The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Over-proofed NYT - could I have saved?

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KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Over-proofed NYT - could I have saved?

I decided to make a quick NYT/Lahey No Knead bread. I used mostly whole wheat flour, but otherwise followed the original recipe. Unfortunately I let the dough go too long in the first proofing. When I took the cover off the dough I realized the dough had actually fallen back an inch and a half from its top height, and the dough smelled quite yeasty. I gave it a few folds, then shaped and let sit for another 2 hours and baked. It didn't rise much on the counter, and only a bit more in the oven. The taste is kind of funny, too. I presume there are a lot of yeast by-products in the bread.

I'm curious if there is there is anything I could have done to save the bread at the point where I realized it had way over-proofed. If I had given it a thorough kneading, would that have re-activated the yeast? How about just adding another loaf's worth of flour, water & salt? Is there a way to tell if the yeast is still viable in the dough? I hope I never have the chance to do any of these, but considering how life can interrupt a baking schedule I probably will!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Actually I think you answered your own question.  If one thinks of overproofed dough as a bigga or some such thing, all one has to do is add more flour, water, etc and no yeast and let it proof again.   You could also add just !/2 loaf's worth of flour etc. and come out well.  Then I would let it rest and sit and not wait until it doubled to shape and do a final proof but keep a better eye on it.  I'm not quite sure if the whole wheat has gone too far though, (I'm limited here) maybe adding more All pourpose flour would be a better idea than to add more whole wheat.

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Thanks Mini Oven,

I'll give it a try if it happens again.  The good news is that this time I at least knew why my bread came out funny!  (wry grin) I've got this result before, and not known what the problem was.  Spending so much time reading here on TFL pays off in more ways than one.

Now that you're home, are you happy to have your regular oven again, or have you come to prefer the countertop model? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I won't be home much longer, I'm off to S Korea soon.  So far there is only the usuall dual gas burner in the kitchen (with the washing machine built under it) so I will have to look for an oven and casseroles when I get there.  (Pray I never try to bake dough in the washing machine. although I could think of some interesting experiments like:  What happens to a proofed dough ball when thrown into boiling water and 30 minutes on a wash cycle?  Not too hard to imagine...Dumplings for a super Chicken?  Spin cycle to dehydrate?  Might have some difficulties with a crust.)

Tonight I pulled a pan of brownies out from the oven using up the left-over Christmas chocolate tree ornaments.  Both ovens have their advantages.  I like the way the countertop one heats up so fast.  But when there's a crowd, I need the bigger oven.  Of course my standard Austrian oven is smaller than the standard American oven but it suits me just fine.  The Frenchman liked his oven so much, he shipped it home to South America.  His was a wee bit longer than mine and better for baguettes.   

Mini O

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Washing machine meets determined baker! 

I got tired of trying to decide on the perfect countertop oven, and bought the next one I saw on sale for $25.  The placement of heating elements makes bread a bit difficult, but it does a mean frozen pizza, and toasts several slices of bread at once.

If I ever get back to the point of baking bread almost daily, I'll work harder at getting it to cooperate.  Heating the big oven blazing hot every day was showing up in my electric bill.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is for you, KC, you could pull out a piece of dough, play with it a little and pop a mini loaf or roll out of your oven inside of an hour.  Do they have a formulated WW recipe?  A good Q for the forum...

Mini O

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I'm looking forward to that Q&A.  It's on my list of bread books I'd like to have - or at least have a good look at.  I'm not sure I really need a dozen new books so much as I need more time baking!