The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crisis Averted (mostly)

BPaff's picture

Crisis Averted (mostly)

I was well on my way to completing what would have been my best loaf yet. Everything was coming along perfectly as these things rarely do when you're a beginner bread baker. Had great gluten development, pre-shaping and final shaping were very good despite a rather wet dough (50/50 AP and high extraction bread flour @ 80%). This was suspect. Everything was going too well. The crucial mistake wouldn't manifest itself until hours after the fact. The heart sinking moment came after the final rise when I attempted to remove the dough from the bowl it was rising in. The bowl that cradled my novice error. 

I flipped over the bowl onto my peel and noticed the couche that was lying on top of the dough currently and during proofing was slightly wet. And my heart sank. I had a feeling it was a bad idea to have a wet dough rise on a couche that was apparently also not floured well enough. Needless to say the dough was totally stuck to the couche and i essentially had to rip it off, losing all that precious gas that had built up over the day of fermenting. Determined not to totally throw away my days work, I quickly and gently reshaped it and slid it into the oven. 

This was the final product

It was definitely misshapen, and obviously lacked some volume due to the ripping of the dough, but still had a great flavour and was pleasantly surprised with the crumb as well.

I am now doubly determined to pick up where I left off prior to my crucial mistake and complete what was supposed to be my best loaf yet. This may still have been my best yet despite the blunder, which makes it all the more frustrating knowing what could have been. This morning I ran right to the store to pick up some rice flour which will be used liberally for today's proofing.


P.S. anyone know how to salvage this?


hreik's picture

salvaging the loaf. 

What's that last pic?


BPaff's picture

All the dough stuck to the couche!

RobynNZ's picture

I'm am sure you will have removed as much as you can mechanically. Then try using a cloth you can dispose of later, dipped in white vinegar and wrung out a bit, working from the outside to the middle of the stuck dough. The acid will break the dough down and you should be able to transfer it onto the vinegared cloth, so keep moving around the cleaning cloth in small sections. You will need to rinse in the same manner with a clean wrung out cloth which has been wet with clean water and then air your couche so that it drys completely.

Vinegar is an easy fix for dough stuck on arms, or equipment - a really practical  tip which I learned years ago here on TFL. 

Bread looks delicious, have fun learning!

dabrownman's picture

then most of my early loaves did that didn't stick to anything except my stomach.

Nice save!