[experiment] on the effects of permeability of final proofing container
I was wondering what the effect of the permeability of the proofing container would have, if any, on my final bread. (In overnight proofing.)
Does using a container that is open to air circulation significantly dry out the crust and reduce shine and oven spring?
I tested this by shaping two loaves from the same dough, and proofing them in the fridge overnight. One was proofed in a stainless steel bowl covered with plastic wrap, completely airtight, and the other was proofed in a plastic colander open to air circulation. Both were lined with flour dusted cloth.
The loaves were baked identically, in cast iron pans covered with aluminum turkey pans for the first 20 minutes at 450.
Here are the results. (SS = stainless steel, CLDR = colander.)
-SS bread rose slightly higher. About 10 % additional oven rise.
-Colander bread opened significantly more at the scores.
-SS bread had a richer, shinier, more deeply and evenly caramelized crust. The colander bread was more pale and grey where it was not touching or close to the preheated cast iron pan.
Overall the difference was not extremely significant, but it was significant enough that I will now continue proofing my bread in sealed containers.