The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Proofing Problems

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VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

Proofing Problems

Okay, Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book (the basic whole wheat recipe) says to allow 2-1/2 hours for first proof at 70 degrees (my thermostat read 71) . I can't even get to 2 hours before it's doubled and the poke test fills in, but VERY slowly. A few minutes one way or another is fine, but nearly one hour difference? Am I mis-reading the fingerpoke test? Do I have fantastic yeast and flour?

Blessings,

Voni

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

As the saying goes, read the dough, not the clock.  There could be several reasons your dough rose faster than you expected.  Maybe the dough, after mixing, was at a higher temperature than expected.  If you used warm water, for example, combined with the friction of the glutens during kneading, the dough might be over 75˚F.  Yeast activity is very sensitive to temperature, and even a seemingly small temperature increase could shave 20% off the proof time, as in your case.  Even if you proof at a lower temperature, the mass of the dough will take a while to reach that temperature.  Bottom line: don't worry about it.  The dough will tell you when it's ready.

-Brad

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know this recipe, but 2 1/2 hours for bulk fermentation is a long time, if it's a yeasted bread.

If the bread was good, you don't have a problem. If you want to lengthen the time and your kitchen is warm, cut down on the yeast amount or use cooler water.

David

VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book advocates lots of kneading time--and a long fermentation time. I'm wondering WHERE she cooked her bread. Our kitchen was warming over time, as it's small, and my hubby was making jelly at the same time.

 

And yeah, Brad. I didn't dare let it keep fermenting when the fingerpoke wasn't filling in much at all.

So thanks for the confirmation, guys!

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

According to one article that I read, Laurel Robinson's bakery is on the coast of northern California.  If you didn't use central heating, that could start in the 50s pretty much every morning.

VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book advocates lots of kneading time--and a long fermentation time. I'm wondering WHERE she cooked her bread. Our kitchen was warming over time, as it's small, and my hubby was making jelly at the same time.

 

And yeah, Brad. I didn't dare let it keep fermenting when the fingerpoke wasn't filling in much at all.

So thanks for the confirmation, guys!