The Fresh Loaf

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Interrupted Bulk Ferment! Can I Do This?

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Interrupted Bulk Ferment! Can I Do This?

Hey all.

I miscalculated how much time I had to make my bread dough today.  We are catching a movie and need to leave right in the middle of the bulk ferment time.  I am doing a Whole Wheat Tartine type loaf.

Question:  It is now in it's autolyse stage.  Can I place the autolysed dough in fridge for the next 5 hours until I get back and then simply carry on where I left off - adding salt and bulk ferment AFTER 5 hours in fridge.

OR, can I add the salt and mix and THEN put in fridge for 5 hours, then carry on with bulk ferment when I get back?

Is one better than the other?  Or neither??

Help!

John

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

leave the autolyse on the counter. I've done 10 and 12 hour room temperature autolyses with very good results after reading Toad.d.b's blog - your loaf will be even better.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks MisterTT.  Unfortunately, I had to make a decision and I ended up adding the salt then putting in fridge.  Hopefully this won't cause much issues.  After reading your advice, I bang my head.  I knew this.  I knew that leaving autolyse for long periods of time is a good thing, and would have been the best option in my case.

Thanks again.

John

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

Your bread will still be great. This summer I'm really learning the value of interruptions in baking - staying at a farm in the country for the summer there's always some odd job that someone needs help with right when you have to mix/shape/put in oven and the fridge is really your friend! Now if I had one that fits a baking sheet... :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a lot of rye in it then I would fridge it just in case I decided to tie one one and forgot about the counter autolyse.  Funky things can happen to rye:-)

PiPs's picture
PiPs

The 'tartine' autolyse has the starter included ... So be careful ... Fermentation will be taking place, though probably slowly if you have fridged it. A true autolyse by definition is without the starter ... Just a thought ...

cheers

Phil

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for the help guys.  Hopefully things will turn out.  All looks good so far.  Also loving this stone ground organic WW flour.  It has amazing gluten development!  Stretch and folds in bowl are about a foot long.  Never had that before.

John