Hey, can anyone let me know about why degassing is important?
Degsssing prevents your getting those extremely large holes in the bread. See recent posts.
Yeast and bacteria produce gases as a byproduct of digesting sugars and starches in the flour/water mixture. The gas bubbles are what makes dough expand and rise. Often the walls between these gas bubbles are thinner than the bulk dough so they break through and join together, creating a bigger bubble. Then again... and again, creating a very big bubble.
There are two extremes. The first is dough that hasn't been degassed at all. This will create bread that has big holes along with very dense crumb in other areas. The other extreme is completely degassed dough, like in commercial bakeries that makes sandwich loaves. They beat the living ***t out of the dough and create a very uniform crumb of tiny bubbles distributed throughout the crumb.
The art of shaping an artisan loaf is the process of breaking down the large bubbles into smaller bubbles, but not so much as to create a typical sandwich loaf. Typically this takes a lot of patience and practice.
Here is a picture lifted from www.breadwerx.com. Thank you Trevor.
Complete with drying out crumb over several days.
To the contrary, if you visit Trevor's site he explains his techniques in how he "produces" his pictures. While he may embellish the surrounding he strives to keep the bread content real.
(I'll admit I overstated that three day part, depends on ambient humidity.) But dried just enough to leave one searching for cut lines that made the slice. The rounded cell lines without edges makes me think the crumb had been exposed to the drying effects of air. Or the playing of light and contrast has erased those edges enough to give that impression, at least to me. His collection of photos are very interesting. Some of the photos look surreal. I did not read yet how he produces his pictures. Just sort of enjoying them first. It might take away from my impression.
that the slice has been dried out and very likely toasted to boot. It was certainly a very,very bold bake. A nice photo and worth the extra effort to make it.
I always thought that S^F's were to help develop the gluten, redistribute both the food and and the air bubbles and to degass a bit as well - to get rid of any large air pockets. We like multi functional processes:-)
Degassing expels the old carbon dioxide, making room for the yeast’s continuous production of new carbon dioxide. Provided you also fold or shape the bread, it also equalizes the temperature of the dough by redistributing the cooler sections of the dough into the warmer ones. In the case of a stretch and fold, it will also strengthen the dough by aligning the gluten strands.
Edit: I meant this in addition to the above comments
don't degas often, you might just swell up horribly and eventually explode at the worst time possible. No worries though, degassing happens involuntarily for most of us, also at the most inopportune times, and it was a magic spell that blew up Harry Potters Auntie and floated her away.
When it comes to bread, degassing keeps it from turning into Harry's Auntie.
Ha ha ha!!!!
In my life's experience, the female gender never either gas or degas. It is strictly a male thing... at least that is what the female gender would like us all to think.
my wife, but we also know TCLLTD now and again. As a side note - It is wise to seek medical attention immediately when degassing becomes extremely painful and lasts for more than 4 hours.
I found breadwerx.com a couple of weeks ago in my quest to reasearch on the shaping techniques, I read and reread all his articles, every line, many times and watch all his videos over and over again. The information he provides is beyond helpful! And I agree with his philosophy on how to work the dough.
he is against degassing, you can read about it in many of his articles, he emphasizes, not to degas, even a little bit, as it will make the bread interior more dense. His touch, as he described, is "of a lover", gentle yet confident (not harsh or tough). Instead, he picks up a bit "young dough" that did not yet full of gas, this lets him shape the dough nicely and kepp proofing it, already shaped. He doesn't even use the finger poke test to check the readiness of the proofing. I cannot say enough how helpful his articleas, described methods and all the videos are! In fact, my second loaf came out so much better than my first loaf, because I picked up a lot from his advices. Just need to practice - that can happened only from doing it again and again.
hope this helps...
I thought he recommended folding the dough (aka stretch and fold) throughout the bulk fermentation. That is degassing. Punching down the dough is not as commonplace in procedures these days. But anytime you handle the dough, it is still degassing.
Well, based on what Trevor wrote and said, he does S&F to add stricture and shape to the dough, he said it many times...he even said, it's not entirely necessary to do it, since the gluten is already formed (this happens during his pre-mix method overnight, he creates a pre-dough), so if we assume, he does it to degas, he would recommend to do the S&F anyway. He also emphasized, with every next S&F set to be more and more gentle in working with dough to not loose any gas bubbles. This makes me think, he is not degassing it. In his videos, it fascinates me how gentle he is, and I can clearly conclude, this is not a degassing by any means, it's preserving the bubbles.
Another reason to do S&F is to redistribute temperature to make it more even throughout the dough...but I did not see this done to specifically degas in any video or article I have reviewed. However, if working pretty roughly, while doing stretch and fold, you can successfully degas the dough, if that's what you are after...so it may as well be one's personal choice :-)
I guess I see degassing as the transition between bulk fermentation and pre-shaping/shaping (I guess there is dividing in between sometimes as well). A S&F will degas even if that isn't the primary reason. Maybe the term "degas" makes people think they have to be aggressive with the process, so it may be best to not even mention it. It may just come down to semantics.
One thing to note is that I find active dry does better with a double rise in bulk fermentation (with a degas in between), where instant yeast does better with a single rise (not including S&F of course). Sourdough can be handled many different ways. At the end of the day, it matters what you are looking for in a final product.
Thanks everyone for the comments. Very helpful. I have looked at Breadwerx before, very interesting.
i tend to do a few stretch and folds in 20 min intervals before I shape and put into a brotform, cover and place in fridge overnight before I bake the next morning. My question is: would it be better to just put the dough covereed in the fridge over night and shape (degass) in the morning, then place in a brotform at room temp for a couple of hours then bake?
any comments would be helpful
of the dough, the fridge, and how fermented the dough is when it goes into the fridge.
Me, I like to let it rise about a third, do a folding, tuck into the fridge at about 4°C and take out the next day to warm up where I degas and shape, place in the brotform to final proof. Just like you said. Better or not? I like the crumb better. Hubby and I aren't into massive holes.
I think the best approach here would be your own preference of taste and texture. But in essence, there are 2 stages you can choose from to place your dough in the fridge: bulk fermentation or a final proof. yiu can definetly experiment with these and see what happenes. :-)
sure, I agree, there is probably some degree of degassing happenes naturally, but I aim to preserve as much as I can. I do like those irregular holes of all sizes in a nice open crumb...and I think those folds help to place those holes theought the loaf...:-)
My take on degassing is that it's just one method out of many. There are good reasons to degas, and good reasons not to. It all depends on what you're looking for. Degassing can be very helpful if you're trying to achieve a more even crumb. It can help save a dough that's proofed a bit too far (even to the extreme of completely reshaping an overproofed loaf). And it can help to extend fermentation time if you're looking to develop more flavor.
As with any method, the key is just to be aware of the cost/benefit ratio. Know your goals. I generally try to minimize degassing at all times with the majority of the sourdough loaves I bake (though I often degas yeasted enriched pan loaves). I like an open irregular crumb (though not always to the extreme) and I find that gentle handling with minimal degassing helps me to achieve that.
Yes, it's true that any time you handle the dough there is the potential for degassing. But it can be minimized by using a light touch. The thing to keep in mind is that the proofier the dough, the more delicate it becomes and the greater the chance that handling it will cause degassing (and the greater that degree of degassing will tend to be). It's fairly easy to fold young dough without degassing it. Proofy dough, on the other hand, can be downright impossible. The baker must make a judgement call with each fold -- is the added strength and structure worth the potential for degassing? And that goes right back to knowing your goals for the bread, and having the ability to read your dough.
Regarding the picture that jimbtv posted, I think I cut into that loaf on the same day that I baked it. The slice definitely hadn't been sitting around at all. Maybe it just naturally had a funky shape?
and working with a spelt sour dough recipe that calls for a series of S&Fs during the fermentation process. My most recent loaf was a flop. The dough had risen well during proofing - probably too much now that I've learned more about the processes at work - then hardly at all in the oven. Delicious, but dense, crusty bread was the result.
After further edification (great info on this site, especially, thank you!) and consulting some more experienced comrades, I had many avenues to pursue in improving my outcome. One suggestion was to degas an over-proofed dough (done - seeing how this works with my current dough). I am also wondering if, overall, my gluten is underdeveloped? Does S&F only provide enough stimulation for gluten development? Should I knead more when mixing the dough, prior to fermentation periods with S&Fs? Trevor mentioned knowing the goals of a loaf, and pros and cons when making these decisions... Can anyone suggest a beginning webpage, reference, book, somewhere I can learn more about this? About how to choose a "goal" for my bread and how to execute it?
Am I way off base and asking the wrong questions?
Thank you, bread community :)
It doesn't have the gluten content of typical white BF or even AP. As a result, it requires more skill because if has less margin for error in terms of gluten development, recovering from over-proofing, etc.
I suggest you re-start your SD journey by learning to make a basic AP or BF loaf consistently. Maybe try the 1 2 3 type. In the process, you'll also learn how your starter behaves (they don't all behave exactly the same) and how to maintain it to fit your baking schedule.
Actually, if you're a complete novice, you might be best served to start by using commercial yeast e.g. the original no-knead recipe in order to learn how dough behaves and what it feels like during the entire process before introducing another variable, the condition of your starter from bake to bake.
Thanks, Arjon! I didn't know that spelt was trickier... I will back myself up and start where I should've: at the beginning!
Your input and suggestions are very valuable :) Grateful you shared with me.