The Fresh Loaf

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Collapse after proofing

Evanstonbaker's picture

Collapse after proofing

I have been a yeast bread baker for over 50 years, starting with my mother's all white sandwich loaf.

Most recently, the past 30 years, I have baking a version of Edward Behr's rustic country loaf.  Usually with some combination of bread flour, all purpose unbleached, and whole wheat.

I do my final proofing in cloth lined bannetons.  Sometimes, when I slip the loaves onto the peel for placement in the oven, the perfectly risen loaves collapse and spread out.  I still get a tasty bread with nice crumb and air pockets, just not as tall and puffy as it should be.

Any advice?




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

turn it out of the banneton sooner before it puffs up too high.  Let the oven puff up the last part of rising with heat and the steam it makes.  Bowl shapes (like bannetons) are hard to eyeball when judging "almost double" volume.

one solution is to pinch off a tiny piece of dough and make a gauge when shaping.  Shape and  drop tiny dough into a straight sided shot glass and mark height and also mark double.  Flip out of the banneton before the dough reaches double and see if the gauge works for you.  Do keep them at the same temps and next to each other for best results. :)

The Almighty Loaf's picture
The Almighty Loaf

If the dough spreads out after removal from the banneton, that probably means it was a tad bit overproofed and the gluten structure has weakened too much for good ovenspring. For freeform loaves, unlike loaves baked in loaf pans or other tins, they typically aren't proofed to almost double their size since they don't have the structural support of the pan necessary to push them upwards while baking. Thus, they're usually proofed to 25-50% of their size or, even more accurately, until the gluten feels juuuuust relaxed enough for expansion in the oven but strong enough to maintain structural integrity. The "poke test" is a pretty common way of judging whether or not loaves proofed at room temperature are ready for the oven (the test doesn't work well for cold proofed doughs).

Evanstonbaker's picture

I suspected that overproofing was the problem.