The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulk Fermentation Emergency

BreadRover's picture
BreadRover

Bulk Fermentation Emergency

I‘m presently 20 minutes away from the end of my bulk fermentation period and I’m not seeing as much gas as is usual. I have doubled the formula for a bigger bake.  

 My question is:  if you double or triple the formula, do you double or triple the amount of stretch and folds you’re supposed to do?

 In the past I have tended to overwork the dough, so this time I have only done one turn per half an hour, like I would for a single formula. But is that not enough? 

 I have promised friends and neighbors bread for tomorrow morning, and I am worried that something has gone wrong.  

 Is it OK to extend the bulk fermentation. And keep stretching and folding until I get what I want to see?

 I’m on a tight schedule here so any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated thank you. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Rushing it will simply result in very flat bread. You might be up late but the dough can't be rushed.

BreadRover's picture
BreadRover

do I still stretch and fold every half hour?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Continue with the stretch and folds till the gluten formation feels right. Have you tried the window pane test? 

If you run out of time and you really must go to bed then put the dough in the fridge. Most likely it'll be done by the time you get up, ready to be shaped and final proofed in the morning. 

P.s. I do see surface bubbles. Good sign! 

BreadRover's picture
BreadRover

thank you. 

Yes, bubbles are forming but usually when I don’t make so much at once its way more gurgly. :) so much pressure to do this for a huge crowd  I feel nauseated with worry that I’m going to end up serving delicious sourdough....pancake type bread. :( 

bed/sleep isn’t an option tonight. I’ll go to bed when this is ready. Can you say more about the window pane test? 

Thank You 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

and stretching it till it becomes translucent. It shouldn't tear. That usually indicates good gluten development.