The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

proofing dough

websteramey's picture

proofing dough

when proofing dough following recipe,if the rise does not come all the way up should it be allowed to proof longer,and will it change the crumb if allowed to rise longer.

pmccool's picture

Then again, maybe not.  How are you defining "all the way up"?

If, for instance, you are talking about the final proof in a bread pan, several factors come into play.  Cooler temperatures can slow the rise beyond the time advised in the recipe.  In that case, you would want to permit the dough to continue to rise until it reaches the recommended criterion ("doubled in volume", "domed above the pan", whatever the recipe says).  If you are using a loaf pan that is larger than recommended by the recipe, then no, because you will probably over-proof the dough.  Instead, bake it when the dough is at optimum expansion, usually at or slightly below double the original volume.  Another factor has to do with the type of flour used in the dough.  White breads tend to rise higher than whole-grain breads, given the same quantity of ingredients.  Yet another factor is how vigorously the dough was degassed prior to shaping.  If a lot of gas was knocked or kneaded out prior to shaping, that dough will take longer to reach the intended mark in the final proof than will a dough that has been lightly degassed.

And yes, the extent of the final proof will affect crumb texture.  Too little, and the crumb will be very fine and dense.  Too much, and the crumb will be coarse and crumbly in the middle and dense around the sides and bottom.  

If you can be more specific with your question, the answers can be more refined than the generalities that I have mentioned here.


008cats's picture

Everyone has their way; I like doing the primary ferment in a oversized measuring cup (mine is 2 litres but I've seen larger) to track the rise. N.B., I recommend finishing at less than doubled, say maybe 1.7x original volume. 

Then the final proof goes straight into the fridge (I do boules in bowls or baskets, not pans). I leave it there  from between 4 hrs to 3 days until the last moment onto my stone. Even if it looks small before the oven, it rises well.