When is bread dough considered ripe?

I'm using the ripe test described by Red Star (here: http://www.redstaryeast.com/lessons-yeast-baking/baking-steps-guide/rising-ripe-test-first-rise and here: http://www.redstaryeast.com/lessons-yeast-baking/baking-steps-guide/proofing-ripe-test-second-rise) and I wanted to make sure I was doing it correctly.

For the first rise, the two indentations remain, but the dough gently deflates. Is that right?

For the second rise, the indentation remains, but I notice much of the dough in the indentation gently inflating again.

As I've never used the ripe test, I'd appreciate your thoughts!



boulangere March 2, 2012
Dough is adequately proofed when you can gently poke it, and the indentation remains, whether it is on the first or second proofing. It should never deflate. If it deflates, it's been over proofed. It deflates because the gluten doesn't have any more spring, or stretch to give, and it literally breaks apart.
passifloraedulis March 2, 2012
Thank you. If the dough has been over proofed -- does it mean it's ruined? Is the only way to guard against over proofing to poke at the dough frequently?
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