The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole wheat flattens in oven

fredman's picture

Whole wheat flattens in oven

Hi Everyone. I'm new to bread baking. I baked a few baguettes from Peter Reinhard's recipe and it turned out great. I the tried two different whole wheat recipes (one from Peter again) Both leavened well before it went into the oven, but flattens as soon as I put it into the oven. Can anybody tell me why please.  

Bakingmadtoo's picture

I am no expert and may well be corrected. Generally bread that flattens in the oven is over proofed, but not necessarily, high hydration doughs may also spread and flatten a bit for a number of reasons.

I am wondering if you adjusted your proofing times as I think whole grains may proof a bit faster than white.

You will probably get better and more specific answers if you post more details of your recipe and method.

BreadBro's picture

Peter Reinhart's whole wheat recipes use a lot of yeast to leaven the bread. You have to keep a close eye on your loaf during its final proof or you run the risk of overproofing. 

fredman's picture

Thanks for answering. Like I said i'm a new baker and appreciate the support. I did some reading here on over proofing and it seems the flop was a classic case of exactly that. Well I'm all puffed (pardon the pun) again and ready for the next one.  Man I love this forum. After this debacle I was very much deflated (pardon the pun again) but I will be better for the experience. Thanks again... :-)



dabrownman's picture

same place trying to learn to bake bread.  We all have enough door stops to keep every dpr open in the house.  Keep after it and they will become better .  I still say the hardest part to learn about baking bread is knowing when it is 85% proofed and ready for the oven.  My last loaf was over proofed but now I;m good enough that  it just didn't spring as much as it should - instead of falling flat on its face like it used to!    Who knows, next time your loaf might explode in the oven with too much spring:-)

Welcome and happy baking 

fredman's picture

Yeah that seems to be my next goal/challenge. To know when its ready for the oven. How would you describe a dough that is 85% proofed?

The following is an extract here that sums it up very well I think, but their is fine line between the indentations. Will just have to see how I go. The more one does the better one gets at it I suppose.

" Take (the pad of) your index finger and indent the loaf about 1/2 inch.  If the indentation rises back immediately, the dough is underproofed.  If it springs back somewhat, but still leaves an indentation, it's probably fully proofed.  BUT, if the imprint remains without springing back, the dough is overproofed.  The second indication is a loaf that falls or collapses in the oven while baking "