The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bench shaping before final proof problems

Katnath's picture

Bench shaping before final proof problems

hello all, would appreciate any suggestions for overcoming my problem. After a suitable bulk proof of my tartine like sourdough, I typically tip dough out onto bench, do a light preshape and then leave it alone for anywhere between 15 min to half hour. However, when I try to make a tight ball with dough, at least 1 out of 3 times, the surface tears and I’m left with a bagel like structure with a whole in it. I don’t think I’m overworking the dough. I’ve looked at a number of online videos on shaping and I think I’m doing the same thing. What could be causing this problem? Help!

DanAyo's picture

You may be under working the dough. Sounds like the gluten is not fully developed. Are you kneading by hand or stretch and folding?

Are you using bread flour or all purpose flour?


MichaelLily's picture

I think you are using too much flour or overworking the dough or both. Or, perhaps, your starter was too sour and your dough is broken down from overfermentation.