The Fresh Loaf

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Scoring Points

albacore's picture
albacore

Scoring Points

I  made bread yesterday, retarded the loaves overnight and baked them this morning. Normally, I do a central score, but on a whim, I scored one loaf well to the side. Both scores were pretty shallow and well angled.

I was very surprised at the difference between the two loaves:

As you can guess, the centrally scored loaf is on the left. It has spread much more laterally than the other one and is considerably less tall - 80mm vs 100mm maximum height.

 

Lance

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Interesting. Which do you prefer? I've tried a central score but with two slashes slightly overlapped like a baguette and liked the appearance and height due to the central rib created.

Cheers,

Gavin.

 

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Interesting Lance, I’ve only ever done a more lateral score by accident and have mostly stuck to the central score.  I’ve always thought that the more lateral score would limit the vertical spring more than a central score, but perhaps I’m wrong.  Of course it is hard to shape two doughs exactly the same too, so you’ll need to repeat your experiment a few times to see if you get the same results!

Benny

albacore's picture
albacore

Well I liked the fact that there was less lateral spread with the side score, giving a rounder slice. Here's a better picture of the loaf:

So I will try it again. I guess it also depends on if you are baking in a dutch oven or not. I don't, so my loaves are probably more prone to spread.

Gavin, good point about the double overlapping lengthways scores - it gives a nice looking loaf.

 

Lance

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I'll do the double overlapping score on my bake tomorrow. I haven't submitted a bake to the current CB "No comfort zone bake" as I've been waiting for some spelt berries to be delivered. Tomorrow is the day! I've never baked with spelt before. 75% spelt should test me out.

Cheers,

Gavin

 

jl's picture
jl

Having attempted a 100% whole spelt loaf a few times. It seems to me that if you score it in the middle, the halves just split apart and fall to the sides:

But if you score slightly to the side, the loaf seems to stay taller:

It's not a rigorous comparison by any means and the first loaf may just be overproofed, but it would be an interesting thing to test side by side.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I'll take two of those.  Do you have a blog post for this loaf?

jl's picture
jl

This is a tiny loaf. 500g of dough, and it doesn't fill up the 500g banneton nor does it really expand in the oven. I think if I proofed a 900g loaf in a 750g banneton, it would be the same size as a 500g white flour loaf. For now I'm just trying to see how high I can push the hydration. 86% today:

albacore's picture
albacore

Certainly, it seems to be a technique used by many Instagram bakers to get a big, visually appealing ear.

 

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, the images of your breads have me wondering.

  1. The crust shows little to no signs of blistering.
    Was the top of the dough dried from sitting in the Banneton?
    There are no signs of flour on the outside. Did you use a liner? How about flour?
  2. The gluten “skin” of the crust appears a little thick and very sturdy.
    Am I correct to to think that the crust was strong and because of that produced the nice ears?
  3. The ears are prominent and again somewhat thick and sturdy.
    What are your thoughts about my thoughts?

 

 

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Another interesting choice is how far towards the end of the loaf to score.  I have noticed some foodgeek videos where he scores fairly far off to the side and is very particular about scoring the entire length of the loaf (down to the bench) so that it can hinge more freely.  It is hard to do that in one continuous motion.  Perhaps this would be counterproductive for very slack doughs.  It would be interesting to see your before and after bake photos next time.

albacore's picture
albacore

I tend to score pretty well to the ends of the loaf - I think it helps the cut to open up. Usually I have to redo the start cut by going backwards with the other edge of the blade just for an inch or two.

Danny, the crust has quite a lot of blisters, but they are very small. I would like bigger, but at least they are getting shinier! The top of the uncooked loaf was dry but not heavily skinned. I use pro grade plastic bannetons with cotton jersey liners. I dust the loaves with rice flour before putting in the banneton. I used to sprinkle rice flour into the empty banneton first, but I've decided it's not necessary and I don't like a lot of baked flour on top of the loaf.

This was a 79% hydration loaf, so I'm pretty pleased with the ears. It is also my first "pH driven" bake, so an interesting outcome.

A couple more photos:

 

Lance

 

jl's picture
jl

Perhaps the left side had nowhere to expand? What does the other one look like?

albacore's picture
albacore

Now that you mention it...

The other loaf is in the freezer, so I don't know about that one yet.

 

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, what pH readings did you use to terminate the BF and any other termination points?

albacore's picture
albacore

Levain pH 3.87

Main dough mixed pH 5.40

Bulk finish pH 4.45 (volume increase was a massive 89%!)

Shaped dough pH prior to retard 4.34

Bake pH 4.12

 

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow massive rise Lance.  Your pH number match what I keep reading that other bakers are following.  I wonder if I need to try this but I’ll need a new pH meter with pointed probe rather than the blunt probe of the one I currently have.

Benny

albacore's picture
albacore

Yes, it was an interesting exercise!

As Kat said, you don't need to monitor pH to make good bread, but I would never have dreamed of going to that level of rise without shooting for a pH setpoint.

I also think it shows that there is no single endpoint for bulk that is the right one, despite what some "experts" say.

I've made decent bread at 30% bulk increase and now I've made it at 89% increase.

 

Lance