Overproofed

This past weekend I began my adventures in experimenting with new flours. A fun trip to the fancy natural foods store yielded more types of flour than I should probably have in my cupboard. One carton of (chocolate flavoured…) almond milk later, my basket was full with kamut flour, whole spelt flour, and organic sprouted whole grain red fife flour. A heritage wheat variety, mind you. Thus began my foray into baking with different wheat varieties; unfortunately, it was a somewhat inauspicious beginning which I thought I would detail today.

To start out, I thought I would go with the sprouted whole wheat as a follow-up to my recent post. Everything went largely as planned through shaping and into the fridge, in fact the boule that came out of the proofing basket from the fridge had a nice, tight shape and looked primed for success like a young, not yet cynical college freshman. Unfortunately, that tight loaf began to relax a little too much almost as soon as I placed it into my cooker. As you can see below, the loaf had little to no oven spring with it relaxing to fill almost the entire bottom of my makeshift dutch oven. Further evidence can be seen in the scoring: the lines are clean with little bursting to be seen along the edges. This loaf fell victim to being overproofed I’m afraid after having sat in the fridge proofing overnight for a tad too long. My recent loaves have likely pushed the envelope in total time at around 16 hours in the fridge, with this one slightly over and just a little (maybe a lot) too much time.

IMG_20170402_183223
Topshot. Little to no oven spring.

The topshot highlights some evidence of the loaf having proofed for too long, but the real show is in the below. On the left is this loaf, on the right a recent success. Quite a difference in volume! As is typically the case, the bread itself still tasted quite alright and did its job reasonably well for breakfast. I’ll save the juicy details of how the flavour differed from my usual recipe for a future post. The nice thing about attempting to correct for this problem is that I should simply be able to reduce the time variable by an hour or so and test from there. Considering I’ve been beginning the process Saturday mornings at 7AM to bake at 7:30AM on Sunday morning, it would actually be welcome to shave some time off and shift the Saturday start back by an hour.

Have a good week!

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