The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough spreads

margaretx's picture
margaretx

Dough spreads

The color, texture, flavor and crumb of my sourdough loaves is quite good. The dough rises well in bannetons. However, when I load the loaves into the oven onto a stone, they spread. This results in flat loaves. They do rise, but not nearly enough.

The dough seems a bit wet, but again the texture and whatnot are fine. I'm tempted to start baking this delicious sourdough in loaf pans, just for the pleasure of having bread more than two inches high.

Help?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

llour you are using in what part of the world?

margaretx's picture
margaretx

Bob's Red Mill unbleached bread flour + a small quantity of Bob's Red Mill organic dark rye.

Basic Sourdough recipe from Beranbaum's Bread Bible, using volume measures rather than percentages.

Baking in Portland, Oregon. 

Sorry, I'm not a highly experienced baker and don't know exactly what info you need. Just ask again!

Trevor J Wilson's picture
Trevor J Wilson

By the term "spread", do you mean deflate? As in, you can see them collapsing and losing air? Or do you mean spread as maybe a very thick pancake batter would when you make a pancake -- just kind of rolling out to the side, but not really losing any air.

If your dough is deflating, then that means it has overproofed. That's an easy fix -- don't let it rise so long.

If you mean that it's rolling out to the sides, that could be a few things. It could be from a lack of tension in the shaped loaf. It could be from the dough being too young (but you said it rises fine in the baskets).

My question would be, is the dough airy when you first shape it?

Often times, a loaf that is shaped when the dough is young and flat will rise just fine when supported in a basket, but when turned out to bake it will flatten out (unless it's been retarded in the fridge which helps it to set). If your dough hasn't risen noticeably before you first shape it, then that's probably your problem.

Trevor

margaretx's picture
margaretx

It flattens out and spreads like pancake batter.

After completing the mixing, I give the dough its first rise. It doubles within 8-10 hours. I then turn it for a few folds, using a small quantity of flour to ensure it doesn't stick to everything; it's pretty wet. I then put it in bannetons for a final rise of 3-4 hours. At what point should I put it in the fridge to retard, and for roughly how long?

Thanks for your help.

 

Trevor J Wilson's picture
Trevor J Wilson

Are you fermenting it at room temperature for the whole time? That would be 11-14 hours or so, which is a pretty long time. It could be that your dough is becoming proteolytic -- basically the gluten starts to dissolve because it's been exposed to so much acid for so long. Is your dough tearing towards the end of its proof before you put it in the oven? That would be a sign.

If your dough is in good shape then another thing to consider . . .

How wet is the dough? I guess if you're measuring by volume you can't really determine the hydration, but is it like thick batter? Or just very soft dough?

If you're using a really wet (or even just fairly soft) dough, then it could just be a shaping issue. Wet dough can be difficult to shape with tension, and it'll just spread out upon baking as you describe. If that's the case, cut back on the water until you have a dough consistency that's easier to handle. 

Trevor

 

 

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Your dough is too wet, most likely. Rose says that the dough should be be "barely tacky".

margaretx's picture
margaretx

OK, more flour then. Probably way more than Rose calls for!

Thanks again.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Or less water. Large additions of flour will throw off other measurements, such as salt, but that's assuming that your flour measurements are correct. It would make life easier for you to switch to weight measurements.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

BTW, I agree with Trevor Wilson that 8-10 hours is a very long time for the initial rise....it's twice what Rose calls for. You may not be following her recipe closely. Nothing wrong with that, but it could also be a source of problems for you if you're skipping something that is actually very important. It may also be an indication that your starter isn't strong enough.

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

measurements are completely inaccurate from baker to baker.  If you stir white flour with a spoon and then put it in a cup measure with the spoon and then scrape it off flat on top you will get about 126 g but it could be anything from 120 to 130 g.  WW flour would weigh about 8 g more per cup  Water is 238 g per cup.  Most recipes will be between 68% and 72% for hydration meaning that is the percent of water to the flour weight.   So weigh out your flour  and get teh water in the mix to be about 70% of that weight.  This includes the flour and water weight of the starter you are putting into the mix too,.

Now , if you don't over ferment it and don't over proof it and the gluten is developed your bread should be fine .

Best to get a scale and and use weights so that the bread is reproducible.  

Welcome and happy baking