The Fresh Loaf

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Is it possible to over-proof the BF and then under-proof the final proof?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Is it possible to over-proof the BF and then under-proof the final proof?

Is it possible to over-proof the BF and then under-proof the final proof?

If this is possible, how should we expect the crumb to look?

This question came to be when Kat, on another post posted her crumb.

I asked her if she thought the dough was under-proofed. She replied (HERE) that the BF went too long and the dough was poofy. The large holes coupled with the smaller holes lead me to believe the dough was under-proofed. Thus the initial question...

Dan

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

I think you asked me in the original post whether the dough was 'under-proofed' Dan and this might be a typo in your post above. I then said that this was a very long bulk that resulted in a very proofy and gassy bulk and attach fyi the dough in question in banneton....on the left hand side but only proofed 2 1/2 hour at 4C in wine cooler and dough was 74F when it got in....  So potentially I underproofed the 2nd proof in the wine cooler and should have pushed more?

This reminds with on the thread on bulk fermentation with Trevor's and Maurizio's comments.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/57358/sourdough-bulk-fermentation

I am intrigued with pushing the dough to it's limit in bulk because it can produce a very light loaf and build structure therefore via gas but it comes with risks..

quote Trevor when he compared two loaves in a post:

  • But the loaf on the right was so light and airy it was almost unreal. The further you push your dough during bulk, the greater potential it has to achieve more total loaf volume (up to a point, of course). The downside is that the proofier the dough, the more delicate it becomes. So it requires greater dough handling skills to shape a proofier dough without degassing it than it does to shape a younger dough without degassing.

and also 

Final proof was about the same for both (the left loaf did get an extra hour, but final proof was in the fridge so effectively no difference). But the volume of the two loaves was actually quite different - - it just looks similar in the picture because I sized the loaves to fit the frame. The loaf on the right had significantly more volume, fuller shape, and greater height (which would have been even greater if the loaf hadn't bumped into the top of the lid). That was something I wanted to address in this post before I ran out of space. No amount of additional final proofing would have allowed the left loaf to achieve the same volume as the one on the right. It would surely overproof before it ever could achieve the required size

Trevor is talking here about the loaf that achieved structure by pushing the bulk fermentation...

So if I understood Dan correctly, then the question is, if you have a perfectly but pushed to the limit dough from a long bulk fermentation what will happen to it, if it is underproofed in 2nd proof? Does it need a shorter proof because it has gone so far in the bulk fermentation? 

I probably managed to confuse myself...can you over-proof in bulk? What would that look like? with a hurting brain ...Kat

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I corrected the error in the initial post. Thanks.

Your crumb makes me think your bread was under-proofed because of the combination of large and small holes. But you told me that the dough was probably over-proofed during the BF. Since the crumb looked under-proofed (IMO), it make me wonder if a dough could be over fermented during the BF and then be under-proofed during the final proof. If this is possible, that would explain the under-proofed (large hole/small hole crumb).

Dan

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

but it is interesting how to define 'over fermented' in BF...it all depends on what type of loaf you wish and what method to use but when I revisited the bulk fermentation post where I summarised a post from  Trevor  where he compared his two loaves that if a loaf it pushed in bulk in the 50% region then you can get a rise that is better where another loaf might overproof trying to achieve that in 2nd proof.

So, I know that if you can generalise that for wet and irregular crumb the 30% seems to be the best way to go in bulk BUT what about the slightly stiffer dough and what will happen if you let them go 90%....I am a bit mad and happened to be in the middle of a simple white loaf and whilst these posts were happening after lamination I decided to just let it go 'proofy' and just shaped it just now with loads of bubbles without stitching...tricky that and probably not enough tension...ha, ha...then now in wine cooler at 4C with freezer packs to make it cooler nearer 3C hopefully and then will be baked after 12 hours and I MUST resist the urge to bake any earlier...

I remember that in my early Champlain bakes I got a really great bake and silly me did not document the time in warm fridge at the time but I think it was a pushed bulk ferment loaf with a long time in fridge...so for the less wet doughs I think there is something about pushing the bulk to get a lacy , regular crumb as long as not degased and badly handled and overproofed thereafter).... Oh the joy of bread making, Kat

p.s. I must also look into that Pioneer loaf from Trevor which is stiffer loaf and he degases it and lets it double again to get a not open but totally amazing lacy crumb...

I baked my 'impromptu' letting bulk go more than 50% experiment this morning after14 hours in wine cooler at 4C...

No ear, possibly as I scored too deep with the proofy dough or the way I baked in oven..or most likely not enough tension as proofy dough requires better handling...

Now the question is what would the loaf looked have like if I were to have baked in after 2.5 hours in the wine cooler like I did last time...

I see an experiment coming up...I will find the details of Trevor's post and where he compares 2 loaves, one was longer in bulk to create structure around 50% and one was more like 30% .....I then might add a third one where I cut the 2nd proof shorter compared to 2 overnight retards.... 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If my thinking is correct, I define a dough that has been over fermented during BF as one that has exhausted much of the gas and is unable to increase rising. If this dough was sliced the alveoli would be small with no large bubles, exactly like an over-proofed baked crumb would look.  

My original question was born when I ask if the dough was under-proofed. I asked because I noticed the crumb shot contained both large and also more dense alveoli in the original bread. Kat replied saying that the dough actually over-proofed during the BF. Thus the question, is it possible to over-proof a BF and then under-proof the final proof?

Now, if the crumb shot is not indicative of under-proofing, I am chasing a rabbit down a dark hole <in vain>

Here is the crumb shot in question.

Dan