The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Drying Effect of Banneton

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Drying Effect of Banneton

I have read some posts saying that a lined or floured banneton/proofing basket/couche will dry the surface of a wet dough to some degree.  Will this drying help a proofed wet dough keep its shape when transferring it to the peel/baking stone?

I am getting a little better working with wet doughs, but my 80% hydration/60% whole wheat boule still spreads when I transfer it.  I mix in the KitchenAid to a windowpane, fold a couple of times during bulk fermentation, bulk ferment overnight in the fridge, preshape with a tuck-and-turn (the dough spreads a bit during the 20 min bench rest), and shape with folds and then tension pulls.   I proof 3 hrs at room temp in an oiled stainless steel bowl.  At the end of 3 hrs the dough has risen and is still making some gas bubbles.  But it springs back slowly with a poke test.  And it spreads on the peel and doesn't have a great oven spring.

Another symptom, maybe, is that a nice sharp lame is ok for the first score, but really drags after that.

I'm open to suggestions for holding shape, scoring, and improving oven spring.

The crumb is pretty open, the crust is crusty, and it tastes pretty good.  But I would like a higher shape.  

Thanks

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

the proof? I think you might be happier with the oven spring if you put the bread in the oven not quite fully proofed. 

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Thanks, it's worth a try

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Hi Louis,

Your formula is essentially exactly what I bake every week (see here).  My process is rather different and my doughs develop plenty of strength.  But note that any 80% hydration dough will flatten to some extent when it hits the stone.  There are plenty of videos online of pros loading ovens with pancaked doughs that spring up just fine.  So collapsing of a high hydration dough in and of itself is not a worry.  But if the resulting bread fails to display the desired crumb structure, then something has to change.

fwiw, my fermentation schedule is ~2h bulk @ 78˚F, shape, and overnight in the fridge before an early morning bake.  No warm proof at all - it goes straight from fridge to peel to oven.  Scoring cold wet doughs is much easier than room temperature ones.  Former TFL poster a_warming_trend reported success with putting her warm-proofed doughs in the freezer for 15 min prior to scoring and loading.  Her loaves had wide open crumb structures (more than we like actually).

Hope there's something useful in there.  Keep at it - great formula :-).

Tom

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

That's interesting that you do, with great success, the opposite of what I have been trying - your room temp bulk fermentation and overnight reefer proof seems to work very well.  And 10-20 sets of folds for the mix plus 3 sets of folds during the bulk fermentation give you adequately strong dough.  Maybe I just need better folds.

I'll give it a try, thanks.  

albacore's picture
albacore

It looks like you've been given some good ideas which I'm sure will solve your problem, but I find your intial question about the drying effects of bannetons to be interesting - and potentially complex, as with everything breadmaking!

I have a variety of different bannetons, but the German woodpulp brotforms, which don't need a liner, do seem to help with high hydration doughs; the woodpulp sucks out a bit of moisture from the dough surface, creating a slight skin which may not help with holding shape but makes it easier to score the dough.

Lance

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Thanks.  

I am looking forward to trying out the techniques for building stringer dough

LeeTipton73's picture
LeeTipton73

I used to get exactly the same problems. I too was proving in an oiled glass bowl and then using a blade to slash the top. I swore it was my rubbish slashing skills that was causing the deflation. Since moving to proving in a banneton (naked, no liner works best for me) and then baking seam side up in the oven (sometimes in a Dutch oven, sometimes on stone) I’ve been getting lovely rustic looking splits on the top of my loaves and great height. It depends I guess if you’re looking for a uniform “signature” or not. Hope this is in some way helpful :)

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Is the banneton naked, or do you work without an apron, or anything else?

Just kidding.

I plan another try at 60% whole wheat/80% hydration with a 2 hr autolyse, hand mix followed by slap and folds, 2 hr room temp bulk fermentation with folds at 20-40-80 minutes, a more elaborate pre-shaping (more shaping folds; if the preshaped dough doesn't spread after 20 minutes bench rest i know I'll be OK) and more folds and turns and tension pulls for shaping before an overnight proof in the fridge in a lined basket.  I even bought some wheat bran for flouring the towel.  

LeeTipton73's picture
LeeTipton73

The world doesn’t need to see me bake naked lol

The folding strategy seems solid. Anything with whole wheat I try and do three folds in the first couple hours and it works out fine.

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

I used a towel-lined basket for a batard, and wheat bran so the towel would not stick.  That worked out OK; the batard spread a little, not too much, but there wasn't much spring.

I had a lot of trouble turning the 2 hr autolyse into something like dough.  All those cool techniques in videos - slap and fold, and various hand-in-the-bowl mixing techniques work a lot better on YouTube.  My dough at the start doesn't have anywhere near the extensibility that one sees in the videos.  

Maybe the dough needs for rest - mix/slap/fold whatever for 10 minutes, then wait 10 minutes and repeat.  

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I am/was experiencing something similar...total lack of extensibility. The last 100% WW hard red winter bake I did, I had to rest the dough 10 minutes for every 4 minutes of (machine) kneading. This went on for about an hour an a half before the gluten showed proper development. It was a weird combination of super tight and rubbery, but without proper development/windowpane. It was stringy...tight, rubbery and stringy.

Another TFLer said this happened to him and then went away with his next bag of wheat!  Since then I have put 1/3 WW Kamut into to all my bakes and the dough is much better behaved (it is more extensible such that it now looks like videos of dough I've seen on YouTube). So, just one possibility, the problem may be with your flour, not your technique. 

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

I made Hamelman's Pain Rustique, which is white bread with a poolish and autolyse, 69% hydration IIRC,  The batard held its shape and I got pretty good oven spring.

So my technique is at least mediocre.  I just have to try to improve it enough to work with high hydration whole wheat.  And maybe not over proof the whole wheat loaf before baking.  

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Thanks for the tip on folding.  Maybe I'll try adding some additional folds.