The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


mitchjayg's picture

Sourdough Bread - Can I proof and then retard

February 16, 2013 - 8:42am -- mitchjayg

Although I have been lurking here for a year, this is my first post. Let me start out by saying how terrific this site is and how much I have learned.  Thanks so much (and I bought Floyd's book - terrific!).

I have been baking sourdough breads, with my own starter, for about a year.  My usual process, from Emmanuel Hadjiandreou "How to Bake Bread" (wonderful, btw) is to stretch and fold every 10 minutes for about an hour, ferment for an hour, shape, proof for 4 hours, then bake.

GregS's picture

Retard Levain Only?

November 3, 2011 - 11:18am -- GregS

Is it possible to cold retard a biga or poolish for a day or two? I assume that if I did so, I could take the leavain out with a little more flexible timing and finish the loaves on a day of my choice (within the retardation time frame). Would the finished loaves be distinctly better or worse if I retarded only the levain?

I know I could retard the shaped loaves, but I'd rather finish the process all at once. Any experiences or opinions?

Thanks, folks.


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. 

Steve H's picture

Question Regarding Vermont Rye Sourdough Retardation

June 3, 2009 - 2:28pm -- Steve H

I made Hamelman's Vermont Rye again the other day and it didn't really come out right.  After letting the levain sit for 15 hours, I made the final dough and threw it in the fridge for bulk fermentation overnight.  The next morning it had grown in size somewhat but was so soupy (somewhere between batter and dough) I couldn't handle it.  Furthermore, I had to add a ton of flour just to get it to the point where I could feel comfortable transferring it to a banneton.  I then retarded it for another 12 hours and baked it..  It came out alright, if a bit spongy.


aladenzo's picture

How to retard using my fridge?

September 20, 2007 - 9:43pm -- aladenzo

Hello everyone... I haven't done this before but I'm actually planning to mix some dough in the evening, shaping it into small buns, and retarding it in my fridge. My question is, how long should the dough be retarded for... and could I actually put these buns straight from my fridge to my proofer....  or should it stay first at room temperature before proofing... OR .... does it go straight to my oven? And how about the temperature of my fridge? Sorry for all these questions... thank you!!!


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