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crumb troubles | Sourdough Companion

crumb troubles

while my starter is taking its time in cold melbourne weather and i don't think it will be ready for week or even more i got couple of yeast problems that i would love to sort out and understand.

my crub quite often comes very "short" (small holes in other words, cake like)

i been trying different hydrations and different ways of kneading but no matter what this always happens.

what really puzzles me is that i get very nice lift (most the time)
anyway last night i tried to make knot rolls i gave up on those because where with bread i would get nice lift with rolls i never did, NEVER.
but since i got myself new flour i gave it another shot after few years of not making rolls but sadly same problem.

they sort of come as knots like dinner rolls and are quite good to eat right away but few hours later they just like eating carpet due to poor crumb.

Recipe i use:

500gm flour (tip-top high gread before and now Laucke Wallaby)
310gm water (40C)
6-7gm dry yeast (i tried with up to 10gm)
6-7gm salt
6-7gm suger
20gm oil

i messure all to the dot then i knead for ~10min (also tried with hook mixer)

let it sit around 1 hour double in size sort of.
i say "sort of" because it always seem that it is more like three times if not more in size.
do the finger test before punching then punch and knead for few minutes again (i tried 1min kneading and other times 5min and even more to see if it helps)

cut to small portions and roll in hands to make long dough for a knot, then make the knot and place on baking trey, once they all done i cover with big plastic conteiner (upsidedown) with glass of warm water inside to keep it moist.
once they double in size (20min-40min) i brush with egg/water mix and put different seeds on top, then spray with water and in a owen at 250C.

20-25min and they golden/brown and out.

they seem to still get some lift in a owen but very little, compared to bread that makes me go WOW every time i look at it in a owen.

hope someone can put me in right direction

Sad

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24 comments

the preferment that slowdough told me to do instead of overnight was in fridge for over 24hour as i didn't hear alarm clock last night so i didn't use it till this morning so maybe this is why tasted so good?

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just got to say that this one turned out really really really taste.
going going GONE!
it didn't last more than one hour after first slice was cut

Laughing

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and here is the crumb

this one was with lower hydration and it turned out not so wet, it was quite good taste and smell just that lift is missing and if i were to make rolls this way it would turned out quite ugly and small again

also in reference to the first picture crust after cooling down seem much softer than after taking out from owen and sort of looking soggish (spelling?)

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4392-2/wrong1_2.jpg[/img]

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here is first pic of my bread based on slowdough instructions
since i been trying other things and masuring everything to 1gram i seem to loose lift and crumb got wet look and doesn't taste as good.
first pic is right out of the owen, will wait bit longer before i cut it

those slashes were quite deep ~1cm and as you can see they just opened a bit
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4388-2/wrong1_1.JPG[/img]

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just wondering if it is worth trying to reduce hydration down a bit?
going by your recipe what if i try with 250gr instead of 300gr?

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i better go and do some of my day job

Very Happy

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i will take picture of crumb later on and post so you can see it

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hey slowdough
thanks again for taking your time and helping me

i managed to keep away and didn't cut the bread for over 1hour after i took it out from owen

i can see difference but something is still not right.
1.bread is very heavy and on sort of on wet side
2.i got some owen lift but not much, at best i would say 25%
before i started trying to do things the right way my breads were much lower hydration and i would get huge lift in owen and nice looking bread that tasted quite well just was not too happy about crumb and bread wouldn't keep very well.
now with higher hydration my breads come out very heavy and they always on wet side so maybe i should drop down water? what do you think and if you agree how would you adjust this recipe?

crumb was really nice on top of the bread 1-2cm right under crust where rest was bit rubbery and as i said bit wet.

other thing i noticed is that crust that was like hard shell after baking turned soft after few hours.
taste was quite good and it seems that it was going the right places but something is still not right.

i'm thinking that maybe my silicon tins are not so good with higher hydration breads and that is why top worked out great while the rest didn't but they really give great colour to the bread all around (inside the tin) without sweating the bread as some non stick tins.

Bake Me !

Hi Croc,
Sorry i've had a couple of very big production days, so i went a bit quiet this happens from time to time.
The bubbling preferment sounds great and how it should be.

Look there are obviously many different methods to achieve the result your after, and just as many different opinions as well, so much so that it can sometimes get quite confusing.

The method that i'm giving you is very basic, and quite easy to understand, once you know the terminology, you can certainly add in a fold and turn if required as it will help to build strength and open up the crumb, as will higher levels of hydration, but at this stage its better to take things one step at a time and learn from each step as you go.

This way we can also determine if we need to adjust the recipe a little to suit your conditions, as they can differ from place to place, this will be even more the case when you start doing sourdoughs. Books are a fantastic way to learn and there are many good ones available, however,
be careful as many are written overseas using very different flours, cultures, and weather conditions, and can sometimes cause more problems than they solve.

I would highly recommend that until you are more familiar with things stick to the forum and ask people like Bill, Jeremy, Dom etc. as they are very familiar with what works at home and what doesn't, then start to suppliment further with books down the track. Thats why this forum is such a wonderful resource, and people like myself who do this for a living can learn a great deal from everyone. Unfortunately to many bakers are very arrogant and feel that they can't learn from someone not in the trade.

I find that reading these questions from people like yourself an excellent way of keeping myself challenged technically, and i use it as a training tool for my apprentices, so i thank you for taking the time to ask questions, your helping to train the next generation of Artisan Bakers
!

Keep them coming,

Cheers,

Slowdough

"Lifes Short, Bake Hard"

slowdough thanks again (all everyone else)
i'm about to pop the bread in my owen from what i seen so far it feels and looks little bit different (more elastic or whatever you call it)

was bit worry about finall proof 1.5hour
most the time my bread would double in size within 20-40min but maybe this is was my problem and i should leave it going bit longer?
will know the answear very soon

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btw the preferment after one our in room temperature didn't really go anywhere sizewise but after overnight (overday should i say due to my odd sleeping patterns) in a fridge it seemed all bubbly and 50% bigger in size with some bubble really huge, hope that is good sign

Very Happy

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slowdough i hope you around

Very Happy

EDIT: call me an idiot
i was going to ask question i asked before
was going over and over everything so many times i forgot my own name

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[quote="northwestsourdough"]
Croc, I found this while reading today:

[u]"Poor Crumb can be caused by:
excess flour (too stiff a dough)
or may develop when bread is baked at too low a temperature. Another cause is inadequate primary fermentaion, especially with yeasted recipes, if they are not punched down at least once. Lastly inadequate kneading makes a coarse, lifeless crumb."[/u]

This was taken from The Bread Builders, by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott, which I find is an excellent book for understanding the dough process and how to build masonry ovens.
I hope this helps some.
Teresa
[/quote]

Hi Teresa
i been looking at almost identical info and it mentioned something about a book (not sure if the same) and it got my crumb to this so i'm puzzled 100%

owen temperature is perfect going by my other bakes.
flour(and everything else) is messured to a gram and i tried with much higher hydration as well
primary fermentation,if this mean first bulk proofing, i'm quite sure i done it good, also tested with 3/4 proofed and slightly over proofed.

next bread i'm doing i will take few pictures.
if it was just for bread i would settle for what i was getting before i started messing about but my rolls just don't get any volume and once they cooled they just not so good.

thanks Teresa for the info and book pointer, sounds like good one to get, will try to find one in melbourne.

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Croc, I found this while reading today:

[u]"Poor Crumb can be caused by:
excess flour (too stiff a dough)
or may develop when bread is baked at too low a temperature. Another cause is inadequate primary fermentaion, especially with yeasted recipes, if they are not punched down at least once. Lastly inadequate kneading makes a coarse, lifeless crumb."[/u]

This was taken from The Bread Builders, by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott, which I find is an excellent book for understanding the dough process and how to build masonry ovens.
I hope this helps some.
Teresa

You could also just do what you are doing, but autolyse the dough. Autolyse is when you mix up your dough so all of the ingredients are incorporated except the salt (salt toughens the gluten and makes it harder to knead) and let your dough sit for 15 - 30 minutes. Then add your salt and knead. It makes a big difference in the final dough if you autolyse.
(Why not use sourdough for a leaven? Your bread would taste much better!)
Teresa

[quote="northwestsourdough"]
You could also just do what you are doing, but autolyse the dough. Autolyse is when you mix up your dough so all of the ingredients are incorporated except the salt (salt toughens the gluten and makes it harder to knead) and let your dough sit for 15 - 30 minutes. Then add your salt and knead. It makes a big difference in the final dough if you autolyse.
(Why not use sourdough for a leaven? Your bread would taste much better!)
Teresa
[/quote]

hey Teresa thanks for the salt idea, will do that next time i bake

i hear you about the sourdough but as i said in my original post my starter isn't ready yet

Sad

once i have starter i will continue to bake this simple yeast bread till i get it right, i just have to, that bloody thing wont let me sleep.

finished another one just before and now i got darkish crumb and wet taste.

it isn't yet what slowdough recommened but i made few changes based on what i learnt last 24hours and the crumb is not so cake like with bubbles bit bigger but just no lift and wet taste makes it even worst option.

i didn't knead after punching, just punched it and folded/shapped than in pan and let it proof for about 50min (double in size) but this seem to kill owen lift and gives that darkish colour and just doesn't taste too good, but it keeps better, one i made this morning same way just proofed it bit less for 2nd time, and because we almost finished whole bread in one shot i left one side (good size slice) out there on cutting board and after cutting it and eating a little tonight it was not dry at all.

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125g is a good size for rolls.

thanks bill

Very Happy

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thans again

will give it a go and post some pics in before/after form
still got couple of my rolls "gone wrong"

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btw

the first proofing, how far should i let it go?
double size or the finger test? if i go for finger test i'm quite sure it is waaaay more than double in size.

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one more

Smile

from 500gm flour (+320gm water) how many rolls should i get? so i know how many small balls i should cut the dugh in to.

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Hi again Croc,

1. Half development simply means only mix it half as much as you would normally for final dough stage, so when you try to tease it out to test for mixing development or make a "gluten window" it will be quite "short" with little elasticity.

2. Yes just leave it in the bowl to ferment you don't need to do anything to it.

3. Just cut the dough and fold in half and tuck under.

4. Look you can certainly increase the yeast in the preferment dough and bring it through alot quicker, but you don't achieve as good a result overall as the flavour develpment over night at cool temperatures is far superior to short ferment methods.

At the end of the day theres no short cuts to great bread.

The punch and fold method is a great method but i far prefer a preferment, as it replaces the longer 1st ferment stage of the punch and fold method and instead utilises the fridge, making it more flexible so you can fit it in with a busy lifestyle.
It also builds greater levels of acidity and flavour so it is more versitile in its uses.
You can also place loaves and rolls back into the fridge before final proof and hold them for up to 12hrs so as to make things even further flexible so you can have them when you want them.

This preferment method also duplicates commercially based practices used for many years to achieve more consistent results and fit better with production schedules.

The best way i've found to proof rolls is on a flat type tray on either semolina flour or silicon paper so they can be slid directly into the oven when ready. Cover them with a tea towel first, then with plastic, such as a kitchen bin liner, the tea towel stops sticking, and the plastic keeps the dough moist and traps the heat created during proof.

Hope this answers your questions, let me know if theres anything more you don't understand, as my terminology is based on the fact that i'm a baker by trade so i apologize for any confusion.

Cheers,

Slowdough[/quote]

"Lifes Short, Bake Hard"

thanks for that
just a couple of quick ones

"Mix to a dough, approx. half development. "

what you mean half development?

"Put in fridge over night. " i just leave it in a bowl it was proofing and coverd without actually doing anything to it?

"Divide into required sizes and intermediate proof for another 30min."

should i just cut it or punch/fold/knead and than cut it ?
also what's best way to proof small balls like this for rolls?

once again thanks a lot

quicker ideas that don't need overnight leaving things are still very much welcomed so fire up people

Smile

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Hi Croc,
There are a few different things you could do to rectify this problem and i'm sure others will have different suggestions, but this will improve the result. I have used this before with Laucke Wallaby flour and its brilliant.

If you want to open up the crumb and produce rolls etc from this type of dough it is important to build strength into it by way of a preferment. This can be done in a few different ways, either Poolish, Sponge, Biga,or Prefermented Dough. The acid produced by the preferment wil create strength, flavour, and shelf life.

One of the easiest ones is prefermented dough, here's a recipe,

Preferment Dough

Flour 150gr 100%
Water 102gr 68%
Dry Yeast 1gr 0.75%
Salt 3gr 2%

Mix to a dough, approx. half development.
Leave 1hr at room temp.
Put in fridge over night.
Before using in final dough let stand at room temp. for 1.5hrs

Final Dough

Flour 500gr 100%
Salt 10gr 2%
Sugar 10gr 2%
Oil 10gr 2%
Dry Yeast 5gr 1%
Preferment Dough 250gr 50%
Water 300gr 60% approx.

Mix together to a smooth clear dough
Bulk proof for 30min
Divide into required sizes and intermediate proof for another 30min.
Shape and set for final proof approx. 1.5hrs
Bake at 200c

See how you go with this and give us some feed back. Once you have got this one nailed then try some of the other methods, they all have different uses, some cultural and some product specific such as poolish which is best suited for french baguette.

Cheers,

Slowdough

"Lifes Short, Bake Hard"