The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Q re: flatness after releasing from banneton

LALoafer's picture

Q re: flatness after releasing from banneton

Hi Loafers, 

Coming to you seeking a bit of advice. I've been experimenting w Trevor J Wilson's methods and formula for 50% WW sourdough for the last couple months. I am pretty happy with the results, but seem unable to reproduce the way his loaves keep their shapes when released from their bannetons. Mine flatten out rather noticeably as soon as they leave the baskets (see attached photo of dough on parchment; this was a boule that had risen to nearly the top of the basket during final proof). I shaped the loaf in the photo a bit tighter than normal for me, just to see if that might be the problem. It might have been a little better out of the basket, but not by much. 

Oven spring was OK and crumb was pretty good...

Do I need to develop the dough further? Is it just that I need more shaping practice? Other ideas? Thanks!

Here's the formula:


Recipe: 75% Hydration228g Bread Flour (I used KA)
203g Whole Wheat Flour (I used Red Fife)
319g Water
50g Whole Wheat Starter @ 100% Hydration (25g Whole Wheat Flour, 25g water)
9g Salt

Ambient temp was about 77-79 degrees throughout...

Overnight premix (flour, salt, water)

Final mix about 10 hours later

Folds every hour during bulk for about 5 hours--dough increased about 40%

Preshape, bench rest for 40 mins

Final shape

Proof for about 2.5 hours

Bake in combo cooker at 450, 20 mins with lid, 30 mins without.




Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Oven spring often saves the day.


LALoafer's picture

Thanks, Lechem! 

tgrayson's picture

What I found helps a lot is to treat the shaping as another stretch & fold. Do a number of them until the dough starts to fight you. This will produce a much perkier shape.

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I like that idea.  I too have loaves that look like this.  Crumb is good, just not perky or tall.  I too will try doing stretch and folds until the dough "fights" me.  Then allow a rise then bake and see how the oven spring looks.

suave's picture

Looks like par for the course for a high hydration 50% ww bread.

LALoafer's picture

thanks, suave!

dabrownman's picture

Rather than letting it rise to the top of the form you need to let it final proof to 85% instead for a 50% WW bread.  Can't tell what your bloom looks like in order to know how over proofed your dough was but the crumb is OK.

LALoafer's picture

dabrownman, so are you saying that the flatness out of the basket is probably because of overproofing? I was actually a little concerned I was baking early--poke test was still pretty springy. Good to know I should aim lower with 50% WW...

Bread1965's picture

But it could be that your dough needs less water.. I'd be tempted to dial back the hydration 5% and see if that makes a difference.. a little stiffer dough could give you a better rise.. maybe.. might be worth trying.. and what dab said above..