The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to prevent a tough skin on rising dough

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

How to prevent a tough skin on rising dough

Hello all, thought I would see how all of you prevent that tough skin from forming on the final rise.  I like the cooking oil spray and plastic wrap over the dough for the initial rise. 

For the final rise, I've seen recipes for a dry towl, damp towel, place in larger bowl with a plate ontop. What do you prefer?  Does the weight of a damp towel affect the final rise?

Have a great weekend!

SDbaker

browndog's picture
browndog

My loaves always rise covered first with plastic and then a dry towel laid over that. I used to use just a damp towel but the plastic works great. (I don't know if it would work with a high hydration dough- I don't go there.) I use the towel to seal it. For the first rise I slip the whole bowl in a plastic grocery bag and snug it up. I occasionally will pop a bowl over a round loaf, but since it almost never happens that I make just one loaf, the kitchen could end up looking like alien invasion day.

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

are what I have been using. They are large enough to fit over pretty much anything - and then I tie them with a metal tie. They are great because they are more easily reusable then plastic wrap I find. And less chance of the bread actually touching it when it rises (althogh I do a light spray of cooking oil just incase).

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

Well all rises are done in or under a large bowl.

For the final proofing-once shaped, I usually (or lately) have been putting a damp teatowl over them. If I had a bowl big enough I'd use that.

 

Worrks just fine for me :) 

junglis's picture
junglis

a plastic container (tupperware, cambro, etc) works well for bulk fermentation with the sides of the bin oiled before placing the dough in for easy removal when shaping. keep the lid minimally ajar. actually, i've never seen any negative effects from completely sealed containers.

 

heavy plastic covers or oiled plastic wrap works as a substitute for using linen cloth for retaining a thinner surface skin. the best solution however is a dome or frame of plastic placed over proofing dough. this is to maintain the level of humidity in the area around the bread. a freshly boiled, steaming pot placed within such a frame would assist in making sure that you would have no skin at all.

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey SD Baker

I will echo the previous posts about the plastic bags.  Though I don't like to oil my bread top or bottom.  I think it gives the loaves a weird "fried" taste.  I simply blow enough of my hot air (which is an abundant commodity) into the bag to form a ballon so it does not touch the dough.  I actually like a little skin on my doughs.  I think it slashes better?  My 2cents

Da Crumb Bum

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I used to use plastic wrap and still do if I can't find a plastic shopping bag nearby. I agree with the others that I like the "no touch" pocket of space above the loaf. I still have the occasional WW loaf fall when touched so I like to treat it gently coming out of final proof.

The other thing I am starting to like is the proofing tub. I bought a 2 L raising plastic tub from KA so I can tell what "double" looks like. I rub a small coating of oil inside and place the cover on. Never had any trouble getting the dough out and they stack.

When I make Baguettes I place them on a linen couch and fold the extra over the top. No plastic or towels and they stay very soft and easy to slash. This might change as the weather gets warmer. Snowing in WI today. 

Eric

 

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Excellent Ideas, All!

SDbaker

 ps, where do you find large food grade bags?

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

I order mine from KAF. They are large enough for my purposes. 18" X 22" I think.

You can see them on their site.  

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Hi, I didnt see any bags that size.. I'll keep looking, maybe I missed it. 

SDbaker

 

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

I am not home so I couldn't actually measure them. It seems like the largest they have on the site are 10" X 20" - I could have sworn mine are larger.

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Just visited their site, WOW!   Think I am moving to Vermont.

 

SDbaker

Susanmarie's picture
Susanmarie

I have tried damp towel (the dough stuck to it), dry towels (the dough stuck to it or got too dry), plastic wrap (the dough stuck to it in places and got sticky), sprayed plastic wrap (the dough didn't stick but got really sticky and difficult to slash).  Recently I tried heavily flouring a floursack towel and laying it over top with the floured side down and I was really happy with the result.  The loaves did not stick and were very easy to slash with a wet lame.  I just folded the towel up and kept it for the next time, put some fresh flour on it and it worked great again.  I guess the flour plugs up the holes in the towel.  I am intrigued, however, by the big plastic bag with air and will be trying that also.

 Susan