The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Retarding dough at home

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viks's picture
viks

Retarding dough at home

Hello,

I've been frustrated for some time, not having a professional retarder at home for controlling and regulating the retarding temperature.

The problem is that the room temperature at my home is too high and depends on the weather and the temperature inside my refrigerator is too low (3°c / 37°f).

For proper retarding, getting a good wild yeast and enzyme action, as far as I know, about 10°c (50°f ) is needed.

Last week I've tried retarding the dough in the refrigerator inside a thermal bag for keeping the dough slightly warmer than the refrigerator temperature.

It worked quite nice, the temperature after few hours was 13°c and after about 12 hours was 6°c.

 

It kept the dough warmer and the resulting bread tasted  and texture was very good.

 

The bread recipe I used was "Vermont Sourdough" from Jeffrey Hamelman's excellent book.

 

I hope this trick will help other bakers too.

Regards,

Abraham

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

My sister gave me a thermal bag for bringing home things from the store... I will try this... sounds like a great idea... will post my results.

Grenage's picture
Grenage

Is a low temperature really a problem?  Our fridge runs at 3C, and while I obviously proof some before putting it in to retard, I've not had any problems with flavour development.

viks's picture
viks

One of my purposes is to unite the proofing outside the fridge and inside the fridge, but I haven't accomplished that yet.

I've tried leaving the loaf on the counter for about 6 hr. at night (about 16C-18C) , it proofed o.k. but was too sour for my taste.

Proofing and retarding in 2 stages, works for me, see my next replay.

thank you,

Abraham

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

50 F is required.  Lower temps can just mean a longer retard time is required to develop the flavor profile you want.  At 50 F we would have a hard time not over proofing in 12 hours depending on the dough.  We too routinely retard at 37 F for anywhere from 12- 24 hours to get the flavor we want.

viks's picture
viks

Thank you for your replay and advice.

I tried the method of retarding in the fridge without the thermal bag for a longer time.

Actually, I entered the shaped loaf to the thermal bag and into the fridge, after 6 hr. I saw that it didn't proof at all, so I continued retarding in the fridge without the thermal bag for extra 9 hr.

 Then, I took it out to a low heat oven to take the chill of and to proof, about 3 hr., it proofed o.k.

The resulting bread crumb was good, and softer from the loafs that retarded less time, the acidity was mild.

One of my purposes is to unite the proofing outside the fridge and inside the fridge, but I haven't accomplished that yet.