The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Degassing dough

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Degassing dough

Hello Flour Fanatics

Just thought I would post a couple of thoughts and discoveries.  The first involves the gentle handling of the dough in order to not degas it.  I do my best to handle the dough as little as possible but now i'm not sure how much difference this makes.  I made pizza this weekend out of the same dough I use for my everyday bread.  I mixed, folded and proofed as usual.  I then rolled it out pretty flat before attemting to throw it.  Bottom line is I brutalized this dough by my standards.  I topped and baked and guess what happened?  You got it, tons of bubbles, some were quite large.  The edge of the crust was light and airy and full of irregular bubbles.  This was no ciabatta but if you saw the dough after the roll out you would not have thought there was a whole lot of gas left in it.  Me thinks I have been a little wimpy handling my dough in an attemt to get that crumb we all desire.  I therefore have to think that good crumb is more the result of good complete proofing rather than gentle handling?  I would be curious to know if any of you have noticed the same thing.

Da Crumb Bum 

mountaindog's picture

Crumb Bum,


I agree, proofing time is just as important, but keep in mind when making pizza, because the dough is flat, the internal gases do not have much mass to push up against to get a rise in the oven, so yes, I would expect you to get good holes, even if you flattened it out, as soon as it hit that hot oven. Making a large loaf or boule, however is a different matter entirely than a flatbread.  It takes a lot more time and internal gas pressure to get big holes throughout the entire loaf, especially in the center of a large boule. The less you degass it, the less time it will take to completely rise. In my experience, if I degas the dough for a large boule too much when shaping, it takes forever for it to proof, and even then, the crumb in the center never gets very airy and the loaves do not rise as high, at least that is the case for sourdoughs I've made - for yeasted breads, if you use a lot of yeast, you may still get a huge rise in a shorter time because the yeast is so much more concentrated. A lot also depends on the type of flour you use and its protein content.