Bottom heat

I made up a new motherdough recipe yesterday and the motherdough was really vigorous. I will call this bread, Coastal Loaf. The motherdough was at 80% hydration (the motherdough not the dough).

(Forgive the use of metric mixed with imperial, I just got my digital scale, and my mind is still mixed up 🙂

Coastal Loaf

I used:

680 g of motherdough (approx. 1.5 lb)

700 g water (3 cups)

938 g bread flour (7.5 cups)

150 g whole wheat flour freshly ground (1 cup)

8 g (1 teaspoon) malt syrup

27 g  (2 Tablespoons) of oil

24 g (4 teaspoons) salt (not added during mix)

This made 2436 g of dough (5 lb 5 oz)

I divided this into three pieces of 812 g (1lb 12 oz)of dough each.

I mixed up this dough at 4:00 pm in the afternoon. I let the dough autolyse for 20 minutes, finished mixing for about 4 minutes and then let it proof until 8:00 pm. I then added the salt, stirred down the dough and put it into the refrigerator overnight. In the morning at 7:00 am I took out the dough and let it warm up for one hour. At 8:00 am I shaped the loaves. I made two batard syle loaves and one boule style loaf.

dough proofing

For this proofing setup, I rolled up three bath sized towels and draped a large cotton cloth over the whole thing, then I put a tea towel over each half that was to contain one loaf. That way, I could lift each loaf out with the tea towel.

I preheated my oven for one hour at 500 F and put a baking stone on the bottom shelf and on the second to the top shelf. I was going to see if I could bake two loaves at once, and just switch them halfway. I was worried about the top loaf being too close to the top of the oven and getting overly browned. The dough looked ready after two hours proof (our temperature is in the 90’s). So I popped the loaves into the oven and misted for the first five minutes. I also had a bowl of hot water in the bottom of the oven floor. After the first five minutes,I turned the oven down to about 435 F  I put the timer on for 14 minutes, switched the bread halfway and baked another 14 minutes. I was surprised after the first 14 minutes, because the bottom loaf had really done an oven spring and the slashes had already opened up beautifully. The top loaf was smaller looking and the slashes weren’t too open. The dough was exactly the same weight and was proofed exactly the same, so the only thing I could think of was that the more intense bottom heat was beneficial for oven spring. I then switched the loaves halfway and the bottom loaf which I switched to the top did get a little too browned.

Here they are:

two loaves

two again

boule too

The boule went into the oven next by itself. It had a terrific oven spring. Here it is with the other two loaves. Here is a picture of the interior crumb of the bottom heated loaf:

interior crumb

I will get pictures of the other interior crumbs as they are sliced.

Here is the picture of the interior crumb of the bread that was on the top of the oven:

crumb

I really like working with the motherdough as you get the tendency toward the larger holes, and the color and flavor are always superb. The smell is heavenly. It really seems to bring out the full pontential of the wheat.

This was really a wonderful learning day for me!

myself

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3 Responses

  1. Looks good, and so does the bread.:)
    I like the idea of a baking stone on top as well, getting closer to a brick oven.
    regards
    Bill

  2. WOW again Teresa! You make the nicest looking bread and the volume is always so large. Is the long loaf you are holding made from only 820g of dough? If so, it’s gigantic for only that much dough.

    Congrats on the new scale, I think you will really like it and it will make it easier for the rest of us trying to duplicate what you do. No more wondering how much a cup of your flour weighs.

    For oven spring and baking in general you should think about a brick oven some day. If I remember right I think you said somewhere you have a big back yard with lots of room. I would have one but my back yard is kind of small and it wouldn’t fit good.

    Gary

  3. My theory is that when the loaf is so close to the heating elements the top crust bakes off faster thereby restricting the oven spring. I get the same effect when cooking two trays of buns at a time.

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