The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

after so many failures

Pablo's picture
Pablo

after so many failures

I just wanted to share the nearest thing to success I've had in quite a while.  My oven is still broken and won't go past 400, a new one's coming Saturday but I can't wait.  This forum is such a great help!

 

The loaf had good shape and oven spring

The loaf had good shape and oven spring 

decent crumb (for me!)

decent crumb (for me!)

really what it's all about, with garden fresh squash

really what it's all about, with garden fresh squash

nebetmiw's picture
nebetmiw

Wow that looks real good.  Looks like something is going right for you even thou you say oven is broken.  Garden fresh always the best. Yummy

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

*yum*

 what bread is that, pablo?

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks for the comments.  It's fun to share one that rose and everything.  It's a white bread.  I'm playing around with the basic flour,water,salt,yeast deal with a preferment.  I'm keeping a journal and trying different things.  Different hydrations and ferment times, hand kneading, machine kneading, no kneading, folding, stretching, etc. etc.  I'm really having a good time, and even the failures have generally been tasty. 

The long story of this particular loaf, since you asked is...

Wednesday night at 10 I mixed a drish poolish of 100 gm water to 160 gm white unbleached hard organic AP flour and 1/4 t yeast.  Since it's getting cooler I left it out in the kitchen, even though I don't usually get up and going too early in the morning. But dry poolishes are supposed to last a long ferment OK and it was only going to be 14 hours or so. About noon today I mixed the remaining 120 gm of water and 140 gm of flour into an autolyse for half an hour.  Both the autolyse and the preferement were kneaded by hand.  I put both of them and sprinkled 1/2 t yeast and 1 t salt in the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook on 2 for 10 minutes (about a 73% hydration).  I put the dough in a plastic tub to rise in the oven with the light on for 1 1/4 hour, then did two stretch and folds in the tub, let it rise again for 45 minutes and then another stetch and fold and shaped it on the counter into a batard by the shaping directions in Bread Science where I paid close attention to the surface tension while forming the loaf.  Then I let the batard rise seam side up in a floured denim hammock I divised today and was quite pleased with.  While the batard rose I preheated the oven to 400 (as high as my current oven will go) with a pan of rocks in the bottom for a heat sink and I put the shelf to bake the bread on 1 setting higher in the oven than I usually do (I'll be repeating that!) and put a small baking pan on the shelf.  After the batard had risen for an hour it looked great.  I turned it out and tried to roll it in some sesame seeds, but it was too dry and they wouldn't stick.  I put it seam side down onto a piece of parchment (reused for about the 4th or 5th time) and slashed it and then sprayed it with water and sprinkled the sesame seeds on and used a peel to gently place the parchment paper with the batard on the baking sheet.  I threw a few ice cubes on the rocks and a 1/2 cup or so of boiling water.  I had previously covered the vent from the oven to trap as much steam as possible.  I baked it for 10 minutes and then turned it around 180 degrees in the oven for more even baking and stuck a probe in it to monitor the inside heat to 207 and uncoverd the oven vent.  Then I let the batard cool on the pan with the door cracked open and the oven off for half an hour.

That's the whole story.  I'm trying to recreate it tomorrow.  I have the same poolish mix in the fridge tonight because I have to be somewhere in the morning.  I figure to take it out of the fridge before I leave to come up to room temperature and conplete its fermentaton.  Also some sourdough I'm trying but got the hydration confused and had to wing it.  Fingers crossed on that one.

I feel very fortunate that I have the time to pursue this.  I hope to discover how to make a crispy crust at some point.  This crust is fine, but it would be swell to be able to decide whether I wanted a crispy crust or not and know what to do to obtain the results I expect. This one was good enough that I gave half to the neighbors.  I'm sure continued probing of the freshloaf and other sites and book learnin' will continue to pay off.

Pablo

holds99's picture
holds99

Your bread looks very good, crust and crumb.  A note of caution.  Be careful covering the vent from the oven.  I did that once when I first started baking bread that required steam and when I covered the oven heat exhaust vent my oven overheated and it blew my oven.  Don't know what kind of stove/oven you have but my old one was a GE, where the hot oven air vents through a opening under one of the rear burners.  On mine there was a control mechanism imbedded inside the oven vent (under the rear burner) and when I covered it (not allowing the heat or steam escape) the oven overheated and shut down and couldn't be revived.  I ended up buying a new stove/oven.  So, be careful with covering the oven vent.  I don't think you want to do that anyway, because you don't want any excess steam in the oven after the first 10-12 minutes.  After the initial blast of steam dissipates, and the oven becomes dry, that's what produces your crispy crust.   

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I actually started doing this after my oven went south, but I do notice that the conputer readout gets steamy on the inside, probably not a recipe for long life.  I have an internal thermometer in the oven and it doesn't go above 400, even when the control is set to 550.  I remove the vent obstruction (a glass cover over the left rear burner) after 10 minutes (when I remember!  :-)  Anyway, I get a new stove tomorrow, we'll see what that brings.  The new one is a Samsung and it has a steam-cleaning cycle.  I won't use that cycle but the fact that it has a cycle that involves steam means, I hope, that it will be more robust when I introduce steam in the baking cycle.  I don't know where the vents are on this one yet so I don't know if covering them is an option.  Thanks, though, I'll keep your cautions in mind.