Dense Spots in Sourdough Brioche
I've run into some trouble after completing a bake tonight and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction.
This is a recipe I'm testing out for a black garlic and herb sourdough brioche:
Levain (~3 hours)
-193 g starter (96g stiff starter, 97g 100% starter, I use this mixture because I find its a good balance between the stability and flavor profile that the stiff starter provides and the flavor profile of the wet starter)
-156g bread flour
Use spiral mixer on speed 1 to combine the levain with
23 g sea salt
357 g milk, cold
100 g double cream, cold
110 g sugar
445 g eggs, cold
445 g All-purpose flour
670 g bread flour
Rest for 10 minutes
Sidenote: I switched this up from my usual brioche and babka process (the babka is a tad leaner). Usually I separate the yolks and whites and combine whites, cream, milk, flour -bread and cake flour for my babka rather than all-purpose and bread flour-, and levain. Rest for 10 minutes, then whisk together yolks, sugar, and salt to form thick ribbons and then incorporate that mixture into the dry, shaggy mass. This usually makes the mixtures "break" and it has to be mixed back into shape for a long time before butter can be incorporated).
This mixture was pretty wet and slack but I mixed it until I got some decent gluten development.
I then incorporated a room temperature compound butter I'd made earlier in the day (391 g butter, 3 bulbs black garlic, 2 tbsp chopped chives, 1/2 tbsp chopped rosemary, 1/2 tbsp thyme and zest from one lemon) and mixed on speed 1 until fully combined.
Sidenote 2: I made the butter by blending the butter and black garlic and then folding in the rest of the ingredients. I had some trouble getting all the butter out of the base of my blender so I poured some milk and ran it until it heated up enough to melt the residual butter and collect any black garlic scraps. I then chilled the milk for several hours. I got to thinking: I could've just folded the herbs and zest into the softened butter and blended the black garlic with all the milk. Something to try out next time, I think.
Bumped it up to speed 3 until I got some decent strength on the dough and then finished it off at max speed until the dough was satiny and strong.
I put the dough in a Cambro container, let it rest for 1 hour, performed a set of stretch and folds (3 folds forward, away from myself and then rotated the dough to let it rest), let it rest for 30 more minutes, performed another set of stretch and folds, let it rest 30 more minutes and then refrigerated it. 30 minutes into refrigeration I performed a final set of stretch and folds to even out the cooling rate of the dough.
I let the dough rest 17 hours in the fridge before diving and shaping (12 buns and two loaves, one loaf shaped Nanterre style, the other shaped into a simple log).
Proofed the dough a little over two hours (the molds were put into a sealed plastic container while the buns were covered in plastic) until it passed the poke test.
Brushed a cream and egg mixture on the dough and then baked in my convection oven. 20 minutes, high fan speed, 163 C, followed by 40 minutes, low fan speed, 101 C (I adjusted this temperature from the one given in the chefsteps mini brioche recipe based on the altitude at which I'm baking -2289 m - and the specifications of my oven; thus far it has worked out excellently for enriched doughs).
I did not check the dough temperature before popping them out of the oven (this might've been what killed me)! The buns looked perfectly risen and golden, and so did the loaves. I immediately started removing the buns from their tray and, to my horror discovered that they all had concave bottoms. Every. Last. One of them. The loaves fared a little better. The log one's sides started collapsing as soon as I lifted it out of the mold (hourglass brioche loaves, the bane of my existence) but the Nanterre one held its shape! The front part of the loaf collapsed a little bit as it cooled but, all in all, its standing tall(ish) and proud(ish).
Apart from shaping differences, the log was in a taller, slightly thicker pan, while the Nanterre loaf was put into a paper loaf pan inside a shorter aluminium loaf tin.
I've included three pictures of the buns. There's dense spots right in the middle, but whats really odd is that the vertical cross section shows two dense spots separated by what looks like a normal middle part rather than a single dense spot that runs all the way through (that gap up top is also less than ideal). The flavor is great, the buns aren't oily/greasy, they're light, fluffy, and they've got an OK crumb. What might've gone wrong here?