Double or Triple in Size – what allows it to have enough strength to double

Double or Triple in Size – what allows it to have enough strength to double

Submitted by barryvabeach on July 12, 2015 – 4:55am.

I have been making bread for quite some time ( nearly all 100% home milled wheat ) and have noticed that some recipes call for bulk fermentation until the dough doubles in size, some call for less and say increase 50% in volume.  I have learned from past mistakes that if you let that dough go too long, and it grows to 2 1/2 to 3 times its size, it gets gooey, and when you try to shape it, it does not work well and won’t get any oven spring ( I would say over proofed, though often I see that term used in connection with final proof )  

Other recipes, for example, Ciabatta,  call for tripling in volume in bulk ferment, and seem to show no ill effects in final proofing from that much development. Of course, you don’t shape ciabatta as you would some other doughs, but I actually use it in sandwich pans and it still comes out great.

So my question is why can some doughs handle tripling in volume, and others not.  Is it a function of hydration, type of flour, yeast running out of food?   Or is it that all doughs can triple in bulk fermentation, but that once you get past doubled in volume, you can’t do much in the way of shaping.

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