The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with my loaves!

josh.m's picture

Help with my loaves!



I've been making some progress lately with my bakes but I'm having a few specific problems. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on the following:

1) I can't get an ear.

2) The crust is sometimes very crispy and nice but other times, as in the below bake, the crust is kind of chewy.

3) I'm getting burned bottoms with little holes as well. I bake in a Lodge Cast Iron on two layers of parchment.


These are 82% hydration 80/20 KA bread / Grist and Toll Whole wheat loaves. I bulked 5 hours at 74 degrees with 10 minutes of kneading at the beginning and 6 stretch and folds every 30 min for the first three hours, 15 min bench rest, shape then in banettons in fridge for 15-17 hours. Baked off in a Lodge at 20 min 500 followed by 33 min 450. Would appreciate any insight on how I can continue to improve my loaves. 





hreik's picture

I'd be pleased with those.

Make sure when you do your final shaping, you have a very tight skin.  Also make sure your slash is fast.  Try also spritzing the loaves with water before putting them in the dutch oven.

Still, you should be proud of those.