April 17, 2020 - 9:57am
Hello from a newbie and advice needed!
I’ve decided to finally learn how to make homemade bread. While I’m a pretty experienced baker, I have no experience with yeast, aside from making the occasional pizza dough!
I made the lesson one loaf from this website and, while the bread is DELICIOUS, the loaf is pretty short. I think I expected it to rise a little more. I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of dissolving the active dry yeast in water beforehand. I let the dough rise once, punched it down and let it rise a second time, then shaped the loaf and let it rise a third time before baking.
Any thoughts one what I could do differently?
I’m pretty new too, about 1 1/2 years at making bread. I’ve made tons of mistakes but think I finally can bake a good artisan loaf. It looks to me like you didn’t score it deep enough. The loaf should expand where there score is so it doesn’t blow out somewhere else. If you look at your loaf, it’s short on the score and expands where there isn’t a score. Try a deeper more pronounced score, possibly another score on the other side too, and I’ll bet you have a better rise.
That would make sense! Thank you! I was afraid of deflating the dough when I scored, so it would make sense that it wasn’t deep enough. About how deep should it be scored?
I score mine about 1/4” or a little more. Make sure the entire score is that deep. Score it right before going into the preheated oven with the preheated pan, pot, baking sheet. Good luck.
I'm not an expert baker so I hope someone else will chime in, but it looks to me like the dough deflated where you scored, which in my breads usually means it is a little over proofed. If it needed a deeper cut it would have torn itself open and it would have been raised at the cut, not lowered. I think you actually got a nice rise from this bread. If you want it to be taller, you might need to work on your shaping skills. It takes quite a bit of practice to learn to develop enough tension in the gluten cloak to force the dough to expand up into the slash, rather than spreading. If the tension is lower but you have a good dough you will still have a nicely expanded loaf of bread, it will just expand outward instead of upward.
Thank you so much for your reply and for your feedback. Are you aware of any resources I could look to that would give some instructions and tips to help me with shaping? Also, I had to google “gluten cloak”! Sometimes I read through the posts here and it’s like I’m reading a foreign language. There’s so much to learn!
I’ve learned the most on shaping by watching YouTube videos on shaping bread. Give it a try.