The Fresh Loaf

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Question about final proofing

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bimfi's picture
bimfi

Question about final proofing

I do a lot of baking at home for friends and aquaintences. Mostly I produce dinner roll type breads called "Pandesal". Each batch yields around 12 dozen rolls. In the past I would make up the rolls on sheet pans and place them on my kitchen table (around 8 or 9 half-sheet pans) and cover them with a thin plastic sheet during the final proof.  Recently I purchased a half height bun pan rack to save space in my kitchen. What I have noticed is that the rolls are taking a bit longer to rise and did not rise as much in the oven as before. I think it might have something to do with moisture loss or "drying out" of the rolls during the final proof. Is it possible to modify this bun rack to act as a proof box? I thought of using a bun pan rack cover (either disposable or permanent) and then placing a pan of hot water on the bottom.

I guess my question is this: does the drying out of the outer skin of the unbaked dough prevent even rising or cause reduced rising when in the oven? I had no issues before I started using the rack. I usually bake them in a 410 degree F oven for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, then for about 4 minutes on the middle rack.

bimfi's picture
bimfi

Just curious. Did I place this thread in the wrong category? 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Are you still covering the rolls with plastic before putting them in the bun pan rack?  (By the way, is that the same kind of thing that is called a speed rack?  A metal frame on wheels that can accept half-sheet or full-sheet pans?) 

If you still cover the rolls with plastic, then I'm somewhat baffled about the change.  The only thing that comes to mind is that there is a difference in temperature for the location of your table and the location of the rack. 

If you have stopped covering the rolls, then it is very likely that the surface dries out and forms a tough skin.  That would hinder expansion during the final proof and in the oven.

Yes, you could put a basin of warm water beneath the rack to humidify the air, so long as you drape something over the rack to keep the warm, moist air enclosed.  You may need to place something on the floor to catch drips of condesantion.

Paul

bimfi's picture
bimfi

Yes, I believe it may rightly be called a speed rack. As for covering each pan individually, no I am not doing that. I am just covering the rack. Currently I am making up a batch of dough. It is in the sponge stage. When I am ready to shape the rolls, I will drape the sides and back with the plastic sheeting, tape it down on the edges and close off the sides. After all of the pans are in the rack, I will cover the front. I am mixing, proofing and shaping the dough in the garage. The temperature there is much higher than it is in the kitchen, so I think I will raise the house temperature to 80 degrees. I will let you know if the covering of the rack will keep the dough elastic enough to proof up.

bimfi's picture
bimfi

And it did so successfully.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Isn't it nice when a problem has such a simple solution?  Good thinking.

Paul