The Fresh Loaf

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Rising sourdough overnight using a breadmaker - any tips?

saxmund's picture

Rising sourdough overnight using a breadmaker - any tips?

I've been using my Breadman Ultimate for a number of months to make almost all my bread.  I am now experimenting with sourdough.  It doesn't really rise fast enough for the breadmaker, so I have tried adding extra yeast, but that's a bit hit & miss - I had one loaf that sank, and I think it must have risen too much.

So I am now experimenting with overnight fermentation.  I had quite a successful first attempt.  The Breadman won't allow you to program any phase for more than 100 minutes, so I did the following:

  • Set it on Dough

When the dough is made, reset the machine run a program as follows:

  • 30 mins preheat to get it back up to temperature
  • 15 s knock back
  • 2 hours prove (by using both the Rise 2 and Rise 3 phases with no "shape" in between)
  • bake

It was a loaf made with approx 1lb of flour (including sourdough starter) of which 2oz was wholemeal and the rest strong white, and would have risen for about 9 hours before the second program kicked in.

It was pretty successful - the crust wasn't dark enough so I will add a couple of minutes to the program.  tasted nice, with more sourdough flavour than a quicker fermented loaf, and a slightly chewy (but well risen) texture.

So - I just wanted to ask - am I doing it sort of right, or is there anything else I should be doing?  I'm in the UK and don't have the heating on overnight, so it gets reasonably cool.

And before anyone suggests I make the dough in the machine and do the rest by hand, I want to utilise the convenience of the machine and be able to get up to freshly baked bread.



LLM777's picture

Sounds good to me.  Could you put up the recipe so I could try it also?  How do you run two cycles back to back overnight?  Do you program the whole thing as a Personal Recipe?

I'm glad you thought of this because my sourdoughs have always fallen in the machine so I have resorted to the dough cycle and then by hand. 

It seems a two hour rise though is awfully long. But if it's not falling obviously, it's good.

saxmund's picture

It was

  • 8 fl oz sourdough starter
  • 4 fl oz water
  • 1.5 tbs oil
  • 2 oz wholemeal flour
  • 10.5 oz strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp sugar

(Note: my measuring jug happens to measure in US fl oz so that's a cup of starter and half a cup of water.  A cup of flour is, IIRC, about 4 oz).

The mix was slightly too wet, although that will depend on your starter I suppose.  In any case it will dry out a bit in the machine overnight.  I reckoned the recipe was a total of 1lb flour, so a medium recipe.

The dough had risen about as far as it was going to about 3 hours after the kneading cycle had finished.  Problem is, I can't program the Breadman for a first knead of more than 100 minutes so can't set a program for it.

2-3 hours isn't particularly long for a rise.  Using old fashioned fresh or granulated yeast I would allow 2 hours for a rise and probably 1.5 to prove, if making by hand.  It's just that with breadmakers and fast acting yeast we have got used to shorter timescales.  However part of the reason for doing it overnight was this which recommends overnight rising, so part of it is for texture/digestibility/flavour rather than just rising.

I wrote a personal program that started with 30 minutes Preheat and then I put in zeroes for Knead 1 and 2 and Rise 1, 15s for Punch Back, 100 minutes for Rise 2, 0s for Shape, 20 mins for Rise 3 and then onto bake (45 mins not quite long enough).

I then put the ingredients in and set it on Dough.  This kneads it and gives it a 1 hour heated rise.  When the machine beeped to finish I turned it off and turned it on again, then set it to the personal program and put it on timer so it finished just before I got up.

LLM777's picture

I have my sourdough starter now. I have used freshly ground ww flour and will do the rest as you say to begin with.  I hope to make it into a completely whole wheat (wholemeal) sourdough bread.


Thanks for the info!

saxmund's picture

Let me know how it goes.  My recipe book says that 100% wholemeal flour doesn't work very well in a breadmaker, but I suppose a long slow rise is probably what it needs.

I had a second attempt the other day.  I replaced the wholemeal flour with buckwheat.  It didn't rise as much - it is perfectly acceptable, but not as light as you'd want to make sandwiches out of (although its very nice spread with peanut butter).

There are two reasons I can think of.  One is obviously the lack of gluten in the buckwheat, although I hadn't expected that much difference with such a small amount of buckwheat.  The other might be that I ran the dough program later in the evening, meaning that the rise started after the central heating had gone off and the flat was cooling down.  However I will continue to experiment.