making bread

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by katherinea, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. katherinea


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    When I make bread I like to do it free form & then bake it on a baking stone. The problem that I have is that when I form the bread for its last rising it always seems to spread & then does not rise very high. So that my bread is more wide then it is high. How can I fix this problem? Thank you! Katherine
  2. jock


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    At home cook
    It could be that the formula you are using makes a wet dough that may not be suitable for the result you are looking for. Or perhaps you are not kneading the dough enough to develop the gluten structure necessary to allow the dough to hold its shape better. Or maybe you are using flour that is not strong enough - that is, it doesn't have a high enough gluten content.

    If you can provide more details we can probably narrow it down a bit for you.

  3. kylew


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    Home Chef
    As Jock points out, some breads are just not suited for free form rising. The wetter the dough the more likely it is to spread. Ciabatta is the nth case example. It's so wet you get a bread that is 3 times as wide as it is tall. If you post your recipe we will be able to tell if that is the problem.

    Another possible culprit is shaping technique. If you don't develop enough surface tension when you shape, you won't have the structure necessary to hold the shape you want. This is something that you will get better at with practice.

    SOme bread just need a little help to hold their shape while rising. This help comes in the form of some kind of rising basket, aka banneton. More often than not I shape my non-pan breads and then place them upside down in a banneton. Once they're risen I flip them right side up onto a peel and load them into the oven. THe baskets provide structure which helps 'train' the loaf.

    Post your recipe and we'll start form there!