The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


loaflove's picture


Hi All

I did something different with my foccacia this time.  I used the KA mixer with the dough hook on it for 5min before bulk fermentation (whereas I used to do nothing)  , bulk for 18 hrs.  Is this overfermented or is it because I used the mixer on it?  the first photo is my regular technique, second one KA mixer.  Sorry my friend sent me the second pic.  Hard to see the crumb

loaflove's picture

Sorry to clarify, the first photo of the square slice is my ideal.  The second photo, is the crumb like that because of over fermentation or because i used a mechanical mixer .  

Benito's picture

I’m not sure that it is over fermented. It is hard to tell from the angle of the photo of the crumb but it seems a bit on the dense side.  If anything I would have said that it was a bit under.  5 mins in the mixer shouldn’t have been an issue, it certainly wouldn’t have been over mixed.  Now a bulk of 18 hours sounds long, but of course that depends on the temperature and inoculation of levain you used.


DanAyo's picture

I checked your previous post pretaining to focaccia. “ used the formula in Emilie Raffa's sourdough book (in my profile). You literally do almost nothing.  Mix everything together and bulk ferment for 12-16 hrs, pour into an oiled pan (it'll look like a blob) coat with more olive oil Proof til puffy”

Have you considered doing you BF in the pan you plan to bake in and then omit disturbing the dough after your regular BF? I have had good success using this technique for my pan breads, but don’t bake focaccia. It is easier and the dough is not disturbed once the BF starts.

Is it possible the machine mix developed the gluten to a point that dough expansion was limited?
Was the flour very strong?
The results between the 2 bakes are drastic.

loaflove's picture

Dan, that's a great idea about BFing in the pan. TBH I don't think the dough hook did anything because it was just turning in the middle of the dough . 

Ming's picture

I don't know what the problem was but I can tell you a 5 min machine knead should not have anything to do with it. I have kneaded my dough for 30 min (total time not in one shot) in a spiral machine and the bread would still come up great with great oven spring. 

Steve Knight's picture
Steve Knight


To my eye, based on the tight crumb, the dough needed more proofing time.  Are you bulk fermenting for 18 hours at room temperature, or is part of that in the refrigerator?  An 18 hour room temp bulk seems quite excessive.

Stephen Knight


loaflove's picture

you might be right about the proofing time.  

loaflove's picture

Thanks for everyone's input!  For this bake that didnt turn out so well, My dough temp was only about 18c because the recipe asked for cool water for a 12-18 hr ferment. i normally would use maybe water that's about 20c but I needed a slower ferment to fit my schedule.  I was worried it might have over fermented so I think i shortened the final proof which was supposed to be about 2 hrs.  After the bulk (I waited for it to double)  it looked bubbly and  as I was pouring the dough into the pan it looked very stringy and webby which was a good sign. Anyway, i try not to worry too much about temperature and rather just watch the dough.   Plus no matter what the bread always tastes great.  I wonder if i should have done a much longer final proof since the dough was still so cold.  Yes i was BFing at room temp

Now for the first bake which turned out really well ( a total fluke) my dough temp was probably closer to 20c. I can't remember the bulk time but i think it was about 12 hrs (i watch for the dough to double not the clock) poured it into the pan and i had no time to bake it so i stuck it in the fridge for the final proof for i can't remember how many hours then removed it from the fridge and left it out for about two hours before baking .  And it turned out to be the best foccacia I've made.  IDK, when i make bread I just wing it.  I do random things because I can't be bothered with measuring dough temperatures , water temp etc.  I just try watch the dough.  And use the fridge to retard to fit my schedule.