The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Please Help With Refining Shaping Technique - Norwhich Sourdough Recipe

NetherReine's picture

Please Help With Refining Shaping Technique - Norwhich Sourdough Recipe

I have been working with Susan's (Wild Yeast) Norwhich Sourdough recipe to practice my bread baking skills and I have a question about the shaping steps.  After a 2.5 hour ferment it says to turn out the dough and divide it and preshape the dough pieces into light balls.  My question is:  should I be de-gassing the dough at this stage or handling it gently?  After a 15 minute rest the dough is shaped for its final rise.  I have been handling the dough gently in the preshape step and when I do the final shape I seem to have gas bubbles right under the skin of the dough - it doesn't seem right. 

ehanner's picture

In general, I try to handle the dough gently after the bulk ferment is complete. Sourdough loaves don't recover as quickly and the bubbles are a good thing. You can pop any large surface bubbles that would burn but I like the look of the darker thin pockets. Hope this helps.


GermanFoodie's picture

You always want to pop large surface bubbles, but sourdough is a fickle thing, it doesn't have the same rising oumpf that yeasted breads have - if you degas it, it will likely not recover. I have made that bread before, and it turned out great.

NetherReine's picture

All three loaves came out fine (2 boules and 1 batard).  Now if I could just learn how to score bread.  I will keep watching the tutorials and practicing - maybe someday I will master it!  On the bright side, the Norwhich Sourdough bread has a wonderful taste that my family loves!  Thanks for the help!

Mira's picture

I've always used Susan's Sourdough Norwich recipe since I started my starter (lol) 15 months ago.  I've never de-gassed the dough?!