The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sunk in the oven

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charliehorse's picture
charliehorse

Sunk in the oven

I have just recently started to make bread and are still going through a lot of trial and error. Can any one tell me why in some instances my bread sinks a little in the oven when it has risen without any probalems prior to been put in.

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fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Overproofing is the most common culprit of this.  During the second proof after shaping, you shouldn't let your bread rise more than double, and even then only if you've fully degassed the dough.  Otherwise, I wouldn't rise more than around 1.5 times and let oven spring give you the rest.

Overproofing results in two things: 1) lower yeast activity which kills oven spring, and 2) a breakdown of the gluten network in the dough.  It's the latter that you're most probably experiencing.

So, my advice would be to cut back on the second proof, and also make sure you've fully developed the gluten during the kneeding stage (just remember to window-pane-test the dough before putting it out for bulk fermentation).

charliehorse's picture
charliehorse

Thanks for the advise on the over proofing this is actually what I suspected was the case but its great to know for sure,I appreciate it.

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Heh, well, I wouldn't go so far as to say "for sure", but it's a good place to start tweaking to see if you can solve the problem. :)

holds99's picture
holds99

CH,

FWIW, I agree with FP.  From your description it sounds like the symptoms of overproofing.  No matter how temptiing it is to see how high you can get your loaves during final proof/fermentation, don't do it.  You want to get them into the oven at about double or slighly less in volume.  The oven heat (and steam, if you're using it, which serves to keep the crust soft and moist during the critical first 8-10 minutes of oven spring) should provide the "kick" needed to take them the rest of the way to a fully risen loaf. 

Early on I fell into the "gett'em higher trap" during final proofing.  If, after final proofing/fermentation, your dough is high and jiggles, like gelatin, when you pick up the pans/bannetons, containing the dough, it's most likely overproofed and is very likely to start sinking as you put it into the oven.  One thing you might want to try, if you're not doing it now, is the floured index finger press test to see if they are ready for the oven.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL