The Fresh Loaf

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Is my basket too small? How to achieve a good ear?

Christo's picture
Christo

Is my basket too small? How to achieve a good ear?

Hi Fresh loaf community

I have a few questions on improving my sourdough. I've been baking sourdough for 2 months

I currently am finding that my sourdough is rising above the basket. I'm using a 20cm banneton and photo is approx 9hrs proof in the fridge after bulk ferment

Autolyse 2hrs

Bulk fermentation for 4hrs at 25-27degrees. Performed six sets of stretch and folds. First three 15mins apart then remaining every 30mins

Recipe below

20% / 100g levain

90% / 450g white bread flour

10% / 50g rye flour

75% / 375ml 

2% / 10g salt

I noticed one I took the sourdough out of the basket it begin to expand. What could this mean?

Lastly how do I achieve a good open ear? I think cast iron pot could be too small for my sourdough as I've noticed a crust forming

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The banneton is way too small. Either reduce the weight of your dough or use a larger banneton. The color and blisters on your bread is excellent.

The bread is very close to producing an ear. Keep in mind that boules are a difficult shape to get ears. Batards are much more suited to them.

You are off to a great start.

Christo's picture
Christo

How much would you recommend reducing the weight of the dough too?

Thanks for the feedback mate

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Try reducing the total dough weight by 35% and see how that works. You want the dough contined within the basket. If it domes a little above the top, that is ok.

Christo's picture
Christo

Thanks. I'll give it a go this week!

Benito's picture
Benito

Despite it spreading a little it baked up really really well.  The profile of the cut loaf looks great to me.

In terms of ears, I agree with Dan, batard by nature are easier to get big ears with than boules.  However, if you are doing a single score, something a little bit more along the midline, blade angled 45* from the dough surface and about 0.5-1 cm depth usually does the trick for me.  This is assuming your dough has good structure and good surface tension built throughout bulk fermentation and with shaping.

Benny 

Christo's picture
Christo

I'll give the scoring method a go when I bake my next loaf. Hopefully it does the trick. Thanks Benny!!

gerhard's picture
gerhard

seems to give me more prominent ears in the score than fully proved bread. 

Christo's picture
Christo

Ok great! Thanks for the tip Gerhard!

Christo's picture
Christo

So reducing the dough weight by 35% solved the basket issue. I followed same method as before except dough had approx 13-14hr proof in fridge

Wasn't able to achieve an open ear. I'm wondering if my dough is over proofed. When I took the dough out of the basket before baking it lost its shape slightly. Is this common. Ideally would like to achieve more of an open crumb. I've attached some photos. Any feedback/tips on improving my sourdough would be appreciated

 Thanks

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Forget the ear (for now). The color and BLISTERS are outstanding...

Next time, ferment your dough less.
Take a look AT THIS POST.

Christo's picture
Christo

Hey danayo,

I went to try your method. I accidentally reduced proof time rather then ferment. Later checked your post again and realised what I done. I think I've achieved a better ear and think it's a better bake then previous. My next loaf I'll reduce ferment time and keep you updated with results

 

PXL_20200925_123746608_compress75.jpg
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Shortening any stage of fermentation will help. The goal is to not exhaust the yeast before it hits the oven. You need to leave some “gas in the tank” so the oven spring can take place in the oven...

Christo's picture
Christo

Thanks! I forgot to note that proof time in fridge was 8.5hrs 

Do you think there would be different results between shortening bulk ferment vs shortening proof time in fridge?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Normally the fridge time is not sensitive if the temp is 38F or lower.

The shortening of fermentation time is probably best at BF. If you refrigerate the shaped dough overnight you can skip the final proof and back straight out of the fridge.