The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Strange Tactics to Revive Over-proofed Loaf...?

Tyler Dean's picture
Tyler Dean

Strange Tactics to Revive Over-proofed Loaf...?

Let's say your unbaked loaf has sat too long. The yeast has eaten up all the sugars. The gluten has also been destroyed due to the loaf being overly acidic from the fermentation - it's a shaggy mess.

CAN you add more "food" for the yeast at this point? This could be a sugar, fruit, grain, more flour, starch, etc... in order to allow the yeast to continue feeding and giving Co2 for air bubbles? GRANTED you can rebuild the gluten structure to contain those bubbles?!? Say you add some vital wheat gluten at this point as well, or maybe bread flour/high protein flour. So you basically knead your sticky mess back into existence with more food and VWG. Let it rise again and bake?

What will happen guys??

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Forget the vital high gluten addition, it will lump and will not degrade fast enough to be of use. You might think of adding fresh dough but a lot depends on the type of flours, and how degraded the dough is.  It is basically a starter, a big one.  Make a soda bread or Use part of it and chill the rest while deciding what to do with it.

Tyler Dean's picture
Tyler Dean

I typically bake with natural yeast waters and sourdough/fruit starters but I would be curious as to the effect of re-feeding overproofed regular yeasted loafs as well. I have added more flour and sugar to overproofed yeasted banana breads in the past and they rose somewhat, at least more than if I hadn't added anything before baking. 

I guess I was just curious as to how fermented a loaf can really be and still come out nicely in the oven. The idea of the yeast consuming ALL of the sugars in a loaf is nice to me, makes me feel that they've improved the health benefits of the entire loaf for me. 

This reminds me of sourdough muffin recipes I've used before, where you leave the batter out overnight with some starter in it, and it basically becomes a giant starter to which you add eggs and baking soda the next day and bake. However these are not kneaded at all, it's far too runny.

How would soda/quick breads be if they were made with overproofed bread? Considering when you're making chemically leavened breads you want to avoid kneading as much as possible. Makes me wonder if baking soda/powder is any more/less effective if there is gluten to trap the air coming from the chemical reaction. Or does it just make the dough tough around the small (tiny) bubbles that come from chemical leaveners. What's a fully kneaded loaf of bread with strong flour going to be like if there is no yeast but only baking soda/powder to rise it? I wonder the strangest things sometimes...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and actually reduce the sour taste if any.  A tiny amount will unsour a very sour sourdough.  

Gotta watch the amounts and not go over or bread can taste like soap.  Add fresh flour too to get more gluten.  Using an AP will get you the fastest gluten formation with no bulking, go straight into a short half proof and Let Oven heat raise the dough further.  Not hard to understand as when adding the soda and extra flour, the dough will immediately start to foam up.  Have a bread pan and hot oven ready.

All the sugar in the bread will not be "used up" as the yeast will still be converting starches to sugar. The protein matrix to trap gas will be weak and deteriorating.  Don't confuse a weak matrix with lack of food in the dough.    Completely spent dough will turn into liquid hooch with quite a kick to it.  It will still contain carbohydrates so the diabetic dream, sorry, remains a dream.  Even if blood sugar spikes are softened, there is still sugar to be calculated.  Ever hear of beer being called "liquid bread?"

There are a lot of recipes that deal with using up discard starter.  A good place to search for information.  There is a current post about discard pancakes.  Check it out.   

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60276/sourdough-pancakes-heavy

David R's picture
David R

When we say "hooch" around here, do we mean hooch? Or do we mean water? Hooch is alcohol, exclusively, and always has been. Originally it could only mean a distilled liquor such as whisky, but I can understand if we jokingly mean a poor kind of beer that gets made by accident. But if it's just water or vinegar, I'd prefer to call it what it is.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a shelter or temporary dwelling!  

 Gosh, I thought anything that fermented to alcohol was hooch.  Darn.  The elves keep calling it hooch and beg me for it when I forget to feed the starter.  They've snuck off with "it" lots of times.  Sneaky elves.  Gotta keep "back-up" hidden away.

What???  I got to distiill it too?  Na, ain't go'n that far.  Don't tell the kitchen elves.  They're hard enough to keep happy without health insurance and wages.  Heck they ran off with my new dish towels!  All I find are the old bleached out ones with unraveling seams and strange holes in them. 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

 i would do as we used to do when i was working in the bakehouse, if you had a dough that was detected as having ingredients missing or had doughs that had overproofed due to power or mechanical failures the dough was set aside and incorporated into subsequent doughs, even the next day or so, This eliminated waste or turning out poor quality bread for the customer as well as the bakers reputation and bottom line. If you put Pate Fermente in the search  box you will find some old interesting (2008) threads on this subject.  

kind regards Derek

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Yes I agree, just treat it as pate fermentee (or 'old dough'). Traditionally, when it was difficult to get yeast and bread was baked every day, the baker would simply retain a portion of the dough to use as starter for the next day's bake. There are a lot of good recipes out there using pate fermentee as the starter so give it a go! Store it in the fridge and use it over a couple of days. I think it will make a nice digestible, good-flavoured bread. :)