The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What is the purpose of deflating the dough?

ilaycan's picture

What is the purpose of deflating the dough?


I know that deflating the gas brings oxygen into the dough and CO2 out, which is good for yeast development.

I have a calculator app for the amount of yeast in pizza dough. If I for example set that I want the dough to ferment 10 hours at 20 °C, then it calculates the right amount of yeast. After 10 hours the dough is ready to be baked. The calculator works really well. 

Wouldnt it make more sense to adjust the amount of yeast with the calculator instead of putting too much yeast in the dough and deflate it from time to time to prevent overproofing?

BaniJP's picture

Honestly, I never saw the point in deflating. Why would you push out all the gases you just spent building? It just overcomplicates things for me. So far I never deflated my bread doughs and they always come out beautifully.

But I'm happy to be proven wrong ;)

So to answer your question: if you don't want to deflate your dough, adjust the yeast, yes.

ilaycan's picture

It only makes sense for me to change the texture to a denser crumb by gently pushing the dough to divide the big air bubbles. 

But otherwise, yes I am the same opinion. Only thing I can imagine is that back in times parameters like temperature, amount of the ingredients was quite hard to adjust and of course there was no yeast calculator. So if you wanted to ferment the dough longer but it already produced a serious amount of CO2, the only solution was to deflate it and then continue fermentaton.

pintolaranja's picture

The byproducts of yeasts eating/digesting the flour also contribute to the flavour.

So if you lightly deflate it, not only are you helping organisation of the crumb, but also catering for re-distribution of the bacteria within the dough and thus better flavour because you then keep the dough fermenting for longer by allowing the bacteria and yeast to eat more of it.

This at least is my understanding.