#11  
Old 02-21-2009, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

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Originally Posted by AnnieMacD View Post
Next time, just try the bag and see if that helps. The bannetons allow air circulation through the basketwork and the dough could dry out. How about making two loaves and do a side-by-side comparison?
Nice. I can even use (reuse) plastic bags rather than throw away plastic wrap.

I'll do that next.
James
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2009, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

Hi James,

I did an experiment for you - and everyone! I made some mixed seed (sesame, flax, pumpkin and sunflower) sourdough last night. Fermented and shaped into bannetons and let dry out slightly (about an hour) before putting in plastic bags in refrigerator to proof overnight. Took them out this morning and left out at room temp (still in the bags) for approx 3 hours. Baked in the electric oven on baking stone with steam at 225F for 40 mins. They have VERY hard crusts! What you can do IMHO is one or all of: make sure the dough is not drying out while proofing; when they come out of the oven, wrap them in linen cloth to keep in the moisture (like for pitta breads to keep them soft); do not bake on the stone but on a half-sheet pan; spray the loaves themselves before putting in the oven and once or twice in the first five minutes; or, best of all, use the WFO where you will have no need of any of the above!

I'm doing a big bake again Tuesday evening in the WFO so will keep a seed loaf back and bake it in the electric oven with the stone (same as I did today). Then we can compare the results. I'm on a mission now.

Annie
PS the bread tastes wonderful and I kinda like the hard crust!
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2009, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

I can't wait. Hamelman recommends wrapping his big Miche in linen while it cools. I will start putting a bag around all my whole grain sourdough and see if it helps. Water directly on the loaf? What will that do?

Funny, I like the crust too -- but I am running the risk of alienating the family. They sticking with me on my "no store bread" quest so far, but I need to keep their hearts and minds. :-)

James
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

Sorry, I didn't get back. My thought on spraying the dough directly was to soften the 'crust' before putting it in the oven. Last night I made a sourdough multi-seed which is fermenting in the refrigerator. I'll shape and proof in bannetons and bake all but one in the WFO, and then try one on the stone in the electric oven. I'll report back tomorrow.

I just had another thought - try taking the loaf out of the oven whenever the internal temp gets to 190F - the crust always crisps and thickens the longer the bread is in the oven.

Errata from previous post above - I meant 225 Centigrade of course (430F)!
Annie
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

OK, I think I may have got to the bottom of the problem. The loaf baked in the WFO was also hard (not quite as hard as in the electric oven but hard nonetheless), and I made some rolls and they were hard too. I make many of Hamelman's and Reinhart's lean doughs with seeds and they are never hard (in fact I had loads of PR's Struan in the oven at the same time and they were all soft), but the difference is soaking the seeds/grains overnight. I think what may be happening is that the seeds are robbing the dough of its moisture and then the crust is drying out. I'll test this out later in the week.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

Hi James!

I think Annie's comments are pretty "on". The loaf looks like it might be a hair dense (possibly a bit underproofed but again, you hammered the gluten pretty hard - looks more like a more-or-less "normal" high grain addition semi-whole wheat loaf.

The crust picture seems to show an exceptionally thick crust. I think Annie is right on - that you dried it out in the proofing. A plastic cover should help keep it wetter. Also...I find convention really dries out the crust when I use an electric oven so I would suggest turning the convection off.

As "awful" as it looks I would definitely eat a slice! ) (Clearly it was pretty doggone good!) (But as a perfectionist baker I sympathize with trying to understand the "cause".)

Bake On!
Jay
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

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Originally Posted by AnnieMacD View Post
OK, I think I may have got to the bottom of the problem. The loaf baked in the WFO was also hard (not quite as hard as in the electric oven but hard nonetheless), and I made some rolls and they were hard too. I make many of Hamelman's and Reinhart's lean doughs with seeds and they are never hard (in fact I had loads of PR's Struan in the oven at the same time and they were all soft), but the difference is soaking the seeds/grains overnight. I think what may be happening is that the seeds are robbing the dough of its moisture and then the crust is drying out. I'll test this out later in the week.
Hah! That could be it. Let's be honest -- I know you are supposed to soak whole grains and seeds overnight, but I rarely do it. They could be sucking moisture out of the loaf as it proofs and bakes.

I will try this as well.

Let's see where this goes.
James
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2009, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

I make all of my bread with 100% fresh stone ground flours using multi grains and all of the loaves I have made had the identical crust as your loaf. The one exception was a multi grain loaf I made with all of the flours sifted through a fine mesh strainer including the flour I used to build the starter. The strainer took out the larger pieces of bran from the flour. The crust was completely different. It was very thin and very soft compared to the other loaves. I made the same bread without sifting and the crust was thick and very crisp as yours.

Brian
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2009, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

I'm trying a new one today- Hamelman's flaxseed rye. James, you just wouldn't believe the amount of water those seeds soaked up overnight. I'll bet that Annie's right about that and the crust.

I'll let you all know how it turns out- it's quite a bit more rye percentage-wise than I've used before. The sourdough starter smelled better than my last attempt at a high-rye dough, though. Good thing. That one smelled to high heaven. Upon reflection, I think that it was contaminated by that leucostonoc stuff.
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2009, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Whole grain crust texture

OK, guys, the jury is in. I made my multi-seed bread again and all I changed was that I soaked the seeds overnight. I did use only sourdough and baked on the stone in the electric oven (just as above). It is a totally different loaf. The crust is soft and not as thick. The crumb is much more even and it also is softer. Here are both the pics. The one on the left is the hard crust and the other is the soft crust. So, my conclusion is to soak the seeds/grains and remember to adjust the water in the recipe.

Annie
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Whole grain crust texture-pr_manyseed.jpg   Whole grain crust texture-pr_manyseedclose.jpg  
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