Can anyone tell me how to prevent the sides of this loaf to sink in like that as it cools. Thanks
There are many theories. I have suffered with that from time to time.
Lowering the hydration a bit helped me.
The thread Gary linked to mentions lowering hydration and that seems to have helped some.
I think the crumb structure/strength generally helps to hold the moisture as the dough cools so that you may get less shrinking. The weaker the crumb the greater moisture loss and the more shrinking.
My wife bought me several USA pans a couple of years ago and now all my loaves are baked in them. She likes the square profile for her toast and sandwiches over the hearth loaves I baked for the last 30 years.
You can see some shrinking on my Brioche loaf in the first picture. The second is a heartier loaf made with bread flour and 42% whole wheat with cooked polenta at 72% hydration. Minimal shrinking there. I believe that to be due to the strength of the crumb structure.
I agree Dave. My loaves shrink less as the whole grain content goes up.
Thanks everybody for the input , aside from aesthetics and trying to cut off the crust in a straight line, I guess it doesn't really make a difference that it's not perfectly straight.
This is off topic but the formula asked for whole milk and water . Since I only had 2% milk I used all milk instead. Could that have made my loaf more dense and heavy?
Are you scalding the milk (heating to about 190° F) then cooling before using it? Scalding de-activates the serum protein in the milk. Simple Pasteurization doesn't get it hot enough to do that. The serum protein can have a weakening effect on the gluten structure causing a more dense loaf. I use dry milk mixed with water since the drying process deactivates the serum protein.
Another possibility is how butter is handled in the recipe. I use cold butter right out of the 'fridge. Cold butter won't actually mix in but rather coats gluten strands and, since the cold butter is holding it's moisture it makes for a lighter, flakier crumb. Melted butter has already given up lots of it's moisture and gives a more dense loaf.
No, I didn't scald the milk. The formula asked for room temp. liquids. I nuked it, so it was about 24c. The formula asked for softened butter mixed in 2 additions with 2 minutes in between. I might have not waited 2 minutes before adding the second half . Thank you for your suggestions. I will certainly try it out. I also am having trust issues with my digital scale. Might have added too much flour. I also substituted with 5% whole wheat flour. Maybe that had an affect on the density?
Do scald the milk and then bring down to room temp. I don't think the butter is an issue as far as density goes.
The whole wheat will bring a bit of density but I don't blame you. I like to add it too.
Keep an eye on the scale. When's the last time it got fresh batteries? When you try your next loaf take notes, measure carefully and you'll be able to analyze any issues based on your process. If you change things only change one thing at a time. Happy Baking!
Thanks Dave! Much appreciated.