Baking in Hot Weather: Preventing Overproofing, Compromising Flavor
Preface: I am a beginner baker. I am trying to understand the chemistry in order to troubleshoot.
Problem: I made successful two batches of Peter Reinhart's bagel recipe. The weather in my kitchen was probably between 70 and 75F when I made them. This week, when my kitchen swayed between 80 and 85F, I made two more batches.
First batch: Bagels had flavor, but were FLAT. They were also moist in the middle, not hearty/bodied like the crumb should be. After some sleuthing, I determined that I overproofed the sponge and the dough. I left it out for the same amount of time as was recommended in the recipe. Given the difference in temperature, I probably should have halved the proofing time.
Second batch: Bagels were beautiful, but lacked flavor. Things I did different: halved the proofing time. Didn't allow it to proof outside in ambient kitchen temperature (around 80F) after they were shaped. They immediately went from shaping to the refrigerator. I boiled/baked them approximately 8 to 9 hours after they were placed in the refrigerator.
First batch: Obvious overproofing issues
Second batch: Possibly underproofed during the refrigeration stage. I probably should've waited more along the lines of 15–20 hours before boiling/baking them.
What are your diagnoses? I was really excited about this bagel recipe because I had two great batches, but the last two batches are frustrating me.