The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

proofing times for extra large breads

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

proofing times for extra large breads

just a quick question.

Ive been asked to make 1500g sourdoughs for someone. I currently make 900g loaves and have that sorted. Ill start experimenting in the morning but in the meantime Im wondering if 1500g loaves take much longer to proof. I know it makes sense that they would (more dough more fermenting needed) however I seem to remember reading somewhere that as yeast multiplies fermenting goes faster thus, counter-intuitively larger amounts of dough ferment faster than small amounts. Is there any truth in that?

thanks

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

My favorite boule size is 1200 grams of 90% WW, 88% hydration. I bake it in the pot (the deep part) of a Lodge 3.2 qt combo cooker, which has an 8" diameter at the inside bottom. The banneton I use is 8" inside diameter at the top.   Baked loaf just fits in a 1 gallon zipper seal plastic bag.

 Based on that loaf... in my opinion, it's about temp changes, and a larger loaf will be slower to come up, or come down, to ambient temp.

Suppose you use chilly tap water to mix the dough, but room temp is 78 F. And you bulk at room temp.  Dough will be cooler than room temp, ... larger dough mass takes longer to rise to room temp, .... so bulk takes longer than a smaller mass.

Suppose you go from a room temp bulk to a cold proof.  Larger dough mass will take longer to cool down, ... so the larger (warmer) dough keeps on fermenting faster/longer in the fridge than a smaller dough would,... larger dough then over proofs or needs baked sooner.

In the oven... with a larger dough mass, it takes longer for the heat to penetrate to the center... therefore crust may look done when center is still undercooked... or... center may reach the desired temp, but not enough moisture has been baked off... therefore larger loaves _generally_ require a longer bake at a lower temp so that crust and the center get "done" at the same time.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Thanks for the comprehensive answer. Makes sense. I’ll bake with bottom element same level and I’ll lower top element so crust doesn’t burn while baking longer 👍