Dough from a greased bowl won't form into proper loaves (French bread). The grease causes it to separate into layers. Help!



Michael B. June 2, 2019
Today's result... much better!
No oil or shortening used anywhere except in the dough itself... not in the bowl, not on the baking sheet.
I also tried something I saw on YouTube... an extra proofing between the first and final. The dough was degassed and given a preliminary shaping. It was allowed to proof on a wooden board , covered with a towel. After about 30 minutes, it was degassed again and formed into the final shape. I pinched the seam very well this time. Having no oil on the outside allowed this to be done nicely. Final rising of 30 minutes, brush with egg white, slash, and into the oven.
Thank you everyone who chimed in here.
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Smaug June 2, 2019
The recipe I use assiduously avoids any trace of oil, the bowl is just dusted with flour, which helps a bit (it's a pretty sticky dough), but ultimately it sticks to itself better than to other things if you pull it away slowly. In this case, the best bet might be to knead again to incorporate the oil into the dough- your problem seems to be an excess of oi on the surface.
Michael B. June 2, 2019
I've come to believe that. I'll try the flour dusting. That's new to me and seems very logical. Thanks!
Nancy June 2, 2019
A bit of noodling around reminds me that vegetable shortening breaks down gluten strands (hence, why it is used to make flaky biscuits).
If enough shortening from greasing the bowl got into your dough, that may have caused or contributed to the separation and dough failing to come together.
If you still have the dough, maybe portion it out for biscuits.
And next time, revert to oil or butter to line your proofing bowl.
Michael B. June 2, 2019
Any day I learn something new is s good day! Thank you for your time and the information. I will avoid shortening in the future.
Stephanie B. June 1, 2019
Could you provide more detail? It sounds like you let the dough rise in an oiled bowl, and are now trying to shape it, am I getting that right?
Michael B. June 2, 2019
Yes. The dough acts like layered biscuits. I often have a void on the bottom where a seam would be. But this time, it was impossible to pinch the dough together. The photo shows the result after the second rising. Ouch!
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Michael B. June 2, 2019
Actually, that photo was after baking. Here is one of the raw dough.
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Michael B. June 2, 2019
Pretty sad. I'm not a bad cook, but this was a disaster. LOL!
Stephanie B. June 2, 2019
Huh...well that is weird. I always lightly oil my bowls or whatever I'm doing my bulk proof in, and I have never seen this. I'm just guessing but I'll have a go: 1) maybe you're using too much oil, and the bottom of the dough is sitting in oil and it's not incorporating since you're past the mixing stage? 2) Is your dough covered when fermenting? I've found (when I forgot to cover one time) that dried out dough doesn't want to pinch together, and oil might make it even less likely to stick together. 3) Try to shape tighter? Sorry not sure any of this is helpful :/
Stephanie B. June 2, 2019
And just to be sure: are you doing the second rise, after shaping in an oiled container? I only use an oiled container for the first rise. Though I still don't think that would cause this.
Michael B. June 2, 2019
Hi again. First of all, thank you for your input. I appreciate your time. This was a new one for me, as well. To answer your questions... The first rise is in the greased bowl. It was lightly greased with Crisco. It did not seem to be any more than I normally use (maybe it was?). I have used vegetable oil in the past and will likely switch back to that.
The second rise was after punching down and forming into the loaf. I made efforts to pinch the seam together, but during the second rise on the baking sheet, it separated as you see it. I can only assume this was because of the layer of fat between (same reason puff pastry is flaky).
Yes, it was covered with plastic wrap during both risings. The baking sheet was lightly greased and cornmeal scattered on it before the loaf was placed on it. That was not out of the ordinary. I do the same when making French loaves and have never experienced the problem like tonight.
That's about all I can offer for info. It's a laughable sight, but fortunately not a typical thing. I just am not sure why it did it this time.
Thanks again, Stephanie.
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