The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yet to have success!

mahonie's picture

Yet to have success!


I am determined to bake bread and rolls and am having so many problems.  Have tried bread machines, KA and making by hand and so far, nothing too tasty.

Recipes seem to go well until the second rise.  I have a JennAir oven with a proof feature that seems to work well.  At the end of the second rise they are beautiful until I remove them from the oven to preheat to baking time.  My oven takes more than a few minutes to heat up to baking temp and my dough always falls during this time.  I try to keep warm but our home is cold and I think the temperature change makes the dough fall.  The one reason I bought this oven was because of this feature!  I have always had a hard time getting dough to rise because our home is so cool so thought this would be a great solution.  I have also had the dough deflate while taking off the plastic wrap used to cover while rising.  Always so promising.......

If it is not going to be possible to use my oven proof feature anyone have any fool proof ideas to getting the dough to rise and stay risen while I am waiting for my oven?





Ford's picture

You have over proofed your dough!  Proof at room temperature.  Use the oven proofer only for the bulk proofing.  After bulk proofing and removing the dough, set the temperature of the oven to the bake temperature.  It is best to do this at least half an hour before baking -- let the oven temperature become uniform throughout the oven before baking.



mahonie's picture

Thank you so much!

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

The Jenn-Air proofing feature is pretty warm, and the fermentation cycle is very, very sensitive to temperature. I only use mine if I'm up against a schedule problem (like I need to get some sleep or go to work!). No problem proofing at cool room temp, but it may take many hours longer, perhaps overnight. As the seasons change, you'll have to adjust your baking schedule, it's just what we do.

It's just about impossible to estimate proper proofing by the clock, it must be done by watching the dough. And that's much easier said than done. Estimation of doubling is tricky in a bowl or banneton, due to the shape. The "poke test" (use the search feature on this site for details) may be the most reliable. After some time you'll develop a feel.

As Ford says, you are doubtlessly overproofing, so the expansion and poke-response of your dough will indicate "too much", now you must understand the "not enough" end of the proofing spectrum and then find the "just right" place.

mahonie's picture

Thanks!  Appreciate your help!

Heath's picture

In my experience, a foolproof method for finding the right time to bake bread is to take a golf ball sized piece of your dough, after the first rise and before shaping your loaf, and put it in a straight-sided glass.  Mark the glass, or put an elastic band around it, at the height of the top of the dough.  Mark the glass again where the dough will be doubled.  Let the dough in the glass proof in the same place as your loaf. 

I like to bake when the dough is about 90% doubled, not fully doubled.  If your oven takes a long time to preheat, you can wait until the dough is at less than 90% to switch the oven on, then bake at around 90%.

If you do this a few times, you'll soon get a feel of when it's the right time to bake your loaf.

DoubleMerlin's picture

Are you making sure that dough is air-tight after you take it out of the oven? Sounds to me like you're getting a skin on there, and that has ruined more bread than I'm willing to admit. I recently bought a huge ziploc bag, and it works wonders.

dabrownman's picture

tall kitchen trash can liners.  I know they aren't food rated but they never touch the dough but the water does condense on them from the dough as it retards in the fridge and the refrigeration sucks the water out of the dough.

DoubleMerlin's picture

... Not being food rated is the least of the problem. They're also not as water tight. Ziploc bags are designed to be water tight. I used a garbage bag once but it didn't work well at all - difficult to seal, can't watch the loaf, etc. Then I learned about the additives used in garbage bags to make them more plastic, stretchy, etc. are definitely NOT food safe. And that's coming from some one who eats two-week old leftovers as long as they're not moldy.

rcoplen's picture

Your dough is being overproofed!My solution to aiding in my proofing is to put it in my microwave & then put a bowl of boiling water beside it! Works wonders!!!

Antilope's picture

This works to incubate yogurt it would probably work to proof bread.

Fill the crock pot half full of water. Place temperature setting on LOW. Put the lid in place, up-side-down. Place a folded dish towel on the up-side-down lid. When crock pot heats up, place the covered bowl of dough on the towel. The rising heat should keep it warm, but not too warm. After the dough warms, take the dough temperature. If it's too low, turn the crock pot to HIGH. If the dough temperature is too high, add another folded towel or two under the bowl.