The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Advice on scoring

jdsnape's picture
jdsnape

Advice on scoring

Hi,

I've been enjoying baking sourdough for a month or so, and getting to a point where my loaves look like bread rather than pancakes!

However, there are two things puzzling me...

- When I get my loaf out of the oven, it sort of looks like a balloon that's been blown up, you can really see the creases in the crust and it seems like it's being held back by the skin tension? (I'm not sure the picture shows it very well!) I'm guessing this is because I'm not scoring enough? I've been doing a deep cut down the centre of the loaf, what would you do?

 

- My most recent loaves have had massive bubbles under the crust...is this because they're over proofed?

Thanks!

Joel

Abe's picture
Abe

Even if you score correctly everything else has to be done just right. From starter/levain, bulk ferment, shaping, final proofing and baking. When everything is just so then scoring will be more successful.

From your photo I think there is a ferment and/or shaping issue going on. There are large caverns in the dough with a very close crumb elsewhere. This points to under fermented (not over proofed).

Perhaps your recipe and method will help diagnose the issue.

jdsnape's picture
jdsnape

ah ok, that's interesting. I follow a method I found in a book where I keep my wheat starter in the fridge. I take it out, refresh 150g starter with 100g wholewheat, 100g wheat and 120g water, before leaving it overnight at room temp to ferment.

I then make the loaf with 300g starter (leaving ~150g to go back in fridge), and leave the loaf to rise during the day (it usually takes quite a long time - maybe 8 hours or so).

I suppose I could leave the initial refreshed starter to ferment for longer - it is usually bubbly and risen by the time I've left it overnight though so I'm worried about 'exhausting' it.

Abe's picture
Abe

Well.. providing it works. Could the issue therefore be shaping or a bit of both?

So your starter is 60% hydration if that is your method. You refresh your starter with a 60% hydration feed then return the rest to the fridge and so on.

How often do you bake?

BakersRoom's picture
BakersRoom

Yeah, I'm going with underfermented, and no stretch and folds during an 8 hour process.  

Stretch and folds not only prevent those large caverns (called Baker's Rooms), they aid fermentation.  Throw some of those in next time.  

That being said, Using 300g of starter in what can't be more than a 1000g bread, and sitting it out for 8 hours, then getting an underfermented bread tells me you have a starter issue. 

BakersRoom's picture
BakersRoom

This loaf was never going to explode into a nice ear.  Scoring becomes a simple matter when the dough is right, as the first responder said. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

try the stretch and folding technique on the bulk rise.  Use the same time schedule and the advantages of folding should move the fermentation along.   

Oh and you might want to try a shallow 1/4" deep score more to one side than down the middle.  This gives the expanding loaf potential to open more like a roll top desk.  :)