Bread comes out super hard and pale

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Joined Apr 20, 2016
Hey guys

i'm using a home electric conventional oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees. when it gets to 350, i then pop in the bread that has been proofing in my fridge for like 24 hours.

I take it out in the morning and bake it and it comes out super hard , i bake it for half hour, it still looks pale. After 1 hour, it's still pale like dough color. after 1 hr and a half, now , it looks kind of colored, pale yellow. 

just yeast, salt, ap flour. and olive oil. 

What could be possibly wrong with my recipe or the oven? 

personally i think its the oven. 

i bake banana bread in this oven and it comes out messed up. when i use my convection oven(table top), it works for the banana bread and it gets baked quick (half hour or less i think). 

But in the big oven, it  takes forever. the inside of the bread is ok.

Any tips? 
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Rustic breads are generally baked in a very hot oven: 450 degF. Try that, plus a spritz of water early in the bake to get the humidity in the oven higher.
 
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Can I ask why you are "proofing" in your fridge?? Also, have you invested in an internal oven thermometer?? And  when you say you bake the banana bread in that oven it comes out "messed up" can you elaborate on this??
 
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Can I ask why you are "proofing" in your fridge??....
That is called a retard.  But actually the dough should be proofed beforehand and then placed into the fridge for up to 48 hours to reeeetard.  This delay allows for more flavor development!   8^)
 
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 Thank you @kokopuffs   and yes, I know its called a retard, I am asking the OP if THEY know why they are placing the dough in the fridge and then taking it out "right before" they bake it. (Remember......just cuz it says retired doesn't mean I didn't own my own bakery for 9 years and been in the industry for a few more decades.....lol /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif) 

You see, the reason why his dough is not colouring, nor baking well in his oven could be a result of a few issues but we need the OP to answer some of the questions to narrow down the main issue at hand. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
 
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Is the shaped loaf going directly from the fridge to the oven? If I were trying to eliminate the oven as a source of thw problem I would skip the fridge retarding. Ferment, shape, proof and bake without retarding. If the loaves brown normally then the fridge is the issue.

I have better luck retarding bulk dough rather than shaped loaves. In either case the dough should come to room temp before baking.

Kyle
 
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Ntr disagreeing with anyone. But there is a difference between bulk retard and shaped retard. If you shape retard, I suggest that going from the fridge into the oven is no bueno. +1 for Brian, your oven should be hotter for simple yeast breads.

To the OP, there is no sugar or salt in this recipe?

99% of the time when you cold retard you need to cut back on the yeast so it can develop slowly. Slow development creates flavor and depth.

Otherwise, no reason to do it except for schedule. Just sayin. I've been retarded for years.
 
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I agree with @BrianShaw; 350F sounds like an awfully low setting for bread baking and if you're putting a chilled dough into an already cool oven it's going to drop the temperature even more. FWIW,  at home I usually start my bread at 500F and never drop the oven below 450. Also, as mentioned above, if you can create some steam in there, all the better.

How is the rise on your yeast bread? If the rise is fine and your overbaking just to get color; I'd opt for a cheat and either use a traditional glaze to enhance browning (milk, egg yolk, etc) or something like Quick Shine sprayed on before baking but after proofing. Either way, when your simple yeast bread hits an internal temperature of 190F, yank it outta there regardless of its complexion.
 
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Try to put your oven on the highest setting 30 min before baking and have a oven tray pre-heated in the oven as well, then just pull out the oven tray, put your bread on it. And trap some water in the oven as well, for example spray bottle, Ice cubes or 50 ml water poured into a container in oven. Have it on highest for 15 min, then lower it to 200 Celsius. And bake for another 15 minutes but always have an eye on it your first bakes. But all the ovens are pretty different In my opinion.
 
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The density issue could be one of many things.

Not mixed long enough, you want to have a well developed gluten structure, and an elastic dough. That will give the dough enough structure to hold gasses while proofing ( after being pulled from the fridge where your dough will be relaxed.

Not proofed long enough. The dough needs to have that gas inside to give the bread a light airy crumb.

Oven may not be hot enough. 350 is a better temp for dough with more fat and sugar. Higher temps 400+ are better for doughs with less fats like french and sourdough.

I like the idea presented in the book "flour water salt yeast" where they preheat a ceramic dutch oven, slip a proofed loaf in it, pop th lid back on and bake it. The loaf steams itself within the pot, and you get similar conditions to a hearth. 
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2012
350 degrees is way too low. I preheat my oven to 500, then lower it to 450 just as I put the loaf in the oven.

Also, convection ovens are known for not being the best for baking. If your oven has a way of switching the convection function off, DO SO!

Also, are you throwing the retarded bread in the oven with out allowing it to reach room temp? Another big no no.

Instead of the refrigerator retard, create a preferment such as a sponge. 5 oz AP flour, 5 oz warm water, teaspoon or two of yeast. Mix up and let sit on counter over night then make dough fresh the next morning and add the sponge as part of the recipe.

To give an idea of incorporating a sponge, check out this link  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2011/07/13/baguettes-do-try-this-at-home/
 
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Rustic breads are generally baked in a very hot oven: 450 degF. Try that, plus a spritz of water early in the bake to get the humidity in the oven higher.
Agree with the above statement. Even my sandwich breads are baked at 425 to 450.
 
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My standard torpedo aka batard is baked for 45 minutes at 460F in a Lodge 7 qt dutch oven.
 
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