Proofing help needed
Hi all, I am in need of your expert advice once again. Since I have found this forum my baking has improved no end, my problem (self diagnosed), is I believe that I am consistently under proving my loaves. The best loaves I have made so far were from this lovely recipe. So I know the recipe is good. I did add an extra 5g of salt, which I know slows the yeast down, but I like a bit more salt in my bread. Apart from that I kept exactly to the recipe.
My kitchen is very cold at the minute, between 8 and 10 degrees. So the first time I made this recipe, I used my oven to prove the bread ( with a jug of hot water in), actually I kept the starter, then the bulk rise and the final proof in the cooker. It actually proofed for the final proof rather faster than I was expecting. I thought I had over proofed it, so got it in the cooker as fast as possible. It deflated quickly when I turned it out, so I expected flat dense loaves. To my surprise, these came out, not perfect, but far better than I expected and the first time ever there has been any sign of ears on my bread.
Now, I made the same recipe again yesterday, again I did the starter and bulk rise in the oven, but at 6pm, after a five hour bulk rise, I shaped the loaves and put them in my garage, which is around the same temperature, maybe a degree or two colder then my kitchen. I took them out to bake at 6.15 this morning, they are in the oven now. But yet again they have blown out at the sides. If I have time I will take a photo.
The blowing at the sides happens with every loaf I make, and I have made many now. So, I think that I am under proofing every time. I have read loads of threads about the poke test, but it is obviously not helping me very much. Is there anything more subtle about the detail of correctly proofed dough? The dent stays down when I bake, so I think it is done.
I have read about taking a small piece of dough and putting that in a marked cup. Will a small piece of dough kept in the same conditions, proof at the same rate as a full loaf or will it proof faster?
I wish I had paid more attention to the dough I thought was over proofed, as it obviously wasn't.
The only other thing I can think of, is that it is a shaping issue, and I do need to work on that I know. When my bread is cool enough to take a picture, I will show you what has happened to this morning's bake.
Thank you all again. Your help is invaluable. I have learned such a lot.