The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough issue, Right way/wrong way... Which way?

Msmching's picture

Dough issue, Right way/wrong way... Which way?

The questions that follow are for regular soft bread or more specifically, the Chinese soft bread that you see in the Chinese bakeries. 

is took over and own a bakery not long ago and have been trying to figure out the bread section since its the part that the bakery is not doing well. Roughly about 6 hours after baking, the bread started to turn hard and next day, just plain hard. Only microwave can revive its softness. I have tried different methods of baking(same recipe), which include the 65 degree water roux that wasn't used before, and it works! It's soft and even the next day too! However, the cold water roux (flour, water, yeast mixed and proof before putting it in the fridge.) method that I tried with different recipe that I found online. It is still soft next day, but not as good as the water roux method. 

So the questions follows... 

- done some reading on here, so, just want to confirm, can I use 5-10% of the flour of the recipe and 5 times of water for the water roux? 

- since I have to get the bread out early in the morning for the driver to deliver, I will be using the fridge method. Which is to store the dough in the fridge for next morning baking. But I need to know, if I should let it rise after the dough is form before putting them in the fridge? Can I actually get the dough done and shape it right away and store it in the fridge? Say, I get the dough done, shape it on Monday, store it in the fridge. Tuesday, I will be getting it out the fridge for about 30-60 mins rise and do the stuffing inside the bread, back in the fridge and On Wednesday, taking it out for the final rise, and bake! Is that a wrong way? What shld I do instead? 

- is it right to actually spray the dough with water before doing the final rise? And then brushing them with eggs before baking? (That's the method the baker was doing, which I have never read anything about that online) 

- Lastly, I just want to know if this is actually right too. (Because again, I didn't read anything like this online). My baker, she used the deck oven to bake the bread first, when color begins to change, she will switch it to convection oven to finish the rest Of the baking. Is that okay? Can it cause the bread to be over baked and causing the hardness next day? It doesn't seem over baked to be, since its just soft and taste good after baking. (But of course, everything taste good when its fresh). 


Thank you!! 


hanseata's picture

I do not bake your particular kind of bread, but I refrigerate my doughs, not my shaped breads (unless I bake some  high hydration French type with very little yeast). They can easily over-proof. Apart from that, it is easier to store dough containers in the fridge than rising baskets.

The prolonged rise of shaped breads over 3 days with intervals of warming up is, in my opinion, a recipe for disaster, I cannot imagine that the loaves, made with commercial yeast, would not overproof.

I don't spray my shaped breads with water (unless I intend to roll them in seeds), I use oil spray and cover them with plastic foil to prevent them from drying and developing a skin. If I use egg wash, I apply it after shaping, sometimes brushing on more before baking.

If your breads are soft - do you cover or wrap them after they cooled down, in order to keep them soft until the next day? Otherwise I would assume that a soft all-white bread, probably made with bleached flour, dries out fast.