The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

proofing

  • Pin It
patnx2's picture
patnx2

proofing

After a year of baking bread I am happy with how much I've learned,mostly from the Freshloaf. I bake almost  soley with sourdough. My problem is consistantcy in proofing. I almost always do an overnight retard and what happens in the retard varies from half rise to more then doubled. So the Q. is when to start shaping ,rest, So far it seems the bread wants to say now. Finger poke test sometimes says its ready out of frig.  Any help appreciated.  Patrick from modesto

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


I'm thinking if you really want to take control of long and cold fermentation, then you have to work with the temperature your fridge runs at, and the temperature of your dough.


Record these details diligently, plus your proof times, and you will learn so much, and take control.   Otherwise you will never get the consistency you desire.


Best wishes


Andy

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Pat,


I'm not sure from your post if you are mixing, then doing a bulk fermentation, shaping, and finally retarding.   


If so, and the bread is ready when you remove it from the fridge - bake it.  You don't need to bring it to room temperature.


Andy mentioned controlling your dough temperature.  Here's some helpful information on that topic.  It's very easy to do and makes a world of difference, at least in my kitchen.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Patrick.


I read your question as pertaining to dough retarded in bulk. Your question is: After retardation, how do you know when to shape the dough? Your dough varies in how expanded it is after retardation. This confuses you.


With cold retarded dough, the amount of expansion is not a great indicator of when it is "fully proofed." Even with dough that has expanded minimally, you can often see lots of tiny bubbles in it, if you ferment in a transparent container. However, I think the "finger poke test" is still a reliable indicator, and that's what I use to judge when to divide and shape.


I think Andy's point is valid. A dough that is warmer when you put it in the fridge will expand more before it cools to the point the yeast ceases to make CO2. Controlling the dough temperature thus controls the degree of expansion, assuming you do not vary the fridge's temperature.


David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,


I also think it's a reasonable point to make that a domestic fridge will not always run at a constant temperature either.   Seasonal variation, plus contents will have a significant effect; also, exactly how reliable is the machine in the first place??


Best wishes


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I do assume domestic refrigerators can't keep a constant temperature as well as commercial ones. I would think that there is a temperature below which variation matters less, because even the max. temperature is low enough to inhibit yeast growth and fermentation. I can't recall what temperature that is offhand.


David

patnx2's picture
patnx2

Thanks for  all the responces. I think i will try doing a rise and shaping ala Susansandiago. Proof in bannaton and bake out of frig when poke  test  indicate   donemess. Patrick from modesto