The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Proving - dont always get it

  • Pin It
Shelley50's picture
Shelley50

Proving - dont always get it

Hi

I bake rather a lot but the Proving puzzles me quite a bit.

Some recipes say to prove for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Richard Bertinet says to prove 1 - 1 1/2 and even 2 hours at 30 degrees C.

However, my bread is proved (according to me) by 50 minutes.

I dont get this because how does one allow for all the folding, proving in such a short period of 50 minutes and still allow the dough to double in size??

I mostly use a long fermination which seems to make the dough more slack. This seems to add to the bread not rising too well. Is this correct??

If I leave my dough to rise for 1 and 1/4 hours or 1 1/2 hours, it deflates VERY easily and it creates bubbles which I believe is a sign of over-proving.

Many thanks
Shelley

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Hi Shelley

Proofing times depend on a number of factors, including dough temperature, ambient air temperature, and type of leavening (sourdough starter, commercial yeast, etc). The figures given in recipes are estimates for how long proofing would take under specific conditions, and may not correspond to your environment. For example, your kitchen may be warmer, so proofing might take less time. Or perhaps the type of leavening you're using is different (sourdough frequently takes longer to proof). You will have to likely adjust a number of factors if you are trying to match the original recipe's schedule, including colder/warmer ambient air temp, colder/warmer dough temp (i.e., DDT), or less/more leavening.

I'm not sure if long fermentation will lead to slackening of the dough, but certainly overfermentation will. 

If your dough deflates very easily (i.e., undesirably) after final shaping (or during baking) then yes, it's almost certainly overfermented. Prior to final shaping, dough deflation still matters, but you would expect to lose some air during shaping, even with delicate dough handling. 

 

Shelley50's picture
Shelley50

Thank you Cranbo, i often suspect that my specific conditions / environment is a major factor in proving.

Especially since I live in South Africa and the humidity is often unbearable.

The over-fermentation is probably a cause in some of loaves too.

I often make a pre-ferment and allow to ferment for about 12 - 18 hours.  Of that time I leave it out the fridge for about 6 hours and the remainder of the time in the fridge until I take it out, let it come to room temp for about two hours, then continue. Wondering if the 6 hours out the fridge is correct or not????

I often also use my own made sourdough.

I suspect I will have to find the best conditions for proving in my kitchen and environment.

One more question, do you think that a dough mixer makes for a better rise than hand kneading??????

Kind regards

Shelley

linder's picture
linder

As many on this site are fond of saying - "Watch the Dough, Not the Clock".  When the dough looks proofed, it is, regardless of what the clock says.  You could slip in two stretch and folds in 15 minute intervals to develop gluten and then let the dough rest for the remainder of the 50 minute proof time.  With higher temperatures, come shorter proofing times. 

Maybe you could experiment with the preferment and leave it out only 4 hours and then into the fridge?  If that doesn't help then maybe 2 hours then into the fridge? 

Another possiblity is to use colder ingredients when making the bread to slow down the frementation- chill the flour, use cooler water?

Just some thoughts.

Linda

Shelley50's picture
Shelley50

Yay Yay  hee-hee

Took my latest loaf out the oven an hour ago.   Its beeeeaaauutiful   !!

Thanks to you two who gave me advice.  Linda, I did what you said and proved until double in size and not by time given.

Also that which i think is major here is that I halved the yeast, used a preferment and autolyse.

 It rose up beautifully, did not overproof and i did not over-ferment my preferment which i have been inclinded to do too.

Thanks again im over the moon.

Shelley

Shelley50's picture
Shelley50

Like to just add that i put two stretch and fold in as Linda suggest.

I was always afraid to use this method but i guess it was other conditions that upset my outcome.

Im really thrilled.

Funny and fabulous how our loaves can excite us.

Shelley

linder's picture
linder

Shelley,

I'm so glad the small tweaks/changes in procedure worked for you.  I know what you mean about funny how our loaves excite us.  It's always a good day when the bread rises!  I like turning the oven light on and watching the loaves spring up, I am almost cheering them on as they go.  (It's a good thing no one is home but me, or they would think I'd lost it, but my husband knows I already have(LOL))

Congratulations

Linda