The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Shape Failing and Gummy Crumb

TechnoBake's picture
TechnoBake

Shape Failing and Gummy Crumb

Not sure what I’m doing wrong. 

I’m doing the FWSY overnight country blonde recipe. 

 

The last two times I have made it, when I turn the dough out of the proofing basket right before baking, it goes completely flat and loses its shape. I decided last time to just “re-do” the shaping step right before baking and that seemed to at least give me a slightly “taller” loaf with a more expected shape. If I baked it without doing that, it would have been completely flat. 

 

Loaf looks ok on the outside and tastes ok but the crumb is really gummy. Any ideas what I should do differently? 

Philiam Tell's picture
Philiam Tell

Based on it flattening/losing shape and gummy texture, I would guess this is overproofed. In my experience, the FWSY sourdough recipes will overproof if you follow the overnight bulk ferment unless the temperature is quite low in your house (I believe he says his house is in the low 60's for these overnight bulk ferments). If the temperature is higher where you are, I recommend a shorter bulk phase (~4 hr with dough temp of ~78-82 degrees F), and using a fridge retarding step will also help the dough keep its shape when you take it out of the basket.

TechnoBake's picture
TechnoBake

Hi Philiam

Thanks for your reply. Yes, that makes a lot of sense and what I suspected. I had better results with other recipes that had both shorter BF time, and shape and proof in fridge, not at room temp. It's been very warm here in California, even overnight temps are high 70's and daytime temps maybe low 80s. That overnight BF felt long to me and I thought based on the target dough temp being right at the end of the mixing stage (i.e. 78 degrees F) it was ok, but I missed the note about he was assuming a low 60's room temp for that longer BF time to work. Makes sense now why these have been coming out significantly off in terms of results. Thanks a lot for the tip, this is exactly the type of hint I needed. 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I have the book.

FWSY, pages 28, 65 and others, he says his daytime room temp is 70 F.

Page 66 is where he says his overnight house temp is 65 F / 18 C.

KeilidhC's picture
KeilidhC

Hey! I definitely agree with Philiam that your dough is probably over-proofed - it seems that a lot of people (me included!) have found that the overnight room temperature bulk fermentation is way too long if your room temp is any warmer than Ken Forkish's. Try Philiam's suggestion of a shorter room temperature bulk fermentation and retard in the fridge and see how that goes. If your dough still doesn't want to hold its shape after that, maybe try reducing the hydration of the dough. I found that 78% hydration (I think? Correct me if I've remembered that number wrong!) was too high for my flour and at those hydrations my dough was pretty gloopy and spread out quite a bit after the final shaping. Maybe try playing around with the hydration as well and see what works best for you? I found that between 68% and 70% is what my particular flours can handle best. But remember to only change one thing at a time! And keep us updated with how it goes!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The crust seems too dark for overproofed dough. What about too much hydration?

TechnoBake's picture
TechnoBake

@Mini Oven

I don't know what you would mean by too much hydration. How would I determine that? I see a lot of talk about adjusting hydration % but unclear how to go about that. Should I just take the recipe and lower the amount of water I add by some arbitrary amount and experiment? Or is there some specific way to figure out how much to adjust it by? And couldn't you get a dark crust by just cooking it longer? I don't understand how that relates to potential over proofing.  

phaz's picture
phaz

Hydration - you have to experiment. 

Crust - over fermented/proofed can result in a pale, grey, crust. Enjoy!

TechnoBake's picture
TechnoBake

Shortened the BF time from what was recommended in FWSY to account for the higher room temp and used my judgement on when it looked ready and that seemed to work much better. Different recipe on this one (adds a small amount of yeast) but much happier with how the crumb turned out. Made two loaves, gave away the better looking one so crumb shot is from the second one. 

TechnoBake's picture
TechnoBake
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just look at the nice lift you have at the "shoulders!"    A good looking loaf.

TechnoBake's picture
TechnoBake

Yeah definitely not bad. The shape wasn’t everything I hoped for, but the overall result I was definitely pleased with. Thanks for all the tips!