#61  
Old 02-19-2013, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

Looks good to me. Once I get my oven built, I'll have to hit you up for tips.
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  #62  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

I can't comment on much but the chlorine content of tap water. From your post I'm sure that you already know that it will kill yeast. Chlorine is very unstable, though. Let your feeding water stand a minimum of 24 hours before using it in your bread. If it is uncovered for that amount of time the chlorine will go bye bye! That is the formula that I have used for years to keep from killing fish , and I have also read that it applys to bread starter .
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  #63  
Old 02-20-2013, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

Hard to say what it was. You actually got a reasonable amount of gas but it's mainly in the giant bubbles. So chlorine may or may not be responsible. (It could be it slowed most of the yeast and left pockets that were more robust...but???)

Inclusions often contribute to making a loaf denser in my experience. And sometimes to bubble problems. But I tend to think that has a bit to do with impacting dough development.

WRT flour, I assume you used AP. I tend to use high protein AP (such as King Arthur) for most of my breads and that isn't a crumb issue for me. Lower protein AP could be a contributor. My money is on slightly inadequate dough development...

And...this kind of thing happens from time to time.

Your story is a good example of why it is important to change only one thing at a time if you want to learn from the baking experience! Too many changes and it gets really hard to figure out what happened!

Hang in there!
Jay
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  #64  
Old 03-07-2013, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

I went at it again last weekend with bottle water this time around and the result was no better than with tap water which may contained some chlorine. I would love to blame on the water but it doesnít seem like that is the case. Now, I can only narrow down to two potential problems. My leaven was not mature enough. I didnít do a float test on the leaven and my useless nose was not able to tell if my leaven was ready. I was too gung ho on using a young leaven so that my hearth loaves would be on a sweeter side than sour. My other potential problem may be is that cast iron combo cooker is not as forgiving as my WFO. I think the conductive heat from the WFO transferred into the wet dough is so powerful that it may trigger the yeast to rise up more than it would with a cast iron combo cooker. However, many people have used the cast iron combo cooker to bake breads with beautiful holes in their crumbs. I need to pay attention to my leaven a little bit more.
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  #65  
Old 03-07-2013, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

For the last 4 days, I have been religiously feeding my yeast twice a day. Eventually, it became predictable and decided to give it another shot with the cast iron combo cooker. I mixed some flour/water with little yeast before I went to work and 9 hours later, leaven looked very promising. Did the float test this tie and it floated. I decided to go ahead mixed the dough and this time, I used the same about of hydration % like I would with high protein flour which was 83%. I did the bulk fermentation in 3 hours only because I want to go to bed. In order to speed up the bulk fermentation process, I kept dough inside of my gas oven which was about 85-95 degree F. After I let the dough bench rest for about 20 minutes, I try to shaped like I normally would but the skin of the dough ruptured on top of the dough in three different sections. Shaping a wet dough with low protein was hard. So, I let the dough bench rest again because I don’t think the dough was ready to be shape. I never had this problem with high protein flour. Another 20 minutes, I gave another try with the shaping and I make sure that hands have more flour on it this time around. There were no rupture this time and I place the shaped dough in the basket and let it rise overnight. I bake it this morning and it was a lot better. So, the problem was my leaven and my dough was not developed enough for baking. As usually, Jay was right on the money. Cast iron combo cooker does work! I want to get it right with cast iron cooker because I want to test a lot of recipe with a single loaf rather than using my WFO for a lot of loaves. It’s time to try olive bread again.
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  #66  
Old 03-07-2013, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

Bravo!

I prefer ceramic cloches but...the cast iron combo is even more "closed" (leaks less water vapor so gives even more gelatinization of the skin/crust. Also really hits the dough fast with heat (faster than the ceramic).

The fast heat doesn't do anything to the yeast (but kill it). What it does is expand the cells/bubbles in the dough and migrate CO2 and alcohols from being in solution in the dough to gaseous form in the bubbles. It is this double process that creates the oven spring that makes these loaves so great.

Only issue is that it is better to make dough in about four to six pound batches. You WILL get better flavor. So I would encourage you to get a second cast iron cooker but...

Photos look quite good. Crumb is a bit more uneven than I like for boules but... not bad and the crust looks great. I would add about 5 degrees to my preheat temp and bake about another three minutes but...that is really fine tuning!

I did some loaves this week that I need to post. Made my normal first expansion but with 25% white whole wheat, 25% rye, 50% AP KA. Then halved that and used each half to make dough. The first dough was all AP, 70% hydration. The second dough got 10% Teff and 90% AP at 70%. Both were pretty slack doughs due to the WW and rye and the teff loaf was particularly loose which I expected. kneaded them a bit more than normal to tighten em up a bit. Got a nice improved mix window on each. Used a little bread flour for loaf formation and the loaves got a bit more manageable. Both puddled when I turned them out onto the ceramic cloche bases and slashed them - almost a pancake! Popped the lids on and put em in the oven and the profile is really similar to yours but with a more uniform crumb. I REALLY like the the 4% WWW, 4% rye, 8% teff loaf. Buy some teff at your Whole Foods or other health store and give it a try. Wonderful faint chocolate/cocoa, nutty flavor. Really good and healthy!

Good job!
Jay
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  #67  
Old 03-07-2013, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

Oh, I forgot...

The teff served as a really interesting reference for it had some small clumps and kneading to mix them in to where the dough was uniform was educational! I have long suspected that when hand mixing the ingredients often were not uniform in the final dough and contributed to "hot spots" in the dough where the yeast were more active and created big(ger) holes. Even with quite a bit more kneading than usual I still had some dark blotches in my dough which I sort of rubbed and pinched to smooth the teff out - but if the ingredient is white or light (like salt or most flours) the "clump" could easily go unnoticed.

Sooo...I think I learned a bit from the teff loaf and confirmed that undermixing by hand can easily contribute to "issues" and "problems"

Jay
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  #68  
Old 03-07-2013, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

Jay, is the Teff whole grain or a flour? I have a tendency to mix all of the dry before mixing the wet, is this what you did?



Thanks

Chris
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  #69  
Old 03-08-2013, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

Hi Chris!

It was teff flour. (for those unfamiliar, teff is a tiny and highly nutritious grass seed). I actually did mix the teff flour into the AP for making the final dough. But there were a few tiny clumps and when I didn't break them up they became interestingly persistent. I woulnd up developing my dough a bit more than usual and ended up with a window that was pretty clear for having WWW, rye, and teff in the dough. But it baked beautifully. Need to post the pics! Maybe tomorrow!
Jay
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  #70  
Old 03-08-2013, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: My journey to prefect Hearth Bread

I looked up teff and since it's a very small grain/seed, it looked like you might have used it in seed form. You description of the flavor profile is intriguing..

Chris
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