The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dense Loaf. Help

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Dense Loaf. Help

Hi,

Took delivery of some organic bread flour that I purchased, today and had a go at making my first load and it came out so dense, almost like cake. Wondered what I did wrong?

Recipe was..

500g Flour

10g Salt

7g Yeast

6g sugar 

400ml water

 

Mixed it in a bowl and then worked the dough for about 5 mins. Let it prove for about 90 mins until it doubled in size. Took it out and knocked it back, shaped it and let it prove again for about an hour. Oven was set to 425f and cooked it for 15 mins and then turned it down to 375f for a further 20 mins. 

It came out nice and brown but the inside is really really dense. 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks

Matt

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

- Welcome.

- How much did it rise the second time (as in percent) ?

- what brand and type of flour are you using? Not all flour is the same.  Can you provide a link to the seller's or miller's web page for that flour?  Let's see the nitty gritty details.

- Did you read somewhere that that particular brand and type of flour can take 80% hydration? That's an awful lot of water for average white bread flour.  But it depends on the flour.

- What country are you in?   One country's definition of and specifications for "bread flour" differ from other countries' definitions.

- what kind of oven?  Gas? Electric?  Convection?  

- how did you bake it?  In a bread pan?  On a metal sheet?  On a baking stone?

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Hi and thanks for the quick reply. 

First rise was 90 mins. 

Second was 60 mins. 

The flour is this https://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/products/organic-strong-white-bread-flour-16kg

I just looked at some recipes on YouTube and one said more water. 

Im in the UK. 

Electric fan oven. 

Put it in a Pyrex dish. I do have a bread pan but every time I’ve tried over the years, 500g flour always seems to much for the pan. 

JimmyB's picture
JimmyB

Hello,

At first glance, I would say that the lack of steam is the problem. A quick fix would be a Dutch oven and shaping the loaf into a boule. Turning off the fan would be a good idea. The fan will crust oven the bread too fast and it will not bloom as you want it to.

Another option is to use a baking stone or steel and something to act like a cloche.

Does that sound reasonable? 

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Hi, I don’t have a Dutch oven but I do have a pizza stone. So put it in a load tin and rear that on the pizza stone?

JimmyB's picture
JimmyB

Pizza stone is great. You can use an upside down roasting pan or a really big upside down steel bowl as a cloche just as long as it fits over the loaf with head room. You can get steam also by also using a tray below the pizza stone and throw ice cubes on it or using a spray bottle, although this is not as effective as a cloche.

Two questions, though:

Can you shut off the convection fan?

Do you have any pot with a lid that is oven safe up to 500 deg F?

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

There are several UK users who can help you with that flour. Hopefully, they will jump in with their knowledge of Dove's flour.  That brand has been mentioned frequently.

I see that it is unmalted, but I am unsure if it requires a little malt powder or not. I am in the U.S., and am not familiar with how that flour bakes.

That it doubled in the first rise, in 90 minutes, is good.   But it would still be helpful to know how  much it rose during the 2nd rise.  You didn't say.  Was it 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% ?  If it did not double (100% increase in volume) then maybe the yeast ran out of sugar.

Also, for diagnostic assistance, it helps a lot to include photos of the bread:  top, side, and a cut slice.

Again, welcome to the TFL club.   One of your fellow islanders, and Dove's user, should arrive shortly.

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Cheers. 

The second prove it didn’t double but probably by about 60/70%. I threw it out after so didn’t get a photo but will be doing another tomorrow morning and will indeed upload some pics :)

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Woah it was that bad that you threw it away?! I have never made bread that was better off in the bin than consumed in one way or another...

I've used Dove's farm bread flour once or twice - not my usual bread flour, but got it when was out once. I thought it was good and strong, no complaints. Not sure what sort of hydration it can or can not handle... But if unsure, reducing the hydration is usually the first thing to try, and as was said above, 80% for a purely white loaf is quite high.

When you say you bake in a pyrex dish, what do you mean? If you use it instead of a dutch oven, I've been doing that with great results, so steam shouldn't be an issue. Do you preheat it though?

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Yeah just a normal glass bowl. I do have a bread tin also so will try it in that tomorrow. I’ll take some pics of the time (with measurements) and also of the loaf.  I’ll reading the amount of water also. 

Matt

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

A bowl with a lid? And do you preheat it? I have never used a cast iron dutch oven, but I really like using a pyrex dish. It can be turned upside down, so the loaf rests of the shallow lid, and you can see through it. Some people have issues with burned bottom crust in DOs, never happened with the pyrex dish. And I guess it traps team just as well.

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Well had another go at it and it’s just come out of the oven. Smells amazing. Looks a lot better I think. 

How do I add photos?

 

thebeast's picture
thebeast
thebeast's picture
thebeast
thebeast's picture
thebeast
thebeast's picture
thebeast
thebeast's picture
thebeast
thebeast's picture
thebeast

Well... it’s come out lovely. Holes in the bread are plentiful and not too big but more importantly it’s come out really nice, light and fluffy. Tastes amazing too. Well chuffed!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

So this was: less water in the dough, baked on a stone, and covered with something like an inverted bowl during the steaming phase?

Looks good.

And nice photos too, good job.

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Sorry should have said. It was 310g of water. 500 flour. 45g olive oil. 7g yeast. 10g salt. Cooked at 180c and a bowl of water in there to create steam. Just cooked on a baking tray open. 

thebeast's picture
thebeast

Going to try adapting it a little tomorrow. Little less water and longer 2nd prove.