Over-Proofed Dough… Argh!

I can’t seem to get the timing down for cold proofing shaped loaves. I do overnight bulk ferments (or even longer) a lot. But shaped loaves? I’ve only had success with them a few times.

It’s annoying! To say the least…

I baked the loaves above just last night after they spent just a few hours in my fridge. I wasn’t planning to bake them at the time. In fact, I was planning to leave them for 16 hours. I shaped them at 2pm, went to band rehearsal for Mass at 4pm, then when I checked them at 6pm, I saw that they had risen. Significantly.

And fallen.

So I turned on my oven and heated it up for an hour and in that time, the dough went from just beyond ready, to well over-proofed. I knew I was in trouble when I tried to remove the loaves from their bannetons and both stuck a little.

And it’s not that my retarding fridge is too warm. It’s set to 38° F and it works great for long bulk ferments. But for some reason, when I try to do long final fermentations, the yeast kind of goes haywire!

I suppose looking at it from another perspective, it’s a good problem to have. At least I know my starter is super-active. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a pain in the ass when I over-proof my bread.

Oh well… I’m going to keep on trying to find the right time.

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