The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Unopened slashes equals overproofing?

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techieelectric's picture
techieelectric

Unopened slashes equals overproofing?

Unfortunately my camera is not working at the moment (due to an accident in which it took a tumble into a beer glass) so I'm going to have to use hopefully not quite a thousand words to describe how my bread turned out. 


 


Essentially I'd like to know why my slashes didn't open up much, I baked a wholewheat batard, at 79% hydration with a mix of high gluten flour, 5% rye flour and 10% wholewheat sourdough starter, but the main raising agent was dried yeast. I slashed it and baked it with steam for 40 mins. It had a brilliant oven spring, one of the best I've ever gotten, I think due to kinda getting the hang of the stretch and fold and some fairly decent shaping. I haven't gotten a chance to look at the crumb as I took it out of the oven about 10 mins ago. The main thing is that my one long slash along the top of the loaf didn't really open up at all, is this a symptom of overproofing? I hasn't got any other symptoms such as poor oven spring or pale crust though. I did leave it for its final rise half an hour more than I had planned as it still sprung back a lot when I poked it, but I haven't got a lot of faith in my ability to tell when bread is ready for the oven. It may be a simple question of having not slashed deeply enough. 


 


Thanks a lot for your suggestions,


Daniel

CosmicChuck's picture
CosmicChuck

I would guess that you should try making deeper slashes. If you're getting a great oven spring, the opening of the slashes should come right along with it. You could also try doing a few diagonal slashes instead of the single long one. Also, if you get access to a camera, pictures would certainly help the diagnosis.


Good luck!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Great oven spring and over proofing generally do not go together.  Over proofing is more likely to provide anything from anemic oven spring to a loaf that rises little and then collapses.


What did you use to slash the loaf and how deeply did you slash?


Have faith in your ability to judge when the loaf is fully proofed and then pay close attention to the results, learning and adjusting as you go.  With natural leavening, underproofing is far more common that over proofing.


Jeff

techieelectric's picture
techieelectric

Thanks for the comments guys. I did think it very strange the amount it rose and thinking it could have been overproofed. The next loaf I made I slashed a bit deeper and it certainly made a difference, I used a razor blade but it was probably too dull. I slashed maybe .4 to half a centimetre deep, although it's quite hard to judge that. Does one normally wet/put oil on the blade before slashing as mine seemed to stick a little? Could be a result of doing it too slowly either.


Daniel

techieelectric's picture
techieelectric

Thanks for the comments guys. I did think it very strange the amount it rose and thinking it could have been overproofed. The next loaf I made I slashed a bit deeper and it certainly made a difference, I used a razor blade but it was probably too dull. I slashed maybe .4 to half a centimetre deep, although it's quite hard to judge that. Does one normally wet/put oil on the blade before slashing as mine seemed to stick a little? Could be a result of doing it too slowly either.


Daniel

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I tend to run it under water or lightly spray the loaf with a mist of water.  Or you can go dry dusting the loaf with a little flour.   Keep your little handy sprayer away from the plant people in the family.  (They tend to put funky stuff in the sprayer.) 

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

Leave your loaves uncovered for 5-10 minutes before slashing them.  The extra time allows a small skin to form making it easier to slash high hydration dough.