#31  
Old 09-22-2012, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by texassourdough View Post
.

It's not magic. The key is trapping the humidity from the dough so you really gelatinize the crust and get both great oven spring and crust. It is really hard to get the same result in a big empty oven (with only a couple of loaves). Oven humidification methods abound but in my experience the cloche method is the only thing that approximates a WFO.

Hope that helps!
Jay
I have an old roasting tray full of volcanic rocks(Krakatoan pumice its still floats around on our beach) sitting in my oven it gets a few cups of water in it as the loves go in.
My crusts are good.
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  #32  
Old 09-22-2012, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

When I don't use a cloche I use pumice in a cast iron skilet - both preheated. And that approach can definitely give good crusts. The cloche is just a bit "easier". It is amazing how many different methods work for humidifying the oven! And different people get success in different ways!

Thanks!
Jay
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  #33  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Jay, Burntfingers, and Bill,

Well, you guys were right on the money! I fed the barm beasties lavishly, shortened the BF and proofed for three hours without a retard in the fridge.

Voila! Maybe not the best loaf that could be but a damn sight better than my last few. Now I can tweak the recipe and see if I can make it even better.

Thanks again,

Joe
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  #34  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Very cool!

Looks good. Nice crumb.

Are you slashing? Temps still looks like its relatively low. 500 at loading temp maybe? I've been trying to get a bit darker but I guess that's a preference thing. Looks delicious.

Bill
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2012, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Good call, Bill! Oven temp is definitely low.

Crumb looks much better (nice!) and it has fair to good spring - but not quite as much as I would expect - suggesting it still needs a bit shorter proof. That said, I get the impression it was a rather flat (slack) loaf which could suggest better loaf formation would help. A tighter skin is good! Agree, it looks unslashed and that too will help the loaf look normal. There is still room for some improvement in this area but it is hard to know which element is the key... My bet is a combination of loaf formation and slashing.

Glad we helped!
Jay
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  #36  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Thanks for the critique. Loaf shaping has been hard for me to master. I've watched hours of videos but still struggle with it. Sooner or later it'll happen.

I started with the oven at 500 then down to 425. It could have stayed in a little longer as the internal temp was just over 200. I normally slash but didn't this time. My previous slashes deflated the loaf. Next time I'll tighten the loaf and slash.
Tight lines Jay,

Joe
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  #37  
Old 09-25-2012, 10:09 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Joe...you've got the idea now...now you're fine-tuning.

If the loafs are deflating your dough could probably use more development to build up that network of gluten fibers needed to trap that CO2. How much S&F'ing are you doing?

I don't know if what I am doing is ideal, but my loaves are not deflating at all now that I have my S&F's down. The dough doesn't deflate when form loaves, the loaves don't deflate when I flip them out of the bannetons, and they don't deflate when I slash. They used to deflate when I did all those things.

Working with approximately twenty pounds of dough, I do two or three S&F's right after I add salt (About 30 minutes after initial mixing). After that first set of S&F's I do it again forty-five minutes later. Then another two (maybe three, depending...) forty-five minutes later. Up until now I'm not being the least bit gentle with the dough. Reallly stretching it. Flattening it out. Working it almost to the point of tearing at times. But at around the 2-2.5 hour point, the dough is starting to get pretty light and airy so I start taking it easy on the dough. Still doing S&F, but gently...and usually only one...maybe two. So I'll do one typically around the 2.5 hour point...and maybe, or maybe not...at just before the three hour point.. I then let it alone for thirty minutes before individual loaf formation. I am usually doing loaf formation after between 3.25 and 4.0 hours of bulk fermentation...depending on the temp in my kitchen. (I try to keep the temp around 77.)

That's my schedule...how many S&F's I do is dependent on the way the dough is developing. I've never counted, but I'd guess that over the course of the bulk ferment I do somewhere between 8-12 S&F's all together.

I don't know if that's right, but it is working for me.

As far as loaf formation, it helps to have a bench knife. It helps to have a scale handy if you are doing a bunch of loaves. Weighing one every so often helps me keep things in line.

The key for me is managing the amount of moisture on my hands, on the "skin", and on the counter top while forming loaves. Too much and you can't seal the loaf very easily...too little and the dough sticks to everything in sight. I keep a small bowl of water right on the counter. I keep my fingers moving quickly as I'm stretching the skin and pinching it shut. I put a bit of water on the counter and smear it around with my hands...so it's just moist...no big droplets...then I touch (not wipe or dry) my fingers to a damp towel. The amount of water I want on my hands is about the same as you would have if you washed your hands, and then did a crappy enough job drying them off that if you were to shake hands with someone you'd proabably get a dirty look. Wet, but not dripping. You want the dough to grab your fingers a little so you can stretch the skin, but not to the point that it won't easily release so that you can continue rotating the dough ball and stretching skin.

I don't know if any of that makes sense, but that's what I do.

Bill
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  #38  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

Hi Joe!

Fragility is a sign of underdeveloped or overproofed dough. Underdeveloped simply doesn't have the gluten organized enough to contain the gas, overproofed and the gas has moved from the dough to the holes and that tends to accompany deflation.

A more normal temp for loading bread is in the 550 - 575 range. Leaving it in longer will raise the internal temp (or should) but it won't necessarily give you a darker loaf. I am a dark loaf person and I like internal temp of 210 or so (on wet, lean doughs). I would rather bake fast than long.

You would be horrified to see how vigorously we deflated dough at SFBI and still made airy, open baguettes.

Great posting on dough handling, Bill! Agreed, learning to scale loaves - especially when baking in volume - is a big help on consistency.

Hang in there Joe, dough handling can take time. Especially if you get intimidated by the dough. Don't sweat it too much. Even crappy looking loaves (and you are doing better than that) can taste a LOT better than most of the breadcrap you can buy.

Jay
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  #39  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

You guys are great!

I'll try a hotter oven. Also, to deal with wetter dough I have used flour on the board and my hands. After reading Bill's comments I'll try the hands wet method and get more aggressive in the forming part. Since I only bake a loaf at a time, ( only two of us eating bread here) I don't weigh loaves. I do understand the value of weighing, however.

This last loaf is eating real well, but yes I can see that a higher level is achievable.

Sorry to be hijacking your thread, Jay.

Regards,

Joe
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  #40  
Old 09-30-2012, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Today's Bread!

"The amount of water I want on my hands is about the same as you would have if you washed your hands, and then did a crappy enough job drying them off that if you were to shake hands with someone you'd proabably get a dirty look. "

Ha! Ha! That's great .... and exactly right too! Now I'll be thinking about that every time I work with dough (or shake hands :-) )
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