The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread deflated

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pci's picture

bread deflated

Hi everyone this is my first post here. Have had sourdough for years but have just used it for pancakes. Getting onto bread baking. Today I had a beautiful risen loaf but when I slashed it it deflated. What did I do wrong?


LindyD's picture

Sounds like it was overproofed, pci.   You never want the final proof to go to 100%, because there's no place for the bread to go but down.   Aim for around 85-90%, and, of course, always watch the bread - never the clock.

BTW, welcome to TFL.

hutchndi's picture

Or, if your dough is obviously overproofed just don't slash it, you will still get oven spring and avoid a pancake, though you may get some tunneling or very large holes under the top crust. Never assume that slashing is an absolute necessity, in so many bread recipies it is described as a step and not an option, the main cause of newbie pancakes (and headaches). Slash when your dough needs it and don't slash when it doesn't, the more you bake the more you will understand when those rules apply. Dramatic oven spring and bulging slashes may look awsome and make for great photography and table cneterpieces, but I actually prefer my bread proofed to the point where slashing is unwise, the wonderful fluffy soft almost tacky texture of the crumb and the more developed flavor (to me anyway) makes up for any less of an eye candy factor or occasional tunneling that may result, and I don't bake pancakes.

clazar123's picture

If it deflated as soon as you slashed, it was vary overproofed or over-risen. There are tons of threads discussing how to tell if it isproperly proofed. Generally, if you indent a fingertip into the loaf about 1/2 inch, it should refill (but not completely) very slowly. If it indents and stays fully indented, it is overprofed. If it springs back quickly it is not ready yet.

 What you are testing for is how the strands between the bubbles stretch. If you push into the dough and it stays indented, you are collapsing the bubbles becasue the strands broke-they were so overstretched and weak that just the pressure of your poke broke them.

If you poke and it springs back right away, the strands bounced like a trampoline.Its got some room to expand and good strength. 

If you poke and it fills in slowly, its almost at its peak. It has some elasticity and room to expand a little more. That is when you want to get it in the oven so it can finish expanding in the heat (oven spring).This can happen after different amounts of time. Sometimes it is dependent on temperature in the kitchen and sometimes it is dependent on how active your starter was.

Try again and keep checking the rising loaf after it has noticeably risen-no matter what the timing in the recipe says.Put it in the oven when the loaf is risen to about 3/4 proof-it indents and returns slowly but not too slowly. Over time you will recognize that stage.

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

That is as good a description as I have ever seen!

pci's picture

Thanks that explains it very well. What do you guys do with mistakes? I had one last week the birds wouldn't even eat finally my local coon grabbed it dog can't jump that high.