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Wet bum! | Sourdough Companion

Wet bum!

Hi there baker friends,

Have been baking for a year now, but have a problem.  Recently purchased a new oven and goes well.  However, all my loaves are coming out with a small un-baked layer of dough at the base of the loaf.   I have the oven at 250 celsius full blast with six house bricks on the bottom of the oven.  The crust is great, the cooked bread is great but the moist un cooked layer keeps occuring.  Should I lower the temperature and bake longer?  Could it be my leaven (it's around 6 months old (but still bubbling consisently)?  Or something else?  Any tips most appreciated.

Cheers,

Greg D.

 

 

7 comments

Sounds like a baking issue are you putting the bread on the bricks?

 

Are the bricks up to temperature (solid)?

 

Is there an adjustment on the oven for top or bottom heat? If so more bottom heat.

 

Depending on how hard or soft the heat is you may get a better result without the bricks in the oven.

Hello Greg Dee,

Six house bricks would take an absolute age to get up to any sort of temperature but you don't give any indication of how long you pre-heat, so I agree with Petanque about either getting thinner tiles or trying a bake just on a baking sheet and see how it goes.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

Dear Petanque and Farinam,

Thanks for your comments.  I pre-heat for half an hour and don't place baking tin direcly on the bricks but place the baking tray on the highest oven rack.  I understood the bricks helped keep the oven temperature even, so when door is opened all the heat doesn't disappear.  My old oven was pretty inefficient and it took way longer to bake the bread and am thinking that it was only running at 180/200 celsius.  Which might be the clue as my 'new' bread has a super crusty crust but still not baking evenly.   Could it be my new oven is super efficient and cooking the outside before the inside is cooked?   Next bake I will take the bricks out and try a lower temperature.  

Cheers,

Greg D.

Hi Greg,

I would think that in only a half hour pre-heat, your house bricks would not have soaked up enough energy to be really useful as a heat sink.  Some ovens can take almost half an hour to get to temperature just empty.  I have a terracotta floor tile about 15mm thick and would pre-heat for at least an hour before baking.

You don't say whether your oven is gas or electric, fan-forced or radiant.  Regardless, I would be baking on a lower shelf.  I use the second from bottom one.  Using a higher one will tend to bake the top too quickly and the bottom too slowly.  This could be the source of your problem.

I would assume that the temperature control of your new oven is OK and would preheat to 250C.  Then when you put the loaf in, reduce the set-point to 220 and progressively reduce the set-point to 180 through the baking time (say 40 minutes for a medium to large loaf).

A lot of people have water in the oven, either as a spray from time to time or as a tray with boiling water for the first 10-12 minutes.  This helps to delay crust formation to give better oven spring and produces a crisper crust.  You can also leave the loaf in the oven with the heat off and the door ajar for a while after the baking time is finished.

Good luck with your projects,

Farinam

Yes all the things you say make a lot of sense.  It's a new oven, electric,  and I have the choice of 'Bake' or 'Fan Forced Bake';  The instructions for Bake say put item on top rung.  I used 'Bake' the oher day and could feel the bottom half of the oven was not as warm.  With my old electric oven I used Fan Forced as it was pretty old and I needed all the grunt I could muster.   So I will try Fan Forced on a lower shelf and pull the temperature back as per your suggestions.  Again thank you.  Cheers, Greg D.

Hi Greg,

It seems strange that they would be recommending the top shelf exclusively for the radiant heat mode as the ususal guideline is to have the top of the item as close to the centre of the oven as you can unless there is a particular reason to do otherwise.  This is less critical for fan forced because of more uniform heat distribution through the oven space.  But some don't like fan-forced for bread baking.

I would be experimenting a bit without the bricks and different shelf positions to find the optimum spot in both radiant and fan-forced mode.  If you want to use a heat sink, I would be looking for something a little less massive than house bricks, if only for the effect that they would have on the effective shelf position but principally for the amount of energy to get them to full temperature.

Let us know how you go.

Farinam

Dear Farinam and bread bakers,

Brilliant input.  Took out bricks, put the bread on the lower shelf, adjusted the temperature and voila!!  Pic enclosed.  Holding back on eating the whole loaf....Will also try Bake mode, this one was Fan Forced.  Thank you so much. Cheers, Greg D.