Help me understand my bread and where it went wrong !

Help me understand my bread and where it went wrong !

Hi all,

Alongside weekly bread baking experimentations, I have been baking a tartine style boule once a week, as I can now get fairly good results from it. Every week the bread has been getting better and better. However this weekend it did not come out of the oven as planned….

  • The dough was very difficult to handle during / after the bench rest (it drooped away a lot more than it usually does. It usually holds its form quite well on the initial bench rest).
  • It did not achieve anywhere near the usual oven spring I get from this recipe.
  • It tasted more sour than usual.

I have been trying to understand what factor(s) were changed/different to create the above issues. I believe for maybe the more experienced bakers of you the above issues point towards where the error could lie?

I stuck to the exact same recipe, same timings, same measurements etc. I believe the dough was proofing at the usual temperature… I do it in the oven, with the light on and a cup of hot water inside. And bulk fermentation in my fridge overnight, again as usual.

My rookie assumptions / guesses:

  • Maybe the temperature of the dough was warmer than usual and thus I took the initial proof too far? I usually take the temperature of the dough every half hour but this time I didn’t, as I have been getting consistent results from the previous weeks, so got cocky.
  • It’s possible it may have been proofing for longer than usual (maybe an extra half hour) and thus over-proofed?
  • Maybe my fridge dial got knocked and the fridge temperature was lower than usual for the bulk fermentation.

I’m glad this happened however, as it has taught me that I need to try relying more on intuition (how does the dough look and feel during the initial proofing process) to gauge when it is ready to bench rest / shape, rather than sticking to a rigid routine of timings, which ultimately change depending upon the environment the dough is being created in…

Thanks in advance for any advice you throw my way !

Best regards to all,



Source: Fresh Loaf