The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Final rise - straight from the fridge or not?

  • Pin It
108 breads's picture
108 breads

Final rise - straight from the fridge or not?

All of the material I have read until now suggest that even a previously shaped dough needs time to sit out at room temperature. Generally the advice is for one or two hours. FWSY says you can pop a refrigerated and shaped dough right into a hot oven. I have done this twice now and I am not sure. The second time the dough only partially rose, but that might have been from overproofing. (I am a big fan of overnight bulk fermentations.)

Anyone have advice and experiences to share?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Here is one I posted today but just bout all of my recent ones came straight out of teh frdge and into the oven or hot DO with no warm up. Josh and so many others bake straight out fo the fridge too.  happy Baking.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/35293/20-whole-grain-9-grain-sourdough

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

I agree with dab that one can usually move from fridge to oven directly* with doughs containing the usual 20-30% of (natural) levain and that have enjoyed a full complement of bulk time (hard to generalize on how much that time is, depending as it does on so many factors).  However, I can imagine that if one is operating down in the Robertsonian 10% levain domain, then more >fridge temp time may well be advisable to complete fermentation. 

This is on my mind now because my recent Acer levain bakes have tended toward slight over-fermentation and I'm planning to try combining bench rest and final proof into one, on the superpeel (no banneton) step this weekend, straight out of the overnight fridge as the oven heats up.  Recent bench rests of these doughs have held their shape and bannetoning them just invites overfermentation and tight crumbs. 

As always, experimentation is the only way to know.  So for bakes #36, 37 and 38 of your 108, perhaps you can try (1) straight from fridge, (2) one hour at room temp, (3) two hours at room temp, all other factors being equal of course.  And report your results here, of course!

Cheers,

Tom

_____

*I can't remember whether it was Hansjo or JurgenK who said he doesn't like to do that because he feels bad about abusing his levain bugs with such a temperature shock.  His sympathy for the doomed was so touching.

proth5's picture
proth5

Home refrigerators are a little on the cold side for retarding bread, but many people do it and do it successfully.  However a couple of questions on the issue of letting the bread warm up before baking.

If the bread is properly proofed when you pull it from the refrigerator in the morning, what is it after one or two hours at room temperature?

The answer is "over proofed" - so if the bread is ready to bake - it is ready to bake.  Bake it.

What is the real difference in temperature?

If your bread were at cozy room temperature (say 75F) and you put it in the oven at 450F the difference is 375 degrees.  From the fridge (at 40 F) the difference is 410 degrees - about a 10% difference of a difference.  Probably not material.  Also, at room temperature, the ouside of the bread will warm faster than the inside - so to make sure the whole loaf is at room  temperature, it may take several hours. And then what is the bread? Overproofed.

I do retard croissants for a few hours in the refrigerator, but then allow them to fully proof (5-6 hours) at room temperature.  This is mostly a scheduling issue (because I can stumble around the kitchen at 3AM to pull trays out of the refrigerator without fully waking up) - and I like to bake them "late" morning (8-9AM) for those slug-a-beds who don't get up until the middle of the day (and this includes me...)  However, they are nowhere near fully proofed when pulled from the refrigerator and they will spend the time to become an even temperature.

So - bake the bread when it is ready, which is probably when you pull it from the fridge and don't worry about the temperature difference because its a bear either way.

Hope this helps.

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

Over hundreds of loaves, I have better rise and more of a round loaf vs more spread out loaf when the dough goes from fridge to oven.  Sure you can have great success other ways.

golgi70's picture
golgi70

But since I've also played with this I'll chime in a bit.  Generally speaking if you want to retard your formed loaf I find it best to figure out how much room temp time it needs before going in the cold to be perfect for loading directly from retarder to the oven.  If your dough is highly hydrated and active this time is 0 and should go straight to the retarder, if its a bit firmer and not quite as active some floor time to get a kickstart to the final proof before retarding is quite nice.  It varies from dough to dough.  When the dough goes to the retarder it continues to proof but at a much slower rate so its just finding a perfect balance.  Some say let it proof 75% others 90% but I find it to be a bit more dough to dough based on its makeup, temperature, and style.

 At my previous work this is how half of the bread made was handled and certain loaves were put in retarder immediately while others got anywhere from 1-3 hours on the floor before hand.  This takes a bit of practice with the particular loaf at hand to find its optimum timing.  

As for baking direct from cold or letting them proof more.  I've found a loaf that's been brought down to 40-50 degrees internally takes quite some time to get back to a temperature where it will start to rise again.  1-2 hours is quite short unless the loaf is small.  We did some experiments way back and even after 3 hours with some of our sourdoughs saw little change in its size.  I think the real difference in opinion here lies on whether or not to let the dough take its chill off the "crust" so its more elastic when it hits the oven.  I've tested this too and had both good and bad results. With good steaming apparatus I have had the best results baking straight from retarder.  

Finally a good mention was made of the temperature difference.  So a room temp dough is 75-78 degrees and hitting a 500 degree stone.  A retarded loaf is 1/2 that temperature and although one is 425 degrees difference and the other 450-460 degrees seems like little I think the cold dough has a much more significant burst in the oven due to the extra degrees colder it is.  Also the cold dough acts like a can of beer when it hits the oven condensing on itself and aiding quite well in the initial steaming.  If the dough was left for an hour or two this would be lost entirely.  So for a home baker where adequate steam is maybe the hardest task in the baking process I feel this is a huge help.  

As for croissants:  When you retard them they are so small they don't get their full proof in the retarder as the temp comes down quickly and stops the final proofing completely.  It does add depth of flavor and help with scheduling (we do this too).  Hence the need to bring back to room temp and finish proof.  But again since they are small they come back to temp much faster and do continue proofing.

My $.02 and I hope it brings some light to my experiences with said issue, 

Happy Baking All

Josh

 

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Excellent write-up.

golgi70's picture
golgi70

This came into play who day while doing my farmers market bake which ill post a bit later today. At first I thought I'd proof for 30/60 at room temp then retard but I was exhausted and the dough finally seemed lively at the shape. So I went straight to retarder. First bake straight from cold blew up a bit.  They were a touch underproof but i had high hopes with good steam. After that I pulled dough 40 minutes before baking snd got improved results. So further.  If your dough is on the far end of proofed go right in. If its a little under giving it a short time to take the chill off softened the skin a bit helping the large amount of expansion. 

josh

proth5's picture
proth5

That was my point - you bake when the bread is ready.  I was uncharacteristically being brief and didn't discuss the whole "Well, what if it isn't exactly ready - do I bring it out or just leave it in longer" thing.

And your insights are much appreciated I read them with great interest.  Always something to learn in this bread baking game...

Pat

golgi70's picture
golgi70

I was certainly not trying to correct anyone just throwing out my experience with said issue. You made very accurate statements. We are all constantly learning in this medium which is half the fun for me. eating bread being the other half. 

best regards

josh

proth5's picture
proth5

I didn't take anything amiss.  Funny way to communicate these interwebs.  Just adding my "me to!"

And I do appreciate what you wrote.  In general I don't like to retard anything but the croissants because I don't have enough refrigerator space and it doesn't fit my schedule well - but your observation on the cold loaves making up for some lack of steam is worth some thought because I have a gas oven that vents like crazy and steaming is an issue for me.  I have been beating myself up about my scoring technique, but when I did some baking with proper steam (in a commercial oven) I got such good results I'm trying to get more creative about steam (and the usual methods are not working well - this oven vents like mad...)

Thanks!

Pat

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Convection oven?  My guess is the latter. Best I've done which is lava rocks cold water  right after loading close doors and shut off oven for 5 minutes. i have one crappy deck oven with steam and 2 convection where I work so I just start breads in deck and move to convection to make enough space. Oh and if your gonna try the shut off oven preheat an extra 50 degrees. Helps to lose less heat. 

Josh

proth5's picture
proth5

And yes, it has convection capability, but that can be turned off.

So I usually preheat to 500F and then start the bake with convection off. The temperature really drops even though I have a heavy stone in the oven.

Tried the lava rocks - I was getting loaves with pale bottoms.  I've been using some cast iron grill moisturizers and the steam tray that should be used with a Rofco oven.  This is the closest I have gotten to real steam - just need to jigger it around and be bold about putting in enough water. - well, that's my theory. Others welcome (and I did try the pans of hot water with towels in them.  NG

When I get to bake in "real" ovens - it's so sweet - push the button - get some steam..

Pat

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

with retarding shaped loaves is that they fully or even more than fully proof themselves at 18 hours in the fridge.   Thsi last time it nearly triples in volume.  So I have benn baking them right out of the fridge to make sure they proof as little as possible while the oven warms up - and no slashing hoping they don't collapse  - some spring but nothoing spectacular but so far no collapses either even with high whole grain breads of vartious kinds..

This last time, the white bread bake, I checked retarted bread at the 12 hour mark which happened to be a t midniught and it had risen to the 85% level.,  Normally seeing that, I would talke it out of the frige to warm up a little as the oven was cranked up to rammking speed and it would hit the heat an hour later.  We get way more spring that way, the hopes are larger but the loaves are smaller in volume overall too for some reason.

Now i'm going to have the loaves hit the 12 hour mark at 6 AM the next day - 6 hours later to catch them at 85-90% proof.  Oddly, it is usually the white breads that proof faster adn much more in the fridge.  I would have thought the whole grain that are 40% rye and spelt and 60% other whole grains whould move along faster.

The key is to watch the dough like we all say - and can agree on.  If fully proofed, bake it out of the fridge.   If it is 80-85%% then  you can let it warm up for an hour as the oven heats.  But if is 50% proofed after 18 hours of retard. you either let it go longer in the cold or tale it out and let it finish proofing t0 85-90% or what wever you like before baking,

That is the great thing about the fridge. It is the best friend you have if you dolt stick it in there too soon so the dough doesn't proof to 150% while ypu are sleeping :-)  Not to mention the extra tang to get from the retarding too - a real two'fer.  The extra flexibility of baking with the fridge is a real life saver for me. 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Thats odd dab.  I've had more trouble with the whole grains moving too fast in my fridge.  The only white dough that can sometimes get away in the fridge is the really wet ones as they ferment much faster.  Now that i think of it after the 12 hour mark in the retarder is when i see things start to go wrong at work.  Are you bulk fermenting cold followed by retarding the loaves cold? I used to do that and it caused so much trouble.  Sometimes all would go well while other times it would just be ruined.  Gluten breakdown.  Or....  Maybe your white dough has a high amount of levain and that's causing the issue?  A bit too much yeast for a slow rise???  

Albeit tricky our retarders are most certainly our friends 

Josh

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

But the last bake had doubled in 12 hours and tripled in 18 in the fridge with no counter ferment after shaping or post retard proofing.  I though for nsure it would be slower becsue it was 80% white flour.  My normal whole grain breads are 100% proofed in 18 hours in the fridge with no pre retard ferment on the counter.  It could be this last white bake was just weird but the other bakes have been very consistent  Everything has about the same amount of levain 15-20% depending on the the bake.  I've never experienced any gluten breakdown with the whole grains but I do grind my own.   I'm doing another exactly the same white bake this Friday using your method of levain build and we will see what difference that makes.

Since it is still pretty warm in the kitchen I'm not doing any ferment on the counter after shaping.   The biggest problem is that I have been putting the bread in the fridge at noon the day before so they fully proof in the fridge by 6Am the following morning at the 18 hour mark.  So, I am going to put them in the fridge at 4 PM and be able to get them in the oven at the 85% mark.

108 breads's picture
108 breads

Thank you for the responses. I totally appreciate the voice of experience(s). I am a bit in the dark as a self-educated baker (mainly through baking and reading), so the comments are quite helpful.