I?ve been baking bread for a little while now and have been experimenting with different techniques. I have been very successful in creating a vibrant and healthy starter and have used this to bake many edible loaves. Now this may sound simple to some of you but the problem I?m having is that I cannot obtain a dry fluffy centre in my bread. The crust is always excellent with a nice crunch but the centre always turns out dense and has maintained a lot of moisture. I?ll run through my steps and maybe someone can tell me where I?m going wrong.
100% white unbleached flour with 11.9% protein @ 62% Hydration
40% starter @ 100% hydration
For a 1kg dough:
418 grams flour
400 grams starter
182 grams water
11 grams salt
I combine all ingredients in a plastic bowl then turn onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for about 3 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and let it sit covered with a damp tea towel for 1 hour. After an hour I use the stretch and fold method, about 3 times. Then I repeat this again in the next hour. Before proving I shape my dough into a ball by cupping the dough in my hands and stretching it from the sides and tucking it under itself. I place the dough on a heavily floured board adding some semolina flour to help when I slide the dough off on to the baking stone. I let the dough prove for 4 hours covered with the tea towel. I pre heat the oven and the baking stone for 30 minutes at 190C. I have a shallow baking tray sitting at the bottom of the oven which I pour boiling water into to create some steam in the oven 5 minutes before which I?m now ready to slash the top of the dough 3 times and slide on to the baking stone in the oven and bake for 1 hour. The dough S-P-R-I-N-G-S nicely and starts to form a very nice crust after about 40 minutes. After the loaf has been baking for an hour I switch off the oven and open the door slightly and let it sit for 30 minutes. I then remove the loaf from the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack overnight (I usually bake at night around 11:00pm). In the morning I cut my first slice and find that the centre is dense and contains a lot of moisture. The crust is very nice and crunchy and has a nice flavor. Others have turned out like what I can only describe as baked glue, where the gaseous holes have a shiny surface. I have tried to bake at high temperature then lower to bake for the last half hour and vice versa. I JUST CAN?T GET IT RIGHT! Can someone help?
Here are some pics of a recent loaf I have baked with similar results.