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Old 11-05-2008, 12:35 AM   #1
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Question Bread - uneven texture

My bread is done when it comes out of the oven but the center of the loaf has quite an open texture and is crumbly whereas the rest of the loaf has a nice texture. It seems that it might have collapsed a wee bit but I've been working on that -- trying to be careful about not letting it over-rise before putting it in the oven. I knead it in a Kitchen-Aid and bake it in a pan at 350 for 30 min.

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Old 11-05-2008, 01:47 AM   #2
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My guess is that you let it raise too long after you formed your loaf and put it into the pan. My rule of thumb if the kitchen is half-way warm, is no more than 40 minutes of rising time after it goes into the pan. You have to go with your experience, tho.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:46 AM   #3
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This is from a bread machine cookbook, but maybe something will help you.
It does not distinguish just the center of the loaf, but it said if you have an open or holy texture that you may have used too much water, too much yeast, omitted the salt, or the yeast growth was accelerated from too much warmth.
Maybe you can adapt that to what you think might be the culprit.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:59 AM   #4
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My bread is done when it comes out of the oven but the center of the loaf has quite an open texture and is crumbly whereas the rest of the loaf has a nice texture. It seems that it might have collapsed a wee bit but I've been working on that -- trying to be careful about not letting it over-rise before putting it in the oven. I knead it in a Kitchen-Aid and bake it in a pan at 350 for 30 min.
Can you post your recipe, mixing and proofing times? Is it white, wheat or rye? I make my bread in my KA without any problems. What kind of yeast are you using? Do you use bread flour or all purpose flour? Do you use vital gluten or not?

JoeV
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:27 AM   #5
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Hi Joe. Here's my recipe: ~2-3/4c. whole wheat flour (ground fresh from wheat kernels), 1c. rolled oats (dry), 1T. instant yeast, 1t. salt, 1T. sugar, 1T. bean flour, ~1-1/2c. water, 1T. olive oil, 3T. dried onion flakes, 1-1/2T. gluten, 1/2c. potato flakes.
Method: mix/knead in KA ~10min., rise until doubled (~45min.), ditto second time, into loaf pan, rise until doubled (30-40min.), bake at 350 for 30min. on oven rack (i.e. no stone; tried a stone but didn't seem to make any difference).
My bread never expands in the oven...
Hope this gives you some clues.
Thanks!
Doug
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:05 AM   #6
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Doug,

If it were me, I would get rid of the second rise. After the first rise punch down the dough then shape the loaf and put in the desired baking vessel. Don't knead the dough a second time, just deflate it completely and shape it as desired. Cover and allow to almost double in size, slash the top as desired, then bake in your preheated oven at desired time and temp until done. With this method you should get a nice oven spring. I also don't think you're baking the loaf long enough. At 350 F you should be around 50-60 minutes of bake time. I use a thermometer and check my bread to insure it's 200F at the center of the loaf before removing it from the oven. You can also remove the loaf from the pan and thump the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow when fully baked.

Allow your bread to cool sufficiently (2-3 hours) before cutting, unless you're going to use the entire loaf at one sitting. It cuts better when cool. I know, I know, it's so hard to resist when it comes out of the oven, but try to hang tough and wait it out. You'll have a better loaf of bread because of it.

I made a bread recipe once that someone gave me that called for two proofs before shaping, and I was not happy with the loaf. Very similar results as you experienced.

Here's a website with a lot of technical information about bread baking that you might want to review when you have some time. This is information professional bakers learn, but can be of use to the home baker like us as well. http://www.bakersassist.nl/processing5-2.htm

Good Luck!

Joe
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:20 PM   #7
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That''s an interesting site, Joe, but it's from Zimbabwe! It might be more helpful to refer to a US site where the ingredients are more likely to be similar to what OP is using.

I've been baking bread longer than many of you here are old, but when I have questions, I like to go to Peter Reinhart or Betsy Oppenneer, as they are experts I know will be able to help me figure out where I went wrong.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:28 PM   #8
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That''s an interesting site, Joe, but it's from Zimbabwe! It might be more helpful to refer to a US site where the ingredients are more likely to be similar to what OP is using.

I've been baking bread longer than many of you here are old, but when I have questions, I like to go to Peter Reinhart or Betsy Oppenneer, as they are experts I know will be able to help me figure out where I went wrong.
I have Peter's book "The Bread Bakers Apprentice "
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #9
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An old rule of thumb: If you stick a finger in a risen loaf and the indentation remains, it is done with the rise. If it springs back, it has not risen enough. I always do this for the first rise. If you go to the yeast site, you will be able to read all the different things that can cause this problem and what to do about it. They mailed me this wonderful little booklet that I turn to from time to time.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:52 PM   #10
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Joe -- I've tried cooking it longer but the bread burns. It's never been undercooked at 30min. Also, I tried omitting the second rise but it made no difference...
Doug
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