The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

What did I do to my dough?!

DrPr's picture

What did I do to my dough?!

I made my first sourdough breads from my new starter the other day.  I divided the dough in two, created batards, and baked one last night and the other this afternoon.

Yesterday's bread was pretty good- just a little too hard on the bottom for my taste due to my getting used to new baking equipment and calculating incorrectly.  Today's dough was a different matter: it had to warm up before baking.  An unexpected problem arose when my   room mates had to use the oven, causing the dough to stay out over an hour longer than necessary (I was worried that putting it in the fridge again would cause even more problems).

I baked it using the same techniques as yesterday (by the way, I use Peter Reinhart's barm and sourdough recipes because I love them) but this time the bread was barely brown after 30 minutes of baking. I took it out in under 40 minutes- thumping the bottom seemed to produce a hollow sound, and the internal temperature seemed about right (my current thermometer reaches only 190 but it went over that, as yesterday's bread did).

I was wondering how leaving the dough out for a longer time might have caused this. My theory has something to do with dough temperature effecting the sugars.  Am I going in the right direction? I haven't tasted the bread yet, by the way- it's cooling as I type.


nbicomputers's picture

you right about the sugars.  the yeast had no more food left.  the sugars were all gone and the starchs had broken down. what you have is what bakers call an old dough.  one that will had a tighter grain and little crust color because there was no suger to carmalize.

the finished bread will stale quickly and might have a sour (not in a good way) flavor with a taste of etoh.

BNLeuck's picture

My grandfather has had this problem more often than he'd like, usually during holiday times when his regular bread making got interrupted by a turkey needing to be tossed in the oven, or my grandmother wanting to make biscuits or cookies for the neighbors. Almost always, this bread is served immediately after cooling, which avoids the early onset of staleness, and usually it's toasted, because with very little crust caramelization, the likelihood of burning is very, very low. (Over-caramelized crust can be rather icky tasting...) Cut your batards lengthwise and make them into garlic bread! Yum.