The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Under or overproofed?

Marianne's picture
Marianne

Under or overproofed?

Hi everyone, 

I can not figure out if this seeded bread is under or overproofed when the holes are bigger at the top of the bread. The second proof happened on the kitchen bench for 3 hours to make the bread less sour. Hope someone knows why it sometimes looks like this. I am a fresh sourdough homebaker from Norway and happy to hear what you think. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ll venture a guess, but it could be wrong.

First off, we need to know the formula (list of ingredients and their weights). And also your method (baking instructions). The room temperature is also an important factor.

My first guess, using only the available information, is under proofed. But I am not super confident because you say that you bench proofed it for 3 hours as a second proof. Normally large holes situated among dense crumb is indicative of under proofing. It appears your bread had nice bloom. That is the spread of the bread between the score line. But the spread may be due to an extremely slack dough. The large holes are near the top of the loaf, probably because that is where there is least resistance, due to the score and also less weight needing to be pushed up and expanded.

The bread does look like it would taste great. Seeded bread is fantastic!

Danny

Marianne's picture
Marianne

Hi Danny, Thanks for your reply. First the room temperature in my kitchen is 26-27 celcius. 

I Did an autolyse with 400 grams of flour and then 300 grams of water. Waited 1 hour and added 70 grams of levain and 8 gram salt plus 10 gram water. Did 3 strech and fold and 1 lamination with the soaked seeds. Total bulk fermentation endes up to be 4 hours. Then i shaped the bread and let it proof in an oven with the light on for 3 Hours. Baked in dutch oven. I often have trouble with the over night proofing in the fridge. I think my problem is that the fridge is not cold enough and the bread turns out flat, heavy and rubbery. Maybe I should try to be more patient and Give it more time to proof. It takes time to learn to see when its ready to go in the oven. The taste of the bread is fine. Just wanted to be able to spot the difference in underproofed and overproofed. Marianne 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

That tells me a lot. Your dough is 79% hydration.

  1. How long was your autolyse?
  2. 28C is 80F. That is pretty warm. And then after you shaped the dough you put it in your oven with the light on. That sounds like it was probably too hot. Try putting a glass of water in your oven and leave the light on. After 3 or 4 hours take the temp of the water and let us know.
  3. Given the temperature, the fermentation time, and your percentage of  prefermented four was 7.8% it doesn’t seem that the dough was under proofed. Maybe the super slack dough affected your crumb,  but that’s just a guess.
  4. 79% hydration is very wet for an all white flour dough.
  5. What is the protein percentage of your flour?

Since I don’t know your skill level, this suggestion may be way off base. I suggest you rebake this bread using 70% hydration. If your oven (with light on) temp is higher than 27C/80F, don’t use it. Your room temp sounds warm enough.

By the way - is your starter strong and active? Tells you s about it.

*A warm refrigerator will affect your dough. Put a glass of water on the shelf where your retarded loaves are stored. Wait 5 or 6 hours and take the temp. Please let us know your findings.

 

Marianne's picture
Marianne

Hi again, I will try to figure out the temperature in my fridge and the oven.

I did autolyse without the levain  for 1 hour. My starter is active. I feed it twice a day. And used it after 12 hours. The protein in the flour is 11,5 gram. I measured the temperature in the dough during bulk fermentation and it turned out to be around 27 celcius. Thats maybe to high? 

I will try to do one with less water and see what happens. I am not a skilled baker so turning down the water amount could be a good help. Let you know if the result will be different. Thanks for your good advise. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I think lowering the water will produce much better results.continue to use your autolyse.

Good Luck!

Danny

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Marianne,

First of all, that's a very attractive bread.  You seem to have done well with the hydration you chose, but it's good to experiment with different hydration levels.

To the extent there are defects, they are slight, to my eyes.  It's not clear to me that the bread is not properly proofed or bulk fermented.  Yes, it could be somewhat under-bulk fermented, but the crumb is not tight where there aren't big holes, which is what we usually see if you rushed the bulk step.

Example of underproofed bread (ignore the title): https://www.reddit.com/r/Breadit/comments/7c3mvt/overproofed/

It does not look overproofed either, but it would be helpful to see photos of the entire loaf.  Generally overproofed loaves have an under-risen, dented look, and if badly overproofed can be pale in color because any residual sugar has been consumed.

Example of overproofed bread: https://sourdough.com/posts/2nd-sourdough-loaf-over-proofed

One possibility is not adequate degassing of the loaf during pre-shaping.  Perhaps slap the dough moderately while pre-shaping to remove the larger gas bubbles.  Some people want big holes, and some consider it a defect, so there's a bit of subjectivity here, too.

Example of degassing during preshaping:  https://www.kingarthurflour.com/videos/professional-techniques/techniques-for-the-professional-baker-3-dividing-shaping

Happy baking!
Phil

Marianne's picture
Marianne

Phil,

Thank you for the links. I wonder if maybe the bulk fermentation went a little bit wrong. The dough felt more slack than usual. I wanted to put in a picture here but got some trouble with uploading. Will try again and see if it happens again when I pay more attention to how the dough feel during bulk fermentation. Its just more difficult with the seeds. But again thanks for your good advise and pictures of under and overproofed bread. 

Marianne 

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Yes, learning to insert photos here is tricky.  You click the mountain symbol ("insert/edit image").  Click "source" and the camera symbol to bring up the directory.  Here you must upload the image.  Click "upload in the upper left, then "choose file."  This is allow you to navigate to where your photo is stored on your computer or server.  Once selected choose "upload," and then "insert file" on the same line where "upload" is.

If you're new-ish, knowing when a dough is properly proofed is not obvious or easy.  Only experience will help.  I agree that the slackness might be a sign of over-bulk fermenting, but it could be a lack of gluten development and/or not doing enough stretch and fold.  The telltale sign of over-bulk is that when you go to shape, it won't hold shape well.  I've also had the experience of a loaf overproofing in the fridge, especially after a warmer bulk ferment.

Again, your bread looks quite good.  I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Marianne's picture
Marianne

Seeded breadPhil, Thanks for the explaining on uploading. Here you can see the bread. It is more pale and maybe more «tight» looking in the crust than usually. Well I will keep baking this weekend and see if the result will be different. 

Marianne 

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

I don't see any sign of overproofing from the outside.  Was it difficult to shape?  It's cracked to the bottom on that one side, but perhaps that's just because you scored it that low.  Looks great.

Marianne's picture
Marianne

It was a little bit difficult to shape. But the crack in the bread looks like this because I had trouble scoring it with the sunflower seeds getting in my way. 

Marianne 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I think I can say with confidence that the crack at the bottom of the score is a result of the dough rising up during the bake, exposing more surface than was available when the dough was scored. That section with the crack was probably underneath the dough when you scored it. Because of this, it is good to score all the way down to the bottom of the dough.

Watch THIS VIDEO and keep an eye on the very bottom of the score. Notice how it raises up during the bake. Since heavily seeded loaves make gluten development difficult, splits below the score are not uncommon. It is an indication of good oven spring. IMO, not a bad thing...

Marianne's picture
Marianne

I see your point with the scoring. And you are right oven spring is a good thing. Thanks for sharing. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your bread does look really nice, especially when you consider all of those seeds. 

Did you use a soaker? What was the total percentage of seeds used in the dough?

Considering the seeds and not knowing if you used a soaker, the hydration should probably be raised upwards from 70%. Hamelman’s heavily seeded loaf is 98% including some whole wheat and about ~34% seeds. Seeing the finished loaf tells us a lot more. The large holes may have little or nothing to do with fermentation.

Have you tried Hamelman’s Five-Grain Levian? http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59038/community-bake-hamelmans-fivegrain-levain

I have baked a lot of heavily seeded breads. Developing a fine gluten network may not be possible. I have never succeeded, hopefully others have. I’d like to learn.

Update - I read above where you used “soaked seeds”. Was the water in the soaker figured to the hydration? Lately, I have been adding the seeds and any other bulky ingredients during lamination. It seems to be the most delicate way to incorporate those types of ingredients. 

Marianne's picture
Marianne

I will check out Hamelman recipe. Thanks for sharing it. I soaked the seeds and I used 90 gram water and 90 gram seeds. I didnt calculate the water from the soaking in to the hydration. Its so different factors in bread making and at the same time its about getting the right feel for the dough. I will keep baking and see what results the oven will return to me. 

Marianne 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Marianne, after accounting for the soaker water and learning about the high percentage of seeds, I take back the suggestion to lower the hydration.

I hope you consider the Five-Grain bread. It is a favorite on this site and the flavor is out of sight.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think a more rigorous degassing would pop those large bubbles before the final proof.  It's only a matter of finding those big bubbles and being gentle with the rest of the dough.  A tiny tweak.  The loaf looks great.

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

My two cents..

The loaf looks fantastic.  And they're right on about degassing.  Find those bubbles and punch them down.  

Great job! 

 

Marianne's picture
Marianne

Never thought about removing the large bubbles. Will do this next time I see the big bubbles when preshaping. Wish everyone a great weekend.