Novice question: is Sourdough crumb a bit gummy?

(BreadBunny) #1

I’ve just made my third sourdough loaf which rose beautifully in the oven in my fabulous Breadtopia oblong clay baker. I used the cold start baking method.
The loaf was lightly browned when I took the lid off at 60 minutes so I left it in for another 10 and it browned a little more. Not as dark as many I’ve seen, but it looked fine to me.
I let it cool for an hour before cutting to try a slice, and it was delicious. But I noticed the crumb felt a little tacky and my bread knife had a thin gummy residue on it.
Is that normal? Or should I have let it bake longer? Or cool longer?
I’m new to sourdough (and bread baking) so I’m not sure what the crumb is supposed to be like.
Appreciate any shared wisdom … Thanks!

(Paul) #2

I’ve generally gotten better results with the crust by baking loaves covered for about 20-30 minutes and then uncovered for about 20-30 minutes rather than leaving the cover on for as long as you did.

I’ve only ever had that “gummy” result when I either didn’t bake long enough, or didn’t allow the loaf to cool long enough, or both. If you get the internal temperature of the loaf up over 200f for a bit and you have a nicely browned crust and you let it cool for long enough, then it should not be gummy and your bread knife should cut it cleanly without leaving any residue.

(BreadBunny) #3

Thanks Paul, that’s very helpful. Especially the internal temp. Next time I’ll remove the lid sooner and have the Thermapen handy.

(whippet) #4

Thermapens are nice. But, I find the one I use that I put in and leave there to be more useful for bread. I put it in after the bread has been baking for about 10 min, so it’s set up and the top is solid. Mine is electronic and has a remote read out. I can set it at a temp and the alarm goes off. Really handy. Just be sure the is near the center of the loaf. Think it coast $30 - 35. I have an instat read and use it but find this handier for bread. BTW most of my white and multi grain bread is baked to 195 or 198 F and is always done.

(BreadBunny) #5

Thanks for that suggestion, I have one of those thermometers too that I use for roasts. Didn’t occur to me to try it for bread.

(mustangmike) #6

I would buy myself a $6.00 Taylor stick thermometer on Amazon and stick the middle of the loaf and leave it in until it registers 200°. Usually for me that nearly 70 minutes using cold oven method with the cover on the whole time. I use a Romertopf clay pot.

(BreadBunny) #7

I’m beginning to suspect I need to get an oven thermometer to verify the accuracy of my oven.

I’m curious about the temperature you bake at for the 70 minutes. I also used the cold bake method, setting the oven at 500°F for 30 minutes then reducing to 450°F for another 30 minutes before removing the top of the baker to allow it to brown.

I timed my oven yesterday and it takes a full 22 minutes to get to whatever it thinks is 500, which seems like a pretty long time. Yet another variable to deal with :slight_smile:

(mustangmike) #8

I just bought a new stove and it gets to 450° much faster than my old oven, 22 minutes doesn’t too far out of line, it sounds like my old stove. I don’t take the lid off my Romertopf. I leave it on. I don’t preheat anymore I just stick the pot in the oven set the temp at 450° timer for 70 minutes, not pre-heating has helped me get better oven spring. Back when I pre-heated my oven I think I set the time for 55-60 minutes.

(texclydes) #10

That’s what I do and have great results. I bought a nice instant read thermometer, and bake until 205F internal dough temp. I really only take the temp before I pull it out just to confirm. I go 25 minutes with lid on, then 25 more with lid off. Occasionally it needs to stay in for another 5 minutes at the end. Also I recommend reducing the H2O % if the loaf coming out too gummy, maybe only by 5% and see how that changes things.