The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

can't score because dough deflates

  • Pin It
christinepi's picture
christinepi

can't score because dough deflates

I use Peter Reinhart's Classic French Bread recipe which is yeast based. I follow his instructions that are an alternative to the main recipe, where I shape the loaves after a 90 minute bulk fermentation and then stick the loaves in the fridge overnight. The next day they sit out for an hour to come to room temperature; I'm supposed to score them and stick them in the oven. Well, first off, the loaves, since they just sit on parchment paper in the fridge, are as flat as can be, and completely averse to scoring--they immediately flatten even more. They taste great, have great crumb, and crust, but somehow something could be improved (and not only the shape), I think--I mean the recipe calls for scoring, so when Reinhart bakes these things. the dough must be much more resilient! Is it possible the 90 minute bulk fermentation is too long and my loaves are over proofed? When I try to do the poke test after I've taken the loaves out of the fridge, the dough is so wet and sticky (hydration is 66%) that it just sticks to my finger, so I can't really test it. I also hardly get oven spring, which maybe doesn't happen with yeast based doughs?

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

You can't just lay baguettes on a sheet of parchment and expect them to remain their shape overnight...they need some sort of cradle that will keep them roundish.

In addition to that problem, it's possible they're overproofed, but it's hard to tell if they've already flattened to a puddle.

christinepi's picture
christinepi

if I put the loaves in baking tins (like for sandwich bread) and they wouldn't flatten, they still would be un-scoreable, I would imagine? 

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

I don't know which Reinhart book you're using, but in others, he describes how you should form the parchment when proofing.

 

couche

Antilope's picture
Antilope

It helps the baguettes to hold their shape. The hydration on my baguettes is around 65%.  I have started adding 10% white whole wheat flour to my baguettes along with 40% all purpose and 40% bread flour. This seems to add more body and flavor to my baguettes.  I usually add 20% old dough to my baguettes instead of an overnight in the fridge. If I do place the dough in the fridge overnight, I form the baguettes the next day. Also I've found it's easier and doesn't tend to deflate the baguettes if you slash them halfway through proofing. Example, if allowing baguettes to rise 1 hour before baking, slash them after 1/2 hour of rising. I've found white flour breads deflate more when you slash them, slashing earlier has helped to prevent this for me. 

Chicago Metallic baguette pan

http://www.amazon.com/Metallic-Commercial-Non-Stick-Perforated-Baguette/dp/B003SZBSUK

christinepi's picture
christinepi

to make baguettes, but boules. Does that make a difference? I don't really want to use baking tins, because then there's less real crust, but if it's the only way to hold the loaves up, I'll try that.

I touched the loaves when coming right out of the fridge and the dough is so soft and tender that it's obvious it would deflate when scored even cold. That's what I don't get.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Oh, sorry, but yes, that still applies to boules. Haven't you seen proofing baskets?

 

boule

There is a reason people use them. You can using a mixing bowl covered in a floured linen cloth.

 

You don't bake in these things...after proofing, you dump the bread onto a sheet of parchment, score it, and shove it in the oven.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Image didn't come through:

 

Boule

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

I touched the loaves when coming right out of the fridge and the dough is so soft and tender that it's obvious it would deflate when scored even cold. That's what I don't get.

They still might be overproofed....best solve one problem at a time.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

If the dough feels like it is ready to deflate on removal from the fridge, then your problem is probably over proofing. You don't say what your room temperature is. I have found with yeasted breads, even a slightly higher temperature than suggested can make them rise much faster. 66% hydration is not particularly high and I would have thought a dough of that hydration should feel fairly firm on removal from the fridge.  A container for proofing in would certainly help. You could also try baking straight from the fridge instead of letting the dough sit again, especially if you feel it may be ready to deflate.

Also, are they sitting uncovered on parchment paper in your fridge? If so, that may be why the dough feels so wet and sticky when you take it out.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

will speed fermentation.  

Evaluate the recipe.   any changes that speed up fermentation have to be considered.  It sounds like something is speeding those first 90 min.   Shorten them.   

Lets see, what speeds fermentation:

fresh flour, whole grain flour, soakers, warmer water/room/flour temp than the recipe, lack of salt, faster yeast than recipe, more yeast than recipe, mixing longer in machines, warm hands, liquids containing starches (potato water, rice water, cooked cereals) some seeds, more liquids in the dough, adding enzymes like malt, fruit juices (naming influences off the top of my head, by no means  complete lists)

What slows down fermentation:

colder temps in water/room/flour/than the recipe, cold containers/tools/surfaces, less yeast, salt, salty ingredients, some spices inhibit yeast, less handling, killing of yeast by overheating, lack of enough liquids, changing to refined flours from whole flours (unless they contain malt) chilling, freezing, strong alkaline water.

So, if you want to slow down fermentation caused by adding whole wheat flour, you might want to use cooler water in the dough.  Even ice water.  That way the chance of over fermenting the dough by morning is reduced.  Experiment.

christinepi's picture
christinepi

for the comprehensive list! I'll work my way through it...

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I bake breads from all three (last) Reinhart's books, and found that I could cut down on the yeast quite a bit. And for baguettes I use perforated baguette pans.