The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe gave me bread with uncooked dough in middle.. Please help troubleshoot?

bakingbuddies's picture
bakingbuddies

Recipe gave me bread with uncooked dough in middle.. Please help troubleshoot?

Evening all. Just cut into a bread that I baked earlier today and I am flabbergasted as to what went wrong.


I followed this recipe:

700g flour (100 spelt, 100 sprouted wheat, 500 white) 550g h20 125g starter 18g salt

4 hours bulk ferment with pull and fold technique and worked in a random amount of KAF harvest seeds.

18 hour cold proof

Flip out onto parchment, score, and plunk into pre-heated Dutch oven, 475F for 25 mins with top on, 25 top off, 10 mins out of Dutch oven for browning.

Only modification I made was a couple teaspons diastatic malt (first time using it, was that the issue)?  The bread that comes out (after letting it sit for 5 hours) looks like this;

So, the purple area (circled in paint, apologies for the look) is where I stuck my fingers to test, and the knife in the back shows that its literally like cutting through underbaked dough. I don't understand what happened! The outside is beautiful, crumb is good, this is a year old starter that is used and refreshed once a week... its the same oven and dutch oven I've used for almost 3 years of baking.. Basically, no variables other than this recipe is different.  Yet the inside is like a doughy, brownie like wet texture that tastes pretty much like eating straight dough.  The whole thing has a beautiful spring and feeling but is pretty much inedible.

Can anyone help me understand what happened here so I don't repeat it? Could it be a fluke of nature? Could the 2 tsp of malt have done that? Is there something I should check? Thanks for any insights.

suave's picture
suave

The malt could certainly have done that, but if you have a 1400 g loaf and bake it straight from the fridge, then one hour bake may be insufficient.  I have not baked breads this big in quite a while, but my records tell me of 75-80 min bakes, with room temperature proof.

bakingbuddies's picture
bakingbuddies

Interesting! Is there any saving this loaf? Tossing the pieces in at 350 F for 30, 60 minutes? Or does it go to the chickens?

suave's picture
suave

I, personally, never shied away from chucking a failed loaf, but that's me. 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

might appreciate it, but save some for yourself and try this recipe. I've repurposed a number of Frankenloaves this way 😊

Keep on baking! Carole 

bakingbuddies's picture
bakingbuddies

Thanks for this interesting take! Per my comment below, I had hollowed out the sticky parts below and am just left with springy tasty crust. I wonder if I should try this recipe with just crusts!

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

That ground-up crust will add a toasty depth of flavor to your next bake. And if you decide not to bake with the crumbs, you can always use them to top a gratin or coat aubergine slices!

Keep on baking.

EDIT: As much as I like Susan's recipes, I find that her bulk fermentation times are a bit short and her baking times and temps are a bit under what my flours need. Just a little heads-up. You might also want to up the hydration a bit, although it can be restful to work with a low-hydration dough ;-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

lowering the temp to 425°F for roughly a one and a half hour bake.  

I've saved heavier fullgrain breads by cutting blocks ( that would yield about 4 to 5 slices)  wrapping tightly in microwave plastic   and zapping on high for about 4 minutes to set the crumb, let cool before unwrapping.  I haven't tried this on normal crumb but it might prevent the chickens from gagging.  The waves head straight for the wet dough.  Worth a try anyway.

I suppose one could pick out the doughy core, shape into balls and drop as dumplings into hot soup.  

bakingbuddies's picture
bakingbuddies

Tried the soup dumplings! They came out weird.. the water and boiling and contrast of the chicken bouillion definitely brought out the malt sweetness/aroma, which was Not a Good Thing. Thanks for the brilliant idea!

In your mind was my big error here the post-fridge proofing time for a loaf of this size (and if so, I wonder why the original recipe poster didn't experience the same issue!)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

not working out. About the timing of the loaf, no idea why the recipe is short.  When taking the loaf from the oven, with experience, one can tell if it is done inside.  Some tap on the loaf, or give it a light squeeze, or poke a thermometer inside or check while moving the loaf if it seems to feel (for lack of a better word) "dead weighted" inside.  Ovens can vary too but a general rule is if the outside is baked and brown but the inside is doughy, the baking temp is too high.  This can happen in a number of ways.

The addition of malt, as mentioned already, could have complicated things.  It doesn't take much and the sprouted flour also contains some quantity of malt.  Malt is made by sprouting, drying and grinding grain, particularly barley, and wheat as well.  Too much malt can give a doughy moist middle even if the temp is correct.  It is one ingredient that shouldn't have rounded teaspoons for "good measure.". One level teaspoon is enough for 700g of unmalted wheat flour. Try leaving it out and repeat the recipe.  if it happens again, on the third try, lower the oven temps about ten minutes into the bake and bake a little bit longer.  Be sure to knock, squeeze gently but firmly and probe that sucker to make sure it's baked through before cooling.  If you poke a hole thru the crust while hot, leave the probe thermometer stuck in the loaf while cooling so the steam doesn't escape.  

I'm trying to look closer at the crumb of the loaf and we might be missing the now obvious large bubbles in the crumb.  I'll use the fingerprints for an excuse.  Maybe you can give more detail as to shaping.  And fridge temp.  Trying to figure out if the dough was under or over fermented.  How was the folding?  Did th dough seem like it was puffing up any before shaping?

bakingbuddies's picture
bakingbuddies

Hmm, lots of questions!

For shaping, I did about 10 minutes of kneading.. Maybe less (by hand). Stretch and fold on the hour for 4 hours. The dough for sure puffed up before shaping, and looked so pretty!

I hadn't checked the temp on this one before pulling it; I likely should (i have a thermopen I love) but I've been used to breads just being fine, so I jumped it.  I'll try this loaf again, but with a tiny amount of malt to see if I have better results, and I'll definitely check the temperature. Thanks for all your help so far.

BethJ's picture
BethJ

When all else fails, I make croutons. 

Cut the bread into cubes and leave on the counter for a day or so to get stale.   Fry the dry cubes in butter and olive oil 'til toasted, and toss while still warm with seasonings of choice. 

Another option is to cut into cubes and bake at a low temp until thoroughly dry and lightly toasted.  Toss with melted butter or olive oil (or both) and your seasonings.

Awesome in a leafy green salad or floating in a bowl soup.  Will hold up in the fridge a few weeks.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the hollowed out crusts...

break into sections spreading out on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Sprinkle with favourite herbs, then add some crumbled fried bacon  roasted onions and garlic. Cover with slices of cheese, a variety is suggested, and bake under broiler or a hot oven until cheese is melted and just starting to bubble and look yummy.  Sprinkle lightly with fresh herbs, sliced chillies, a touch of fresh ground pepper and serve up hot with a bowl of olives, sliced lemon and a cold drink.