The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wet dough final proofing and spreading

sournewb71's picture
sournewb71

Wet dough final proofing and spreading

Hello,

I tried out a 1:2:3 (starter:water:flour) loaf using 150:300:450 respectively.  On the final rise my dough did increase in height by maybe 1/2 of the original height, but definitely grew horizontally.  It didn't seem to be overproofed according to the poke test.  It seems all the wetter doughs I bake tend to grow more horizontally, so this must be just a factor of wet doughs?  I imagine I could use loaf pans to counter this but I like my free form loafs.  I tried to carefully with wet hands, french fold the dough real quick into more of a boule shape and then transfered that into my preheated cast iron pan.

Just curious how others deal with this issue.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

My first forays into wet doughs had the same problem.  I eventually learned that my gluten was not sufficiently developed early on, and that was part of the problem.  Assuming your development is good, then try doing the final rise in a banneton or other basket or even a bowl lined with a floured tea towel (non-terry cloth).  Usually a mixture of rice flour and wheat flour is used to prevent it sticking.  The dough will still spread when you place it on the peel, but in the few minutes before it goes into the oven, the spread is not too bad. 

-Brad

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Wet doughs need not lack structure or strength. As Brad suggests you are almost certainly not developing it enough prior to forming. At SFBI we made free standing boules from 70% hydration AP flour that proofed on linen - no bowl or banneton to hold them in - and they didn't spread significantly and they had great oven spring and height. Inadequately developed dough will spread. Hang in there! And post pictures. A profile of a cut loaf tells a lot about what "happened".

Good Luck!

Jay

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

I have been working with 75%-80% hydration doughs of late.  I forgot that 70% is still considered wet but it shouldn't spread.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

It is hard to tell from your description how you are mixing your dough.

It should look something like this when you are done with mechanical mixing:

https://picasaweb.google.com/117028767311163668653/BreadMultipleBatchesOfCiabattaCiabattiniAndCrusticks#5584180859077559634

This would get one or two stretch and fold steps at 60 min intervals and a total bulk fermentation time of around 2.5 - 3 hrs depending on room temperature followed by dividing, shaping, and final proof.

sournewb71's picture
sournewb71

My dough does not look anything like that.  It looks like grainy wet dough.  I don't know if this is because of the 50% KA 100% whole wheat flour in the mix?  I tried another loaf today and tried developing more gluten after the bulk fermentation.  It seemed like the more I french folded it the more gooey it became.  It was a flatter bread with some nice holes in it.  Unfortunately I don't have a camera at the moment.

 

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

You should develop the gluten prior to the bulk ferment rather than afterwards.  Excessive handling after the first rise will cause trapped gases to escape and leave you with a denser and less airy final product.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

When I make an extra-wet loaf and don't want to corral it in a loaf pan, I call it foccacia and we stand it up on its side to slice it.  In fact, we're eating just such a loaf right now.  I put a Tuscan herb mix on top to further the illusion.