The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Banneton stacking and proofing question

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

Banneton stacking and proofing question

I'm planning on baking about 60 loaves the day before Christmas.  Since I do this pretty much by myself, I'm planning on mixing and shaping the dough on the Wednesday before Christmas, baking on Thursday.  I lined up bannetons and was planning on letting them rise overnight in my enclosed proofing box.  Unfortunately, the bannetons ended up being bigger than expected, and they won't all fit in the box (I was planning on 5 per layer and only two fit).  My next thought is to lay them out on a table, but I'm concerned about them drying out too much as I don't have anything to cover them with.  Should I wrap them in garbage bags or any other thoughts?  Should I just let them sit out and not worry about it?  I expect they'll be proofing about 12 hours until I can get the WFO up to temperature.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

is probably going to create a major sticking problem, since the flour you use in the banneton will hydrate from the dough and act like a glue. more likely than not,  you'll find that your loaves will tear and collapse when you try to load them. i think you're probably better off cold-proofing them overnight on parchment. that way, you won't run the risk of ending up with 60 doorstops. you might need to reduce the hydration of your dough, but that's a small price to pay.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I would suggest you think about using a mix that isn't going to require a 12 hour proof. It would be a lot more predictable to mix and develop, ferment and maybe pre shape, Then shape and proof for 30-45 minutes. This would allow you to stagger the loaves ready to bake so you don't end up with a bunch of over proofed or under proofed dough.


You didn't say what kind of bread you want to bake or what the capacity of your WFO is. If it were me, I would make the dough mix fit the time profile. No matter what you decide to do, you can't leave all that dough out without temp and moisture control in a proofing mode for 12 hours. Stan is correct about the sticking issue. If you leave the fermented dough cold in bulk, you could remove the amount that will fit in the WFO every 45 minutes, shape and drop in a basket. Turn the proofer up to 80F or so and bake them after 45 minutes. If you would like some formula help let me know and I will show you what I've done in the past.


In general, a sourdough bread would give you a better rise with a shorter proof. There are exceptions but I'm always surprised at how nicely my cold baked SD loaves turn out.


Eric

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

Thanks Stan and Eric.  I didn't point this out above, but the reason for the overnight proof is my own physical limitations.  These are Christmas gifts for friends and family and I only do it once a year, for the past 25 years or so.  Over those years, I've developed a bad back and can't do it all in one day.  


 


As to the formula, it's what Jeff Hamelman called a 5 seed loaf which is really 2 seeds and 3 coarse grains in a soaker.  I ran a test run last weekend with smaller bannetons I had with the overnight proof, and all went well.  My WFO holds 12 loaves, so I'm looking at 5 batches.  The bannetons are well floured so sticking was not an issue.  They were, however, slightly over proofed at 60F.  I was looking at reducing the temp to about 50 - 55 for this weekend's final test, but that was with them all being in the proofing box.  I can reduce the temp in a room to approximately 50 which is my plan for this weekend, but I'm still stuck on how to cover them.  Since you both seem to have the same concern, I guess a plastic bag is my only option?


BTW, other than being slightly over proofed, last weekend's loaves turned out quite well and were well received around the neighborhood :)


--Warren

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in flower formation and then stack 5 above them (resting the banneton bases on the edges of the lower cluster) and stack them 4 or 5 high and still get a large bag over them all?  A table outside?  I don't know your outside temperature... in the shade?


Mini

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

That's what I'm guessing I'll have to do....  We can get an inside temp down to around 50 - 55.  Outside is freezing over night now...  Last week we did about 65F... so 50 or so should be perfect.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You might not have to be so concerned with drying out because there is very little evaporation going at that temperature.  A refrigerator on the other hand tends to dry out the dough.  You might get away with just a light dust of flour.  And hanging a wet towel nearby.


50° F is pretty cold....60°?


Mini

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hello,


Am I right in that we've discussed some of this before?  Seems like nearly this same subject was part of a thread a couple of months ago.


Anyway, as long as you have control over the room temperature, you may be fine with just using floured couche -- or floured cotton towels as a second choice -- on top of the baskets to cover the raw loaves, and then try to cover THAT with plastic sheeting of some sort to prevent moisture loss.  If sticking is any risk at all, then mix some rice flour with your standard dusting flour to help minimize that when proofing in either bannetons or couche.  I've seen Bob's Red Mill's rice flour for sale in many supermarkets that have a natural foods aisle.


If the room where you're proofing is on the dry side, then entirely enclosing the cloth-draped bannetons inside a plastic bag may be your best bet.  I do this all the time when baking at home, and it works well, as long as I have control over the ambient room temperature.


I think you're wise to test this repeatedly before the big night.  Keep some spiked egg nog nearby in case things don't work as planned.  Good luck.


--Dan DiMuzio


 

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

Yes, we did.  At that time I was considering an onion pump, but was having problems with the loaves maintaining a free formed shape.  As, I believe you suggested, I discussed the problem with Jeff Hamelman a little before Thanksgiving.  He told me it was a lost cause due to the nature of rye.  Simply put he didn't think it would hold overnight.  That is when he showed us this 5 "seed" bread and then suggested that this might be a replacement.  Formula wise it has been great, and I had only a few adjustments after last week's test... that is till the banneton's arrived.


 


If I put a humidifier in the room at 55F or so, do you think I could get away without putting them in plastic bags?  Guess I could test that this weekend too....

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

But you'd be wise, again, to test this.  The temperature is up to you and your production schedule.  I usually use 80% humidity in a dedicated proofing unit, but only testing in your own "proofing room" will answer your question about abandoning the bags.


--DD

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

The experiment is off and running.  Porch temp is down to about 61 now and will continue to drop.  I found one of those misting type humidifiers, so I have that running too....


2# dough balls


 


In the bannetons

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

Here's the finals :)   Thanks for everyone's suggestions.


 



 



 



 



 


Elagins's picture
Elagins

loaves ... outstanding spring, lovely crumb. my hat's off to you


 


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Awesome!