The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Attempt #2 (RE: my smoking oven) and a pic

Cara's picture

Attempt #2 (RE: my smoking oven) and a pic

Okay so good news!  Thank you for clueing me in on the burning cornmeal thing. 

Good news is-No Smoke alarms went off this time (HOOORRAAYYYY!) I just used a little bit of cornmeal.  Bad news is that I didn't use enough (or should have used some parchment) because after the 20 minute mark when you are supposed to rotate the loaf, i just took it off the pan and cooked it the rest of the 10 minutes on the rack to try and get the bottom a bit more done than last time.  And a bit of the bottom stuck to the pan, not much but more than I would have liked to see.

I also got a spray bottle today and did the whole mister thing every minute or so the first 5 minutes of baking.  Ummmm judging from the pics below definitely ummm worked.  Maybe a little bit TOO much!  (although since i took these pics inside the loaf isn't quite as dark as the pic makes it out to be.

This loaf too "sang" to me............still is actually.......going on about 20 minutes now!

I let the dough ferment longer than the first time, probably an entire 24 hours.  Then let the bulk ferment go a lot longer than normal (lost track of time at the grocery store).

As it always seems to happen with me there is something very very very weird with this loaf.  It smells SWEET!  Like i glazed the thing down in sugar or honey (which i didn't).  The recipe did call for a bit of honey but not nearly enough to give it this smell (and it went to the preferment yesterday so i would think it'd be used up by now).  My husband also smelled it and said it smells really sweet.  So sweet that just taking a wiff of it I can tast it in the back of my throat.    So I am asking you guys who know much much more about baking than I do............what on earth caused this and is it a good thing or a bad thing?

(just added the pic of the crumb.  I think this one looks much better than the first.......and oh my goodness does this loaf have flavor.  Flavor that stays with you long long after taking the bite, can't believe something that seems sort of a disaster can taste so good.  And yes it has a sweetness to strange)

(Pardon the "W" in the top.  I thought i would get a little goofy and put the inital of my last name on  Won't be doing that again).

Hearth 2-3

Hearth 2-1



benjamin's picture

looks a little dark, but I'm willing to bet its crusty and tasty as hell!!

No ideas on why this happened and how it was so different from last time...sorry.



crunchy's picture

Could the sweet smell of the crust be caused by the caramelization of the sugars? Perhaps because you let the loaf get darker than usual, the temps were high enough to allow that effect? I believe it's a good thing. Adding diastatic malt powder to flour produces darker breads like yours, also because there are more sugars to be caramelized during baking.

Cara's picture

It could be, it was cooked for 10 minutes at 475 then dropped to 425 for the next 20.

See i used the exact same ingredients as i did in the first loaf, same bag of flour, same yeast, etc.

Just added pics of the crumb.  If doing whatever i did will make a loaf that taste as good as this one is, then I don't care if it's not as pretty as the one I made the other