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azatty 12-20-2012 03:02 PM

Charred bottom
The bootoms of my boules have been blackened lately. The charring isn't uniform. I'm using cornmeal on the peel and putting the loaves in around 570. I have to leave them in at least 30 minutes to get good color on top. The 4kg batch I did today was slightly underproofed, judging by the a blowout. I steamed the oven and left a dutch oven of water inside.

I'm thinking it's too much cornmeal--there was a blackened "patch" of it that I scraped up. Suggestions?

C5dad 12-20-2012 07:07 PM

Re: Charred bottom

I have moved away from cornmeal as that issue haunts me (especially since my wife thinks a handfull = a pinch!) Move to semolina, as it smokes and burns at much lower temps. Also, hearth seems a tad hot - try dropping to 520 or so.

I am getting ready for a hearth bake as well. Looking for a 20 or so loaf batch of Tartine style sourdough. Tester is tonight - big batch on Sat. I am "HOPING" to have my burner ready tomorrow - think Rocket City Rednecks meets AZ Cooper miners. That at least allows me to use the heat from the night before (teenage pizza party!)

Stay strong!

banhxeo76 12-21-2012 09:20 AM

Re: Charred bottom
This morning, I baked 15 sourdough boules and each of them weigh about 650 gram. After I loaded 8 boules into the WFO when the temperture was 525, I also placed a heated cast iron skillet inside of the oven. I steamed the WFO for about 10 second and closed the door for 60 seconds and open the door. I steamed the WFO for another 10 second and closed the door for another 60 second and open the door. I poured about 1 1/2 cup of water into the skillet and closed the door to let the bread baked. After 20 minutes, the bread look done and I checked the internal temp. with a thermo. I also noticed some charred on some of my bread that is located near the skillet. Not only the bread was charred, there were some black residue on the cooking surface in the area that is close to the skillet. However, the bread that was far away from the skillet was not charred and it was just prefect. I think I may have over steamed my WFO during the baking process. There were still water left on the skillet after the bread was done. I think these breads were over steamed during the baking process which cause it to charred. A loaded WFO with dough should provided more than enough moisture for the steam. On the next load of bake, I removed the skillet after 10 minutes of bake and that seemed to help a little bit. I came with a conclusion that I do not need any additional steam if I am cooking a lot of dough. However, if I am cooking small amount of bread, I will add addtional steam inside of WFO with a skillet for sure. I remember reading from somewhere that steaming is important during the first 10 minutes of baking.

Laurentius 12-21-2012 01:42 PM

Re: Charred bottom
Hi Dat,

When baking that much bread, you don't need additional steam, 525F is on the high side, around 460 for about 40minutes is good for most sourdough. For 1-6 loaves, if you steamed the oven and have hot water in a pan don't open the door for additional steaming, after about 15 or 20minutes remove the pan of water and bake for the remaining time.

banhxeo76 12-21-2012 02:13 PM

Re: Charred bottom

Did you bake 460 for air temp or was that the cooking surface temp?

Laurentius 12-21-2012 02:32 PM

Re: Charred bottom
Thats air temp. When baking bread I forgo the spreading of coal, but I do when cooking pizza.

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