The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Anomalous's picture

Since I started bread baking last year I've been aiming mainly at sourdough and have made some reasonably good loaves at the weekend but it has been a challenge to fit it into the week's work schedule. The comparatively long rise of approx. 4 hours means I'd be baking at 22:50 if I made the loaf on getting home from work. Letting it rise in the fridge while I'm at work seems a pretty good solution to this, and here's how I've worked it so far.

08:00 Tuesday: mixed 50g starter with 50g wholemeal rye flour and 50g water (the starter is 50% hydrated wholemeal rye and lives in the fridge all the time. It's pretty active despite this). Left it at room temperature, went to work.

18:00 Tuesday: home from work; added 50g strong white organic flour and 50g water. Still at room temperature.

22:00 Tuesday: added 100g white flour and 100g water, still at room temperature.

07:00 Wednesday: added 300g strong white flour, 100g water, 11g salt, a glug of olive oil; mixed, a little bit of folding and stretching, formed a round, left whilst showering, dressing, breakfasting.

07:50 Wednesday: a bit more stretching, folding, gentle kneading and it's looking good. Shaped into a stubby cylinder, into the banneton, bagged, in the fridge. Off to work.

17:30 Wednesday: home from work, dough looks ready. Oven on, 230°C, baking stone in. Oven ready, baking stone out, turned loaf onto stone, dusted with wholemeal rye, slashed, into the oven, 300g boiling water into a hot baking tray for steam. Baked for 20 min at 230°C then 25 min at 190°C. It needs longer baking due to going into the oven fridge-cold.

Result: pretty good. Nice, crunchy crust; moderately airy, moist crumb; reasonably good sourdough tang. For such a relatively small amount of wholemeal rye, it has a surprising amount of wholemeal flavour. I'm not sure where to take it next to get a lighter, airier crumb, but I think I might experiment with leaving it out of the fridge a bit longer before baking in order to let it warm up a bit and do some more rising.

The overall hydration is about 62%. The starter came from a training day at e5 Bakehouse with a reputed 200 year trans-European pedigree and seemed better than my own home-grown starter. I always feed it with equal amounts of wholemeal rye and filtered water and keep it in the fridge.

donenright's picture

How frigid is your fridge?

December 15, 2010 - 3:42pm -- donenright


I've been trying a few baguette methods that call for a retardation in the refrigerator, and what confuses me is that many people say they get a bit of a rise out of their dough while it's in there. I get nada. The dough comes out pretty much exactly as it went in. Which leads me to ask, what's the point of the cold retardation? If yeast activity slows to the point of pretty much total inaction, the process isn't doing me much good, is it? 

jennyloh's picture

Keeping Chef after 2nd refreshment in the fridge?

March 18, 2010 - 3:58am -- jennyloh

Need some advice here.  I've got my chef for my Pain de Seigle ready for 2nd refresher today.  The recipe states to feed it and put it aside for 8hours only. But I'm not available to work on the dough after 8 hours,  can I put it the chef into the fridge and take it out when I'm ready to add in the dough ingredients?

If I do that,  do I need to set it aside to bring it to room temperature first?

Looking forward to your suggestions.


Igwiz's picture

Cold proofing... how long is TOO long?

November 16, 2009 - 6:05am -- Igwiz

Hi all:

I am working on a sourdough rye right now.  It's on its second build, is proofing in the fridge, and due space and time issues has been there since Saturday afternoon.  By the time I bake it this evening, it will have been proofing for nearly 48 hours.  Am I still going to have bread, or will I likely just be baking a HUGE starter?

Any advice would be helpful.



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