The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The loaf falling immediately after scoring

  • Pin It
drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

The loaf falling immediately after scoring

I recently baked two of Hamelman's breads (the wonderful cheese bread, and the hazelnuts-prunes). Both with sourdough. In the first i added commercial yeasts as well according to the recipe (but not in the prunes bread). Over-night proofing in the fridge, then 1-2 hours warm up at room temp. I scored the loafs and they immediately lost a lot of volume, and just fell to a much shallower hight. In the oven there was a nice rising, but I still worry about the lost of that precious air due to scoring. Is there a way to avoid it?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Sounds like they may have been overproofed.

Mr. Hamelman writes about final fermentation in step nine at page 21 of Bread.

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

I could tell that by eye - when the bread was out of the fridge it hardly expanded comparing to before placed in the fridge. I actually suspected underproofing, because I left it overniht for only 10 hours. I tried to compensate by 2 hours warm up instead of 1, but even after those 2 hours it was not very high, still it lost a lot of hight by scoring.

 

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... it can be overproofing. I have to agree with Lindy. Loaves that are underproofed don't deflate when you score them. Loaves that are ripe but not overproofed don't deflate either. It's only when you've overproofed that they emit a sad little sigh and gently slump. If your dough was very slack due to high hydration levels, then it might lose height once free of its banneton, yes. But that would start to happen before you slash.

I suspect the reason your dough didn't expand after it came out of the fridge was because the yeast was unable to make much further in the way of CO2 despite the warmer temperature of the room - because it was almost out of starch food.

All at Sea

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Am curious if you caught the cheese bread sidebar instruction:  If it will be retarded, use only half the yeast at most.  

Also, if you made the roasted hazelnut and prune bread listed on page 185, that formula says nothing about retarding the bread overnight; it's to be baked after a one hour final fermentation.   Definitely fermented too long.

All's well that ends well, and since you didn't wind up with bricks, that's all that counts.  I've not baked the hazelnut/prune bread, but find the cheese loaf quite wonderful, especially when using Parmigiano-Reggiano.

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

First thank you two for trying to help me with that dissapointing result this morning...

I'm trying to understand what went wrong. What causes the lack of starch?  Do you mean the overproofing happened earlier - during the bulk fermentation? That might be, as it was very warm around. But I must admit that during the folding (one hour into the bulk fermentation) I did not feel much air going out as I ususally do. Maybe before? That bread needs stiff starter - I did it according to the recipe but it became softer than a real stiff levain (somewhere between stiff and liquid levain) - I guess again because of the temprature (I waited less than the recommended 12 hours for the lavein). And generally the final dough was quite wet and sticky. 

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

And as per the general recommendation of Mr. Hamelman, I understood that I can ommit the yeast completely for a longer fridge retardation - and this is what i did with the hazelnuts prunes bread - Is that wrong?

Regarding the commercial yeats - do you mean that using too much causes overproofing? (depletion of starch?). Because when you said overproofing I intuitively thought about too much air (which I did not see) more than too low starch (which I can't see).

 

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

Why overproofed breads collapse while rightly proofed don't - the amount of air might be the same, right? Is it that overproofing make the dough weaker to hold that air?

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I am curious about the final product.  How was it, without regard to the events leading up to it?

Jeff

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

But still not bad. The crumb quite dense, small bubbles. I attached some photos...

Oh... and quite sour too

o

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello drdudidu,

1. Shape your loaf after overnight retard, not before.

2. Omit the overnight retard.

Lindy is on the money; your description in the first post is clearly due to over-proof.

Best wishes

Andy

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Good pictures......and I would definitely agree on the over proofing.  Do not despair as this is very nice looking bread and you are very very close to a great loaf.  Make certain that your refrigerator temperature is at or near 40 °F.  Also do not wait long between the final mix and the refrigerator.  Depending on the size of your batch and the size of your refrigerator, it can take a long time for the dough to cool and it is fermenting away during this time period.  If your house is warm and the weather is warm and so on, you might want to mix with cool or cold water to slow things down and prevent over proofing.  Take Andy's advice and shape the loaf after it leaves the refrigerator as this will give you more control over the final loaf.  When I refrigerate dough overnight, I generally take the dough from the cooler and let it warm for 2-3 hours before shaping the loaf.  This way I know the feel of the dough just before baking and can adjust the timing of the final proof accordingly.

Jeff

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

Thank you all for the advice. This is really helpful. And thanks Jeff for your nice words.

Yes, I admit that having your loaf loosing it's air few seconds before baking it made me close to give up...

But noworries I will not give up.

I just did not get the point of shaping after the fridge. In most of Hamelman's (wonderful) breads I tried in the past I shaped and then proofed overnight in the fridge. What's the point of the overnight (up to 19 hours) proof if you degass it later (during the shaping)???

And I agree - I wasn't very accurate with timing and tempratures. I was sure that leaving the shaped loaves in room temp after the bulk fermentation for 40 minutes before putting in the fridge would help them rise - and that was probably detrimental.

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

What's the point of the overnight (up to 19 hours) proof if you degass it later (during the shaping)???

Flavor and overall superior quality.

Jeff

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You mentioned that your kitchen was quite warm, so I'm curious if you follow Mr. Hamelman's advice about determing the proper water temperature before mixing (first paragraph, page five and pp 382-385).   If  your dough is too warm and is sitting in a very warm kitchen, the rate of fermentation speeds up at the cost of dough strength and flavor.   If the dough is too cold, the yeast become sluggish and fermentation slows, which is not a bad thing in terms of flavor -  if you have lots of free time.

Retarding overnight, then shaping and baking the next day improves the flavor of straight doughs (see page 232 of Bread).  I've never tried it because I bake only sourdough, but it would be fun to give it a try just for the experience.

While your boules may be a bit low in height,  they look very nice and the scoring pattern on the top one is quite attractive.

I'm reminded of Pat's (proth5) quote from her teacher:  Everything must be perfect.  It rarely is, but in the journey we learn.

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

I don't measure the dough temp. I think baking should be fun, so I try to leave some of my obsessive habits outside the kitchen (only the very extreme ones, as I know some obsessiveness is useful in baking). Usually it works and is rewarding. When it's not I'm sharing it with others and try to improve.

I'm impressed by your absolute familiarity with "The Bread".

I'm sure Mr. Hamelman would still be happy with people like me that only partially obeying to his advices. He actually responded once to one of my posts and gave his useful opinon.