Doing entire SD proof in fridge
Where I live (Perth, Western Australia), it's damned hot right now. When it's 34C+ in the kitchen at night, I'm finding bulk proofing of SD problematic. Last time it was this ambient temp, I reduced the autolyse to 15 mins, and the bulk proof to 1.5 hours - but the latter was still too long. Despite putting the shaped dough immediately into the fridge for the final proof overnight, then baking straight out of the fridge next morning (total retardation 10 hours @ 5C/40F), the finished loaf showed signs of overproofing and underproofing! It still tasted fine, but was not the nice even shape it usually is. There is no doubt the ridiculously warm bulk proofing time played havoc with the leavening.
My usual procedure in more normal ambient temps (for, say, a fairly standard pain de campagne or pain au levain) is as follows:
- Auto 40 mins
- BP 3 hours, with S&F every 50 mins (3 in all)
- Preshape and rest 15 mins
- Do part of FP at room temp, and rest in fridge overnight. Portion of FP outside fridge varies according to ambient temp. An hour or more if 18C/65F or lower, and progressively less until about 25C/77F, when I put the dough straight into the fridge for the FP overnight.
- Bake out of fridge after 9-11 hours retardation.
I'm considering doing the entire proof, bulk and final, in the fridge while these extreme conditions persist. Just wondering if anyone has done this with excellent results, and if so, whether you would mind divulging the times and strategies you used?
I'm thinking an initial autolyse of 20 mins out of the fridge, followed by a BP in the fridge with S&Fs on the hour for 5 hours, then shaping and retarding for another 10 hours or so before baking straight out of the fridge as I usually do.
I am well tuned into assessing when a dough is ready for baking, but don't have any experience making such an assessment with a dough that has done all its leavening in the fridge. So, if anyone does have relevant experience, would appreciate your passing on your insight!