The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bulk fermentation

ronnie g's picture

Bulk retarding process

November 25, 2011 - 3:14pm -- ronnie g

Just a quick question if anyone is reading.  I am in the process of the 1, 2, 3 sourdough recipe.  I've only made it a couple of times before.  For the first time last night I did 1 1/2 to 2 hours stretch and fold, then retarded the bulk in the fridge overnight.  I've taken it out, but my question is, do I allow it to come completely to room temperature before dividing and shaping?  Or should I divide and shape now?  The dough has risen in the fridge somewhat overnight.  Thanks for any responses.

Lehua's picture

Tartine Country Rye with Bulk Retard - any suggestions?

August 16, 2011 - 11:21am -- Lehua

I've only been baking bread for 2 months so still not sure of my bench techniques.  I also have this quirk of always wondering "what if...". (Might come from being a software beta tester in the past).  I have had some successes and some not so great outcomes, but am enjoying this process.  Having tried a number of different breads - ones with yeast, some with biga and yeast and some with natural starter- I find that I prefer the natural starter technique and like the crumb of the high hydration of the Tartine method. 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


The famous "proof until double in size" is present in almost every recipe.

I remember seeing some photos somewhere, but I can't remember.

So, here is my experiment.

I made a white dough according to RB "Crumb" (100% Flour, 70% water, 2% salt, 2% yeast), divided it after gluten development and proofed one half in a cylindrical measuring cup, the other half in a transparent pudding bowl.

This way you can see what a doubling in size looks like in a non-cylindrical bowl.

Ambient temperature was between 22C and 24C, it took about 90 minutes to get the doubling in size.

Here are the pictures.

doubling 1

doubling 2


In this picture I simply combined the previous two, for comparison.




plevee's picture


July 1, 2010 - 9:11am -- plevee

Bad planning or a sluggish starter mean that I occasionally bulk retard dough overnight. This slows the starter even more & it can take many hours for the dough to warm up and finally double.

My question is, how important is the full rise during bulk fermentation? I am tempted to divide, shape,  proof and bake the cold, partly risen dough without a full bulk rise. How would this adversely affect the structure and flavour of the finished bread?


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