh's picture
gillpugh

Caves that I don't want

  • what have I done wrong here?  All went well with the bulk?  Thought I shaped it well but not sure.  Forgot salt and added it to second fold.  When things go wrong, I don't know enough to understand why.  Any ideas would be gratefully appreciated. 
Portus's picture
Portus

for this bake?  I am curious as to whether it was one with a stiff levain, as I experience similar cavernous results e.g. with Hamelman's Pain au Levain.

gillpugh's picture
gillpugh

Yes the levan was stiff.  I think I mixed it in well, it was quite young though, I was running out of time(bed) would it have made any difference?

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

as long as it is well mixed in.  My humble guess would be a few big bubbles that were not degassed during shaping.  crumb looks lovely otherwise.

Leslie

Portus's picture
Portus

... "Spelunking Specials" - all contributions welcome!  It will be interesting to see what common themes emerge - stiff levain (as here), under- or over-proofed, etc.

I post my most recent "failure" below.  I too thought I had autolysed (45 minutes), mixed (including +5 minutes @ 2nd speed in Kenwood), bulked (24C with SF for 2.5 hours), tightly shaped and proofed (24C for +2 hours).  Oh well, back to the drawing board I guess!

andythebaker's picture
andythebaker

i'm guessing (but can't tell from your description) that you're using a natural starter, and not instant yeast.

i don't think your bulk fermentation is strong enough or complete.  and by that, it could very well mean your starter is not strong enough.  it's all connected.

so first suggestion would be to make sure the starter is strong enough.  are you doing the float test?  i can't tell from your brief description, but are you perpetually propagating a stiff starter?  or building one from a 100% starter beforehand (like hamelman?)  either way, make sure your starting point is going gangbusters before going to the next step.

second suggestion is to find a way to gauge the volume of your bulk to tell if it's finished.  if you're bulking in a bowl, maybe pinch off a small ball of dough, place it in a straight sided glass, and mark it.  you're looking for 1 1/3 volume increase by most standards.

my first bread teacher also taught me to claw/dimple at the dough, to see if "waves" could be made that kept it's shape.  that's another way to see if bulk fermentation is done.

best of luck.  your first bread looked like you are developing a good feel for handling dough.

~andrew

 

Portus's picture
Portus

... I am indeed using a natural rye starter - NMNF, and build a three-stage, dedicated levain for each bake.  Following your suggestions, I will keep a beady eye on the levain and bulk!

Joe

gillpugh's picture
gillpugh

My starter is strong enough, rising in four hours at 21c, and it floats, so I don't think that's it.  Bulk?  Yes it could be that, I never know when it's done, so I will try your glass trick.  I will also try the claw dimple trick, but I'm not sure what I'm doing there!  Anything on ytube?