The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overnight Whole Wheat

jwicken's picture

Overnight Whole Wheat

Hello all, 

new to posting in this forum. I've been having difficulty with an overnight whole wheat sandwich bread recipe from Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Breads Every Day". I've had success with bigas/soakers, sponges, or other methods for whole wheat. However, whenever I try the overnight method, during the second (final) rise, I always end up with large, unattractive bubbles in the crust. This is the only issue I've had, otherwise the browning seems to fine, as well as the crumb. Any ideas out there as to why this might be the case?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

When shaping one needs to knock the large bubbles out but keep the smaller ones. 

What's your method at the moment? 

Abelbreadgallery's picture

From my point of view, whole grain doughs don't take benefit of overnight cool fermentation. I mean white doughs can improve their attributes much more than whole grain doughs after a retarded fermentation. That's my personal point of view.

AndyPanda's picture

I'm new to a lot of these methods (though I've been baking WW bread the old fashioned way for years).  The first few times I did the stretch and folds followed by overnight cool fermentation I was getting large bubbles.  But over the past few weeks I've gotten more familiar with the process and started paying attention to my stretch and folds and my final shaping to make sure I don't fold air pockets into the dough.     Though I've watched plenty of videos teaching methods of slapping (etc.) where they seemed to be saying they were deliberately putting air into the dough - so what do I know?   

Anyway ... since I've been more careful to not create air pockets when folding/shaping I don't get those large air bubbles in the crust (I still get a few pea and Lima bean sized bubbles but not the ping pong ball sized bubbles I was getting before) 

jwicken's picture

Lechem, AndyPanda - I've considering shaping to be one of the possible factors - I use both the "swiss roll" method for shaping and also folding the dough like a letter. However, I wasn't as enthusiastic when pressing down the dough before shaping to get the bubbles out. Next time I'm thinking I will be more aggressive at pressing out any large bubbles before shaping and seeing if that helps. 

Abelbreadgal - I like this particular formula because of the convenience - no predoughs, and being able to keep dough in the fridge and pulling out when necessary for a final rise. Otherwise I think the biga/soaker method is probably superior.