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Many Splendid Cake Question
Posted: 02 July 2012 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Flour Girl - 02 July 2012 06:33 PM

What about the breads you bake? Do you eat them?

Most breads contain very little fat and very little sugar, so, yes, I do eat those.  But brioche-type breads….no.

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Posted: 02 July 2012 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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That’s great Charles. It’s nice to see you are health conscious.

I baked one of the Many Splendid cakes today.  I went to the store and bought organic instant oatmeal. There is a big difference in the size of the flakes compared to the old fashioned oats I previously used. 

The cake I baked today uses unbleached AP flour. I was going to bake another one today using bleached flour but today was not a good day.  My husband’s friend lost his mother today and another of his friends lost his battle with cancer.

I will bake the other cake tomorrow.

I’ll make note of any changes I observe as the cake ages.

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Posted: 03 July 2012 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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CharlesT - 02 July 2012 05:03 AM
Flour Girl - 02 July 2012 04:46 AM

Do you feel the oats are more likely the cause then the unbleached AP flour?

It will be interesting to hear the results of your experiments.

I didn’t make the control cake yet but after seeing the results of the cake using instant oats I made yesterday, a third cake might not be necessary.

Yesterday’s cake did not rise as much as the first cake. The crumb appears tighter and more dense.

This morning I noticed the dreaded gummy band on the distal end of a slice of the new cake. This band appeared 4 days earlier than on the original cake.  I think the original cake tastes better too.

So, I have to conclude the old fashioned rolled oats did not contribute to generating the band. In fact, they might have retarded the process.

Last night I finished the last piece of the original cake and noticed the gumminess previously noted was gone.

I am wondering if that gumminess could have indicated under baking??? The recipe calls for 35-45 minutes. I removed the cake at 32.

The new cake:

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Posted: 03 July 2012 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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To the extent that the soluble fiber in the oats contributed an emulsifying effect on the crumb (the denser and tighter crumb), it makes sense that instant would have this effect earlier and in a more pronouced way, as the more processed version would be faster to give off its soluble components than the slow-cook version. 

I see the layer at the bottom that you’re talking about, but I’m not sure what to attribute it to.  Could be underbaking, execept that the top is nicely domed and normally I would expect and underbaked portion of the cake to be at the middle, rather than on the bottom (unless this was baked by putting the loaf pan on another pan, or something like that). 

Do you think it could be something like the oats are migrating to the bottom and attracting moisture over several days until they appear gummy, then drying out after that?  Except that it doesn’t look like any one ingredient is sitting at the bottom, everything looks well-distributed.

Stumped!

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Posted: 03 July 2012 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Thank you Julie!  Your theory sounds very logical to me. The above cake was baked yesterday.  I think that band is from using unbleached flour. I actually think this new cake was a little over baked which caused contracting. It does look like it rose nicely but when compared it to the first cake, it is shorter, denser and not as good. I baked it for 35 minutes.

I much prefer the 1st cake I made.  I think the first cake I made (pictured below) might have been slightly under baked because the gummy texture was noticed after several slices had been cut (only present in the middle of the cake) and was not there anymore as I worked my way to the end of the cake.

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Posted: 03 July 2012 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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So, Flour Girl, confirm:  the cake isn’t changing over time, it’s just that by consuming it, more and more of the interior is visible, right?

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Posted: 03 July 2012 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Flour Girl - 03 July 2012 05:13 PM

I think that band is from using unbleached flour. I think the first cake I made (pictured below) might have been slightly under baked because the gummy texture was noticed after several slices had been cut (only present in the middle of the cake) and was not there anymore as I worked my way to the end of the cake.

Makes perfect sense! smile

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Posted: 03 July 2012 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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CharlesT - 03 July 2012 08:14 PM

So, Flour Girl, confirm:  the cake isn’t changing over time, it’s just that by consuming it, more and more of the interior is visible, right?

Correct on the first cake. As the first cake was slowly finished, the gummy area disappeared.

The second cake, however, seems to have the gummy band at the bottom of the slice exposed to air. It seems as though it will be consistent with each slice.

Additionally, I don’t like the cake as much as I did with the old fashioned rolled oats. The first cake was light, airy and flavorful. The second cake is dense.

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Posted: 03 July 2012 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Julie - 04 July 2012 12:46 AM
Flour Girl - 03 July 2012 05:13 PM

I think that band is from using unbleached flour. I think the first cake I made (pictured below) might have been slightly under baked because the gummy texture was noticed after several slices had been cut (only present in the middle of the cake) and was not there anymore as I worked my way to the end of the cake.

Makes perfect sense! smile

Julie, do you think the instant oats augmented the formation of the band because it was not present in the cake which used old fashioned oats? Both cakes were made with unbleached flour.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I don’t know if this enters into it at all, but I wonder if you would have a band at all, especially on the rolled oats one, if you cooled the cake higher off the counter—which you might already do.  I always put my cooling rack on a metal colander or on a bowl that is much bigger than the diameter of the cake, so there’s more air circulation.  I always think when the cooling rack is on the counter, with just that 1/2 of space under the cake, that heat can build up there.  Could that be contributing to the denser (i.e, sort of “moister”) band, especially taken together with the other variables?

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Posted: 04 July 2012 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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[quote author=“Flour Girl” date=“1341385132
Julie, do you think the instant oats augmented the formation of the band because it was not present in the cake which used old fashioned oats? Both cakes were made with unbleached flour.

It makes sense.  I don’t have the recipe in front of me but I assume it’s an oil cake, is that right?  If so, you should have been able to make it with unbleached flour, it just would have affected the texture, making it less tender (and maybe higher rising).  Sometimes the increased gluten from a higher-protein flour can come across as gummy, or hard to swallow, but it doesn’t form a band in a oil cake formula.

If the band is from the instant oats, then I would suspect that the soluble fiber is heavy and sank, forming a gummy band.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Anne in NC - 04 July 2012 01:03 PM

I don’t know if this enters into it at all, but I wonder if you would have a band at all, especially on the rolled oats one, if you cooled the cake higher off the counter—which you might already do.  I always put my cooling rack on a metal colander or on a bowl that is much bigger than the diameter of the cake, so there’s more air circulation.  I always think when the cooling rack is on the counter, with just that 1/2 of space under the cake, that heat can build up there.  Could that be contributing to the denser (i.e, sort of “moister”) band, especially taken together with the other variables?

I can try that. My cooling rack has 1 inch feet. Next time I’ll try the bowl and see if it works. Thanks Anne!

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Posted: 04 July 2012 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Julie - 04 July 2012 01:47 PM

It makes sense.  I don’t have the recipe in front of me but I assume it’s an oil cake, is that right?  If so, you should have been able to make it with unbleached flour, it just would have affected the texture, making it less tender (and maybe higher rising).  Sometimes the increased gluten from a higher-protein flour can come across as gummy, or hard to swallow, but it doesn’t form a band in a oil cake formula.

If the band is from the instant oats, then I would suspect that the soluble fiber is heavy and sank, forming a gummy band.

Then Charles’ theory (instant oatmeal) would be supported.  That must be it then. Charles described how instant oatmeal absorbs more liquid at a faster rate than regular rolled oats.

Maybe I had 2 separate issues with each of the cakes which coincidentally showed visible changes.

The first cake’s band did not appear until the cake began to age, and I got further into the loaf, making me feel it might have been slightly under baked.

The second cake’s band was evident as soon as I cut into the cake.

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