The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The batch that makes it worth all the reading time

solano's picture
solano

The batch that makes it worth all the reading time


Yesterday I got the result that made me happier until today. Bread 100% white flour, 68% hydration, 2% salt, 10% levain at 100% hydration. I mixed flour and water, thirty minutes later I added the levain and 30 minutes later the salt. Rubaud for about 10 minutes. Bulk fermentation for 4 ½ hours (folds every 30 minutes and one hour rest at the counter). Pre-shape and 20 minutes of rest covered with wet cloth, plus 5 minutes uncovered, shape and 1 hour of fermentation at the counter, then in the refrigerator, removed after 13 hours. On the touch test I realized it was under-proofed but could not wait any longer. I baked in an iron pan, at 250 º C, for 20 minutes with lid and then for another 25 minutes without the lid at 230 º C. I thank you very much the many people who have helped me around here many times and I know they will continue to help, thank you so much!

Ford's picture
Ford

Looks great!!  Patience is required, especially for sourdough.

Ford

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

What a lovely crumb. Great feeling when it all comes together.

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

Happy dance time and I would be very happy with that bake! Kat

Ru007's picture
Ru007

Well done indeed!! 

Ru

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I can only imagine your expression when you removed the cover from the pot, AND SAW THAT!

Beautiful in every way.

Dan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and crumb spot on even if a bit under proofed.   Very nice and 

Happy baking 

solano's picture
solano

The sign that is a little under proofed is the bottom a bit dense or what do I need to look at?

 

ps: Thank you all for the comments!!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Solano, I was hoping that someone more knowledgeable would reply about the under proofed crumb. First off let me repeat, I love your bread. The double ears are gorgeous! I have never produced that. I tried today but didn’t pull it off. I think your bread is considered under proofed because even though there are very nice large open holes, there are still a fare amount of somewhat tight holes also.

I wonder if your bread didn’t grow so large (blum) because it was a little under proofed. Hopefully someone will reply and enlighten both of us :)

Seriously, that bread is gorgeous!

Dan

kendalm's picture
kendalm

if anything the heat come in from top down - don't forget a mass of dough like that is a massive heat sink - at this point its all about equipment - regardless it's as near perfect as anyone could want - that's just my 2c :)

solano's picture
solano

Thank you DanAyo! Now that you've spoken, I noticed that the little holes are not just on the bottom, but now with the comment above (Kendalm), I no longer know what to think. And not that I'm looking for defects, I know that is a great bread, it's more of a reading exercise, for my learning.

Kendalm, thanks for your 2c! From what I understood from your comment, was it just an effect of having roasted in an iron pot?

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

Trevor describes in his book an underfermented loaf with big holes and calls it a fools crumb...now the typical sign to look for would be dense areas around the holes and the loaves have that slumped side look - but yours looks airy and your loaf has that lightness and a good overall shape......If underproofed, I think it would be very borderline, if so...

So, I am not an expert but I would say that you were close...and just keep experimenting. I know every loaf is precious...

However, you mention that you did the 'poke' test when you took the loaf out of the fridge to judge readiness after cold retarding but I find that that test is almost useless for the 'retarding method' rather than 'ambient proof' - and there it is difficult enough..... It would be interesting to see whether other people agree? 

Do you know the temp in your fridge? My fridge was always too warm without me realizing and I overproofed many loaves...So, I know now what an overproofed loaf looks like coming out of a fridge..with temps like 7 or 8C...at times.

So...knowing the temp in your fridge  is a good start to manage that cold retard time ... BTW...I really liked that loaf .. Kat

 

solano's picture
solano

Very interesting your comment, Kat! I was waiting to buy Trevor's book, but I think the time has come, I learned a lot already with his blog and watching on the networks.

I keep experimenting, this weekend I made the same recipe from this post, same fermentation times, but I realized that it had fermented too much, it was too big after being in the refrigerator. The poke test showed me that they were really overproofed, as the touch did not return. The breads came out with a good ear, but that's it, they had very little bloom and the crumb was dense.

The temperature in the bottom rack of my refrigerator is 8º C. Is not it cold enough then? It is in the first level of temperature, I can increase 4 levels colder.

Thanks for your comment. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Solano, if you can get your fridge to 3C (38F) the bread will not rise while retarding or it will rise very little. The coldest spot in a refrigerator ison the bottom shelf.

Dan

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

what the temp in your fridge is and what happens in the fridge to your dough depending on different temps...and believe me I was blissfully unaware of this for a while when people say 'and then put the dough in the fridge'....makes me laugh now but caused a lot of frustration AS I DID NOT HAVE A CLUE!

As Dan said at 38F or 3C the dough does not rise much apart maybe from some residual heat in the dough..and it is safe to leave it in there 'overnight' for 10 or 12 hours or even much longer...

So probably a good start to make your fridge to be 3C -( I was also told that is best from a food hygiene point of view...BUT our fridge has been warmer for a while and I am still alive..:D)

Many formulas 'assume' that this is the temp to go with for retarding and probably a good point to start.

However, I am now trying to find out what happens if you were to retard at temps like 5C, 8C or 9C or even warmer in my new little wine cooler that cannot go as cold as 3C...Vanessa Kimbell says in her new book that 2nd proofing 8C or 9C is best but fridges cannot do that and I for now have not quite come to the bottom of this....she sadly does not explain further for the reasons behind it....I saw a comment from a baker on IG stating a difference in colour when it has been proofed at 7C but again no detail. I might start a thread on that...so much to learn...

So...if you can make your fridge colder to 3C and want to get a 'consistent' baking process going where you start to be able to compare this complex amount of variables ...........I would say go for that......You then have that as a constant and can see how changes in other variables affect the dough....

Happy baking....Kat

p.s. If you go for the colder temp then you might need to let the dough ambient proof a bit more before putting in the fridge...I think this was Dan's experience who has quite a cold fridge and changed his experience with open crumb...Dan please add as this never applied to my 'warm' fridge....Whichever way you go I recommend to bake the same formula a number of times and then you will get a good feel for the dough and what it needs to look like for a dough with a good result.....with a new formula I write down and or take photos so that I can adjust and change...this is why the community bakes have been so useful....

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

I am intrigued by this and found an old thread that might be useful......

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/29179/poke-test-cold-dough

Kat

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I put that in there to offer another perspective - ya know how it goes with bread - no matter how much you bake it can always surprise you. I tend to think that we get all caught up in false leads chasing things like shaping when one of the most important element (heat) gets sidelined. I guess for me that hit home after some expensive pms with docdough our resident scientist and we engaged a few oven experiments amd I learned alot. Number one is that my oven can handle about a kilo of dough, any more and the bread just doesn't get the 'kick' it needs - the bake takes longer and no matter how well the proofing timing is - the little home oven with all it's mods just can infuse enough energy in time.  simply put, home baking puts you at a disadvantage with respect to equipment and i'm pretty sure many of these frustrations wouldnt be so pronounced / scrutinized with industrial gear - I worked years with real pizza ovens for example and you gain a little respect for the consistency of powerful machinery - so all i am really trying to point out is that if you interrogate crumb it can often give you some hints about heat flow. Looking at your loaf i see it just a tad dense and dark at the bottom and first though I have is whether you have a nice thick stone you can preheat and rest the Dutch oven - that might keep the bottom energized amd get you shorter bake (I think you mentioned pushing the time a bit). But really I all honesty, that's a hard to beat loaf that any commercial bakery would proudly sell - you're obviously talented and producing wonderful bread - just enjoy the ride !

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Kendall, you make an important and IMO, over-looked point. The affect of the baking heat on the dough is something I have not consciously delved in to. I have considered the effects on the dough (mainly the crust) as the moist heat surrounds the exterior of that dough. But I don’t remember thoughts about the affects of moist heat as it changes the dough from the inside out into bread. WOW, something else to ruminate over :D

Do you have links or would you elaborate more on this subject? Your oven experiments interest me. I think others would also benefit.

Dan

Jay's picture
Jay

Wow, that's beautiful. I hope to get there some day!

solano's picture
solano

DanAyo, I'm already testing my refrigerator to see if I can reach that temperature, thanks for the tip!

Kat, interesting this thread. This morning I was thinking about it, and maybe it's not just a question of the dough being refrigerated, but just at what temperature it's refrigerated. I imagine that the poke test works based on gas development and dough expansion, if you have these two factors, then it will work, as it seems to have worked for me with chilled dough at 8º C. As you and DanAyo said, if cooled to 3º C there will be no expansion, or few, so in this case I think the poke test would not work or work in a different way, maybe, I do not know. Just an idea, maybe I'm talking total nonsense.

Kendalm, I know dude and you put a very interesting perspective, which even made me think a lot about the heat issue and what other means I could use to bake my breads. One of the things that has bothered me is the bottom burning and getting dense and hard, but this I know is because my pan gets too close to the fire and I can not solve it now, because my oven is too small, nor even I could put a stone as you suggested and you're right, this is a bit frustrating, but I think the goal is always to do the best we can with the equipment we have and knowing how to recognize the points that we will not improve because of the equipment . You gave me an idea for an upcoming experiment, I have always made masses of 1kg, I will try to decrease to 750g and see what changes. And thanks for the nice words!