Ugh! I’ve Got to Listen to My Instincts!

Yesterday I made dough for two loaves, a batard (left), and a boule. I intended to bake them both early this morning but decided to only bake the batard and take it to the office and let the other sit in my fridge, though I was thinking that both loaves were ready and probably should bake them both. But I ignored the instinct, popped the batard into my oven, and left the boule to sit until I came back home.

It bugged me all day that I didn’t bake it because I had a sinking feeling that the boule would be over-proofed when I got home. And as I suspected, the dough was slightly over-proofed; not to the point where it laid out like a pancake on my transfer board, but it didn’t hold its structure very well, which means that a lot of the gluten got broken down. Plus, being in a plastic bag all that time, a skin didn’t get a chance to form.

So I knew as soon as I baked it that I wouldn’t get much of a vertical rise. I expected a reasonably open crumb because I shaped it well, but I was pissed because I knew that with most of the yeast exhausted, my oven spring would suck and I’d get more horizontal spread rather than vertical rise.

Given that, I could’ve turned down the temp in my retarding fridge. I keep it at a constant 42°F, which is perfect for overnight fermentation. I should’ve dropped the temp to 38°F or 39°F. That might be just a slight drop in temp, but below 40°F, yeast activity drops significantly. Or… I could’ve just baked the damn thing! 🙂

Oh well… lesson learned.


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