The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overnight retarding

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bwalker187's picture
bwalker187

Overnight retarding

I am planning to make this recipe to bring to my family's for Thanksgiving http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=1423 The recipe calls for 4 hours of bulk fermentation (with folding) and then 2 hours in the fridge before baking. I would like to mix and bulk ferment the dough on Wednesday night, refridgerate overnight and then bake after letting it warm up on Thursday morning. However, this is a big change from the recipe and it makes me nervous. I was hoping someone could give me some advice as to weather or not they think that's a good plan. Thanks so much and happy holidays!

 

Beth

flournwater's picture
flournwater

The folding process is critical to success with this recipe.  If you bulk ferment overnight without folding I don't believe you'll achieve the desired texture (crumb) she describes.  The time to experiment is when the risks are low.  If you're baking for a crowd and don't want to be embarrassed I'd suggest following her method without adjustments.

bwalker187's picture
bwalker187

I'm planning to still do the folding, just put it in the fridge overnight instead of for 2 hours. I agree with not experimenting with something I'm bringing to a family dinner though!

flournwater's picture
flournwater

In such a case as you describe, and provided your refrigerator is set below 40 degrees and you put the finished dough in the refrigerator late in the evening, I'd say you'll probably be OK.  But I'd try to keep the retardation time to 8 hours or less if possible and I'd likely be sure to let it acclimate (I'd look for somewhere in the area of 55 - 60 degrees) before baking.

Davo's picture
Davo

You'll be fine. I often do something like this and leave it til the following night to bake. But you haven't been clear - are you shaping the loaves and putting the shaped loaves in the fridge - that's what I do. I would be worried that if you took out retarded bulk-fermented dough and then shaped in the morning, you would need a longish warm-up time to get that last bit of rise going - and then you wouldn't want it to have fully ripened int he fridge overnight, as there'd be no zing in the proof.

One thing though is that you will have to be flexible on how long you warm up the loaves - it may vary from not at all (if it looks ripe when you first look in the morning - and this is possible if it's gotten a bit airy before going in the fridge) up to it might need a couple of hours warming up. As you (at least I do) warm the oven up for an hour, you have at least some of that time anyway. Hopefully if you can judge the ripness by size and poke test, you will know if it's ready or not.

Also be aware that you should cover with a plastic bag or similar as the fridge is very dry and it might dry out on top. And in turn this can make the loaf a little sticky in the banetton if it gets towards the overproved end of ripe. I use a mix of rye flour with a little rice flour to dust the banetton in it and they come out fine.

For my starter and kitchen, four hours bulk followed by shape and overnight in fridge will typically have the loaves looking reasonably airy on going into the fridge - certainly not looking ripe to bake but on their way up, and by morrning a 1 hour warm-up would be about right. But this really can vary with little changes in temp etc that you have to play it by ear....

bwalker187's picture
bwalker187

Thanks for your feedback, this is exactly what I plan to do. I'll put the shaped rolls in the fridge and bake them when they look ready in the morning.

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

If you retard the shapped rolls (which I too heartily advise) and they fully rise in the fridge then you do not have to let them warm up ... go straight from the fridge to the oven.