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Crust Puzzle


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Petrissage

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 10:09 AM

Dear Peter Reinhart,

I am a great fan of your BBA book. It took my bread to a completely different level [and would make it impossible for my family to go on a low carb diet as a result!]. Thank you for your work.

I have been working on a yeasted whole wheat bread with barley flakes, yogurt, milk and butter. The dough windowpanes beautifully and rises well. The resulting loaves are tasty, but I am having a recurrent problem with the final proofing in pans. Before the dough doubles, I often find that the skin of the dough has torn, creating one or more ugly looking holes in the top of the dough. I don't let this dough double. I put it in the oven when it has risen about 75-80% and get good oven spring that way.

I cover the pans carefully with plastic wrap, living in a dry climate.

I find that this happens less when I oil the top of the dough lightly once it is proofing in pans. Other than that, nothing I have tried in adjusting the formula has made much difference to the tearing.

Can you help me figure out what I am doing wrong with the final proofing of this recipe?

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. It is a dream come true to have your advice on individual issues!
Linda
-------------------
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau


#2 KyleW

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 11:26 AM

Does it look like this?

Posted Image

I was working on a similar project; 100% Whole wheat with rolled oats and or oat bran, rather than barley flakes. The tops were splitting horribly. I sent the recipe I was working on to the other Bread Guru in my life. She said, and I quote, "way too much oat stuff going on." :smile:

She suggested that any non-gluten items be kept to less that 25% of the total flour weight. I figured out that I had been using around 30%. I knocked out the rolled oats all together and limited the oat bran to 10%. It worked! I get all the good oat flavor and the tops don't split. Hope this helps.

KyleW
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#3 Peter Reinhart

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:30 PM

Dear Peter Reinhart,

I am a great fan of your BBA book. It took my bread to a completely different level [and would make it impossible for my family to go on a low carb diet as a result!]. Thank you for your work.

I have been working on a yeasted whole wheat bread with barley flakes, yogurt, milk and butter. The dough windowpanes beautifully and rises well. The resulting loaves are tasty, but I am having a recurrent problem with the final proofing in pans. Before the dough doubles, I often find that the skin of the dough has torn, creating one or more  ugly looking holes in the top of the dough. I don't let this dough double. I put it in the oven when it has risen about 75-80% and get good oven spring that way.

I cover the pans carefully with plastic wrap, living in a dry climate.

I find that this happens less when I oil the top of the dough lightly once it is proofing in pans. Other than that, nothing I have tried in adjusting the formula has made much difference to the tearing.

Can you help me figure out what I am doing wrong with the final proofing of this recipe?

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. It is a dream come true to have your advice on individual issues!

View Post



Hi Linda,
I'll take a stab at it: the barley flakes may be creating weak spots in the gluten network that start small and then expand and split as the dough rises. The outside of the loaf, which is drier, is especially vulnerable. That's why the oil seems to help. If everything else about the bread is good, then you can continue oiling the top or brush it with a light egg wash two or three times (at intervals) while its rising (1 egg beaten with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water) to keep the top moist. You can also sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds on the top to help cover the splits if it's just a visual, rather than structural or flavor flaw. Let me know if this helps. One final trick might be to mix the dough for 2 extra minutes. Sometimes this added kneaded can strenthen the network enough to allow it to hold together through the stressful final rise.

#4 andiesenji

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:48 PM

Do you lightly hydrate the barley flakes prior to adding to the dough?

I have found that with many of the "flaked" products they soak up liquid like a sponge and pull it right out of the surrounding dough.
My solution has been to spread the flaked product on a tray or sheet pan and spritz it with water, stirring and spritzing a few times. This does not add enough liquid to compromise the formula which would affect the dough itself, but adds enough moisture to the product to keep it from causing the problem which you describe and which I also had.
The harder seeds and products that are cut or coarsely ground do not seem to have this effect. It is the flaking process that seems to make the product have such an affinity for moisture.

Edited by andiesenji, 04 October 2004 - 12:49 PM.

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#5 lovebenton0

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 12:03 AM

The flaking process does leave a relatively large surface area that reacts like a sponge. The same is true, for me, with rolled oats. I allow the troublesome ingredients to sit for five to ten seconds (keep in mind that the environmental humidity effect on the ingredients will determine how fast the liquid will be absorbed) in a small amount of the liquid for the recipe. Then strain the liquid out to add to flour mixture and reserve the hydrated ingredients to add at the proper time.
Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

#6 Petrissage

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 08:00 AM

Does it look like this?


It does resemble the loaf on the left in your picture. I can actually see the tears or shreds in the dough as it proofs, but like yours, it isn't consistent across the loaves. Some do it, some don't.

She suggested that any non-gluten items be kept to less that 25% of the total flour weight. I figured out that I had been using around 30%. I knocked out the rolled oats all together and limited the oat bran to 10%. It worked! I get all the good oat flavor and the tops don't split. Hope this helps.


In my recipe the barley or oat flakes are 6% of the total flour weight and the dough windowpanes very well, hence my confusion about where I am going wrong. I do very much appreciate your help, thank you.

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Edited by Petrissage, 06 October 2004 - 08:03 AM.

Linda
-------------------
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau


#7 Petrissage

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 08:33 AM

Dear Peter,

"I'll take a stab at it: the barley flakes may be creating weak spots in the gluten network that start small and then expand and split as the dough rises. The outside of the loaf, which is drier, is especially vulnerable"

This makes perfect sense and is what I see when the loaf reaches a certain point in proofing and then shreds on the top.

"brush it with a light egg wash two or three times (at intervals) while its rising"

I will try that today instead of the oil. I had not thought to moisten it continuously during its final rise.

"One final trick might be to mix the dough for 2 extra minutes. Sometimes this added kneaded can strenthen the network enough to allow it to hold together through the stressful final rise."

I will try going two minutes beyond the point at which the dough windowpanes to see if that does strengthen the gluten enough to manage the flakes. If it works, I will report.

Thanks so much!

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Linda
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"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau


#8 Petrissage

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 08:38 AM

Do you lightly hydrate the barley flakes prior to adding to the dough?

No, I have been putting them in dry. Thanks for the idea!

My solution has been to spread the flaked product on a tray or sheet pan and spritz it with water, stirring and spritzing a few times. This does not add enough liquid to compromise the formula which would affect the dough itself, but adds enough moisture to the product to keep it from causing the problem which you describe and which I also had.
The harder seeds and products that are cut or coarsely ground do not seem to have this effect. It is the flaking process that seems to make the product have such an affinity for moisture.


Yes, your observation is quite correct. I have wondered why the sharper looking additions don't cause the problem, but I think you are right about the flakes being very dehydrating to dough.

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Linda
-------------------
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau