#11  
Old 05-31-2007, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Thanks Jim and Dutch,
This worked out pretty well, and I learned a couple of new things. The loaf was baked straight from the refrigerator this morning. I followed Jim's directions, and baked the loaf this morning. First, you can see that there is a nice carmel color to the crust, which is deeper than the loaf where I left the dough out all day. That's nice. Also, it was easier to slash, and I think I got better definition with the grigne. Still not what I want -- but progress.

One thing I did not understand was that the loaf sagged a little on the counter, when I was doing the slash and before I set it in the dutch oven. That was surprising -- and it was wider than the oven by the time I set it in.

Any ideas on why that could happen. I was expecting a more firm loaf.

Jim and Dutch, thanks again for all the time you put into helping out. Here are a few photos.
James
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Nice bread slash-dsc02561.jpg   Nice bread slash-dsc02563.jpg   Nice bread slash-dsc02564.jpg   Nice bread slash-dsc02567.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2007, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Wait a minute. I think I get it.

Too much yeast. Even in the refrigerator the boule had over-expanded and was just waiting to fall back in?

Could that be it?

I just had some for lunch. The crust was crunchy, but still a little elastic. Not crackly -- very nice. The flavor and the crumb were pretty good. Not bad.
James
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2007, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

James,

Definitely too much yeast. The loaf was over-risen by the time you turned it out. Are you using commercial yeast or wild? The method I described works best with wild yeast, although you can use it with commercial yeast, but you must cut back the amount specified. Without seeing the formula, I can't say how much, but I'd start with about half the amount and work from there. Don't forget, the loaf will have lots of time to rise. Your fridge should be about 40 F.

Jim
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2007, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Off to work I go to try, try again.
Thanks Jim. I am using fresh bakers yeast. I halved it once, and will halve it again. They come in a 25g cube -- so I will use a quarter, or about 6g. Is that still too much?

That is for a 500g flour/325g water batch (one loaf) of dough. 10g salt.
James
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

James,

I'd say 6 gr is a good place to start. After the bulk rise and division, let the dough pieces rest on the bench for 20 minutes. Before forming into boule, slap each piece on the counter a few times to degas a bit, then form, then cover the banneton completely with plastic wrap, then right into the fridge. Looks like you're lining the banneton with floured cloth, which is fine. However, if you've got traditional coiled baskets, you can just flour the baskets using a fine seive. Don't make it too thick, but don't miss any spots either. That way you get the spiral design on the finished loaves. Turning them out cold from the fridge prevents (mostly) sticking problems.

Jim
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Can't believe I didn't ask this before but the last message seems to have answered it. Are you using a pre-ferment? If not I might suggest it.
Best
Dutch
Oh, sorry that I can't help with that back hand.
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2007, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Dutch,

Good thought.

I've been cooking with a pre-ferment for years, but I feel like the progress that I have made (with a lot of coaching) on dough handling has made a bigger impact on my bread. Good dough handling, without a pre-ferment seems to beat pre-ferment based dough with lesser handling and shaping techniques.

Once I get the dough handling under better control -- keeping it simple by changing fewer variables, I can go back and start getting more flavor and texture from the pre-ferment.

Does that make sense?

James

btw - I think I am putting too much weight on my front foot when I am setting up to hit the backhand. :-)
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

I agree with the dough handling. My wife and I spent a great deal of time learning to handle and shape doughs using direct fermentations. We always used a lot of fresh herbs and olives and stuff in the doughs to create some great flavors. Now we're working with preferments and will then be able to move on to create more complex flavors in those.

I'll have to ask my wife about the tennis front foot weight issue since she plays raquetball and says she has a tennis swing.
Best
Dutch
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  #19  
Old 06-02-2007, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Here is my latest attempt. I stuck with the same flour (100% tipo 00), 65% hydration, 10gr salt and cut back to 6gr fresh yeast. I made the dough last night around 10PM, and popped it straight in the refrigerator.

After 12 hours, it has risen significantly less than the time before, but it still collapsed when I slashed it. Though a lot less than the time before. It was firmer and easy to slash, but it still sagged.

I will cut back on yeast next time -- again. After that, I will try cutting back a little on the water. Hopefully I can keep the 65% to get lighter, holey crumb, without it collapsing.

This is all a lot of fun, and I would recommend trying it. I hand mixed the dough after cleaning up the kitchen -- it's fun getting in touch with the physical part of bread making.

The loaf is in the oven and I will take more photos on the final product.
James
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Nice bread slash

Well, I'm still not where I want to be.

It has occurred to me that I did not do a bulk fermentation at room temperature before shaping my boule and putting it the refrigerator -- so I am thinking that the dough did not have enough time to fully develop before I started retarding it in the refrigerator.

The crust is a dark brown, but it does not have as much of the carmel color that I like; and it seems a little dense -- which I think is the result of the boule collapsing. It also doesn't have those nice little blisters on the crust.

What causes those?

More trials to come. This is becoming one man's search to make better bread -- I will never surrender.
James
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