The Fresh Loaf

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Bulk Fermentation Questions

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michaelreeves's picture
michaelreeves

Bulk Fermentation Questions

Hi All,

 

I'm currently in the middle of bulk fermentation with sourdough pretzels. My sourdough is Hamelman's Stiff Levain 60% hydration from "Bread". My dough is 51% hydration.

I let it rise at room temp (74F) for 1 1/2hrs, until it doubled itself, then degased and folded by 1/3's onto itself, then let rise for another hour. Placed in fridge (35F) and has been bulk fermenting for 13 hours as of now. The dough height was just at double when I placed it in the fridge, then today it is almost tripled. My concern is, because I have to let the dough come to room temperature before I divide and do my initial pre-shaping (form into small balls), I'm afraid that it will be over risen by the time it has come to room temp to be shaped.

After I divide the dough into small balls, I place in fridge until I have all the pretzels rolled, so they proof at the same time. When I'm ready to start shaping pretzels I pull them out of the fridge 1-2 at a time then back in until all are shaped.

 

My questions are:

Should I degas and fold again before I divide?

Or should I not let the dough come to room temp, just divide cold dough, initial shape, then let it work itself back to room temperature as I'm rolling the dough and proofing?

I'm sure there are questions I'm forgetting.

 

Any info is appreciated

Thanks,

Mike

michaelreeves's picture
michaelreeves

I should have posted the questions earlier, it's too late for me to wait any longer. I will just shape the cold dough straight from the fridge, into balls, and then back into the fridge until all the dough is divided, then begin shaping into pretzels, and let them all proof at the same time.

 

I'll post another comment later detailing my results.

 

Mike

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to make pretzels from the warmed up dough out of the fridge would have degassed the dough properly. 

michaelreeves's picture
michaelreeves

My issue wasn't about degasing necessarily, I was more worried that my dough had risen too much and I still needed to let it come to room temerature, then degas and shape, and then set out to proof. My fears were that because the dough had tripled before I put it in the fridge to retard over night and still had a long way to go before I baked (last time I did this, the dough was tripled by the end of retarding, not before), that it would degard the gluten structure or just have adverse effects. 

Thanks for the advice,

 

Mike

michaelreeves's picture
michaelreeves

Despite my fears, the pretzels turned out to be the best I've made, thus far. I ended up not letting the bulk dough come to room temperature and instead just divided the dough cold. I then shaped into balls, placed in the fridge until all were complete, shaped into pretzels and placed in fridge until complete, and then proofed them for 1hr1/2.

dob28090's picture
dob28090

They look great. Can you post your recipe? Did you use lye to dip the pretzels in?

Dob

michaelreeves's picture
michaelreeves

Hey,

 

I do use lye, but I've seen people get very good results with baked baking soda. I plan on writing a complete step by step process, type of tutorial, on how to make these pretzels, so I don't want to give it out before I have that complete. Sorry.

 

Mike