The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Retarding James Beard oatmeal bread

JeffyWu's picture
JeffyWu

Retarding James Beard oatmeal bread

We have been baking James Beard's oatmeal bread for years.  This weekend, I suddenly wondered how to retard the dough overnight, as I would a starter or bagels.  Has anyone done this and, if so, how? Did you let the bread rise before retarding and how long after removing it from the fridge did you bake?  And, ultimately, is this beneficial to the bread at all?  Any thoughts would be fantastic!  Thanks! 

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

Typically, bread dough can be refrigerated during bulk ferment AND/OR during final proofing. How long it can go for depends on a variety of factors (initial dough temperature, quantity of leaven/yeast, presence of lipids, etc.).

Will a longer ferment make for a tastier bread ? I would guess that the majority of folks on this forum would say that more time=more flavor, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree. However, more flavor is not always a good thing . . . sometimes, leaving a sourdough bread to ferment too long will produce some upfront acidity that not all people like, and leaving a yeasted bread to ferment too long will produce a moldy beer kind of odor.

As to when you should stick your dough in the fridge, that depends on if you're using yeast or sourdough. Yeasted doughs ought to go to the fridge very quickly after the doughs are finished mixing, while sourdoughs can ferment at room temperature for a little while before taking a nap in the chill chest. I try to get my doughs into the fridge at least an hour before going to bed so I can check up on it to make sure its progress is retarding properly (that goes for either bulk ferment or final proof).

JeffyWu's picture
JeffyWu

Many thanks!  I'm going to tinker with this over the next few months and see what happens. Will report back.

 

AlanG's picture
AlanG

overnight along the lines of what is in Hamelman's book. You use a minimal amount of yeast and let this aliquot of the dough ferment overnight at room temperature.  It is then added to the rest of the ingredients with a little more yeast for the mix and final fermentation.  I've found that the bread is more flavorful.