I recently made two loaves at an interval of about three weeks.
Both were made using identical ingredients (mainly Wessex Mill French bread flour and some white spelt). I have a warming cabinet so am able to keep temperatures constant. Timings for preferment, bulk fermentation and proof were identical as was the length of time before use that I fed my starter. Baking time and temperatures were also the same for both loaves. Hydration is around 60% or a little less.
And yet one loaf 1 came out nice and chubby with good vertical rise whereas loaf 2 (which seemed to collapse somewhat as I slashed it) came out rather flat. Both had a good open crumb and tasted fine but the interior of the chubby one seemed softer.
I deduce that loaf 2 (the flatter one) was overproved but for the life of me can’t understand why.
I’m contemplating entering a local competition in the summer and would like to be able to consistently produce identical loaves.
Anybody got any thoughts?