Flying saucer sourdough

fitnaturally's picture
fitnaturally

Hi,

Whilst my sourdough is always really tasty and has a good holey crumb my loaves are always a bit flying-saucer-ish! Also, even when I make a deep cut in the dough it never opens up wide.

Help please, this is serious :-)

Sally

 

P.S. Sorry the photo is sideways, it's probably preparing for take-off

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farinam's picture
farinam 2015 October 26

Hello Sally,

One possibility is that you are over-proving the dough a bit so perhaps try baking a bit sooner.  With overproved dough, the gluten has started to lose its strength and the dough spreads rather than rises and the slashes will close off (at least partially) and not open up.  The earlier bake will likely improve your oven spring and the gringe that you achieve should improve accordingly.

Another factor in helping your loaf to sit up and take notice is to have a good 'tight' skin when you are shaping the loaf.

With slashing the loaf, deep is not necessarily good.  You are best to make sure that there is an undercut by holding the blade at a small angle to the surface of the loaf and the cut only needs to be 10-15mm in depth but maybe only a few to 5mm beneath the surface at its deepest.  It looks as if your loaf is proved in a round banneton.  If you want your loaf to stay pretty much symmetrical then your cuts should be symmetrical about the centre (vertical) axis of the loaf, say a square, hexagon or cross hatch pattern.  Otherwise the loaf will expand perpendicular to the direction of the cut(s) and you will get a more oval shape.  If you are making a long loaf such as a batarde or baguette, the slashes should be made at only a slight angle to the long axis, enough to allow an overlap that should be about a third of the length of the cut with maybe four or five cuts in all.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

fitnaturally's picture
fitnaturally 2015 October 27

Hi Farinam,

 

Thank you, I'll try that. I think you're right - I leave the dough in the fridge overnight, maybe for 9 hours. It's always over the top of the banneton. Perhaps I'll try it for 6 or 7 hours. Makes sense, as does making the skin tight - you mean before it goes in the banneton?

 

Ah so the angle of the cuts has an effect on loaf shape? I see, will bear that in mind too and try cutting at a shallow angle. I only have a arzor blade at the mo but will do my best.

 

You are very helpful!

 

Sally

farinam's picture
farinam 2015 October 27

Hi Sally,

Here is a pic of my razor blade (click to view the whole pic).  Just threaded onto a thick satay stick which gives you a handle and puts a nice curve onto the blade.  When one corner gets dull you just unthread and switch around to make another corner available until all are used.

Yes, the tight skin is made during the shaping of the loaf before it goes into the banneton.  For a round, that involves rotating the ball of dough between your hands on the bench, pushing under as you rotate and you end up with a nice tight smooth top and a sort of rough scrunchy effect underneath which then goes on top when it is placed into the banneton.  If you are making a long loaf, make the ball the same way, invert it on the bench and flatten a bit and push with your fingers to stretch into a roughly square shape.  Fold one edge into the middle and seal, fold the opposite edge to the middle and seal, then fold in half along the seals just made and seal the matching edges.  This should give you a more or less football (not soccer ball - that's where you started) shape that can then be rolled and tapered a bit more for a batarde or rolled and stretched to make a baguette.  Place in the banneton or whatever with the seam up for proving.  Invert and slash when ready for baking.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

fitnaturally's picture
fitnaturally 2015 October 27

Thank you Farinam - you are a national treasure :) I find my dough is quite sticky when I try to rotate it on the worktop but will try harder. Have just made a lame following your instructions - simple, don't know why I didn't think of that.

 

Have a good day.

Sally

farinam's picture
farinam 2015 October 27

Hello Sally,

I don't know what recipe you are using or what technique you are using to develop your dough and there are a multitude of ways to do that.  For what it is worth this blog of mine (using the Pane francesa recipe from SourDom's beginners blog) shows the sort of thing that I do and should give you an idea of how the dough develops and really, by the time that you set to shaping the loaf, the dough should not be 'sticky'.  It might be soft but shouldn't be sticky.

http://sourdough.com/blog/one-way-make-loaf-bread

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

fitnaturally's picture
fitnaturally 2015 October 27

Basically it's:

130g starter with 100g water then add 170g flour (very strong white)

Prove around 4-5 hours

360g of the above with 270g water then 360g of same flour. 

Leave 20 mins, add 11g salt, stretch and fold

Leave 30 mins then stretch and fold, four times (each stretch and fold is minimal, like 20-30 secs)

Shape and place in banneton

Prove in fridge overnight

 

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