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Texture and shape

QuestionsTexture and shape
Erin McGrath asked 5 years ago

Hi Boris, I’ve tried two of the sour dough recipes and on both occasions and the result has been quite dense- even the white flour version. Also when I tipped the white loaf out of the basket onto the stone it didn’t maintain its shape- it was almost as flat as a pizza base. What am I doing wrong? 

Boris Staff replied 5 years ago

Hi Erin,

Sorry about the late reply, it seems the notification mechanism on here needs a bit of tweeking…

However, to answer your question. It sounds to me that your dough lacked gluten development. This is the physical change that we are aiming for with the gluten structure.
You have two options.

1. Mix the dough more until you get the fine gluten film that is strong and elastic.
2. or you could allow it to bulk ferment longer and add more folds to the dough while resting.

The gluten restructuring which we call development is achieved by breaking the bonds and then teasing out the strands to their length until they are able to move freely. (physical force achieves this whether by mixing or by stretching and folding during bulk fermentation).

The second phase needs time to allow the strands to form new bonds in the those new places. This is the 3 dimensional network that retains the gas produced by the sourdough. It also remains strong but mellow. This is why it can stay up even when we tip the dough out onto the peel from the basket.

Gluten development


Boris Staff replied 5 years ago

In fact, I’d have to say the single most common fault by most home bakers is lack of gluten development.