The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Gummy spots

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Gummy spots

Hi there

Any help would be appreciated.  I'm new at bread making.  My SD loaves always have gummy spots.  not the whole loaf is gummy.  just spots here and there.  my loaf temp is good 205. i've tried to not overproof or underproof. could oven temp be the issue?

suave's picture
suave

Most likely it's underbaked.

Cindy chan's picture
Cindy chan (not verified)

My loaf temp is 205 when I take it out.  My crust is so dark that I worry it’s burnt. 

suave's picture
suave

It's entirely possible to reach 205 and still have a wet crumb, particularly at higher hydrations.  What probably happens is you set your temperature to high and don't dial it down during the bake.  Then your breads heats up, crust darkens, but there's not enough internal evaporation.  

Cindy chan's picture
Cindy chan (not verified)

That’s my husbands theory, who has never baked a thing in his whole life lol.  But I do all the same things for yeast loaves and they always turn out nice.  I kinda like a moist crumb but not the dense gummy parts.  

do you think it’s ok to cut the recipe in half as I’m practicing so I don’t end up wasting flour and having to eat so much gummy bread?

suave's picture
suave

Baking depends on size, so any experience you gain baking smaller loaves won't necessarily translate into improvement when you go back to large scale.  In fact, since rolls are usually baked harder and faster it's entirely possible that everything will come out fine if you cut everything in half.  My suggestion would be that you preheat to a lower temperature and bake longer.   I would even pop it out of the DO at some point closer to the end of the bake, weigh quickly and if the weight loss is less than 15% continue baking directly on the rack. 

 

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Oh thank you.  That sounds like a plan. another thing i wanted to mention is, my starter is great for bagels. but if i look closely at my bagel crumb, it's nice and uniform with holes throughout then i'll see a random spot of a about 2-3 mm of dense dough.  no one notices it except me and overall the bagels are great tasting and has nice texture and chew.  so everyone just eats them blissfully unaware.  but i know something is not right.....

suave's picture
suave

That's how homemade bagels are supposed to look.  I mean, have you seen the machinery used to make them commercially?

loaflove's picture
loaflove

You mean the tiny little gummy spots are normal for homemade bagels?

suave's picture
suave

Sorry, I misread.  I was absolutely certain it said "holes", not "dense spots".

loaflove's picture
loaflove

aww that's too bad. lol. i was hoping gummy spots were normal.

Cindy chan's picture
Cindy chan (not verified)

Sorry I have 2 different user names because I noticed no one uses their real name so I tried to change it 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

What was the oven temperature? My sourdough loaves are baked in an 238C/460F oven for 40 - 45 minutes with steam for first 10-15 minutes.

Cindy chan's picture
Cindy chan (not verified)

Preheated at 500.  When I put loaf in Dutch oven I turned it down to 450.  But the crust gets really dark before baking time is up so I turned it down to 400

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I didn't know about the dutch oven. My comments assumed you were baking on the hearth. Cheers.

I have no experience with Dutch oven baking.

loaflove's picture
loaflove

thanks for trying

zachyahoo's picture
zachyahoo

Based on your description and the picture, it’s a combination of a few things 

1. Your dough is underfermented (is your sourdough starter active enough? If so, you need to bulk longer)

2. You aren’t baking it long enough

3. You’re not waiting long enough after baking before cutting  into it. It’s really best if the loaf is cool before you cut into it (especially important the more whole grains are involved and the higher the hydration)

4. The hydration you’re using is too much for the flour. FWIW, I think this (if it’s true) is the likely to be the least of your worries, so I’d look at the others first.

Cindy chan's picture
Cindy chan (not verified)

1. I was trying hard not to overferment.  But the dough after bulk ferment was jiggly and showed signs it was done.  It passed the window pane test. Not sure if it doubled.  Could it be that my starter still isn’t strong enough ?
2. I baked it for the recommended amount of time and loaf temp was 205 when I took it out. 

3. Ok I did cut a bit off the end when it was still hot but that was just a tiny end piece.  I’ve done it where I don’t cut it til it was completely cooled but I still had gummy spots 

4. 75% hydration recipe.  I used Rogers silver star all purpose (Canadian brand) and a bit of Anitas organic whole wheat.  

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

How does your final proof look and behave?

Also, I would try preheat at 450, bake at 425, and bake until internal temp hits 209.

If you cut the crust of a hot loaf you let out the heat that is still finishing cooking the inside, so don't do that.

Cindy chan's picture
Cindy chan (not verified)

I final proofed in the fridge as per instructions on the recipe. For about 10 hrs.  The recipe said 12 or more hours but I didn’t want to over proofed so I did the poke test.  Seemed to be ready.  I doubt it grew much , hard to tell but the surface was flat.  Not convex.  I popped it in the oven after 10 min on the counter.  Also the dough had spread out, didn’t hold its shape so I quickly reshaped before putting in oven. 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I think you may have found the problem. If you re-shaped right before you baked, you may have de-gassed the dough and it didn't have a chance to air up again.

Final shaping is typically done before final proofing, not after. I would say either bake it as is, and let the oven heat reinflate the dough, or if you re-shape it, I believe you need to let it proof again before you bake it.

Juist to be clear I don't use the fridge at all, so I'm by no means an expert. It's just that I have read experienced bakers  on this forum advise that even with fully proofed dough, in the fridge the cold dough reabsorbs the gas and so the dough will seem to have deflated, but you just go ahead and bake it.

Others can help more with whether the reshaping was a factor. Hopefully someone with experience with refrigerator technique will chime in.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

It could have stayed longer in the fridge, it would be hard to over proof in the fridge unless you’re talking days rather than hours longer.

The windowpane test is done to see if your gluten is well developed, it doesn’t help with fermentation.  I does sound like your dough was well fermented, if it grew about 50% and was jiggly, had bubbles at the sides of the dough through the bowl and some on top it was probably well fermented.

Do you know if your oven temperature is accurate?  It may not be so going by the recipe may not be that accurate, I’ve also read that doing an internal temperature isn’t that accurate for bread.  It seems that the crust was done before the crumb, next time bake as you did in the Dutch oven covered at 450ºF, then when you take the cover off drop the temperature and keep an eye on the colour of the crust.  If you see that it is getting quite brown and you’d like to bake it longer, loosely cover the Dutch oven with some aluminum foil to slow the browning, you could also drop the temperature even more to 350ºF and bake it even longer.

Benny

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Thanks so much for your input.  Yeah, i was trying to decide if i should have just left it longer in the fridge.  But somehow, i didn't think it would have made a diff.  because i did leave it longer with my previous loaf and same result.  my oven thermometer shows the temp is about 10 degrees hotter than what the oven says. maybe i should get a new oven thermometer. it was in the oven when my old oven became possessed and changed to self cleaning mode and locked itself while my scones were in there.  seems like there's an oven thermometer shortage during this pandemic.  maybe i should turn the temperature down.  because the crust gets dark faster than i like.  i think the overall time that i leave it in the oven is enough to cook it through, i'm not pulling it out sooner.   but i just end up with a really dark crust.  but having the crust done before the crumb as you mentioned could be what's happening. somehow i think the gummy spots has something to do with problems rising, like during the oven spring stage, rather than underbaking.

 and about the bulk ferment, i think i got that part right.  when i tease the dough from the bowl is very light and airy and webby.  

dbazuin's picture
dbazuin

Even when you cut of a tiny peace you disturbe the inner cooking process. Next time let it cool for a few ouhrs. 

You can use a probing thermo to messure the inside temp. 

jcope's picture
jcope

I get the same spots often in my bread.  It's nothing to do with when it's cut.

I have yet to figure out exactly what the cause is, because they come and go and I also let a lot of factors vary.  I'm thinking it's due to over-fermentation.  My current theory: I may be letting the dough go on too long or I'm letting the starter go too far past peak when I use it.

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Do you rely on the float test to assess your starter?

jcope's picture
jcope

After 5 years of making sourdough (note that only recently have I been getting these spots), I've never done the float test.  But I also don't know what it's exactly for.  I recall it was something that was introduced by one of the professional bakers to judge whether the starter is ready for use, and I felt it was a useful gauge for those who were just getting started.  Maybe it provides more insight than that, and I should do it.

My starter is generally at or past peak when I use it, and quite full of gas before I stir it up.  I'm sure it would float if I put it in water.

loaflove's picture
loaflove

do you have a picture of your bread with those gummy spots?

jcope's picture
jcope

When I see them again, I'll put one up.  They look similar to yours though.  In the midst of otherwise decent bread, there are quarter-sized patches of dense dough.  They actually taste fine, and seem to be as well-cooked as the rest of the bread.  They just missed out on the spring.

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Have you moved recently and are living in a different climate? Or got a new oven? Just trying to figure out why after 5 years , this is happening to you.  Or your oven is getting old?  

jcope's picture
jcope

I think it's somewhere in a combination of things... 

1) I actually let my original starter expire, due to the fact that I wasn't home, and built a new one from scratch using remnants of the original (although I have no idea whether any of the original is actually in there).  The new one seems different in character from the previous.  Both in the time it takes to reach peak and also in the flavor.  Maybe it's something I'm doing differently, or maybe it's the starter.

2) I have some different equipment.  A cooler and temperature controller I'm using is different, and where I'm keeping the starter is different.

3) I'm using a lot more home-milled flour in the recipe.  I've thought to go back to how I was doing it before, but it's harder to find bread flour at the store, so I kind of want to conserve it.

4) When I came back to it, I think I lost track of some of the habits I had before that kept me consistent. 

I'm probably going to have to go back to basics if I want to get back to the level of control I had before: measuring ingredient weights carefully, measuring the flour and water going into the starter when I feed, tracking starter behavior, maybe re-baselining the time and temperature calculations I use.

loaflove's picture
loaflove

You're right.  So many things have changed, so many variables.  I've considered just buying the Breadtopia starter.