I’ve been baking naturally levain breads at home almost exclusively in Dutch Ovens for years with positive results. So much so that I’ve been asked to consider opening a small bread shop. I’ve recently been afforded the opportunity to use a local church’s kitchen which is equipped with a four deck (metal) Blodgett oven, standing mixer and large fridgarator etc. The idea is to learn how to scale up production. So far it’s been pretty disconcerting.
I don’t use the Dutch Oven and my loaves have been coming out denser, splittling at the top with a crust that looks ashy brown not the rich mahogany I get at home. Not sure if it’s the lack of steam. I’ve compensated by pouring cold water on hot lava rocks in a cast iron skillet, soaking dish towels in a tin, and spraying the interior all at the beginning stage of the bake. The loaves are looking better but they constantly split and are dense.
I’ve upped the H2O but to no avail. Could it be that the refrigerator is too cold for overnight proofing? It’s set at 36F. I use the Hobart mixer for the autolyse and mixing stage but then do the stretch and fold method by hand. I have not deviated from this recipe since I’ve been at the Church Kitchen.
What am I doing wrong? Any help would be deeply appreciated!!!