The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mother Starter was fine, dough isn't proofing...

afjagsp123's picture

Mother Starter was fine, dough isn't proofing...

I'm rising a Pain au Levain from PRs Artisan Breads Everyday. The mother starter is healthy, and when I made the starter yesterday it doubled as expected. I made the dough this morning; it is supposed to proof at room temp for 3 to 4 hours, and double by 4. It's been 3 3/4 hours, and it has gained maybe 25%. There are some largish bubbles building along the sides of the container, but little sign that it is going to gain much.

Should I just put it in the fridge and let it proof overnight rather than trying to finish it today? (Original recipe calls for a 3 hour and then overnight proof, with the variation of a 4 hour proof and same-day shape and bake.) Or do you think I could just watch it some more and see if it shows signs of gaining? What about proofing in the oven with a light on? Our home is 73 right now (we live in the desert) and air conditioned.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and take it out tomorrow, 8 or 16 hrs in the fridge shouldn't make too much of a difference.  You can shape it now and in the morning with warm hands to speed warming up if you have to.  Putting it into the oven with the light on might mean getting up in the middie of the night to bake it.  No fun.  Get a good nights' sleep.


jsk's picture

Pain au Levain doughs made from a stiff starter (even up to 70%) not always rise noticeably and might only gain 25-30%. It is fine. If you see it has some air pockets and it has been a several hours you can continue to the shaping and proofing or putting it in the fridge for the night as Mini suggested.

Good luck!

afjagsp123's picture

Thanks :) I got up this morning, pulled it out of the fridge, and while it had not increased noticeably beyond my pen mark on the container, it was definitely springy and puffy-feeling when I gently poked it.

I'm proceeding as directed in ABED with a two hour warm-up rest (our home was cold this morning so I put in electric oven with light on) and will shape after the rest.

UPDATE: Rose moderately but nicely in the Brotform. When I went to turn out, it stick in one spot and twisted. I will call this added character to the loaf :) The bread turned out lovely, but not very tall - maybe only 3". That's okay...

Thanks again!