#41  
Old 01-19-2011, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Hay Jay

You got my number...correct 2,300 feet or so and the bread at 65% hydration. I did not see the elevations or hydration in the above posts I just saw the "impossible".

About the WFO I agree with your assessment. I need to allow for more time between taking out the coals to baking. I always do a full oven. Between family,friends and the freezer I could not get away with just a few loves.

Thanks for the advice, Faith
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  #42  
Old 01-19-2011, 11:31 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: not quite right...

Hi TMan!

Your lack of grigne would appear to be contributed to by several factors... I will try to integrate your images and successes and failures to arrive at an answer.

In yesterday's photo the loaf has a good color which suggests both steam and the presence of some residual sugar (from the breakdown of starch by enzymes). Both the seeming presence of sugar as evidenced in the crust color and the rip in the slashes suggest that the dough was technically very slightly undreproofed. That is actually my preferred look, so IMO GOOD!

The crumb in yesterday's loaf is pretty random (good) but seems to lack organization - and the biggest holes feel too big/out of proportion. I don't know if you punch down your dough but if you don't, punching down about halfway through the bulk ferment will tend to help reduce the biggest bubbles. If you do punch down - say at one hour - doing it a little later will also help. If you have an extended proofing time for the loaves (say over three hours) lenghthening the bulk ferment and shortening the proof should help as would being a bit more aggressive in forming the loaves. The loaf looks as though it was not very well tensioned during loaf formation and this shows in the roundness of the holes. The crumb in well tensioned loaves tends to look more organized in elongated, almost parallel bubbles. (The dense loaf from 2/27 shows some of that.) Poorly tensioned loaves tend to spread more than well tensioned loaves and have flatter less interesting slashes.

A second factor is dough development. More development makes the dough more manageable and help it hold its shape. The bread in the photo I uploaded was 80% hydration (trick - it used durum flour which allows higher hydrations but...it is still REALLY wet and somewhat sticky). Yesterday's loaf looks like it was developed but the dense loaf looks less developed (spread more), better tensioned (organized crumb). I am a bit torn by whether the dense loaf is way underproofed (little oven spring) or overdeveloped (pale not golden crust).

To get a great grigne you tend to want to cut shallow and almost flat to the loaf - a technique that will tend to not work on poorly developed or poorly tensioned wet doughs. I suspect you are suffering from a bit of both.

Your comments indicate you used to use time only for governing baking and that would suggest you probably have had very inconsistent results from a proofing standpoint. Proofing can be a bit tricky. Two days ago I did the same breads as yesterday (same dough batch - the first batch finished in a continuous fermentation/proof and yesterday's finished with retarded dough). I have had a lot of trouble with overproofing following the prescribed times from the author leading me to bake the first batch a bit early for I would rather be a bit early than a bit late.

I kind of suspect your inconsistent results (proofing temp is really important to proofing time!) has made it hard to move forward. I think the best goal is to make one bread until you have it under control and pretty repeatable. Then when something goes wrong you will begin to have an idea of what it was and you can transfer that insight to new breads as you add them. When you do a new bread every time - or a new flour - or.... you simply can't get in the groove you need to make great bread!

Oh...and I should comment...loaf forming is a lot trickier than people want to make it. No knead bread has given people the idea you can simply throw dough in a pot and make bread. Freestanding loaves must be shaped and learning that technique takes time and experience. Illustrations and videos help but hands on is where the real learning occurs.

Hang in there!
Jay
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  #43  
Old 01-22-2011, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Thanks for the insights Tex! Some of it makes my head spin, but i get that I shouldn't vary flours until I get one down pat.

I did try some the other day with KA bread flour. I actually had the temp at around 500*F trying to warm the cookie sheet better, but due to having to pick up my son, I forgot to turn down the temp when I put the dough in. When I arrived home, there was a burnt smell in the air. The crust looked pretty dark and I turned the temp down to 425* for the last 20 minutes (still around 45 total). When I put the thermometer in to check temp I thought the crust was thick and very crisp. As it turned out, I felt it was the best bread to date.

It's too bad I didn't know about that baking class in northern MN.. that would have been good for me.

I'm making another change. I'll be moving the oven rack down a notch (hoping for better bottom baking) and putting a pan on the bottom of the actual oven for water/steam. I will go with the higher temp again, then turn it down after 25 minutes. We have some guests coming for a game night, and I'm hoping it turns out well. Although, any homebaked bread is usually a winner to anybody who doesn't 'know' about these things.

Just to think, I'll have to relearn a bunch of this when I try it in the brick oven, then again when I make a permanent version. Oh well, it's good I'm not allergic to gluten!
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Have been reading and re-reading this thread and "Tall fire...."Been trying to figure out why my boules don't look like those beautiful ones that Jay is posting. If you post one more of those Jay, I'm going to shoot myself. The first thing I realized was that I was using AP flour and not bread flour. I think that is why I am suffering from dense crumb disease. Kinda like hoof-in-mouth disease. Suffered from that a few times also.

Anyway, I think a combination of not knowing when the dough is proofed and the bread flour is giving me the dense crumb and thick bullet-proof crust. Have pics but too high resolution. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwood View Post
Have pics but too high resolution. Any suggestions?
PIXresizer - Download
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  #46  
Old 01-23-2011, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Hi lwood!

I am almost ten years into this and I did the same bread almost every week for a year a half. It was only about three years ago I really started doing other breads very much. And, at first I was less consistent but you learn a lot by doing only one bread because there are variations. You sense it isn't ready and you bake it anyway, you are out of BF and go AP, you change hydration a bit. When your loaves are repeatable you learn from these variations. When you change things all the time, you can't find the pattern and it is confusing.

I used BF (14.5% protein) for six years and worked mainly at 68 percent hydration. About two years ago I started going to AP (11.7%) and have worked my hydration and hanling ability up to around 75%. (That would have been scary two years ago!) I am varying the flour I use all the way down to 30% Gold Medal AP (10.5 % protein) and 70% Pastry (8.5%) when I make banh mi to get as delicate a crumb as possible.

While I cannot make the same bread/crumb/crust from any flour I am amazed at the level range of textures and overlaps I can get from different flours.

I have no idea what flours are available in the Phillipines (at least at reasonable costs!). For artisanal loaves higher protein has some big advantages because it is stronger and less fragile so you can handle it rougher. My banh mi are very fragile and have to be handled very carefully. If you really want to use higher protein flour you might be better off using a lower protein flour and adding Vital Wheat Gluten if you can get it. I have never used it because I have good access to various flours but comments from others suggest it works well.

Hang in there! With time and experience it can happen!
Jay
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Thanks Jay for the encouraging words. will try the higher hydration and let you know.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Just wondering as I'm going to bake later today... I would say that each time I've taken the ADIF out of the fridge, I don't seem to get a lot of rise prior to baking. The first rise goes great (made yesterday), and the house temps and other variables seem to be consistent... any ideas? I do have a spot in the kitchen that is warmer and would provide a good proofing box, but just wondering if anyone has any other potential problem(s) that might exist.

I used a 45/45/10 (KABF/KAAP/whole wheat) mostly because it was what I had.. I needed a bit more water with that mixture too. Kitchen scale today!!!
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Last edited by Tman1; 03-09-2011 at 06:17 AM. Reason: clarifications
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  #49  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:03 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: not quite right...

Hi Tman!

I personally don't like to retard sourdough. It seems to really mess up my rise because my yeast seems really sensitive to cold. It takes forever for it to get going again. Using a warm proofing box would be good. The timing of all this gets really complicated. I think it is far better to learn to do SD at ambient or slightly elevated temps and get where you are consistent and know what "proper" dough feels like for baking before messing around with retards.

That said, I like retards on breads using commercial yeast because the extended time gives flavor that compensates for the lack of sourdough.

Good Luck!
Jay
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  #50  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: not quite right...

Hello Tman,

Refrigerated dough leaves a cold spot on my kitchen counter. The top of the dough gets a good rise but the bottom is under-proofed. So, I place a heating pad under a towel and a large Tupperware bowl over the top. It works every time, just don't let it proof too long. You'll know when it looks right. I do one loaf per week so this method suits my needs.

Cheers,
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