The Fresh Loaf

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Why did my dough fall? NYT no knead

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KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Why did my dough fall? NYT no knead

Hi.  I'm a new member of the forum, though I've read a lot here just recently.  I haven't baked bread in years, and then it was mostly in a bread machine.  But this no-knead bread is so easy it's become a habit.  It's also very good!  I'm still working on a good whole wheat version.  Today's dough is half AP and half WW flours.  The only recipe changes are adding 1.5 Tbsp gluten and  more water.

This photo was taken about 90 minutes ago.  You can see on the edge of the bowl that the dough has fallen about 3/4 of an inch.  Right now it's bubbling better and has regained a bit of size.  What causes the shrinkage?  I did tip the bowl to check for gluten strands about an hour before the pic was taken.  By the way, is this first stage called the fermentation? 

This bread has really piqued my interest in baking again.  I'd appreciate any pointers.

 

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Hi, Polkadot!

I don't know the answer to your question, but I wanted to say welcome!  You will find lots of great advice here. 

I do notice that happening with my sourdough starter after it has peaked.  It then starts to fall.  I think in that case it's due to the yeast running out of food, and thus producing less gas (which is what makes the dough rise).  So maybe this is a similar situation.  It might help to know how long the dough had been rising when it started to fall back.

Happy baking!

Katie in SC 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Hi Katie, appreciate the welcome.

I wondered if it might be the yeast running out of food. It was about 14 - 15 hours into the 18 hour first rise time. If that were the case, should I have moved on to the next step at that point instead of let it continue to rise?

xma's picture
xma

Hi Polkadot, I'm relatively a newcomer here myself, so let a newbie welcome another newbie.  I'm not a big fan of that famous no-knead recipe, I think I only did it twice, but there shouldn't be any signs of it having fallen.  If you followed the proportions exactly, a cause I could think of is that you let it rise in too warm a place.  As you would encounter in so many threads in this website, cooler = longer rising time and vice versa.  Let us know how it ends up. :)

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Hi xma.

My first few loaves, I was using lukewarm water (i.e. body temperature) instead of room temperature water. My loaves were usually ready at about 12 hours. After reading about the effects of the water and air temperature I switched to 70 degree water. I think the flavor improved with the resulting longer rise. I've been very happy with the white flour version of this bread. A friend who makes a great baguette by traditional methods was impressed with it as well.

I just finished rounding the loaf for the final rise. The dough looks good at this point. Hmmn, if I don't get good oven spring, it could still be a problem with the whole wheat flour, so I still won't know if there was a problem with the first rise.

I've read that in normal breadmaking, a dough that triples in size won't work right. This dough was definitely tripled during the first rise.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hi PolkaDot, and welcome! When a dough sinks in it is usually due to over-fermentation. (Fermentation refers both to the initial rising period of a dough and to the process by which yeast "eats" sugars and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol, which is happening from the time the dough is mixed until several minutes into baking.) It is not necessarily that the yeast is running out of food, but that it has produced so much gas that it has stretched the gluten too far, and it breaks. All other things being equal, whole wheat flour usually requires a bit less yeast than white flour. Because the bran in the WW is rich in minerals that enhance fermentation, fermentation occurs more quickly. Xma's theory about rising in too warm a place is a good one, too, because warmer = faster fermentation. Is it a warmer day than usual where you are?

 

Susanfnp

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

"it has produced so much gas that it has stretched the gluten too far, and it breaks"

Ah, thanks for the explanation. So my tipping the bowl probably contributed to this.

"All other things being equal, whole wheat flour usually requires a bit less yeast than white flour. Because the bran in the WW is rich in minerals that enhance fermentation, fermentation occurs more quickly."

That's good to know. My preference would be to always bake with 100% whole wheat, so the more I can learn, the better. It's not a warmer day than usual here, but this is my first experience with half AP and half WW flours. Results have varied over the several loaves baked with bread flour or AP flour, but always been good. I can't really say that about the WW, though it was better with King Arthur white whole wheat.

I read a comment somewhere that this bread was better with a traditional whole wheat than with the white whole wheat, so that's what I bought. When this flour is gone I'll go back to the white wheat.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Well, I don't have quite what I want yet, but the bread was good. After all, how could homemade bread be bad? We enjoyed it. Here's a picture of the whole loaf, and then the cut bread. You can see that it rose fairly well, but didn't get that nice rounded top that I get with the white flour version of this bread. I think you can also see where I used a bit too much flour in the rounding! I've got a white loaf working right now, but I'll get back to the whole wheat soon.