Can this sourdough loaf be saved?
November 6, 2013 3:11 AM   Subscribe

An oven problem has caused my loaf of dough to be heated, then cooled and it's now caved in. Can I save it?

I preheated my oven and put in a nice, fluffy raised loaf of sourdough, then realized the house was filling with a gas smell. I had to turn off the oven and remove the dough after the dough and stoneware breadpan had just gotten hot, about 5 minutes into baking. I have fixed the gas smell problem now, an hour and a half later, and my loaf's center is completely caved in. I figure there might be a few yeasties in there still alive, so I hope it will rise again. Any advice?
posted by cellura p to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
You can par bake sourdough although normally you cook it for longer than 5 minutes. I'd definitely put it in again - the caving in is expected - there's no structure to the crumb yet.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:19 AM on November 6, 2013

I don't think you have anything to lose by trying, and I don't think there's much you can do to improve the chances of an edible result. I'd just go ahead and bake it ASAP.
posted by jon1270 at 3:42 AM on November 6, 2013

Thanks for the advice - I think it's better than plopping it into the garbage. It just came out of the oven after the full bake and seems to be as hard as a brick. Oh well. I can probably use it on fish or chicken if I can hammer it down into crumbs. For now it's time to start over.
posted by cellura p at 4:22 AM on November 6, 2013

Hard-as-a-brick bread is exactly what you need to make panzanella. Enjoy!
posted by embrangled at 4:42 AM on November 6, 2013

All the advice I read basically says "don't mess with your bread / open the oven door during the first 15 minutes of baking". I'm not sure all the reasons why, but part of it is that during the beginning you are still getting ... oven spring? I think it's called. Your bread continues to rise in the oven before all the yeasts are killed by the heat. BUT, as soon as the crust hardens enough that's going to stop. I imagine in your situation, especially with a sourdough where the wild yeasts may be less heat resistant, you experience both of these issues, resulting in a denser, more brick like result. Some recipes call for steaming the oven (ice cubes on the bottom in a cast iron pan) or spraying water onto the crust to delay the setting of the crust.

I have also noticed with some sourdoughs (rye, in particular) that they are very delicate and scoring / jostling can cause them to deflate, which will only exacerbate the problem.
posted by Phredward at 9:51 AM on November 6, 2013

Sorry about the loaf fail. Another possibility for rescuing it is bread pudding.
posted by O9scar at 11:41 AM on November 6, 2013

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