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Flipping The Dough After Proofing?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I made some Rustic Hand-made Bread last night and it was about 50% successful--half of the dough came out perfectly, and the other half was dense and undercooked.

I use 75% water, 2.2% salt, and 0.4% instant yeast. I mixed the ingredients together, let sit in a warmed oven at about 80F, and then kneaded it for a minute about once every 20 minutes for an hour and a half.  (My book said "give it a series of folds", which I interpreted as light kneading...is that right?) I dumped the bowl out, shaped  the loaves, and put them on the floured baking sheet for 45 minutes, covered them in a damp rag, and let them proof.

I heated the oven to 475 and put them in for about 25 minutes. I found that the top half of the loaf was perfect, but the bottom half was dense and partially uncooked. I re-read the recipe, and I noticed that I skipped a step in which I was supposed to flip the loaf after proofing.

Would that step have solved this dense-loaf problem? Is that a standard step in most rising bread recipes?

Thanks
post #2 of 8
What was the actual formula? Rustic usually conotes the use of whole-grain flours, and they're sometimes difficult to work with..

Folding actually means folding. Basically you gently form the dough into a rectangle. Fold one edge towards the middle, then the other edge over that---sort of like folding a letter. Some authorities carry that a step further and have you then tri-fold the rectangle you'd just formed. The result is a roughly shaped cube.

Folding serves a different function that kneading. The purpose of kneading is to work the gluten so it forms strong strands. Folding is done both to incorporate more air into the dough, and to help assure that all the flour is fully hydrated. Along the way, folding helps stiffen a slack dough.

I could offer some guesses as to why your dough stratified, but would like to see the recipe first.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
The formula's in the original post (75%, 2.2%, 0.4%), though it was only with white bread flour. No whole grains.

Thanks for the explanation of folding.
post #4 of 8
 I can't really think of a good reason what flipping the dough  would have to do with half the side being undercooked but it may have more to do with the cold spots in your oven. 

Did you have a water pan on the bottom rack ( preheated)?
I've had that problem where my loaves were undercooked because I forgot to preheat the water in the pan.
if you have the room you can also try turning your loaf pans horizontal if you have the room to do so. I find that part of my loaves on the inner side of the oven usually is more dark.
This may or may not be a big deal since half the bread was noticeably different but after baking letting it cool is an important process since inside the bread is still cooking.

How many did you bake at once? Last year when I had no clue what I was doing made 12 lbs of dough and tried to fit it all in the oven, bottom rack was burnt and the top was undercooked. at max now I only attempt 3-4 2lbs loafs on the middle rack.

How much did each dough loaf weigh?  maybe the recipe was intended for a 1lbs loaf and you  made a 2 lbs . bigger meaning taking longer to cook and smaller taking less time.
25 minutes just seems a little short for me since I just baked a 2 lb boule for 45 minutes in 500F . ( very rustic  =)

next time try 30 or 35 minutes or make smaller loaves

Kind of off topic but you should try this no knead technique which requires a wet bread like yours . Very easy! since all you do is just mix the flour and you just let it sit for 24 hours and it's ready to be popped in the oven.
This guy uses 18 hours but I did 24 hours which  was more convenient for me and it tastes great. I did a a bit higher than 80% hydration
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU

l
Adrian
post #5 of 8
Yes, the problem may well have resulted (partly) from not flipping.  I said "partly" in that flipping would have evened out the rise, so the top and bottom were of a more or less consistent density and the bread would have cooked more evenly.  But that's more of in the way of getting fooled by process than a reason.  Your bread was underdone because you didn't cook it long enough.  You can't trust recipe time and temperature.  You have to test with the thump test, a thermometer, a toothpick, etc.

Allowing the bread to rise part of the way after loaf formation, flipping, then allowing the rest of the rise is also a good way to prevent "flying crust."  So, for that matter, is a gentle and partial press down in the middle of the final proof for a sandwich or other type of bread-pan loaf.

As KY said, folding is NOT kneading.  In the case of your bread it is a way of making sure autolysis is complete; and, as KY also said, of making a slack dough somewhat easier to handle during loaf formation.  Before you ask, autolysis itself is a sort of resting period allowing the salt, and moisture to diffuse evenly throughout the dough.  It does not put more air into the dough, but it doesn't take nearly as much out as "punching down" does. 

Your bread is already a "no knead." 

Autolysis and the "French Fold" (2 folds, then turn and 2 more, making a 9 layer cube) are currently very trendy. 

FWIW,  I almost always do both with all my bread.  After autolyzing I knead; between the first and second proof I French Fold instead of punching down; after the second proof I form and allow a third proof.  If the third rise is very fast and active, I'll flip half way through.   

Hope this helped.  Let me know if you want or need more.

BDL 
Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/13/10 at 6:48pm
post #6 of 8
It does not put more air into the dough, but it doesn't take nearly as much out as "punching down" does. 

BDL, according to Eric Kastel, associate professor of baking and pastry arts at CIA, and formerly production manager at Whole Foods Bakehouse, folding achieves at least four things:

1. It expels some of the gases and provides more oxygen (italics mine).
2. It redistribues the yeast's food supply.
3. It equalizes the dough's temperature.
4. It promotes gluten development.

This happened to be the handiest reference I had. But there are others that make the same claim about adding oxygen, and I can look them up if you like.

Given the information we have, I suspect that not flipping may have had more of an effect that you do. One side-benefit of flipping is that it acts as a defacto autolyse, Given the relatively high hydration level of this dough, it's possible that part of the liquid settled out, resulting in a dense, soggy bottom and a light, dry top.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 8
KY,

I misunderstood your phrase "to incorporate more air into the dough."  Apparently you did not mean folding gave the dough more immediate loft.  Instead you seem to have been describing how briefly taking the dough out of the bowl and creating a lot of surface area in order to expose the yeast to oxygen keeps fermentation aerobic.

Sorry about that.  Didn't mean to be obtuse.

BDL
post #8 of 8
Apparently you did not mean folding gave the dough more immediate loft. 

Surely you didn't think I was suggesting Wonder bread.

Chelovek: Something else you might try; after shaping the loaves, lay them on your sheet pan seam side up. Then turn them just before baking. That might solve your problem, too.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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