The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

On shaping the night before (a question)

vyapti's picture

On shaping the night before (a question)

I made Reinhart's Pane Siciliano (sp?) this weekend.  I did the pre ferment friday night, then refrigerated it.  Took it out Saturday night, let it rise and shaped it into baguette loaves.  After a slow overnight rise in the garage (probalby 50 degrees).  Two of the loaves had risen into each other and, in the process of trying to fix them, I degassed them and had to reshape (then I gave them another rise).  Then I baked the third preshaped loaf and the two others separately.

The difference between the two breads was remarkable.  In tasting them, I would not have guessed that they were from the same dough.  The first loaf was flat (not round), but the crumb was amazing.  It was chewy and tasted buttery and it had irregular air pockets, just the way it was supposed to.  The crust was thick and flaky too.  The other baguettes (which I reshaped) were fine.  good and edible and that's about it.

So here's my question.  What happened?  Did the additional rise change the sugar balance?  Is shaping the dough the night before the key?  How do you get a dough to hold it's shape that long?


LindyD's picture

How do you get a dough to hold it's shape that long?

By using a brotform, banneton, or couche.  I retard preshaped loaves/boules regularly and in fact, many formulas call for shaping, then retarding the dough overnight.

sewcial's picture

...does not need a brotform for proofing. It is stable enough on its own when made as the recipe. I have made it twice, both times shaping in the scrolls as in the book. The first time, I put all three scrolls on one cookie sheet and found, as you did, vyapti, that one rose into another. As soon as I noticed that, I, very carefully, moved one to another pan. Mine rested overnight in the refrigerator, which is around 34-37'F so that extra cold may have helped it hold its shape while I moved it. I managed to do it without degassing or distorting it so all of them had the wonderful creamy (or buttery as you described) flavor and a lightly chewy crumb. I love this bread! 

Although I don't have an answer to why your reshaped loaves didn't have the same flavor, I would just suggest you put only two on one pan and the third on another pan. 

Since my kitchen stays at around 50 degrees most of the time, I've considered retarding dough right on the counter. When I am working on bread dough during the day, I will often put a little portable heater in the kitchen, but that never raises the temp higher than 60' so I usually use the oven on the "keep warm" setting it at 100 for a few minutes, then off for a few.

Sorry I don't have any scientific explanation of what happened with your reshaped loaves, but at least you can get the result you want as long as you give the loaves enough space to rise separately.


vyapti's picture

thank you all for your comments.  I've only been baking bread for a couple months, so all your comments are appreciated.  I'm slowly building up my baking gear, but I need to do a little triage with my other gagets first (or my wife will kill me).  Next time I'll do the retard phase in the fridge and shape afterward.