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Today's attempt

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  • Today's attempt

    I welcome comments and criticisms.

    2.5 kg total weight, 70% hydration.

    Nine hour starter expansion from 100g to 500g.

    Nine hour bulk ferment at room temperature (78 degrees in my kitchen). That was scary, but I though I'd give Ed Wood's method a try. The dough massively expanded, but the gluten structure hadn't collapsed. When I degassed for shaping, the smell of alcohol was strong. I figured that I was well and truly overproofed, and that the dough was probably going to fail to rise once shaped. So i didn't bother with making anything pretty.

    I wrapped my brotforms in plastic wrap and covered the with a damp towel to keep humidity in. Contrary to my expectations, the shaped loaves rose quite well, and I figured they were oven-ready about two hours after shaping. I slashed the rounds (forgot to slash the loaves) and loaded them.

    I followed Jay's suggestions after my last bake for steaming the oven, loaded the loaves, and closed the door for 25 minutes. At 25 minutes, the loaves were at 180 degrees. Another 10 minutes took them to just over 200. Results appear in the attachments.

    The crust was nice and crispy, the crumb was slightly chewy and pleasing to the mouth. The sour flavor was much more prevalent than last week's loaves, but it was still a pleasant sour undertone.

    I'm pretty sure my oven hadn't loaded all the heat it needed. The temperature dropped over 100 degrees during the bake. But I sort of expected a big temperature drop because I started the fire late and had to rake it out early to coincide with complettion of the loaf proofing. I think I could have gone longer on the loaf proof, but I was really worried that the yeast had already eaten too much sugar and that there wouldn't be enough for the loaves to brown up nicely.
    Last edited by azatty; 09-30-2012, 07:41 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Today's attempt

    Very interesting...

    11 hours at 78 is a very long bulk plus final proof time. But your color and oven spring suggest you weren't as "over" as you should have been.

    So... either your starter was not fully robust when you started (I have gotten to the point that I feed my starter about 12 hours before I do the expansion to make sure it is robust.) or the 9 hours was too short (which it is in my experience) so the expansion was not peaking... or both.

    The first photo shows pretty good loaf color which says you weren't too badly over. The third shows some gray which I tend to associate with over.

    The oven was clearly a bit cool and IMO you baked pretty severely short. The edges of the slash should ideally be approaching black (okay dark brown). Take a look at Chris's loaves.

    Also.. for artisanal loaves I think you should shoot for a minimum of 205 and I prefer 210 to 211.

    Oven temp actually drops a lot more than a hundred during a bake. It drops a lot on loading and as steam fillls the oven and then the temp rebounds during the bake and should be rising at the end. In a properly loaded bread oven with appropriate mass the temp should rise to at least 25 to 50 degrees below the starting temp as the oven recharges after the first load. I get about 50 below with 12 pound batches and only an extra inch of cladding on my Casa oven. A real bread oven or heavily clad pizza oven should recover further.

    Hand in there! Bake On!