The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Another question - proofing too long?

Janna3921's picture

Another question - proofing too long?

Mixed up a Christmas bread, did fine except that I should have waited on putting in the cherries, they were chopped up too much in the mixer.

It was still cool in the bathroom, took longer to warm up but the bread did finally start to rise after a couple of hours.  We checked it and it had risen half way and fixed dinner, did dishes and forgot about the bread (rolling eyes at self). 

Remembered three hours later, checked it and it was double the size.  Punched it down, divided it to put into two loaf pans and is sitting for the second rise.  

What happens when you let dough rise too long and how do you know if it has been too long?  Is there a way to fix it?


Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

As long as there is enough food left for the yeast then you can de-gas and let the dough rise again. If it's over fermented it won't rise again and the gluten will begin to breakdown. If the gluten begins to break down then it won't resemble a dough anymore and have no structure. There is a difference to over fermented and over proofed but you'll find many people use over proofed for both. Over fermented is the yeasts running out of food. Over proofed is the dough has risen beyond optimal level.