The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Did i collapse my gluten structure? Or just overproof?

danmatthews's picture

Did i collapse my gluten structure? Or just overproof?

Hi all, i'm new here, so if this is in the wrong thread, please let me know where to put it!

I was working on a Rosehill Sourdough recipe loaf this afternoon, I've made 6 or 7 of these in the past few weeks and they're always fantastic, but I've never gotten a decent ovenspring, leaving my loaves slightly flat.

I was working hard to build gluten during the bulk proof, as I've noticed that when i tip my loaves from the banneton (straight out of the fridge), they start to spread out immediately.

I was doing a final set of stretch and folds when I think I stretched too far, and my dough tore. From then on, it seemed like it was mush .... no gluten strength at all to speak of, even after doing a stretch and fold.

The dough barely passed a windowpane test at hour 3, it felt like i wasn't developing any gluten.

Would you say this is a result of overproofing (it went for about 4 hours at 28C in our kitchen), was it that i'd torn the dough, or a mix of both?


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

as the link just sends me around a gimmick lupe trying to sell me something.  What flours?

It does sound like overfermenting.

danmatthews's picture


Per Loaf  
New Recipe  
Bread Flour280g
Wholegrain Flour77g
Strong Culture84g
idaveindy's picture

1. 4 hours isn't bad if you started counting the time from the point you added the starter/levain to the rest of the dough.  Is that how you counted the time?   (I ask because some beginners don't start counting "ferment time" until after they finish the stretch-and-folds.)

Approximately how much did the dough increase in volume during the bulk ferment?

2. How long was it in the fridge, and what temp is your fridge?

3. Did you bake straight from the fridge, or let it rest at room temp after removing from banneton?

4. Assuming your starter/"culture" is 100% hydration, then your overall hydration was 73.7%, which is high for a mostly white flour loaf -- at least for a beginner.  (252 + 42) / (280 + 77 + 42) = 294 / 399.

Not knowing your exact ingredients and timings, my first guess is that the dough was too wet.  Maybe try backing down to 68% overall hydration (always include the water and flour in the starter when calculating hydration)  and see if that improves things.

5. What country are you in, and what brand/type of flour did you use?  TFL users are from all over the world, and there is a huge difference in flours the world over.   Someone in your region may be familiar with your particular ingredients.  

This is another big thing that beginners usually don't grasp right away: different brand flours, even of the same type, even in the same country, behave differently.  Hydration is almost always the _first_ thing to adjust when adapting a recipe/formula to your local flour.

6. Please describe your oven and baking arrangement.  Gas, electric, convection/fan oven?  If convection: top heat, bottom heat, fan off or on?  Did you bake in a closed vessel, or open on a stone? If open, what was the steaming method?

danmatthews's picture

I've recently found this bake with jack video that shows over-fermented dough, and i think this is basically what happened to mine (albeit not quite as bad as this):


idaveindy's picture

Salt was kind of low at 1.25%,  ( 5 / 399 ).   That would tend to speed up fermentation.  Salt tightens up the dough too.