The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Doubling in size?

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HPoirot's picture

Doubling in size?

Most recipes call for proofing till the dough has doubled in size. But if we keep doing Stretch & Folds (effectively deflating any growth it's had) till the final minute of the proofing, how could we tell how much it's grown?

My dough at the end of the first rise usually looks pretty much the same size as my initial dough, just better developed. It may be a little more plumb, but definitely not double.

Am i missing something? Is the finger poke test the only way to know if my dough is ready?

Yerffej's picture

Stop folding the dough about 40 minutes before the bulk fermentation ends.


emkay's picture

I do my S&F during the first part of the bulk fermentation and then leave the dough undisturbed for an hour or so until I see that the volume has increased by 25-30%, the top of the dough has a slightly domed appearance and there are air bubbles along the side of my container.


golgi70's picture

It sounds like you are referring to the "Tartine" style bread.  There should always be a rest after the final fold before going in to divide so the dough has had time to take the fold and relax again.  Also there should be about 25-30% growth.  Doubling is a "guideline" geared more towards commercially yeast breads.  

Best way to really see this is to do what emkay has done and use a contianer that you can see the growth of your dough in and put a marker on it where it began.  If it truly hasn't risen at all after say 3 hours you likely have an issue at hand.  Could be dough temp is way too low or starter is not up to snuff.  I don't think this is your issue though.  I think from your description all is well but you cannot visualize that the dough has actually risen.  



AZ Chuck's picture
AZ Chuck

I'm glad to hear your trouble telling a rise, I though it was just me. I have trouble using a pock test on wet dough. It sticks to my finger and pulis back up, telling me nothing. How much it rises dos'nt always tell. I have had it almost triple. I usually call it quits when I get tired of looking at it or it is time for the next step.

barryvabeach's picture

HPoirot, I had the same question as you did, but since I make the same recipe, one time I finally remembered to drop it in the container before I started the S & F, then put a mark on the container, then did the S & F, and when I was done, it went back into the same container.  Also,  I read the suggestion, and have followed it, that you need to use a container with straight sides, like emkay, because it is very difficult to tell the amount of rise in a regular bowl shaped container.   

HPoirot's picture

You gotta poke with a well floured finger. Or oil, or wet.

It looks like i totally misinterpreted the recipes. =(

Would the method i've been using result in under proofed bread?

I'd been doing this recipe, but with 30 min intervals instead of 45 and 76% hydration instead of 80%.

Is it really important that it doubles or at least rises by 30%?

PetraR's picture

Hmmm, I do mix my dough, autolyse for 30 minutes, add the salt, and do 6 S&F in 30 minute intervals and after that time I let the dough rise until doubled in Volume. Then I do my shaping and final proofing before baking.