The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dense/moist loaf

Sharklaar's picture
Sharklaar

Dense/moist loaf

Hello :) 

I'm new to the forum and have just started experimenting with bread making... I've made a few bloomers and tin loaves. I always seem to have the same problem though, the bottom of the loaf is very dense and the whole loaf is moist throughout. You can hopefully see from the image below... 

I've tried a bunch of different ways to try and fix this but am failing every time... I don't have a baking stone so currently using a heavy marble chopping board as an alternative. I'm putting the oven up to max, putting the loaf in and then turning down to 180 degrees and baking for about 40 mins. I've got some water at the bottom of the oven to create some steam. 

There are signs of under-proving on the loaf - there's a tear on the side as you can see on this one: 

However, if I'd left this to prove any longer, it would have started to spill over the side of the tin! 

Recipe I'm using is: 
500g bread flour
10g salt
10g active dry yeast (activated in 320ml warm water before mixing)
2 tbsp olive oil

2hr (ish) bulk ferment followed by 1hr proving, both at room temp.

My terminology might not 100% accurate, I'm new to baking... can anyone tell me what I might be doing wrong/what could be better? 

Cheers :) Shark

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hi Shark. The images posted are very small, but from what I can see the loaf looks very nice. Please repost the images. When inserting the image if you look closely, you’ll notice a box asking for the image width. Enter 600 in the width box and leave the others boxes alone. Your images will wiew much larger and supply more detail.

Also please let us know how much water you are using in the formula.

I’m sure you’ll get the help you need.

Oh! A thought. If you have a thermometer check the internal temperature of your bread when it is removed from the oven. If you bake until the internal temp is 205-208F I think you problem will disappear. If you don’t have a thermometer try thumbing (flick with one finger) the bottom of the loaf. When done the sound should be hollow.

Dan

Sharklaar's picture
Sharklaar

Couldn't see the width option but here's a chuffing massive version :D You can see the bottom of the loaf seems to have much closer bubbles, and it's more dense than the rest. I'm using 320ml water, which has the dried active yeast mixed into it before mixing it in with the flour/salt. 

I don't have a thermometer, perhaps it's time to buy one! Cheers :)

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks for posting larger imgaes. I can see the denser crumb at the bottom of the slice.

a few thoughts...

Is the bottom of the crumb more moist (wet) than the top portion?

Where are the heat sources in your oven? Top, bottom, top and bottom? If the heat origintaes from the bottom only, you might try lowing the shelf a little. It seems the top is getting more heat than the bottom.

Dan

Sharklaar's picture
Sharklaar

Hmm, not sure where the heat sources are. I had the loaf on the bottom shelf anyway. The bottom was more moise than the rest, but the whole thing was still moist after cooling. Perhaps it just needed longer in the oven? It was about 40 mins at 180, having started at 250 then turned down to 180 when the loaf went in. Just didn't want the crust to burn as it was getting quite brown!

Maybe slightly more heat and a few minutes longer next time... doing another one tomorrow.

David R's picture
David R

...has the characteristics needed in a baking stone.

 

One of the needed factors is that it not be damaged by extreme heat, and the reason for that is that you want to heat your stone up very very hot, as hot as you can make it, leaving it for let's say an hour of pre-heating at the highest temperature your oven can manage, before you put the bread in. You want that thing absolutely scorching hot - and I'm not so sure marble is up to the task. Won't it crack?

 

Using a baking stone in a gentler more gradual way is to miss the point. The stone is in there for just one purpose, and that's to heat up far hotter than your oven would normally be able to go.

Sharklaar's picture
Sharklaar

Thanks David, I used marble as it was suggested by some famous-looking baker on the interwebs... Hasn't cracked yet! Perhaps I'll buy myself a proper stone soon

David R's picture
David R

I don't know enough about marble. If they said marble really works, then assume that it IS a proper stone already, and treat it accordingly by heating it super hot.

FueledByCoffee's picture
FueledByCoffee

I too have never heard of using marble, perhaps this is just a result of it being an expensive material to use for a task that a cheaper material can perform.  But for tin loaves you really shouldn't need a baking stone.  You should be able to get satisfactory results just baking them on the rack in the oven or if the bottoms get too dark you can add a sheet pan underneath...

Sharklaar's picture
Sharklaar

I saw it here...

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/baking-sos-how-solve-10-common-bread-problems-luis-troyano

Bout halfway down. The bit of marble was only a tenner so cheaper than a stone :) I think from what you guys have said though my problem is possibly more to do with time and temperature than anything else

Jimboh's picture
Jimboh

You need to remove the bread from the tin ASAP. If you are baking in loaf pans the hot bread will steam itself if you leave it in the pan. You should get that bread out of the loaf pan ASAP, be careful of burning fingertips, because you should get the bread out while it is still piping hot.

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

i think the dough might have benefited from a second deflate and shaping when the dough threatened to flow over the edge of the pan.  In essence that would mean a second bulk rise. Not uncommon with a basic yeasted dough. The shaping would redistribute dough temp and strengthen the matrix for a better final proof.  A second bulk rise is not uncommon with this type of dough.  Loaf is looking good, just need some little tweaks. :) 

if the oven set up can't be manipulated, try tipping bread out of the tin five to ten minutes before done, placing naked onto the baking rack or stone to finish baking.  It won't collapse.   A foil tent can also be placed over a loaf that is getting too brown early in the bake.  Important is to get most of the heat under the baking loaf.  Check the bottom coil to make sure it's working and let any stone heat up at least an hour before baking on it.  Try darker pans so heat is not reflected away from the dough.  Shiny pans are great for sweeter doughs and cakes where browning is not desired.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to make sure a baking sheet is not interfering.  Just last week hubby had trouble with our oven heating up and afterwards I discovered not only one baking sheet on the bottom of the oven but two!  No wonder!

Sharklaar's picture
Sharklaar

I made a loaf loaf yesterday and it was a thing of beauty.... Didn't take any pictures before demolishing it though. I did a second bulk rise with it this time and it was nice and soft all the way through. Thanks!