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Bulk fermentation when using a preferment

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Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Bulk fermentation when using a preferment

Hi TFL's 

In a two stage dough making process (preferment then bulk ferment) should a dough need to to double in size if the preferment is used when its ripe? 

If so, then I must be doing something else wrong. Today I made a standard white tinned loaf, with a sponge hydrated at 60%. My sponge deatails were as followed:

400g Strong white flour (100%) (33.3% of total dough flour)

240g Cold refridgerated water (60%)

2g Fresh yeast (0.5%)

So I made the sponge this morning at 11:30am, and took a temperature reading after mixing, it was 21 degrees C. With 0.5% yeast I expected it to take around about 8 hours to ripen, but I was wrong as it was ripe by 5pm (5.5 hours). So I made my final dough at this stage with the following ingredients:

800g Strong white flour

480g Cold refridgerated water

20.4g Fresh yeast (1.7%)

21.6g Salt (1.8%)

21.6g White fat (1.8%)

My dough was hand kneaded until it passed the window pane test, then left in a lighltly greased jug until it had doubled in volume. I then knocked back the dough, pre-shaped and left to rest 10 minutes, and then shaped and panned.

I proofed my two loaves at room temperature until they passed the finger poke test (at which point i was not satisfied with how much the loaves had risen, suggesting lack of strength in the dough?) procceded to bake at 240 degrees C with steam, for 15 mins, turning heat down to 200c and baking for a further 18 minutes. My loaves lacked oven spring, the crumb was dense, and the texture chewy.

So am I bulk fermenting too long, OR is there something else wrong?

Any help appreciated....

Many thanks

Matt 

Mirko's picture
Mirko

Hi Matt,

Suggestion #1: change your fresh yest percentage from 1,7 to 0,7. You have only white flour in your recipe so 0,7 must be enough.

Suggestion #2: After final dough is mixed take temperature reading - 24°C will be perfect,

Suggestion #3: then let ferment for 1 hour, do strech and fold and let ferment for additional 1 hour (this is the bulk fermentation),

Through strech and fold you will give the dough strenght.

After bulk fermentation pre-shape and let rest for about 10-15 min. After rest time do final shape (try to shape tighter and so create tention on dough surfice)

If you will proof at room temp. (20-22 °c) 1,5 hour should be enough (85 -90 %) it's better if you have slightly underproofed as 100 % proofed dough!

You baked your bread only for 33 min. total, I'm baking my bread (850g dough pieces) for approx. 38 to 45 min. I would suggest after 15 min. at 240°C drop to 220°c and bake for additional 22-25 min.

I'm suprised your preferment was only after 5,5 hours already ripe, my preferment need 14-16 hours after it domed in the center (o.k. I using 0,2 % fresh yeast in my preferment)

Sorry for my bad english, good luck with your next loaf of bread!

Mirko

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

What was the bulk ferment time?   I think your final dough is too cold.

You have to learn to make judgements about ripeness in the dough which are based more than simply on whether or not the dough has doubled.   Your sensory perception and breadmaking knowledge are crucial here.

I'd also like to see you getting 36g more water in the final dough too.

All good wishes

Andy

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Hi Andy,

The bulk ferment time was around about 30-40 minutes, I struggle to get my dough temp at 24, it usually ends up between 26-27, I believe this is due to my flour and ambient temperature being quite warm, but I have no where else to store the flour really, plus we only have a small kitchen which gets quite warm, around about 25-26 most times. But during that time, the dough had doubled.... suggesting my sponge was ripe? Im having difficulties grasping this whole 'dough rheology' aspect. So in other words your saying that dough could of had sufficent fermentation before it reaches double volume?

So adding 36g, would take it up to 63% yea?

Many thanks

Matt

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

I very much encourage you to try to relate your homebaking to what you do at work making "no-time" dough, when it comes to considering dough rheology.   Rheology is the term used to summarise all the changes which take place within the dough from the initial mixing and development of the gluten, through to the point of baking.   These changes are numerous and complex.

The obvious one is gas generation through yeast fermentation, because you can see that happening.   However, there are other things going on which induce essential change if you are to make good bread.   Of great importance are all the enzymatic reactions which take place, in addition to the zymase complex which takes care of kicking off the whole fermentation process in the first place.   Enzymes are catalysts which cause other reactions to take place inducing change; they only act in one specific way.   So, amylase breaks starch into sugars [diastase], those sugars are further broken down by invertase and maltase.   Protease enzymes break down the protein structure, softening the gluten and creating greater extensibility within the dough, allowing it to expand to accommodate the CO2 gas generated by the yeast fermentation.   There are others such as lipase which work on fats, and endotryptase which further break down proteins into amino acids.   Creation of these acids is the start of forming real dough strength.   Now can you see the importance of the pre-ferment?   A ripened dough, added as a pre-ferment, a portion of the final dough, therefore acts as a major catalyst itself, as it contains everything needed to kickstart rapid and successful dough rheology.   So, the sponge you have made is your dough improver!

The reason why "no-time" straight dough works is because that brightly coloured little sachet you use contains all the same properties that I have just described above.   Originally, the chemical L-Cysteine di Hydrochloride was used to break down the protein structure.   Now food manufacturers add protease enzymes instead, as enzymes are classed as food processing aids rather than chemicals which require adoption of an "E" number.   Hence, "clean label" is the real target here; the only chemical added as a dough improver is L-Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin "C"], although other chemicals are used such as emulsifiers and preservatives which do have to be declared; here I am only concerned with the conditioning of the dough.

Adding these "improvers" as enzymes and chemicals in this way means dough rheology is induced powerfully and rapidly...much more so than using a pre-ferment, or using bulk fermentation of a straight dough.   BUT, the same changes are taking place.   That means "no-time" dough utilises yeast for gas generation only; the other dimensions of fermentation as noted above, do not apply.   That is why so much more yeast is required; because the added improvers in the dough work so quickly to induce dough rheology, a much more rapid generation of gas is required.

To address your questions directly.....Insufficient bulk fermentation time, I'm afraid.   You are only making a small amount of dough in your home kitchen, so there will be little heat generation at the heart of your dough to counter the heat lost to the atmosphere at the surface of your dough.   You can, however, be happy if your dough temp is around 26-27 as you state.   I would try 1 hour of bulk, and see how that works.   Yes increase hydration too [63% is correct, and I know you are using top quality flour].   These 2 factors should help you to achieve more strength in the final dough, more rapid fermentation through the latter proof stages, and greater extensibility allowing the gluten to expand further and faster.

Regarding doubling, I really want you to move away from making judgements about the condition of your dough based purely on the volume of expansion achieved.   It is so much more complex than that, and the only way to grasp this is to use your own sensory perception...taste, smell, touch, sight etc, plus reading books, TFL etc, plus your all-important work as a baker.   You are in a much more fortunate position than most when it comes to grasping this complexity; you handle dough every single day...lots of it.   Take this experience into your homebaking world; it is a great tool for you to use, comparing the 2 different types of dough and using that to learn more about complex fermentation.

All good wishes

Andy

 

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Hi Andy,

I appreciate what your saying, regarding the fact I work with dough day in day out, but in my opinion comparing this to "artisan" baking, is very different. In the world of "no time" doughs it becomes a lot like "fail safe", in other words tolerance is a lot higher. Temperature doesnt really become an issue as our water meter pumps out water at around 6C, allowing for friction heat from the spiral mixer, and you need no understanding of fermentation as a whole? Simply mix, divide, shape, prove, and bake.... can't go wrong really? Plus shaping becomes a whole lot easier, as there has been no gas generation from a bulk fermentation?

Im making a loaf this evening with only half the ingredients as only making a single loaf, taking into account the two factors you have spoken about (higher hydration and longer bulk rise). I will post the outcome along with a picture on this thread after bake.

Many thanks,

Matt

 

 

 

 

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Ok, so I followed my normal recipe for a white tinned loaf this evening, but changing the two factors you spoke about. Unfortunately i'm still left very frustrated by the outcome....

My dough still lacked strength during the final proof, slashing was awkard, which suggested this. Oven spring was also poor. I'm yet to see the crumb, as its kinda late now and won't find out until the morning, but going by he looks of the bread, I expect pretty much the same as I have previously experienced.

Here are a few pics of the bake...

 

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... in your other thread discussing this problem, Mini inquired about the ripeness of your sponge. In response, you said:
hmmm, im not so sure.... i always take my sponge just after it starts to 'crease' in the middle? is this the peak time of a ripe sponge/poolish?

I'd say no, it's slightly over-ripe at that stage. So I can't help but think it might help matters using your sponge before it starts to crease and deflate. I have been caught out with over-ripe sponges and it's never been a happy outcome.

If you use your sponge while it is still ripening - say only increased in volume about 150% - 175% you'll find it does a grand job on the main dough. The trick, I find, is to catch it when the yeast is in full feeding frenzy mode, but before it starts to run out of food and slow down. By the time you see "creasing" and deflation, that has already happened.

Those photos you've uploaded suggest to me the possibility of over-proofing, which may be at least, in part, due to over-ripeness of your sponge.

All at Sea

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Thanks for your advice.... you could quite possibly be right in what your saying about my sponges being over-ripe. Next time I bake, I shall take this into consideration. I do find it hard weighing out enough yeast, 0.2% of 200g, which is 0.4g. So yeast in my sponge is never accurate.

Many thanks

Matt

PeterS's picture
PeterS

to your final dough? 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

The dough does indeed look fragile in the pan after cutting.   However, the burst on the side of the loaf after baking is not a sign of over-proof; the very opposite is usually the cause of this type of fault.

Out of interest, can you supply the dimensions of your pan, in either cm or mm, and the weight of your dough piece in g, please?

Have you thought about making this bread with Pate Fermentee instead of using Sponge?   The old dough, retarded in the fridge, may well give better dough strength from an increase in acidity.

Another thought is that you could try adding some barley malt syrup [say 2% on flour], as a means to encourage amylase activity for better fermentation?

Best wishes

Andy

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Hi Andy,

The dimensions of this particular pan are; 22cm long x 10.5cm wide x 11cm deep.... and i'm putting 950g (as I do with any large pan, 485g for small pans) of dough in there. Sorry to sound arrogant, but I know this is fine as I've created fantastic bread in this pan before.

Pate Fermentee could be worth a try yes.... do you have a recipe I could follow for a white tinned loaf, using this method?

If im doing things properly and my sponge is indeed ripe when being used, as 'All at sea' mentioned, surely I should not need to add any other ingredients?

Many thanks

Matt 

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Some pictures of great bread I made in the past.....

Dunno why I cant make it anymore :(

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

No, you are not sounding arrogant, and I already knew you make great bread, but good for others here to see your photos.

I was asking about tin dimensions so I could get more idea about the proof level of the loaf you photographed on 12th Sept.   I guess you would expext it to rise a little higher in the tin for you to be confident about the dough quality.   I was not questioning your choice of scaling weight for the tin.

For Pate Fermentee, use your base recipe, converted to straight dough, which I have noted as:

White Bread Dough

 

Strong White Flour                                                  100

Salt                                                                             1.8

White Fat                                                                   1.8

Fresh Yeast                                                              2.2

Water                                                                          63

TOTAL                                                                        168.8

The idea with Pate Fermentee is to keep a portion of the dough back from the day's production, and use that as your "improver" in the next day's bread.   As you probably don't make bread at home every day, what you will need to do is make up a small batch of dough the previous day; so it's not that different from a "sponge and dough", except you make a proper dough up in advance, rather than the more simple sponge.

For the Pate Fermentee, mix the dough to your normal spec, prove in bulk for around an hour, then refrigerate ready for use the next day.   You should then add the Pate Fermentee to the dough just as you add the sponge now.   However, I would cut back on the amount used, and start with 25% pre-fermented flour.   Note that the Pate Fermentee has been fully mixed as a dough, and it will be a full 24 hours old, even though it has spent most of that time chilled.

The logic behind me suggesting you could consider using a small amount of barley malt extract is as follows:

You have showcased some great bread above which you have made using a Sponge and Dough process, I believe.   Now you are understandably frustrated because the bread you are currently making using the same method is not working so well.   This means there must be a fault creeping in somewhere.   Faults can only arise due to errors occurring in either process, or material.   At the moment, you are focusing on your sponge as being the root of the problem, and you may very well be right to do this.   That would mean you had correctly identified your fault as being a process fault.   Probably the best means to establish process faults is to examine in detail the process you used to make the great bread photographed above and compare that with the detail of the process you are currently using.   It may be that you don't have enough detail to establish any discernible difference, but it would be worth you trying to look into this.   However, if you are sure there is no difference between the process used in the past, and the one you currently use, then it stands to reason that your fault is not due to process.   If that is the case, then your fault has to be a material fault.   And, the only material fault I can come up with at the moment is that the flour specification is at variance.   I think that this is unlikely, and you should continue to look in more detail at the process, but I'm just trying to offer helpful advice from the end of a pc.

I noted you saying it is hard to measure very small amounts of yeast; indeed it is.   Have you found Patrick at BakeryBits yet?   I bought this little gadget very recently.

See: http://bakerybits.co.uk/Digital-Spoon-Scale--P2721409.aspx

Take care

Andy

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Hi Andy,

The problems I do believe are in my process somewhere along the line. My problems started when I started paying attention to DDT, and the only way I was getting a reasonable DDT was by refridgerating my water (giving me a DDT of 26-27).

Before all this, I was simply making my sponge like normal, adding it to my dough, but then taking my water straight from the tap, paying no attention to what temperature it was. I then left my doughs to bulk ferment for 1 hour, and then proceeded as normal. I was getting consistent results this way.

So I'm thinking that maybe because the dough temeperature was higher, the dough was fermenting more in the allotted 1 hour of bulk fermentation? I was reading a thread this morning (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23006/goma-shokupan-sesami-loaf), where somebody was allowing there dough to triple in bulk and getting great looking bread with great oven spring, but it was sourdough. Maybe I could go back to what I did before, and allow my dough to increase to that volume in bulk fermentation? What are your thoughts? Would I run the risk of over-proofing?

Thanks for the information on Pate Fermentee, I will give this a try. Should I be looking for a DDT before placing it in the fridge after the 1 hour fermentation?

Many thanks

Matt

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Matt,

If I may jump in here briefly and suggest just one more alteration to your process worth considering, in addition to everything Andy has  advised. I note in your process that you opt to punch the dough down rather give the dough any stretch and folds. One or two stretch and folds will go a long way towards strengthening your dough, equalizing the temperature during bulk ferment, and prevent excess gas from building up. It's the single most effective technique for controlling all three of these important factors during bulk fermentation that I know of.

All the best,

Franko 

ananda's picture
ananda

Matt, Franko, this is so true.

Firstly, if the dough is simply left in bulk to "double", or "triple" [an indequate way of judging fermentation], then large pockets of CO2 gas develop, negatively impacting on yeast activity.   Yeasts need O2 to move around; CO2 stops this.

So gently stretching and folding prevents the excess gas build up in large and irregular pockets, as Franko intimates here.

Additionally, when it comes to pre-shape and final mould, it usually means the dough piece is subject to less stress.   Let us all be aware that Matt is trying to make a UK-style Sandwich loaf here, and so the goal is an even and regular crumb; no big holes.   That means final shaping has to be done by moulding the dough tightly.   If the dough has been kept under control through stretch and folding, then it will be easier to mould and shape the final dough piece more gently, not subjecting it to too much stress.   I am convinced that dough that is subjected to too much stress during final shaping rarely comes out as attractive looking, bold bread.

Matt, if you are going to employ S&F successfully, then you may need to make your dough a little softer, and also mix it less intensively.   That is just something to consider in the future; try just adding in a couple of folds into your bulk period for now.

Best wishes

Andy

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

I believe I have been encouraging you to look carefully at the dough temperature all along.   This is implied above, when I suggested you had not employed sufficient bulk time.   An increase of 1*C causes gas generation to increase by 6%.   So if your dough temperature is down at 24*C, and you really want it to be 28*C, you can see that the dough will need considerably longer time to ferment.

Do you know about the formula to calculate water temperature for a given DDT?   If you want any help on that, drop me a pm.   Whatever, and I have definitely stated this above; you are mixing a tiny amount of dough in your kitchen in relation to the quantities of dough you might mix at work.   Imagine mixing a commercial quantity of your sponge and dough formula in your workplace and then subjecting it to bulk fermentation: the heat generated at the centre of the dough through fermentation in a large amount of dough is tremendous.   By illustration, we used to mix our French Leaven at Village Bakery in 130kg batches and prove in one large bin.   The leaven was ready within 3-4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature of the bakery.   There was no way to hold the leaven back once it was nearly ready to use; the chiller was completely ineffective countering that heat generation in the centre of the leaven.   But in a tiny piece of dough in your kitchen, the heat lost from the surface will actually be greater than the heat generated in the middle of the dough.   The result of this is that your dough gets colder during fermentation; exactly what you don't want.

What I really think is that you need to return your dough temperature to 28*C, and try to find a way to hold it around that mark, without going any warmer.   Then go back to whatever bulk ferment time you allowed before, and see how you get on.   If the dough still needs more bulk, then give it more bulk.   If you think the sponge needs more time to ripen, try that; or you may think it needs less, so try that.

If you use Pate Fermentee, then the DDT should be the same as you want your dough to be.   Note also that I recommended you to cut down proportion of pre-fermented flour because pate fermentee has full quantity of yeast added, as well as full water, and full mixing.

Good; I think this should really help you get on track.   Keep thinking about it and you will work it through...and be a better baker for it afterwards too!

Best wishes

Andy

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Hi Andy,

Many thanks for taking the time to help me, and others who have also commented in this thread as of now.

I think you have pointed out a few things that I can go away and concentrate on for the time being. I shall be attempting another White tinned loaf tommorow evening, using a sponge. I'm going to go back to the process I used before (when I was making consistantly good bread) and see what outcome I get. I will include a couple of S&F's during my 1 hour bulk period, do I need to still knock back the dough afterwards? Also, does this run the risk of over-developing the gluten, if I'm kneading until I get a window pane?

Many thanks

Matt

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

Using the folding procedure which Franko recommended should mean that you are able to control the gas generation and the strength in the dough.   Gentle folding means the dough should not become over-worked.   That is the principle which Franko is enlightening you with.   It means that when you come to mould your final dough pieces, they will not be so difficult to de-gas and mould.   You should never have to knock back the dough too vociferously.

My best advice is to go back to your original process, but please monitor your dough temperature very carefully.   Initial dough mixing is something you may want to look at and alter in the future; stick with what you have always done for now.

Best wishes

Andy