The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Diagnosis of oven spring and scoring/expansion cracks

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Diagnosis of oven spring and scoring/expansion cracks

Hello all,

               I've been experimenting with Jim Lahey's no knead bread recipe and so far I'm fairly pleased with the results. In three efforts my results have been consistent. When I last tried it two days ago I used 12.5% of whole wheat flour in place of doing 100% bread flour, It added a slightly darker crumb and maybe added a little to flavor, In terms of timing/technique this is what I did;

I used 70 degree water and used 320 grams instead of the recipes called for 300 grams.

The bulk ferment was 12 hours at 75 degrees and six hours in my kitchen at 70 degrees.

At that point I put my dough onto a bench and folded it using 6-8 corners and then a shaped it into a ball,quite tight, I let the dough proof seam side down in a 9" banneton for 3 hours at 75 degrees until it was roughly doubled and it passed the finger poke test.

I then gently turned it over onto my cutting board. It did not deflate much. I picked it up and placed it  seam side up in my high sided 4 quart Lodge Dutch oven. I had preheated my oven to 475. I baked it for 30 minutes at 475 (at which point it seemed to have decent oven spring)  and then 20 minutes uncovered at 450. I took it out when the bottom thumped and I liked the deep,dark tones of the crust. It tasted great,the crumb seemed relatively open for my tastes and the crust had great texture and flavor.

I have three questions:

1) Am I getting enough oven spring rise out of my loaf? Many of you have baked this loaf so I am hoping by the photos you will be able to tell. How much oven spring in this dough should one expect? 1.5 times,2 times the original size? Is my dough under or overproofed?  Also,my finished bread shape is not like a perfect high oval dome,more like a big tent dome. Am I expecting too much to think it will be perfectly domed shaped? Is the fact that my bread bakes seam side up in the DO causing the imperfectly shaped dome?

 

2) As my seams are on top in the DO I believe that these seams are in part what are developing as the expansion cracks. The cracks with this loaf are wider and longer than with my other two loafs. Do the size and scope of my cracks tell you anything about the state of my bread when it went in the oven? If I wanted to control the expansion cracks,could I proof the bread in the banneton so that it ends up smooth side up in the DO? This way I could add my own scoring thus controlling the cracks. If I do it in this way I am guessing that I should score the dough right after I have flipped it out on the cutting board before placing it in the DO. Reasoning behind this is that it would be difficult for me to score reaching down into the DO. I would think I would tend to hit the sides of the hot DO with my hand.

3) Does proofing a boule seam side up in a banneton result in the same volume of rise that you get when proofing seam side down? Or,does having the seams up during proofing allow some of the gases to escape via the revealed seams?

I have a loaf that is nearing the end of bulk fermentation so any quick replies will be particularly appreciate! Thanks again to all who contribute to and help others in this forum.

Best,

         Vance

       Vance

 

 

 

 

 

 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Hi all,

          I made this post two days ago and haven't received any responses yet so I thought I would post a comment in hopes that it might get bumped to the top of the list and inspire a response or two. Thanks so much for any replies.

Best,

        Vance

Abe's picture
Abe

Can't fault it. A lovely bold bake which I like. Good oven spring and a nice crumb. 

It's all down to the taste now. If you like the taste then - success! If not, then everything else is mute. 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Abe,

       Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. I'm going to try doing this no knead boule seam side down in the DO and will score the top. I'll be curious to see how the dough proofs seam side up in the banneton.

 

     Next I am moving on to Hamelman's Rustic Loaf and other doughs with pre-ferments and kneading/folding/stretching etc.. Again, thanks for checking in!

 

Best,

          Vance

Abe's picture
Abe

Might be right or might be wrong but see that natural scoring down the side? When that opened up it might have prevented an even better bloom.

When you proof seam side up and then score (although scoring high hydration dough is a task in itself) try and keep the scoring on top of the loaf allowing more height.

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Thanks Abe!