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texassourdough 07-06-2010 12:21 PM

Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
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Today was slated as a baking day and with my 1000th posting awaiting I decided to upload photos of today's bread. Given discussions we have had recently about proofing of pizza dough, I thought it might be useful to try to show what minor underproofing and overproofing look like on bread dough.

The difference between the two loaves is 45 minutes. I did my best to insure everything about the loaves were identical except the proofing time. The loaf on the right is IMO slightly underproofed - slightly more "explosive" than the loaf on the left. The loaf on the left is IMO very slightly overproofed - it is just a tiny, tad flat (really close) and is just short on the explosive "rip" that I prefer. The differences are somewhat subtle and both are certainly delicious loaves. However, if proofing had continued the loaf on the left would have gradually lost quality, the oven spring would have declined and the color turned less golden.

A second comment about these loaves is the coloration. The main crust is a middle brown. The edges of the slits are darker - and the rip is lighter. That gives a nice look. Remember, it is sugar that allows the bread to turn golden as it caramelizes. If you overproof the color will become more gray and less golden (true for pizza also).

The final comment is about the crumb. Note how the bubbles tend to elongate toward the direction of the oven spring. Oven humidity, a good hot hearth, and loaf formation all contribute to the bubble elongation.

Enjoy and keep baking!

Tscarborough 07-06-2010 05:24 PM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
Those are inspiringly pretty and I bet they taste as good as they look. One thing I aim for is consistant size bubbles in the bread though. Is this the reason most of my bread (but not my pizza crust) seems doughy?

texassourdough 07-06-2010 05:37 PM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
Hi TS!

Consistent bubbles should not doughy - at least necessarily. Last year I helped a pizza restaurant work up a fine grained, partially sourdough Pane Pugliese. They wanted the sourdough for extra flavor and they wanted smallish, uniform crumb so the bruschetta wouldn't let things fall through. And we came up with great bread...

Crumb is in my experience a lot about when you knead/form and how you knead/form (and even how you add salt). I add my salt early so I take that out of the equation. For more uniform crumb you want to delay the loaf forming so it has a little less time to make bubbles. The crumb in that loaf is a tad more uneven than I prefer. I loaf formed a bit early and I actually let it go a bit longer than I had expected to get the loaves to the right point so...I was off a bit. I should have delayed the loaf formation a bit. For really great loaves the loaf formation process is important. I had one loaf I made today that had a mouse hole (ie. a hole big enough for a mouse). That loaf (and I know which one it was) was a loaf I didn't work as aggressively in the forming process so I didn't get rid of a big hole I should have found..

Check your finishing temp. Interior of the loaf (assuming it is lean dough (flour, water, salt, yeast)) should be over 205 and I like 208 or so. You can also reduce the doughiness a bit (and improve the crust) by letting it sit in the (indoor) oven with the door partially open as the oven cools down. In a bread oven, just open the door a bit and let the oven slowly cool.

And....DON"T CUT THE BREAD FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR! Not waiting will increase the doughiness.

Good Luck!

Tscarborough 07-06-2010 05:55 PM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
And there in lies the problem! I cut it as soon as I can out of the oven to try it. I don't really eat much bread, I give it away or the wife and kids eat it, and no one has ever told me it actually IS doughy, hence my use of the word "seems".

I just like to make it!

texassourdough 07-06-2010 06:03 PM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
I don't recall ever reading what happens when you cut it early but from my experience I think it cools too fast and that causes the crumb to not lose/redistribute/somthing the water vapor in the interior and it seems to get gummy.

The slow oven cooling for an extra 10 minutes is also good to try.

Good Luck!

egalecki 07-07-2010 05:34 AM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
CanuckJim has always said the "bread's still cooking" about cutting the loaf when it's hot. The texture IS different when you let it cool first.

I have a really hard time letting it cool too! My favorite piece of bread is the end, crunchy and tasty.

Congratulations on your 100th post, Jay!

I'm going to go feed my sourdough now- although it's soo hot right now that I'm not sure I'll be able to control my rise as well as you do. I fix that by getting the oven ready sooner than normal and putting the door on- but sometimes the heat's still not quite right- although the WFO is more forgiving than the inside oven about that.

texassourdough 07-07-2010 06:00 AM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
Hi Elizabeth...

It is probably a lot like letting meat rest. Many elements of cooking have a time/temperature relationship. Prolonged exposure to appropriate heat does many good things (like making a pot roast tender, or the juices redistributing or). While my Thermopen says my bread reaches 208 or 209, it actually gets better IMO if I hold it there a while as in the "oven cooling" approach.

And I must wonder who among us doesn't like the "heel" of fresh baked bread. It is SO tempting to cut it immediately and eat it while it is singing!

I also agree that WFOs seem more forgiving. I think it is that the refractory is somewhat insulating and has a slower, gentler heat release back to the oven than an electric oven where the heating element comes on and blasts it with heat the instant you close the door. In the WFO the temp drops dramatically when the bread goes in and then gradually rises to the final temp. I haven't read much about it but I have to suspect that brick oven ovens bake somewhat differently than rock and stone (which I believe have higher heat conductivity and therefore recover faster and could conceivably give browner bottoms to loaves).

It's really wierd for you guys to be so hot and us so cool. I essentially shut down my oven around the first of June for the summer. It has been so cool this past week that we could have comfortably done pizza!

Be well!

Gromit 07-11-2010 05:13 PM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
3 Attachment(s)
Hello Bakers!

My yeast has been in hibernation since the winter and I have kept myself busy making P. Reinhart's Struan on a weekly basis for these past several months. It is yummy to eat, but not so much fun to take pictures of.

Well, I've taken inspiration from Jay's last couple of posts and decided to wake up the sleeping beasties.

This batch followed Jay's expansion formula using KAB, ~68% hydration, and 5 hours from end of autolyse to end of proof. I do not have a cloche, so I baked this batch on a stone with a stainless steel mixing bowl placed over the top of the loaf. I am fairly certain that this is the best oven spring I have achieved.


texassourdough 07-12-2010 04:08 AM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!
Hi Gromit!

Gorgeous loaf(ves)!

Very similar to mine in look and texture. The stainless bowl on a stone really works well. Gets a lot of steam. As wonderful as cloches are they tend to warp a bit and that compromises the seal so they leak steam some and that can interfere with the results. I may have to try a bowl! Especially on some of the loaves that don't rise as well.

Bravo! Well done!

Gromit 07-12-2010 05:48 PM

Re: Today's Bread, Proofing, and 1000th Posting!

Thanks for the inspiration and all of your consistently helpful and informational posts.

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