Impact of accelerating fermentation/proofing?
I'm relatively new to baking and I wonder what the conventional wisdom is on acceerating fermentation or proofing by using a warmed space (usually an oven that has been briefly warmed or an oven with a pot of steaming water beneath the fermentation vessel). Now, there is no doubt that this speeds up the rise, but I wonder what am I really losing by speeding this process up? So far, my bread recipies have used instant yeast and a fermentation time of 2-3 hours (no poolish or overnight refridgerator rising, I don't have the patience) - by adding some hot water to my oven, I can cut that down to about an hour. Most of the articles I've found so far state that a longer rise will result in more flavorful bread - but could accelerated rising cause other problems as well? Such as the texture, crumb, or ovenspring? Whether I speed up the fermentation/proofing or not, my biggest problem is getting enough ovenspring so that the loaf comes out light and fluffy. I don't get bricks, but the results are sometimes more dense than I think sandwich bread shoud be.
I'm still learning how all this works so I appreciate your comments. Here's a basic recipe that I've been using for a sandwich loaf, courtesy of Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything". Usually after combining the ingredients, kneading, there's a 2-3 hour rise, then a punch down, 15 minute rest, then another 1-2 hour rise, then baking at 350 for 45 minutes.
16 oz. bread flour
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/3 c. 2% milk, room temperature
1 tbsp honey