What seems to be over rising
Hello to all and thanks in advance for any help you may offer.
In my quest to make high quality baguettes and pizza dough, I have run into an issue where there are some possible variables.
Initially, the goal was to make pizza dough. This succeeded and I also used the same dough to make bread that surprisingly resembled a decent baguette.
Lately, however, my dough has not performed as expected. While the dough tastes pretty good and bakes well enough, it has a number of problems that seem to happen during or directly after the cold ferment:
- Apparent over-rising and collapsing despite being in the fridge. I'm not sure that I'm using these terms correctly, but this is what I am calling it after some research. While cold fermenting, the dough started okay overnight, then at some point expanded to the entire size of the container. The dough then reduces in volume, is bubbly, and appears wet. From what I've read, the dough shouldn't rise much during the cold ferment. I'm pretty sure my fridge is maxed out and hasn't always allowed for such vigorous fermentation in the past. In other words, unless the door is being opened too much, I don't think the fridge temperate is a factor.
- Very sticky to handle. Getting it out of its fermentation vessel difficult and it is extremely sticky.
- Stretches "too easily". I feel like the dough is now stretching too quickly and is harder to form into a nice circle.
- Not forming a nicely elastic crumb. When baked as a baguette, the end result is more ciabatta or English muffin than French baguette. While not bad in and of itself, it's not what I am aiming for.
Here is my basic recipe:
- 20.25 ounces unbleached bread flour
- 1.75 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Fleischman's active dry yeast
- 14 ounces ice water
The steps I have been using:
- Mix flour, salt, and yeast.
- Mix in water.
- Let rest for at least a 20 minute autolyse.
- Knead bread using stretch and fold method for 5 minutes.
- Divide doughs, form dough balls, and immediately refrigerate for at least 48 hours.
- On baking day, pull out of fridge for at least 1 hour prior to baking.
This is where I should have been keeping a log. I have a long list of possible problem causers, but at this point I just don't know which it is. Here are some ideas I have.
- The yeast is fresher and now there is "too much". Initially, I was using old (but not expired) brewer's yeast just to try out baking. After that ran out, I bought a container before that was (unfortunately to my later suprise) nearly expired. As expiration neared, I got a new one that has a much longer expiration date. Perhaps I need to use less yeast to compensate for more freshness? This is a bit odd to me though as the recipe actually calls for IDY, not ADY. From what I've read, you need 25% more ADY to have the same effect as the right amount of IDY.
- Added the ADY directly to the flour and not hydrating it first in warm (~100F) water. From what I've read, IDY and ADY almost seem to be used interchangeably at time and some people don't think that hydrating ADY first matters. I'm not taking a side on this, but at some point I stopped hydrating the ADY before adding it.
- Used ice water as opposed to straight from the tap.
- Used less salt. At first I used 2 tsp, but then started precisely measuring it to 1.75 tsp.
- Ambient temperature is higher. My house does not have central air. When I first started, it was June and now the room is more warm considering it's August.
- I am kneading more now. I'd like to think my kneading has improved - or at least more consistent now.
Any help is appreciated. I realize this is a bit of an impossible question considering the variables, but I don't know if there is something obvious that I am doing that I don't realize because of my inexperience. Thanks for all your help!